Radford University senior, Lee Bradshaw and Virginia Tech junior, Wade Hammes start Fitness website. Emily Flora SWoCo
While most college students are just trying to get by and figure out their future, two former Cave Spring graduates, now in college, are doing twice that.
Virginia Tech junior, Wade Hammes, and Radford University senior, Lee Bradshaw are both still in school, but have already started a successful business in something they love- fitness.
FITnoke, an online gateway to better fitness can be found at www.FITnoke.com featuring a calendar of regional events, fitness articles, links to sites, forums to discuss just about anything to do with fitness, product reviews, gym reviews, FITmatch which allows athletes to find others to train with and even a training log. A place for athletes in the area to network.
“We wanted to aim ourselves at a more general range of people,” Hammes, a Business Management major said. “Our main goal is to become an interactive community.”
Both are athletes in a range of sports including football, wrestling, soccer and running and take great pride in their fitness. Now they’ve been able to take their love of fitness and their career paths in business and combine them into FITnoke.
FITnoke.com was launched on June 15 but it took Hammes and Bradshaw only a day to come up with the idea.
“I stayed up for four days straight,” Hammes said.
“We are right at five months now,” Bradshaw, a Marketing major said. “We’ve gone from 10 thousand hits a month to 425,000 hits the month of September to a million hits.”
“Lee and I didn’t know much about web design so I had to learn,” Hammes said. “We studied stuff and then started building the website. I’ve learned so much about web design and I made all the graphics.”
“We went from zero to sixty, just like that,” Bradshaw said.
FITnoke is free and anyone can become a member to start keeping track of their training on Your Training Log which was built specifically for FITnoke by a man in Iceland tailored to FITnoke’s needs for endurance athletes by calculating pace and other things.
Articles on the website include articles related to running, cycling, triathlons, leisure, gym, swim, nutrion and sports psychology, relaxed fitness, and exercise are updated daily and currently features over 50 articles.
Despite all the learning they’ve had to do to conduct a successful website, they’ve also had to keep up with their school work.
“It’s definitely been a lot work with school, work, jobs, and meeting the press,” Hammes said.
“And it’s overcoming the age difference, because we are so young,” Bradshaw said. “Now when I tell them our hits are over a million, they listen.”
Taking their love of fitness and starting a business, has turned into a reality for Hammes and Bradshaw, but they are still soaking it all in.
“The month of September really opened my eyes as to where this could go,” Wade said. “I want to see this keep growing and see if become a staple. We want to stay true to our roots.”
“We want to stay FITnoke,” Bradshaw said.
They’ve also had relentless support from their families. Bradshaw said his parents use the site a lot.
“They are into it and proud of me. It’s right up their alley,” he said. “When we wanted to start this business we had no money so I asked my mom for help. She asked me to write up a contract. I’d liek to be able to give my mom like $116,000 as pay back if this continues to be succesful.”
“Wade puts in all the hard work and the work until 4 a.m.,” Bradshaw said. “We have a good partnership.”
“We are a really good team,” Hammes said. “Lee and I have always gotten along since Mrs. Williams class senior year.”
-Emily Flora SWoCo