As we head into our 15 year anniversary; I’m going to have some fun and share with you the “Road to Summer’s Fitness”
I hope they give you a smile, inspiration, and insight into business ownership and going after your dreams and goals!
In 3rd grade, my neighbor and I stood by the road selling lemonade & paper dolls we made with Fashion Plates for a penny.
Nobody ever stopped The speed limit was 45, a cornfield was across the street, and you can’t see your next door neighbor.
At least we tried
That was the beginning of my creative entrepreneurial spirit ✨✨✨✨
So Naturally; I wanted to be a fashion designer.
If you know my fashion sense, that wasn’t a good choice, but I said I was already “ahead of the times”. See; workout clothes are really IN now!
My sister Susan luckily went in that field. I inspired her
While lots of things have changed over the years; I still need help getting myself dressed I’m not afraid to ask an expert or for assistance.
Today, I get to showcase my love for creating “fashion” through Summer’s Fitness gear, FEARLESS, and other designs with t-shirts & workout wear!
So I guess I did get to carry out a portion of that dream!
“Summer, Winter, Spring, or Fall. All You have to Do is Call! ~ Seasons Pet Care “
That was the tagline and name of my first business in 5th grade.
We weren’t allowed to have furry pets, (6 kids was enough of a full house) so I made flyers with colored paper & markers and put them in the neighborhood mailboxes.
I got one job of pet watching for two days-walking a dog and checking on it-for $12.
$6 a day; I was ecstatic!
I always wanted a horse
So I introduced myself to people who had horses and asked them if I could help clean stalls, for free.
It was a lot of hard work, but I got to be around horses, ride them, and even had the opportunity to show in English equestrian.
Now; Our family has owned 3 pets. Middleton (rip), pictured: Ava (mia) & Alex.
Patience is a virtue.
If there is a will, there is a way.
Volleyball, cheerleading, gymnastics, softball, band…. I tried them all at one point in time.
Then one year I decided to go out for baton twirler.
I did and was named MHS Feature Twirler, Akron Beacon Journal Top Twirler, and Fred J. Miller Camp Outstanding Twirler.
I taught baton lessons for $5 while in high school. One might say that was my start of giving Group & private lessons.
I didn’t make baton twirler in college so I went out for track instead. ♀️
In high school I was having knee pain, running hurdles & sprints, and through physical therapy I was introduced to the “weight room”.
You could say that’s where it all began, but truly it was way before…. if you’ve been reading Facts 1-4.
I kept lifting weights, getting stronger & faster.
I introduced our track team at UT to strength training programs and the Manchester High School volleyball players when I came to visit.
I became a certified personal trainer while in college while pursuing my degree and was named the years’ Wellness Center Employee, at UT, in 98.
✨Facts #5 & 6 …. I’ll try to make it quick!✨
“What’s your degree?”, people often ask me.
You see; I followed my late mother and went into teaching. In college I earned my bachelors degree and went on to:,
- Teach High School Health & PE
- Ran the After School Detention & Discipline Committee
Originally, I wanted to then be a high school dean (administrator), but I was too “sleepy” (that’s a whole nother story).
Look at my photo; there was no social media and I wore dresses in size 10/12.
Married, a move, and took my doctor’s advice….so I pursued teaching personal health & fitness making 8 bucks an hour.
I went on to earn the NSCA- CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) in 2003; which is kinda of a big deal….in addition to a bunch of other pieces of paper.
I really got into the bands; resistance training rubber bands; and even came out with a couple DVDs.
Health, teaching, & fitness have always been an interest…I am still teaching students just different students, different settings, and evolving to help people in solving their pains and turn to discovering their personal power and passions. ❤️
Facts 7 & 8 are really where we make a big turn….stay tuned if you’d like to learn
Why am I sharing all these random facts? 15 Years at Summer’s Fitness ….so I’m sharing some history
This is How Summer’s Fitness eventually came to be!
