We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I cultivated a passion for exercise science towards the end of High School. In college while studying Exercise Science, I began working as a Personal Trainer and loved it. Although I tend to be pretty introverted and prefer to keep to myself most of the time, the interaction I got through Personal Training helped me realize that I have not only a passion for learning about exercise science, but also for helping others reach their health or fitness goals. Upon graduating with my Masters degree in Exercise Science, I decided to start my own coaching company, Peak Endurance Solutions, in order to work more exclusively with endurance athletes. As a company, we work with a range of athletes and individuals, but my passion is truly endurance sport, and so starting a coaching company to allow me to work with endurance athletes just made sense.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I wear a few different professional “hats”, including a full-time career as a Research Coordinator and a part-time career as a Coach for endurance athletes. Over time, I’m hoping to grow my coaching company towards the ultimate goal of making it my full-time career. It started off very, very small in 2017. Ever since, it has grown exponentially each year. Working as a Coach for endurance athletes combines my passion for working with people to help them achieve their fitness goals as well as my passion for exercise science. It has been quite a struggle separating our brand and business from others as there are so many coaching companies and coaches out there in the world of endurance sport nowadays. However, I think what will separate us overt time is our attention to detail and our focus on incorporating the latest science and evidence into our practice. The field of coaching as a whole is desperately in need of a deeper incorporation of the latest science into its practice, and we strive to separate ourselves from others in this way. Coaching is both an art and a science, and we take this seriously in our work with clients and athletes in order to provide the highest quality services possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily “flashy” at times and doesn’t draw immediate attention to our brand, but over time as clients and athletes see results and successes, we are confident this will open us up to continual growth and clientele loyalty. If there is anything I have learned and continue to learn along this journey, it is that staying true to our beliefs and values is imperative as a business. In the end, I continue to strive to build our brand and business as I had initially envisioned just as I had when I started it back in 2017. It is very easy to be lured into a trap that I “have to do what everyone else is doing to be successful” and that can sometimes take away from the uniqueness and passion that is infused into our brand. I have definitely fallen into this trap a few times, but every time I catch myself going back to the reasons I started coaching in the first place, re-read my mission statement, and re-orient myself down the path I intended on following. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t had to adjust and “course-correct” along the way as obstacles and challenges arise, but I think staying true to the reasons why I wanted to start this company in the first place is so important for it’s continued longevity and growth over time.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a big fan of exploration and adventure, particularly when it involves outdoor scenery and nature. I personally love taking friends and out of town visitors to some of the coolest places in the Phoenix valley as well as just around the Phoenix Valley. A few of those places would include the top of South Mountain (amazing view of the city and quite a cool drive to get to the top), Flagstaff (amazing little mountain town with great restaurants and local coffee shops), and Sedona (amazing red rock formations as well as a cool tourist spot). These locations also offer great hiking and cycling as well. There are so many more places in the city that are worth visiting, but I think seeing some of the coolest pieces of nature Arizona has to offer outside of the city is well worth the extra driving time. Besides, the road trip is half of the fun anyways.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I started my company back in 2017, in which I was the only one working for the company. However, late in 2017 I met my now fiance, Taylor Newgaard. She has been an incredible blessing in my life for many reasons, one of which is her help in growing what is now our coaching company. She works as our swim-specific coach, leading private swim sessions, group swim sessions, and co-leading our group swim camps. We have seen steady growth in our business and clientele loyalty, and much of it is due to her amazing work as a Swim Coach for Peak Endurance Solutions! There have been many others that have contributed to our growth in smaller ways. However, I would also like to thank our clients and athletes that keep coming back to work with us. We always hope to leave a lasting impression on everyone we work with, even if it is only once, but those that keep coming back obviously see some incredible value in the services we provide, and that is what we are all about. We hope to be a part of people’s journeys as they navigate life and endurance sport, including how they intersect and intertwine.
Image #4 credit to Isaac Easley from Take it Easley Productions, LLC