Hi, I’m Kate, and that photo was taken in 2012 in Mongolia- and so far, one of the neatest moments in my life. I thought it was fitting, because going to Mongolia was the first of a few major challenges I gave myself in 2012 and joining Chris Lindley’s Hellth crew was the last of 2012. Both were transformational.

I started at Endo as completely sedentary- I never played sports as a kid, and I have been overweight my entire life -topping out at 244lbs/size 22 at 24 years old (I turn 30 next Sunday, for a little perspective). My childhood bounced between abusive and neglectful growing up, so sports or movement weren’t really options growing up. I also inherited clinical depression, and while I’ve heard depression described in many ways, for me, it’s a little voice that lives in my head, doesn’t pay rent and can be a real asshole.

At the end of 2012 I was looking for something that would get the asshole to shut up and give me some peace. Therapy and (prescription) drugs were helping, but were only a partial solution. I started going to yoga (hi Ben!) lost some weight, gained some confidence, and then, lord knows what moved me, but October of 2012 (and 2 days after getting back from Mongolia), size 18 me, walked into the bike room with the superheroes disguised as the 5am Lowry crew… and got on a bike.

I could NOT keep up for probably the first 6 months or so, but I kept going, kept trying and I made friends with the superheroes. After almost 3 years now, I’ve found strength and endurance, lost weight and gained respect for my body and for the grit I didn’t know was hanging out inside me. But mostly I found other people- my instructors and the Endo community has brought so much joy and interest to my life.

Two years later, I’m a size 12, I still do pushups on my knees and working like hell to keep up with my superhero buddies all over Endo. I started meditating this year (big, big thank you Mr. Nick), and for the first time, my brain is quiet enough to find some compassion for the asshole that rattles around inside my head- sometimes. I’m still a work in progress, and I’m so grateful to be part of this community of supportive, compassionate, crazy-ass people.