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The Hustle

Name: Beth Pensky (CKO Kickboxing Clearwater)

Posted By Graham Colton

Beth Penksy is the owner of CKO Kickboxing in Clearwater. Unlike an average, run-of-the-mill gym, CKO Kickboxing offers, well, kickboxing classes led by highly-trained instructors. CKO is just opening in Clearwater and offering high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes that use calisthenic and plyometric exercises to target certain muscles for short periods of time, leading to gains in both strength and endurance. CKO Kickboxing Clearwater is a gym for men, women, beginning kickboxers, experienced kickboxers and anyone else seeking an engaging workout, a sense of community and a better life.

Years in Tampa Bay

Originally from NY/NJ, and just moved to Florida in 2017. Moved to the Clearwater area in June 2018

Hustle (job)

Owner of CKO Kickboxing Clearwater

What do you do?  

CKO Kickboxing is the best way to burn fat, reduce stress and tone up by punching and kicking real 150-pound heavy bags in one hour. Fitness Kickboxing is the number one fat-burning cardio exercise, with up to 1,200 calories burned during a one-hour class. Our fun and engaging group fitness classes keep the punches and kicks basic to focus on the fitness aspect of your workout. Our classes are for both beginner and advanced levels, and each member can work out at their own pace. We prove in every class that REAL PEOPLE use REAL HEAVY BAGS to get REAL RESULTS.

Why do you do it?

I started working out at a CKO in New Jersey, near my home. I was a member for many years and loved how fit I was getting from the workouts, and how much fun it was to go to all the classes with different instructors each week, and feel part of their family. It wasn’t like any other type of fitness experience that I ever had. It was challenging, but at the same time my body was developing muscles I didn’t even know I had, and I felt part of something special, a community where I made many long-term friendships. I wanted to do that for others someday and when the opportunity came up, I immediately jumped on it.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I was the head of Human Resources for over 20 years. I started kickboxing to relieve the stress. I saw an advertisement and took a class, and never stopped. I love instructing classes and getting the positive feedback from members that they feel worn out, but accomplished and stronger. How I got started to own my own franchise was I had to get in touch with the corporate heads of the company to see if they would allow me to be my own franchise owner. Luckily, since I was a member for so long, and the franchise owner spoke highly of me, they agreed to let me buy my own franchise in Florida. There are only three other locations in Florida: Clermont, Orlando and Miami. I am the first location on the Gulf coast. I am hoping to have several more on this coast in the next several years.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

A common misconception is I think the stereotype of a gym owner is you are a gym rat. While that is somewhat true, owning a business is so much more than just being athletic and knowing about exercise and nutrition. I have a lot of respect for all my fellow CKO franchise owners, and other business owners, as I had no idea of how much goes into owning your own franchise, but I’m thankful to God for allowing me this opportunity to help others achieve their fitness goals and make their daily lives better by giving them the best workouts and most fun in one hour of their day.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Most challenging part of owning this business is the two steps forward and five steps back process. As soon as you think things are going smoothly, something comes up to disturb that great flow and you have to deal with it head on and let it roll off your back, or get frustrated, which doesn’t help resolve the issue. It definitely teaches patience, as you are dealing with a ton of vendors, and a lot of moving parts, but then seeing smiling faces on members’ faces makes it all worth it.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Keep moving forward and remember the end goal. Everyone has gone through this process when opening a new business, not everything goes smoothly 100 percent of the time, but remember why you started it and keep that as your focus!!

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