Getting O.F.F. On StrengthBy Sundey Dillberg
Owner, Organic Functional Fitness
Tell us about your business. Organic Functional Fitness is so much more than a fitness studio. O.F.F. is a place that makes change happen. We offer private sessions, personally designed “Booty Camps” and onehour group classes that focus on “functional training,” which uses one’s own body weight to strengthen the core, and increase speed, agility, balance and overall fitness. We use tools such as suspension straps, rip trainers, heavy ropes, and do a whole lot of bear crawls, inch-worms and sprint training.
How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going? I opened the doors of O.F.F. March 1, 2010, so we are celebrating our two-year anniversary. Before I opened the studio in Kukui’ula Shopping Village, I ran Booty Camp Kaua’i for three years out of my prior residence in Lawai and all over the South Shore doing outdoor field trips. My first clients had approached me after the birth of my second child, knowing my passion for fitness, and they had asked me if they could train with me. Suddenly I had this small group of powerful women/moms wanting to carve out a little time for themselves to become stronger and more fit. It snowballed within a matter of months, and through the pregnancy of my youngest, I had waitlists and many more classes added to my weekly schedule. I had to look into getting a studio to accommodate the growth, and soon Jennifer Stock became another instructor to bring more people into the mix. Our classes grew, waitlists all around again, so we added more dynamic specialty group classes: Men’s only TRX Strength classes, specified sports training (Paddling TRX Performance, Speed and Agility Sprint TRX Training, etc.), and brought in other instructors to teach Zumba and yoga.
Where are you from originally, and what role does that play in your business (if any)? I was born in California, but moved here at 14. I grew up coming to Kaua’i multiple times per year and graduated from Kaua’i High School. My family has always been healthand fitness-focused, and it’s benefited me greatly having a foundation of health from such an early age.
What is your specialty and who can benefit from it? I think my specialty is creating the desire to push to help people find (selfimposed) limitations and knock them down. I create relationships and accountability while making fitness not only a necessity, but a fun and functional piece of a healthy lifestyle. Although my reputation may speak of an elite athletic intensity, at O.F.F. we work with all levels, and incorporate modifications for individual needs and goals.
For those who may not understand what you do, in lay terms, why is it essential? I believe firmly in strength of body, strength of mind. We are better parents, we perform better in the workplace, we are overall happier individuals and stronger and healthier when we make fitness a priority. The examples we set in our community, in our homes, in our schools and workplaces are contagious. A community driven by health is a much more effective and energetic movement. Change starts with you and it grows from there.
What sets your business apart? The people. We are a group of people united by the belief that amazing things come from fighting through the desire to quit. It’s pushing when others stop. It’s knowing that the challenge of today is tomorrow’s success. When you come to a 6 a.m. TRX Booty Camp (for example), to your right is a family practitioner, to your left a local MMA fighter, and across the room a housewife and mother who can sprint faster than the men and knock out 30 pull-ups with ease. At O.F.F. you are surrounded by strong and successful inspiration. It’s the people who inspire the push.
Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I love fitness, strength and speed. If my love for pushing myself and others can translate into motivating others to take charge of their health, I’ve found my niche.
What motivates you to get up and go to work every day? Every morning I get up at 4:15. Sounds crazy, I know, but I get up at dark and start my day reading emails from clients signing up for classes, sharing about their goals being met, describing the elation of chasing their kids down the beach without losing their breath. I plan out my classes and private sessions for the day, the music I’ll use, the sequence of circuits to define and refine our bodies. It’s exciting to me. I am able to feel challenged every day among some of the most inspiring people on Kaua’i. I am so thankful for the opportunities at my feet every day.
Do you have a business motto or philosophy for doing business? Stronger Every Day. My theory in fitness is more of a coaching style of training. We are all athletes, some of us just haven’t found our sport yet. O.F.F. is a community. We have running groups, fit challenges, cleansing programs and the concept of “Strong as one, stronger together,” which represents much of what we believe. Those who come to O.F.F. are not coming to do aerobics. They are coming to be their best, strongest and fittest selves, and they know not to expect what they did the week before attaining one goal, then adding another, working their bodies in ways they never would on their own, and being pushed by those around them to jump over the boundaries and hurdles that stand in their way. And the best part is that through this process of challenge, struggle and change, they are laughing alongside the athletes they respect and by whom they are inspired. Laugh, sweat, inspire, in that order.
What is the most challenging aspect of your business? The most challenging aspect of my business has got to be trying to balance life as a mother of three children with the many relationships and demands of the clients and schedule at O.F.F. Though, somehow, it all balances out. It takes a lot of energy, but the rewards come back to me tenfold.
What is your business’s plan for the future? I am very new to running a business. I have always joked that I “fake it till I make it …” But I have learned so much. I had always said I would wait to expand until I couldn’t do any more than I do. But with the waitlists and the many in our community wanting to take the challenge to be their fittest selves, it might be time to start planning for plan B.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I love what I do, and I think it defines who I am. I feel so blessed to know my place.
Where can people learn more? By contacting Sundey Dillberg at Organic Functional Fitness 6392313, or online at offkauai.com.