September 15

Much Ado About A Comeback


Greetings Gym Family,

Obviously there is a huge, can’t be missed sign in the gym that says, “Make Your Comeback” which I have made our new tagline for the past several months. I wanted to take a few minutes to engage with you on why I chose this and what it means for you all. I also wanted to give you guys an opportunity to WIN A FREE MONTH to celebrate the fact that the gym has grown by over 50% from January 1, 2018.

So there’s a few reasons I chose “Make Your Comeback” as our new tagline and I wanted to let you in on my thinking.

#1 Most of you know my story of making a comeback from homeless drug addiction in 2004. It has uniquely positioned me to be passionate about, and well versed in overcoming adversity in the lives of others.

#2 Most of you are familiar with the passing of our daughter 8/31/2017. We will forever miss our Evelyn Joy. We were grateful to have her in the hospital room for 2 and a half days on a cooling blanket, so we got to hold her and see her beautiful face.

I labored in prayer the months following her death and asked God for direction on where to go from here. I felt like He clearly wanted me to lead this gym to a new frontier of growth in service to our surrounding community amidst a market saturated with competitors. I started this gym with $2500 of used gym equipment off of Craigslist in a barn with no heat and no running water, pee in the woods Rocky 4 style. As demand grew, we grew, but, in contrast to the gyms with franchises or big money behind them and formal business plans from the get-go, we will forever be a Comeback story of our own.

The Original Raw Fitness

#3-EVERYONE in this world deals with struggles, challenges, frustrations, and/or obstacles on some level. So even though you may not be as challenged as I was, you still “Come-back” from each challenge to continue on your journey. So you’ll all benefit from a Comeback Culture.

#4- Many of you are super fit now, but most of you didn’t come to me that way. Whether you are super fit or a fitness misfit there’s a clear need for gifted guides, henceforth known as Comeback Coaches.

#5- Most of us share the common belief that our lives are more fulfilling when we have a positive impact on others. Therefore, even if you’ve already climbed to the top of your own personal fitness mountain, every dime you spend here, every drop of perspiration you sweat ????, ounce that you lift, and bit of energy you exert, contributes to our overall mission as a gym to make comebacks possible for everyone else. Which is why you’ll henceforth be referred to as our Comeback Community.

Here is how to cash in on one FREE MONTH of whatever your current monthly plan is tacked on to the end of your current agreement:

One of our Comeback Credo’s is “Face Reality” and rightfully so. Those who have the skill of taking honest self inventory and keep that assessment top of mind are MUCH more likely to reach their personal goals. EVERY ONE of you had a goal in mind when we first sat down upon our initial meeting. It is what drives me to lead this place is your very goals. We don’t want our Comeback to be based on anything other than helping you to exceed your goals!


We want to know exactly how you are doing so we know how to engage, or not engage with you, as you keep your goals top of mind. We also want to know how well we are doing at creating an environment that fosters client success.

I will give you (2) Raffle tickets for filling out a comment below so I know you read this. This includes non-current members.


I will give you 1 Raffle ticket for each time you honestly fill out the weekly text message survey over the next 4 Mondays starting 9/24 (For those of you who are new, we ask each week for a subjective rating on how well you think you did moving toward your goals the previous week. If you are having trouble assessing yourself then put “need help” as the response, and myself or a Comeback Coach will help you get it sorted out). Then on 10/22 we will draw a winner and, regardless of what type of membership you have, we will add one free month on the end of your contract.

Thanks for taking your precious time to read and engage with me. I’m honored at the opportunity.

Let’s keep doing life together!

Your Comeback Commander,
-Coach Mike


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  • Coach Mike,

    I am doing well. Needing a little bit of a nudge to go to the gym, but I always feel great after. So I need to work on the pre-gym motivation. The work travel is messing with my momentum and I need to address that.

    I love, love , love Raw Fitness’ environment – friendly, encouraging, caring. Nothing I’ve been to in the past. Keep it up!

  • Finding a gym that is close to home, economically affordable and trainers that are supportive are no easy task. Tryimg out this options until I find Raw Fitness my Gym. I enjoy the location, great trainer, clean facilities and lots of members that have the common goals to work together and encourage each other’s.

  • There are things in here that i didn’t know, which only draws me closer to you all. I really struggle everyday and wish i could take it out on the gym. So i’m
    still worsking on my come back !

  • I feel that I’ve made considerable progress in the 7-ish months I’ve been a member. Not sure I’m quite ready for a 5k but I’m a heck of a lot closer to it! I’ve definitely achieved consistent fat and size loss, as well as muscle gain, and constantly surprise myself with what I’m now able to achieve. Definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself.

  • Excited to be a part of this comeback community! Everyone has been very supportive from coaches to other people working out right alongside me. I’ve only been here about a month, and I am more encouraged and determined now than ever to reach my goals. Thanks for your heartfelt passion, it’s why I chose RAW Fitness.

