We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Mejia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As the owner of a gym during the COVID-era, risk is inherent. However, I’m a believer that fortune favors the bold. I never thought that I’d find myself in the fitness industry but a series of risks led me to the most enjoyable career I could ask for. I think that without risk you can never take great leaps towards what you want. Risking time and money should be no brainers for something you truly care about. It may be because I grew up skateboarding, mountain biking, and rock climbing that I’ve developed a desire to take risks for the rewards they reap. Those same risks and failures also set me up to be tenacious, never giving up on my goals, just because I fell, or lost a few bucks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Fitness isn’t something I thought I’d ever thought I’d be a part of. I was interested in music. I was however also into skateboarding and riding bikes, which after an injury led me to the health and fitness industry. I was drawn in by the desire to heal myself through movement. I took out a hefty loan to go to American Fitness and Nutrition Academy and worked full-time as well to my way through learning how to be the best coach I could be. Most trainers don’t make it past getting their certifications. Even less make it past the first 3 months working at a corporate big-box gym. I started my journey at Equinox in Glendale, CA as one of the first few employees and it was the first “grown-up” job I ever had. I had to do reports, projections, weekly meetings, seminars, and keep a calendar. All things that I never did. It was the most challenging thing at first, but once I fell in the rhythm I started to see the benefit of all these things, and my habits changed to reflect the success I was building. After I left the company I worked for a startup that specialized in online Personal Training. It was the perfect opportunity for me to continue working in the industry I wanted remotely. So, I left to Munich, DE and worked as coach, and simultaneously started a business coaching ex-patriates in Germany. I had to re-imagine myself as a coach and business owner in another country and I did for 1 and half years. Amazing! Upon returning I opened up my gym on the back of SCHOOL Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Arcadia, CA with my busines partner, Ben. This is where the real learning happened. I made mistakes, lost money, made bad choices, and wasn’t always accountable. This is where I learned the value of my habits in terms of my success. I always used to repeat a mantra in my head while riding my bike high in the mountains: “look where you want to go, not where you don’t.” You should know there’s danger, but you should stare at it because you’re just gonna end up there. That’s probably one of the things that helped me the most in the gym. Looking ahead towards success and never towards failure. Failure is okay, but giving up is not..
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Where to begin? There’s so much fun stuff in LA! I’d probably take them to some of my favorite coffee spots. Namely: Grey and Cash for breakfast burritos, Unincorporated Coffee Roasters, and Found Coffee. We would have to grab some beers and dogs in the arts district at Wurstkuche and follow it up with some arcade fun at Bar 82. Ramen at Daikokuya in Little Tokyo. Some hikes in my all time favorite San Gabriel Mountains, a day at the beach at either Newport or Laguna, A bit of brewery hopping at Stone Pasadena, Arts District Brewery, and Angel City. Bouldering at LA Boulders, Dinner at Zinc. The list never ends! We might need more than a week.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As much as the person will feel awkward about it, I’d like to shoutout my business partner, Ben. I met him as a student of a vocational school for personal trainers where he was my instructor. Upon finding success as a trainer at various companies and even abroad, we connected and he believed in me to the point where he helped jumpstart our gym. We have an amazing working relationship, and friendship, and he has been there to give me the most uncomfortable talking-tos I’ve ever had. So, thanks Ben!
Instagram: @ kevm3jia or @1afit
Credits to @jordanreyabad and @syinq