• Paisley Meekin

Spotlight on Honest Member, Kate Collins!

Kate Collins exemplifies the qualities that we love in our members. She is fiercely motivated, unwaveringly positive, and always so kind! Plus, Kate would definitely win the “Best Gym Shoes” trophy if Honest had an awards night like the “Dundies!” Come to a 7am class to check out her new Nike Metcons, and you’ll see for yourself how encouraging and motivating it is to work out alongside Kate!

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Read on and get to know more about Kate’s fitness journey & life outside of the gym!

1. How long have you been working out at Honest? How did you get started?

My very first class was August 2015! I got started in fitness for the same reason as most people – to lose weight. I used Classpass to find cardio dance classes since it was my only tolerable form of exercise. Occasionally, I’d sign up for a barre, spin, or bootcamp class, but I’d always spend the hour watching the clock. On a whim, I signed up for a class at Honest. It kicked my butt, but everything was scaled to my very beginner level, so I never once thought, “I can’t do this.” I knew I needed to buy a full membership when I found myself actually looking forward to working out for the first time in my life! I finally joined full-time in May 2017!

2. Do you have any advice for someone who is new at Honest? Or thinking about a membership?

It’s easy to let fear and intimidation prevent us from trying something new. When I was using Classpass, I was going to new studios all the time, but the feeling of intimidation never went away. I always worried I would be the most out-of-shape or the youngest. I would show up early and sit in my car just to watch people walk inside so I knew what I was up against! But the great thing about Honest is the diversity. It’s impossible to be the “odd one out” because there is such a variety of ages, bodies, and abilities!

As for helpful gym advice – the light switch is on the outside of the bathroom, the unmarked medicine ball is 16lbs, and always go heavier than you think at first – you might surprise yourself! 🙂

3. What are your favorite & least favorite exercises?

I get most excited when I see barbell deadlifts on the whiteboard! It’s always fun to challenge myself to go heavier and it feels badass to get callouses from the bar. Dumbbell snatches are a close second, and they have a bit of sentimental value. A few months before I joined Honest, I watched athletes compete in the Crossfit Open and the women had to snatch 35# dumbbells. I remember feeling so inferior and never thought I’d be able to do it, so I made it a looooong term goal. After 4 months of consistent work, I achieved it! Dumbbell snatches always remind me that I’m capable of anything.

I used to have a long list of least favorite exercises, but I think most of it was mental. When you go into a set thinking, “This is terrible, I hate doing burpees/block runs/box jumps, I’m no good!” then you’re obviously going to have a bad time. I started thinking of my not-favorites an opportunity to work on a skill that needed improving, so now it’s actually fun to see progress! I’m most proud of my yogi squat which was a chair squat 6 months ago!

4. How do you stay motivated?

My Philips Hue sunrise lights, coffee, and a bangin’ playlist en route to the gym. I never used to be a morning person, but when my beloved evening classes with Jared no longer fit into my schedule, I was forced to become a 7am’er with Paisley! It was the hardest transition of my life, but now it’s the best start to my day. Summers are easy, but those dark winter mornings are KILLER. I swear by my sunrise lights that automatically fade on at 5:30am and wake me up. So much better than a jarring alarm in the darkness!

5. What keeps you busy in between workouts?

I’m lucky enough to have a job in optometry that I can mentally leave at 6pm, so my evenings are spent with friends, doing yoga, or entering Instagram giveaways. I don’t have a TV, so Instagram is my mind-numbing screen of choice. So far I’ve won an Instant Pot, $500 worth of New Balance gear, a Garden Bar gift card, SO MUCH protein powder, and countless paleo snacks.

6. How long have you lived in Portland? Where else have you lived?

I grew up in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. My hometown is more white-collar suburbia than horses and tobacco, but it’s still a red state, so I quickly moved to Colorado for college where I went to the University of Denver. I also lived in Amman, Jordan, for 6 months while studying abroad in an Arabic program. I came to Portland on a whim for a summer internship and knew I needed to return, so after graduation, I moved back! I recently took a 5 month solo trip through NZ, Singapore, Vietnam, Italy, Greece, and northern Europe. I couchsurfed the entire time, so I didn’t really “live” anywhere other than hosts’ couches! It definitely gave me a deep appreciation for having a sense of home and a mundane routine.

7. What is your creative outlet?

Cooking is my passion. If I could spend all of my free time in the kitchen, I would! There’s nothing more satisfying than gathering ingredients, putting them together in crazy and unique ways, taking 500 photos for Instagram, and then devouring all of it! I recently cooked my way through Mel Joulwan’s “Well Fed Weeknights” and now I’m working through a salad cookbook I bought in the Netherlands. It’s in Dutch so I have to translate it (thanks, Google!) but all of the recipes are mind-blowingly good.

8. What is your self-care routine?

Every morning I wake up 30 minutes early to drink coffee and journal. I enjoy reflecting on the previous day’s victories and looking for ways to be 1% better. I also read a short excerpt from whatever text has inspired me recently. In the evenings, I enjoy going to biweekly candlelit Yin yoga, and I always get 8 hours of sleep, no exceptions!

9. What’s your favorite kind of music for working out? Or otherwise?

Anything with an intense build up and beat drop! My power song of 2018 was “High Hopes” by Panic at the Disco. It has pushed me through so many spin classes and mile runs! On my way to the gym, I blast DJ Khalid, Lil Jon, and Kanye.

At home, I exclusively listen to jazz and podcasts. My favorites are “Reply All,” “PaleOMG,” and “Why Won’t You Date Me?” Warning: that last one will probably make you blush while laughing so hard you pee.

10. Can we follow you on Social Media? Do you have any favorite accounts to recommend for fitness & nutrition content?

My Instagram is @KateCollinsPDX and I mostly post photos of food I make and cute pigeons I see. They’re my spirit animal! My favorite food/lifestyle blogger is Juli Bauer of PaleOMG. I also follow James Smith (jamessmithpt) for when I want some tough love. Whiteboard_daily has great tips for form and I think about them all the time! But mostly I just look at memes.

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