We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony Arreola and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tony, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Worklife balance? At 24 Hour Fitness, those were foul words. Vacations were frowned upon. Working late, weekends and holidays were glorified. And the end result? A burnt-out, stressed-out life. But isn’t this the price for success? It turns out. It’s not. As I grew older and experienced others’ success, I realized so many have it completely wrong. Success isn’t a number on your bank account. Success isn’t driving a fancy car. Success isn’t what I thought. True success is happiness. It means being time-affluent. It represents security and the ability to create moments with the love of my life, chasing my puppy Kona, writing my next book, competing in my next Ironman, and helping as many people live to their maximum potential. Success means spending every moment living your dreams. Time-affluence is the real success. Having the ability to chase down your dreams (all of them.) Personal, emotional, spiritual, financial, and professional. Life is meant to be abundant. That’s why for me. I no longer think about work-life balance. I think about how to live life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Total Body Project dedicates itself to empowering frustrated professionals to lose weight the simple way through behavioral change. For the past 18 years, I’ve dedicated myself to helping others succeed. Whether it be losing 100 pounds or running their first race. Helping others simplify the confusing world of fitness has set TBP apart. And life was amazing…until COVID hit. It disseminated the fitness world and sent me spiraling down. I needed to react quickly or risk losing my 10-year-old company. We immediately launched virtual sessions and began the prep work for our new online coaching program. The pandemic forced me to ask some serious questions. “What do I really love to do?” I found my true calling was inspiring and facilitating positive change. Being a change-maker is the reason for my being. It is the reason I can’t wait to wake up at 4am. It’s the reason I try and learn as much as I can. As the fitness world navigates through these difficult times, I know that the strong players will only come out stronger. Challenges define who we are as people and as business owners. I did not want COVID, but it ultimately made me and TBP a lot stronger.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my friend was visiting, I would take him on the epic adventure week of his life. We would kick things off by jumping in the beautiful waters of Crystal Cove. An open water swim in the Pacific Ocean does wonders for the soul. We would then jump on our road bikes and ride to San Diego. It would be a beautiful ride along the coast, touching all the breathtaking views along the way. Next, we would ride the train back, have a couple of drinks, and head to Bahia to enjoy my favorite shrimp cocktail in the world. Heck, with this much fun, we wouldn’t even need a week.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom left my father at age five. She packed up three kids and went to start her own life. Growing up in South LA was tough. We suffered, and hopelessness filled the air—our constant struggle for money shaped much of my childhood. I hated being poor. I feared my life would go in the same direction. I asked for help to anyone who would listen. How do I stop being poor? That’s when Mr. Slane came into my life, my fifth-grade teacher. Who honestly believed in me and my abilities. Mr. Slane said those magic words, “Education is the key.” Education unlocks doors. Education can transform your life and free you from a poverty-stricken future. Mr. John Slane gave me more than I ever needed. He gave me hope.