As a new mom a decade ago, Gena knew she no longer had the time or flexibility to do daylong bike rides or cross-country ski outings, weekend backpacking sojourns or weeklong kayak expeditions. But she knew she wanted—and needed—to stay physically active. (This is a woman with a weekly running habit who has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, hiked the Inca Trail in Peru, ridden 200 miles from Seattle to Portland, and run multiple half marathons.)

Gena also was looking for a way to reduce her reliance on her chiropractor to deal with chronic back pain. After he told Gena about a client who had transformed her body with kettlebells and no longer needed so much of his help, Gena jumped into Kettlebility. That was in 2013, when her son turned four.

“The technical aspects, the intensity and the workout had me hooked,” Gena says. “For an hour each workout, my extreme focus was required, and I left feeling physically invigorated and mentally clear.”

Her son is now ten, and she’s never left.

To deepen her technical knowledge and skill and train toward a goal as her 50th birthday approached, Gena set her sights on earning her SFG 1 certification, in 2018. Certification in hand, she decided she wanted to give back to her Kettlebility community by teaching others. After a six-month apprenticeship, she became an instructor in 2019. 

“I’m so inspired by people who are working towards becoming their best selves,” says Gena, who has worked extensively in global health and now runs a start-up non-profit organization dedicated to improving health and well-being in King County.  “I believe physical fitness and being alive in our bodies leads us down a virtuous path where other good things become possible.” Fun fact about Gena: she has travelled in more than 30 countries in Asia, Africa and South America and holds a master’s in foreign service from Georgetown University. 

Gena’s certifications include GFM 1, SFG, 1, CPR, and Mountaineer Oriented First Aid.


7 Questions with Gena 

  1. Favorite health food you couldn’t live without: Vegetables of all shapes and sizes: Salads in the summer, soups in the winter
  2. Favorite non-health food you couldn’t live without: A piece of deep, dark chocolate.
  3. Favorite KB technique: Windmill and bent press
  4. Proudest moment: Getting the timing for the 2-hand swing…after four years of “practice.
  5. Who are your heroes? Everyday people navigating life’s challenges with aplomb
  6. What’s on your bucket list? Hiking the Great Wall of China — currently scheduled for Spring 2020!
  7. Your mantra? “Whatever you believe, you can achieve.”


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