What is up GO Active Family?! My name is Austin Bright and I am the captain of the marketing team here at GO Active Living. I have been leading the marketing team for about 6 months and I am LOVING every minute of it!
Before I start diving into what makes working at GO Active so great, I wanted to give you a firm introduction into who I am and a little bit about my back story for why I feel so passionate about the GO Active mission statement.
So, I was raised in the tornado capital of the world, Moore, Oklahoma. If you have not ever heard of Moore before, this is all you need to know: Sports are life, Boomer Sooner, Saturday tornado siren testing is the best way to prank a non-Oklahoman, and it’s the home of Toby Keith.
Sports is what ultimately relates past me to GO Active me. Growing up, all I did was play sports whether it was baseball, basketball or football. My affinity for baseball really started to take hold when I reached high school and I started to dream of being a college athlete. I always knew how to dream big, and when it came to my college of choice, that did not change. I wanted to be a Shocker, at Wichita State University. One of the most storied programs in the history of college baseball. I dreamed day and night of standing on the mound with thousands of people in the stands watching as I tossed the rock.
Now, the chances of playing Division 1 baseball are incredibly small, but for me, they were even smaller than most kids. You see, not only did I love baseball, but I also loved video games and food. I would sit for hours on end playing Call of Duty and eating whatever was in sight. At 16 years old I was 6’4 and 320 pounds. Saying I was going to pitch at Wichita State was laughable to most, and I get it. But, because of my size, I was constantly the big butt of the joke and an easy target for bantering.
All of this doubt and joking silently fueled my flame. I fed off it. It was when I first developed the mantra of “Alright, Watch Me”.
Over the course of a year, I joined Weight Watchers and joined the gym. I was consumed with losing weight and throwing a baseball as hard as humanly possible. By the time my senior season rolled back around in the spring of 2013 I stood in at 6’6, 220 pounds and went from throwing a baseball 82-84 mph to routinely throwing 90+ mph at 17 years old!
This caught the attention of many schools and college recruiters, but I had my eye on only one and in early June, right before my freshman year of college, I got the call.
“Austin Bright, this is Brent Kemnitz, pitching coach at Wichita State University. I want you to be a Shocker.”
I did it. I proved the naysayers wrong and accomplished my goal. I lost the weight. I did it.
The joy was short lived, however, because after I finished my redshirt freshman season, I suffered an injury to my throwing shoulder. A Type 2 Slap Lesion to my labrum and a Peel Back Lesion to the labrum as well. I was told that this was a non-operable, very rare, injury for a pitcher to have. It is commonly referred to as “The Career Ender”. I was told that I might not ever be able to throw a baseball normal again or without pain.
“Alright, Watch Me.”
I then transferred to Arizona Christian University and began my rehab. Over the course of 4 years I finished my playing career. Our trainer said I was a “medical anomaly” and that in all of his previous years of working with college and professional baseball players, he had never seen anyone come back from what I did and throw a baseball as hard as I was able to. Not only that, but if you look in the record books at ACU, you’ll actually find that the single-season record holder for appearances belongs to the guy throwing without a shoulder.
I did it. I proved the naysayers wrong and accomplished my goal. I never quit on what I knew to be possible. I did it.
I eventually graduated from ACU, and shortly after graduating, I crossed paths with the GO Active CEO, Jason Ruff. We started to talk about the direction that he wanted to take GO Active in. He talked about helping people achieve GO.A.L.s, providing encouragement, and serving our community with value that went beyond water bottles. I knew that GO Active is where I was supposed to be because everything he described aligned with my passion to serve and provide value to everyone I meet. I also knew first-hand what it was like to feel frustrated and alone on my sports rehab and weight loss journey, and how much I would have loved to have the support of a community like the GO Active Family.
Now, what’s it been like to work at GO Active?
Voracious learning, unwavering accountability, finding new ways to push myself, and absolute joy getting to stand beside the GO Active Family as they accomplish their goals.
To say I’ve learned a lot is an understatement, really. Everyone always says there is so much that you don’t learn in school. Well… they are all 100% right. I have been able to gain more new skills than I can even remember. We have a motto in our office that goes like this, “Find a way to be a little bit better today than you were yesterday.” This is applied to work, fitness, relationships and just life in general.
Unwavering accountability is HUGE. I love that, while we do technically have titles, everything is so transparent. Everybody has input and everybody is within their rights to bring it to their teammate’s attention when they are falling short, gracefully of course. This makes the environment so enjoyable to work in!
After baseball, I struggled to find a way to push myself in fitness. That is, until I found GO Active. I have started to push myself in a brand new way. Distance running. As a company, we try and run a race a month. Often times, these races are with members of the GO Active Family!
My first half marathon came in early January for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon here in Phoenix, Arizona. After that I fell in love with running races. Definitely not with running, I still think running sucks, but the thrill of accomplishing something like running for 3 hours straight is like closing out a game on the mound in the bottom of the 9th inning. I ended up running another half marathon two weeks later. Not just a half marathon, but one of the hardest half marathons in the country, because of their massive and frequent hills up in Sedona, Arizona. I improved my time and enjoyed every minute of the views.
Finally, my favorite part of this job is getting to interact with the GO Active Family across the country, and even across the globe in Canada, Australia, Europe and even Singapore. Not only do I get to interact with everybody, but I get to join alongside you as you accomplish goals and build relationships that are greater than just bottles.
If you have any questions about my journey, or to hear some of my cool stories from the travels that sports has brought me, shoot me an email, I would love to hear from you : firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to check out my Instagram account and shoot me a message!