    • Thank you for your heartfelt message. I didn’t know about the passing of your daughter and I am truly sorry for your loss. I want to know more about her.

      Let’s begin with, I Love Raw Fitness! I love the community you created, the trainers and how happy I am to keep conquering my goal of being strong! When I first started I could barely do a push up. Now, I’m cranking them out! My back is strong and that was my main goal. My strong muscles now keep my spine in check.

      I bring my nattering mind to the gym and by the time I leave, it’s quite. How you’ve picked the most amazing trainers I have no idea/but I adore them all! Let’s keep growing together. Thanks for your love and commitment to people. ❤️

  • My favorite part about this gym is the faith that is all around, extruding from all staff.

    My goals are slowly being reached. It has taken a whole to realize what I must do, and with the assistance of the trainers, I have accomplished one of my goals…being able to fit into a bridemaid dress I bought a size too small on purpose.

    I have ran more 5k’s this year than I have my entire life, and it will continue this weekend.

    Love you guys!!

  • I remember that barn, Katrina would have us doing hay bail burpees so I am glad you upgraded locations lol. Love this gym!! Hands down best gym in LKN!!

  • Thanks Comeback Commander, Mike! We are super excited at the results and the turn-around we have made in our fitness and weight loss journey. As you probably remember, we came to you in late January as we realized we could not get to our fitness goals on our own. I don’t know why it took us over 50 years to realize that! While we had spent $$ on gyms and other weight loss attempts over the years and had lost a few pounds here and there, this time was different as we both didn’t care anymore and we didn’t even want to try. We knew this was the worse mindset to be in and so we had to turn ourselves around. After meeting with you and committing to a year long program of training we were much more optimistic. We luckily signed up for the weight loss competition you held in February and while we didn’t win, the competition was a good fit for us and kept us motivated to really push and drive new eating and exercise behaviors from the start. The results have been far more than we ever believed possible. While we are not done yet, we are down almost 100 pounds combined and have gained muscles. My husband is at his goal weight and at the lowest weight ever in his adult life (and maybe even his teenage years – LOL). I have passed my initial goal and have dropped 3 dress sizes. Our new problem is we don’t have any clothes that fit anymore. Thanks for everything RAW has done for us and we are not done yet as we realize we will never be “done” as this is a lifetime commitment.

  • Your intentions are pure. Your passion has become your purpose which is something that ooozes out of you and subsequently answers the question why membership has risen 50%.

    Reflection is good for the soul and helps keep the ship heading in the right direction. Excited for you!!!

  • Thanks Michael, the supportive atmosphere and knowledgable coaches at RAW Fitness are critical but it is up to the individual to make things happen. . .

  • Raw Fitness is one of a kind, genuine, experieced vulnerable coaches, which includes many of the members I have gotten to meet My comeback is slow buts its my comeback! I have some things i will be discussimg with Coach Nat that I think will help with my journey
    Thank you so much for all that you do!


  • I love my weekly training sessions, pushing through classes, and especially hanging out and laughing with all the members. I have always worked out, but I love the personal guidance and the motivation I receive at Raw Fitness.

  • Finding a gym with such caring, supportive trainers has been awesome! The constantly changing workouts keep me from getting bored as well. Thank you for your passion!

  • You have a very inspiring story. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to make sure we are all getting what we need to reach our goals.

  • I am excited to begin this come back journey. Being honest with myself about my failings isn’t easy for me. Everyone at Raw Fitness has been excellent, above and beyond! I come 45 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I believe you all truly care about me and my success


  • I can only say I just started here. Just one training session. And I have never felt more comfortable. Can’t wait to try a class! Kuddos to you all for making this welcoming environment.

  • My son loved the workouts that were geared towards his specific athletic needs. It helped him gain body and mental confidence.

    Thank you for helping him achieve his fitness goals.

  • Started taking fitness seriously about eight months ago and haven’t regretted one minute. My wife Chris and I have lost close to one hundred pounds and we know that we couldn’t have done it on our own. Our Raw trainer makes our training fun yet challenging and the interaction with other members makes us really feel like a family. Thanks to Jamie and the Raw team for making my comeback a happy success.

  • Great post!! I’m ready for a comeback even though fitness comeback is harder the older we get. I know I just need more accountability.

  • The gym should be your happy place but I wasn’t finding it at other gyms. So glad I gave RAW FITNESS a shot. Great energy and positive people make working out fun!

  • Found Raw Fitness on Facebook and thought I would do the 6 week challenge and I thought can I do this, with a bad knee and a not so good back,but I have come a long way and now after completing the challenge, I got hooked line and sinker and joined Raw Fitness. I have always worked out and went to the gym, but I wanted to see if this was different than what I was doing and let me tell you it is different alright! I love the way the trainers keep an eye on you and making sure you are doing each move correctly, you won’t get that help going to a gym by yourself. I really do enjoy the Raw Fitness family! Great Owner and great Trainers and great Members!
    The Raw Rocks!

