Member of the Month: Frances Kialpha

Member of Month

RHF cycling instructor Ruby nominated Frances saying, “Fran comes every week and sets up the bikes ahead of time.” Ruby had also heard about Fran’s martial arts background and said, another inspiring part of her story. Congrats to being a faithful member, regular participant in Ladies Night and RHF’s “Member of the Month.” 

How did you find out about Rainier Health & Fitness?

Fran: I think I drove by here when I was going to Renton one day and I saw that you had moved into this building and decided to check that out.

What’s your workout routine like?

Fran: I try to do the whole body routine covering all the muscle groups. I need to do aerobics so I like the fitness classes, the ZUMBA and the spin and I’m trying the one tonight, the Boss Chick, which I don’t know what it is but I want to try that. And I’m kinda inconsistent with the yoga but I’m gonna start back next week with being consistent because I think that’s good for stretching and flexibility and balance.

And then when you do your own workout do you use the muscle-specific machines?

Fran: I use the machines and I use the free weights.

And how often do you work out? Is it every day?

Fran: Well, I try to do aerobics five to six days a week and then do weights at least three times a week, maybe four.

What do you like best about Ladies Night?

Fran: I like the music. That helps keep you motivated and it’s fun. And I like the group exercise; people keep you motivated and keep you coming back to a certain extent. And it’s nice to see other people working out and benefiting from the exercise.

So how did you originally get into exercise and fitness?

Fran: I actually used to run more than anything else. I ran a marathon and I used to bicycle outside and used to do a little bit of swimming. But I ran all over this city; I probably know where every neighborhood is. And decided that I needed to get more versatile. And I used to teach a martial art for Aikido, which was a nonviolent martial arts; I did that for 26-years and trained in it too. Then stopped doing that and did a little Tai Chi, mostly just dance classes—I did a variety of dance classes.

Any volunteer stuff you do in the community?

Fran with RHF sweat towel

Fran: I belong to a meditation group, a mindfulness meditation group. It’s called Mindfulness Community of Puget Sound and I go to their retreats and I usually go on Monday nights; we have meditation group on Monday nights. In fact, one of the members here comes every once in awhile and then I’m on the board of directors so I volunteer for that. And that’s helped me a lot in my every day living. And then doing my exercise because when you’re really paying attention, it makes a big difference. Trying to be in the moment rather than letting your mind wander all over the place.

Well that’s part of martial arts too.

Fran: Yeah, definitely. Well that’s sorta like a lot of the philosophy from the meditation group is also from martial arts so I was exposed to it before and then continued.

How did you get interested in martial arts?

Fran: It was recommended for me because I had an incident that happened when I was waiting for a bus. I was working as an RN and was waiting for a bus and it was like midnight and I usually go inside the post office and stand inside and the guy came in and basically attacked me but fortunately I was standing in front of one of these rollup things and there was a cleaning guy behind there and when I screamed, the guy came out and then everything was fine. But that’s what motivated me.

Yeah, sorry to bring up past trauma—was just fascinated by 26-years of teaching; that’s very impressive!

Fran: Yeah, it was more like therapy!

Yeah, for sure. Thank you for sharing your story. Anything else you wanted to add?

Fran: Well, I guess my goal is to train in a way and live in a way that promotes that I become the best version of me that I can be. And that’s not only physically but mentally and spiritually, the whole thing.