The Journey Part One – Evolution

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“As the rain falls and the clouds bestow life unto the land, so too shall the Iron Fortress be renewed by the storm of effort put forth into it’s revival by The Iron Legion”  Odin – 2015

If you’ve read the last blog post ( ) then you’ve got some idea of the history of Sapphire Coast Barbell – The name the gym was previously known as. SCB lay the foundation for our goals and vision today. From a tiny garage gym in Tathra to the powerhouse gym in Yellow Pinch all culminating in the creation of The Iron Stronghold.

For those interested in the process of opening The Iron Stronghold, or their own gym or business read along and join us on this journey. It takes effort, time and hard work but it’s a great experience if you’re passionate about what you’re creating. I’m definitely not an expert in anything and I’ve made, and will continue to make, many mistakes. But over the next month or so I’ll continue to give some insights into the issues that have arisen for me, how I’ve worked through them, as well as some of the “Behind the scenes” and stories of building The Iron Stronghold.

The tale of how SCB evolved into The Iron Stronghold, begins in a dark inn, many moons ago.

After a hard night of training, the adventurers of SCB gathered at the local feast hall, the fellowship had important matters to discuss. The gym was too full. The gym was in the middle of nowhere, and like the inhabitants of the gym, it needed to grow. It had to adapt, to evolve. It was decided that the gym needed somewhere worthy of it’s potential.

So I began preparing. I sharpened my blade, ( Charged my phone) donned my armor (got dressed), and was ready to begin my search for somewhere to expand.

But how do you find somewhere to move a gym? Arguably the most important step because without a location you have nothing but an idea. Because we’re renting the current premises on a residential lease we’re at the mercy of the landlord and potential home buyers. As the house is on the market we had a deadline. If I wasn’t able to secure a location we could potentially end up with a whole heap of equipment with nowhere to use it. Time was against us, I had to move quick.

The main factors that had to be taken into account were

  • Size: If the building was too small or too big it wouldn’t be suitable
  • Location: It’s no secret the current location is not ideal. So for the sake of progression we would need somewhere central.
  • Zoning Laws: We had to ensure that the location we found would permit the operation of a gym. Zoning laws can be found on council websites where you can then check what kind of business can operate within that zone.
  • Suitability: We did not need anything fancy, just a simple warehouse with a concrete slab. Somewhere with marble floors and diamond coated doors would be a little out of the price range and wouldn’t be very suitable.

After searching online I was left in dismay. I quickly found that not many people tend to list warehouse real estate online in this area as many agreements are made face to face. I asked many friends who I thought may be able to help me out and eventually (Thanks Nathan) I was given the number of a local builder  who owned a building in the industrial zone in Pambula. After a quick call explaining who I was we agreed to a meeting to discuss whether or not the building would be suitable.

After checking out the building everything was perfect. The location was good, compared to the mystical enchanted Elf woods of Yellow Pinch, Pambula was much more central to Merimbula, Eden, Tura and the surrounding suburbs which is where most of the members live. The size of the building would allow the gym to advance to max level and it ticked all the boxes on the “Strength gym” check list. Industrial warehouse, large open space, small office, a high roof and the zoning was General Industrial. After following up with the local council we were permitted to run a 24 hour access gym there. The first step to leveling up and evolving the gym had been completed.

A combination of luck, fate, divine intervention and hard work allowed us to find a suitable location without too much difficulty and well in advance of the current lease running out, giving ample time to begin laying the groundwork needed to go from idea to execution. 

Upon hearing news of a suitable location the fellowship of Iron rejoiced, feasting, training and drinking long into the night.

We had found our fortress, but there was work to be done before it would be ready…


In the meantime for more daily updates add the gym on Snapchat “IronStronghold”

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