DEAR ANONYMOUS LITHER (ME ON MONDAY) 19 Sep 2016
For the past almost 12 years, I’ve been at the helm of growing an active empire that strives to support, encourage and motivate people to be their best selves every single day. About two years ago, I would spent about 4 hours a day writing blog content, working on visuals, and shared everything fit, hip and healthy with over 5,000 loyal daily readers. I shared personal, passionate and uncensored Me On Monday posts about my struggles with multiple miscarriages, risk, my post-pregnancy body, and montages of things that I loved.
Two years ago, I decided that I would never blog personally for Lithe ever again. Blogging was becoming a time suck, and doing it all was so overrated. The blog was becoming more of an emotional dump for me, and a negative feedback system for the Lithe community to stir up drama and tear each other down rather than build one another up.
I was really craving separation, didn’t need the stress and, felt that blogs were becoming a dead, mediocre medium so the time was right for change. And, the change has been great. I've been able to spend more time with my family and friends, and support my passion for other entrepreneurial endeavors.
But, I guess you should never say never, because here I am again. Today I woke up at 5:30AM, made my coffee, and checked my inbox, like usual. I saw that management had forwarded this YORN (Your Opinion, Right Now) review below that made me immediately want to wash my hands of my job at Lithe (because who needs this shit anyway?), sell the studios...and also write a blog post! We receive feedback all the time and it truly takes a lot to rattle my chain, but it has been a difficult week and I really wanted to speak up for the 50+ amazing, hard-working people that work so passionately for this company, so I'm taking to this platform like I used to. I hope that this will help Lithers to step out of their comfort zones.
By the way, YORN is great, but the problem with it is that users very rarely request a response so it’s impossible to communicate or get to the bottom of cryptic, mediocre feedback like the one below. We love and appreciate detailed, specific and useful feedback from our community so that we can improve, but it’s hard to respond to or address issues when it’s a one-way street. We like to explain why we do the things we do, so here goes.
Dear Anon Lither, I appreciate your passion for Lithe. Nobody gets upset over a workout unless they love it, right? We're so lucky to have earned the ability to be an integral part of people's lives, and what's super cool about having an amazing, dynamic brand means that we’re able to create content for a variety of people even if it may not hit the mark every. single. time with every. single. person. Having a great brand means being able to make mistakes, and DO overs. Do you love the new ILLIN? Do you like the updated HI-TOP? Some of you loved the Summer Hits schedule in July, August and September, and some were clamoring for the 8-week curated schedules back.
Anon Lither, I ask that you step outside of your Lithe bubble and realize that you’re one type of Lither – the cardio queen. You chase one aspect of Lithe, and don't think about the Lither that loves barre work and avoids more cheer heavy workouts. And then there is the Lither who embraces the Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting in its entirety: she works her ass off and steps up to the challenges thrown her way. She requests sculpting and she also loves cardio. She is in the studio to become stronger and make gains. I know this because she’s at the barre with me and in my sculpting workouts every week. She works in stiletto and fights hard to do her push-ups on her toes, rather than dropping to her knees on the first rep. She knows that our barre is hard, and also knows that it’s amazing ab work, not solely leg work.
Anon Lither, I know that you probably do not want to follow our key to Lithe (Monday is Abs/Core, Tuesday is Cardio, Wednesday is Legs/Core, Thursday is Cardio, and Friday is Arms/Core). I wish that you'd give the key a chance and really step out of your comfort zone. I just know that you’d be floored with the results, and the balance it brings to your body.
You may like to think that Lithe isn't both cardio AND sculpting, but our sculpting workouts are what gives you that killer definition that you're paying for. Banded cardio will only take you so far. Doing both is best. I feel sorry for you because you don't understand that one to two cardio-heavy workouts per week is really all that is necessary, but two to three sculpting workouts will completely change your body. Seriously, you're missing out, girl! You're settling for mediocrity at Lithe and you may not even realize it.
Anon Lither, I know that you love what YOU love and that is absolutely okay. Everyone has their favorites and most hated (myself included). It would be SO incredibly easy to look at our data and play the top 10-15 workouts on repeat. Literally, life on easy street for the business. I've thought about it. I could settle for mediocrity for Lithe.
Anon Lither, Our classes are absolutely little less full right now versus September. It's because we're not accepting as many ClassPass users as we once did. I stand firm on their business practices and feel LITHE should be paid fair value for our services.
I'm going to sound like a mom defending her children, but, Anon Lither, I absolutely do not have to create new content for Lithe but I do it so that people can continue to change, improve their bodies and feel empowered in a new way once they nail a fresh cardio or sculpting sequence. There's no feeling like empowerment through movement.
Lauren Boggi Active is a Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting lab, so to speak. And, it’s a totally different brand and a completely different workout for at-home exercisers.
Do you know what came first between Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting and Lithe? This is like the chicken or the egg question. CCS is the mother. I created the technique post college while living in NYC and teaching Pilates. I missed my cheer game and body from college. Lithe happened after Lithe: A Pilates-Evolved Studio that opened in Northern Liberties in 2005. Basically, I was too much of a chicken to start out with pure CCS in Philly because I knew that I needed to build people's trust via Pilates.
Lithe is an in-person studio experience. Lithe workouts are 60-minute workouts that are defined by a core exercise sequence, which fatigues a particular muscle group. The core muscle group then becomes the stabilizer and then we exhaust the muscles through a trademarked exercise series via 30 reps. It’s magic, but you know that already.
Lauren Boggi Active is a Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting based, non-body part specific, 45-minute streaming workout that attacks multiple muscle groups at once. Sure, you may see CCS exercises on Instagram or Lauren Boggi Active that I make Lithe-friendly in format, sequencing and methodology. It is rewarding to me that people all over the world, and many former Lithers who have moved away are able to try CCS from wherever they are currently. I’ve wanted to do video workouts for a long time, and am so happy to offer CCS on a broader scale.
And, a company built by women (and a few men!) for women, we like to think that we know a little bit about what we’re doing; when we receive this type of feedback from another woman, we could either take it as just a slam, or turn it around as a useful means to communicate with the entire Lithe community.
This YORN started my day off on the wrong foot but it also made me realize WHY I'm here. I'll continue to do my best to empower you, support and motivate you all to never settle for mediocrity. I’ve always said that if nobody hates it, nobody loves it. And, as an artist, I realize that I will never make ALL 3,000 or you happy, but I know that I speak for all when I say that I would appreciate it if some would recognize and embrace the hard work that goes into this business to change your bodies, make you smile and hopefully be the best part of your day. Let’s not settle for mediocrity!
And, hopefully, someday I won't look back and feel embarrassed that I put so much energy and time into this this called Lithe : )
Image via Antrim & Spruce Photography