Facts #7 & 8: Sometimes it’s hard to keep it all straight!
Athletics, achievements, and elevating my mental and physical strengths have been a big part of my journey to opening the doors to Summer’s Fitness in 2007.
If you’ve been following along; from fashion to pets to sports to school – I feel I was born to be a teacher, educator, coach and creator – much of which showed up later in the world of fitness.
Fact #7: My Personal Best
In 2004; I achieved my personal best as a fitness athlete earning 1st place at the National Fitness Championships and earning Pro Status. #proathlete
I was ripped and did flips. I was really good at performing athletically and with a fake smile.
Based on my success, it opened the doors to start training athletes; including other college, MLB, & MLS athletes and national level physique athletes including the one and only 3x IFBB World Champion.
My general clientele population grew too. I knew how to get people started; like math classes and soon I was the FIRST person in the area teaching bootcamp and small group training sessions. YES- as far back as 2004!
2004 was the year I “went out on my own” and left the YMCA to start my own personal training business at a local gym; due to too many “constraints”.
I was my own “marketer” writing press releases, articles, and sending out email newsletters.
YES – back even before 2004!
It just seemed the “natural” thing to do to educate others and invite them in to work with me, and I even hired my first employees.
Fact #8: Open the Gates
I was out growing that local gym and as much as I really didn’t want to – it was time to truly go out and have a “gym home of my own”.
It was a HUGE RISK. I was soooo scared! I was also so “restricted” under someone else’s roof; despite my efforts for more space, better equipment, and cleanliness at the current location.
But I had VISION and BELIEF and an extremely hard work ethic. PLUS I had been building a client base for the past 4 years.
I was willing to forgo bringing home any income (for years) to build a place that would truly transform lives; and luckily my husband was there to support me (personally) financially and more.
I opened the doors to Summer’s Fitness physical location in 2007 – ON MY OWN.
100% of the financial risk was on me and in my name.
No investors, no business plan, and only 1 loan for equipment and what I had in my bank account.
As a female business owner – in the fitness industry – many often thought I got help from my husband or family – which in ways I did – but in reality it was ALL ME.
I made all the decisions, took all the risk, put in all the work, and commanded all the funds.
This isn’t trying to be negative – just saying WOMEN aren’t given the credit for opening a business – especially one with almost 6,000 sq. feet.
100% my business and 100% in my name.
I wouldn’t have gotten here without the SUPPORT and trust from my clients, husband, and family – BUT THE TRUTH IS – IF YOU HAVE A DREAM => It is YOUR DREAM and UP TO YOU to see it through.
If you have a VISION I encourage you to pursue it; but don’t count on anyone else to see you through it.
I hired a Women’s Business Coach and later a Fitness Business Coach – I wouldn’t have been successful without their many years of guidance, but again it was up to me to take action.
Coaching is mentorship is key.
Did you know? 81% of all fitness businesses fail in their first year. This is 4x higher than any other new business.
Fact #8 – I wanted to be straight with you. It’s taken me YEARS to give myself the respect I deserve as a “business owner” – Not a “gym owner” or “woman business owner”.
Finally after 15 years; I am going to say I am a pretty bad ass business woman and CEO!
^ This was hard for me to do.
Give yourself the credit YOU DESERVE where it is due, too!
I had a little fun with this video for you 😉
Fact # 9
If you’ve been following along I shared in #7 & #8 my personal elite athletic achievements ; and those that I began to coach….
As we opened the gates to the current 6,000 sq. ft location in 2007
Soon I was training a lot of athletes – those who wanted to compete; or just look like they do.
I had women flying in from all over the world to train with me; Ireland, Texas, New York, Puerto Rico, Florida, Guatemala, and more!
I was even training women ONLINE as early as 2013.
Random Fact #9
After the birth of my first daughter Lennox in 2011; my world was turned upside down.
By 2015 I wasn’t really enjoying training physique athletes anymore; for a variety of reasons.
