Suffering for a cause – that’s what I’ve always believed in. When I set out with the goal of creating The Sufferfest, I wanted to not only create the world’s toughest indoor cycling training videos, but I also wanted to inspire others around me to do good. Giving back to the community and having The Sufferfest reflect a philanthropic value has always been important to me along this journey. What began as a creative outlet allowed me to take my hobby and turn it into a career. Now playing in more than 50 countries, the population of Sufferlandria is growing each and every day. It’s a consistent reminder that the underlying mission of the Sufferfest is to make people proud of themselves, and proud to be a part of the community surrounding it.
As a former investment banker, I came up with the idea for the Sufferfest while living in Zurich. At the time, I was training for cyclosportives and was bored with using the same turbo trainer. I tried everything – television, cycling DVDs, movies, and I just couldn’t get motivated to move. Using old Tour de France footage, I added my own music and simple onscreen instructions to help guide the workouts. Little did I know that I would be starting a movement.
I decided to enter the group indoor cycling space because I realized that the vast majority of indoor cycling classes were not running effective workouts. They were simply choosing songs and riding to the beat, asking riders to imagine being outside or in a bike race. I knew that if they took their videos, which have a following of hundreds of thousands of Sufferlandrians around the world, into the cycling studio space, I could offer enterPAINING sessions that would get results and keep people engaged.
With a name like The Sufferfest, I recognize that it can come across as being an intimidating title to some. In actuality, it has encouraged legions of loyal followers to stay motivated and continue a healthy lifestyle through the art of suffering. Joining the Sufferfest community takes motivation to an entirely different level. Whether you’re taking a class with an instructor or doing a workout from your living room, the community of fellow ‘Sufferlandrians’ around you entice you to dig deeper, work harder and have a better workout than you ever could in any regular gym or fitness studio. We at The Sufferfest even have a saying; ‘everybody hurts’. It serves as a reminder to fellow Sufferlandrians that they are all on their own personal journey of self-improvement.
At The Sufferfest, we also host The Tour of Sufferlandria, a nine-day tour that attracts thousands of riders from around the world to participate in a grueling test of endurance. This Sufferlandrian pride I’ve been speaking about is what has sparked partnerships with organizations like the Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF), a nonprofit benefiting Parkinson’s Disease, founded by Olympic medalist and cycling legend, Davis Phinney. The DPF is committed to supporting programs and research that deliver inspiration, information and tools that will enable people living with Parkinson’s to take more control in managing their disease. Over the past four years, the Tour has raised over $300,000 for the Foundation. We’re incredibly honored to continue being a partner with this foundation and can’t wait to see what this year’s upcoming tour will bring.