If you don’t know Mackenzie, you are missing out! Not only is she one of the most bad-ass teachers and a Master Trainer at JoyRide (and now JoyX!), she is also a Westport mom, the Westport Staples Assistant Varsity girls’ soccer coach, a Nike Trainer and a push up champion. While all of her accomplishments might make her seem too hard core to be approachable, she is truly one of the nicest- and most motivating – people you’ll ever meet. Learn about what drove her to ultimately leave the Corporate world, her love for skiing- and her girlfriends- and much more about this amazing woman who is often heard shouting over loud music “Come on legs!!” (photo credit: Marni Lane)
How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? I have 3 kids. My daughter, Parker, is 11 years old, and my two sons, James and Thomas, are 10 and 7. We have lived in Westport for just over 7 years. We moved here from Chicago in September 2009, when my youngest, Thomas, was 12 weeks old.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time? I think the hardest time for me was when my daughter was born. Everything was brand new and I had NO idea what I was doing. My dad gave me the best advice and I still refer to it to this day. He said, “Kenz, you are going to have absolutely no idea what you are doing as a parent, but as long as your baby feels loved, nothing else matters.”
What is one thing most people might be surprised to know about you? I am the Assistant Varsity Girls’ soccer coach at Staples, and LOVE it!
What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns? Compo, Compo, Compo! We live at Compo Beach during the summer. We love the water, the beach, Joey’s and the playground. My kids love it because they always end up seeing someone they know to play with – and I love it because their friends entertain them. During the winter we love to ski as a family. We are a huge fan of day trips to Ski Sundown or Butternut.
What was your most memorable family vacation and why? My husband is from Denver and we are lucky enough to go there every year for vacation. Last February was the first year that all five of us skied together for a couple of days straight without someone having to be in a ski/snowboard lesson. My husband and I cherished the fact that we wanted to ski with our kids … and our kids wanted to ski with us. How many more years do we have until our kids are going to want to be skiing with their friends instead of us? Sometimes we wish we could freeze time.
What is the best white lie you have told your kids?
Is it so bad that there are too many to choose from? Just recently I told my youngest that the school called because he wasn’t wearing his jacket to school in the winter. It is a huge deal every morning to get him to put on a jacket even when it is SEVEN degrees outside (no joke, he is literally asking me what the weather is tomorrow in hope that it is warm enough for just a sweatshirt as I am writing this). So I deferred the blame to Saugatuck Elementary and told him it is a school rule to wear your jacket in the winter!
What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids? Venmo – it makes paying babysitters and group gifts so easy!! And for my kids -no App is a good App… we are always trying to minimize electronics as much as possible.
What’s your can’t live without beauty product? “Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer” by Beautycounter.
What’s your biggest regret? I can’t speak a foreign language. I even lived in Munich, Germany for a year when I was 25 years old working for GE… and I couldn’t even pronounce my street name properly so that the cab drivers could understand me. So embarrassing!
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family dinner? A night out with friends? Our favorite family places to go are Bar Taco or Colony Grill. My favorite date night with my husband is The Whelk. And for a girls night … ANYWHERE – including someone’s house wearing just sweatpants. Girlfriends literally make the world go round. I don’t know what I would do without my girls.
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do? Only 24 hours? I have so many ideas. But what comes right to mind is to ask my parents to watch the kids and head in overnight to the city with my husband. Go take a fitness class in the afternoon, have an amazing dinner, meet up with our NYC friends for drinks and DANCING. And stay at a nice hotel. Wake up leisurely; go to brunch and head home smiling to our kids.
What is your most marked characteristic? I always say “Come on legs!!” in my cycle classes at JoyRide!
What do you most value in your friends? That I can talk to them about anything and they would never judge me. Being a mom, a wife, a working mother … it’s not always easy and I am ALWAYS making mistakes. I can talk to my friends about everything … and I can always depend on them to lift me up. And LAUGH. I can always depend on them to make me laugh until my cheeks hurt.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms? Don’t be so hard on yourself. Everyone screws up. Whether or not it is missing the cut off for the schooldismissalmanager.com, forgetting to bring ALL THREE of your kids’ ski jackets on a ski vacation (yes, we did that) or forgetting to pack their snack … it happens. It’s not the end of the world for your kids – so don’t let it be the end of the world for you.
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? I wish I had some big, glamorous story to tell you how I became a fitness professional. But I don’t … it’s almost embarrassing. But here it is. There were 2 big factors: First, I gained A LOT of weight with each of my pregnancies (80 pounds with my first and 65 pounds with each of the boys), and it took me a year after each pregnancy to lose the weight at the gym. I would take any and every group fitness class offered — spinning, strength conditioning, Pilates – you name it. I really fell in love with the group training atmosphere. Secondly, we were looking at ways to save some money. I realized that if I became an instructor for the gym I worked-out at I would get paid, have a free gym membership AND get the gym daycare for free. It was a no-brainer! I got my first spinning certification when my second baby was 4 weeks old and the rest is history.