Growing up in Somerville, Blake Evitt was always familiar with Gentle Giant’s famous purple trucks. It wasn’t until he was home for a Christmas break in college that he applied to start working at the Giant.
“I thought it would be a good way to stay fit for the upcoming cross-country season and a way to supplement my summer training” he said.
Evitt was intrigued that Gentle Giant was very different from traditional jobs his classmates were applying for. “The idea of running stairs all day, seeing beautiful houses around the city, and being part of a company with a great vibe was very appealing to me” he recalled.
Before long, Blake was immersed in Gentle Giant’s company culture. “I got to know Boston in a way that I never expected” he said. “It still feels really good when I walk down the street and spot a house that I helped to move. It was cool to see how other people lived and help them transition to new living arrangements, as smoothly as possible.”
On the job, Gentle Giant expects a lot from employees, mentally and physically. An athletic background can help assimilate new hires to the demands that moving entails. Blake was no exception; he was a lifelong runner and ran Division I cross-country and track during his four years at Davidson.
While this prepared Blake, he recalls his first summer as “long, hard, and hot – but a lot of fun.”
“At first, I felt like the ‘runt’ of the company. As a distance runner, I was definitely one of the smaller guys on the trucks. By the end of the summer, I was more confident with moving the larger pieces. I was also about 15 lbs heavier, much to the chagrin of my cross country coach!”
Blake often calls on the practical skills he learned on the trucks in the present day. “I learned a ton about packing things that I use all the time now.” Additionally, Blake learned a lot of valuable life lessons, too.
“Don’t be afraid to make the jump into the unknown. We always want to wait until the situation is perfect before committing, and that rarely happens. Things end up working out in ways that you don’t expect, so you just need to go for it” he said.
Blake has recently led the launch of Parkour Generations Americas, a subsidiary company of Parkour Generations in London. Parkour is the sport of moving along a route, trying to get around obstacles quickly and efficiently. This involves jumping, climbing and running, typically in a city.
“I’m heading East Coast operations, starting here in Somerville. Our goal is to offer top-quality parkour instruction throughout North and South America. We want to spread the practice and values of the sport” he said.
Whether for parkour or leisure, Blake travels extensively. “I love going new places and exploring new cultures – I even have a blog about my parkour adventures. When I’m not bouncing around the globe or off of buildings, I really enjoy reading, watching movies and eating new foods.”