Kara Lennon is a fiery fixture in the Boston community. Her energy and positivity are contagious and her willingness to put herself out there refreshing AF. She's a lead instructor and trainer at B/Spoke Studios and started her own podcast earlier this year aptly named “Coming In Hot,” a weekly lifestyle podcast dedicated to anyone who's lighting it up. We had a chance to put Kara on the other side of the mic and talk to her about her experience, what inspires her, and the power of community and connection in this week’s Lovers & Fighters blog post...
YORK: Where are you from? If not Boston, how long have you lived here?
KARA: I’m from Methuen, a town just about 25 minutes north of Boston. Born and raised, been here my whole life!
YORK: Where did your passion for fitness start/originate and what made you decide to be a health & fitness instructor/motivator full time? What was that journey like for you?
KARA: I’ve been an athlete my whole life, growing up swimming, always moving and involved with sports. My undergrad B.S. is in Exercise and Health Science and I was a PT right out of college, so I always knew I’d do something in the industry, but never really knew what that looked like until I started teaching group fitness part-time a few years ago. I was working as an Elementary Physical Education teacher while teaching and coaching part-time. Eventually, when push came to shove, I knew I wanted to explore the fitness industry full-time so I quit my job and made the leap. Haven’t looked back since!
YORK: We talk about our brand ambassadors being fighters in that they understand that hard work and hustle (#lovethehustle) are what makes things happen. How do you relate to the word fighter and what motivates/drives your hustle?
KARA: I’ve fought for every opportunity I’ve gotten in the fitness and wellness space, making up the rules as I go and carving out a place to be unique, loud, raw, real and genuine. And to make that OKAY. I fight to make genuine connections on a daily basis. I fight to shed a light on mental health awareness and body positivity. My hustle is motivated by the potential of growth, seeing change happen in people’s lives, and by the opportunity to connect with more humans not only in Boston, but everywhere.
YORK: Speaking of hustle, you recently started a podcast called “Coming in Hot.” What was your motivation for taking that on and what has that experience been like so far?
KARA: The podcast has been the coolest, hardest and most rewarding job I’ve had thus far. My life as a fitness professional has opened my eyes to the main reason I wake up every day — to simply connect with other humans. It’s through human connection that I felt motivated enough to quit my full-time job and pursue my passion in fitness. Somewhere in the past two years, I realized fitness was merely the vehicle for the connections I make on a daily basis. And Instagram can only go so far. And I reeealllly love to talk. Thus, a podcast was born.
“Coming In Hot: Connect. Empower. Ignite” is a weekly lifestyle podcast dedicated to the creatives + disruptors of the world. We interview everyone and anyone who's lighting it up — from business owners to wellness practitioners, start-ups to CEOs, and beyond. Through unapologetically authentic conversations we're hoping to inspire people to live a life that sets their soul on FIRE!
YORK: Why did you name it “Coming in Hot?”
KARA: My mom used to call me a “rebel with a cause” — that name was a close second. I’ve always loved the phrase and have used it / had it used to describe me several times. I thought about how people are doing things that LIGHT them up and set their souls on FIRE…it all pointed back to just flames. Thus, Coming In Hot was born.
YORK: You are very real and super fucking brave in your social media posts when it comes to your personal struggle with depression and anxiety. What made you decide to be so honest in such a public forum?
KARA: The more honest I am, the more people open up and become more honest themselves. If I can be a catalyst for change and help others at the same time, why wouldn’t I? I almost feel obligated at this point. It’s one of things I actually like about social media…the power of connection and community is real.
YORK: Do you think it’s important for influencers like yourself to show vulnerability and be more relatable?
KARA: 100%. I’m also not an influencer. I’m just a human. Happy to share my experiences and have others relate to that, too.
YORK: Boston seems like the place to be at the moment. It feels like the community just keeps getting stronger and stronger – why do you think that is?
KARA: It's small enough that in theory, we all could potentially know one another, but Boston is just like that in general. Strongly rooted in loyalty and home. I think the fitness and wellness space lately has been more open, accepting and real…and it’s definitely the place to be.
YORK: What is one of the most personally rewarding things you have ever done?
KARA: I just married my two best friends a few weekends ago! One of the most special moments of my entire life.
YORK: Is there a person in your life who inspires you, whether it’s a friend, family member, someone you work with, a client, or even someone famous (alive or dead)? Who is it and why do they inspire you?
KARA: My dad. Bob is a beast. He’s 61, has done two full Ironmans and is the most genuine, caring, and selfless person I know. I do not know anyone more selfless than him. If I can be half the human he is when I grow up….I’ll have massively succeeded. He’s the definition of an everyday fighter.
YORK: How do you make a bad day, better? I.e., what do you do when you're stressed to chill yourself out and regain balance?
KARA: Play with my dog, go to yoga, meditate, take ashwagandha or CBD oil, phone a friend, go for a run. Any or all of the above.
YORK: Describe what a perfect day would be like for you.
KARA: Would definitely start/end/include the beach at some point, teach, yoga, play with my dog, make a really awesome dinner for myself + maybe some friends, record a podcast episode….it’s so hard to pick what I’d cram into my perfect day. I’m loving my Saturdays off with a leisurely wake up and some of the above.
YORK: What are some of your fav tunes at the moment that gets you pumped?
KARA: Will I ever get sick of “Body” by Loud Luxury? I hope not. Anything Rufus Du Sol, Lil Wayne, Odesza…I listen to music all day every day. Pretty much anything.
YORK: Is there a book/podcast/video/movie that you've read/seen lately that inspired you?
KARA: I love listening to Rich Roll, Bulletproof Radio, Almost 30, and The Moth. I also just finished reading “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer.
YORK: Do you have a quote that really resonates with your life?
KARA: Relentless Forward Progress.
YORK: What is it about YORK Athletics that resonates with you?
KARA: Dope humans, simple designs, clear message…no fluff. Just real. The story behind the brand, who created it, and who wears it. It’s to the point where I don’t wear anything else on my feet. These kicks support me daily and I hope I can do justice to that and support you guys right back. Keep making rad shit.
Kara Lennon is an instructor at B/Spoke Studios in Boston, as well as hosting her own podcast called "Coming In Hot." To learn more about Kara, catch one of her classes at B/Spoke or listen to one of her podcasts, follow these links:
Photo cred: Buck "the Shadowmaster" Squibb