inSPIREd Member: Kristina Skagen

1. Tells us all a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? What brought you to Milwaukee?

Born and bred in Milwaukee! I traveled around the US for one of my jobs, so I've visited plenty of places, but Milwaukee will always be home for me! I have a business degree from UWM and worked in Corporate America for 10+ years. I then made the transition to nonprofit and began a career in Marketing. I recently started my own business in marketing and project management for nonprofits, startups, and small businesses. 

2. What first bought you to SPIRE? What was your first impression of the studio?

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I first came to SPIRE when I was trying to get in shape for my wedding. At the time, I worked with a friend who wrote a fitness piece for Milwaukee Magazine and she had tried SPIRE. I live downtown, and at the time, also worked downtown, so SPIRE was a convenient choice. My first class was a SPIRE Crew class. I was uneasy about it, but I enjoyed the class, and I liked that it was 45 minutes. I was in and out, workout done. But it was the people (the instructors and the SPIRE community) that kept me coming back.

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3. What keeps you inSPIREd for your workouts?

Hands down - the people! The instructors are key to SPIRE's success. They're motivating, supportive, and they're doing the workout alongside of us. Because of that, they create a community. SPIRE's community is an extension of that - inspiration, motivation, support. Everyone is invested in your goals and your journey. It's unique and authentic. That's what brings me back week after week, month after month.

4. What is your favorite class to take here at SPIRE?

SPIRE Crew with Jesse

5. While you aren’t at SPIRE, what are you two doing?

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I love Milwaukee! I try to take advantage of living downtown and all that's going on. A typical Saturday...

7:30 or 8am Crew or Rhythm Ride at SPIRE, brunch at Beans & Barley, followed by the Winter Farmers Market at the Domes. Maybe some down time at home with Netflix, my hubby, and our babies (cats: Buttons and Lucifer), or a movie at the Oriental. Nothing too crazy...I have to get up early the next day and run!

6. Do you have any advice to someone that is interested in taking classes at SPIRE?

Just try it! Let someone know at the front desk that this is your first class...they're super helpful. Go in with an open mind and know that you're going to get a good workout. There's plenty of class variation, so there's a workout and pace for everyone.

7. What is something you have accomplished with the help of SPIRE?

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I signed up for the Rock 'N Sole and a 3-month training program with SPIRE back in mid-March. I went from barely being able to run one mile to running a half marathon. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Hubie coached a group of us every Wednesday and Sunday. Without the support and motivation of Hubie, SPIRE, and the amazing group of girls I met through this, I'd probably still be on the couch. I'd certainly not have gone on to complete a Ragnar Trail race (read more here), or a half marathon.

8. Tell us a unique or fun fact about yourself!

I became so close to some of my teammates through training for Rock 'N Sole, that we wanted to continue running together (SPIRE 128 Running Club). We went from not knowing each other to supporting one another through epic achievements (weddings, marathons, injuries, etc). When I ran the PNC Milwaukee Half Marathon in October, these girls were waiting at SPIRE's Cheer Station at Pere Marquette and ran the last 3 miles with me. If they weren't there, I would have given up. That's what SPIRE does...it supports you and pushes to accomplish something you couldn't do by yourself.

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9. What is your favorite post workout snack or meal?

Bel Air Cantina, sushi at Screaming Tuna, or breakfast burrito at Beans & Barley.

10. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Flying, which is ironic, because I'm deathly afraid of birds. I think it would be cool and probably a good workout!

11. What keeps you coming back to SPIRE?

Community. Inspiration and support from everyone at SPIRE.

12. You crushed your running game in 2017 —what’s a motto you use to keep you going?

"You are strong. You can do this." I wrote it in marker on my arms for my half marathon. When you think you can't go any further, I've learned positive affirmations can help keep going. Next up: I'm hoping to do a triathlon and the Lakefront Marathon in 2018.

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