Mike Grondahl, co-founder and former CEO of Planet Fitness, made a brief appearance in a local news item recently. But the subject had nothing to do with the fitness industry.
It was getting late in the day, and a few stories weren't coming together the way I had hoped. It was just about time to pack up the laptop for the night when a familiar name popped up in my inbox.
Like a bolt of lightning, Mike Grondahl, the co-founder and former CEO of Planet Fitness, was in the news again. The last we heard about Grondahl, he was donating a whopping $250,000 to Augie's Quest, a donation announced at the Bash for Augie's Quest in March.
So what did Grondahl do this time? Was it another huge donation? Did he get back in the fitness club game?
Nope. He's promoting a motocross track in Southwick, MA.
That's right. A motocross track. It may be a little hard to imagine Grondahl zipping around on a bike, but back in the day, he was quite the motocross king. He raced his first race at Southwick in 1979 and earned his professional motocross license in 1981. He has served as a partner in the GEICO Honda race team for the past five years. And from this YouTube video, it appears his son, Eric, has acquired his dad's love for motocross (and his sense of humor).
Grondahl and a partner will organize and run motocross events at the track, which was in danger of closing before Grondahl stepped forward last year, according to the local news reports.
"The thought of Southwick closing was just not an option that I could sit back and do nothing about," Grondahl said last year, recalling how when he was 15, he watched his motocross heroes race at the same track. "For me, getting involved was an obvious step for the luckiest guy alive!"
Yep, that sounds like Mike, all right. The Grondahl news reminded me of when he called me out of the blue a few years back before Christmas and gave me the gift of a story.
And now, it's happened again. As Grondahl once said in a Planet Fitness press release: Who'd a thunk it?