By Brian Gallagher and Ryan Wilke, Throwback Fitness
Fun is empowering in itself. Fun helps us to be present and enjoy the current moment. It allows us to forget all the other stress that comes with being an adult. It’s an escape, and it comes in many forms: whatever it is that helps you leave behind the events or thoughts that can oftentimes weigh you down. It allows you to release inhibitions, leaving pleasure and enjoyment as the only current goals.
Childhood is the time in everyone’s life where it seems that fun was the only objective. As we grow older, we shift our priorities, and fun doesn’t always make the cut. We focus on career, status, accumulation of wealth, material things, getting lost too much in the future. We wear being busy and working crazy hours as badges of honor. We’re too busy to make a phone call, or we’re too busy to have dinner with a friend. No one says, “I’m looking to avoid fun at all costs.” We just inadvertently forget about it.
We were guilty too. Both working pretty ridiculous hours, with our downtime spent doing things just to function as human beings: eating, sleeping, running errands, etc. When we made time to exercise, it was our release. That period of the day where we could zone out, be ourselves, and have fun. We incorporated games, which served to push us harder and keep it enjoyable. We were in the best shape we’d been in since joining the finance world, and thought that we were on to something.
It was with this realization that fun empowered us to leave our finance careers to pursue our passion project. We had a concept that we thought could work, to help people achieve their fitness goals AND help them incorporate fun into their daily lives. We like to think we’re bringing back the good old days of recess and playground fun for everyone to re-live.
Fun not only empowered us, but now we use it to empower our clients. Since inception, we have had many people tell us how we’ve helped to change their lives in a number of different ways. We’ve used fun to help people to gain a confidence they’ve never enjoyed before. Whether it’s in providing the comfort they need to wear a bikini to the beach, sign up for their first marathon, or simply forget about the incredibly stressful day they had at the office - we’re using fun to now empower others. And we still have lots of work ahead of us. There are many more lives to touch.
We use fun as a guiding principle at Throwback. Fun permeates every single decision we make. If we’re going to incorporate a new workout, it has to have something to make it fun — whether it’s a competitive or team element, or something unexpected, like squirting an opponent with a water gun. If we’re going to hire a new coach, a fun, jovial personality is an absolute must. It’s a cornerstone of what do, and it gives us purpose every day.
Brian Gallagher is a co-founder of Throwback Fitness, and has been a fitness enthusiast since the age of 13 when he began working out to increase strength for his first season of wrestling. His passion for fitness continues to this day. Brian found the rowing machine to be an excellent full-body, low impact way to achieve great results, and knew he could create a fun, effective way to train. To stay in shape now, Brian constantly varies his exercise methods and includes a healthy mix of boot camp-style workouts, bodyweight circuit training, kettlebell circuits, and yoga. Brian participates in races as often as possible, most recently competing in the Men’s Health Urbanathlon, Tough Mudder, and Civilian Military Combine.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Throwback Fitness co-founder Ryan Wilke spent the next 5 years in the finance industry. Not much of a fitness buff prior to moving to New York, he discovered that the high intensity interval workouts he created with a rowing machine were not only a great way to relieve the stresses of a banking analyst, but also a more effective way to train for a marathon than running 50 miles per week. His enthusiasm for fitness eventually took over his enthusiasm for his desk job. Ryan also enjoys long distance road races, obstacle courses, rock climbing, and military-style workouts at East River Park.