We had the good fortune of connecting with Ant Oxley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ant, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
Growing up with dreams of becoming a professional basketball player, one of my coaches gave me the Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden’s book and one of my favorite quotes to this day is: “be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are”. When owning a business, having this quote on your wall, desktop or a sticky note somewhere around the office is essential. No matter what, even with the best intentions, you can’t always keep everyone happy and trying to do so would be a 24/7 job in itself. There will be times when customers or employees are unhappy with decisions you have made. There may also be times when people do not have nice things to say about you, or the company you have built. This is your reputation. However, if you know your character, you know how much you care about your customers, your employees and the local community and if you genuinely always try to do the right thing, you will be able to learn from every negative situation and keep moving forward. This leads me to my new favorite quote that hangs in my office; “Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.” – Samuel Beckett The one consistent theme of my life up to this point is that I have failed at everything I have tried. I failed to become a professional basketball player, my first business left me $20,000 in debt, my most recent business closed during this Pandemic. Over the past 34 years, I have failed as a son, husband, coach and leader. Every failure in my life has taught me something or lead me on to something better. Now as CEO, Coach and new father I will continue to fail, learn, pick myself back up and “fail better”. There may be times in my life when my reputation is positive and negative, but one thing is for sure my character is that no matter what I will keep trying my best.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Since we opened the doors to OxFit in 2016, we have had the tagline and hashtag #notjustagym. Community has become such as buzzword over the past few years and everyone thinks they have the best community. Well, we don’t have the best community, we have a family. A lot of gyms will tell you about the latest piece of equipment, the qualifications of the coaches and how great they are. Of course, we have all that stuff, but we understand what sets us apart is the people. We don’t hire the best athletes to be coaches, we hire the best people to be our coaches. A lot of gyms will tell you about their program, how amazing it is and how it will turn you into a certain kind of athlete. Again, we have an incredible program, but what we care about is each individual athletes goals. We understand that everyone is different, some athletes want to be pushed to their limit and some athletes want to just show up and feel better. We don’t judge anyones fitness goals and we don’t force our goals onto anyone. At first we thought we had to build a gym for everyone, but we quickly realized that OxFit is not for everyone… but it is for ANYONE”. OxFit is for anyone with a positive attitude, who wants to get in the best shape of their life and get to know their neighbors.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since moving to ATL, one thing I can say for sure is that this city gets better and better every year. Tourists might think you have to hit up Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead, but the coolest spots in the ATL are now south of I20. In South East Atlanta, Grant Park and East Atlanta Village are incredible. Grant Park with the Beacon and Summerhill Developments have everything you need in terms of food, drink and entertainment. Our favorite spots to go with the FitFam are Eventide, Patria Cocina, Hotto Hotto, Woodschapel and Big Softie. East Atlanta Village is much more established and touring the Pubs is a must on any trip, our favs are Midway, Eldertree and Argosy, the best taco’s and margaritas are at Holy Taco and the best restaurants are Gaja and Banshee. When we are not hanging out in South East ATL, we head over the the Westside and tour the new breweries and distillery on Lee & White Street. Soon the Beltline will be connected from the Westside all the way to EAV and we will be able to enjoy all our favorite spots by foot or bike.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Personal development, happiness, motivation and drive fascinate me. I always wondered why the P.E teachers in school were the happiest teachers in the school. Then I realized it was because they got to do what they loved everyday. I got to see my parents work hard every day to try and provide a better life for my sister and myself and while they showed me hard work, it also taught me that I needed to find my passion. I didn’t want to say “it’s just a job” or “well, they pay me well”, I wanted to wake up everyday and do what I love. When I walked into a CrossFit gym for the first time in London, a tough city where no-one talks to each other and everyone was smiling, chatting and getting to know each other, I knew it was special. It brought together my passion for sports, coaching and personal development and my first coach at that gym Jason Williams is my business coach to this day. 10 years later, we spend our coaching calls coaching each other and finding ways to make our gyms and our lives 1% better everyday.
Angela Wingard Ryan Carpenter