  • I think I have the best trainer in the world, Natalia. We had been doing so good (which means, I had been showing up). Things have recently gotten super hectic in my life, but I’ve promised myself that we’re back at it October 1st. Can’t wait!


  • Hi Mike,

    Thank you for sharing about your daughter. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have to say that Raw Fitness has helped me start and continue my journey. I appreciate all the trainers, all the time they spend with us and most importantly the positive and encouraging environment.

    Thank you for everything!!

    Meredith Loyd

  • I love the Comeback community. Most of all for the true heart and understanding. There is no cut and paste program, the Coaches all take into consideration the individual needs and bodies. I love that no matter where we start on our journeys we are supported and encouraged!

  • I looked for a long time for a new gym home and I’m so grateful I found you! I love that you share your comeback because you are a true inspiration! Love training with Natalia and love getting my butt kicked by Kym, Jamie and Katrina!! This is my happy place!❤️

  • When I found this gym I loved the positivity and good vibes from everyone! Mike for all you have gone through to get where you are today is proof that hard work and you can do it too! Also, all the positive messages in the gym make me smile because they are all inspiring.

  • I love that you practice what you preach! There’s such an excellent team of trainers and everyone that I’ve met at the gym (employees and clients) are all so encouraging. Now that all of my summer vacationing is coming to an end I hope to get back on track towards meeting my goals. Grateful to have your team on my side!

  • Joining Raw Fitness has made such a positive impact on my life and I’m so thankful I’ve found this gym. I joined to reach my goals of losing weight and becoming more active- increasing my weekend hiking outings! Working towards my comeback has not only helped me get stronger, but gives me an outlet to relieve the stresses of life! While I have not met all of my goals, I do feel more confident about reaching my goals because of the support and guidance of Jamie- my trainer and the other support I feel in the Raw family. Moving forward- I plan to set smaller health and fitness goals for the upcoming weeks, months, and year and I’m excited to see what happens!


  • I’m game! I have always been a believer in Raw Fitness and enjoyed the huge benefits of the gym. However over the last few years I’ve not made any gym a priority due to work but I know it’s time to make a come back and get back in there. Raw Fitness offers a lot! Great environment and members. Let’s see where this goes!

  • I’ve been with Mike since the beginning of my fitness endeavors and I wouldn’t have it any other way!! The gym community, trainers, atmosphere, and Mike’s honest desire to help you go wherever it is you want to go in your fitness life is what keeps me coming back year after year. Raw Fitness is “my gym” and the people who work out side by side with me, pushing themselves and me to greater strength and endurance are “my people”. I wouldn’t hit the gym at 6:10 every morning (most mornings) if there wasn’t something great going on there!!

  • I definitely need a nudge. But my obstacles are time, traffic and $. A gym membership at this time doesn’t fit in our our monthly family budget. Not when the kids are involved in costly extracurricular activities. We put them first. Time and traffic tie in together in that I only head up 77N from my area once daily in the mornings to drop off at school, and then not again. Driving north and subjecting myself to parking lot style slow moving traffic a second time during the day, whether on secondary backroads or on 77 doesn’t appeal to me. I want to workout, I want to continue to strive to live and be my best self so as to continue being there for the family. I lost 70 pounds this year and I have no intention of putting the weight back on. That’s only step one of my comeback. Step two is to factor in physical activity to maintain the weight loss. Raw Fitness has proven to me to be the type of community and gym that cares about the well-being of individuals. They care that health isn’t just a physical aspect but mental as well. I’m constantly battling my mental woes where my excuses and doubts reside. I’m bummed that I can’t make it in time for the 8am class and too early for the 9:15 class. But I would definitely LOVE an opportunity to work with someone who can show me the ropes and then set me free with this wealth of workout and exercise knowledge so I can complete and continue to live my COMEBACK!

  • My daughter’s HS team participated in weekly workouts through Raw Soccer Fitness. The program was tailored to the sport, and she progressed in both speed and agility, making her a more confident player. She had been to several other gyms in the area (with various teams), but I was impressed with the environment of RF. The positive attitude of the trainers pervaded the team and the individual players reached personal fitness goals. My daughter went from dreading ‘gym days’ to relishing them!

  • I Love this gym and the story of it! This story shows how much hard work was put into it and how this gym has evolved! I think that the more hard work we put into thins the more it pays off. I have been in this gym for a short time but for the little time I have been in it the more I have fallen in love with it????! I thank all of the coaches that put their hard work into this gym and all the people that I have trained with that motivate each other towards our goals????

    Thank you Mike

  • I joined Raw Fitness over 2 years ago. I love the down to earth, no frills hard working family cohesion. I am getting stronger and leaner every week. Best gym I have ever joined.

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