Brian Weller, a trainer and co-owner of Barry’s Bootcamp Boston, hit it off with YORK CEO Mark McGarry when we first launched our brand (can you say bromance?) and has been a fam friend ever since. Brian’s a LOVER and a FIGHTER in that he practices what he preaches as a trainer and believes hard work is the baseline for everything. But at the same time, he recognizes life needs to have balance and be fun, so he doesn’t take himself too seriously. So while he’s kicking your ass in class, you’re having a good time doing it. At the end of the day, he’s grateful and striving to be his best self, and he strives to help his clients do the same.
Read more about our killer fam friend in this week’s Worth the Fight spotlight…
BRIAN WELLER: My name is Brian and I'm involved with YORK on the product wear testing front. Mark and I got hooked up at a gym I go to and we hit it off. Now I wear test new product that is coming out. For example, I make sure that the glue they are using is correct or the insole changes that they make don't rub you the wrong way, or that the fit is right, etc. I put them to the test in my day-to-day business, as I'm pretty active.
MATT DOYLE FOR YORK ATHLETICS: What is your day-to-day business?
BRIAN: I'm a trainer as well as a co-owner and business partner of Barry's Bootcamp Boston.
DOYLE: What does the word fight mean to you?
BRIAN: Fight to me means doing the hard part when you don't want to do it. Everyone wants to play in the game, everyone wants to be the best husband, the best father, the best whatever. Fighting means when you're tired, do you still do that extra mile? When you don't want to go to the gym, do you still make yourself go? When you know you have a short temper do you still make the effort to be the best father and husband and lover? That is what fighting means to me.
DOYLE: What would you say is your most important fight?
BRIAN: My most important fight is continuing to improve as a human being, day-to-day. I'm trying to get better at that 1% in all of those different categories. Being a better businessman, being a better owner, being a better boss. Those little incremental steps, being that I have a family, I have kids. A lot of the big things are done so now it’s continuing that self-improvement track that I set up for myself.
DOYLE: And how do you go about that fight?
BRIAN: There's a lot of ways. The main one is reflection and being able to sit there and ask yourself: “Did I do the best I can?” Whether it was based on your temperament, your mood, your energy level, was I able to be present even though all of these external factors may have affected me?
It's also based on my team and my wife. We talk about parenting. Not just the execution of it but the method behind it. Same with my business partner. We're always bouncing ideas off each other like today was great but how do we recreate this every day? This day was not great so how do we learn from that? Those are the things -- it's basically a team effort.
DOYLE: Speaking of your team, who specifically helps you fight and how do they help you fight?
BRIAN: I would say my family and my kids hold me accountable. When you're doing your daily business for something bigger than a paycheck or bigger than self-fulfillment, it really takes on a different meaning. Owning my own business, having to rely on myself and my business partner to be able to feed our family. It kind of gives you that extra gear when you don't think you may have it.
DOYLE: Where does that drive come from? Where does that perspective come from to take that leap and decide to say, “Yeah, I'm going to start my own business.” How does that start? How does that manifest itself?
BRIAN: A couple of places. I would say the first one is I had a job that I really did not enjoy. I was an investment banker in New York City for about 10 years and I saw a path, and when I looked around the desk there wasn't anyone I really wanted to emulate. There were a lot of people that were very “successful,” but my definition of success really didn't match up. Also, it's a little bit of ignorance is bliss. I thought maybe owning a business would be pretty easy and it's the exact opposite. So you kind of just roll the dice and jump in when you can. But at the end of the day I'll take the bet on myself any day.
DOYLE: Why is your fight worth it?
BRIAN: I think Barry's has created a community. I get to positively impact people's day not just in a physical way, but in a mental and spiritual way as well. I really believe that what I'm doing is bigger than myself. That kind of gives me a little extra drive and that's why I believe that this fight that I'm fighting is really important.
DOYLE: For you, it's more than just running a successful business for financial gains or any sort of ego. You truly believe that your business helps other people and that's rewarding for you?
