It recently occurred to me that newer readers of MFF’s love letters may not understand exactly what the hell is going on with the world’s only glittery unicorn Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams.
Like… wtf? Kinda weird, eh?
Well, you’re not wrong. It IS pretty weird.
You see, MFF isn’t your typical “gym.” It was designed to deliver high caliber fitness best practices to people who don’t necessarily like fitness.
Sure, we’ve always had our fair share of athletes and dancers. There are many Ninjas drawn to MFF that feel very comfortable in other fitness spaces. They just like that we know what we’re doing and deliver it with a certain flare. 😉
But it’s true: MFF was designed to help people who don’t like gyms find a solution that they genuinely love.
I’m particularly empathetic to this situation. Because growing up, I was not a natural for sports and physical exertion. For context, when I was a very little kid, I didn’t really sweat. I’d just get bright red like a tomato, get a headache, and have to go lay down by my mom. So I was that kid.
I was painfully aware of how skinny I was. (My hilariously unhelpful solve was to wear two extra large t-shirts… oy haha.) And the thought of having to do a pull-up in front of my peers for the dreaded President’s Physical Fitness Test literally made me lose sleep.
While I did play sports on and off, I was way more into playing pretend. So it was only natural that I found myself drawn to the theater. It was there that I developed some self-esteem, met a bunch of soul friends, and found a base from which to navigate the slings and arrows of growing up.
But near the end of high school, I was ready to brave the gym and start lifting weights. I may have been daunted by the gym; but I was VERY tired of being so skinny. And I was hopeful I could make some changes if I started working out. And then something weird happened.
After an admittedly bumpy/ awkward/ intimidating first few months… I kinda started to like it.
It was satisfying to see that if I worked hard, I could make some changes to my physique. Sure, no one was ever going to mistake me for a bodybuilder. But over time, I came to enjoy not only the results, but the process.
So it was with great surprise that I slowly found the gym to be my sanctuary in an uncertain world. Moving to NYC with a BFA in musical theatre, many things were out of my control. I was in a tough biz, I was broke as a joke, and I had no family help to lean back on.
So it was really powerful to have one thing I could count on. No matter what was going on in my life at any given moment, I had an outlet. No matter how the winds were blowing, I could go and lift things; I could do something good for myself.
Long time readers know I am nothing if not enthusiastic! So it was only a matter of time before I was sharing my passion with friends. And since I was a theater actor, many of my friends had similar mixed-at-best feelings about the gym.
As I obsessively studied all I could about training and nutrition, it was a joy to help out the people I loved. I wanted them to ALSO adopt fitness as a port in the storm of life.
Over the years, my style of fitness delivery slowly became more and more eccentric. My parallel studies in psychology, adult learning, and behavior change started to inform my approach. A certain propensity for fantastical imagery, breathtaking profanity, and impromptu discussions of philosophy became part of how I gave “the gift of fitness.”
In 2011, after offering several rounds of a six week makeover program I dubbed “Snatched in Six Weeks,” things started to take off. My business partner Keeler came onboard, our original trainers BPM and Beast joined the team, and impossibly, we convinced our landlord to roll the dice and give us a lease.
As we like to say: “We accidentally started a gym.”
But we didn’t want to call it a “gym.” That didn’t feel grand enough.
By this point we knew we didn’t want to have “members” or “clients.” We went with a more aspirational and affectionate term: Ninjas. Around this time, for reasons none of us quite remember or understand, the unicorn became something of a spiritual mascot.
So instead of calling our home a gym (blech), we went with The Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams.
Cuz, you know. Normal.
Now that we’re 10 years (!!!) into this Grand Unicorn Experiment, I’m more grateful than ever for what we do and who we do it for.
The fitness scene — particularly in NYC — often feels exclusive and elite. And I totally get that’s one way to go.
We just wanted to make a place where people could trust that:
- The fitness experts actually know what they’re doing
- Kindness would be the law of the land
- We’re going to giggle and laugh and have the very best time possible while physically exerting ourselves.
Now I realize this isn’t too far off what a lot of places promise.
And frankly? There are a lot of great solutions for your fitness out there. And I want you to find the very best home for YOU. Even if it takes you to a more traditional gym.
Now if you’re reading this and you’re a current or former Ninja at MFF, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your support and belief has meant — and continues to mean — the world!
And if you’ve never been to MFF?
Well, let me ask you this…
Did you ever snag your lunch tray in middle school only to look out totally daunted by the sea of tables and not quite certain where to sit?
You’re explicitly invited to sit with us.
We’d love to have you check out Snatched and see if it it feels like a fit. And if you’re looking for something with a bit smaller of a commitment, you can check out two options below:
- Want to train in-person at our Hell’s Kitchen Clubhouse? We can get you sorted with our no commitment 21- Day Unicorn Kickstart Challenge. Details HERE.
- Want to train with MFF from anywhere in the world? Learn more about our HomeBody 7 for $7 intro offer HERE
Loving you now and always,