BOISE, Idaho -- When it comes to the world of health and fitness, Boisean Kristin Armstrong is somewhat of an expert. But some might be surprised to learn the three-time Olympic gold medalist didn't set out to be a record-setting athlete, let alone a cyclist. She tells Six On Your Side, "I went to college at University of Idaho and I walked on the track team, I was only on for about a year, I didn't have much fun."
After moving to Boise a few years later, Armstrong did discover cycling, but nearly gave it up before even getting started. "I decided to ride my bike to work one day," she says, "and it was about 7 miles from downtown [Boise] to the West YMCA. I rode my bike all the way to work, and, I didn't ride home, I got a ride home! It took me a few days to even get on my bike again. People are like really? How'd you become an Olympic cyclist?" The answer to that is a lot of hard work, persistence, and a team of supporters, all of which Armstrong hopes others will find through her latest project, Pivot by Kristin Armstrong , a line of fitness centers focused on whole-body health and wellness.
Armstrong admits, "Never in a million years did I ever wake up and think or dream of building a fitness center, I promise you, this was not on my bucket list," but Pivot is a perfect fit for Boise's "golden girl," who says the Meridian gym - the first of four that are in the works - is the culmination of what she's accomplished as an athlete. "It represents what it took me throughout my career to become my best."
While Pivot may have been founded by an Olympic cyclist, Armstrong will be the first to tell you, you don't have to be an Olympic athlete - or an athlete at all! - to train at the fitness center. "One hundred percent this is open for everybody, [from] a first timer, to somebody that just loves fitness and someone that's training for a 10k race on a regional basis. [They] could walk in here and take the same class."
Those classes include a variety of what Armstrong calls 'modalities,' or focus areas, including yoga (hot and regular), functional training, and of course, cycling. "I can't even talk enough about the cycling studio," Armstrong says, "it's state of the art." Pivot also has a fully-equipped gym that is open 24-7 to members, along with certified health coaches, dietitians, and mental health experts; an army of support that Armstrong says is aimed at helping Idahoans reach their full potential. "Anything I've done in life to be successful, I've had a team behind me," she says, "and we have a team at Pivot here to help no matter where you are."
You can find Armstrong at Pivot pretty much every day, and she also pops in to guest-teach cycling classes from time to time, with plans to be part of the regular instructor rotation come fall. That's when Pivot plants to open its second location in Boise. It will be yet another chance for Armstrong to share her gold medal mindset with the masses. "The roles have changed," says the athlete. "I'm not making a come back to Tokyo, I feel like my next gold medal... is to really help [people] realize their dream in whatever it may be."
For more information on Pivot Lifestyle & Fitness by KA, visit their website