What”s Your Workout: Alexander Kelley

Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine: Three days of two hours each of taekwondo training, including sparring.

What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine? My father, Robert Kelley, put me in class when I was 8 years old. I was rather small for my age. I was not very good when I started. I was pretty clumsy.

Why is it something you have stuck with? It’s good exercise. I really enjoy it. I get to be around lots of great people (20 to 30 in each class).

What about goals? I would always like to get the next belt. But I usually like to focus on something smaller, like technique, so when the times comes I can be sure I’m worthy of the next belt.

How do you make time to work out? It sometimes can be pretty difficult for yaekwondo between homework and cross-country.

Have you lost weight or gained muscle mass through working out? I don’t really know about muscle. I assume I have. I know it’s definitely true that I’ve gained strength — also plenty of flexibility. That really helps.

What’s your favorite exercise? In taekwondo, I really like sparring. I’m good at it — and hope I’m good enough to go to state competition in May this year.

Do you follow any special diet or eating plan? If so, describe briefly. Do you “cheat” much? I work out so much that I don’t really need to. I think I could (cheat). I know I like ice cream (and have it about once weekly).

Do you have a favorite fitness moment, such as when you reached a certain goal or overcame a plateau? I’m hoping that will come at state competition. I’d like to finish in the top eight, which would qualify me for nationals. That would be amazing to be able to go.

What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out? Or does your dad insist? Sometimes, yes, he does (laughter). But mostly, I already know if I make it to class and work, I’m going to feel much better when I leave. So, I know I’ve got to get there.

What advice would you give someone who wants to begin working out? You need to have a schedule to stick to. If you don’t do that, you’re probably going to taper off a bit. It will be too easy to tell yourself something like, “Today, I don’t want to go run. I didn’t actually set a time, anyway.” If you know that you’ve set it up to run right after school every day, then you’ll get used to running right after school.

Are there any links or parallels between cross-country and taekwondo? Cross-country requires a lot of endurance and oxygen. And in taekwondo, you’ve constantly got to be breathing well and getting enough oxygen through your body.

— Staff writer Brian Blair

Alexander Kelley

Age: 16.

City: Columbus.

School: Sophomore at Columbus North High School.

Parents: Robert and Jennifer Kelley.

Where you work out: Total Taekwondo (now inside Total Fitness, but soon moving to Indiana 11)

Hours per week: Six spread over three days with Taekwondo as a second-degree black belt. And probably another six with cross-country at Columbus North.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.