In October 2021, NFL veteran Brian Orakpo opened up his own Restore Hyper Wellness franchise in Austin, Texas. Orakpo, who played for ten years as a linebacker in the NFL between the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Football Team, ended his tenure in the NFL with an awareness that he needed a second chapter in life. And he saw that chapter in a new line of work: entrepreneurship.
Of course, opening businesses is easier said than done. But Orakpo came out swinging. He opened up a cupcake business with fellow Titans teammate Michal Griffin in 2018. In its short time as a business, Gigi’s Cupcakes has been featured on The Today Show and Undercover Boss, pushing Orakpo to take the next entrepreneurial step: health and wellness.
“Throughout my career, health and wellness was a big part of my success. You always have to be healthy and protect your body,” says Orakpo. “When you talk about saunas, cryotherapy and mild hyperbaric oxygen chambers, Restore was right up my alley from the beginning.”
Orakpo’s tenure as a linebacker was stacked against numerous shoulder injuries, torn pectoral muscles and elbow issues. But, because of the attention he gave to athletic recovery, specifically cryotherapy, he never missed full seasons. He could bench press for longer, jump higher and sprint faster than most linebackers his size. And he accepted the highs as well as the lows of being in the NFL.
“Being a linebacker, you get hurt. It’s the name of the game when it comes to football,” he says.
But there’s a silver lining to his post-NFL plan. According to Orakpo, cryotherapy chambers offer easier recovery than ice tubs. “One of my favorite services is whole body cryotherapy. It’s the one thing I can hop in, completely freeze my entire body from head to toe, and it has everything I need to start my recovery process,” says Orakpo. “Normally throughout my career, we had an ice tub. You get in, and you’re literally thigh deep, and that’s it. But with whole body cryotherapy, I’m able to experience every extremity getting the full recovery it needs.”
And with teams like the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs installing cryotherapy chambers in their fitness centers, it’s no surprise that cryotherapy is keeping NFL players on the playing field for longer careers. For Orakpo, cryotherapy offered a new post-NFL lease on life, one that he hopes other players will follow.
“The transition from game to post-career is a huge step, and a lot of people struggle, so I wanted to give people an avenue to becoming their own entrepreneur. Be your own boss, do the things you love you to do, and for me, that’s Restore Hyper Wellness. If I can help colleagues make that transition easier, I’ve done my job.”
Orakpo’s Restore Hyper Wellness, store #98, is located at 3267 Bee Caves Rd Suite 118, West Lake Hills, Texas. He may not be manning the front desk but he stops by often for his semi-daily cryotherapy sessions. Don't be a stranger! Say hi, ask him about football, prod him for free cupcakes and remember, cryotherapy is one of the NFL's most valuable recovery tools for their athletes!
Learn more about Restore Cryotherapy.