3 Years for Karen Hill & First Wind Cycling

Three years ago, I decided to say “why the hell not?” and I wrote a business plan, partnered up with my brother and friends, found an amazing right hand woman, and opened First Wind Cycling and Fitness. I created this place in my image. I wanted something fun, impactful, and effective. I wanted a space where people felt good and fell in love with fitness. Looking back on our accomplishments over the last three years, I feel proud.

I honestly never knew that my story would have such an impact on other people. If you know me well, you know that I don’t think of what I’ve gone through as “that big of a deal” (heart surgery… Meh…). What I’ve found though, is that just like in any good movie or sporting event, the underdog is the character that people most relate to. I’ve been through some trenches and I’ve had some low low points, but here I am showing you that anything is possible.

We’ve been in Self Magazine, won all kinds of awards for what we do, been on TV, and in the newspaper. I’ve had the honor of speaking to groups of entrepreneurs, college students, those affected by mental illness and homelessness, supporters of the American Heart Association, business leaders, and more.

What do I want out of all of this? I want you and every little girl and boy out there to know that I was a kid who was picked on and bullied all the way through elementary school, middle school, and high school. I used to go home and cry after school. I had two friends and one was my brother for a long time. I was a kid with health problems. I don’t think I ever made a varsity team (if I did, I definitely kept the bench warm). I was the underdog. So I am here to tell you to keep your head up. Never be afraid and don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something because you absolutely can. That includes fitness and that includes your dreams. And by the way, I also have a great career in finance as well and am surrounded by amazing people that I am lucky enough to call my friends. #takethatbullies

First Wind Cycling & Fitness Studio celebration Charlotte

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Karen Hill
I own First Wind Cycling & Fitness in South End and I am a barre, cycle, and strength instructor. Our studio specializes in strength, cardio, and core. Our motto is Be Happy. be Healthy. Be You. I believe in the power of fitness because I have struggled my whole life with heart disease and I know the difference it has personally made for me both physically and emotionally. My goal is to help people fall in love with fitness and make it a part of their lifestyle. I want people to do workouts and go places that make them happy where they leave feeling proud of themselves. Fitness is something that should be fun and make everyone feel good! I also serve as a motivational speaker and I bring a message of living a life of passion despite the challenges we are faced with to many different audiences drawing on my own personal experience. I also grew up in Charlotte! There's not a ton of us around. :)