Judy Kelly: On Life, Struggle, and Having It All
Posted on March 17, 2019 in REV Community
Some of you may be familiar with Judy’s smiling face. Judy is the co-owner of Studio 921, right down the street from REV. She’s a mainstay at Maddison’s Friday 9AM, and though she likes to switch up her fitness routine, she always finds herself back at REV at least once a week because of the powerful inspiration and killer workouts the instructors give her. “No matter how I am feeling, that 45 min is a sweat fest!”
Growing up, Judy was always active, but struggled with body image and self-esteem. She wanted to use this forum to share this because, well, she is sick of the usually unrealistic “picture perfect images” out there. “A lot of us struggle and it is not a weakness to be vulnerable–it’s a strength. We need to support and celebrate each other, especially as women.” What helped her through the hard times was being active and it still is. Judy explains, “I try to work out at least 5-6 days a week. It is what keeps me grounded and in a good head space. I also felt a strong sense of responsibility when I had my kids (son and daughter), to set a healthy AND realistic example for them. And feeling strong is a great side effect as well.”
Funny enough, before she discovered REV, spinning was never her “go-to”, she actually hated spin classes. But, after Colleen introduced her to Rick, co-owner of REV, she was convinced to give REV a try and was surprised to LOVE it, but sure enough, she was hooked. Judy has truly enjoyed every single person she has taken a class from at REV. She even gets her husband and daughter to class on occasion. She really identifies with how Esther and Rick run their business. Judy says, “As a fellow business owner, I feel like we hire and surround ourselves by similar people, people that are “passionate and driven” about what they do.” She loves the constant energy, realness and excitement of the Rev team. “It’s the instructors and environment that make me love REV. I’ve been to several different spin studios and none compare. “I am team REV all the way!”
Judy is also a badass entrepreneur and a mother. After working 10 years at Aerotek in sales and as an instructor, she wanted more control and freedom to impact to change and develop ideas so she decided to leave to pursue her own business. She took a year off to write a business plan, secure a loan, find space, hire, etc. etc.. That’s right, packed up her desk from a great job and took time for herself to chase her dream, starting her own business. Luckily, a friend and colleague, and now business partner, Colleen Smith, also wanted to make a change, so they joined up and created their tag line “where style meets wellness” and formed Studio921 in the heart of Locust Point. Judy says, “I never in a million years would of thought this would be the business direction, but thankfully Colleen had the foresight for this amazing industry. It was a tough start, but we are now in our 15th year and I would not change a thing!” The ups/downs of entrepreneurship just fuel her to work harder. She and Colleen have been friends/worked together for over 25 years now! “I could NEVER do this without her and I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished, but more importantly, that our relationship is still bullet strong. We are humbled and forever grateful.” They both work hard for what they love and it is working.
Studio921 is a spot that many of our clients and instructors stop at to take care of themselves, whether that is getting their hair done, facials, or massage. Judy believes it is important to feel good about yourself, inside and out. Judy says, “You don’t have to look like you have a constant instagram filter on you. Hell, nobody looks like they do on social media, right?” Studio921 is a chance for you to take time for yourself, reflect, and let your beauty shine through. When you feel good about yourself, you are unstoppable. Judy’s best pamper yourself advice? “Hydrate your ass off. Moisturize everything. Belly laugh every day. Love the people and animals around you. Be active and enjoy the LITTLE things. I want people to come into Studio 921 and be comfortable rocking whoever they are in that moment. Some days are good and some not so much. But it’s real and we should honor and celebrate that. BE YOU.”
It is a big year for Judy, as she is celebrating 50 this year, but she doesn’t look a day over 30 (seriously, have you seen her?). However, let’s be honest, nobody likes aging, but it’s inevitable and a privilege. When Judy looks back on life, she realizes how much she has been through and is so grateful to be where she is now. With a loving, supportive husband, two amazing kids, and a job I love. She works hard to live every day in a way that would make her family proud. Not only my husband and kids, but her mom and dad (Dad passed a couple of years ago). Judy says, “It’s too damn easy to get caught up in all the drama so when I find myself getting trapped in the rabbit hole, I think about them and if that will be important in the end. Nope? Then let it go.”
Judy is a prime example of a strong and balanced woman. Though, she admits balance isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to juggling a career, a fitness routine, and a family. She explains, “I do believe it is tougher for women as we often have the primary responsibility of our kids and home, as well as a career. We think we should “do it all”. But guess what, it’s not always possible.” And when it comes to balancing so many things at once, remind yourself that you can’t do everything all at once and that’s OK! And actually, she said that she doesn’t think she wants to “have it all”, she just wants a lot of a few things. So give yourself grace and focus on the most important thing in that moment.
Her advice to REVers when it comes to staying motivated? “Think about those that can’t. Whether it financial, physical, or mental. A lot of people do not have the privilege of taking a spin class at REV or being active. Think about that when you don’t feel like going to class. There are a line of people that would give a great deal to take your place.
Judy, you are a strong badass entrepreneur. Business is booming and we are so thankful that you followed your heart, chased your dreams and have grown into the inspirational woman you are now. REV is proud to have you as a loyal REVer!