Over the years writing and shooting for Natural Muscle Magazine, I have certainly meet some very unique individuals, people who break the mold by following their own hearts and carving out a unique niche in fitness. I just figured out that I have written on over 185 extraordinary, very special individuals in my last 15 years with Natural Muscle Magazine. I am grateful and humbled for this opportunity to feature some of best and brightest in fitness. There are so many more…THANKS, BossLADY and readers.
Stephanie Keenan, number 186, fits in this group, which is high praise and BIG BOOTS! I am confident you are going to be hearing more about “Country Girl!” “Steph” has a degree in Nuclear Engineering, which alone, sets her apart from anyone else I know. She is tough-minded, enthusiastic, fair, energetic, beautiful and one of my favorite people to shoot. This lady knows how to set her mind to the task at hand and succeed. See if you agree? My Name is Coach A, Welcome to MY WORLD.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
I’m a country girl at heart. I was born and raised about an hour south of Kansas City, Missouri in a little town called Butler, Mo.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE GREATEST LESSON LEARNED?
I have been brought to my knees a few times in my life and I know these experiences will not be the last time. I am stronger and wiser because of those experiences and my hope for every obstacle life throws my way is to keep an open mind and open heart, learn all the lessons to be learned, forgive quickly and spend more time and energy on the wonderful people, places, and things in life.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST TRIUMPH(S)?
I took personal responsibility for my own happiness and went to work building a business that would afford me time-freedom and location-freedom. I was able to leave corporate America, cubicle-nation, and my 2.5-hour commute, to start a business of online personal training and do what I love every single day. This also provided me the opportunity to spend 5-months in a little surf town in Costa Rica where I sipped coconut water from coconuts, drank Costa Rican coffee, watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and woke up to the sun and the birds.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I currently reside in Charleston, South Carolina where I own and operate my online fitness businesses: www.skfitlife.com and www. theathelite.com. I also lead stand-up paddleboard fitness retreats in the metropolitan Charleston area. You can also find my business-related interviews on www.internetbusinessmastery.com and www.unmistakablecreative.com.
IS THERE ANYONE YOU WANT TO THANK?
My mom, she is my biggest fan, supporter, cheerleader and “manager”. I would also like to thank my entire team who keeps everything running as smoothly as possible. My family and friends
mean the world to me and I couldn’t have made it through these past couple years without them. And, most importantly, let’s not forget my clients: the men and women directly responsible for my ability to live my dream of sharing my love of everything fitness.
Isagenix Chocolate IsaLean Shake with a raw beet added for a little added detox benefit.
LAST CHEAT FOOD?
My boyfriend and I shared a burger, fries, buffalo chicken pizza, nachos and a waffle sundae. It was a delicious way to spend the day!
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO IMPROVE ABOUT YOURSELF?
My energy runs high and my brain moves quickly so I am always trying to improve my listening skills.
HOW HAVE YOU CONTRIBUTED TO THE FITNESS INDUSTRY?
“Life begins when you stop chasing skinny,” is my tagline and, if I have helped at least one person feel more comfortable in his or her own skin, I feel like I have done my job!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING THAT MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST?
Exactly what I was meant to do… changing lives for the better. “Life begins when you stop chasing skinny.”
WHEN YOU ARE “IN THE PITS” AND THE “GOING GETS TOUGH,” WHAT OR WHO GET YOU THROUGH?
Everything truly happens for a reason and when one door closes, another one opens. I have weathered some pretty bad storms in my life and eventually all of them end. Knowing that I will come out stronger in the end keeps me going. You only lose if you quit. One foot in front of the other.
WHAT ATHLETE DO YOU WANT TO EMULATE?
Gabby Reese: she is strong, athletic, lives a balanced life and spends much of her time giving back.
“A” stands for Awesome! He’s always a joy to work with and he is an amazing photographer.
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION: WHAT MAKES YOU TICK?
Exploration and adventure! I am always on the go and my curiosity keeps me seeking to expand my knowledge through new and exciting experiences.
BODY PART: Shoulders
BOOK: The Four Agreements written by Paulo Coelho MOVIE: Simon Birch
CHEAT FOOD: Pizza
TELEVISION PROGRAM: I don’t own a TV but I love to watch documentaries and TED Talks.
WORK OUT: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
QUOTE: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho
SUM UP YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF FITNESS IN ONE SENTENCE?
“Life begins when you stop chasing skinny.”
WHAT DON’T THE READERS KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I took piano lessons for 8 years and want to get back to playing again. It is on my vision board and I have the perfect spot for my piano. I was working on Beethoven’s Pathetique (Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13) when I stopped playing. My goal is to be able to finish that piece, exactly one year after I get the piano.
COMPETITION AWARDS AND ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENTS?
In high school I participated in cross-country, track and field, swimming and water polo.
Through my college years, I continued to develop my com- petitive nature when I competed in numerous running races, triathlons, played water polo and worked as a beach lifeguard. In 2003, I qualified to compete in the Duathlon World Championships held in Affoltern, Switzerland.
In 2007, I shifted my athletic focus to fitness and physique competitions where I began competing with Fitness America Pageant (FAP) and went on to compete at an international level with the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF), placing Top 5 in many of my competitions.