We're pumped to share a new inspiring instructor profile with you this week. For anyone in the Boston fitness community, we're sure you already know Kara Lennon, but hopefully everyone can get to know her even a little better! Kara's only been a full time instructor for about a year but she's already more than made her mark and has a fast growing community of loyal r/ders and bootcamp enthusiasts. Kara, or KLemon as she is affectionately referred to is perhaps best known for her role as a lead instructor at B/Spoke Studios - she also teaches classes at Barry's and is famous for popping up at studio workouts throughout the city. If anyone has seen the "shirtless in the suburbs" movement on instagram, Kara is the one to thank!
It's always a crazy ride with Kara but her passion for teaching and positivity is absolutely infectious. She is a born teacher and leader and has transitioned seamlessly from her past as an elementary school teacher - as Sweat Concierge said in a review, "Her presence on the podium makes it feel like the bike was made for her". They also referred to her as "cooler than cool" and while we're not so sure about that description, she certainly dishes out some of the best vibes and your day is brighter with Kara as a part of it!
Kara is one of our closest advisors and has helped with product development from day 1. She is a friend, an inspiration, and now a VitalFit model (shots coming soon) and we can't tell you how excited we are to share a bit of a recent conversation that we had with Kara!
Kara, you just celebrated a year with this as your full time profession. Does it feel like a job/what has been your favorite thing about being a full time instructor?
It took me a while to adjust to "oh I'm just teaching x class on x day" and instead say, "Oh, I have to work today" and some days it still doesn't even feel like that. There's a lot of behind the scenes in order to make my classes happen on a daily basis: planning, playlisting, finding time to practice, taking other classes, studying for certifications, you name it.
I am TERRIBLY disorganized so that's been a huge adjustment for me. But it's all necessary and it's all part of the work to put on a solid class every single time. I love the hours of full-time fitness and that it doesn't look like a typical 9-5 schedule. Listening to music all day isn't a bad gig either. And I also don't remember the last time I wore real pants. #LeggingsForLife
We think it's easy for people to see you as a fun loving fitness enthusiast but we think one of the things that's so cool about you is that you have a background in teaching - and it certainly shows in your classes. How have you incorporated your background as a teacher into being a fitness instructor? What are some of the similarities?
They're both the same except I'm not tying shoelaces anymore, there's a lot less crying, and everyone is about 20 years older. (Ha!) I'm still a teacher and I always will be. Making sure I'm giving proper cues and directions, speaking clearly, giving feedback, and making people feel successful. Also doesn't hurt to still tell people to be kind to themselves, each other and say please and thank you. It's all the same. It's just in a different setting.
B/Spoke is regarded as one of the top studios (especially locally owned) in Boston - what do you think makes B/Spoke different? Why are you such a good fit there?
-Simple: our music and our community. Both are so important to the owners, the brand, and every instructor or staff member that works there. It's what makes everything click together for us and unite us as a family.
We've definitely seen that! Building off of that, how do you balance teaching classes at multiple studios? Do you think of it as one big community or do you find that the groups are separated by workout/training method?
The fitness community in Boston right now almost feels like it's having a huuuuge party together and I can't get enough of it. It's cool to see so many instructors/people from other studios and communities supporting each other wherever they are. For me, the two studios I teach at are very different workout/planning wise, so it's easy to separate and balance prepping for both. I'm still very much ME wherever I teach, so the only thing that changes is how I plan for it.
Do you ever find yourself lacking energy/wearing down? We know we rarely have ever seen you get tired.
Yo you guys have never seen me teach a triple and not have time to nap. Truly catastrophic.
No but seriously....I do lose that energy sometimes, I was blessed with this natural energy and drive to teach, but it wears on you both physically and mentally. After my 10:30 on Sundays my friends always make fun of me at brunch because I can barely string a sentence together. When I teach a reeeeally good class (and I try and do this every time, but it's hard!) I have nothing left in me to give. It's the best feeling and also the hardest to recover from. So time management helps, coffee is essential, and naps. Naps are life.
Besides naps, what else do you do to focus on yourself/rejuvenate?
I take my dog Jameson to the beach almost every morning after I get my coffee and it's my favorite way to start my day / spend time with myself. I love to read and I love a good sweaty yoga class. And a good margarita.
Those all sound pretty dope! As we wrap this up, we know that there is one mantra that you live by and we think it really captures you perfectly - we're sure everyone who's taken a class with you is familiar with it but for anyone that doesn't know, give us the KLemon rules to live by!
I say this before almost every class I teach but I have two rules: 1. Have fun and 2. Work as hard as you can. They go in order.