Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How it All Began

On January 16th, I posted that it was my 5 year kettlebelliversary. Fellow RKC, Mark Snow asked for a blog post on how it all began. Here it is:

In 2004 when I was living in Atlanta after graduating from Georgia Tech, I had a flexible outside sales job and a long distance relationship. That combination meant that there was a lot of free time that I needed to fill. I chose to occupy my free time with frequent trips to the gym. I quickly became addicted and found myself spending 2 hours a day, 6 days a week in the gym. That's TWELVE HOURS of gym time each week. I thought that I had to go that often to get enough cardio training, plus strength and flexibility training.

Fast forward and I am living in San Diego, working a 55 hour a week job and trying to balance life and a relationship at the same time. Needless to say, no matter how much I rearranged my schedule, I didn't have the 12 hours that I was used to spending at the gym anymore. That is when I heard a local radio station talk about a gym called Iron Core that used these things called 'kettlebells.' According to the people interviewed, kettlebells dramatically decreased your time in the gym since the workouts were cardio, strength and flexibility all at the same time. It was too good to be true. I had to check it out for myself.

So, I went down on a Saturday morning for a 'trial class' and was amazed at what I discovered. The workout was intense and very different from what I was used to. It was some serious cardio without the boredom of the 'hamster wheel' (AKA the treadmill) and strength training without the monotony of isolated repetitions such as bicep curls. It was strength stretching without the endless poses of yoga. The workout was not only comprehensive and intense, but it was a lot of fun! And the trainer who, to me, was "just the guy at the gym down the street" was someone named Brett Jones (you may have heard of him.) I had NO IDEA at the time what a gold mine it was to be able to train with him multiple times a week!

I went from going to the gym 12 times a week, to taking three 45 minute classes, and yet somehow I found my strength and body composition improving. I wasn't getting those bulky, beefy muscles that you would think would accompany strength gains, but was getting long, lean lines and definition - all while spending 1/3 of the time in the gym!

I knew within a month that I wanted to be certified to teach and be able to share kettlebells with others. I attended the September 2006 RKC - back when they were only held in Minneapolis. Iron Core was nice enough to let me teach some classes after work and then a year later I decided that it was time to move back to Atlanta and open my own place.

When Condition opened, I was the only class instructor and Katie Bigelow (Now RKC2 and Z-Health Master Trainer) helped me out in the intro workshops. She went through the RKC 6 months after Condition opened and now almost 3.5 years later there are 12 HKC's or RKC's who teach here on a regular or substitute basis. I'm proud of all of them as they all have full time jobs outside of kettlebells and got certified because of their love for the training - just as I did.

I cant imagine a time where I won't train with kettlebells. I love the efficiency of kettlebells because with less time spent on my own training, I now have more time to do other things: like teach kettlebells, write about kettlebells, or read about kettlebells, or blog about kettlebells.... ;)