Featured Member:  Allison Todd

Featured Member: Allison Todd

In Spring of 2012, I graduated from a demanding and rigorous Division 1 Rowing Team, having spent over 12 years perfecting my skill as coxswain. When I arrived in Buffalo at the end of my final season, I knew I needed an outlet to challenge myself physically but didn’t know what to do.

There is no limit to what you can accomplish at KC’s. The encouragement and support within the community is echoed by every member who has walked through its doors.

I had no challenge outside of work and I refused to admit that I actually missed two-a-day practices and the requirement of monitoring my weight for competition. In pursuit of an equally satisfying workout to our college practices, my former teammates and I sampled every variety of workouts available to us. It actually became amusing to see what we would attempt next; hot yoga, regular yoga, roller blading, running, spinning, acrobatics on fabric sheets (in case any of us decided we wanted to try out for Cirque du Soleil), INSANITY Workout. You name it, I tried it. Some worked for short periods of time, but none were enough to keep me focused through the entire workout, and frankly, I was bored out of my mind.

I needed something that excited me. I wanted the challenge of learning something new but didn’t know what that was yet. What I did know was that I needed a group to workout with. The impersonal gym environment where the only interaction between people is to ask “when are you going to be done with that machine?” was definitely not for me. I wanted a group to challenge me and hold me accountable to myself. I wasn’t working out because I had to; I was working out because I wanted to.
My long time mentor and high school rowing coach, Aileen McNamara, introduced me to KC’s Fitness in 2014 where we took a Women’s Boxing Class on Tuesday and Thursday evening. Unfortunately, my work hours conflicted with the class and I reluctantly had to stop attending. After two weeks of zero participation I received a call while at work from one of the coaches – Warren Griffin. He was checking in to see how I was doing and wondering when I was coming back to work out. This simple phone call blew my mind. It was the first time since college rowing that someone made me feel accountable for my own fitness and progress towards my goals.  Once my hours changed, I immediately went back to KC’s!

My first class back was with an instructor I didn’t know, Shawn McDonell. As soon as I walked in, Shawn had introduced himself right away.  That class, we ran stairs, did various boxing stations and hit a heavy bag with a baseball bat. By the end of it I was exhausted, but I felt fantastic because of the connection I felt with the people in class.

From that point on, KC’s became a part of my daily routine and its incredible staff is its best asset. I enjoy working with people I trust and respect; this I have found with every instructor at KC’s.  David Hooper, who teaches the Women’s Boxing Class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings actually participates in the workout with us. He is right there doing burpees, swinging kettlebells; helping each of us to set goals, meet them and redefine them. No matter where you are physically or what you’re trying to achieve, David is behind you 100%.

The uniqueness of working out alongside the instructors at KC’s has not worn off and I don’t believe it ever will. It is not uncommon to find Pietro holding a kick shield during class, Marisa practicing a combination on the side of the room or working her way into stations, Shawn wearing the body shield taking shovel hooks while managing to correct you when you’re throwing them improperly, or Kevin taking on 6 people at once for an hour at a time.

I started off with one goal in mind – making it to one class every day.  Over time, it has evolved into setting goals such as: being able to hold well enough for Pietro so he can get a great workout or getting out of bed once a week for a morning class – which I haven’t yet accomplished, but I know I will!
After almost a year, no two classes have been the same. Each day I am eager as I leave work to get to class and see what challenges await me. In class, I find myself taking risks by holding mitts for some of the toughest men and women there and I’ve come to realize when I’m away from KC’s, I don’t just miss working out I miss the energy of the Gym itself.

There is no limit to what you can accomplish at KC’s. The encouragement and support within the community is echoed by every member who has walked through its doors. The transformation you’ll see in your body is secondary to the transformation you will see in the happiness of your everyday life after joining KC’s.

Kevin’s Corner: Show me your company and I will tell you who you are.

Kevin’s Corner: Show me your company and I will tell you who you are.

“Show me your company, and I will tell you who you are.”
Old Irish saying

We have been in business for over twenty-three years, and at 100 Gelston for just three months. It has been a true joy to see this building transformed for us, and the classes, personal training, and environment have never been better in all my years off owning KC’s Fitness. Yes, we have had many great instructors and coaches here over the years, however, the harmony, and desire to make a difference in people’s lives is the best I have ever seen it. There are twenty seven classes offered on a weekly basis and hundreds of personal training  appointments each month. I am always impressed how hard people train in all these sessions. What makes the difference, however, is the energetic spirit and kindness that emanates from them. My friend, the late Bill Mahr who owned Allentown Athletix for many years often remarked about this. Bill had well over a thousand members at his facility, and we used to connect quite often. Sometimes, he would stop over, and simply watch classes. He shared that he loved his gym, but that the combination of excellent instruction, intensity and camaraderie between members was nothing he had ever seen before on that level. Later, he wrote to me “that the combination of excellence inside the walls of KC’s and community involvement on Buffalo’s westside made our little business nothing short of amazing.” I miss Bill and wish he could see us now.

I will be writing a small piece each month, and it will be called Kevin’s Corner. I hope that the things I write will be relevant and worthy of your time. I am excited by the enhanced programing and offerings our members will see at KC’s as the months unfold. I started this business while I was in graduate school in late 1991, and thought it would pay for books back then. I liked the changes I saw in others, and I liked the changes I saw in myself. I am glad I abandoned graduate school and started this business. It is only as good as the people who come here for training, and by this standard, I would say it is a great place. There will many wonderful things that continue to happen here, and thank you all for being a part of our continued growth and excellence. Be great.