I grew up in Lenox which is a small town in southwest Iowa. I currently live in Altoona. I graduated from University of Northern Iowa in 1996 with a degree in Community Health Education. Right out of college I worked for University of Michigan doing a research study on osteoporosis. I then worked for Marsh & McLennan in Des Moines and am currently employed at Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and have been there since 2002. I have always been a “health” nut. I started running in college and actually took at Marathon class at UNI. Our final was to run a marathon. During this class I wasn’t just taught the physical part of running but also the psychological part. It is amazing what our minds can convince us to do and not do! ☺ I know exercising can be hard physically but for most of us, it is the mental part of getting to class and pushing ourselves that is the hardest. I started teaching group exercise classes at Farrell’s in 2009. About a year later, I was asking to teach a couple kickboxing classes in the fitness center at Wellmark, where I work, and since then I have also taught at Kosama. I have taught in Prairie City from the day Real Fitness opened and now I train at 163 Fitness. Currently today, I still teach a few classes a week at the Wellmark Fitness center (and do my “real” job).
My husband, Lance, and I have two children, Lauren and Owen. When I am not teaching or working, and if it is summer, I enjoy boating, floating, and spending time with friends and family. ☺ I am so blessed to have made so many connections and friends in PCM and surrounding area! It is not just teaching classes, it is making friendships and an exercise “family”!
CHELSEY VAN GENDEREN
My interest in personal fitness & health began in college while at Iowa State. I tried out Kosama and loved the kickboxing components. After moving back to Prairie City, I became a member at Real Fitness. In 2015 I became a NETA certified group exercise trainer. I enjoy interval and strength training as well as kickboxing cardio exercise classes. I am so grateful to not only be a 163 Fitness instructor, but to attend other classes and the many friendships made in our "fitness family".
I’ve been in the fitness industry for 8 years. I really started to find a love for fitness at Simpson College where I graduated with a degree in exercise science. In 2009, I started working at the Wellmark Well for Life Center and later became a group exercise instructor and personal trainer there. While working at Wellmark I became a NETA certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. I have enjoyed training fitness classes in spin, strength, intervals, boot camps, kickboxing, basics, and water aerobics. In 2013, I started working as a science teacher in the PCM school district. I am so grateful to be able to continue working in the fitness industry as a part of 163 Fitness even though it is no longer my full time job.
I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I played softball for four years of high school and in college. I majored in Sports Management with an Exercise Science minor. My internship was with the University of Iowa and worked with the Event Management staff for two years after college. I have certifications as a Lifeguard, in First Aid & CPR, and coaching authorization.
I enjoy training intervals, strength & balance, kickboxing, and weight training. I coached high school softball for 4 years after college. Now with three kids of my own I’m excited to watch them grow and learn to be strong and work hard. 163 Fitness is a family to our family too! I believe in “Hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard!”
Alyson is a graduate of Iowa State University receiving a B.S degree in dietetics and completed a dietetic internship at Great River Medical Center. Alyson is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, including the Food and Culinary Professionals DPG. She is well respected as a dietitian receiving the Supermarket Dietitian of the Year Award from Produce for Better Health Foundation in 2014. She is also recognized as a leader receiving the Oklahoma Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Emerging Dietetic Leader award in 2015. Additionally, she was recognized by her peers as the Distinguished Dietitian of the year in 2014 by the Oklahoma City District Dietetic Association.
Currently, Alyson is a Registered Dietitian for the Midwest Dairy Council where she serves as a liaison to nutrition professionals in Iowa. She is also a spokesperson for the Midwest Dairy Council conducting television, print, and radio interviews in the Iowa market. As a registered and licensed dietitian, Alyson provides accurate, scientific, and practical information on the benefits of dairy nutrition.
Prior to working for Midwest Dairy Council, Alyson worked as a Corporate Dietitian for HAC, Inc. where she was the company’s spokesperson for food and nutrition. She was also the Supervisor of Food and Nutrition for Norman Regional Health Systems as well as a Clinical Dietitian.
I was first introduced to kickboxing style workouts while attending Iowa State University where I received my B.S. degree in Architecture. After graduation, my career moved Brock and I to the Des Moines/Pella area, which made Prairie City a perfect central location for our home. I was very excited to find a strong fitness Community active in PC and a place for me to continue my love of kickboxing. In addition to the traditional classes that are the foundation of 163 Fitness, I have really enjoyed the expanded variety of class options that continue to be integrated and to see how it has ignited my need to make working out a priority.
As my involvement with the group increases, I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue growing with this fitness “family” by pursuing my group exercise training certification through NETA. It’s an honor to be a part of such a supportive organization and now have the ability to give back! Along with this adventure, I look forward to becoming an even stronger, healthier and active role model for my two young children Wyndam and Rowyn!