CKO Success Story (Taryn Coakley)

I have a love/hate relationship with excuses, on one hand I despise excuses because it is a form of self-sabotage, and nothing positive ever comes from an excuse, an excuses just stalls progress. On the other hand, it can be very amusing to hear some of the “justifications” people come up with to get out of working out. Here is a true story about the most creative excuse I have ever heard:


Former Member – “My car was broken into and my gloves and handwraps were stolen.”

Me – “Wow! Are you OK? Did they take anything else?”

Former Member – “Yes I am fine, they just took my gloves and handwraps.”

Me “Glad you are OK.”

Former Member  – “Yes, well I think I need to cancel my membership because I am still traumatized by the whole event and the thought of buying new gloves and handwraps (value $18) will trigger my memories of this haunting event.”

Me – (Speechless) “um…Ok… um…I understand…”

So to recap, this former member was not hurt, did not see the “thief”, and nothing else was stolen (just her $13 pair of gloves and her $5 handwraps) but apparently that was enough to prevent her from ever taking a kickboxing class again. Look, I don’t know if her car was actually broken into or not, but either way I give her credit for coming up with the most ridiculous excuse I have ever heard.

So while I hear excuses everyday it is very refreshing to meet someone who is not about excuses only about actions. About 3.5 months ago Taryn Coakley walks into the gym and asks about a gym membership and personal training. Taryn goes on to tell me that her husband is in the United States Air Force and how she is so excited 😉 to be moving to the lovely state of Alabama in 3-months . She then says, “I don’t have much to do right now so I want to train and get in the best shape possible during these last 3-months here in Seattle, do you think you can help me”?

Garett and Taryn

Taryn, after her last class

Here is why Taryn is awesome. If you know anything about excuses, she is sitting on a “gold mine”. See the number 1 excuse is I can’t afford it, but the “I maybe moving” excuse is definitely in the top 5. Did you catch the key word? Maybe! Yes people will not sign-up for a gym membership on the off chance they maybe moving in the next 3-9 months. Well for Taryn, there was no “maybe”, her husband had military orders and she would be gone in three months but instead of saying “what’s the point”, like so many others, she took the opportunity to train as a hard as possible before moving.

When people tell me they maybe moving in 3- 9 months my thought is always the same, “OK, but what are you going to do until then”? It is very common for people to think that it is “not worth it” to start something new if they will be leaving. But unfortunately that could not be further from the truth. Because unless you have been living under a rock, you know, that there never is, or ever will be a perfect time to start anything, be it your health journey, starting a family, or a business, the time is NEVER right.  Because nothing in the world is guaranteed, you could lose your job tomorrow, you could get hit by a bus next week, or be abducted by aliens next month. All we have is this moment, all we have is NOW. So what are you going to do NOW? What are you doing TODAY to be the best version of yourself? Don’t wait, be like Taryn, and make the most of the time you have, because we never no what is around the next corner (or if they even have gyms in Alabama)…

So in 3-months Taryn lost 3.25 inches off her body, with 1.75 of those coming off her waist. Also despite her fear of failing the fitness test, she improved in all aspects of the test, which means she is now a stronger, healthier, and more capable version of herself. Check out the interview to find out more about her story.

The Taryn Coakley interview:

July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014

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

When I joined CKO, my husband and I knew that we were moving to Alabama less than 3 months later.  As a business consultant, my last project concluded in early May, so my day job was CKO classes and personal training!  Prior to being a business consultant, I was a brand and marketing mastermind for big brands such as Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea, Mike’s Hard Lemonade (are you seeing a theme here?), Starbucks, and Redbox.

Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy cooking and my husband and I really enjoy trying new and unusual beers.  I also love to SUP (stand-up-paddle) along with basically anything outdoors.  I’m not good at sitting around and doing nothing, so I’m always on-the-go!

Taryn SUP

Taryn SUP

How did you first learn of CKO?

I was getting really bored with my normal gym routine, so I started thinking about different types of workouts that I could try.  I Googled ‘kickboxing in Seattle’ and CKO came up.  The reviews were fantastic and the first class was free, so I gave it a shot.  I was hooked on day one!

