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More than a Grand Opening…

Posted On November 6, 2016 @ 9:31 pm By: Kellie Cowles

Perennial Strength is the culminating vision of two years of dreaming, thinking, strategizing, planning, revising, planning again, revising again and finally… launching! Not just by me, but with a host of mentors, friends, experts, artists and volunteers.  If ever there was an example of the power of unity, this is it.  My eternal gratitude to all of you who listened, taught, contributed, and lent me your strength when mine faltered.

Friday night’s Grand Opening was monumental.  Even beyond the opportunity to showcase my new business, it also benchmarked the successful transition through a major life change.

ribbon-cutting set-up

(Beginning of the evening… strategically placing two of my favorite people in key positions as holders of the ribbon.)

To completely reinvent my business in a whole new city, with almost all new friends and allies, to a whole new audience has been exhilarating, exhausting, gratifying and full of so many other challenges and emotions, I find it mind boggling at times.


(Delicious and nutritious spread thanks to my talented friend, Harvey Slater, Holistic Nutrition Coach. Click on the photo for a link to his business.)

Never before have I had to really experience what it means to be solely responsible for my own results.  To be without even the minimal security of partner, employer, sponsor, spouse or parent.  Never before have I had to reach so far beyond my known capabilities to secure a foothold in the world.  (Those who know my personal story of substance recovery, know that for me to say that, this ongoing journey must be truly quite remarkable.)


(Explaining the basics of ergometer rowing to our adventurous party guests.)

There are still times (usually late at night when I should be sleeping) when I doubt my ability to see it through, when those ancient scripts in my head start shouting that what I’m doing is impossible, that I’m too old, too inexperienced, too, too, too…


(Thanks to the impeccable Coach Kaelyn Silva for being the perfect demo and extra set of safety eyes on our participants.)

The key to this journey for me, has come from knowing that failure was, is and always will be NOT an option.  When you’re alone, it’s not hard to imagine an alternate reality.  Just looking at all the homelessness on our local streets tells me where isolation and failure could lead.  Even the possibility of that reality can motivate me to stretch in unimaginable new directions.  (Note:  Having voiced my midnight fears, I also know that spending too much time thinking about the negative aspects of anything is quite unhealthy, so the faster I return my focus to the glorious potential, the better I sleep!)

grand opening workout

(It was only 15 minutes… of rowing or cycling, sit-ups, squats, planks and push-ups!)

To build success and security, I slowly and stubbornly accepted that I would need serious help.  Help from people far more knowledgeable, capable and experienced than myself.  People who would teach me, challenge me, and truly care about my results.


(Offering a good workout is important, but secondary to making sure everyone is moving safely and staying within their current ability levels.)

So, I have been reaching out to those around me… to my BNI networking partners, to other fitness instructors, coaches, gym owners, and industry experts in business, nutrition and mental health.  In the process, I have gained some amazing new friends and deepened a number of older relationships.  Individuals who truly want to see my success as much as their own.  People who have been incredibly generous with their knowledge, time, talent and resources.


(Taking the time to cool down and stretch after the workout…  so important!)

People can have such incredible generosity of spirit and they have taught me to believe in the enormous good of those around us.  Support can come from the most unexpected sources, if we are able to ask for it and be open to receive it.  I’m quite inspired to follow their loving example and pass on to those around me, the same open hearted generosity I’ve received.   


(Top Left to right: Corlyn Saldana, Mitch Gohman, Anne Dennis, Janie Fain, Kellie Cowles, Stephanie Aikin, Clarissa Lowe, Trevor Ramos, Sue Daniell. Bottom Left to Right: Christina Gohman, Kelly Kearns, Rose Beal, Harvey Slater)

There is room in this world for everyone to be fulfilled and words like “competitor, stranger or enemy,” are only self-imposed barriers that create isolation. Yet when we come from a place of security and generosity, we can share in the benefits of relationships available only to the open minded. Together, we can all be successful in whatever our chosen path.  We just need to remember that even when we seem to be alone, we aren’t.  There is always help and love close by.

So cheers to the coming days… May they bring out the very best in us all!



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