I was a ball of energy sort of kid and channeled that energy first into dance from about age 4-20 and then later running as an adult but it wasn’t until years later that I became interested in teaching. In addition to teaching fitness, I’ve been a Physician Assistant in Neurosurgery for the past 9 years and I work with a lot of patients with chronic low back pain and other spinal disorders. I fell in love with teaching as a way to focus on the disease prevention side through exercise. I am so motivated by seeing a group of people all coming together in a class to take care of themselves, physically and mentally.
I fell in love with HIGH Fitness after taking my first class. It’s a fun, high energy, high intensity interval class set to the music. The choreography is simple and easy to follow.
I provide high and low impact options and guarantee you’ll break a sweat and have a blast!
FHC is an amazing place to work! The staff and the members are some of the nicest people I know. There’s a strong sense of community at FHC and I look forward to seeing my class every Monday!
My daughters have watched me prioritize exercise since they were babies. When I’m leaving for the gym or headed to take a class they ask if I’m “going to strong mama class.” I’m a better parent when I’m taking care of myself so my classes and workouts get scheduled weekly in my calendar just like any other appointment I would make.
I love spending time outdoors with my family, hiking, kayaking and skiing and I love to go dancing!
This month we got a chance to talk to FHC’s longtime personal trainer extraordinaire, Devon Johnson Porter! She’s a weightlifter, a mom, and a literal rock star! Read on to learn more about her.
How did you first get interested in fitness? What made you decide to make it your career?
Exercise has always been a mood stabilizer for me. Trail runs and walks in the forest calm my overactive mind leaving me feeling focused and energized. Fifteen years ago after bouncing from desk job to desk job I found myself depressed and over weight. I decided I was forever done with sitting and focused on a career that allowed movement and change. I chose personal training as I loved weight lifting and wanted to share the feeling of empowerment that I achieved when I felt strong.
What do you specialize in as a personal trainer?
Over the years my personal training specialties have ranged from weight loss, strength conditioning and rehabilitation. I took a special interest in the rehabilitation aspect of strength training and pursued a degree in massage. The combination of strength training and massage allows me to fully service my
When someone wants to learn how to weight train, I always refer them to you. You are the queen of weights! What is your favorite lift and why?
I appreciate the compliment that I’m the “queen of weights.” Sometimes I get competitive with myself, especially if I’ve plateaued on weight gains. To answer your question about my favorite lift, it would have to be an Olympic lift. I’m really into snatches and clean and split jerks. They are technically challenging and work the whole body. I’ve been able to really develop upper body strength because of these lifts. There is also a challenge of overcoming the fear that this lift brings out mentally. This is really true when you are pushing yourself on weight. In your head your like, “ will I land this or will it land me-haha!”
You have a young daughter. How do you manage to prioritize your family time with work and your own fitness goals?
I prioritize my fitness as a mom and business owner by making sure I work out before the workday. That means I get up early. I’m not saying I’m a morning person but I workout early. Working out before the workday ensures it gets done, allows me to consistently exercise five days a week, it calms and focuses my mind for the day and it extends the time I have for productivity on other tasks. It sets the day
for success. I can see the non-morning folks rolling their eyes now! But in all seriousness, I’m able to balance the work, family, personal interest parts of my life by getting an early start. I also give myself a break when I can’t get everything done. Each day I write down the top five goals I want to accomplish and whatever didn’t make that list gets forgiven. It wasn’t the priority that day and that’s ok.
Outside of the gym what do you do for fun?
Outside the gym my interest range from art, baking, entertaining and music.
I’m currently in an all female modern rock band called, Revolution Red. We perform in the
Seattle and surrounding areas. It’s a lot of fun and feeds the artistic part of my personality.
This month’s Member Spotlight focuses on Husband and Wife duo Kevin Curtin and Terry Mac. They do a lot of fantastic charity work with Toys for Tots. Learn more below!
You both have very full careers, what do you do?
Terry is a licensed Massage Therapist and Esthetician. I’m an attorney handling family law cases (divorce, child support, alimony, parenting plans) in King County.
How long you have been together? How did you meet?
