If you’re a member of Ascent, chances are you have met its biggest cheerleader, Kami Yorgason. If you don’t know Kami, she’s the 5 a.m. early bird trainer at the State Street location sporting a contagiously sweet smile and upbeat disposition, clearly unaware that it’s still dark outside.
Kami had just moved at the end of 2016 to Middleton with her husband, Jon, and their five children when a friend asked if she would attend a class at FitMania (now Ascent) in Meridian.
“I remember the first thing I saw when I walked into FitMania was a sign that said ‘You’ll pass out before you die.’ I thought ‘that’s comforting.’ I wasn’t nervous before I started, but that sign had me seriously questioning my sanity. I was already getting up at 4 a.m., did I really want to torture myself more?
“Then I did the workout, and I was praying that I would pass out,” Kami said. “I remember being so completely exhausted — and not just from getting up so early in the morning.”
Since joining, Kami has lost 30 pounds, all the while gaining in personal growth. However, one year after joining, Kami said she was feeling “paralyzed” and afraid of failure.
“I was challenged by one of the trainers, Meghan Saboori, to pick a word that would represent my year,” said Kami. “The word I chose was ‘fearless.’ To me, this meant that there was no talking myself out of things that I thought would be a good idea to do, but always found a reason not to do them.”
Kami joined the 90-Day FitLife Challenge in January that year. She set some goals, like completing an obstacle course race and a triathlon.
“Before Ascent, I would have talked myself out of doing every single one of those things. I would have found a reason why it was not going to happen. Because of Ascent, and some freaking amazing friends, I was able to achieve every single one of those goals. I’m now more fearless than I used to be. I don’t make myself do everything I think would be good for me anymore, but I also don’t make excuses based on fear.”
Kami checked off her goals one-by-one. She competed with a group of friends in the Spartan Sprint in Boise that spring.
“That race was tougher than I ever thought it would be,” she said. “In fact, I think I may have sworn that I would never do one again.”
But, she did! In fact, she signed up for two more Spartan races that season in Utah and California. Kami even convinced her family to participate with her. In May, her husband and children competed in the Boise Sprint.
One of Kami’s goals to complete after the 90-Day Challenge was to become a trainer. And, in May 2018, she achieved that goal and has loved the experience.
“What’s not to like about being a trainer? I love to watch people work their tails off, help people become better, and to be a part of something that is bigger than myself,” she said.
Ascent co-owner Chad Powell has witnessed Kami’s progress and how she steadily strives to move toward her next goal.
“I’ve seen an increase in her confidence since she began training,” he said. “She’s increased her knowledge in fitness and nutrition so much. And, I’ve seen her goals come to life as she’s reached them.”
Kami now also serves Ascent and its members as operations manager. Chad said he was feeling overwhelmed before Kami filled the position.
“I’m proud to have Kami on the team because she believes in Ascent like I do and she’s a great friend,” Chad said. “Kami has brought a certain level of ‘let’s get organized’ to our business. It’s because of her that our program is running as smooth as it is.”
From changes in the kitchen to juggling work and family schedules, Kami’s family has also been apart of Ascent.
“My husband has never blinked an eye or questioned why I Ascent. He has seen the positive changes it has made in me and is all about helping me achieve my goals. He knows I’m happier when I exercise and is super supportive of making sure I can.”
When it comes to feeding a family, some members may relate to seeing the contorted faces and hearing the groans when serving a new vegetable or dessert that has little-to-no sugar.
“My family would probably say they haven’t appreciated all the nutrition changes I’ve tried to make over the years. I think I probably lost them when I made them try salmon and spaghetti squash,” Kami said.
The path to eating well, such as enjoying nutrient-dense whole foods, and making mindful meal decisions has been a part of Kami’s journey at Ascent.
“I don’t do this all the time,” she said. “I’m working on it. It’s all part of my journey.
Food is something that I want to enjoy, not fear or feel ashamed about.
Through her years at Ascent, part of Kami’s personal growth has included coming to the realization that changing habits does not happen overnight.
“Having those expectations becomes overwhelming and depressing, so I try to do a little bit better every day,” Kami said. “I’m on a journey and I will get to my destination. I want to enjoy the ride along the way.”
Written by Beth Weedon, Ascent member