New Flywheel CEO Sarah Robb O’Hagan is no stranger to success…but she’s also known for overcoming plenty of epic fails! Now a FLY athlete and total rockstar, Sarah will be releasing her new book “Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat”, a collection of stories from some of the world’s most successful people, and a road map for maximizing your own potential.
“Sarah doesn’t just sit at the table—she stands on it. She’s full of inspiring advice about how to bounce back from failures, speak your truth, embrace your quirks, and have a lot more fun along the way.” —Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.Org
As a special perk for the FLY community, if you pre-order through 3/31, you’ll get 45% off plus a complimentary Workbook of Extreme Badassery to dive right in! We sat down with Sarah to chat about FLY, crushing your goals, and much more, so read on for the intel.
The name of your new book is “Extreme You.” Tell us what being extreme means to you.
It means living at the edge of your own personal potential. We all have different skills, interests, passions and styles. When you can get in position to do what really blows your hair back – and you keep pushing yourself to learn, grow and perform at a higher level – that’s being Extreme You!
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It all started when my kids were playing youth sports, and coming home with a “participation trophy”. And I was like, ‘what the hell is that about?!’ It led me into this intense period of research where I discovered the origins and impact of the self esteem movement, and rewarding people for “participating”. I soon learned that when we reward people for just showing up, we are taking away one of life’s greatest gifts. And that is to push, take risks, succeed and fail on your own terms, and discover who you are at your very best. So I decided it was time someone created a manifesto for change. I interviewed highly accomplished people – from Condoleezza Rice to downhill skier Bode Miller to Drybar founder Alli Webb. All of them had achieved enormous success in different categories, but were using many similar techniques. What I learned about how amazing people discover and unleash their own potential is what’s in the book.
Our community is a giant group of dedicated athletes who bring their A game every day. How does this tie in to the message in your book?
I love that Flywheel is the fitness manifestation of everything I learned in my book. From day one, we offered an experience with the technology to hold you accountable and push you to improve. As a result, we’ve attracted this swarm of athletes who like to be challenged. Every day in our studios I meet our riders and pulsers and I see so many ‘Extremers’ among them! I do believe that physical fitness is the foundation of the ‘Extreme You.” And Flywheel – with its community of total badasses – pretty much proves my theory!
You’ve achieved immense success, from your career to fitness ventures. What advice would you give our riders and pulsers for persevering?
I’ve had some epic fails in my career, and I truly believe that each of those moments did more to propel me forward than any of my successes did. So these days, when I face challenges, obstacles or make mistakes, I reframe them in my mind. I tell myself that this period of pain training sucks, but growth will happen. So I keep going forward.
What is one key takeaway from your book that you want everyone to know?
That most of the most successful, accomplished people in the world did not start off with raw talent that had them at the top of their field. Grit, determination and openness to experience make for a greater recipe for success than raw talent.
How do you encourage your team to reach their potential?
I try really hard to create an environment where my teammates feel comfortable taking risks. Where they know that failures are a natural part of future successes, and you have to be willing to try new things and get outside of your comfort zone if you want to keep growing.
What attracted you to Flywheel?
Where do I start?! I was always super inspired that Flywheel attracts the badasses of the fitness world. And when the opportunity came for me to join the company, I was like hell, yeah! Because when you have an internal team and riders and pulsers who are passionate about fitness, there’s a big opportunity for growth. I see Flywheel as this amazing gem of a company with so much potential to be unleashed.
What’s your favorite motivational quote?
Without risk does not come great reward.
GET TO KNOW SRO!
How does an “Extremer” like you start her day on the right foot?
Always with a workout. I need to work out early, otherwise my busy day takes over and I find it hard get to a class.
What song do you love to hear during class?
I am the queen of cheese, so anything that makes you cringe and remember the 80s and 90s. One of my favorite songs to ride to is “Proud Mary.” I always wanted to be Tina Turner when I was a kid. Never give up on the dream!
What instructor would play you in a movie?
I gotta say Ruth Zukerman! I mean, we look like sisters with our jeans, jackets and matching brown hair. And we share a passion for that brilliant intersection of art and science, music and athleticism, and rhythm and sweat!
What’s one item you always keep in your gym bag?
Spare undies! You only have to get caught without your clean undies once to never make that mistake again.
What’s your personal best in a FLY 45?
I think my best is a 315.
Did you play any competitive sports growing up?
Yes! I played field hockey, tennis, and a little bit of netball, which is a very cool commonwealth sport. I was also on the swimming team. I’ve always said I should join competitors anonymous. I can’t even let my kids beat me in a ski race or a tennis match! The time is coming when they’ll crush me – it’s going to be awful!
What’s your favorite indulgence?
Netflix. There’s nothing better than kicking back with a good glass of kiwi Pinot Gris and watching a good show.