Blake Parsons, SFG1, FMS 2, Certified Yoga Teacher
It’s a stretch to say that Blake started training with kettlebells because of a traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2011. But it’s not a stretch to say that the Redmond native credits kettlebells with helping him ultimately recover from it.
A 21st birthday celebration at college ended with Blake falling over a ledge, landing face-first on concrete, and being airlifted from Ellensburg to Seattle’s Harborview Hospital with a battered and bleeding brain. He spent two weeks in the hospital, two days of which he was in a coma.
After being released, “I had severe short- and long-term memory loss and motor control loss,” Blake says. “I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t do anything really.”
Slowly, with simple weight lifting and, eventually, yoga, he began his recovery. After graduating—on time—from Central Washington University with his B.S. in Exercise Science, Blake started working as a trainer at a Bellevue gym. But, even a year out from his accident, he says, “my body was fairly weak, disconnected, unfunctional and unbalanced.”
Enter kettlebells, in 2012.
“When I got into kettlebells, my body was finally strong,” Blake says. “It was a strength I had never felt before. I finally felt good, strong and able. Kettlebells changed my life for the better.”
Blake has been teaching kettlebells ever since, joining the Kettlebility team in July 2018. Incidentally, the 28-year-old also credits kettlebells with fixing chronic injuries from a youth spent in extreme sports (primarily motocross). These days, you’re more likely to find him indulging in hiking, biking or kayaking. Fun Blake fact: He traveled for two years across Europe, Southeast Asia and South America. (And doesn’t regret a minute of it.)
Today, seven years out from his near-death experience, Blake still relies on kettlebells for both physical and mental wellness.
“I need to keep strong or I start falling apart! Mental health is the BIGGEST reason I train,” Blake says. “If if I don’t, my whiney mind takes over and I lack confidence and discipline.”
To help keep others’ “whiney minds” at bay, Blake will soon be offering Kettlebility students a class that marries his love of both kettlebells and yoga flow.
Blake’s certifications include StrongFirst SFG1, FMS Level 2 and First Aid CPR/AED. Blake also earned his 200-hour yoga instructor certification.
7 Questions with Blake
- Favorite health food you couldn’t live without:
- Favorite non-health food you couldn’t live without:
- Favorite KB technique:
Turkish Get Up
- Proudest moment:
Graduating (college) on time after my traumatic brain injury and giving the commencement speech at graduation.
- Who are your heroes?
My father and myself.
- What’s on your bucket list?
I knocked off a lot already! But more traveling, living abroad and becoming a StrongFirst Master Instructor.
- Your mantra?
Everything that happens is the best possible thing that can happen.