If you’ve followed along with us recently, you’ve seen our four-week “Are You Made Of More” challenge with the U.S. Air Force Special Warfare. This was more than a workout or online competition; this was a physical and mental challenge designed to push you past what you think you’re capable of. From the response we got, it sounded like we accomplished that goal.
To give some background, our partnership with the U.S. Air Force came from our third event last year, REDLINE Venice. We took a risk after holding two in-gym events to working with the City of Venice Beach to take over roughly 35,000 sq. ft. right off the promenade. Going into a competition that was a bit different than the previous, we knew it would be important to work with companies and organizations that share our similar values.
One thing led to another and we were put in touch with the U.S. Air Force. After learning more about the PAINKLLR ethos and values, they saw an alignment with Special Warfare. From there our partnership grew to where we are today.
So how did this particular challenge evolve? Two pillars of the PAINKLLR brand are community and authenticity, making them driving factors when creating our experiences. When we became a national partner with the U.S. Air Force Special Warfare, we immersed ourselves beyond meetings and discussions to find common threads between these elite Operators and civilians. One key commonality is realizing we are built through our experiences, which includes training and grit.
With that in mind, we collectively worked towards creating a challenge that wasn’t based on the most reps, the heaviest weight, or the fastest time. We wanted people to connect to real life stories of incredible heroes while pushing themselves physically and mentally. We knew we wanted to give context and purpose to why you were doing that particular challenge, giving you more reason to push harder and not stop.
From there ourselves and our head of programming headed to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio before lock downs happened. There we had a chance to see the start of the Special Warfare pipeline and meet other active duty Operators to discuss the journey a person takes to become a Special Warfare Operator.
From there, we discussed stories of combat to humanitarian missions while exploring how we could incorporate movements that would simulate those or similar experiences. It took a long process and a lot of care to create these workouts, keeping in mind we wanted to tell the stories of the real people attached to those experiences. We always knew we wanted to pay our respect to these heroes.
Additionally, Air Force Special Warfare worked heavily alongside us, including testing the workouts and distributing them nationwide to their recruiters to run with candidates for feedback or to do the missions live alongside participants. From the feedback, we were able to create WODs or “missions” that incorporated pieces of what these Special Warfare Operators experience in real life.
We wanted people to feel invested in the cause and not just the prizes (we know we had some cool stuff), as well as feeling pushed. If you were able to follow along in real time, a week later, or even put yourself to the test now, you know these workouts were grueling. By the end of the 4 weeks, we had messages and comments telling us how this became something they looked forward to and hoped we would be continuing in the future.
It was an amazing feeling to see these challenges became more than a workout. It became purpose driven – the ‘why’ was deeper.
We had zero expectations going in to this, and what we got out of it was much more than we could have hoped. We went into it knowing we would put forth our best effort and adjust as we continued. We ended up having participants from all over the U.S., plus some from as far as Marrakech, London, and Japan!
We all have something that can push us to progress and go beyond comfortability, it just needs to be revealed. Our purpose is to create experiences that are memorable and show what we are all capable of, on the other side of comfortable.
What’s next? Expect to see more experiences down the pipeline that will continue to push you…
Act, Move, and Never Stop.