In an Olympic Games mood, we invite you to meet one of our partners in the US, Carl Van Loan. 

As a high-performance ski athlete he had an amazing career, competing in two Olympic Games for Team USA, 2002 (Salt Lake City Utah) and 2006 (Torino Italy) respectively, and now owns his own business (Explore Fitness in Denver Colorado).

Feel inspired by his great journey!!!!

How was your career as an athlete?

Carl Van Loan: I was on the United States Ski Team for 10 years and I competed in two Olympic Games for Team USA, 2002 (Salt Lake City Utah) and 2006 (Torino Italy) respectively. I also competed on four World Championship Teams and won Gold and Silver at the World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2000.

How was the transition from athlete to the business world? What companies do you currently run?

CVL: It was a very difficult transition from being a full-time professional athlete to a student and then eventually to owning my own business (Explore Fitness). The psychological letdown after retiring as an athlete is very challenging. When you devote your entire life to performing at the highest level, nothing else seems very important when you retire. After climbing out of that mental  hole, I began to move on and start thinking about my future. I found that almost every other challenge in my life was quite manageable compared to the stress of competing at the highest level. Even though starting my own business was quite difficult, I found that every challenge that came my way was very manageable compared to my past. My company has definitely had its peaks and valleys, but with enough hard work, we have always found a solution.

What are the challenges faced in the business world? How has the partnership with Gympass helped your business?

CVL: We pride ourselves at Explore Fitness on only hiring the best trainers who are motivated, educated and willing to go the extra mile. Obviously, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to readjust and shift our business model. Now that we are back on track, Gympass has been a wonderful partner and complement to our current business. They have allowed us to come in contact with clients that we would not have had exposure to otherwise.

What is your message to encourage new athletes and future entrepreneurs?

CVL: My message to new athletes is to absorb as much information as you possibly can on how to perform better. Think about proper methods of warm-up, recovery, and mental stability. I wish I could teach my younger self all of the training tools that I know now from being a personal trainer and business owner. For entrepreneurs, surround yourself with the smartest people you can and listen to successful people that have been there before you. Both young athletes and entrepreneurs should be patient and willing to work harder than their competition. I wish you the best of luck and come see us at Explore Fitness in Denver Colorado,