There were some pluses and minuses about heading into Michigan. A big plus was getting to see a friend from my grad school days in Fresno. Technically he started the program after I had finished, but my roommate was still in the program and was the link in the friendship. The three of us would hang out quite a bit whether it was watching sports, or something livelier such as hitting the local night life. It had been a few years since last seeing him as we had both moved states and had other jobs and so forth. He has been quite a help during the trip already as he connected me with his parents in Iowa which was lovely and now had made arrangements for me in Michigan.
The minus of not completing a state meant there is an asterisk of sorts with how many states I’ve done. Also, it throws off the math a bit. When meeting with a gym or brewery owner, it is easy to tell them what state I’m in, and double that number for how many gym or brewery owners I’ve met with. Once again doubling that number would be the total number of meetings. Another down side was the lack of brewery responses. I had a tentatively scheduled meeting, but that was it. Gyms were locked down a little better and it was unique to not have a CrossFit gym in the state. This is good though as it adds to the overall variety of gyms to experience.
It was later in the evening when I arrived in Michigan. My buddy was there for work and was supposed to have a room to himself with an extra bed. Things changed though. Major props and thanks to him though for taking action. He arranged with another guy who had only a single bed to allow me to crash on the couch pull out bed. My buddy and I went out to the closest spot which was Buffalo Wild Wings. We got some apps, wings, and beers and chatted about what’s been going on in lives. Like old days with some laughs, beers, and sports. As we chatted, I had shown him my bottle opener and he liked it. I told him that one was his. We used to work out on campus all the time. It was a gym where only graduate assistants had access to. Since we’ve had so many gym sessions, beers, and good times, it was an obvious call. He was then very kind in covering the check!
Heading back to the hotel feeling good and ready for bed, I met the other nice guy. He was super chill in letting me crash and said I could use the room during the day with the extra key as well. I never want to intrude, but I did very much appreciate that gesture.
The next morning, the temporary roommate had to leave early. I got up when he did and got dressed to work out. I ran a bit then did a little circuit with running, abs, and dumbbell snatches. Afterward, there was a breakfast buffet that my friend had given me a ticket for. I scarfed down a double-digit amount of bacon strips, 2 orange juices, scrambled eggs, and blueberries with a piece of French toast. 2 chocolate milks to top it off and I was set for the day.
I was quite behind on the blog work so I cranked out a couple before heading out to try my luck at a brewery. No dice. Then I went to my gym meetings. First was COVAL Fitness where I heard the value a business mentor can bring, but the key is to find the right one. Just as a gym is key for a person, there is importance in finding the right type of gym.
After that, I went to Iron Pride Gym where I heard about the value of sticking to your roots and building good connections. There are trends that come and go overall but providing a space where people can achieve their goals and live a more enjoyable life is nice.
At this point, I had some time to try and get more breweries in. I had one scheduled but the time wasn’t locked down. Through some patience and communication, we determined to meet the following day. I then tried a variety of breweries and nothing was happening. It was a bit annoying as I had a pass to go to the track meet where my buddy was working. This meet has some of the best, young athletes in the country and would’ve been a fun experience. Alas, I kept at it, getting to 6 some breweries I think.
As my frustration grew from the rejection and frankly the waste of time it felt like, I realized such frustration was not beneficial. Sometimes I get the desire to call family or friends and complain. Sometimes I actually do, but I try to reframe and get back on track.
I found another brewery to try. I parked on the road and started to walk but couldn’t quite find it. Then it started to rain. That was an added hassle. I retreated to my car to look at my phone under the roof as more rain came. It seemed to be a small issue which the map and real life didn’t quite match up. I looked at their site which said it was next to another store. This extra tidbit greatly helped me. I went in and Pileated Brewery was one day from an inspection and officially opening their doors. They have since been able to open their doors but that day they took the time to chat with me and were hospitable. That was something they’ve done as they built the place, taking the time to chat with people who in turn built their excitement for when they would be open.
That night my buddy said we’d meet up with his girlfriend and go to Primanti Bros which is a sandwich spot he liked. It was a 40-minute drive but I didn’t mind. He was hyped on the sandwich. I like food, so I was curious of course. It was a good sandwich with capicola, added egg, and I ate it eagerly. We had shared some appetizers before and had beers. My buddy only ate half his and was full. He said I could take his other half for the next day. Instead, I ate it that moment. It was easier for logistics and I was still hungry. Once again, he was in full kindness mode treating me again. Reflecting on that provides a happy emotion, one which lessons the fatigue and worries, and makes me appreciate how nice life can be.
The next day I had my final meeting where I heard Batch Brewing integrated philanthropy into their daily business model with a Feel Good Tap. A rotating tap where proceeds would help charity. It is a non-profit that other breweries are starting to get involved in and I think it is a cool idea. It was time to leave Michigan, full of wonderful breakfasts and dinners thanks to my friend.