How Wishing on a Lantern made 'Wellbeing At Work' possible
By Lindsay Johnson
After Cory’s (brother) death on July 2, 2015 I was running on empty - I’d work to not think about Cory, I’d eat to not think about work; rinse and repeat - I was sick, mentally and physically. After a few months of this cycle I gratefully retreated to the tools that I learned in early sobriety and yoga. I knew that I needed to step away from the hustle and bustle to rediscover happiness and health. I decided a solo trip backpacking through Asia for two months would do the trick.
While in Asia I had three indescribable spiritual experiences that helped me know that my brother will be with me always, and that I have a greater purpose in life. Two of those experiences were at breathtaking waterfalls, and one was in Chiang Mai, Thailand during the annual Northern Lights Festival. At this event the Thai culture has a tradition of lighting these practically human size lanterns and sending them off into the sky only after giving gratitude and making a wish.
The words that came to me that night will forever live between me, Cory and my higher power, but I will say this - I was forever changed after wishing Upon A Lantern.
My short lived Personal Training and Health Coaching career was rewarding. I loved helping people and having one-on-one relationships, but given my first hand experience working as a corporate marketing professional in a silly-putty colored office, led by Managers who didn’t know how to help their staff balance work and real life, I knew my purpose in this life is to help others find health and happiness. I couldn’t think of a better place to do that then bringing the wellness tools that had helped me get through hard times, to people at work. It was on an island in Thailand that I started writing the business plan for what would soon be called FitPros.
Before I even left Asia I contacted a Graphic Designer friend, Kyle Kemp who I worked with many years prior. Kyle was doing freelance projects at the time and she was intrigued by my idea. Her response was something like this, “I’ll expect a lot of home-cooked meals until you can afford me… let’s come up with a brand!” We spent countless nights playing name games and rounds of logo edits. Right along with me Kyle put her heart into this idea that we could really help people, by bringing fitness and health experts to people at work. FitPros launched January 2016. After about a year Kyle was offered a sweet gig at a company who could pay her what she is worth. But, to this day I have the utmost appreciation and respect for her creative input.
The first few years of FitPros was a whirlwind. Gratefully, I met Maggie Valiunas who came on as my right hand person. Looking back, I think had a case of Imposter Syndrome which led to a lack of defining our job titles or work assignments, but boy did we learn and grow together. Later joined by a kind-hearted Designer and Operations Coordinator we accomplished so much as a small team in 2017 and 2018. In fact, we're working with several of the world’s leading tech companies in multiple cities producing wellness programs and receiving great accolades.
In 2019 we hit major milestones being able to hire full-time employees in HQ and provided jobs to hundreds of contractors to fulfil our programs in 52 cities across the United States. Today FitPros is hired by companies around the world to offer more than 30 wellness activities that help employees make positive lifestyle and habit changes. With our Wellbeing Managers (sales team) growing I am able to step away from the day to day to focus on new business opportunities and marketing.
There is a ton of opportunity still in the workplace wellness space, and we have other verticals on the horizon. In addition, we’re starting FitPros Kids for which children will have access to wellbeing programs that are not taught in school or found in other kids camp concepts. This light bulb idea came to me in 2018 after memory of being bullied in middle school. How cool would it be if we were able to teach kids how to think on their feet in an Improv Workshop, similar to those we do in the workplace. Or what about teaching kids how to use Self Defense for good if they were ever in a situation of getting harmed. Depression and obesity continue to be on the rise, how great would it be for our hip and 'in the know' Wellness and Nutrition Coaches could get in front of kids and help them through their day-to-day struggles. I believe with my whole heart there’s something to this. Check out the FitPros Kids page to learn more!
Note from the FitPros Team
In honor of Women's History Month, the FitPros team felt it was important to highlight our fearless leader herself Lindsay Johnson which is why we have shared how and why she created FitPros above.
Lindsay is an incredible business woman/owner however, she deserves to be praised not only for her ability to create and run a thriving business (in a society where being a female and doing so is not easy), but also for all the hurdles she overcame to get to where she is today and for her ability to better the lives of not just her employees, but people all over the world.
Thank you Lindsay, for being you.
Want to learn more about FitPros and FitPros Kids?
email: email@example.com or call: (815) 348-7767