True to the story’s title, Fitz Koehler of Fitzness International is a versatile entrepreneur. She is a fitness expert, spokesperson, founder of the Morning Mile, author, and professional race announcer. Koehler prides herself on teaching and supporting others to achieve the best version of themselves both physically and mentally.
Koehler started teaching fitness when she was 15. She started physical therapy for a knee injury and spent a lot of time in the gym regaining her strength. Through her physical therapy experience, she found her passion for helping people. After she completed therapy, Koehler decided to join the local gym, Spa Lady, as a fitness instructor. She continued teaching at the gym for a few years and then moved to Gainesville to start college at the University of Florida.
The summer after her sophomore year, Koehler worked on a 5-star cruise line that sailed through Europe where she was able to teach fitness classes in various countries. After graduation, she moved to England for a couple of years but returned to Gainesville to get her master’s degree in exercise and sports sciences. During that time, she earned a position as a fitness instructor for a workout TV show called Cardiojam. One of the pivotal moments in her career came when she was approached by a woman who admired her work and attributed her weight loss to Koehler.
“My career is now steered toward mass media, and my goal is to help folks live better and longer by making fitness understandable, attainable, and fun.”
When Koehler’s children started kindergarten, she overheard other mothers mention their child’s involvement with a program that engaged them in running activities at school. She loved the idea of helping kids become healthier and wanted her kids to be a part of it. Thus, she founded Morning Mile: a program where students run laps around the school track about a half-hour before school starts. Today, the Morning Mile program is in 400 schools around the world, spanning four countries.
“I went to different schools and they all had different versions of the program, so I wanted to make a program that was duplicatable. I took their best practices and put it together and decided what equipment would serve to make the program the most fun and rewarding.”
There is much more to Koehler’s journey that has contributed to the person she is today. At the beginning of 2019, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Koehler has always been a huge proponent of annual exams and early detection and has made that a big part of her platform as a fitness professional. She recently released her new book “My Noisy Cancer Comeback” that details her cancer journey.
“This book is a reminder for anyone that is going through anything hard to pursue your passions because your life is going to be so much better if you continue taking part in things you love.”