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ETF Fitness founder shares advice from fellow Olympians


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Bryan Clay

“I’m really bad at dancing and singing. I’m really good at running and jumping—I’m a perfectionist when it comes to fitness.” — Bryan Clay, founder & chief brand officer, Eat the Frog Fitness

Who would play you in the biopic about your life?

Will Smith would be good, I think. Not because he looks anything like me, but I think he does a really good job of crossing over between being fun and silly and then still being able to take on that serious role. That’s more like me.

What’s your favorite franchise brand that’s not your own?

I’d probably say Chick-fil-A. What they stand for with customer service and stewardship … the way they interact with their customers. They’re a family favorite.

What’s one fitness-related trend you wish would die?

You know those weird toe shoes everyone wears? I can’t stand those things. I don’t understand the science behind them. And I hate these altitude masks people wear. They run down the street looking like Darth Vader. I mean I get it, I guess, for training, but I don’t know if it really does anything. Seems more like a gimmick than anything else.

What are you freakishly bad at (or good at)?

Ha, that’s changed over the last few years as I’ve gotten older. I’m really bad at dancing and singing. I’m really good at running and jumping—I’m a perfectionist when it comes to fitness. (Clay is an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon.)

What’s something not many people know about you?

Not a lot of people know I’m a fan of Broadway. I like the marriage between music and storytelling. Some of my good friends know that. Ever since I was a kid, the ‘Newsies’ has been a favorite of mine. So when that came on Broadway, I loved it.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Oh jeez, well, I grew up in Hawaii, I’m half Japanese. So things like sea cucumbers, jellyfish and fish eyeballs. My grandfather always used to eat the eyeball of the fish, the ones he caught, and he got us to eat it. And of all of those, the eyeballs were the easiest to eat.

Laura Michaels

Editor Laura Michaels asks the tough questions—What superhero power would you most like to have? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?—to show a side of franchising execs you don’t normally see. To suggest an industry professional, email lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.

What’s the last thing you cooked at home?

Oh my goodness, I can’t even remember. Well, I think I made omelets the other day with our kids. We cut the cilantro out of the garden, the green onions. And we got eggs from our chickens. We live on a couple acres so we have a garden and ducks and chickens. We’re thinking about getting a goat.

What superhero power would you most like to have?

I think I’d want to be like Superman, I’d want to have crazy strength and be able to fly. I also like the idea of having a secret identity. Sort of be able to be in the background. Sometimes I like that, working behind the scenes but not always having to be in the spotlight.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

There’s been so many. Growing up, I was not a good kid and so I’ve received many nuggets of advice. My high school track and field coach told me, leave all of life’s problems at the gate, that’s always stuck with me. So when I was on the track, just let everything else melt away. Later, Carl Lewis once told me—I was sponsored by Oakey sunglasses—he told me , don’t wear your sunglasses in an interview. He said, ‘how do people connect with you?’; they connect with you through your eyes. And Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn Jenner, told me to make yourself indispensable to your sponsors. That means understanding the needs of your sponsors, really helping you both get the most out of it.

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