These fitness trainers are doing their business to elevate life in Kansas City apartments KCUR 89.3

Aya Radel is usually not as brave as she was the day in 2016, when in a moment of confidence she turned to Mallory Jansen to start a joint fitness endeavor.

They both already worked in the Kansas City fitness industry and both had business degrees, but neither knew each other.

“She turned to Instagram – which is fun because she’s very introverted,” Jansen said. I answered and said, “Yes, let’s do things.”

Radel’s moment of confidence was fleeting.

It was like “It doesn’t matter!” I don’t want to talk to a stranger anymore, “Radel, 30, recalled with a laugh.

However, the two found ways to work together and realized they were good at it. The following year they founded Flexiblea company that pairs its own fitness trainers and yoga instructors in the gyms of an apartment complex.

“Most complexes, such as treadmills, get used to cardio equipment. But then you see the dumbbells and they’re all dusty, and the cable machines – nobody knows how to do them, “Radel said. “It’s scary.”

Now, in more than 70 subway locations, Flexy’s 18 instructors help residents use the training facilities they often pay for.

“They’re just putting the coolest things in these gyms now, and we want to make sure people use them,” Radel said.

Entrepreneurship and experience

Both Radel and Jansen, 32, admitted that self-deletion was a little easier for them than for others.

Jansen’s parents are entrepreneurs in their own right and encourage her to follow in their footsteps. Radel, the daughter of the former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, Sly Jamesshe grew up watching her father break down racial barriers and started a number of law firms.

“When you have people to trust and people who have created things themselves before – and they do it very well – it’s like, ‘Oh, yes, I can do something like that,'” Radel said.

However, Radel said that being half white and half black in an industry that is predominantly white is difficult. Zippia career site analysis found that 77% of personal trainers in the United States are white, 10% are Hispanic, and 5.7% are African American.

Radel’s two-racial background has opened her up to racist and insensitive comments from clients and colleagues, especially in previous jobs.

“Someone who worked there told me that there was no way I could experience racism or discrimination, especially since I am half white,” she said.

Radel’s experience as a black woman has also been called into question by her family’s economic privileges and the fact that she went to private school.

“People forget that just because you’re black doesn’t mean you had the same experience as someone else,” she said. “I love all the children I went to school with – it’s not against them – but I went to school with a bunch of rich white kids. So I mean, the things I heard and didn’t even realize were slightly racist and micro-aggressive – now I remember and, well, it’s probably not that good. “

A new way to be “on duty”

Nowadays, Flexy co-owners rarely intervene to teach a fitness class – “we’re trying to focus on things behind the scenes,” Radel said – but they’re still happy to see people achieve their goals.

Luke X. Martin


KCUR 89.3

“She’s the gas, and I’m the brakes,” said Aya Radel on the left, describing the dynamics of the workplace between her and Flexy co-owner Mallory Jansen. “So we’re having a really good time in the middle.”

“One of my favorite parts of being a personal trainer,” she said, “is when someone realizes they can do something you tell them they can do all the time.”

In the coming months, Jansen and Radel plan to expand event planning in apartment complexes and cash in on long-standing relationships they have built with property management companies.

“We know the people, we know the people who work there, so it’s just a natural transition,” Jansen said.

The new direction offers another opportunity, Radel explained, “because only part of (residents of the building) will come to the fitness class. “But we can meet so many more people and we can be so useful to so many people if we do all these other events.”

For Radel and Jansen, who began their journey trying to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their clients, this opportunity proved too tempting to miss.

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