What are some of your fitness goals?

I definitely increased my strength and overall fitness ability while working out at CKO, but I can certainly keep improving.  I want to be able to bust out a bunch of pull-ups!  And it would be nice to see my abs someday (though my love for beer tends to make that goal a bit more difficult).

Taryn and her Husband Josh

Taryn and her Husband Josh

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?

The people!  I knew right away that I would have a lot of fun at CKO.  Since I wasn’t working during my tenure at CKO, I would show up a little early for class or training and try to get in a little extra social interaction.  Whether he likes it or not, Garett and I became friends.  We had a lot of fun discussing random topics.  And the other members are all so friendly and welcoming.  I really enjoyed meeting new people who were genuine and supportive.

What was the best part about your personal challenge?

I didn’t have any time to stop!  I only had about 2.5 months to make as much progress as I could, so I needed to keep grinding as much as possible.

What was the hardest part about your personal challenge?

My husband and I were away for three weeks, which set me back a bit!  I like to indulge a bit when we go on vacation, so that slowed my progress.


Specialty Beers are her weakness ;)

Specialty Beers are her weakness 😉

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

It’s genuinely fun to workout at CKO.  Sometimes a regular workout at the gym is really mundane, but CKO is always challenging and different.

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

I’m not a CKO member anymore because we moved away. 😦

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

Open a CKO in Montgomery!!!

End of interview.

So Taryn and I did become friends and we had some awesome conversations. In fact I later realized that she likes to keep track of random quotes people say, and man, she had a list of all the crazy stuff I said over the last 3-months. I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I did!

Garett Renon quotes as recorded by Taryn:

  • I’m not even the most in shape person in the world.
  • Jessica and I don’t even have furniture; we just do wall sits whenever we want to sit down at home.
  • Other women your size are able to do this.
  • Some people have a whole laundry list of things that they need to improve on [looks at me].
  • Straight punches are our bread and butter…even though we don’t eat bread.
  • It’s the summer of the booty.
  • [while I’m doing push-ups] I could pour my coffee onto your back and it would pool up and stay there.
  • [after a personal training session] This is another form of progress. You aren’t annihilated like you used to be.
  • [after mentioning that my lower back is sore] That’s because you don’t do bag flips correctly.
  • [after successfully doing pass throughs] Nice! Now we can actually call these pass throughs instead of drag throughs.
  • I got so cold watching you workout [Garett puts hoodie on].
  • Fridays are crazy. Today I took the 6am class, had 3 mitt sessions, and now…YOU.
  • You have a lot going for you. [pure look of shock on my face]. I say: Was that a compliment? G says: Yeah. Don’t expect too many of those.
  • Sometimes I wish I was attracted to men because women can be so crazy. Ahh, to be gay. If only I could be so lucky.
  • I mean, I’m obviously married, but I’m not ASKING anyone to marry me, you know? Who’s going to say no to marring me?
  • [after me mentioning a mistake G made during class] I think I remember that ONE mistake. Maybe.
  • [me, excited] I just did two pull-ups! G says: did you start in a full body hang? Me: no. [look of disappointment from G]
  • I want a secret room. I don’t know what I would do in there, but I want one.
  • [after watching me do ropes] well, you did that a lot better than I thought you would. Sorry for the backhanded compliment. Here’s a real compliment: that shirt looks really nice on you. [look of shock]
  • I like to have something covering me when I sleep. I don’t want the aliens to come in and look at me. I mean, if they are going to take a look at anyone it will definitely be me!
  • I put together a soul crushing workout for you today. [evil grin]
  • You may be the first person in history to do worse on the PT test after training with me. That’s good, though. I can blog about how failure is possible with Garett Renon.
  • We are going to do 4 sets of bent over rows now. Actually, not ‘we’, since you don’t like me I say that. T says: well would you want to be grouped with me on those angled push-ups? G: No. Not at all.
  • [in class] 4 body weight squats, 1 squat jump. 4 body weight squats, 1 squat jump…come on, this isn’t the Garett show!

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