It’s been just over a year since I got involved with the ass-kicking, inspiring and fast growing company Flywheel Sports at a time of extraordinary change and transformation. And I couldn’t possibly be more proud than I am today to share the brilliant details of our big launch – our streaming bike and content platform that we affectionately call “Fly Anywhere.”
What I am most excited to share about today’s news is how much I have learned from my very own Flywheel teammates, who have led us through an epic and super challenging journey to where we are today. It’s incredibly powerful what can be accomplished when a team is able to trigger its collective “Magic Drive.”
…it all starts with a restless desire to not rest on your laurels when you’ve mastered one skill or goal, but to keep on finding higher mountains to climb…
Magic Drive is a trait that I discovered when writing my book, Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat., that the most high performing leaders and organizations have. It’s like a powerful engine of energy, passion, and perseverance that causes these people to consistently perform at an even higher level than others. What I learned in my research is that it all starts with a restless desire to not rest on your laurels when you’ve mastered one skill or goal, but to keep on finding higher mountains to climb that push you to train harder, learn more, and ultimately, pursue an outcome that you’ve never accomplished before.
When I joined Flywheel, we were a 6-year-old boutique cycling and barre company with over 40 studios across the country that were crushing it daily by providing the most challenging, accountable indoor cycling experience ever. Alongside our great rides, we were also shaping America’s buns of STEEL with our crazy effective barre workouts. (My glutes hurt just thinking about taking FlyBarre!) We could have said “Hey, we rock at this. Let’s just keep doing it.” But no. Our team knew from talking with our loyal athletes – our #FlyFam, as they call themselves – that they wanted more from us. It made us tackle a much tougher question: Could we figure out how to offer our programming to them – streaming on their own devices, in their own homes, or on the road – so they could workout in our badass community whenever it suited them?
Now we are a fitness company that was founded on breakthrough technology. Led by Ruth Zukerman, our co-founder and legendary indoor cycling instructor, we were the first boutique fitness company to transform the experience of indoor cycling by adding technology to the bike and creating our signature “method” HIIT class. In other words, our ride challenged you to hit a certain power output and up your own game whenever you rode instead of just blindly pedaling in the back of a dark room not knowing really how hard you were riding. Or for those, like me who should sign up to “competitors anonymous”(!!), you could even compete with other riders in the studio on our proprietary “TorqBoards.”
Deciding to undertake the challenge of extending our studio experience into the home meant that we were effectively creating a tech start-up on the side, while still having to run our fleet of studios and large operating structure. For our team, it was like having a full-time day job and a really really time-consuming side hustle! Don’t forget to add the obvious reality that this journey would involve all manner of challenges to overcome – problems that we’d never had to solve before and skills that we needed to acquire. It was most certainly going to require large doses of Magic Drive if we were going to get it done.
And here’s the thing: it was actually the days when the biggest things went wrong that I visibly saw this team step up their drive to an even higher level. Why is that? I believe it’s because this team didn’t have a leader with all the answers just telling them what to do – in fact, quite the opposite. This team had set out on this journey knowing how big the mountain was to climb. They had put it all on the line for each other, and they weren’t about to not get to the summit! They had to rely deeply on tapping into any and all sides of everyone’s brains to solve the problems that we could not have anticipated. In that process, they were kicking ass and taking names because they were setting their own goals, problem solving, and learning how to master new skills and processes.
Add in the deep level of accountability that a team like this has for one another and the drive and perseverance truly goes to a magical level.
Watching this play out very much reminded me of my chats with the king of extreme athleticism, the downhill skier Bode Miller. He told me that one of the great secrets to his success was setting his own “subjective goals” for him to master, instead of getting distracted by what the media or anyone else expected him to do. Rather than focusing on the objective goal of winning the race, he focused on the subjective actions he could hold himself accountable to. And boy did he train, prepare and ski the race the way he had goaled himself to do so. This is exactly what the Fly team did – tuned out the objective end goal and focused on the daily, weekly, and monthly plans that they knew would get the job done. Add in the deep level of accountability that a team like this has for one another and the drive and perseverance truly goes to a magical level.
Okay, it is possible that I am biased, but Fly Anywhere is a fucking AWESOME product for anyone looking to up their fitness game. Now you can get Flywheel rides that meet different fitness goals in many different durations and formats. You can do our butt-kicking barre and strength workouts whenever you feel like it. AND the coolest thing of all… it’s all sitting on your Flywheel app and accessible through any of your existing devices that you want to view it on. The best part? This is just the beginning. BOOM!
The great lesson I have learned from my Extreme Fly team is that when you have a passionate and committed team setting out to climb their own big mountains, there is pretty much no challenge they can’t take on and accomplish. I am truly honored to watch this team in action and can’t wait for you to all enjoy the fruits of their great work.
To quote one of my favorite kiwi heroes, Sir Edmund Hillary: “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
#FlyAnywhere #KicksLotsOfAss #ExtremeFlyTeam #FiredUP!
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