RISE Athlete Spotlight: Neal K
Photo by @loribaskinphotography
Neal's first class was in the Summer of 2018. Joining his wife, Jen, for Mary's deep stretch yoga class was his "gateway" class. He had just healed from surgery and overcome a serious health issue. His health was his first priority and he took it one step at a time. Neal has become an incredible athlete who pushes himself for all of the right reasons: this is about longevity, feeling & looking like his best self and being stronger than he ever has. When Neal walks in, he is competing with himself (and honestly his wife for caloric expenditure ;) ). Neal, thank you for being an example to our community of purpose, a relentless approach to health, and teamwork.
Q: What inspired your path towards better health in 2019?
There were a couple of things. First, I had lower body surgery in the summer of 2018. As I attempted to start working out again, it was plainly obvious that I was unable to push or motivate myself to achieve any actual results. Second, I turned 40 in 2019. If I am being completely honest, my motivation and drive to workout began to decline the further away from my 20s I aged. I had been doing the same workouts for the better part of a decade. My post surgery attempts at working out merely confirmed what I already knew; I needed to try something new.
Q: Why RISE?
My wife started going to RISE a full year before I did. She liked the people and the classes. I had been thinking about trying RISE for a while, then in January of 2019, RISE offered a beginner program and I decided to jump in.
Q: What have you learned about yourself?
Ha. I’ve learned that I am not in 20s anymore. While the previous statement is true, I have also learned that I can still do challenging workouts at 40, and I am honestly appreciative of that, because in late 2018, I was not sure.
Q: What were your initial goals? How have your goals transformed over time?
My initial HOPE was that RISE would remind me that I can still enjoy working out and help drive me to get back into some semblance of “shape.” With that goal achieved, I am trying to drop a few pounds before our late February trip to Jamaica. Additionally, my wife and I are trying to maintain a consistent class schedule, not allowing social activities to dictate our workout schedule.
Q: What's your favorite class? Favorite exercise? Least favorite exercise?
HIIT Rise is my favorite studio class. It’s always different and always challenging. You really feel like you’ve accomplished something by 6:30am on Friday morning. In the Run Club, I like Precision. I am not a distance runner, so I appreciate the shorter intervals.
My favorite RISE exercise is anything lying down, think chest press or fly, after a good cardio push. I actually enjoy burpees, though I do not have nearly the endurance to string them together that I did a decade ago. I hate squats. This is not a new development, I have always hated squats.