From wanting to throw up after every workout her first week of bootcamp, Kelly Lovegrove, 51, has come a long way in seven years.
How does a realtor go from feeling like she wanted to vomit her first week of bootcamp to becoming “Coach Kel” as her personal-training clients call her? Kelly points to a change in her sleep patterns when she turned 44 as to the thing that changed everything. “I’d always been active, but at 44, I found myself awake every morning at 4:00 am. I knew that my son’s sports trainer held bootcamps in the neighborhood at 5:30 a.m. and I figured why that hell not, I’m awake anyways,” She describes that first week of workouts as awful. “I wanted to throw up after every set, but I loved the commitment, support, and camaraderie of everyone in the group. As I saw changes in myself physically and mentally, I decided to take my interest further and become a certified personal trainer.”
Seven years later, she now works both in real estate and as a fitness instructor/personal trainer. She sees both professions as helping people reach a goal: “a healthy lifestyle and home ownership.” Over this time period, too, her own plans and routines have evolved having learned a lot along the way. “I’ve taken tons of different fitness classes and tried several different nutrition plans mainly because I wanted to know what it was about and how they made me feel,” she says. Her clients routines have also impacted hers. “If most of my clients were trying certain plans, then I needed to understand the experience to be a better coach,” she explains. Along the way, this has helped her become more mindful of her nutrition, her relationship with food and her fitness. “Just jumping around and getting on a good sweat does not equal a good workout.”
As much as she is a great coach to her clients, Kelly says they have helped keep her motivated along the way as well by showing up for her classes. “At one point I was teaching about 20 classes a week while training for a half marathon. It was hard. But knowing that they were showing up, trusting me on their fitness journey and giving it their all is what kept me going,” she says with affection.
Like a lot of runners, she has a bit of a love/hate relationship with the sport. “I’m not sure if I’d choose it or that I’d say I love it, but I’ve been known to run a couple 5ks and one half marathon.” She adds that with her competitive nature and short attention span, 3-mile races are perfect for her. But when her 50th birthday was approaching, she gave herself a new challenge: to run a half-marathon. “I had to prove to myself that I could do something that I’ve told myself that I would never do.” She trained for about three months and ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Nashville and cried when she crossed the finish line. “I was so damn proud of myself and did it in under two hours. Yay me!”
What she finds most rewarding in her work is when clients tell her how good they feel and the difference she’s made not only to their health but to their lives. “I’m touched and feel privileged to be a part of that,” she says. And this is why she devotes time to learning, something she considers the most important part of her regimen. “I am constantly researching, reading, attending webinars, experimenting with new workout techniques, etc., so that I can stay on top of my game for myself and my clients.” So much so, she admits she doesn’t spend much time just relaxing. “Relax? What’s that? I find it hard to sit still but I love to get outdoors and go hiking with my rescue dog, Veda Jane,” she says, adding that being in nature helps her to refocus, refresh and refuel.
Above all else, Kelly is quick to remind clients and anyone looking at her journey that you can only be you and the best version of you. “What I hope inspires others is my motivation to stay as active as I am at my age,” she says. “My goal is to stay agile and fit because I don’t want to miss a moment of fun with my grandson.”
Photos by Matt Young