GritLink is on a mission to change the way endurance and adventure athletes find and interact with medical providers in all fields. We know that it can be difficult to work with a doctor who does not understand the role athletics plays in many of our hopes and dreams – it’s not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle!
At one point, though, GritLink was just an unrealized dream of two endurance athletes – Joan and Cortney. It’s taken hard work and grit to get where we are today – and to keep heading toward our goals.
Both Joan and Cortney were living the typical athlete life before founding GritLink; balancing their tech jobs with training before and after work. In 2018, though, the two women took a leap of faith by leaving their full-time roles in the technology field and pursuing their ultimate passion: making a difference in the endurance sports community. But, what that difference would be, they didn’t quite know.
Wanting to be sure their endeavor filled an actual need in the adventure and endurance world, Joan and Cortney held multiple focus groups in 2019 with athletes to learn everything from how they spent their free time (the answer was mostly “training!”) to where they got information about gear and health trends.
Overwhelmingly, the athletes in the focus groups mentioned that a common theme in their lives was having difficulty navigating the healthcare system. And by “navigating,” we mean finding a doctor who could understand that, for many endurance athletes, a treatment of “resting on the couch for X months” would rarely go over well.
After also reaching out to some providers in varying medical fields and finding a similar desire to connect with athletes to help them reach their goals (who doesn’t want to work with a determined, dedicated, focused patient!?), Joan and Cortney knew that the mark they would leave would be GritLink – helping endurance athletes connect with providers who understand their unique lifestyles.
Since that “Aha!” moment of realizing GritLink could fill a void for adventure and endurance-minded folks, a lot has been accomplished. There are currently five types of providers in the GritLink network: physical therapists, chiropractors, strength and conditioning coaches, massage therapists, and dietitians/nutritions. Later this year, the hope is to expand to all types of medical providers (we’re actively looking for excellent doctor recommendations!).
Behind the scenes, GritLink is growing. We’re engaging with athletes, weekend warriors, and those just starting their journeys everyday, learning about their medical needs and how we can best connect them with the right provider. We’re expanding our provider network nationwide and have providers from Seattle to New York City. We are hoping to be in all major cities in the very near future.
This is an exciting time to be part of the GritLink Network. We’re actively seeking volunteers and co-founders to play a role in building GritLink’s philosophy of “for athletes, by athletes.” If you’re an athlete-minded person, provider, or want to get into the endurance space and can offer the following expertise, say hi at email@example.com:
- Journalism (interviewing and writing) – take a peek at GritLink U to see our articles
- Event coordination
- Audio/video editing
- WordPress development
- Content curation and organization
- Provider recruiting / Sales
By Kristin Goett. Kristin is a social media marketing and public relations professional who currently resides in the Denver area. A triathlete herself, Kristin knows firsthand how important it is to have access to great providers. When she isn’t checking Instagram or posting to Facebook, Kristin is spending her days in the Colorado mountains and training for her next Ironman.
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