An exercise in entrepreneurship

After spending the majority of the past 18months sitting on my bum feeling sorry for myself after last years trampolining accident, the time had come to get over myself and get back to a proper exercise routine.

The motivation was two fold, not only was said bum providing a progressively larger seat due to the lack of physical activity, I also knew I wasn’t  feeling or thinking the same way as I do when I’m exercising regularly. When I’m fit I think more clearly, have more energy, and in general feel happier and more in control of my life. Taking the time to exercise is a key part of my coping mechanism for managing a fairly hectic life, ironically the less I exercise the more tired I feel.

Once the decision was made, the question remaining was what to do and what was going to be sustainable. This year and last year I’ve spent over 100 nights offshore & about a third of the remainder interstate, & I’m kidding myself if I think next year is likely to look different. I love Soul Cycle and head there whenever I’m in New York, which is not that infrequent an occurrence, but certainly isn’t often enough to deliver any significant fitness change & there’s no equivalent in Australia.

My long term trainer who I love to bits has moved location, which makes training with her more of a challenge but also doesn’t solve the issue of how to manage when I’m away. I used to combine training with her with the necessary evil of running while on the road, but I always hated the running part and the ankle has pretty much ruled that out for the foreseeable future.

Joining a gym, even one with flexible memberships only worked domestically, and even then it’s hard to find one that delivers options in every location. I also found that weight training was no friend of my ankle, & that loading up with anything more than body weight delivered a quick and angry response.

All of these arguments had justified the last year of relative inactivity post putting away the boot and crutches, but something had to give.

Who better to deliver a solution than a disruptive tech start up. I came across a product called BooyaFitness, which delivered access to unlimited online video workouts via a monthly subscription. The majority of them don’t require any equipment other than a yoga mat (or hotel bath towel on the floor if you’re on the road). It seemed like the perfect option, and I eagerly signed up and did a couple of workouts. The only problem was there are so many to choose from I’d get distracted and the time scheduled to exercise would pass while I browsed the workout library, checking out what I felt like doing today.

Hotel room workout
Hotel room workout

The beauty of start ups though is that they’re always innovating and adding to their product model, and about a month ago I got an email saying they were launching new four week programs, where for a small additional fee you could select a four week plan with a prepared balanced mix of workouts.

With all of my excuses now removed, I signed up for the Pre-Holiday Season Fat Blaster plan and am happy to report that at the end of the four weeks I feel great. Not only have I got so much more energy and can feel my fitness returning, my ankle is actually feeling much stronger as a result. The workouts have been a great mix and perfect for someone who is easily bored, I’ve done cardio boot camp, body weight strength training, pilates, kickboxing and so much core work I can hardly move without groaning at times. Better still, I’ve been able to do every single scheduled workout (6 per week in the plan I chose) without missing a beat, despite travelling constantly throughout.

I can’t wait to pick my next plan and see what the next month brings.

As well as feeling so much better, I love that it’s  a great illustration of how disruptive businesses can deliver real value to consumers by solving pain points that traditional business models struggle to resolve.

In a shout out to another startup, (and clarifying that like all my posts this one is purely my own thoughts, experiences and opinions, I’ve not been approached by either of these businesses to share my views or received any consideration for doing so) working out wearing my custom Epic Pharmacy active wear makes it even more enjoyable. I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of Persoactive earlier this year, and loved her idea for custom active wear for the personal trainer market. The Epic teams regularly participate in fitness activities like fun runs, netball comps, golf days etc, and we like to encourage this where ever we can but have so much trouble sourcing branded fitness wear that looks good, performs well and doesn’t look like a rag after the first wash. Carly’s custom range was perfect for us, so we’re now able to give our teams the option of being just as Epic when they work out as they are when they’re at work! Another pain point solved by an innovative start up.

Some of the Epic team looking fantastic in their custom active wear

Both of these businesses (and I also love that completely coincidentally they both have female founders) have played a role in strengthening not only my body but my belief that when you’ve got a problem you need to solve, the best option is often found by  looking beyond the traditional and seeking out a fellow disruptor who’s identified that same pain point and done something about it.  And if you can’t find one, then maybe that’s an opportunity waiting for you?

Stuart and I as Epic Active wear models!



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October 31, 2015

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