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A year in review with founder Ryan Brenner.


Pain on the outside of the knee is often a sign of IT band tension.

"It's been a long year with a lot of ups, downs, people helped & still much more to go."


 


All progress has a beginning, and so we thought it would be beneficial for ourselves and community to start an annual review to reflect on where we've been, where we're going, and everything in between.

We hope you enjoy this year in review.



 



A year in review: what made you start Yudae?


Short answer:

Frustration. Not the best source of motivation, but it's where I was at the time and it got things going.


Long answer:

At the time I was acting as sales manager/store manager for a bicycle store in downtown Austin. I had worked my way into this position over the course of 2 years, fueled by a passion to share the sport I loved and help people get more fit.


If you've ever talked to someone who loves bikes and asked why they ride, you would likely receive an answer like "bikes are a form of therapy", or "bikes are a form of meditation". And had you'd asked me at the time, I'd have said the same thing.


However, day-after-day I would go into work, we'd pre-game on the importance of helping others, and then watch as folks would come purchase a bike that would ultimately end up sitting in a garage, unused, collecting dust.


Over time I began to feel frustrated as I would guide people to their solution, only to watch them drift away from any sense of health and wellbeing. So, I quit my job with the idea that if a place existed where people could balance their mental health, body, and career, all in one building, the world would be an exceptionally better place - a place called Yudae.




What was the biggest obstacle you faced starting?


It's worth mentioning that the struggles of starting anything new lies almost entirely inside the mind. Know that I'm the kind of person who takes pride in never quitting anything. I try to maintain an open mind for change and an eagerness for opportunity - but quitting, especially when its something I know how to improve on, is not my forte.


But what I saw every day, over and over, was a sheer lack of mental wellbeing, a depreciation in the value of wellness, and a gross overselling of equipment for the sole purpose of moving inventory. All of these aspects eventually forced me to accept that if I was going to make a difference in the world, I was going to have to do it myself.


So, for me, the hardest part of starting was actually quitting my job, and accepting that I was quitting for a good reason, and not merely giving up on something I could have fixed. So yeah, I would say quitting my job to pursue my dream was probably the hardest part of getting started. After that it was all passion.




What was your greatest accomplishment and/or success?


Honestly that's a bit of a tough question because when I look at what we've accomplished, I get pretty excited. We've accomplished so much in a very short amount of time, and I mean very short amount of time.


I remember a conversation with one of the most talented art directors in Austin (Paulo Hernandez) telling him that I wanted us to host events at Zilker every weekend and would need his help.


Fast forward to now where every Sunday we host wellness events, free for anyone to join, and every week we post a reel with footage from that day.




What was your biggest failure?


The biggest failure was definitely the JAD podcast. It was really good practice being able to hear myself talk, and a fun creative practice to learn how to record, edit, and write dialogue.


But after a few weeks I realized that without a full time staff completely dedicated to the art of audio production and podcast marketing (plus a lack of in-house software and equipment) we just weren't going to be able to execute the vision I had for the podcast.


So while we try to figure out what to do with the platform and media, the JAD podcast is still available on Spotify and YouTube. Hopefully we will be able to start it back up again in 2024 with better equipment and a bigger staff, but yeah, that was probably the biggest failure of this last year.




What about you personally? What was your greatest success/failure over the past year?


I think if I had to answer quickly I would say writing a book at 27 was a huge success, and that missing fundraising targets was the greatest failure. I don't live a life of regrets, meaning I don't look back on events and wish them to be any different.


Instead, I try to look at the way things are and in they way they happened and extract the valuable lessons which can be learned.


In this light, being able to manage a wellness startup, family, and a social life, all at 27 years old, and still producing new content daily, reflects a wellness achievement of its own, and something I will be proud of for a very long time.


Although it was deeply disappointing to have missed our initial fundraising targets, I learned how to start a business (and how not to). Because of this the team and I have dedicated a specific day of the week to brainstorm ideas and develop them into pre-prototypes or working prototypes, all in an effort to make the world a happier, healthier, place to live.




Where do you see Yudae in the next year?

Goals for 2024?


I believe our website still says that our "big goal" is to open the doors of our full facility by October 2024. Achieving this would be the milestone of milestones and would do a lot for the growth of the company.


However, what we hope to accomplish within that timeframe is to engage many more people, doubling our membership count and expanding our events across multiple areas, reaching more people.


We have quite a few things in the works behind closed doors. At one point I would have talked more openly about them, but after having a couple ideas stolen I've learned that people actually read the things I write and listen to what I say, and for that we'll keep it on the down-low. Let's just say that 2024 should be an even better year.




Is there anything else you would like to add?

Upcoming events?


As I mentioned earlier, we have weekend wellness events hosted every Sunday. We host them at a local park in Austin. We're working on getting a big banner flag for a visual so people can find us easier, but for now just follow us on social media, specifically Instagram & Threads, where we post meeting times, locations, and updates for all our events.


We invite anyone reading this to come out and say hi, and we hope to see you there.


 




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Once complete, share your favorite exercise in the comments. If you're having a hard time finding core exercises, come back here to discover more. Good luck and enjoy the process.


 

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