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July 5th was a date that was circled on my calendar since my first week of MSBA. Because it landed on a Saturday, it was an opportunity to continue the celebration of my favorite holiday. More importantly, it was the day my co-workers and I originally planned to showcase the Urban Fitness League on Coney Island. Founded by our very own Ben Sturner, the Urban Fitness League was created by the world’s best Calisthenics athletes to serve as the governing body for performance Calisthenics. Using only readily available equipment, Calisthenics tests athletes’ strength, endurance, overall body fitness and creativity with moves such as “muscle-ups,” “levers,” “typewriters,” and many more. The ultimate goal of the UFL is to channel the popularity of the rapidly growing Calisthenics movement that developed organically in public parks and playgrounds across the U.S. and overseas into a professional sport with a global fan following.
Due to an inclement weather forecast, we decided to push the date of our showcase event to Saturday, July 26th. Although this was a bit of a disappointment at first, it actually ended up being an extremely beneficial move for us. It has allowed us to reach out to more potential sponsors, further develop our ideas for the event, and add content to our website.
As I reflect back on my experience with the UFL thus far, I cannot help but revert back to Mark Zablow’s reminder that “we are not supposed to be here.” I am not supposed to be coordinating meetings with world-class athletes, I am not supposed to be speaking directly with executives of Fortune 500 companies, and I am certainly not supposed to be taking the lead on the development of an entirely new sports league with aspirations of becoming “the next big thing.” With all that being said, I could not be more excited about the opportunities I have in front of me. Although there have been instances where I have felt extremely outmatched, unprepared, and underqualified, this has forced me to demonstrate leadership qualities that I did not know I possessed. Although my days with MSBA are numbered, I have already learned several valuable lessons about myself and the industry that I will use throughout the rest of my career.