Each Encounter Has a Purpose
Aug 27, 2014 02:43PM
● By Laura Ustanovska
Photo by Heart & Soul Photography
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“Before my father, retired Sergeant Major Roy C Kinney, passed, he asked me to promise that I wouldn't take this difficult experience and lose myself in drugs and alcohol but use the experience to help others,” says Lesa Gutenkunst, owner of Lakeside Fitness Fit Body Boot Camp - Hartland, WI (Lakeside Fitness FBBC). Six months after Lesa's daughter, Bobbie-Lynn, was diagnosed with pineoblastoma, an extremely rare brain tumor, Roy was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. “I watched the two greatest loves of a person's life – a child and a parent – both fighting for their lives. Sadly, in 1999, they both lost their battles.” At that time, Lesa did not know what she would do to keep her promise to her father.
When Lesa and her husband John moved to Pewaukee in 2007, she began working for Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc., the author of Turbulence Training and a monthly contributor to Men's Fitness; he also sits on the magazine's Health Advisory Board. “Craig's mission is to help transform people's lives through fitness and health,” explains Lesa. “That's when the light bulb went off. This is how I can make a positive difference; I can help people.”
“I am a strong believer that everyone who comes into our lives may be part of our mission, and we, a part of theirs. Every encounter we have, even if brief and seemingly unimportant, may have more significance than we know. A brief encounter may begin a greater ripple that reaches its intended purpose years later,” continues Lesa. “This is why I have made it my mission to make a difference in people's lives by bringing an awareness of health and fitness through motivation, encouragement and guidance, taking it one day at a time in my community.”
Lesa, who is certified not only as a Turbulence Trainer but also as a Gravity Training System Trainer and TRX Suspension Trainer and is a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine, expanded Lakeside Fitness FBBC to its current brick and mortar location at 675 Industrial Court in Hartland in 2013. The business was voted #1 Boot Camp in the Milwaukee Area on WISN's 2013 A-List. Lesa also received global recognition as the 2014 Turbulence Trainer of the Year.
“Every workout session is led by an experienced, certified personal trainer and is designed to be fun, supportive and challenging, while burning maximum fat in minimum time. Personalization is key to getting the best possible results, which is why our workout programs are modified to fit your goals and individual fitness level,” explains Lesa. “But unlike working one-on-one with a personal trainer, our workout programs are done in a group setting, which makes them fun, motivating and challenging, AND it keeps the cost of the program affordable compared to private one-on-one personal training sessions.”
Lesa feels the same responsibility towards her clients as she does her community and neighborhood, which is why she tries to get involved and contribute locally whenever possible. Lakeside Fitness FBBC has been a corporate contributor to LifeStriders Therapeutic Riding Center, the food pantry and Lake Country Caring and recently raised 300 shoes for Souls for Africa.
Additionally, Lesa has voluntarily run boot camp workouts for Sail Strong Sail Pink and Bright Pink at Marquette University. She offers dryland training for the Milwaukee Youth Sailing Team and provides opportunities for scouts to earn the athletics merit badge. Furthermore, every six months, Lesa gives her time to Power Test's U. S. Army physical fitness challenge, a competition in which employees see how they measure up against this famous military fitness test.
Although Lakeside Fitness FBBC offers classes as early at 5:30am and as late at 7:30pm, Lesa still finds time to be a part of the Pewaukee Lake Yacht Club, Woman's Volunteer Service Club of Pewaukee and Heiliger Huegel Ski Club. “People care about each other here,” says Lesa. “Maybe it’s the Midwest values we hear about, but to me it’s the people in the area. They are true and supportive of each other; they care enough to unite and make a difference, and if they see problem or opportunity, they help. And because of the size of our city, you can make an impact that can be felt relatively quickly.”
Making an impact is what Lesa loves about owning her own business. “I love to help others realize their potential,” relates Lesa. “Each and every person has what it takes to reach their best, and I love celebrating the small wins that catapult people to places they never dreamed they could be.”
Lesa continues, “Owning this business has been such a humbling experience. I have always been a firm believer in helping others and being able to make a positive difference. My business has allowed me to work with so many wonderful, inspiring people, who have shown that anything is possible with enough passionate hard work, dedication and team spirit. It is so great to see clients making positive transformations and paving the way to a better future.”
As anyone can see, Lesa truly enjoys building relationships with her clients and working to ensure proper training techniques that are safe and effective. She loves educating community members about fitness and health. “You can expect a clean, friendly and fun high-energy workout environment at Lakeside Fitness FBBC,” promises Lesa, “that's not only a place to get fit and healthy but also a place to make friends with others in our community.”
“My father taught me to embrace everyone who comes into your life because you just don't know what they are going through,” explains Lesa. “He read me a quote when he was sick and it stuck... 'The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards. They are simply are the ones who care the most.'”