Bridging The Gap: A Chat With Kathy Kaehler
A few months ago I was asked by a dear friend to join the Bridging The Gap national campaign, and with a brief explanation of what it was about, I pledged to be part of something that I thought could make a difference in the world we live in today. I’m in a time and place in my life that I really want to use my influence to help others in as many ways as possible (many are telling me this is an effect of turning 30) and this seemed like the perfect fit to kick it off. The more I learned about Bridging The Gap, the more I was excited to give my point of view on #WeAreStrongerTogether.
So, what exactly is Bridging The Gap?
Here’s the fun part: 50 millennial bloggers (oh man, I guess I’m in that category even though it doesn’t feel like it!) are paired together with 50 midlife bloggers to interview each other and find out what sets us apart and ultimately brings us together. Learning this, I got excited to participate because I have always lived an ‘adult life.’ Meaning that I have no brothers or sisters, when I was young I was constantly with my parents and their friends, I have traveled the world solo, and I can hold a conversation with someone double my age easier than someone who is 30. I definitely feel like I’ve missed out on part of my kid years which makes it a bit harder to relate to people my age. So for me, there isn’t really as much of a gap between a 30 and 50 year old…I mean, my ex boyfriend is 45 if that tells you anything. But then again, I think I’m an anomaly. Yet, the world sees me as a millennial entrepreneur and for good reason: I’m 30, I’ve created a career based around technology, and I am creative like no other. Or at least these seem to be attributes that I think millennials have 🙂
My partner, Kathy Kaehler
I sat down with Kathy this week to film a video for the Bridging The Gap campaign in which we would ask each other questions, share our answers, and discuss. I won’t give away too much here other than I am really excited for you to see our segment because it was shocking, even to me! The reason? Kathy and I actually have SO much more in common than I could have imagined. Although there is an age difference, me being 30, her being 54, I felt like I was talking to my best friend. We shared our values which were the same, things that were important to us, and experiences we have had.
Suffice to say, Kathy is one badass chick and I’m excited to introduce you to her!
She is a best-selling author, has an incredibly popular blog, personal training programs (sound familiar?!) and best of all, she spent the last 30 years teaching, training, and cooking side-by-side with health, fitness and positive-living icons like Jane Fonda, Katie Couric, Leeza Gibbons, and the Kardashians. She’s been a personal trainer to the stars including Julia Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, Denise Richards, Claudia Schiffer, and Kim Basinger. She went through a double hip replacement in her late 40s, and decided to open up to her audience (like I do), sharing her fears, nasty scars, and everyday struggles as she worked through them on her blog. I LOVE people like this… raw, emotional, authentic and REAL.
She now works doing the LA TalkRadio show/podcast “Cat & Kaehler,” which talks about all things reinvention in one’s career and power of women in their Second Act. (I have yet to go through this specific “second act” age wise, but I sure as hell feel I’ve gone through like 5 acts at least so far in my 30 years!)
What Bridging The Gap means to me?
When I first started this campaign, I thought it would be a simple: interview and share the story. But then I realized that actually, to me (and Kathy agreed) THERE IS NO GAP. In society, we like to place people in boxes. Black, white. Male, female. Young, Old. Rich, Poor. Rather, we are ALL living in the grey zone of life. This is because our fears, our desires, our values, and what we have learned all intertwine at a certain point. We all learn from each other and at the core of every single person on this planet, we want to love, be loved, and feel part of a community. So for myself, I think that Bridging the Gap means showing that we are actually all in this thing we called life TOGETHER and we should love and support one another through anything and everything!
I’d love to know, what does Bridging The Gap mean to you?
Below is the interview questions I asked. I hope you enjoy getting to know Kathy!
So once we had met and done our questions for this video, we decided to actually interview each other for our blogs. I was curious to hear what she thought about life now and any words of advice for someone like myself. So here it is…
- What advice would you give to someone who is going through what you did?
Being in the business of wellness is like a double edged. On one hand it is like I always have my own food expert and trainer on hand. Being healthy and staying fit takes work, there is not way around it. There are many days I need the trainer in me to keep me on track, to be my own coach. Being a role model in this space is important to me whether I’m with friends or on tv. So remember, everything in life worth working for will have its good and bad points. Just make sure you follow your passion, and when things get bad (like my hip replacement) and you want to give up, know that sharing your story can help to impact someone else.
- What would you have changed in your life, knowing what you know now? Or would you not change anything?
I wonder if there is anyone who says I would have done it differently? The cliché “everything happens for a reason” is my mantra and life is a never-ending vacation. What I’ve learned from the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, the jobs I’ve had all add up to experiences and life lessons. For me I learn from my actions, I never call them mistakes because in mistakes we takeaway knowledge. The good, bad and ugly are mine and mine to keep.
- Tell me the hardest part and most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The hardest thing I have experienced was the morning before my right hip was about to be replaced. Ahead of me that morning was an aggressive 7 hour surgery taking out a 45 year old plate from my right hip dysplasia and replacing it with a new ball and socket with a stem that covers almost my entire thigh. As I went under my life flashed before me when I counted down ten, nine, eight….
The reward is knowing I was at rock bottom, because it meant I would only go up. I thank my doctors, my trainers, my PT’s, nurses, my dear, dear husband, my sons and friends who have stood by me helping me through. Now when I step into my lace panties or tie my shoes I’m deeply humbled and grateful I can do it myself again.
- Do you think social media has made our reliance on a “perfect body” more intense or has it been the same just in different forms of media?
I love social media. It’s the new world of communication, marketing, advertising and connection. It is here to stay and we must learn how to navigate it positively. For all the bodies we see in magazines, tv, film and social media we most likely are looking at the skill of very talented retouching experts. I use to look at magazines and I’d cut out the photos of bodies I admired. Ones I aspired to and was motivated to workout a little harder and try the exercises they suggested. However, it’s easy to start comparing and body shaming yourself into why I don’t look like that. Hence the navigation. Don’t compare. You are unique and there is no one like you.
- Sum your story up in 3 sentences.
I tell my kids to go after what they love to do. It is the best advice I can give anyone. Doing what you love will continue to open doors and windows throughout this vacation of life. However, you only have one vehicle to travel with and that vehicle is your body. Treat it well.