Le Crux – from dream to reality
An idea. An idea that turns into a dream. And a dream that turns into a project. A project with many questions, variables and sleepless nights.
This is the starting point for many of the climbing gyms we know. Sometimes there is no good climbing gym in the area, sometimes there is one but it is just not enough to serve the community, sometimes you just think you can make it better. Or, you know, you just believe the 9-5 job has served you well till now. And now it is time to start nurturing that idea of yours, make it a dream and then a project.
Inspired by the story behind every climbing gym and the lessons along the way, we’ll start a series of short interviews with gym owners to explore the driving force behind their decision to create and run a climbing gym.
We’re very excited to share the story of Le Crux (Canada) namely today as we just finished assembling their new bouldering walls there yesterday. We love this feeling – months and months of planning and work from both us and the client, and then here it is, the moment when you see the results of all the efforts, the fruits of everyone’s labor and how the empty building has turned into a beautiful climbing spot. Besides the newly built bouldering area, Le Crux also features a 16 000 sq.ft. of top rope and lead climbing and Jonathan does know what it means to turn a dream into reality.
One last thing before leaving you with Jon’s story – a good reason to pay a visit if you’re close by, is their special guest on March 13th (Monday) – Sean McColl. We’ve all seen Sean in action and, you know, it’s impressive – he doesn’t seem to obey the laws of gravity a lot.
WT: Do you remember how you first got the idea of owning a climbing gym? What brought you there?
Jonathan: The dream of owning a climbing gym was kind of a merge between a passion, climbing, and a career path, entrepreneurship. As a teenager, I was looking at entrepreneurs and wishing one day I’ll be doing the same thing which is having a vision and bringing it to life. The fact that I had the opportunity of owning a climbing gym as my first business is a dream come true. My partner and I were working on the project for a long time when the owner of the gym we used to climb when we were kids asked us to meet him for unifying our strengths. Le CRUX was then born.
WT: What has been the hardest challenge along the road from dream to reality?
Jonathan: The project has had is part of a hard time for sure. The financial planning went well, the design part took more time than expected because we wanted some specific details which we are really proud of now that it’s done. The long working days split between day-to-day tasks for the new section, changing the old manners in the old gym, and renewing the old section all at the same time was time and energy-consuming. In the end, all the hard work paid off because now we have more climbers than ever, the vibe is awesome and the future looks bright for our so loved sport. In the end, challenges are just situations you have to find the solutions to pass to the next one… It’s really similar to projecting something hard in climbing; once you’ve set yourself a goal, you have to find your way through to get it done!
WT: How did the night before the official opening look like? And then, how did the next big day feel?
Jon: We took the management of the old gym at first so the main objective was to renew as best as we can that aging part of the gym. For the new bouldering section, the opening will be at the end of February so I can’t tell right now how it feels but just looking at the first-floor walls that are done I’d say that I feel like a kid on Christmas eve! Can’t wait to try these brand-new toys!
WT: Looking back, would you change something?
Jon: I try to live with no regrets. Choices I’ve made in the past brought me here and it’s pretty much where I was planning to be… So to be honest, I’d say no.
WT: Any advice for people who are thinking to follow your path?
Jon: Better love long days! Hard work pays off one day…
WT: In three words, what does owning and running a climbing gym mean to you?
Jon: Life’s good!
Jonathan Poitras, Le Crux in Boisbriand, QC, Canada