For our last edition of celebrating the strong women in our community, it’s only fitting to celebrate the strong and inspiring woman who helped start it all, 30 years ago, with David and Teri! Today, we celebrate Kelly Miyamoto. If you’ve met her, you remember her and she’s probably made YOU feel like a million bucks. She’s got a smile that brightens up an entire room, and a personality to match. Her love runs through the walls of The Firm, and she has a passion for others that is inspiring. We are lucky to have her as one of our founders, and so blessed to continue to have her ROCK out teaching cycle as well as running the place! Check her interview out below!
1) Can you tell us about your path and how you landed here as one of the founders of THE FIRM in Minneapolis?
-Q: How do you make God laugh? A: Make plans.
-I was managing at Olympia Total Fitness in downtown Minneapolis in 1985, and met David Gray, star aerobics instructor and choreographer, and Teri McLean, an Olympia client. The following year David and Teri had decided to open an aerobics studio and ended up inviting me to be their third partner. To this day I don’t know what came over me. I took out a loan, but was like, “I’m not staying. I’ll help you until end of the year and then I’m leaving for LA to become a star.”. I was 23 years old.
The rest, as they say, is history.
2) What inspired you to be a part of the fitness community?
-It’s more like “Who” and that would be David Gray, who was a creative genius.
3) As we celebrate women’s history month this month, what women have you looked to as mentors and how have those mentors influenced where you are today?
-Connie Vesterby – My mother instilled in me a great love for reading; an awareness of the significance of our history (e.g. Women’s Suffrage, The Holocaust, The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Equality – she was a BIG feminist); taught me to treat all people with respect and as equals, which is a hallmark of THE FIRM.
-Ruthie Kramer – I met Ruthie in my early 20’s. Although old enough to be my grandmother, she ended up becoming a second mother to me. She survived The Depression, WWII, Polio and Cancer. She remained a well-rounded athlete well into her 80s. She also introduced me to numerous Holocaust survivors, which was a life-changing experience.
-Lili Hall, President/CEO of KNOCK – the award-winning, MN-based branding house- Lili and I have been friends for 30 years. I’ve always been inspired by her ability to maintain a healthy balance between running her business, participating on multiple boards, and, most importantly, her commitment to her family and friends.
4) What continues to keep you inspired?
-My husband/business partner/best friend, the entire staff of THE FIRM and every client that walks through its doors.
5) What is one thing you want everyone to know about you?
-One of my favorite things to do is to curl up in front of a fire with a good book, my sweet rescue kitty, and a nice glass of wine…or two…or…