TAKE YOUR HEART SPOTLIGHT:
I’ve been a loyal bodybulding.com customer since before I can remember. In fact, I have harbored such an intense loyalty to the company that I actually feel as though I’m being unfaithful if I shop anywhere else.
Being born and raised in Boise, Idaho (bb.com’s hometown) set the precursor for my undying loyalty. The service, staff, and overall values; however, are what kept me hooked. (The first time I ordered something online in the morning, and had it proudly sitting on my doorstep in under 24 hours, I actually looked around for Ashton because I thought for sure I’d been punk’d.) But nope, they’re just THAT good.
But this post isn’t about their speedy service, unwavering customer support, or even the endless list of amazing products featured on their site. All of those things are great, but all of those things are available for the public to discover in hundreds of countries, on any day of the week, at any given time you can think of. This post is about all of the things that bodybuilding.com doesn’t tell you. All of the secrets, the happenings behind the scenes, and the madness behind one of the most amazing companies in the world.
I’ve had the opportunity to work quite intimately with bodybuilding.com on a number of occasions. I’ve participated in the SundaeLu Bikini show at the BFE both years it has taken place, and I’ve helped at various booths during expos. I’ve shopped in the small hometown store, made friends with numerous employees, and seen bodybuilding.com’s behind-the-scenes stories that they don’t often display for the world to see.
One of the first stories that really stands out in my mind involves my good friend Brooke Erickson. Brooke was approached by bodybuilding.com for a sponsorship inquiry. She came into the main office for a discussion about the terms and conditions for sponsorship in an interview fashion. Once the discussion was almost wrapped up, she was asked, “what are you willing to do to become known? How far are you willing to go?” Brooke, who is a complete rockstar and never ceases to amaze me, answered, “truly, nothing. I am not willing to sacrifice my family, change my beliefs, pose in anything I wouldn’t be okay with my children seeing, or stretch the truth in order to appeal to the masses.” The bodybuilding.com employee shook her hand and said, “welcome to the team.”
Bodybuilding.com is founded BY real people FOR real people. Their employees and athletes know what it’s like to balance family, work, school, and lives while still trying to pursue a healthy, active lifestyle. They care about their employees and their customers, and they are willing to go above and beyond in order to reach their fullest potential and highest client satisfaction. (I once received a hand-written note from an employee simply stating that they hope I enjoy my product and that I chose their favorite flavor of Xtend.)
I had a lengthy conversation with bb.com athletes Ashley and Amber from CLUTCH at an event recently, and it was so refreshing. They are both certified badasses, but they totally keep it real. We chatted about the struggles of being a woman, the pressure to look a certain way, and the challenge that we are all 3 whole-heartedly accepting by saying “screw the current rules, we’re creating our own!” They’re currently working on some new amazing plans to launch on bb.com in 2014, and I can’t wait. This world needs more people like Ashley Conrad and Amber Elizabeth!
This past September, I went to the Olympia in Las Vegas, and we all headed to the bodybuilding.com after-party once the show was over. I always feel kind of star-struck and out-of-place being surrounded by so many incredible athletes and icons, but they are all so down-to-earth and welcoming that it makes it really easy to feel like you fit right in. This year, I walked up to the main bodybuilding.com table with a few of my friends, and I saw Ryan DeLuca, one of the owners. I obviously knew who he was since he is always at the bb.com events, but I wasn’t about to make a fool of myself and try to explain how I know him or what my connection is with his company, so I just continued talking with my friends.
Before I knew it, Ryan walked right up to me, gave me a hug, and said “What’s up, Macaile? How’s it going?”
I was floored.
I made some awkward remark about being surprised he even knew who I was, and he responded, “Of course I know who you are! You’ve written for the site, you’re always around at the expos, and we’re friends on facebook!”
As silly as this moment may seem, it solidified my loyalty with this company.
I chatted with Ryan’s beautiful wife, Bryna, for a few minutes and we joked about how nobody can ever pronounce our names. They both made me feel like we’d been friends forever, and I have a feeling they bring that presence to everyone they meet.
They’re the kind of people that you can feel happy for as they experience so much success, because they continue to give back and make a positive impact on the world.
Ryan is constantly looking for ways to better this world, and his reach goes FAR beyond building your dream physique.
Here is a small handful of what I am talking about:
and, my personal favorite…
even Ryan’s son, Colson, thinks he’s the best (he also apparently needs to take some bulking advice from the site, because he only weighs 16 pounds):
Bodybuilding.com has changed my life for the better, and I really believe there’s something for everyone to be found on their site. I’m thankful for all of the new friendships I’ve harbored throughout my connection with bodybuilding.com, from the owners and their families, to their awesome athlete manager Danielle (still obsessed with your wedding), VP of DP John, my favorite marketing boys Dan and Kirk, the best videographer/comedian/supporter Ron, Stephanie, the wonderful editor who put up with all of my obnoxious edits and requests while working on my piece, Jeff, the editor who made my piece possible in the first place, all of the great customer service reps that have spent far too much of their time helping me make the life-changing decision of selecting a protein flavor via online chat (oh sup, Anthony and Derek?!), and some of their wonderful athletes who have ended up becoming my best friends. (Brooke and Sundae, you know that means you)
If you needed another reason to support this amazing company, let this be it.
OH AND…. Happy birthday, Ryan! I hope this is your best year yet!