One day a woman was in my office crying because she hadn’t won a trophy at a contest yet.
It was at that moment I thought, this isn’t a real problem and I no longer want to use my talents to train women to “win trophies”.
I decided I wanted to use my talents to empower women to become their own personal champion; in life.
I shut down a 6 figure online training business.
Despite lots of “opportunity” and being told I was the “iconic coach” ; it was no longer for me.
Sure a lot of people/clients didn’t like some of the changes I was making to who I wanted to serve and how we would serve them.
It hurt my business at first; but I was HAPPIER and I knew I was evolving in a direction in alignment with what purpose is meant for me. ❤️
Today; we might be viewed as a “gym” and some still see me as a “gym owner” or “bodybuilder” – which I never considered myself a “bodybuilder” and a gym is just a place
We aren’t a gym; we’re a life transformation
➡️ We transform lives through health & fitness coaching.
➡️ We transform the way people grow mentally & physically.
➡️ We transform the way people “age” and overcome stereotypes of what “aging” should look like.
➡️ We don’t teach “classes” we offer personal training.
➡️ We don’t have a “membership” we have a community of like minded individuals.
➡️ We help individuals achieve their personal best – whatever that looks like for them – physically – and even mentally
Random Fact #9 – Despite changes to evolve in a different direction; we’re doing just fine
Pain can often be opportunity
Today I empower women professionals to unleash their full potential to achieve their personal best as a personal development coach and life mentor.
Join my free group: Happy Healthy Fearless for Women Professionals 40+
Random Fact #10 of the 10 Facts leading up to the Summer’s Fitness 15 Year Anniversary
Fact #10 – The Team that got us to level 15
As you’ve been reading – you evolve – you make changes – you have ups & downs – you learn – you grow.
These are all lessons I’ve learned on this road and as CEO.
There are so many valuable team members of the past 15 years that helped us grow to year 5, 10, and now 15.
I thank you all, past & present!
In business, and in life, you are only as strong as your team. ❤️
You have to make shifts in order to continue to level up.
✔️ This is the team that got us through and thriving with “2020” and beyond.
✔️ This is the team that impacts lives on a daily basis and creates an amazing culture.
✔️ This is the team for level 15
Thank you all we wouldn’t be so strong without each of your individual leadership and dedication.
Plus Lauren, not pictured, – she had a sick kid the day of the anniversary party — she’s been a part of the dream and the team – evolving from client to coach to virtual behind the scenes — she’s been there since Day #1 over 15 years Thank you for evolving with me!
There are MANY more people to THANK;
- Additional current part time coaches
- virtual assistants behind the scenes
- Of course the Clients; current & past
- past team members
- supporters & encouragers
There are SO MANY moving parts “in house” and behind the scenes to make such a smooth operation that impacts lives for the better. ❤️
THE CLIENT COMMUNITY
We thank you for being a part of helping us achieve level 15
Thank you, thank you all for making year 15 a success!
If you’ve been reading this, I thank you for reminiscing about the journey, with me!
I hope you found some joy and inspiration to guide you on dedicating to your journey, whatever that may be!
YOU hold the key to your dream
If I can be any help on your road, reach out – I’d love to guide you through, too.
You can learn more about Summer’s North Canton Personal Training & Bootcamp location, Summer’s Fitness at www.summersfitness.com, or Call/Text 330-497-2474.
Summer Montabone has a passion for helping people live happier and healthier lives. Her passion has evolved over the years (established) as a personal trainer (1997), health & PE teacher (1998), NSCA-CSCS (2003), NPC/IFBB Fitness Champion and Pro (2004), and fitness studio owner (2007).
Summer has faced numerous amounts of adversity from years of trauma, including, a battle with postpartum depression beginning in 2011. Summer has received several accolades since 2011 and has made it her mission to help others become the CEO of their own life.
You can learn more about her North Canton location, Summer’s Fitness at www.summersfitness.com or Call/Text 330-497-2474.