Personal fitness journey

One of Patron‘s core inspirations is the belief that video games can serve as a force for good in the world, catalyzing positive transformations in people’s lives.

As for my personal journey — while I’ve always loved games, I was far from being healthy or fit.

By my late 30s, seven years of weekly work flights and becoming a first-time founder had taken its toll on my body.

I’d given up exercise, adopted a poor diet, suffered from lack of sleep, and put on over 20lbs.

It all came to a head when my doctor delivered a sobering message about my eventual risk of severe cardiovascular problems one year ago.

Something had to change dramatically.

Completing an Ironman event had been an aspirational goal, but as a time-strapped founder — I dismissed it as an impossible dream.

And training for it seemed like a form of self-inflicted torture.

However, as I prepared for my first triathlon event, I was surprised by the advancements in tools designed to make the training game-like and very efficient.

Today, many fitness apps offer an experience akin to gaming, making exercise fun and highly trackable. They incorporate mastery and progression, much like games like League.

The crucial distinction is that every minute invested in this ‘game’ yields tangible health benefits, enhancing my focus, energy, and drive to become a better founder, father, and husband—leveling up in the real world.

Allow me to share some of my favorite apps that I ‘played’ to prepare for my first IM race, making the process not bearable but enjoyable AND efficient (<10 hours of primarily virtual training).

TrainingPeaks became my daily quest log, with my coach prescribing my workouts. Upon completion, they automatically uploaded via my Garmin watch, and I was ready for the next challenge.

Zwift transformed indoor cycling into an actual MMO. By connecting my bike to a smart trainer, I could simulate outdoor rides, compete in group events, race others, and upgrade my in-game bike using ‘drops,’ the in-game currency.

Strava became my ultimate source of positive reinforcement, with PRs, segment leaderboards, kudos from friends, and detailed mapping keeping me motivated.

FORM revolutionized lap pool swimming, offering a HUD akin to an FPS game, and seeing real-time strokes completely took the monotony out of lap pool swims.

Peloton Interactive tread proved to be a game-changer. I’d always preferred outdoor runs, but leaderboards, PRs, and live group classes made me prefer indoor ones over outdoors.

WHOOP and Eight Sleep were indispensable for min/maxing my sleep. Waking up at 5am daily to train required discipline, and these tools ensured I got the 8 hours I needed to recover.

Transforming fitness and longevity into a video game propelled me to a top 20% finish in my first Ironman 70.3 event and the best shape of my life.

I now firmly believe the existing apps are just scratching the surface of what’s possible — and would love to back founders building in this space.

No alternative text description for this imageNo alternative text description for this imageNo alternative text description for this image

Related articles

Consumer Technology in 2024

At Patron, we strive to back founders revolutionizing the games and consumer sectors. Our background spans across Riot Games and Discord, two companies that started out building for gamers, but expanded into broad consumer success stories. They now impact hundreds of millions of people around the world on a daily basis. Three key trends are... Read More

Why it’s no longer enough to have 1,000 true fans. 

Kevin Kelly’s seminal essay was written over 15 years ago, and for a long time it’s held true. There’s no doubt that it has helped many founders transform online communities into large scale businesses, and provided many creators with a reliable income stream.  But everything has changed. Thanks to TikTok, you’re more likely to be sold... Read More

Finding the Magic Moment in Consumer Social Apps

One of the secrets I learned whilst leading growth at Discord, is how to turn more users into power users. It starts with finding the magic moment. But what is a magic moment? It’s the moment in your user’s journey where they understand the value of your product for the first time. For a company... Read More

The venture opportunity in Esports

The League of Legends Worlds 2023 tournament is currently underway in Korea. As evidenced by early viewership, with opening matches topping 1.5m CCU, LoL esports is as big as ever. That said, the business health surrounding many esports companies continues to remain shaky. It’s insightful to take a look at the China esports market given... Read More