We have been together since 2011. We met through a mutual friend on Facebook. Both of us grew up in the NYC/Yonkers area, but we never met until we wound up living 6 blocks from each other here in Seattle.
What is Toys for Tots all about?
The objectives of the Foundation are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas. For three months each year (October-December) in over 800 communities covering all 50 states, members of the community drop new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes positioned in local businesses. At Christmas, Coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, distribute the toys to the less fortunate children of the community.
Why your passion for this cause?
We remember how much fun it was going to toy stores when we were kids, and we want to help make sure every kid gets a toy at Christmas.
You have been members for about 5 years. What made you choose and stay with FHC. What does FHC mean to you?
We chose FHC because it is a very comfortable place to work out, it’s very community-focused, and it’s very supportive. We have gotten to know and like the staff and being able to work out at FHC is the best kind of health insurance we know.
Jane Dore joined FHC over a year ago after working with Personal Trainer Adriana Medina to prepare for the Washington State Physical Abilities Test (PAT) she had to pass in order to enter the Police Academy. She is 54 years old and patrols downtown Seattle. When Jane was in her 40’s she earned her black belt in Taekwondo, proving that you can achieve new goals and overcome challenges at any stage of life.
Jane carries the values instilled in her by her parents, Mary and Fred Dore, both deceased, but in their day, they were big community builders who lived their entire lives in Seattle. Before Jane’s mom passed away she started the Dore Foundation (https://dorefoundation.net/home). Part of the mission of the Foundation is to give back to others. Along with Adriana, Coach Manny Dunham helped Jane train during her process of becoming a police officer. Because Jane wanted to give back through her family Foundation, she gave this year’s donation to Manny and his non-profit Nomad Boxing Club. What a gift for these young kids that could not afford to participate otherwise.
Thank you, Jane, for investing in our next generation. When Jane commits to something, she puts herself into it. She surrounds herself with positive people and atmosphere that helps her reach her goals. I asked her a few questions. Read on.
What made you decide to become a police officer?
Ever since I was a kid I could visualize myself as a police officer. My favorite TV shows were SWAT and that motorcycle cop show, “CHIPS”. My dad was a criminal lawyer and was later Chief Justice of the WA State Supreme Court. A few of my siblings had also gone to law school, so I just figured that was my destiny too. In high school (thinking I had an interest in law), I use to take the bus downtown to the courthouse and for fun sit in on criminal trials. However, LOL…I didn’t piece it together until many years later that when I was in the courtroom I was more interested in the Corrections Officer’s and Police Officer’s uniforms than listening to what the lawyers were saying.
What is one of your greatest obstacles?
Honestly.. myself! Sometimes when we want to reach a goal we doubt ourselves. I think that’s a normal human reaction. I’ve always been athletic, but when I met Adriana she literally taught me how to use the weights and weight machines based on my body type. She designed a work out plan increasing whole-body strength tailored to the physical test I had to take. Sometimes you need that boost/cheerleader to help you get to your goal. Working with Adrianna and Manny also helped me get mentally prepared. Manny asked me how many sit-ups I had to do on the test and I told him 38 sit ups in a minute. Manny’s response was, “Good! Now do 50!” and Adrianna started the timer. At the test at the academy I actually did 52.
What you have overcome and how did you achieve it?
No matter what your goals are I’ve also learned that it’s important along the way of reaching a goal to network and ask people for help. I remember one morning running at the Lower Woodland track by Greenlake. There was this very tall athletic man and I could see he was working with a trainer running sprints.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the male was training because he was trying out for the Seattle Seahawks. At one point they were taking a break so I casually went up to the trainer and introduced myself and told him I was training for the police academy. I joked around and asked if he had any tips for me to increase my speed and he said he did! He then spent a few minutes talking with me about my form at the start line. He said I could pick up a few seconds just positioning my body a certain way. It worked! I increased my sprint speed by 3 seconds which gave me the full points on that part of the test.
I think it comes down to a few things. When you are reaching for a goal remember that if it was easy everyone would do it. And then.. I always remember what my dad told me. “You can do anything for a short period of time”. So, when I doubt myself or get tired of training or anything in my life that I’m struggling with I just remember, this too will pass. I can do anything for a short period of time.