BRIAN: Yes, it's extremely rewarding. I would say being successful has taken on a different meaning for me. It's having a happy lifestyle that I'm proud to say is my own. Not owning specific things or living in a specific house or neighborhood, but having a community of people that can look up to me and I can look up to them and we all kind of rise together is something that is really important to me.
DOYLE: So a sense of community and family, not just a sort of actual sense of family, your tight-knit family but your family outside, is that something important in your life?
BRIAN: I would say vital, not just important. It is the bloodline of what gets me up in the morning.
DOYLE: And do you feel that community is a reciprocal relationship? The amount of effort that you put in to provide the space for these people, do you receive benefit from it as well and how does that whole relationship work?
BRIAN: I would say it's actually tenfold. The effort that I put forward is received back to me multiple times over. I was in a bad mental space at my previous job, creating and finding the community at Barry’s allowed me to break through a lot of internal barriers. My entire team thrives off that reciprocity. It really gives us the energy for when we're tired, or we are having a crap day. It gives us the ability to shed that negative layer and keep pushing forward.
DOYLE: That positivity, that sense of community, all the good things that go along with the job and the work that you do, how does that positivity kind of drive you in your day-to-day? What role does positivity play in your life?
BRIAN: It's funny because as a trainer you always have to be on. You can't let your bad day into the room. Staying positive is a massive driver in my life, but I also don't allow it to be the only driver.
You have to be able to feel all the feels. You have to be able to look at your day and be able to say, wow, this was a crap day let's see what we can do to fix it. You can’t just focus on the 3 good things that went well and pretend that the other 15 things didn't. There is no growth in that.
DOYLE: So in other words, it's okay to have bad days.
BRIAN: It should be expected to have bad days. I think it would be ill-advised to pretend that every day is your best day.
DOYLE: Hard work is a theme that we've talked about, not just the physical hard work of getting up, going to the gym, staying in shape, but your drive in your day-to-day. You're working hard to keep a family, you're working hard to be successful in life and business. How does hard work guide you?
BRIAN: I think hard work is funny. The way I look at it is you can't sprint on everything. I can't go 110% on being a father, being a businessman, running a business, being a good husband. There has to be a give and take because you can't just run red the entire time. I think the most effective thing for me as I've gotten older and hopefully smarter is that there are times when you sprint in different things, there are times when I try to be the best husband, there are times when I try to be super Dad.
There are also times when I know those are going to have to take a back seat because the business has to be the business. I think hard work is a baseline for everything that we do. But it also has to be in the right proportions because if you run red, if you're trying to be 110% in everything it doesn’t work. I'm just not good at everything. I think it's more just being honest with yourself.
DOYLE: Can you tell us the story about the design of your Henry Mid Canvas?
BRIAN: I gave each one of my sons a shoe and they were like, “Draw on the shoe?” So I grabbed a bunch of markers and some paint and I let them have at it.
DOYLE: What do you think of the design?
BRIAN: I dig it, it's funny. It actually mirrors their personalities. Little crazy, wild, thoughtful and reserved. So, it's kind of funny how it plays out like that.
DOYLE: Different people customized the design of their shoes in different ways. Some left them totally clean, others have done their own work and designs. When you got your sneakers, why did your brain go to your kids?
BRIAN: I guess it's kind of the driving force behind everything that I do. It's the biggest part of my life right now. We're in the young adolescent or the toddler stage. I thought it would also be really fun, little father-son activity we could party together with.
Brian’s wearing the Henry Mid Canvas, which he personalized by giving a shoe, markers, and paint to each one of his young sons, who were surprised by their father's request to draw on his shoes! Brian said: “It’s funny. Their designs actually mirror their personalities: A little crazy, wild, thoughtful and reserved.”
Brian Weller is a trainer and co-owner of Barry’s Bootcamp. To learn more about him, check him out on the gram at @brianpweller. To learn more about the kickass classes at Barry's Bootcamp, check them out here.