Posted by United Goods on Jan 25 2018
Following is the full interview we did with Adrienne Vaughn of Fitspace. Part of it ran in our monthly email, United Update, which is sent to subscribers around the 26th of each month. To join the mailing list, enter your email address in the field near the bottom of each page of our website.
We met Adrienne Vaughn, Pilates coordinator and personal trainer at Fitspace, in the early 2000s when Christy taught Pilates alongside her at the YWCA, and later at Life Time. She's a spectacular trainer, a talented musician, and an overall badass.
Hey, Adrienne! Tell us about you.
I was raised in North Dakota, and got my degree in Graphic Design from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. While I was going to college, I worked part-time at the Wedge Co-op. I graduated from the University right when Sept. 11 occurred. I couldn't find a job, so I went full-time at the Wedge. I quickly moved into the General Merchandise Buyer position, and I loved my job. I worked with artisans and found local gems to display at the store. I actually sold some of Christy's cards back in the day! [Editor’s Note: Aww….] I was under the department of Health and Wellness, so I became educated on supplementation and natural products, which I found valuable. I'd been active my whole life: I played sports, ran races, and commuted to work by bike. However, I never understood the key to functional training. I stumbled upon Pilates in my early 20s and really enjoyed it. I'd injured in my back lifting something awkward when I was 24, and noticed that many of the PT exercises I was assigned were Pilates movements. I decided to get a basic Mat certification and started teaching at the YWCA in Uptown when I was 25. I was very interested in the Pilates equipment, and became STOTT PILATES certified in Mat and Reformer, and eventually Cadillac and Chair. I felt confident with my skillset and wanted to take Pilates further, so I took the plunge and left a job I loved after 10 years. At 31 I became a full-time Pilates instructor and personal trainer at Life Time in St. Louis Park. While building a clientele, I became the coordinator of the Pilates department. One of my clients was John Grubb, who mentioned to me that he wanted to create a gym, and I should be in charge of Pilates. I told him 'Build the space and I will come!' Fast forward two years, and Fitspace was created. I’ve now been there for three years. I feel really lucky that I fell into a career that I love early in life, and that has taught me to be a conscientious person. I also feel the Wedge and Life Time educated me on nutrition and supplementation in a very holistic way.
Along with fitness and well-being, I actually moved to the Twin Cities for music. I played in many bands throughout the Twin Cities, and continue to be creative with it in some fashion. I’ve played guitar since I was 17 and piano since I was about 10. I actually met my husband in one of these projects. We married seven years ago, and almost four years ago brought a little boy named David into our lives. In March of 2017 we introduced another boy, our son Roy.
Tell us about Fitspace.
Fitspace is different from other gyms because it was designed with the client in mind. There are no memberships fees. A person pays for what they want and will use. We design programs around your needs. As staff, we share a lot of clients and make sure they’re working toward their specific goals. One trainer might do personal training with a client, but sees a need for deeper flexibility work, so he connects the client with me. We don’t run into the idea of hoarding clients. When your client succeeds, you succeed. We also have a fun space—it’s filled with unique equipment you don’t find everywhere.
In a Pilates session with me, I definitely follow the principles of the work, but I also cater the session to the client. I might have a plan for a person, but they walk in stressed out and need to just stretch and breathe, so that's what we do. I also have a personal training approach to a session. I make sure we have the major muscles in check, and then narrow in on the stabilization and flexibly the client may need. I have a client base that’s been with me for many years, and I think it’s because I’m realistic and charismatic. My goal is that you get a great workout in the time you spend with me—I pride myself on communication and timeliness. I also build strong friendships and almost family-like connections that I treasure. I offer privates, semi-privates, and small-group in both Pilates and personal training.
What do you wish more people knew about their health?
I wish people would watch their nutrition more. It’s such a huge piece to the puzzle of weight loss and success. I also wish people would take the time to do basic stretches if they sit for work. Death by chair!
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
I think leaving Life Time and having a full clientele still interested in my services and working with me. It was very humbling but [validated] that I'd made the right decision.
What's the best part of what you do?
I have people looking forward to being in the space and feeling good after they’re done. I love when people feel like they can start the day after a session with me.
What's the most challenging?
The amount of energy needed can be exhausting. I feel I need to be positive and uplifting, so if I have a hard day or if I'm tired, it can be challenging to feel upbeat.
What are your future plans?
I plan to continue to develop my expertise in the Pilates/healing field. I’m interested in adding a couple other certifications to make me a stronger trainer. I sometimes think about owning my own space with other women and having a cooperatively run space.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress! And a musician! Which is funny because I've done music, but sometimes teaching is like putting on a little teaching show, so I do a bit of that I guess. I’ve always felt comfortable in front of people. As a kid, I sang in church with my dad. I also performed in plays and musicals into my college years.
What might we be surprised to learn about you?
1. I was a vegetarian for 11 years and now am a big meat eater.
2. I've done about five triathlons.
3. I commute by bike as much as I can.
4. I love to garden, and grow vegetables during the summer.
5. I have a problem with buying too many boots.
I'm a shoe-a-holic. What's a favorite pair you own?
I love my Frye boots, I’ll probably have them until I die.
Find Adrienne and FitSpace here:
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