Sunny Miller is a woman on a nonstop journey to the top. Six years ago, Miller moved from New York City to D.C., transitioning from the hospitality business to fitness. And like many of us this year, Miller found herself unable to go to work due to the pandemic. But, instead of waiting for things to return to normal or for a new opportunity to present itself, Miller made her own opportunity and launched her new online workout program: SunnyMaeErryday.
“When you’re pressured to change and pivot like a lot of us have been during quarantine, you don’t waste your time,” she says. “You just do it. I can’t sit still or wait for things to happen. I have always just made them happen.”
Initially, Miller moved to the District at the behest of SoulCycle, which was looking to expand their market to the DMV. Miller pedaled her way to the rank of master instructor in no time at SoulCycle, gaining a loyal following. Once the pandemic shut down SoulCycle’s fitness studios, Miller found herself at home without much to do. At first, she enjoyed the downtime that quarantine allowed. Even when she began to miss her SoulCycle community, Miller was unsure if at-home workouts were the way to go.
“I didn’t want to become a part of the at-home workout hustle at first because I was like, ‘Everybody is doing it. This is overwhelming. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. We can all just bake banana bread and relax. We don’t need a six-pack right now.’ But then I just really missed the connection I had with my community, so I started to host some Zoom at-home workouts for free a few times a week.”
These initial workouts were not meant to be a replacement for Miller’s day job, but rather a way to bring normalcy back into her life as well as the lives of her dedicated followers.
“I’d been doing [the at-home workouts] to stay active, to stay connected, to keep a routine because so much of my routine was completely lost during the pandemic,” Miller explains. “So many mornings, we would start our day sweating together. So many evenings, we would sweat out whatever happened at the office together. And then all of that was just gone. It was a way to create that routine and bring wellness back to our lives – not just physically, but mentally.”
Miller does not see herself as a “crazy fitness buff that only eats lettuce and chicken,” but rather as someone who loves to make people feel good. To Miller, getting in a good sweat is less about burning calories and more about getting energized, moving and being with other people. However, Miller is also a businesswoman. She saw the realities of the pandemic and decided to take her passion for fitness to the next level.
“With Covid not going anywhere, I just thought to myself, ‘How can I turn this into a business?’”
In a matter of three weeks, Miller created and launched her website and received a tremendous response. Her monthly memberships sold out within two weeks of the launch, and her classes are filled with her loyal community. Miller’s program promises a whole body workout with her high-intensity interval training. Her workouts are high-energy and quick, giving you time to squeeze in a session between Zoom meetings – just be prepared to towel off afterwards.
“The workouts are difficult, but it’s fun, quick and a really good sweat. I have not found that really good sweat with any other workout.”
Miller is bringing people together in more ways than one. In addition to her website, she is working on a second project with another fitness trainer to bring workouts to the differently abled.
“We need to start individualizing health and wellness. Not everything works for everyone. I’ve been doing a trial class for adaptive athletes teaching a handcycling class for people with disabilities who don’t have access to boutique fitness. We’re developing an online platform where people with all different physical and intellectual disabilities can have access to boutique fitness that other people do.”
Miller explains the need for equal access to fitness programming cannot be filled by just encouraging differently abled people to join a fitness club, but that the workouts must be carefully created with different needs in mind. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for adaptive athletes to find fitness programs that meet their needs while giving them the same sweat that Miller chases. She hopes to carve a space with her work for fitness enthusiasts who happen to be differently abled.
“These options need to be the same quality as those of an able-bodied person, and right now that just doesn’t exist. I would love to be able to make fitness accessible to anybody who wanted to take a class and have it feel as though you’re just as connected as anybody else.”
In a time where the world must stay connected from afar, Miller’s words ring truer than ever. Everyone deserves to be connected, whether for a quick 30-minute workout with their favorite instructor or otherwise. Miller’s dedication to bringing people together from all walks of life over the mutual enthusiasm for fitness is what sets her apart from the crowd. Her new business venture is successful not only because she is a savvy businesswoman, but because she puts her people first.
“These past few months have been about transforming and changing with what is going on in the world, so continuing to be with the community that I’ve created is number one for me.”
Interested in joining Miller for a workout? Visit www.sunnymaeerryday.com for her class schedule and details on her monthly membership. Follow her on Instagram @sunnymaeerryday to stay up-to-date on all of her projects.
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