Friends Who Sweat Together...


Tanya Maslach, founder of GOTRIbal and ActiveBudz

There is no aspect about running that I complain about more than my lack of a running buddy. OK, that's not true. Some of my other complaints involve it being dark too early, me being too tired, too achy, it being too chilly... BUT! I do in fact complain a lot about having to run alone, which is why I'm so excited when I get to run with my friend Anjali or when I meet potential new running buddies like Kate over at SoCal Runner Gal. Because let's face it, it's BORING to run alone ALL the time.

Cue: Tanya Maslach, the San Diego-based entrepreneur and founder of GOTRIbal and ActiveBudz. Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of getting to know her a bit and wow, is this a woman to admire. A marine biologist turned executive consultant turned entrepreneur, Tanya's list of accomplishments is dazzling and that's just her resume. She's also a fitness icon, having been a collegiate athlete and more recently, a kickass triathlete.

More importantly, GOTRIbal found a recent MIT study that showed that participants in online health communities are 166% more likely to change behavior when they receive reinforcement from multiple online health buddies. That's certainly true in my case: when I was training for my marathon, nothing motivated me more than seeing encouragement and accountability questions from my fellow runners on Twitter each day.

GOTRIbal has created their own amazing community for women who want an accountability group, a coach, or a long-distance training buddy. And the recently launched ActiveBudz app brings it local, matching you with workout buddies in your area who have the same goals, pace or interests as you do. I told Tanya that I thought a little Q+A was in order to help spread the word about the app, since I know it will benefit so many people just like me!

What was the inspiration behind ActiveBudz?
Tanya: I found it odd that as wildly connected to other active people as I was, and as my friends were, we were all still searching for someone "just right" to work out with: someone who shared our fitness level, our sport, and even our lifestyle habits! People would email and send messages to GOTRIbal looking for introductions to other coaches and training buddies, and then I'd hurry to find just the perfect connection for them -- no matter where in the country or world they needed it. 

Have you had any memorable workout partners who've inspired you?
T: It was really three women. They swam with me back in Hawaii, and each of them were accomplished long-distance triathletes. We had a blast in the pool, goofing off quite a bit. But when I wanted to hang out with them, they were always out on their bikes or running, too. (Or sleeping!) Despite my naivete they took me under their wing and showed me the ropes of multisport; inviting me on rides and helping me get signed up and ready for all my events, including finding me connections to people who had gear and equipment. It was always about the Connections to awesome people!

What is your favorite fitness event in San Diego?
T: I'm embarrassed to say I haven't done too many events here! I travel a lot so I can see family (while I race) and see a different part of the country. I did really enjoy the Carlsbad Tri though -- I did it with two girlfriends as a fun race, and I just smiled the entire time. It was so awesome. 

What words of advice do you have for women who are tackling a major goal like starting their own biz or running a tri (or learning to swim like me!)? 
T: If you have that flame lit within you, it's a testimony to your passion to do something new, bigger, better and more challenging. Don't let the little voice in your head that represents "safety" or "fear of failure" or "I'm not going to be good" stomp all over that flame. The key is to find people who share that flame and can help you fan it to be lit brighter and brighter. That's why there is ActiveBudz. I've learned that when I'm trying something new -- or even trying to get better at something I'm already pretty good at -- I reach out first to people who are a bit better and can help me know what I don't know. That personalized connection is so powerful, and so influential, it's the one thing that catapults me to keep doing what I think is hard, challenging or just plain "impossible".

What do you hope ActiveBudz will look like a year from now? 
T: I hope there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have discovered fun, meaningful and positive relationships with active buds they were introduced to on the ActiveBudz app. That these new friendships result not only in people living more adventurous, active lifestyles, but that they recognize that through those new friendships, they've reversed the rate of obesity simply by making one powerful connection at a time.

Be sure to add me on ActiveBudz if you live in San Diego! Especially if you're training for a half, since I just signed up for my next one, the Women's Running Series in San Diego on Saturday, February 22nd!

I wanted so badly to do the Women's Running Series half last year in San Diego and had a scheduling conflict, so when they reached out to me this year, I couldn't say yes fast enough. I am SO excited about this race. It's close to my house, gorgeous and flat and a perfect race for February. And since you know I am looking for running buddies, if you want to do it too, I have a discount code for you!!

$15 Off Promo Code: WHYIRUN2

Email me if you register and we'll meet up before or after the race! Happy Hump Day!