Andy Petranek, the co-Founder of the Whole Life Challenge, has been an influencer and trend-setter in the world of health and fitness for over 25 years. His infectious laugh, ability to bring joy to even the most difficult situations, and his ability to help others find the courage to tackle their fears have made him a community magnet for athletes, trainers, and the thousands of people who have been influenced directly through his coaching. He was an early adopter of CrossFit, opening one of the first 10 affiliates in the world (CrossFit Los Angeles). His training programs at CFLA produced thousands of happy customers over the years who suddenly found themselves able to “Do the Impossible”, and his business owners development program produced dozens of the most effective fitness coaches and small gym business leaders anywhere in the world. In 2011, he started a program for his gym community called the Whole Life Challenge. Since then it has ballooned into a global health and well-being movement, with over 125,000 participants worldwide since it’s inception.
But this success hasn’t come effort free. He grew up in a family of classical musicians. His Mom was a professional violinist and public school music teacher, and his Dad was an orchestra conductor, having studied with the world-renowned conductor, Pierre Monteux. As a kid, while his friends were busy learning pop culture and rock music, Andy was playing musical instruments, going to classical concerts, and listening to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. He owned a tuxedo practically before he could walk. On the surface, as a musician and budding trumpet player, all seemed great. But underneath, inside, Andy craved a different community, one for which he could forge his own path, prove his worth on a “playing field” of his peers, and perhaps get what he so desperately wanted - attention and approval from his Dad.
Time and again, he chose to tackle some of the most arduous, adventurous, and risky challenges in the world to accomplish this. First as a United States Marine Officer, then later as an athlete in some of the most grueling adventure races in the world, the Eco-Challenge and Raid Gauloises, Andy continued to find things to test his dedication, willpower, and resolve. He’s climbed mountains, crossed ocean channels, kayaked off waterfalls, ridden snowboards in the backcountry, cycled across the United States, and trekked and navigated across foreign lands.
Resolution came many years later, after (and in spite of) the adventuring, through years of work with life coaches, reflecting inward on his past, participating in communication programs, studying Zen Buddhism, and earning a Master’s Degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Today, Andy is one of the leaders of the WLC movement, hosts the Andy Petranek Podcast (interviewing new guests each week who are recognized experts in health, fitness, and well-being, and continues to “get after it” with CrossFit, running, mountain biking, snowboarding, and surfing. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, son, Dashel, and two dogs, Odie and Bella.