The Barrish vs CrossFit/Sky’s Limit Fitness case is closed, and hopefully for us the worst parts are over: the waiting and financial stress. The bomb was dropped on my husband nearly 3 and a half years ago, and the sinking feeling of betrayal hit immediately, and never really let up, even as court date after court date was postponed, probably half a dozen times over two years. But even after the slightly disappointing verdict, a weight was lifted – the crushing attorney fees were finally done increasing, and this could become an annoying thing of the past.
The thing is, nothing ever happens in a vacuum. This frivolous lawsuit brought about a whole slew of consequences. I know how it has affected us personally and the gym business thus far, but I don’t know how far the effects have reached or will continue to do so. There’s bad and there’s good, thankfully.
My husband suffered the worst – the impact this had on his passion for fitness and love for the gym was no joke. He prides himself in his knowledge, experience, gym programming, concern for proper form and safety, and the way he runs his classes. He lost a lot of joy in what he does by someone so easily being able to accuse him of negligence in all of the above and actually take it far enough in the legal system to cost him years of time and money and stress. My husband has built something amazing with the gym – a community of people who love fitness, are getting healthier, and have a good time doing it, and while that remains and continues to thrive, the nest egg that came along with it is gone. Not that money is everything, but a man prides himself in providing for his family and their future, so when that is taken from him for such a ridiculous situation (and by someone who is likely in a much higher tax bracket than we are), it cuts pretty deep.
Friendships and trust were lost over it, and in more relationships than just the obvious. It’s one of the most disappointing parts of this whole thing to me, as I generally assume everyone to be nice and for longstanding friendship and loyalty to mean something. Unfortunately, people can be really crappy, and I should probably learn not to trust as much as I do. But friendships and relationships were gained too, so it feels more like a profit in the relationship department.
For Ronnie and me personally – this whole lawsuit and the stress that came with it brought us to the lowest point of our relationship, and we almost fell apart. But, we are fighters, and I’m so grateful we didn’t let the actions of one selfish jerk actually tear us apart. We stayed the course, rebuilt, and have a better marriage than we ever did. And without all that, I can’t say that Miss Layla would ever have come to be. We never planned on another kiddo, but can’t imagine life without her, so for that, maybe we owe the plaintiff a thank you? Surely God could have found another way…
I’ll probably never really know what impact this all had on the plaintiff. While the verdict wasn’t exactly how we wanted it to go, it must’ve been highly disappointing to the plaintiff. Knowing the details that we do and doing some simple math, I can’t imagine he got the payout he was hoping for, and I have to wonder if it was worth it? There’s been a bit of local publicity instigated by his own attorney’s press release, and from what I’ve read and heard, he hasn’t been met with much sympathy, but my circles are a tad biased. He owns his own local real estate business so he took a risk with his own reputation by pursuing this case, so who knows what impact that may have on his career. Probably not as much as I wish it would. Oops, did I say that? #sorrynotsorry . What”s crazy is our house is on the market, and within days after the case had wrapped up, we got a call from the real estate scheduler saying the plaintiff wanted to show our house. What are the odds? Maybe somehow he knew and was poking us, or maybe it was just coincidental. Either way, we quickly declined that showing. He could’ve had the perfect buyer but we refuse to let him make a penny off of us. Regardless of reputation, I can’t imagine a person that doesn’t take responsibility for their own actions and blames others for their problems is ever really happy in life. No amount of money would fill that emptiness anyway.
Speaking of reputations, certainly we are wondering what the little bit of local chatter on this whole case will do to the gym business. It’s not a concern with current members who know the truth, but it’s a bit unnerving to hear a rumor here and there that we “sold everything and closed up shop” or read comments on some Reddit post from a bunch of keyboard warriors that think they know everything about something they know nothing about. Recently a persistent local reporter for Channel 9 stopped in to film Ronnie’s side of the story and plans to run a piece next week. It’s nice that at least one media outlet actually cared to cover both sides of the story, since so many just picked up the Plaintiff’s press release and ran it without all the details. We will see how things air next week and hopefully it’s edited ethically and represents Ronnie and Sky’s Limit CrossFit accurately. Either way, I really believe that the truth always wins, and if Ronnie keeps focusing on what he does best, and we put the negativity of this behind us, our future is bright no matter what happens in the details. We continue to love and hope and dream together, and we continue to knock out all the challenges life throws at us, so despite what a judge and jury could ever decide, WE WIN.