10-week Transformation (Alisa Parks)

Alisa has been a member for nearly 1-year. During this time she has become a member of the Century Club, which means she has done at least 100 classes (page coming soon).  She recently completed the 10-week challenge (March 2014 – May 2014) and her results were amazing, losing 11.25-inches off her body! But most importantly, she has also gained an appreciation for investing in herself saying,  “It (CKO), has been one of the best gift I’ve given myself ever!

This reminds me of a great quote:

“Invest in yourself first, before you expect others to invest in you!” – Unknown

Read more about Alisa story below:

10-week challengeBesides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job? 

I’m a Marketing Specialist for Sparling, an electrical, technology, audiovisual, acoustical and lighting design firm.

Do you have any hobbies? 

Love to travel, especially to international destinations. I have been known to do some knitting, but haven’t done that for awhile.

How did you first learn of CKO? 

I go to Central Market all the time and I remember being intrigued by the CKO sign when it went up, but I didn’t act on it. Then Donald Llamodo and Katy Maynard started talking about CKO and how much they enjoyed it. I thought I don’t know if I want to workout with my co-workers? Well, I noticed their results and they kept up with gentle encouragement and I finally decided to try it in late July 2013. Katy took good care of me that first day bringing extra gloves for me to try, I will always be grateful to her for that. I had lots of fun during my first class and once class was over I chatted with the front desk person giving all the usual excuses about signing up and finally she said “what are you afraid of?” It all kind of hit me why not try it even if you are afraid of failing, I signed up on day one and have not regretted it once since then.

10-weeks (March 2014 - May 2014)

10-weeks (March 2014 – May 2014)

What are some of your fitness goals? 

At first I just wanted to do something to get me moving since I sit in front of a computer all day. Then I thought if I work out then I can eat whatever I wanted. Well I was incredibly wrong and after a couple of months of class I wanted more. I saw some great results from those that participated in the Fall 10-week challenge and I was inspired. I’ve done another elimination diet, but it was only for 30 days and the habits did not hold once it was done. I did like the way my body changed once I gave up grains, so I knew I could handle the food choices with the challenge. I’m a person that tends not to have alot of goals, I just jump in and try something if it’s of interest. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad. I’m still working on what I want next in my fitness goals.

What is your favorite aspect of CKO? 

The classes are always a little different each time, so it keeps my interest and keeps me coming back. I have finally figured out that I like someone telling me what to do for a workout, just don’t make it the same each time. I loose interest so fast if a class is repetitive. Also, CKO keeps my mind active, I like to listen to the instructions and try not to watch so I can keep the flow more consistent. I’m still amazed when I hear one thing and my body does something completely different than what was called out. My all time favorite is strikes on demand, love that sound when everyone is in-sync!

What was the best part about the challenge? 

The support and encouragement of the instructors and the team members. Also, the boot camps, it really got me out of my comfort zone and challenged me in ways I never thought I could accomplish.

What was the hardest part about the challenge? 

Making it to 5 classes a week, that was a big challenge that I did not meet. I concentrated on getting to 4 classes and that worked well for me.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? 

The instructors and the wonderful feeling of accomplishment when the class is over.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? 

I don’t want to fall into old habits of rewarding myself with food. I keep telling myself that I’m the one who stayed on track during the 10-week challenge. Nobody, but me made me do it, so it is my choice to continue with the good habits and I will do it!

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? One thing I wish I’d kept better track of my progress from day one and maybe you should give out a card for a person to track their measurements quarterly and/or at year-end. This could be something a person does at home, but is a gentle reminder to start tracking from the beginning.

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)! 

Since joining CKO my body had changed dramatically and I so wished I’d kept better track of my progress and measurements from early on. I think I’ve lost about 20lbs since joining CKO and the most eye-opening and proud time for me was at the end of the 10-weeks with 11.25″ gone… forever!

Thank you so much for providing this opportunity, it has been one of the best gift I’ve given myself ever!


Looking great

Looking great!



10 Week Transformation (JoAnn Bowen)

JoAnn has an amazing success story. She is a CKO regular, easily averaging 3-4 classes a week since joining CKO Seattle in September 2012. JoAnn has lost weight and many inches off her body but her biggest success is increased life participation. That’s right, JoAnn, went from spending a lot of her time “sitting on the sidelines” to now doing numerous mud-run/obstacle races each year.

