Best advice you have ever received?
Follow your passion!
Do you have a personal mantra or quote that you tote around with you?
SWIM IN YOUR OWN LANE
My coach used to tell us to "swim in your own lane." If you think of a swimmer in a competition, the moment they lift their head up to see what the others are doing, is the moment you have lost all your forward momentum. Whether we are talking about business or personal life, it is so easy to get caught up with everything that everyone else is doing, especially since social media is at the forefront of our minds, I find it very important to often tell myself...SWIM IN YOUR OWN LANE.
Tell us about how you started DEFINE and how it came to be what it is today.
When I was 16, I fractured my spine as a springboard and platform diver. Over time, it progressed to a full break. I started yoga/Pilates solely out of necessity to feel better and prevent having surgery. Over time, I became hooked on the healing and relief that I experienced. However, I also realized that I wanted to create something that took it to that next level of health and well-being. DEFINE was a way for me to express my joy for movement along with my knowledge about how the body and mind work. I wanted to share this with others and we are in the middle of doing just that.
What does a day in the life of Henry look like?
I have my work days and my free days, and no two are the same except that our household tends to wake up early.
Wake up a 5am (somedays 4:45am), teach class(es), take Cameron to school, meet with our marketing team, retail team, franchise team, make decisions and do my best to remember to eat :)
I take class at DEFINE, and I try to keep things balanced through meditation, and taking classes at the Jung Center, or reading a book that I find inspiring. I feel very lucky because I love my job and I love coming home to my family. Whenever I have a free moment, I spend time with my partner, our son, and we do our best to explore Houston and beyond.
What's next for you and DEFINE?
We have a new studio opening in Montrose!
As a Houstonian, I am ready to see the corner of Montrose and Westheimer offer some retail. We have been looking for a new space, so when I found the space on the corner, I was super excited! This location is going to be extremely fun. We are offering an outdoor space for classes, plus two DEFINE revolution rooms for more options for classes. We are also working on a new DEFINE mind class which will focus on an even deeper way of improving both the body and the mind. We are also excited to announce new programs with DEFINE foods and DEFINE revolution. We have been very fortunate to have the support of the Houston community, and we are excited to be announcing our growth outside of Houston. As much as we love having our home base in Houston, we are really looking forward to helping clients in new areas, so we can spread the DEFINE love.
What's your philosophy when it comes to starting your own business?
Learn the ins and outs of every aspect of the business: marketing, finance, management, daily operations, and then figure out the parts you are good at and the parts in which you need help.
What's your background?
Athletics, Diving, Education (I was a 6th grade school teacher with Teach for America), yoga and Pilates instructor, and an MBA from Rice University. Each step of this process has helped me learn how to open my business. The athletics side, the education side and the professional side.
What new projects are you currently working on?
A new mind class as well as a new program called, DEFINE life. We are so excited to help people change their bodies in the body class, we love making people sweat and physically and mentally transform in our rev class, and we are thrilled to be accounting our new DEFINE mind class that will help exemplify an even deeper level of heath and well-being for our clients and prospect clients. We believe that we must keep our bodies strong and flexible, in an effort to sustain a sense of physical and mental balance. DEFINE mind is going to be therapeutic, restorative, and playful as a way to help produce amazing results for the body and mind.
What are some of your favorite fitness items?
Aside from a willing body and a willing mind, LOVE the DEFINE body ball and the DEFINE mind ball! You can strengthen and lengthen your entire body in a short amount of time! It works, trust the broken back guy :)
What are two things that most people do not know about you?
As outgoing and active as I am, I am actually an introverted person. The only class in college that I truly didn't like was, public speaking. Now, however, I speak in public every day because of my job, I've learned to really enjoy it.
I LOVE pizza! I don't eat it very often, mostly because it doesn't make me feel very good...but a good slice of pizza makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
Favorite iPad or iPhone Apps?
What is your favorite undiscovered place?
In Houston, I love the Jung Center of Houston. They offer amazing classes all geared towards helping enrich people's lives. If I can't make it to a class, I listen to the lectures on a CD that you can buy! They are amazing.
Out of Houston, the most amazing place I have ever visited is the Wadi Rum Desert. Being under the amazing star lit sky, surrounded by rocks and sand that literally make you feel like you are on the moon, all combined with an adventurous jeep ride, and great food, made this the most undiscovered place (for westerners) in the world.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don't have guilt about any of them, except maybe Miley Cyrus.
Where do you go to escape?Anywhere there is water. A pool, the ocean, the lake, even a fountain, shoot even a glass of water!
What charity or cause are you passionate about and why?
It provides affordable and decent homes for people in need. I like to build internationally because helping build a home in another country truly represents the metaphor for having a foundation of a happy life. I support Habitat Global Village because you get to meet amazing people from around the world, you get to help a family who truly benefits from your work, and you get to explore the world and see a completely different side of the country than traveling like a regular tourist!
What songs top your workout list?
Who is Henry Richardson and why do we love him?When I lived in NYC I was obsessed with a barre class called Lotte Berk Method. So when I was trying to get my "Lotte Body" back after I had my two children, I found DEFINE and that was the answer to all of my fitness prayers and more. The classes are amazing and I am now officially addicted to the revolution class after balking at it for years, but that is another post.
DEFINE embodies the perfect fitness environment where you feel like you are at your best friends chicly decorated home, listening to the best playlist ever with your best friend who inspires you. The staff and instructors are amazing and you understand immediately how it all came to be when you meet Henry or "Hank" as some call him. When you meet him you are already calm, connected and ready to do whatever he asks you to do... which is fabulous because he will not only transform your body but now he is seeking to transform your mind as well, which I am super excited about.
Henry is kind, funny, compassionate, empathetic, patient and did I mention his eyes...beautiful inside and out and he is sharing the secret now and sharing the love. I am thrilled to share him with you and please go check out DEFINE as it is rapidly spreading all over Houston and to cities near you!
Henry Richardson is the founder of DEFINE body&mind. Henry is a former state and national champion, All-American and National Team Member for the sport of Springboard and Platform Diving. After a successful career as a scholarship diver, he graduated from the University of Florida and moved to New York City where he joined the program Teach For America to teach 6th grade children in the South Bronx, NY. As a school teacher, Henry was surprised that his old injuries from diving were still causing him pain. By the end of his first year as a 6th grade teacher, his injury was severely affecting his ability to enjoy his work. With the encouragement of a friend, Henry found himself taking his first Pilates/Yoga/Ballet hybrid class, Core Fusion, at the spa exhale, in New York City. Sixty minutes and lots of shaking later, he found a method of exercise he knew would change his life.
Six months later, he found himself teaching his very first Core Fusion class, and within one year, he was helping open and teach at locations all over the country. Henry has helped run studios in Boston, Bridgehampton, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In 2007 he moved back to Houston to where he began his MBA at Rice University. In 2009 Henry graduated from Rice University with a focus on Entrepreneurial Studies. DEFINE body&mind opened in the fall of 2009 and is focused on educating clients how to look and feel their absolute best by using DEFINE's signature classes and workshops that revolve around living a sustainably healthy lifestyle. Henry is passionate about teaching and describes his style as supportive, challenging, and fun. He currently resides in Houston with his parter, and his son, Cameron.