PAST / PRESENT / FUTURE
Andy Petranek has been an influencer and trendsetter 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 200,000 participants worldwide since its 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 felt the need to forge his own path, earn acceptance from a different sort of community, one made of his non-musician peers, in which he could forge his own path, and prove his worth on a new and different playing field, and perhaps get what he so desperately wanted - acceptance, 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. He even competed as a qualified athlete in the CrossFit Games in 2009.
But proving his worthiness through achievements in athletics and business was elusory. One event led to the next, and then the next… it was never enough. It finally took a significant perceived failure to create an emotional breakdown that led to his breakthrough and helped him break this pattern. This turned out to be a significant downturn in enrollment and revenue in his business, the Whole Life Challenge, that he worked so hard to build over 20 years. While it wasn’t literally a failure (the business is still operating today), Andy took it as such, as his personality (ego) based his success as a person on his accomplishments… and when that failed (even just in perception), he failed.
While it was emotionally the most difficult year of his life, it was just the sort of wake-up call he needed. It took a lot of patience, self-compassion, inner work, plus a solid morning routine to heal these wounds. When he did, he was finally able to see that no matter how successful he was, no matter how many events he won, or successful businesses he started, that his true worthiness and enoughness as a person could come from one place, and one place only - inside of him.
As a coach, Andy brings all of this life experience to the table. He has been a true student of self for over 25 years, hiring his first life coach way back in 1996. He’s worked with coaches, been in programs, attended lectures, read books, trained as a Zen student at the Santa Monica Zen Center, and earned a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. When he adds it all up (somewhat embarrassingly - as who really needs to spend this much other than a slow learner (lol), he’s spent well over a half-a-million dollars and thousands of hours on his own self-development and improvement.
Today, Andy is a professional life, leadership, and performance coach who helps people create greater levels of confidence, joy, fulfillment, and success in their lives. He is an avid reader, continuously learning (peeling away layers of the onion), always up for a great conversation, loves movies and family time, and continues to get after it - riding his Peloton, running, mountain biking, snowboarding, practicing yoga, swimming, and surfing. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, son, Dashel, and two dogs, Odie and Bella.