Kayla Goebel fell in love with Crossfit right away, but she felt like there were people who were being left out of the community. So, she built one herself. Now she owns Strong Roots, a small gym with a big mission.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.
A. My name is Kayla – I live, breathe and work in the prairies of West Fargo, ND. By day, I am a Graphic Designer for a local fitness company, and by insanely early mornings and late nights – the Owner & Chaos Coordinator of Strong Roots, a small gym in West Fargo dedicated to bringing confidence, empowerment, strength, and wellness to the community. My partner and I have an eight-year-old daughter who is obsessed with hockey and Hamilton, and two rascal dogs named Bear and Francis.
Q. How did you get involved in your work?
A. A little over six years ago, someone introduced me to a CrossFit workout at a local gym. Between the community and the workout, I was completely hooked! Over my years in CrossFit, I felt that two groups of athletes were missing in this community; bodies that looked more like mine and anyone who would have a hard time with the $150/month (minimum) cost for membership. Opening Strong Roots in 2019 grew my dedication and passion for empowering all bodies to move and taught me to be flexible about how a gym membership looks. Looking ahead, I’d love to have a Non-Profit or formal system to keep costs down to help introduce more people to the positive community and environment at Strong Roots.
Q. What’s the Strong Roots mission?
A. Inclusivity. Accessibility. Community.
If you are someone who isn’t into accepting all people right where they are, you might want to find a different community. We believe that our strengths lie in recognizing, loving, learning, and celebrating our differences.
Remaining available to all communities, flexible with membership cost and options, and creative with how to help every body move to the best of its ability is at the heart of where Strong Roots began. We believe that community makes us better, whether in fitness or in relationships. What we can do alone can be made better together.
Q. How have you been staying connected with the Strong Roots community during this time when we’re all mostly apart?
A. It’s been a weird year, but we stayed connected with zoom workouts (we had members adopt dumbbells and other equipment until we could open our doors again), book clubs, outdoor workouts when the weather was nicer, and a few outdoor gatherings like skating with our friends and family at The Lights Hockey Rink in West Fargo. We’ve tried to stay creative, flexible and responsible and smart.
Q. What is your favorite form of self-care?
A. It’s hard for me to pick between therapy or a consistent workout routine. Neither form of self-care is as relaxing as a massage or pedicure but both have helped me stop negative self-talk and make me a better person, but they also help me appreciate who I am, right where I am. They help me find the balance between my business, my full-time job, family, and everything else in life. Both call out where I am short or where I need to examine my weaknesses, and both have helped me stop negative cycles and turn them around into more positives for my daughter and me.
Q. How have you been moving this year, and what have you been recommending for those who are feeling bogged down by quarantine and chilly weather, but want to keep moving?
A. I do whatever we have programmed at Strong Roots about 4-6 times a week, at the gym. I have also been enjoying some of the bike classes available via the Peloton App. Since we’ve had a mild winter, I’ve enjoyed going ice skating more outdoors. If you feel bogged down with :: gestures wildly :: ALL OF THIS going on, I would encourage you to take a moment before doing movement to see what your body needs most right now. Don’t get caught up in what you think you should do for a ‘good workout’, but rather find what you will want to keep doing. Is it a simple walk around the mall or a local track? Do you need some community and a good sweat session? Do you want something relaxing like some YouTube yoga from home, or a bodyweight session and some time to meditate? If I talked with someone, I would want to explore why they want to keep moving and different options and ideas to get them moving.
Q. What do you think women need most right now?
A. That’s tough – so many situations are different. I think what most women need right now is a brief moment to themselves, to take stock of how they are doing emotionally, mentally and physically. Not only a moment to take stock, but also a moment for them to decide where they want to go from there and how. Maybe those moments include something relaxing, or maybe those moments include blaring Missy Elliot on your way to work, or connecting with a fellow badass woman who can remind us to fix our crown and keep walking with our shoulders held high.