By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS
For the past year-and-a-half, ARXer Kelly Naughton has been crushing it in the gym. Strong, fit and often first to finish the workouts, Kelly is focused on her mission: manage the stresses of teaching and parenthood. "I'm a sixth grade social studies teacher, in my 15th year of teaching," Kelly said. "My husband of 10 years and I have a son and a daughter, ages 6 1/2 and 3 ½, plus a 12-year-old golden retriever. I work out to unwind, manage stress, and be a better teacher, mom, and spouse. It also helps me stay fit enough to chase my kids around!"
"Since joining ARX in October 2013, I've noticed a significant increase in strength, as well as an overall more positive mindset," she said. "For example, when I started at ARX, I could only do one unassisted pull up, and can now do three or four. Also, I could only plank without stopping for a max of 30 seconds in the beginning, and am now up to more than two minutes. I also feel that mentally, working out at ARX has given me something to look forward to, and the variety of physical activities provide endorphins, helping to lift my mood."
Kelly knows about endorphins and working out thanks to her experiences as a multi-faceted high school and college athlete. "I played soccer, basketball and softball in high school," she said. "I was captain of the soccer and softball teams during senior year, and then played women's rugby for all four years of undergrad. I was captain of the rugby team my senior year. In graduate school, I briefly played on a women's soccer team."
That focus on sports and fitness has informed her adult years, as well. "Before we had kids, my husband and I took a remarkable trip to Peru in the summer of 2007," she said. "We spent three weeks hiking in the Andes with a group of Peruvians. We camped out, rode horses through the rockiest terrain, and were awoken each morning to the sound of donkeys! The purpose of this very memorable trip was to deliver school supplies and Spanish-language books to needy, remote villages, and to expand our cultural horizons."
Kelly and her husband have continued to combine their interest in fitness and charitable goodwill, now with their kids in on the action. "Something we have done as a family, since both kids were babies, is the Walk for Hunger. This year's walk, on Sunday, May 3, will be my tenth time participating. (If you want to contribute, visit Kelly's page at: The Walk for Hunger 2015: Ms. Kelly C. Naughton - Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger)
"I definitely feel like ARX is the right place for me these days," Kelly said. "I appreciate the variety of exercises, and look forward to checking each day's workouts on Facebook. The people in the 6:30 pm class, which I attend most frequently, have become a fun group to get to know and work out alongside. And I enjoy our special events, like getting together at Launch to play dodgeball."
"Also, training with Steph has been a positive experience," Kelly said. "I always feel comfortable with her, and empowered when she gently but firmly reminds me that I can probably lift more weight, or use fewer supports." (Author's note: I paid her to say that. Lol)