Stephanie Quinn and Michael Mark built the Groundbreakers Fitness Collective to offer a home to people who are just beginning their fitness lifestyle, fully engaged in it and everyone everywhere in between. They deeply value consistent and focused work on the "whole self" and want to provide a place for growth-oriented people to go to enhance their physical, nutritional, and mental fitness.
The original version of Groundbreakers was a Facebook group Stephanie formed because she wanted to get a few of her friends together to do a 1-month fitness challenge. Soon after adding a handful of friends to the group, Stephanie noticed friends of her friends wanting to join. When she asked a few of them why they wanted to join, she heard the same few reasons over again: "I love that it's online, I want an empowering support group, and I want to feel that I'm held accountable."
Week after week, the requests kept coming and each month roughly 1,000 new people were asking to join. As the Facebook group continued to grow, Stephanie and Mike saw the potential to offer something new to the fitness community. They had both experienced highs and lows in many parts of their lives and knew the power of a supportive community who could offer good information, effective resources and a lot of heart-felt encouragement.
Today, Groundbreakers offers first time exercisers and competitive athletes alike a home to engage in a true, whole-self "fitness" lifestyle. Members connect with, learn from, and encourage each other to be better today than they were yesterday. Groundbreakers believes that to be a high-functioning whole, we must respect and work-on each of our unique parts, and in doing so, we will live better, happier lives of contribution and passion.
Fun fact about Groundbreakers founders Stephanie and Mike - they have committed to balancing their physical, nutritional and mental fitness by testing-out new flavors of Ben & Jerry's ice cream regularly (and we really mean regularly :) ).
Stephanie grew up a "Mid-Westy" girl in Marquette, Michigan. Originally from Michigan's Northern Upper Peninsula, outdoor sports and recreation have always been a big part of her life. Whether hiking, skiing, trail running or strength training Stephanie thrives in natural, open spaces.
Outside of managing a demanding social media career and various entrepreneurial endeavors she enjoys spending time on her mountain bike, hitting the stunning trails in her home base of Austin, Texas and exploring groundbreaking ways of making fitness fun.
Atop her Bucket List are: Hiking in Pategonia, Summiting The Grand Teton, and hanging-out in Banf, Alberta, Canada during the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Mike was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in the hiking, biking, boating and skiing town of Sunapee, New Hampshire. He played several sports growing-up, including college basketball and a couple years of semi-professional baseball, and over the past few years has become one of the top master's class obstacle course racers in the world.
Mike spends his time building Groundbreakers with Stephanie, training for obstacle racing, and being with his 5yr old son, Lincoln. Mike says, "Of all the things I've been and am, I love being a dad the most."
Some of Mike's Bucket List adventures are: hang gliding, running and mountain biking in Patagonia, and skiing Colorado's mountains with his son.