It’s finally here, the end of another fabulous year and the crowning of our last Athlete of the Month for 2016. As December comes to a close and the number of parties, trips to see family, and hangovers begins to subside we see the New Year approaching, realize that there’s one more party to go to, feel our liver spasm, and then briefly take a moment to think about the year that’s past and what’s to become of the year ahead.
When engaged in such balls to the wall reminiscence I usually go a little further down the rabbit hole and think about not just the last year but all the years I’ve previously journeyed through and how they’ve brought me to this point.
To quote Abraham Lincoln (Cause who doesn’t love them some Honest Abe?), “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” This years Mr. December is the personification of that quote. Put down that Christmas cookie. Grab that plate of latkes, pop the top on an ice cold He’Brew (I’m rather smitten with the Rejewvenator), and give a BBQin’, diesel fumin’, rock and rollin’, empty 49er stadium sized round of applause for Mr. December, Mike “Burger Bus” Gardner!
While the big man has had to endure a serious 49ers drought the last few years, he’s still a shining star in the lives of us here at Gravitas Fitness. Mike and his better half Cheryl have been members of the gym since we moved to this location back in 2012. I remember them coming to our intro session with their daughter in her baby carrier. Ever since then they’ve been a fixture in our classes and in our hearts.
Mike hails from Menlo Park, just a stones throw away from that center for higher education known as Stanford, and spent time in Colorado while he was in college. He found his way to this little slice of paradise on the south coast where he started a family and his own business. If you ever have the chance to hit up The Burger Bus around town you’ll find Mike at the grill with a pile of sizzling meat being cooked to perfection. I recommend the CB&J and my lady is a huge fan of the Falafel, for all you veggie only types.
You’re at a concert somewhere between the Santa Barbara Bowl and Jazz Fest in New Orleans, which Mike and Cheryl attend almost every year, you’ll probably run into Mike having the time of his life. Cheryl and him love music and spend a great deal of time enjoying it with their daughter Poppy. I’ve had the pleasure of their company at more than a few Santa Barbara Bowl shows and it’s always a great time.
What makes Mike so special to us is his zest for life and his complete inability to take himself seriously. He comes to class, crushes the workouts, and cheers for everyone. He’s funny as hell, extremely self-deprecating, loves everyone around him, and inspires the rest of us to set aside prevention in favor of fun. That sort of combination is a winner in our books and is why we chose Mike to be our final 2016 Athlete of the Month.
Mike, you’re an audiophile, a family man, an entrepreneur, and a hell of chef. We love you and every day we’re reminded how lucky we are to have you in our lives. This holiday season we’ll raise a glass of manischewitz in your honor and toast to many more wonderful years of workouts, concerts, delicious burgers, and tasty buns.
Your Gravitas Family