Aly Teich, Founder and Host
I don't even know where to begin on what the Sweat Life has meant to me. For me, it is pretty much the culmination of everything I have ever done and ever wanted to do. It's the most rewarding feeling to know that you not only have created something from nothing, but that that SOMETHING is having such a positive effect on a community which we have built. To be able to inspire people in such a positive way and get feedback from our readers about stories, articles, or episodes that they loved, or that touched them in some way, or inspired them to get healthy, it just makes all the work we do completely worth it. The other thing that I am continually blown away by is the health and fitness community. It has been such an honor working with such talented and inspiring people, and sharing their stories and amazing work. If it weren't for them, we would not exist. They are truly what makes the Sweat Life. And then, of course, The Sweat Life team — they may be small, but they are mighty. Working for a startup in its first year is beyond exciting, but I also know, is beyond challenging. We work remotely, we work long hours, we work weekends, and we work for less than we are "worth." Yet, somehow I have been lucky enough to find and build a team that has not only been willing to stick with me through the craziness of this first year, but offer their incredible talent and heart to make this vision come to life. I feel so deeply grateful for it all.
Favorite Episode: The Fhitting Room
The Fhitting Room was the very first episode we shot. (And of course I am just a huge fan of their workout, their studio, and the people behind it.) In fact, The Fhitting Room was our first EVERYTHING. I remember going in to "pitch" The Sweat Life to founder Kari Saitowitz — hoping to explain the vision I had, and convince her to allow us to shoot an episode there. The Sweat Life didn't exist yet (in fact, I don't even think we had chosen a name), so for her to take a chance on what was just an idea and a vision at that point, is really what allowed us to have our start. It's fun to look back at what I presented to Kari that day, as not much in our initial mission has actually changed, which is something I am incredibly proud of. However, what has changed, is us actually knowing what we’re doing! The first episode was my first time on camera as a host, and our first time shooting a Sweat Life episode as a team (still figuring out our structure and voice). I think the shoot took about 9 hours (most of which were spent on me trying to spit lines out!). Now we shoot two episodes in a day and, luckily, rarely have to pitch ourselves anymore. And I'd like to think my hosting skills have improved! It's just so fun to watch that episode knowing it was our very first, and I am forever grateful to Kari and the whole Fhitting Room team for taking that chance on us!
Jamie Menaker, Editorial Director
For me, The Sweat Life represents stepping out of your comfort zone, and what it can bring into your life. We challenge Sweat Life readers every week to try new things, get moving, and live the best version of their life. But what most people don’t know is that meeting Aly, and starting The Sweat Life magazine, was not by chance: I sat down one day and made a list of places I would love to work, people and companies that I was inspired by. The Sweat Life was on that list, thanks to the positive energy I had seen over social media, and when I visited the site, I found a big, fat “COMING SOON.” I reached out to Aly, explained what I do as a magazine editor and writer, and what I saw for the future of a possible online magazine at The Sweat Life. And then, as they say, the rest was history. There were late night meetings in Little Italy in our PJs to talk about what the site would look like; rooftop brainstorming sessions in our swimsuits to hash out mission statements; and workouts all over NYC to spread the word. We were fitting in life around work, not the other way around, and we made it work! A year later, this magazine, built from the ground up, makes me so proud. A big HUGE thank you to every writer who has been brave enough to share your voice, and go out of YOUR comfort zone. You make this whole crazy ride so, so worth it.
Favorite Article: On Leaving a Dream Job… For an Even Dreamier Job
Continuing with the theme of going outside your comfort zone, Tricia DiGaetano wrote this post for The Sweat Life about leaving an up-and-coming tech company in the epicenter of San Francisco, right as it was set to be the next big thing — to set out on her own and follow her real passion as a life coach. In addition to being one of the top 5 most read and shared posts on our site (!), Trish is a good friend so this post was fun for me personally. I’ve followed her site The Grateful Life and even guest blogged over there, so to have everything come full circle, and invite her to write on The Sweat Life was the best!
