Good health seems to come naturally to Kim Bray. At 52, the relentlessly optimistic fitness coach radiates well-being. A fountain of practical advice and encouragement for Welcyon members, she draws from a deep knowledge of fitness and personal training. No stranger to Welcyon, Kim worked as a fitness coach at the Sioux Falls, SD club before relocating to Las Vegas with her husband last year. Thrilled to learn that Welcyon was opening a new club in Henderson, Kim quickly found a spot on the coaching staff.
“I just love working with the members of this club—helping them discover their own capabilities, and transcend their limitations,” Kim said. “You know, for most of us, the biggest obstacle is the one between our ears. They’ve taught me that, and inspired me for the challenges in my own life.”
I just love working with the members of this club—helping them discover their own capabilities, and transcend their limitations.
Although today she is highly sought by members who want to grow strong and overcome health challenges, Kim’s early years were plagued with illness. Until she was 30, the Toronto native struggled with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic intestinal disease (coincidentally, Coach Colleen Cortez also suffered from the illness in her younger years). Although she had worked as a sales person in a health club since graduating from college, her life was dominated by visits to doctors and pharmacies.
“I was so unhealthy at that time in my life,” Kim recalled. “Here I was selling memberships, but I wasn’t participating. I saw these older women and how their lives were changing for the better. That’s when I decided that illness wasn’t going to be my future—that by the time I reached 50 I’d be in the best shape of my life.”
When it comes down to it, you can resign yourself to being a victim or you can change things.
Mentored by trainers at the club, Kim started seeing noticeable improvements in her health. Inspired and encouraged, she dove in head first and earned her certification as a personal trainer. Realizing that nutrition was a key component of wellness, what she ate became as important as working out.
“It took time to put diet and exercise together. There’s no rubber stamp for it, no one size fits all,” Kim says. “A lot of it is about how we treat our bodies, and learning what works for us as individuals.” Yet somehow, Kim struck the right balance. After decades of illness, she felt healthy and whole for the first. Her disease went into remission and she hasn’t needed medicine of any kind for 18 years.
“When it comes down to it, you can resign yourself to being a victim or you can change things,” Kim says. It’s a philosophy she lives by and shares with members.
There’s an awesome group of people here. That’s why I’m passionate about this work. It’s what keeps me coming back. Sometimes I forget that I get paid for this.
Always looking for the next challenge, Kim took up bodybuilding in recent years, competing in the Master’s Bikini Division of the 2014 Natural Bodybuilding competition in Sioux Falls, SD. She plans to compete again in Las Vegas. Yet it is her work with club members that she finds the most enriching and satisfying.
“There’s an awesome group of people here. That’s why I’m passionate about this work. It’s what keeps me coming back. Sometimes I forget that I get paid for this.”
From the illness of her early years to her role as Welcyon coach, Kim is an inspiration to all who know her.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit with Kim yet, make a point of dropping by the club. She’ll be happy to take you on a tour, and guide you through a few complimentary workouts.
She’ll show you how the Welcyon program can help you with your own health challenges, improving your fitness and getting you twice as strong within a year.