Sunny Short Buys an Affiliate at the Age of 19
When most 19-year-old college students finish their exams in the next two weeks and enjoy some well-deserved rest over the holidays, 19-year-old Sunny Short will be doing anything but relaxing. She will be waking up at 4 a.m. and devoting her time to the new business she just purchased — Phantom Canyon CrossFit in Canon City, CO.
- After making a down payment, Sunny was given the keys to her new gym on Monday and will continue making monthly payments to the former owner over the course of the next 12 months.
- On top of taking online classes at Colorado State University — Pueblo, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and studying for final exams, Short spent her first week as an owner arriving at the gym at 4:40 a.m each morning and attending every single group class all day. “For this first month especially, I’m really trying to be at all the classes, so everyone can see me and just know that I’m there ,” Short said.
One big thing: Being part of the CrossFit community since she was 10 years old helped give Short the confidence to purchase a gym at such a young age.
- “I have just kind of grown up around CrossFit. The community has been part of my life for so long,” she said.
- Despite having confidence beyond her years, Short admitted she was nervous to take over the existing gym — a gym with 32 members — as she was worried how members and the other coaches would respond to having a teenager in charge. But to her surprise, everyone has been incredibly receptive “The coaches have been so good. They’re all really encouraging. They really want this place to be a really good gym and they’re willing to listen to a 19-year-old, said Short, who has “grown up fully immersed in the CrossFit community.”
A secret weapon: Short’s parents, Alicia and Omar Short, are the owners of CrossFit Florence in Colorado, a gym they have owned for four years. Short explained her parents’ experience as gym owners has, and will continue to be, invaluable to her.
- “They’re around a lot helping me, kind of mentoring me,” Short said. “I have a lot of good people around me helping.”
- As a parent, Alicia couldn’t be more proud of her teenaged daughter. She has always given “100 percent to everything she has committed herself to,” Alicia said. “To see her move forward and become an affiliate owner has been amazing to watch. Her dad and I have always taught her that people matter more than the gym…I have no doubt she will continue to develop that at her gym.”
The big picture: Though Short knows being a full-time student, coaching 15 classes a week and running and building a business, would be a lot for anyone to handle, let alone a teenager, her passion for the CrossFit community was too great to turn down the opportunity to be a gym owner.
- “CrossFit is just such a great community, and I love building relationships with people. It’s really important to me, so I’m so excited to be a part of this and get to know every single person at the gym,” said Short, whose one year goal is to increase her membership from 32 to 100.
- More than anything, though, Short is excited about the learning experience ahead of her and has her priorities straight: “I’m still learning how to balance being welcoming with being a firm gym owner. This is a business, but I also want to make sure it’s a place people can feel comfortable,” she said.