Strong is the new sexy, it doesn’t matter what the scale says, it only matters how you feel and how you live your life and JoAnn is embracing her new active lifestyle, living life to the fullest! JoAnn is not only becoming a healthier/stronger version of herself, she is also an inspiration to her daughter, Lizzie (also a CKO member). We often forget that as a parent you are your child’s biggest influence and if you embrace your own health your children will soon follow…

JoAnn just recently completed our 4th 10-week challenge and her results were amazing. She lost over 12-inches off her body, improved her fitness test and gained a better relationship with food, and as a result, no longer suffers from acid reflux (GERD)!!! Read more about JoAnn’s story below:

Thank you JoAnn for being an awesome member and a positive influence, both at home and at the gym 🙂


JoAnn All

March 2014 (on left) May 2014 (on right)

JoAnn Bowen interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

I am an official court reporter for Snohomish County Superior Court.  I work for a very hard-working judge.  We are pretty much in court all the time. Most people have the impression that a court reporter just sits there and listens.  Well, we do.  We listen very intently!!  But often you cannot see our whole being behind the bar.  And the court reporter’s job is actually very physically and mentally taxing.  We have to sit in pretty much the same position for up to two hours at a time.  And these days people talk so fast that our upper bodies are in this constantly tense state as we record word for word (onto that funny-looking machine) what anyone in the courtroom is saying.

Do you have any hobbies?

Well, CKO classes and boot camps are my year-round “hobby” but more of a lifestyle.  My other great passion for the last two years has been obstacle course racing (OCRs/mud runs) which I’m pretty sure most people hear me talking about.  Everyone also hears me say that I don’t like running.  But if you take a 5-10K course and throw in some obstacles and mud, well, now you’ve just upped the ante and made it so much more fun and challenging!!

Competing in her latest challenge

JoAnn (left) Competing in her latest challenge

How did you first learn of CKO?

I live very close to the gym so I’m usually driving thru that parking lot to get to Sears or Central Market.  My daughter and I saw the signs going up and then searched online for what it was all about.  We had done a little bit of cardio kickboxing with another place that quickly went out of business.  We knew what an intense workout it was and really wanted to get back into it.  I jumped on the coupon bandwagon and tested the gym out for a few months, but by October of 2012 I knew I was truly ADDICTED and needed to become a full-fledged, round-housing, body-squatting, dripping-with-sweat member.

What are some of your fitness goals?

My next goal is to get into more personal training.  I continue to look for more mud runs/OCRs to complete.  This year I’ve set my sights on Tough Mudder.  Not falling off those monkey bars is THE goal!!  I think more personal training will help increase my upper body strength even more.

JoAnn (lower right) enjoying life

JoAnn (lower right) enjoying life

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?  

The key factor that sets CKO Seattle apart from any other gym is the family/team atmosphere that the Renon’s and their trainers have created from day one.  I’ve made a lot of friends by being part of this gym.  I’ve even recruited a few to do some OCRs with me!!  The atmosphere is so positive and encouraging, you can’t help but feel like you are an integral part of the team.

What was the best part about the challenge?

It’s hard to pick out one best part of this challenge.  Learning firsthand that I have what it takes to make improvements in my health is empowering. Never say never.  I thought I could NEVER give up eating bread and pasta.  Turns out that I can!!  I also really enjoyed the fact that my daughter (also a member) and I did this challenge together.

The biggest surprise and a benefit I DID NOT expect from this challenge was that my acid reflux (GERD) completely disappeared!!  I’ve had GERD for 10+ years.  Probably more like 15 years.  Three weeks into the challenge I ran out of medication.  I can tend to be a procrastinator and kept forgetting/putting off going to the drug store for my meds.  Well, five days without my meds and I realized I had NO heartburn/reflux WHATSOEVER!  I truly could  not believe it.  Every night I expected it to flare up.  It didn’t.  I never once thought that wheat/gluten was the cause of this ailment.  No doctor ever recommended a diet change.  I always thought it was the pepperoni or peanut butter or the wine.  Nope.  It’s the wheat/gluten.  This health improvement will keep me from ever going back to the way I used to eat.

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

Due to workload and just life in general, I couldn’t always get in the 4-5 classes.  But I didn’t beat myself up over it.  I did 4-5 classes when I could and was okay with the fact when I couldn’t.

JoAnn and her daughter, punching cancer in the face!

JoAnn and her daughter (Lizzie), punching cancer in the face!

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

CKO is just a great place to be.  I know I will NEVER regret a workout.  Because I have a sedentary job, it’s very important to me that when I work out, it’s a very intense workout.  The CKO trainers always deliver!

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

Eating vegetables!  I’m getting better.  I think another 10-week challenge will help me improve on this.  😉

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

Keep offering the boot camps!  🙂 

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)! 

