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Our trainer Nicole has been able to lead a fit, healthy and fulfilled life by finding balance. She currently teaches at CKO, plus has her full-time job as a graphic designer, plus she is working on her new home, plus she ensures she fits in her own workouts. How does she do it all? She prioritizes what’s important to her. Get to know more about Nicole and how she maintains balance in her life.

How did you hear about CKO Grand Rapids?

I was a fitness instructor at another gym when a friend told me about CKO.

What about CKO stood out to you most?

CKO is a nationally established brand and its Grand Rapids studio is the first in the Midwest. The gym/studio market is quite saturated in Grand Rapids, but there are very few kickboxing studios which use heavy bags. All of that coupled with Shelby’s dynamic energy, gave me a strong feeling it was going to be great for myself and the community as a whole.

How did you get involved in fitness?

I grew up in a very health-conscious family and have always been athletic. In 2005, I discovered group fitness and became an avid class attendee all over the area for five years. I think when you’re passionate about something, opportunities naturally gravitate toward you.

What is your regular fitness routine?

I teach at CKO three-to-four days a week. On those days, I usually come home and go for a quick run or do yoga. On off days, I run a few miles and lift weights at least twice a week. I have to admit, I typically do more, but we just bought a home and are doing lots of renovations, so I’ve had to cut back a bit for the time being. It’s all about balance!

What is your favorite part about being a trainer at CKO?

THE MEMBERS! It has been so much fun to be a part of the energy and excitement of instructing at a gym from the day the doors opened. People have been really great, and it’s always a good feeling to see bodies changing, to observe people becoming healthier, and to know you’ve contributed to that in some way.

How do you motivate others to reach their fitness goals?

I am a huge proponent of leading by example.

You also have a full-time job as a graphic designer. What do you enjoy about both careers?

I LOVE DESIGNING. I love where I work and what I do. One unfortunate thing about being a designer is having to work at a computer and not getting a lot of movement during the day. Training in the evenings is the perfect counterbalance.

What is it about being a trainer that makes the extra hours put in during the week worth it?

Making a difference and helping other people realize their potential. Plus, there’s nothing like the adrenaline rush you get after nailing a class.

What is one fitness goal you are proud of?

Finding balance. That might sound strange, but I’ve always been one to go to extremes and definitely went through a period of time where my obsession with bodily perfection was not a healthy one. It feels so good to have finally reached a point where I feel strong and confident and still enjoy pizza and ice cream on occasion.

What do you like to do for fun?

Other than work on the house? Kidding! I’m a nerd at heart and love reading, watching documentaries, gardening, painting, cooking, designing, and being active.

What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?

An instructor friend always says “I’ve never regretted working out.” It’s so true. We all have those days where we just don’t feel like working out – maybe because of stress, emotional distress, fatigue. I’ve gone into the gym on my worst days and I always left feeling better.

Photo Credit: Tim Priest, M.Photog.,Cr.