While staying with my buddy in North Carolina, I was also able to check off a few of my South Carolina meetings as well. I had a few responses to my messages which meant I had scheduled meetups. The first was a farm brewery, Benford brewing and the owner said he was brewing a special release that day but depending on how events went he would try to answer questions. I took that as a win as I could be patient in between the taskings and hoped he would be willing to answer if things went well.
He was meeting with @brewskybrothers who discuss craft beer through social media and look to link up with breweries for special releases to help raise money for charity to cure cystic fibrosis, which one of them has. As I got there I said hello and was quite happy to enjoy a nice black lager. I was able to ask some questions as we sat around during part of the process, then I would hang out during more intensive periods of brewing. At one point, there was a slight glitch, and I thought that things may head downhill, preventing me from being able to ask the questions. Luckily for my questions and all involved parties, the owner was able to be creative and persistent in solving the issue.
It was cool to sit back in the warm country environment and see how the owner would take a tractor and use it to move a large container that would store the spent grain. He then took the grain and transported it over so that it could be used to feed the cattle later. An efficiency of energy and materials. It was great to receive a sticker as well!
Being that I had 2 meetings for the next day and it was already getting too late for gyms I headed back to my buddy’s place in Pembroke. That night there was a football game at UNC Pembroke and my buddy’s track team was going to be recognized at halftime for winning the conference. I hurried to meet up for a little pregame tailgating before heading in.
I’ve been to numerous football games in my life and love the atmosphere, along with the game. This was a unique experience as it blended the college experience but being a smaller school, it had some aspects that reminded me of a high school game as well. It was fun to see the band for the grand entrance and I was able to have a standing ticket near the field, just outside the track. It was a cool experience, being in a new stadium, taking in the atmosphere and environment in North Carolina. I also had a sense of pride for my buddy and his team for their accomplishments. It is nice when people you know are successful in their endeavors.
The following day I was happy to check off two meetings, but happy for another reason as well. Along my journey at various states and cities, I have gotten numerous interesting reactions when I tell my story that I’m striving to meet with gym and brewery owners in every state. The curious minded will often inquire if I want to open one or the other, or perhaps both in one building! Some people just jump to the both in one conclusion, and then you can see the wheels in their mind whizzing away as they consider if that would be viable, both in interest and feasibility.
I would tell them that I simply loved gyms and breweries, along with hearing stories and learning from people. There is always a possibility of opening something as I don’t care to say it will never happen, but it’s rather unlikely at this point. That being said, you never know who you will meet and what opportunities may arise.
Sometimes through these interactions, I would hear of a place that had both. Someone would say they heard of a place that was a gym and brewery or that one was forming. I recall one time in a library in Iowa trying to google around and looking but to no avail. The common factors would be some vague idea of a situation, but no details. I would usually hear it once, then go weeks or a month before someone would mention it again. It had become a folk tale of sorts for me and the journey.
It was in South Carolina that this folktale would become a reality, and as is often common in such situations, the truth was similar but not exactly as the tale illustrated. What I found was a brewery owner who also owned a gym that was next door. Perhaps I should have worded it the other way as he started the gym first, then using capital from the gym, was able to open the brewery.
As one may imagine, it was extremely exciting to have an opportunity to meet with such an entrepreneur. To start one business and be successful is quite an accomplishment. Many people who try to add a second, in their area of success often struggle. To add a second in a different industry is quite the feat to undertake. It was great to learn more.
The brewery is Full Spectrum Brewing where they have a beer for everyone in the spectrum. The gym is CrossFit Abv where they are passionate about having the right people in the community. I heard the desire to open a brewery, but it is a capital-intensive project. A gym and a CrossFit gym, in particular, can be less capital intensive in comparison. The goal was then to form a gym and look to use that capital to form the brewery. It now makes for a great collaboration for community events and bringing people together.
After a good chat that got my head thinking intensely and a nice spicy beer, I headed back to my buddy’s for one final night. As I got in, he said he was concerned about some wasps’ nest on his house. I told him that while I was a kid, a buddy and I took care of a nest before by spraying some wasp spray and then running away fast to avoid getting stung. We would wait a bit, then repeat. It certainly isn’t the best approach and may be frowned upon in some circles, but I said we could try that approach.
Armed with sneakers, a beer, and some wasp spray we set out to take care of this issue. It is a good example of the increased bravery when a buddy is with you and you are in it together. We made a plan, sprayed, and ran away! You sure can run fast when not concerned about the running, but rather getting away from a potentially painful experience. Unfortunately, there were a decent number of gnats out as the sun was getting close to setting. This made the waiting around part unpleasant.
The waiting is key to reduce the likelihood of a random wasp stinging you. Once you wait, they tend to go more towards the nest. We made it work with some time, yelling, running, spraying, and bits of chaos. No one was stung which was great. Later we could let his dog out and there weren’t any worries.
The night ended with some hanging out and enjoying the beers that the kind people of Adroit CrossFit gave me. Tomorrow I’d head down to finish my last gym meeting, then head to Georgia.
I came across Pee Dee CrossFit and thought I’d try my luck with the pop in approach. I was lucky in finding the owner and he was kind enough to meet with me in a couple hours. I decided to capitalize on my Planet Fitness membership and hit a solid workout and shower. This way after finishing the last meeting, I could drive over to Georgia and see what was possible the rest of the day. I felt a little awkward walking back in with different clothes and needed to wait a bit for the owner to finish a workout, but I didn’t mind as the time to workout can be precious. We then had a nice chat and I heard how successes or failures do NOT define who a person is. It is one of those statements that is simple yet has a lasting impact.
It was now time to head on over to Georgia.