By Michele Dillon, Choose Mountains Ambassador
Ellen Kindelsperger is a Chiropractor and Personal Trainer in Boulder, Colorado. I have gotten the chance to get to know her over the past few months when I took her on as a coach/fixer of my body and have been completely motivated by her attitude, drive and spirit. Join me in getting to know her a bit more and get inspired!
How did you first get into personal training and when did you decide that you wanted to balance that with chiropractic services?
My first real experience of coaching was in college. I was a kinesiology major and I took an internship in Yokosuka, Japan to develop and run a two month fitness camp for overweight American military children. It was a full dive into the realm of being a coach. Not only did I have the same kids for 5 hours a day 5 days a week...I had to make the experience fun, engaging, and educational. Since then I have further developed my skills as a coach with adults and kids through personalized fitness. When it came to opening my own chiropractic business it was clear that combining the two just made sense. It's fun for me to be a full-circle service to my clients that I coach and also treat with chiropractic.
How does your knowledge of the human body help you plan the workouts you design for your athletes?
Knowing anatomy very well is invaluable as both a chiropractor and fitness coach. The origin and insertion of muscles, their actions, movement patterns, innverations...all this makes me a better coach and better at designing fitness programs. If I know a client has a condition, let's say a bulged L4-L5 disc, I am well versed in what the condition is, what the body needs to heal, and what to avoid.
As someone who is running her own business (two of them in fact), your motivation and spirit is aspirational. What made you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur or was it something that just naturally came about?
My Dad, Keith, is a farmer and I believe seeing him operate as a small business owner has had a great influence on me. He has shown me through his actions how through hard, consistent work you can create a life for yourself. He also has a high level of stoicism that I have yet to master. I am drawn to the idea of being a boss lady who handles her shit with a high level of grace. Being an entrepreneur seems to fit the bill.
If you were to provide one piece of advice to someone who wanted to start their own business, what would you say?
Work on yourself as much as you work on your business. Expanding the horizons of who you are and what you think you know will lead to a deeper understanding of yourself and the people you encounter. This can be in the form of travel, reading books, going to meetups, trying something new or something scary (yet safe), etc.
Your goal for your 30th birthday is to run a 50k for the first time in Wyoming (AMAZING), what are your goals for the race (if any) and what are you hoping to get out of the experience?
In college I was a middle-distance sprinter, so really I am only good for about 50 to 120 seconds. I am not naturally built for endurance running, so I believe my goal is to surprise myself. I hope to gain mental fortitude and perhaps a love for running again. By my senior year of college I had been running track for 10 years and took a serious break from the act of running. I dabbled in Olympic style weightlifting and CrossFit for a bit. Now I'm looking for something outdoors to fall in love with. It's also a bonus that I will now understand the pain and suffering my ultra athletes endure. So this venture benefits them too.
How is your training coming along? Is it hard to find the balance with owning and running two businesses?
This is so hard! You would think me working in a gym would lead to effortless workout sessions. But the reality is I'm running back and forth between my chiropractic office and the gym, answering emails/phone calls, doing patient notes, yadda yadda. I have learned to block off time on my calendar and make it non-optional to opt out.
You are going to be co-running another Chiropractic location in cahoots with a Psychologist. How did this wonderful idea come in action about having both of these forms of care in the same place?
It was one of those magical situations that you meet someone who you jive with really well and have the same passions and goals. I set out on this journey by myself, but the plan has always to collaborate with other healers and to hopefully meet them in an organic way. That's how it happened with Natalie. We believe that the mind and the body are interwoven, so why not treat conditions as such?
What is, you feel, your most accomplished goal to date?
Opening my business and making it work using only my own money.
Who/what inspires you?
Who: goal-oriented people. What: nitro cold brew coffee.
What's your favorite song to workout to?
Generally it's heavy metal or early 2000's EDM. Let's say Stupify by Disturbed...I woke up this morning with this song in my head.
Who is the celebrity/famous person you would die to personal train or perform chiropractic services on?
Matthew McConaughey's posture really bothers me. He has anterior pelvic tilt and thoracic hyperkyphosis like you wouldn't believe.
What is your absolute favorite book and why?
Nick Offerman's "Paddle Your Own Canoe" mainly because I have a slight obsession with Parks and Rec, but also Nick Offerman and myself, in my mind, are cut from the same cloth. We both hail from farms in Illinois, sport strong facial hair, and take pleasure in honing one's craft. I enjoy Nick's dry, sarcastic demeanor mixed with common sense wisdom and a disdain for shortcuts.
What is one really nerdy thing about yourself?
I just bought myself a "hug light" so I can read in dark situations. I almost bought a book clip light, but I felt that one that would snake around my neck looked cooler. I also have a small collection of robes. Only one is sexy.
Would you ever make a jazzercise video in 80's outfits? This is a question FOR THE PEOPLE. BY THE PEOPLE.
This has been on my mind. It's a sign we should probably just go for it.