First off…real talk. I wasn’t really EVER a “healthy” or “fit” person and certainly not an athlete until my late twenties…I’m thirty-three now. I came home from work one day, and my husband, Jared, told me that he randomly signed us up for a month of training though some Yelp deal at a group fitness and spin studio in Portland, Oregon (where we are from)… and the cherry on top… that we were going to go work out three times a week at 5:30am. I laughed, and rolled my eyes waiting for him to tell me it was a joke...it wasn’t.
Growing up I never really had any interest in athletics except that I liked jump roping and hula hooping with the girls at recess. I was always that skinny kid that was smaller than the rest of the kids at school. I was sickly and malnourished…not from neglect, my mother made sure I was eating pretty much all the time, and boy can she cook! (Love you Mom!) As it turned out, I had severe Crohn’s Disease. I’ll be honest…it sucked. I was sick ALL the time and I missed A TON of school. I was that illusive kid that everyone made up rumors about; I was an axe murderer, or a cannibal, or in juvie... kids are cruel. Needless to say I was bullied a ton for being quiet and a little “soft.” I had a waiver that kept me from having to do any PE classes and I withdrew a lot from social activities.
Time passed and I started design school; I finally found my place! For the first time I had friends and was a cool kid…but I picked up some really nasty habits. I started drinking too much and smoking because I so desperately wanted to fit in. Having friends was great and all, but my body was a mess. I ended up having yet another surgery (this was the 3rd) and I was told to kiss the idea of ever having a 6-pack goodbye. I hated my body, and I lived in a cycle of pain, self-deprecation, and depression for quite a while.
I was 26 when I met Jared, graduated from design school, started my career as a commercial Interior Designer and got my head screwed on right. I quit smoking and started on a revolutionary miracle elixir drug to help keep my Crohn’s Disease at bay. I was halfway to being a “fit” person. Jared and I joined one of those big box gyms and were so intimidated by the place that we pretty much just used our membership to run on a treadmill for a couple minutes and sit in the hot tub. It wasn’t enough to feel better, we needed more.
That was when Jared had committed us to join Honest Training where we’d take group fitness classes from a legit trainer and nutritionist named Paisley Meekin. After reluctance on my part, we went to the studio and met Paisley. I kid you not, this woman changed my life, she got me excited about fitness, and helped me believe that I too could be a “fit” person. She is a woman wise beyond her years and is really good at seeing the potential in people. After training with Paisley for about a year, and actually managing to do a lunge without falling over or breaking my fragile deer legs, I got stronger and so much healthier. Outside of the studio, I had found a passion for running and I have finished over 15 relays and half-marathons. I am currently training for the Zeitgeist Half-Marathon this November.
Beyond being my trainer, Paisley became a great friend. She recognized my dynamic personality and my potential to be a spin instructor. Once you start working out with Paisley, you just do what she says…it’s a thing. After attending my first spin class I hated it; the workout was good, the music was great, but I was so bored sitting on a bike that didn’t go anywhere, staring at the same gray wall. It took a few classes but eventually I fell in love with spin. I got my Schwinn Indoor Cycling Instructor and before I knew it I was teaching indoor cycling at Honest Training, and occasionally at Lloyd Athletic Club (in Portland) where I was teaching a spin class to the “silver sneakers” 60+ community. I love instructing spin classes because it gives me a chance to express my dorky side…and show off my growing hat collection. I love generating new routines to my very eclectic music stylings, and making the hard work fun! While I was at Honest Training I used to teach these awesome themed Spin Parties where I’d make videos to go with the class, as well as decorate, make party favor bags, serve beer, and I would wear the most ridiculous costumes...the themes were things like superheroes, summer camp, spinning through the decades, battle of the sexes, redneck spin, etc… It was totally my niche. I even had clients renting me out to throw these spin parties for private events.
Being a runner, I also love the cross training that occurs in a spin class. I find that I work totally different muscles in my legs than I do while running, and the lower impact is a nice break from the pavement. My legs have gotten stronger, and I love how they look.
While life was good for us in Portland, inflation was becoming a real problem there. Portland is becoming a really big city, with all of the growing demands of a big city. We decided to relocate to Boise to live closer to Jared’s family who is here, and so far things have been really good! I’m really excited to be a part of the UpCycle community, and provide inspiration to everyone with my story of strength that ultimately led me to be a “fit” person.
Learn more about Keith by following him on these various social media platforms: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kpl381
Instagram: @lifeofcoachkeithPinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kpl381/
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