The atmosphere of The Firm is always one that is full of energy, enthusiasm, and pumping music! Cycle director Leif Anderson embodies all three of those things 24/7. He rocks out the Cycle studio AND rocks out the music scene of Minneapolis with weekly spots DJ’ing at the most poppin’ of places. Read his interview below to hear his Firm Family story.
1/ Can you tell us a bit about your path and how you landed here at the Firm, in Minneapolis?
-Yah. So it was the classic perfect storm/reset button that a bunch of us are familiar with: GF breakup, new job, etc. This was late 2005. I was 20 lbs overweight and mentally ready for a shift. My sissy had a few weeks off from her Broadway touring show and came to hang with me here in Minne. She was looking online for a local dance class and found Cardio Hip-Hop (then called “Funk”) at this place called “The FIRM.” I still remember sitting in my living room and HEARING (yes, hearing) her land on The FIRM’s website (who remembers the crazy old website with the silhouettes of all of the people, and the Doug-esque music blaring, and the super loud sound effects whenever you rolled over a link??! HAHA). The site slapped her in the face and she was like “WHOAH!!!” Well, we never made it to class (too much fun on New Year’s… you fill in the blank), but I remembered The FIRM. Then the second week in January 2006, sitting on my couch, feeling sick and sorry for myself, I had enough, got up, packed a gym bag, and headed to The FIRM at 8PM to start my Free Week. Three days in I was home, and here I am 11 years later.
2/ What inspired you to be a part of the fitness community?
-I fell in love with group fitness. I loved the idea that I could get my a** kicked with 40 other people at the same time to bangin’ music, and it was fun. I fell in love with Cycle (then called “Spin”), and this bouncy, mega-happy blonde woman that everybody seemed to adore named Kelly. Eight months and 20 lbs later, I was still wearing running shoes to spin class (ha!), and I still remember this guy, whom I only ever saw THAT DAY, pull me aside after class to tell me, “You’re fast. If you get spin shoes, you’ll be even faster.” Never saw him again, but because of him I bought the shoes. I hit lightspeed just like he said, got motivated from Keeks and Mama K, and put my hand up to instruct. A year and half (and some hard work) later, I got the call from Kel. I loved the first thing she said to me: “Are you sitting down…?” 🙂
3/ Who have you looked to as mentors on your path?
-My folks, my friend/life coach Susan G, my sister Laura Lee Anderson, Doug Melroe, Gary Vaynerchuck, and our club mama, Kelly Miyamoto.
4/ How have those mentors influenced where you are today?
-My folks: taught me entrepreneurship and faith, and pointed me in good directions, but let me make the final decisions – that was such an amazing gift. Susan G: my millionaire buinessmama mentor, friend, and life coach. She taught (and teaches) me how to think BIG. Laura Lee: a lot of you have met her… LOL. Sister, bestie, performer, comedian, New Yorker, street smart, FUN, and has perfected the art of giving zero effs. She pushed me off the ledge to leave corporate America to go pro as a DJ and follow my own path. What a gal. DOUGGERS!: You want a better example of a man living life on purpose? Look no further than Doug Melroe. Loved me and believed in me when I was an overweight newbie in his vintage class, and still inspires me in his life, his mission, and every class of his I take. Gary Vaynerchuk: Third party, but I watch his YouTubes daily. Advocates doing what you love, and living a life of no regrets. (Watch him!) Kelly Miyamoto: Kel. Mama K! Preaches happiness, inclusiveness, PMA, and loves all of us and this clubhouse more than anybody realizes. If you’re newer and haven’t met Kelly yet, LISTEN UP: Find her. Meet her! (Unless she finds you, first!) Experience first-hand what energy drives this club. We are SO blessed to have her!
5/ What continues to keep you inspired?
-Genuine people chasing their dreams. You don’t need to see them enter a room because you can feel them first. That’s hot.
6/ What is one thing you want everyone to know about you?
-I have NERF guns mounted on my wall at home 007-stylo. I also beat the entire St. Olaf physics club in a paper-airplane contest for longest hang time (even with their BS sucker punch “plane” they pulled on me in the final round). #bigkid #nevergrowup
We are lucky to have you in our crew Leif! Thanks for rocking it out with us!