I’m so happy that my daughter is also a member.  We are great workout buddies.  We help keep each other motivated.

Here’s how I improved over the course of 10 weeks:

Inches I worked off:

  • Each arm is .75” smaller
  • Chest is 2.75” smaller
  • Waist is 2.5” smaller
  • Booty is 1.25” smaller
  • R leg is 2.5” smaller
  • L leg is 1.75” smaller
  • Total inches lost = 12.25-inches
  • Weight is down 6 pounds

Fitness test Results:

  • Increased 1-min push-ups on toes by 2, on knees by 5 (total increase of 7 overall)
  • Increased 1-min squats by 4
  • Increased 1-min sit-ups by by 6
  • Decreased 600-yard shuttle run by 14 seconds
  • Increased plank time by 20 seconds
  • Increased wall sit time 49 seconds

Thank you to the whole CKO crew — Garett, Jessica, Robert, Rod, Erin, Jon, Charmaine, and Kila (and some past instructors as well) — who guide us and keep us motivated.  I know I would not have come this far without your guidance and encouragement and support and knowledge.


JoAnn — (a/k/a Mama Bowen…per Robert  😉 )

Member Success Story Danielle Mörlund

I love me some quick witted people! And one of the funniest quick witted people I know is Danielle Mörlund. She not only has this amazing sense of humor she also has this ability to make me laugh without saying much. Really, she can just look at me, and without saying a single word, somehow conveys this hilarious quick witted statement. It is amazing! That’s not all, she also posses this ability to  “brighten up” a room, making every smile and laugh, in mere minutes of her arrival. Again, it’s AMAZING.

Congratulations you are in onederland (this means getting in to the 100's in body weight)

Congratulations you have now arrived in “Onederland” (getting in to the 100’s in body weight)

In addition to her stunning personality she also has this amazing drive!  Shortly after being diagnosed with the early stages of type 2 diabetes, the same chronic illness that ended the lives of her grandma and father, she vowed to fight!

Hold on it gets better… Not only did she vow to fight, she vowed to fight for as long as it takes, until the battle’s won. Her commitment to this battle is very important because the results will not happen overnight. Her commitment to battle is also important because the journey will not only be long, it will be HARD! But most importantly Danielle also knows that the results will absolutely be worth all the sacrifices!

And speaking of results, Danielle just reach a major milestone in her fitness journey! She has arrived in “Onederland”! Congratulations, now get back to work 😉


Danielle motivation


Read more about Danielle Mörlund below:

The Danielle Mörlund interview

Wow!!! Keep up the great work!

Wow!!! Keep up the great work!

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job? 

 I’m a domestic goddess to “Swedish Mike” and our mini Labradoodle Max. Previous to this title, I was a third grade teacher in the Bronx. I also briefly worked with dogs in both daycare and grooming. Thankfully, I never took the W.C. Fields quote – “Never work with children or animals.” seriously.

Do you have any hobbies?

Besides collecting CKO points, I enjoy weight lifting, reading non fiction, cooking, traveling, serving on my HOA Board and being a Type 2 Diabetes advocate.

 How did you first learn of CKO?

I first learned about CKO through my friend Jenny Brower. My husband had been telling me that I should start boxing for because he felt I would enjoy it and it would help me reach my health and fitness goals. When Jenny mentioned that CKO opened up in Shoreline, I jumped to give it a try. All three of us are now members.

Just another "day at the office".

Just another “day at the office”.

What are some of your fitness goals?

My current fitness goals are to increase my lean body mass by switching up my current weight lifting routine, decrease body fat to a healthier 20% and add more flexibility and stability training.

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?  

My favorite aspect of CKO is the camaraderie amongst members, the constant motivation and the honest care and support from trainers, instructors and staff.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

I was a child who had weight issues. That combined with not being very athletic convinced me that I “hated” to exercise.  So, when I began my fitness journey a few years ago, I committed to three days a week for one year before I would even consider quitting. It was a personal contract with myself.  I quickly realized that it was enjoyable and I began to look forward to it.  I do have days where I think twice about heading out the door or during the workout I’m thinking – “Why am I here?” That is where member camaraderie comes into play. There is always someone close by telling me that I can finish the workout and that I can give it 110%. It makes all the difference. Afterwards, I’m always happy I choose to workout.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? 

