In January, KickHouse hosted the 8-week Kick 2020 Goodbye Challenge. This Challenge pushed members to embrace the uncomfortable and unleash their inner resilience. With great success across the country, six winners were chosen overall based on their physical and mental transformations. The winners not only took home cash prizes but confidence in themselves that they can kick it up a level. KickHouse had the chance to ask these winners a series of questions about their experience with the KickHouse Challenge. Mike Burns from KickHouse Winchester, our men’s 2nd place national challenge winner, took home $5,000!
Meet Mike and read about his takeaways from the KickHouse Challenge:
1. The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding shut-downs were difficult for many. What additional obstacles did you face in 2020?
“2020 was such a tough year for everyone to include my family. Our household shifted to both my wife, Sarah, and myself working from home full-time, and managing the routines of our four boys. We have boys ranging in years from 16, 14, 11, and two! The two-year-old loved the fact that we were all there at the house with him at all times, but it was a challenge juggling work, school, and a toddler. During this time my work hours were reduced, we dealt with not being able to see other family members and the loss of a loved one. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle was put on the back burner.”
2. What inspired you to join KickHouse and what made you join the Challenge?
“Sarah, my wife, started with KickHouse and talked about how much she loved it, and how it was changing her mindset to embrace a healthy routine. I loved hearing how much she was getting out of going to the classes and she motivated me to enter the Kick 2020 Goodbye Challenge! I first tried kickboxing and got hooked in college many years ago, but as my life went in many directions, I forgot how much I enjoyed it.
KickHouse Winchester has been awesome because it has a great atmosphere where people of all backgrounds can come together and benefit from the warm and enthusiastic group of coaches that challenge us to be our best. My coach, Haley, was great about sharing tips, recipes, encouragement, and we bonded with others in our Challenge group. I joined the 2020 Challenge to hold myself accountable for getting back into shape and feeling healthy again and to set an example for my family.”
3. How was your experience during the 8-week Challenge? Highs and lows?
“Starting off, I was excited and highly motivated to start logging my meals and working out on a continual basis. After about a week into the Challenge, my whole family was stricken with COVID-19, which presented a whole new challenge to us. We were fortunate to not have any serious complications, but the virus took its toll and there was some downtime, including a period of quarantine where we were not able to attend in-person classes.
Although we could have thrown in the towel at that point, we persevered and continued with watching what we ate, and working out from home when we were well enough. After quarantine, it was so exciting to get back into going into KickHouse for the in-person classes! After recovering, Sarah and I held each other accountable and attended KickHouse classes together five days a week, while both working full time at home with three school-aged kids and entertaining a two-year-old.”
4. How do you feel kickboxing has impacted your health?
“I caught the obstacle course racing and running bug in 2014 after my first three kids were a bit older, and was able to get into the best shape of my life. I kept up with my fitness and ran in multiple races ranging from my first 5k to Spartan’s Ultra Beast, a 26-mile obstacle course on a ski mountain, the Marine Corps Marathon, and a 50-mile endurance race that lasted 12 hours. Our fourth baby boy was born in November 2018 and my priorities shifted with little time for training. Then 2020 hit and I had lost all motivation to work out, I weighed my heaviest and had little to no energy.
Since starting KickHouse classes, I have dropped in weight and inches and feel energized. I regained my confidence and rediscovered my love for kickboxing. This has also trickled down to my boys, who have now focused on eating right and staying fit. Our two older boys have joined KickHouse with Sarah and me and we love taking classes together as a family!”
5. What are your current goals?
“I am continuing to eat healthy foods and staying fit by going to classes and look forward to competing in running events in the near future. My current goals are to ensure that my family stays on the right path to a balanced, healthy lifestyle, and to continue to do more family activities to set the groundwork to keep physical fitness as an important aspect of their lives.”
6. What would you say to anyone who was thinking about joining KickHouse and/or the Challenge?
“When thinking about joining the KickHouse Challenge, know what your true ‘why’ is. For me, the noticeable physical results were nice, but my real ‘why’ that kept me going through the challenge was to set an example for my boys, to show them the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and that they can achieve anything if they put their minds to it.
It also kept me going seeing how many friends and family reached out to say they have been motivated to start exercising after seeing our 5:30 AM check-ins on social media. My brother-in-law went out and bought a heavy bag and boxing gloves and has lost nearly 40 pounds, and other friends joined KickHouse inspired by the results. Eight weeks is a long time to continue to challenge yourself and stay motivated, but the feeling of accomplishment at the end is totally worth it!”
KickHouse is a modern kickboxing studio offering a variety of class formats, each rooted in kickboxing but with additional fitness flare added in. The KickHouse mission is to help members and communities take their health and kick it up a level via a consistent kickboxing practice! The new kickboxing brand has quickly grown to over 35 locations across the country and is looking to grow to 100 kickboxing studios within the next six months. If you’re interested in becoming a fitness franchise owner and opening your own KickHouse studio, visit https://www.thekickhouse.com/franchise.