(To read this where I originally posted this, which has all the comments, please click here)
"What the hell is that?" I asked as I picked up a big, heavy black ball with a handle on it. My college and gym rat friend Joel replied, "A kettlebell. It's a gift for a friend. It actually costs quite a bit." I was very intrigued, but it didn't go any further than that. Little did I know my life was about to change.
In 2005, I was working as a personal trainer at a gym located in Oceanside, California (I'll refrain from disclosing the name as I didn't leave on the best of terms) when they received a flyer promoting a Russian kettlebell workshop for trainers only. Instantly it brought me back to holding that heavy black ball that I was so curious about. The flyer hung up on the bulletin board in the back for days and I must have walked by and read it 15 times. For some reason I was obsessed! They wanted to send a trainer from their gym to the workshop in La Jolla to then come back and share what they had learned. I volunteered immediately so they sent me. This was the first time that I met Franz and Yoana. Franz ran the workshop and did an incredible job at teaching this "new" method to a bunch of conventional trainers. Yoana demonstrated and I was extremely inspired by her strength. That 6 hour workshop was one of the biggest eye openers of my life. I will never ever forget my first teachers. I went back to the gym where I was working in Oceanside so excited to share what I'd learned. Unfortunately, the owners dismissed it entirely and I was told not to teach it in the gym. That's when I knew it was time to move on.
I knew in my heart that learning as much as I could about Russian Kettlebells was my calling. I spent hours researching everything that I could get my hands on. A few months later, I flew to Minnesota for the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certifcation (RKC) since I wanted to learn directly from Pavel, the man himself. That weekend I was surrounded by the most cutting edge, independent thinking group. The Senior instructors, which are now equivalent to Masters, were Mike Mahler, Brett Jones, Steve Maxwell, Andrea Du Cane, and Jeff Martone. I will never forget how scared shitless I was throughout the weekend, but being a part of something so different and finding myself surrounded by some of the most amazing people from all over the world was an incredible experience. People flew to Minnesota from all parts of the globe. It was a life changing weekend.
Since that incredible certification, I have gone on to have a successful fitness career incorporating kettlebells and its philosophies. In 2005, kettlebell instructors were scarce and thus I was able to use my blog, videos, and DVDs to spread the word and inspire others. It still baffles me that I have received thousands of testimonials from people of all walks of life thanking me for changing their lives. Is there anything more satisfying than that? Let's not forget that since then I have married, been pregnant twice, recovered from two C-sections, and am now raising two beautiful little girls.
As we come into 2013, I wanted to sincerely thank all the people who were responsible for introducing me to kettlebells, brilliant training methods, and who helped mold me as the coach who I am today. It really isn't just about the kettlebell. The kettlebell is just an avenue for a different way of thinking. It’s a mind set. It's a way of life. It has opened doors to so much more. It changed my life. I have never been stronger, leaner, and more fit than I am now.
Special thanks to Pavel for introducing his kettlebell methods along with ground breaking material. Pavel is one of the most gifted teachers who exudes a teaching style that stands alone. Thank you to John Du Cane, responsible for making kettlebell education so accessible and being behind the scenes of some of the most memorable events of my life. Huge thanks to Mike Mahler, Brett Jones, Jeff Martone, Ross Enamait, Franz Snideman, and John Brookfield for leading the way from the beginning of my career. Thank you to my colleagues who I have also learned a great deal from Max Shank, Mark Cheng, Katie Dawers, Della Whelchel, Elise Badone, really too many to name, and ALL my RKC and StrongFirst friends (family) that have grown close with me over the years. We have watched each other blossom and continue to grow. It's been such a wonderful road. May you all have an incredible 2013.
|Single Leg Deadlift warming up with 106lbs (photo courtesy of F3Nutrition)|