We usually write something personal and insightful about our “Guest Spotlight” to help set up how important they are to our business and fitness community overall. I say “usually” because this time, I want to share an incredible excerpt that Katherine Richmond sent to me after she was chosen as this month’s Spotlight. She is such a special woman and someone that we all admire greatly, and her kind words touched us. Please get know her by reading further but first, we wanted to share this.
Lisa, I hope you realize how much labarre means to me and how fortunate I feel that Karen Ashley invited me to her Family and Friends classes. From my first visit I felt completely at home and it didn't take much soul searching to know how deeply dissatisfied I was with my yoga studio of more than 10 years and how ready I was for a change. Why? Because not only is labarre gorgeous, but everyone is a reflection of YOU - warm, friendly, welcoming and most importantly non-judgemental. The teaching is phenomenal, challenging us always to be a better us and yet in a non threatening, non competitive way. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE labarre. It truly is my haven where I not only remember to breathe, but actually breathe. It took me time to understand at the end of a stressful day that the reason I sometimes yawn throughout class is because I'm decompressing and relaxing.
I'm so blown away by your dedication to perfection and your dedication to making sure your members get the workout they deserve. I will never forget the first day that Maria came to workout and how you and Lorena held one of Maria's son's for the whole hour he cried just so Maria could workout. I wished I'd had my phone to take a photo of you cradling her son fast asleep in your arms when class finished. But that is just who you are - utterly selfless and dedicated to your members. I hope you are incredibly proud of your amazing achievement - not only of a beautiful space, wonderful staff and classes but of the "family" you have nurtured in all of us lucky enough to participate in labarre.
A million thanks,
OK, with that, let me dry my eyes and allow you to see why Katherine is such a gem. Thanks Katherine, you are the epitome of what we want here at labarre and what we strive to be.
Place of Birth: Liverpool, England
Hometown: Saratoga, CA
Occupation: Supervisor Referral Coordinators at Planned Parenthood. So blessed that I love the work I do serving the under served. "Being there" for patients as they deal with scary and life changing diagnoses - breast cancer, cervical cancer, etc. - and helping them navigate the healthcare system is so rewarding.
Twitter & IG Handles: Neither - I'm strictly a voyeur and an obsessive follower of labarre!
Hobbies: Travel (I've visited over 80 countries and every continent), gardening, skiing, hiking and reading.
Family Members: My husband, Pete, and I started dating when I was 15, and married when I was 20!!! Even we can't believe we've been together so long! I have a brother and sister in England and a sister in France. We also have an army of nephews, nieces and great nephews and nieces.
The Best Thing I Make Is.. Desserts!! Fave of friends is a killer dark chocolate, almond, orange tart.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Anywhere in Europe because it’s “home” and easy traveling - or Africa, but honestly it's hard to choose because I am beyond happy whenever/wherever I'm travelling.
My fitness goals are.. Stay strong and fit so I can continue participating in all that life has to offer until well into my dotage! Never be smug about your health because you can't control everything, but try your hardest and enjoy the results
The most important thing to me is... Living life to the fullest, being kind, positive, gracious and honest. Taking an interest in everyone who crosses my path - everyone has a story and it’s fun connecting with new people. Particularly love doing this at labarre - no new face is safe from me - I try to make new people feel welcome and connected.
One thing I learned about myself in the past 6 months is.. Age is just a number, not an excuse. With a little work, I can be as strong as many in the class. I've always been uncoordinated - not for nothing my nickname is Katy Crunch (!), but with focus and great instruction even I have been able to master drumming and have a blast!
The thing I am most proud of is.... Other than wonderful relationships.........that I am never bored and that I'll always have a "Go" at anything. I may be scared and I may not enjoy it, but at least I tried.