Dear Fusion Family,
With September close to wrapping up, I felt it was a good time to illustrate the importance of this month’s focus word – LOYALTY. Over the seven years I’ve been doing this, the families that make up the Fusion Family have been loyal to me and have also helped me to remain loyal and true to my mission – fusing talent and spirit, one athlete at a time!
Much of what I do as the owner and program director of Fusion Athletics is telling stories to people about …well, Fusion Athletics. When I’m hiring someone to work here, I help them understand the culture, the mission, and our values through stories. When I’m talking to a family considering our program, I reassure them it will be a great fit for their son or daughter through stories. When I’m working with my business mentor on new programs that will make Fusion even stronger, we share stories to foster brainstorming. And really, at the crux of it, it’s the people who make the stories. So I’d like to share a few quick stories that have come out of the last 7 years of Fusion Athletics.
Let me tell you about the athlete who walked into our first ever informational meeting with a mom who said, “I don’t know that she’ll stick with this…she hasn’t stuck with anything else.” A girl who couldn’t seem to find any place that she “fit” walked into our first season with a commitment that this was the thing she wanted to try. When her mom asked her, “What will you do when you don’t know anyone?” she replied, “I’ll make new friends.” And she did. 7 years later, she’s a super strong athlete, a friend and leader to her teammates, an angel to athletes on Team Shine, and a junior coach…she found the place she “fits.”
Let me tell you about the athlete I started coaching when she was five years old. I’ve gotten to watch her grow, mature, struggle and succeed. She’s taught me how to coach. As one of the youngest junior coaches in the program, she’s a constant reminder of WHY I do what I do…why I build this place the way I do. It’s not about the medals and trophies. It’s about the five year old turned leader and knowing I contributed to that in some way. I’m honored to be part of her journey.
Let me tell you about an athlete who, while with us for a short time, had a “forever impact” on my gym, my family, my life. Watching Ava Moody cheer with her team was a sight to behold. She and her angels communicated with each other in a way that demonstrated a connection that was palpable. And her passing left each and every one of us with a hole that will never be filled. And yet, in the face of crisis, I witnessed the Fusion Family come together and support each other through kindness, love, and friendship, before #LLA was ever a hashtag.
Let me tell you about a girl who started cheering here several years ago. In a stressful home life, she found peace and friendship on her cheer team. As a quiet and introverted person, somewhat challenging to coach her first year, who knew that she would become a valuable teammate, and eventually invaluable staff member she is. Silent but strong, this athlete turned coach is a person that’s taught me that there are really awesome, grateful, hardworking young people in the world. You just have to be open to meeting them. Oh, and she taught me about make up…mad make up skills!!
Let me tell you about the athlete who taught me I needed to be a different coach…the one who created distractions to divert attention away from her own struggles and stay under the radar. The one I realized needed to know I was there for her, no strings attached. Regardless of cheer, regardless of team, regardless of the sport…I was here for her…and saw the relief on her face to know that she had someone in her corner. She taught me that sometimes a different approach is needed.
Let me tell you about the athlete who watched from the sidelines year one. Joined year two. Is a leader to his peers. Struggles with friends at school. Has a heart bigger than anyone I know. Is an amazing athlete. An amazing coach. And most of all, a good person. It’s when I think several years into the future and imagine myself at his graduation, the day he ages out of the sport, the day he heads off to college…and I realize it’s not the loss to the sport that hits me, but the loss of weekly interaction with this person I’ve watched grow from boy to man…it’s then I know this is so much more than a gym.
See, when I talk about Fusion Athletics, I could tell you all about our new building and the space we have, the new equipment we have, the increased lobby and party room we have, and the awesome accommodations we provide whether you’re the one taking a class with us or waiting for your son or daughter who’s taking the class. All of that is truly very exciting and we’re thrilled to be able to provide so much in the way of fitness, focus and fun to the kids and families of Northeast Wisconsin. But the reality is, it’s the person taking the class, going to practice, or hanging in the lobby that makes Fusion Athletics. It’s your loyalty to your kids, their well being and this program…and the loyalty we, the staff of Fusion Athletics, has toward giving your kids an advantage in life – that’s the thing we celebrate today!
Thank you for being part of the family!
Melissa Brauer, Owner & Program Director