Lacy Wittman, Director & Co-Producer, Video Content
Being a part of The Sweat Life film production team has fulfilled a career and personal goal of mine to be a part of creating content that I care about. I feel inspired by and proud of each project we take on. Even when we have to pull all-nighters to finish it, I get to go to bed with the hope that what we made will inspire others to find fun, unique workouts, move their bodies in a new way, and embrace their sweat life. Perhaps the best part of it all —as I begin each day, I find myself thinking about my OWN Sweat Life, whether it be a run in the park, my favorite yoga class, a meetup with Aly to try the newest workout, or an attempt to eat as many greens as possible. The method and lifestyle has admittedly rubbed off on me, and a year later I'm proud of what my sweat life has become and incredibly motivated to take it to the next level. My hope and dream for The Sweat Life is that it inspires my parents, sisters, friends, and our ever-growing audience to be healthier, live longer, and embrace their own fitness communities.
Favorite episode: UFC Gym
I wasn't able to be on set the day we shot UFC Gym in Soho, but I did edit the episode so was able to see all the footage of Aly truly kicking butt. I've never seen her so focused and intense. Whenever I need some workout motivation, I think of that video and off I go!
Ryan Stumpe, Director of Photography and Co-Producer, Video Content
So often worlds collide, and I’ve experienced it more than a few times working on episodes of The Sweat Life. The best friend of a college roommate, the high school classmate of a cousin in Colorado, a set buddy from a production years ago. All of these odd acquaintances and so many new ones — what I love about producing The Sweat Life is seeing how such a variety of people can be involved in a single lifestyle. Sure the workouts are diverse (spinning, yoga, rock climbing, jumping on boxes, running, rowing, throwing puffy blow up balls at each other), but everyone has something in common: A Sweaty Smile. I love it every time I see it, that breakthrough moment in any workout, for any person, where they catch hold of why they are really here. It’s not a body image thing, it’s not a calorie count, it’s the fun of it, this kid in all of us that just wants to play. In the hundreds of class participants we’ve had the pleasure of filming workouts with, we’ve lensed just as many fitness models as soccer moms, gym rats as weekend warriors, and marathoners as couch surfers. Whether they are in class every day or once a month, that smile is the same. Every episode of The Sweat Life has at least one thing in common, and finding a place our audience can unlock that smile for themselves is just a small perk looking through the Sweat Life lens this year.
Favorite Episode: ((305)) Fitness, Throwback Fitness, Brooklyn Bodyburn
I know, I know, I have 3! Sleep With, Marry, Murder
Sleep With: ((305)) Fitness. I won’t have these killer moves forever, but while I do I’m gonna shake what I make. For me, the video coincides with the point when I feel The Sweat Life hit our stride for in-studio videos.
Marry: Throwback Fitness. The fun recess vibe and the super friendly guys that run the place have made me want to return again and again. It’s the workout I know I can take any friend to and have a great time.
Murder: Brooklyn Bodyburn. My first workout with The Sweat Life could easily have been my last. I was sore for a week (probably longer but I want to keep some semblance of an ego!). The video turned out great, but the pre-production still gives a certain muscle a very tight feeling.
Adam Drake, Creative Director
“Can you take a look at something?” This question never ends well. It’s almost always followed by views of a skin rash, a giant carnivorous insect, or a visual reference about my failings as a human. This time, however, it was different. Aly asking for my thoughts on a “little project” she’d come up with, one that seemed very dear to her heart, and one that provided an energy to her voice that I hadn’t heard in years. The Sweat Life, or whatever it was called back then, made sense to me. It served a purpose, it filled a need, and if done well, would be an exciting venture to be a part of. I’m not sure I even asked questions about it, I just told Aly that I was in. Whatever she needed. Whatever I could do. I wanted a place in it. One year later, and the thing that surprises me the most is how little I know about this space. While some of it can be attributed to my general apathy toward most things, I feel that the reason I’m always learning about health and wellness from the Sweat Life is because of the passion Aly and our writers have. They dig deep. They show us the not-so-well-lit corners of the exercise world. But perhaps the greatest feat is that it’s incredibly accessible. It’s a distinct pleasure to be a (very small) part of this team, and I look forward to continue learning for years to come.
Favorite Article: The Unintentional Boner
One article that stands out to me is the one I wrote called “The Unintentional Boner.” Aly and Jamie suggested I write an article about mistaken boners, to which I replied, “Boners can be mistaken?” And with that, I somewhat uncomfortably found myself surrounded by my friends asking them about their most embarrassing stories. It was a fun article to write, it allowed me to dip into a bit of the bathroom humor that’s become my sweet spot, and I was finally able to use the term “boner” with abandon. Thank you Sweat Life, for allowing bodily functions to fall under health and wellness!