It’s a very special moment this month to announce our Member of the Month for October: (Mama) Silva Alksanian. She is a true hero for us, in all aspects of the title… she’s a breast cancer survivor, a woman who can accomplish anything she puts her mind to, a sweetheart we love, and a tremendously hard worker. Oh … and she’s the Mama… now Grandma, of the gym.
Some quick facts about you:
I’m Married, I’m 52 years old, and I have 2 beautiful adult daughters.
How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
Through my daughter’s friend 3 years ago. I always worked out and I love a good challenge. I love pushing myself to try new things.
What was your level of activity or fitness prior to joining?
Going to the gym, walking… nothing this intense. I stuck with it because my daughter’s friend told my daughter “there is no way your mom can stick with it.” That made me think “oh yeah, watch me!” Out of our group of 3, I’m still coming strong to KEEN!
What were your goals when you first joined the gym?
My goal was to just do things I could never imagine doing: like lifting, pull ups… I LOVE the kickboxing. I do every move I can.
Tell us why this month is so special to you?
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this month marks the 10-year anniversary of my diagnosis. I’ve been cancer free since my treatment, so 10 years now.
Any advice to someone reading this who may be experiencing what you did 10 years ago?
It’s so important to eat healthy, live healthy through exercise and just stay positive and mentally focused. It will help you get through this.
What were your thoughts after your first workout?
I thought to myself, “Yes I can do it!” I was so happy… I love to be challenged.
You’re a new grandma right? How does that feel?
I love every minute of it. I get to babysit and come workout every day – what can be better? I enjoy my grandbaby, and really experiencing every precious moment with her.
When you’re not at the gym, where are we most likely to find you?
At home… I love being at home. I love to cook… Armenian food, Persian food. I love to try new recipes all the time.
Do you like the nickname “Mama Silva”? You’re the mom of the gym…
Yes I love it. It makes me feel important and proud.
Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I love to travel with my husband… one of my most memorable trips was to France and Italy. The first year after my cancer treatment, when I was in the clear, my husband took me to Italy and Spain. It was fantastic and unforgettable.
Has your experiences at KEEN affected your life outside of the gym, and if so how?
It gives me a ton of energy, and I’m much more active. I have a lot of confidence that I can achieve what I want to do. C’mon I’m more fit than my husband… he actually encourages me to come more often. He likes me to be fit!
What advice do you have people thinking about trying out a KEEN class?
Everybody can do this. It’s the best gym I’ve ever experienced. Over the years, I’ve been a member at many gyms.. And Ankeen is such a special person. She has shown me I can do whatever I put my mind to. This gym is like a home… very welcoming, yet challenging of course.
Days that I can’t make it to KEEN it actually gives me anxiety. I hate missing a day, and when I do, I make sure I’m back the next day. This place is one of the best changes that happened in my life.
Since you love cooking, can you share with us one of your favorite restaurants: My favorite restaurant is Geoffrey’s in Malibu… anytime someone wants to go there I’ll go. I love seafood!