Behind the Scenes
Anytime Fitness CEO Thinks ‘Working Out Sucks'

Anytime Fitness CEO Thinks ‘Working Out Sucks'

working-out-sucks.jpgChuck Runyon is a busy man these days. He's got a book coming out with a title that's sure to get your attention, he's going to be profiled in a major business magazine (bigger than ours, if you can imagine) and he'll be starring in a network TV show.

The book, titled "Working Out Sucks (And Why It Doesn't Have To)", is due out in early December (perfect for stuffing stockings), with a formal launch in January. According to the Anytime Fitness PR machine, Runyon "provides a blunt, modern-day take on health and fitness, societal influences (including Oprah and Apple), asks if parents of obese children should go to jail, and raises eyebrows about smoking, seatbelts and much more." If anything, this book appears to give other published materials a run for their money for the most times "suck" or "sucks" appear in print.

On Tuesday night, Runyon was scheduled to appear on a panel sponsored by Inc. magazine for a session titled "Recession Confessions: Stories of Growth and Survival." On Wednesday, Runyon will be interviewed by Inc. for a future profile. You might recall that Joe Cirulli of Gainesville Health and Fitness Centers was an Inc. cover profile in 2008.

Then sometime next year, Runyon and fellow Anytime Fitness co-founder Dave Mortensen will be featured on ABC's "Secret Millionaire." You might recall that Curves founders Gary and Diane Heavin starred in an episode of "Secret Millionaire" earlier this year.

chuck-dave.jpgRunyon and Mortensen spent a week filming their episode in late summer in temperatures that reached 105 or more every day.

"It was a grueling, physical week with 15- to 21-hour days filled with volunteer work, filming, interviewing, more work, 100-plus temperature days and more work," Runyon says. "But, Dave and I never showed fatigue. We worked like it was a competition with the organizations, the past shows and ourselves. They were not going to break us physically and we operated on adrenaline all week."

Mortensen, who has been friends with Runyon for more than 20 years, says the experience brought the two closer both as friends and business partners.

"The organizations we encountered brought a different light to helping others, but all very impactful to our journey," Mortensen says. "Both Chuck and I used a journal every day and will continue to reflect on this experience and hopefully continue to strengthen ourselves and Anytime Fitness."

There is no exact date as to when the episode will air on ABC. The guess here is that it could serve as a mid-season replacement for a possible canceled show from the once-promising fall schedule. (Hey, if "Secret Millionaire" were on NBC, it would have been on in October!)

With all this activity, it's any wonder how Runyon can keep up the pace. Only someone with super-human strength could pull this off, right? After all, Runyon is Captain Running Man, the official mascot for Anytime Fitness. Or is he?

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