By Alyce Collins
THIS COUPLE quit their corporate jobs working FIFTY-HOURS A WEEK, to TRAVEL while starting their own business aimed at helping couples get fit together, believing that fitness can be the key to long-lasting love.
Former material science engineers, Ryan Gleason (30) and Alexandra Davis (30) from Minnesota and Massachusetts, USA, respectively, both worked 50-hour weeks, and despite living the ultimate corporate lifestyle, they found themselves longing for more.
The duo, who met in 2011, barely got to spend time together as Alexandra was often travelling for her work, even visiting three cities a week, while Ryan would continue working in his home office at the end of the day.
On top of their busy work schedules, the couple managed a nutrition business which helped others learn the importance of eating well after an Achilles injury left Ryan unable to walk for six months and he learned to stay healthy solely through diet.
While working, the couple noticed how little they paid attention to being healthy which made them constantly lethargic. However, Ryan’s nutritional business soon showed them that nutrition is the foundation to build fitness upon, and it became a joint passion by 2018.
The couple were often posed the same question about how someone can get their partner to work out with them and to get back in shape. The frequency of this question made both see how positive working out was for a relationship and they decided to turn this into a business.
Ryan and Alexandra quit their jobs of seven years to travel the world, starting with South America, to bring couples together with health and fitness through their business, Duo Life.
“We both grew up healthy but lost it in university and that continued with our corporate jobs,” said Alexandra.
“While we never seemed overtly unhealthy, we were exhausted and lethargic and were definitely confused about what being healthy meant. Now, health means a combination of fitness, nutrition, mindset, and awareness.
“Our lives were fairly typical of many who work in corporate. Ryan managed the sales territory of Texas and drove 1500 miles every week. I, on the other hand, would go on two-week long business trips, some as last minute as being told to go to France that morning.
“It was the norm to fly to three cities in a week, but when we were both at home in Texas, we worked 50-hour weeks so not too bad, but Ryan had a home office, so it was hard to disconnect.
“Ryan started noticing small health issues related to work stress and lack of sleep. His back would start hurting and his testosterone levels were low. So, while we had made good lives for ourselves, the grind was taking its toll on our health.
“For me, I was getting too comfortable in our cushy lives including a nice salary, wonderful apartment, meeting up with friends for happy hour. It was everything you typically want but I missed the chaos and challenge of living abroad.”
Ryan and Alexandra lived in China from 2012-2015, which sparked their love for travel. So, when they decided to leave their lives in America in March 2018, they put aside £15K for travelling and an extra £7,500 for emergency funds.
Their nutrition business works with thousands of couples globally, providing workout plans and guidance to maintain fitness. Extra income from this business helps towards travelling, as they have since lived in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Hawaii, with Colombia lined up as their next destination.
“While we lived in Shanghai, Ryan’s work on the side started in 2014 after a crippling, Achilles Tendon injury had him on crutches for two months, then a boot for two months, and told not to work out for an additional two months,” said Alexandra.
“During those six months, Ryan started doing the only thing he could do which was eat well. From there, the idea was born to start helping others with their health.
“Starting out, we would help people who had just five pounds to lose or 150 pounds. Over the years, Ryan’s top question was, ‘how do I get my spouse to work out with me?’.
“We think people ask out of concern for their partner. They know that fitness and nutrition are directly linked to happiness and they see that what their partner does affects them. If their partner wants to eat junk food and keep it in the house, it makes them break their own resolutions.
“We realised that people needed direction and that not only did they want to get healthy together as a couple, it also helps with accountability and staying on track.
“Working out together improves connection. It’s an easy way to spend meaningful time together and there are scientific studies showing that it boosts attraction. Being healthy together is an opportunity to spend time together and have the energy for more spontaneity in their lives.
“The idea to travel was coupled with the opportunity to work full-time on our health business. We had vague plans to leave the country, but they took solid shape after our wedding when we decided to put words into action and bought a one-way ticket to Ecuador.
“As our six-month mark passed, we moved to Cusco, Peru for three months. Peru has been our favourite so far. The culture is thick with Incan ruins and you hear Quechua in all the markets.
“Our general budget consists of finding accommodation for around less than £400 a month and then we aim to spend under £20 daily on food and miscellaneous expenses. This saves ample for extra trips we take while traveling.
“Traveling has opened our eyes to the way health is viewed around the world. In the USA and the UK people try to reconnect with nature but we’ve now lived in places where they never lost that connection.
“We’ve become more mindful that happiness and freedom don’t come through consumerism and often doesn’t come from following the path to a conventional life.
“What we try to show through our website, social media, and newsletters is an engineered, systematic process that only requires one thing: consistency.
“Our mission is to help couples engineer a life they love with the love of their life. A healthy lifestyle is attainable and sustainable when the duo commits together because it builds in the strong foundation and accountability.”
For more information see www.mediadrumworld.com