When Alex Beal and Hali Thompson became friends as the mothers of two young children in the same class at St. John’s, they quickly realized they had a lot in common.
For one, Alex’s husband, Brady, went to school with both Hali and her husband, Adam, at Wylie. Brady is an ’02 Wylie graduate, and Hali and Adam are both ’01 grads.
For another, their husbands both suffered from horrible pain.
“Hali and I got together, and we both found that our husbands were about the same age and felt like they were 20 years older,” Alex said. “Adam has horrible neck pain, and Brady has a horrible back.”
So the two women began to research how they could help their husbands. They discovered chrotherapy and went to Dallas to try it. It helped so much that the four decided to bring it to Abilene and go into business together. They opened Cryo Abilene on June 1 inside D1 Sports and put up a website, www.CryoAbilene.com.
“I said, ‘Hey, if it helps our husbands, let’s make it a business,’ ” Alex said. “That’s how it came about – bringing it here for them.”
Cryotherapy is relatively new in the United States but is quickly growing in popularity among athletes. It is a process in which a person is put in a chamber and the temperature is dropped to anywhere from -200 to -300 degrees for about three seconds.
“It’s like an ice bath only it’s colder than ice,” Brady said. “It’s like doing an ice bath without the sting.”
The cold triggers an anti-inflammatory response and increases metabolism. Many athletes believe it helps in their recovery from workouts or from injuries, and Alex said she expected to have a lot of athletes interested in using cryotherapy.
What they didn’t expect is all the non athletes who use it.
“We’ve see all the athletes, but then all of a sudden folks from all walks of life have shown up,” Alex said. “It’s been really great. We see people in physical therapy. We see people through all their phases of recover. That’s been the best thing to see.”
And through the successful launch of a new business, the two couples have managed to not only maintain their friendship, but build on it.
“It’s worked out really well,” Brady said. “We all kind of step up when we need to step up. I grew up with Adam and Hali at Wylie. I knew Hali before we even got to kindergarten.”
They also juggle real jobs and children, so having four partners in the business has proven to be a good way to handle all the duties needed to make it work.
“We have different strengths,” Hali said. “We all bring something to the table.”
Adam agreed saying it was pretty special to be able to do this with good friends.
“We grew up playing baseball and sports together,” he said. “We have a great relationship, and it’s been a great partnership.”
Adam was in a car accident when he was 18 that left him with pain. He said cryotherapy really has made a difference.
“After a couple of times of trying it, I could tell that it made a big difference,” he said. “Overall it’s a huge improvement in my neck. It’s amazing.”
The main goal for the Thompsons and Beals in bringing cryotherapy to Abilene was just to have a close and convenient way for the four of them to “freeze” themselves on a regular basis.
But they are happy that they have been able to turn it into a business that also helps other people.
“We know that this helps us,” Alex said. “It’s been great to make it into something that we see other people benefit from too.”