Personal Trainer and Spartan Race Winner Kate Telge On Life and Fitness
Moving all the way across the world might be a scary prospect to most, but for Kate Telge, it only seemed right. After unearthing a passion in personal training, she relocated to Bangkok, Thailand to pursue her new found dream of helping people get fit.
However, prioritising her career has meant sacrifices in other areas of her life, and today Kate reveals how she balances it all, while still leaving a little room for herself.
Q: Why did you become a personal trainer?
When I moved to Cambodia from America to work in sustainable fashion, I decided to teach Yoga Sculpt part time to earn extra income. From there, friends in Phnom Penh would continually ask me for workout advice. I really enjoyed helping them, and seeing the physical and mental benefits brought on by fitness. I decided to get my proper qualifications and dive into personal training full time so that I could help people more effectively.
Q: What spurs you on?
Working one-on-one with my clients continually inspires me. I really love working with beginners who are new to exercise and are initially intimidated by the gym. Seeing them gain confidence in themselves and in their bodies as they grow stronger every week keeps me motivated. I love seeing the look of satisfaction on their faces when they complete an exercise they didn’t think was possible, or accomplish what was once a far away goal. Even more rewarding is when efforts in the gym transfer to other areas of their lives, such as relationships, career, and mental health. I’m grateful for the trust my clients put in me, and for the opportunity to be part of their lives in this unique way.
Q: How do you balance your career, family and social life? What do you find yourself prioritising?
I live quite far from my family in America, so I make it a point to video chat with them every week or so. I also make long trips back to the US 2-3 times per year. I’m lucky that personal training allows flexibility in my schedule so that I can still see my family back home. My social life has turned from going out to healthy hangouts. Instead of hitting up the latest clubs, I usually opt for a Saturday morning bike ride or spin class with a friend, or an acroyoga meet up in the park. A lot of the friends I’ve made in Bangkok have been from BASE or The Busy Women Project, which has made it easy to find like minded sweat buddies. I find myself prioritising career more than anything right now, as that is what I decided to set my mind to and focus on when I moved to Bangkok. For this period of my life I am happy to make sacrifices for my career.
Q: What are your long-term goals and what keeps you on track towards them?
The specifics of my long terms goals are continually evolving, but I know that I want to work in the health and wellness industry. I am working to combine my love of fitness with travel through fitness retreats. I’ve already run my first retreat in Phuket, and am currently planning my second one for later this year. I would like to expand on this in the future by starting my own company with locations around the globe.
Q: What is some advice you typically share with clients to keep them motivated?
I try to remind my clients that it’s more about what they do the 23 hours a day they aren’t with me than what happens in the gym. Of course the workouts are important, but lifestyle shifts are crucial for success. I try to keep my clients motivated with physical assessments of strength and power, coupled with body composition analyses, measurements, and/or photos – depending on the client. I like my clients to focus on how the changes to their diet and exercise make them feel, rather than just how they look. I feel that if people can feel the profound effects of health and wellness in all areas of their lives, they are more likely to keep up their efforts.
Q: Congratulations on your Spartan Race win! What draws you to competing in races and events like this?
Thank you! I like challenging my body in different ways to see what I’m capable of and to keep my training interesting. Plus, races in new countries provide a fun excuse to travel! I’m currently training for my first triathlon that will be held in Indonesia.
Q: What advice do you have for people who are super busy but still want to have a balanced diet?
Preparation is key! Having healthy snacks and meals on hand is pivotal for success. I recommend taking an afternoon to meal prep for the week. I also highly recommend healthy meal plan delivery options if their budget allows. My other go-to tip is a superfoods greens powder on days when their veggie intake is low.
Q: What are some of your favourite places to kick back at around Bangkok?
You can usually find me at Broccoli Revolution when I have a break between clients, or lounging with a book at Hand and Heart café in Thonglor. On weekend nights, I’ll grab a bite to eat at The Commons and then head to 72 Courtyard for some nightlife.
Q: Why Thailand? What has the cultural impact of Thailand been on your life?
Living in Thailand had never been part of my plan until I met my current boss on a weekend trip from Cambodia. When I got the opportunity to be a founding trainer at BASE, I jumped at the offer and never looked back. Culturally, the Thai people are some of the most genuine, kind, and friendly people I’ve met during my travels around the world. I can only hope that some of the Thai hospitality has rubbed off on me!
Q: What are some of your fondest travel memories?
Where to begin?! I have to say that Morocco is one of my all time favourite travel destinations. The only word I can use to accurately describe my experience there is magical. It is so different from any other place I’ve ever been. There seemed to be hidden treasures down every alley and a mysterious old-world feel. I would go back in a heartbeat!
Q: Any little pleasures you like to indulge in when you do get the time?
I have a weakness for “healthy” desserts! I love trying new dessert recipes and whipping up some guilt free goodies. My only problem is stopping at one!
Q: We’re excited for your session at FitnessFest! What are you most looking forward to, and what can attendees expect from your HIIT & Flow workout?
I’m even more excited to be teaching! I’m looking forwards to connecting with likeminded women in Singapore who also share my love for health and wellness. I’m always inspired by the women in my classes, from the very beginners just trying exercise for the first time, to the gym junkies. My yoga sculpt HIIT & Flow class is an energetic combination of simple Vinyasa flows intensified with music and HIIT. Attendees can expect to stretch, pulse, squat, lunge, and flow with a little bit of partner HIIT training mixed in. Can’t wait!
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