Diet! It has taken me years to get to where I am now with my relationship to food, but it can still be a struggle. If I had to wrap myself up in a bow – I would label myself an over eater. Sometimes in quantity of food and sometimes in choosing calorie dense/nutrient sparse foods. I’ve relied on food to fill emotional voids since childhood.  I’m a “foodie” – I enjoy cooking and eating different foods. However, I always viewed food as “good” or “bad. The big turn around in my thinking came when my father passed  several years ago from diabetic complications. He was only 61 and his mother also passed at the age of 61 from diabetic complications. In 2007, I was diagnosed with the early stages of type 2 diabetes and I thought there was no way I was going down without a battle. I read everything I could get my hands on and cut back on carbohydrates. Within three months, my A1c and other blood markers normalized. I’ve been able to avoid taking medications since I made those lifestyle changes. I eventually switched my focus from macronutrients to micronutrients – meaning I made the majority of my diet unprocessed real foods that provide nutrients by switching to a paleo/primal diet. I’m not perfect. I splurge now and then. As I like to say, I’m a work in progress.

Danielle's type of humor

Danielle’s type of humor!

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? 

It gets better?

Share any relevant information about yourself that other people might not know about you: 

I can’t thank CKO enough. When I started this journey, I was morbidly obese. Since joining, I have accomplished so much. Overall, I have lost over 85 pounds, but over 50 of those pounds were dropped in the last 10 months at CKO! I reached my first long term goal of getting under 200 pounds. I’ve lost many inches and dress sizes. I’m even more excited about my fitness level. Within weeks of joining, I was able to jump to the next level in weight lifting  – which I had previously plateaued at for many months. I am now confident enough to participate in boot camp classes. I can now jog and sprint as well as crank out a lot more floor exercises. Ten years ago I walked a 5K with a time of 1:07 minutes and this past weekend, I did the “Free Them 5K” with members of CKO. My time was 43 minutes! I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Beating her old 5K time by 40-mins!

Beating her old 5K time by 24-mins!

Chase Excitement, or Settle for Boredom…


So the other day I get a phone call from someone interested in hearing about our membership prices. Now typically we don’t give out membership prices over the phone because we have found, oddly enough, that many people make decisions solely based on price. It is the equivalent to purchasing a car without first giving it a test drive. How much can you really know about something if you have never experienced it? Price alone tells you nothing about the quality.

Despite this the person on the phone still begged for the price saying” I don’t want to get excited for something I cannot afford”. Now unfortunately this is not the first time I’ve heard someone making this peculiar statement. In fact, I have even had a few people write me long winded emails about how they were afraid of falling in love with a workout they could not afford. Think about these statements, afraid of being excited or afraid falling in love…


These  statements are extremely odd, because these people are basically saying, “I really don’t care if I am happy or not”? Or- “I can not be happy without money in my pocket!!” How could they not care, or care only about money?  I thought the purpose of life was to be happy? I thought the purpose of life was to live inspired? I thought the purpose of life was to be excited whenever and wherever possible?  And if you love something- who cares how much it cost- make it work! My understanding is life is extremely short and anything that excites us, anything that inspires us, or anything that forces us to be a better person should be something we should STRIVE FOR, EVERY DAMN DAY!  Excitement is not something we should fear. Instead we should fight for excitement, hell we should be willing to die for EXCITEMENT!  Am I right? What else is there? In my 32 years on this planet I have learned that life is about excitement, it is about passion, and it’s about love. Nothing else matters. Everything else is just distractions that prevent us from reaching our full potential.


So why are so many people not willing to fight for excitement? Because they have “checked out”, and they have given up on the possibility of a better life. These people have stopped dreaming and have started settling. These people who refuse to fight for excitement have become satisfied with being average and/or they have become comfortable with their current situation. And once they become COMFORTABLE they have no reason to fight. In their mind, no better possibility exists, so why work any harder!? You have to realize that once you accept your current situation as being comfortable you will immediately lose your drive and desire to be better.

And worst of all, think about the opposite of excitement, it is boredom, it’s dread, it’s lacking imagination, it’s feeling  BLAH! To sound like the movie fight club…Boredom is well, boring and boring people don’t take chances, they hate change. Boredom is going to a job you hate, to buy shit you don’t need, to impress people you don’t like.

Fight club

Let me let you in on a secret,once you become excited about something, once you find your passion, you don’t care what anyone else thinks. All you care about is doing more of that thing that excites you. That’s it! They say true successful people never work a day in their lives because the get to do what they want for a living! So the next time you feel some excitement, the next time you feel some love, the next time you feel passion, or desire, don’t be scared, instead chase those feelings, do everything you can to keep those feelings alive!!! The days of boredom are over! The days of settling are over! Let’s chase greatness! It’s time to be excited!!!