It feels like I’ve done this for decades, but this project is relatively new. I cannot express my gratitude to all of you who are part of this movement, but I’ll do my best by telling you about the first six months of Invert City.
During the last lockdown in Ontario, December 28th of 2021, to be exact, I decided to start writing about my coaching philosophy. It was, if I’m honest, a strategy to cope with the anxiety being away from the gym and my team caused me.
Planning a City
I remember sitting in front of my computer, knowing what I wanted to do without a clear idea about how to do it. And I readied myself to understand that process well. It was an impetus fueled by the desire to create something new and litres of coffee.
The feeling was intense and carried a sense of community, of a place where specific principles were the standards of behaviour. In retrospect, it was a feeling that I had indulged in for a while before setting off to create that place; I just had to see it for what it was.
Hours of work in solitude, on a day when I ignored my other electronic devices to focus on what felt like the purest Idea I could conceive, gave rise to several realisations.
The City’s Name
First, I needed a name. And it had to be a name that reflected that sense of community. I envisioned a town. A city in which everyone worked for mutually beneficial outcomes.
In my solipsism, I imagined that this place could carry my name. It wouldn’t be the first time an area has been named after its founder. I moved from one iteration of my name to another, and many of them appealed to my deplorable but well-deserved arrogance.
This idea was mine; after all, I had envisioned it and had to bring it to life on my own.
But I was wrong.
My second realisation that day was that if I had to build a city, I required a base. I had to find the land on which to found my dream. And it was while pondering on this need I remembered that this base existed.
My base was Pulsars.
A beautiful and healthy landscape governed by the same principles I was so moved to uphold. The infrastructure was already there, and its people understood my vision.
That same afternoon, as I moved closer to understanding my mission, I replied to a message from Monique, who wanted to reassure me that we would endure the lockdown and continue to work for the people who needed us – the athletes.
In that reply, I mentioned my excitement to tell her about my latest passion project and that I needed more time to put it together.
Our short but meaningful conversation solidified the notion that Pulsars was the base I wanted to find.
It was then the name occurred to me. Invert City. It made perfect sense, most of what we do is upsidedown, and our mission now includes turning this industry on its head. An industry plagued by the consequences of observing archaic nonsense and direct violations of principles Pulsars and Invert City stand for.
Social Media, Our First Skyscraper
That evening, as coffee seemed to turn into different celebratory libations, and I enjoyed rediscovering hopeful truths, I began to set up Invert City’s social media presence.
Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, we had them all. And the name was unique enough that it was available in all forms. I purchased the domain name, and we had a simple website where I could start sharing my ideas.
Invert City was live.
Because of the lockdown restrictions, the first few weeks were challenging; we didn’t have access to the gym and couldn’t create content specific to us.
Thankfully, older footage and collaborations with other accounts allowed us to establish a presence in our chosen niché of trampoline gymnastics.
As days passed, I understood that goals and timelines were necessary for our growth. Based on analytics, I decided we could get 10,000 followers in the first six months with a reach of 100,000 views per month.
I happily report that we exceeded those expectations, and by a lot.
In May, we reached 11.8 million accounts and 1.9 million users engaged with our content. As of today, we boast a follower count of 36,300.
Changes to social media algorithms currently affect our reach and engagement, but our first skyscrapers stand tall and strong. These changes only pose challenges that will teach us to make our structures stronger.
I’ll take this space to reiterate a critical point about Invert City. While it is a viable project on its own, it cannot exist without Pulsars Gymnastics.
Invert City is a reflection of ideals much older than its name. Standards the Pulsars’ leadership has worked hard to uphold for decades.
The team and I are thankful to Babak and Monique for their efforts to keep us running even when it seemed impossible. I witnessed their struggles and the measures they took and continue to take to keep this dream alive.
Our mission is necessary, our base is strong, and the future looks bright.
Let’s keep going.
— Coach José