Pictured Left to Right: Adriana, Manny, Jane
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself. What do you do for work? What your family is like?
I lead a product management team in analytics at Tableau software, helping people see and understand their data. My husband and I have a four-year-old son and have our hands full between work.
How do you balance work life, home life, and still make time for the gym?
I bike to work and other places (though it’s getting harder as my son gets bigger!) and sneak in workouts whenever I can – between meetings, at lunch, and when my husband takes my son to swim class on the weekends. I figure half an hour is better than nothing!
What role does fitness play in your life? Why do you come to FHC? Is it your self care time, do you come for the community, stress relief, etc?
To me, being active is part of having balance in my life, physically and mentally. Although I had worked out regularly before having a child, once my son was born and I went back to work, I found it hard to get into a routine. After I started at Tableau, I signed up for ClassPass and tried the FHC noon classes. FHC was very welcoming, and Lilian gently convinced me to become a member.
If your present-self could give your past-self any advice when you were a brand new mom, what would it be?
Enjoy every moment and get as much sleep as you can!
Outside of the gym what do you do for fun? What are you passionate about?
I want to instill a sense of adventure in my four-year-old and encourage him to try new things, whether it is oysters (not a hit), swimming in nearby Portage Bay (great way to cool down these hot summer nights), or skateboarding (we both want to learn more!) Pre-kid, I traveled a lot (favorite trip: bicycling through Italy & Croatia) but have been staying closer to home now. We’ve explored all the nearby islands and try to get in short hikes or fun at the beach. I enjoy yoga and love reading, mainly literary fiction, food & travel writing, and sci-fi.
We got a chance to chat with one of our most experienced trainers, Tim Beauchamp. Learn more about him in and out of the gym below!
You’ve lived quite a full life! You were an officer in the army, earned a degree in biology, coached tennis and skiing, and competed internationally in triathlons and Judo (just to name a few). Of all your vast experiences, which were the most formative for who you are today?
Probably living in Germany in my twenties and early thirties, where I competed in both judo and triathlon, as well as doing a lot of skiing and ski mountaineering in the Alps.
What’s next on your bucket list?
I’d like to get back to learning Argentine tango and finally learning how to windsurf.
What role does music play in your life?
I have been playing the guitar for over 50 years and singing even longer than that. I still take lessons from a guitar teacher, and two years ago started studying with a vocal coach. I need to get out and perform more, and I am currently working on a couple of CDs. Music is a fundamental part of my life.
Is there anything your AREN’T good at?
Yes, answering questions like this one! Actually, there are a lot of things that I am not good at, but if they are important, I try to work at getting better at them.
Can you tell us more about your Strength & Conditioning 111 class?
While it is impossible to create a one size fits all class, this class serves a bunch of constituencies. At its core, it is a great morning wake up and warm up, starting off with unweighted calisthenic movements, then going to barré techniques and then lightly weighted full body exercises. At this point, the class breaks off with some people choosing to do cardio on the many machines at FHC, and others working on weight lifting programs, with my assistance. I’m available during this period for any questions you might have about weight lifting or other conditioning modalities and will set you up with beginning and intermediate weight lifting programs that you can follow on your own. In the last ten minutes or so of the class, the members re-assemble for some ab exercises and a cool down stretch. While this class was initially designed for seniors, it can be adapted and adopted by anyone seeking to up their strength and conditioning.
You have a lot of experience working with seniors. What advice would you give someone in regards to fitness as they progress in life?
It is crucial to work hard to maintain muscle mass and mobility as we age. It gets harder as we get older, but it is vital to living a higher quality life and is not as insurmountable as many people seem to think.
Meet David and Ivy, two delightful FHC members! We got a chance to chat with them about their experience completing our June Class Bingo Challenge.
(The goal was to take one of each of the group exercise classes we offer during the month of June to win a free month of gym membership. Spoiler alert, they both won!)
3. Personally, I was not excited about barre. I didn’t know anything about it and thought it was basically just ballet, which made me pretty nervous. But it turned out to be one of my favorite classes. It’s focus on specific movements and small-yet-difficult adjustments were at once meditative and also demanding. Far from being just ballet or overly-feminine, it was graceful and contemplative and generally great.