“Exercise gives me confidence. And, certainty in my person. Clarity in my person.”
Where are you from?
I’m a Nashvillian and now a Franklinite, or however you’d say it!
Very small family. Living, I have a sister and a mother, a husband and two dogs. I very much enjoy my “stepmonstas.” They call me “stepmonsta.” They’ve been great and that’s not always the case. It’s been so special. And, I have two nieces.
Tell me a bit about your fitness journey?
I was never a very competitive kid. I had terrible vision, so I was not good with hand-eye contact. I was afraid of things coming at me. I started taking ballet in high school, into college, and even after. When I left college I had a sedentary job—and was in horribly destructive relationship— I put on at least 20 pounds.
It’s amazing what stress will do.
Yes. One day, I got up and said, “What am I doing?” I ditched that guy, quit that job, and decided to reinvent myself. I knew at 24 that I had to drop the weight and feel good about myself as a single woman. I started ballet again at Vanderbilt. Then, I started swimming. I swam and swam and swam. I would get in the swimming pool and do a half a mile a day. I had a great friend who talked to me about calories and food intake. I’d always been a tiny, thin little girl, but I had to start learning about calories and food. I was doing all of these fitness classes—this would have been in the 80s. Got thin. Got a great new job. Realized that exercise mattered a great deal to me psychologically and physically. Basically, I’ve never stopped after that. Did boxing…pilates, yoga, Zumba. I actually taught Zumba a few years back. I hike a great deal. I walk. I never was a runner. I couldn’t get any solace from running.
Solace. That’s interesting.
Yes, exercise keeps me sane. Something that’s really compelling to me is that I have a sister with Stage 4 lung cancer, and she has lived two and a half years to the complete consternation of the doctors—and my husband, who’s a doctor. It’s been even more important to my sanity and a sense of purpose. I believe life is the cause of death…all the exercise and diet in the world does not prevent what’s in your destiny. But, you give your time here a better run if you proceed with things you know, which is that good diet and exercise are never a bad idea. I quit smoking. I smoked for 30 years. Haven’t had any fun since! [She laughs.] Miss it every day and managed to exercise despite it. But, I certainly don’t ever want to be a smoker again.
How did you find Kelly?
I was going some to the Williamson County Rec Center, and I think I simply rode by a few times and thought, “What is that?” I pulled in one day, popped my head in, and met Christy and Kelly. “Who are you guys and what are you doing?” I was elated. It’s within 10 minutes of my house. I love functioning out of the Grassland community. I’ve become increasingly stressed going in and out of Nashville. I like being able to do as much in the Franklin area as I can.
When was this?
They just celebrated their two year anniversary here. And now, other than doing my own outdoor exercise, this is all I do. This is exactly what I want and need. I love these six-week programs. TRX, I think, is a game changer for more than just me. TRX classes are very difficult to find and none around here. I think for women, or men, who are dealing with knees, ankles, and joints, it’s the easiest way to get as much as you can without injury. I love the suspension. I think TRX is one of the greatest forms of exercise out there.
I agree! We were chatting earlier about making changes in our diets, hence the coconut-oatmeal-almond butter muffin we dunked in our coffees a few minutes ago…
Yes, I’ve been backing off sugar, potatoes, breads, pasta. I basically eat protein and salads. Backing off cheese too.
How does your fit life ripple into other areas of your life?
Confidence. And, certainty in my person. Clarity in my person. I see myself most of the time as strong and powerful and aware. Solid in my thinking and opinions based on my physicality. It contributes to all of that. That isn’t the only thing, ironically enough. It makes me less judgmental, because I get to watch the people around me discover themselves.
Kelly’s an old soul and a special piece of this studio. In the past, I’ve gone in and out of other places and participated in classes, but the hospitality has been seriously lacking because it’s mostly lulu-lackey, competitive people. Kelly never allows the energy to be competitive. She doesn’t encourage competition. I don’t want to feel that I, at almost 60 years old, need to strive to do what a 40-year-old can do. She has a beautiful way of having the time spent here be something for everybody, no matter your fitness level or your age, which is hard to do. That’s why other places have senior classes and separate age groups. Kelly doesn’t do that. She could easily have made me feel that I was a little too old and not the client she had in mind. I would have picked up on that immediately and not come back, because I don’t need to prove anything.
I love the age ranges at Franklin Wheelhouse, too.
The people who end up becoming regulars at Franklin Wheelhouse are the kind of women I want to be around, whether they are 25 or 45. They are people I would enjoy socially. They are my kind of women—and, I’m very specific about my kind of women.
If you could sum your fitness transformation into two or three words?
I don’t know that it’s the right, but I’ve always loved the expression, “It’s better to wear than rust out.” And, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” [She laughs.]
Trainer Thoughts: Kelly Kanski
People like Lori are my inspiration to exercise—truly. For me, it’s not a number or a size, it’s about empowerment, balance, and being my best true self—and that looks different for everyone. Our classes are inclusive for that reason, we are all on individual journeys. Clients come to Form for different reasons – connection, mental release and even recovery. Physically, an exercise that is easy for one person might take someone else four months to conquer. We celebrate it all! And I mean we—the whole darn class! I watch Lori in class and think, “I want to be 59 and move like she does.” She is strong physically and centered personally. She believes exercise is a big contributor to that. “Hold on to the things that serve you and let go of what does not.” Wow, that’s so Lori. She has a frank honesty that’s really refreshing [laughs]. She believes in the importance of exercise, and her no-nonsense attitude is a reminder to live boldly, without excuses. I really love that. She has more life in her at 59 than most 30 somethings I know. It’s not just about the hour in the gym, it’s about how that single hour impacts all the other hours, the days, and the years after.