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Why You Don’t Want to Meet Victoria Kenward in a Dark Alley

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By day, we’re marketing geeks. Computer nerds. Quirky writers and artists. And damn proud of it!

But after hours, our team members shed their marketing capes – and pursue all kinds of cool Hobbies, Interests and Talents (we call them HITs for short).

Here’s what Victoria Kenward, Haley Marketing’s VP & COO, is into:

HIT: Fitness Buff: weight training, martial arts, yoga

Back Story

Working out has been in my blood since I was a teenager (I’ve been hitting the gym longer than my personal trainer has been alive!). Over the years I’ve lifted weights, earned a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and earned my mixed-martial-arts black belt in Krav Maga/Muay Thai/Brazilian Ju Jitsu. More recently, I’ve started practicing yoga to complement my training.

Why am I so passionate about fitness?

Aside from the obvious health benefits, I love working out because it’s the one time in my day when I can be completely mindful and focused. The rest of the day is all about my family, our staff and our clients.

Practicing martial arts and yoga is about much more than looking good.

Successfully achieving multiple black belts and working through that process over and over and over again has taught me so much about perseverance and facing challenges; I am a much better person because of those experiences. There is a saying that earning your black belt is only the beginning and it so true. Once you reach a goal, you redefine your goals and start again. That process of continual learning and challenging yourself forces you to be your best you.

Learning both traditional and modern martial arts has taught me to appreciate the value in variety and has impacted my leadership style. I love it when I am challenged to consider other opinions and ideas. I believe those differences create a synergy that impacts everything we do at Haley Marketing.

It also doesn’t hurt that I think my obsession with working out and practicing martial arts makes me just a little scary. But I also practice yoga and have found that it is the perfect ‘yin’ to the ‘yang’ of punching and kicking things. I love to try new poses and balances and frequently just have to laugh when I fall flat. I take great pride in knowing that even though I may have failed this time, I am also facing my fears and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.

My leadership style is a culmination of the experiences that I have on the mat in yoga, sparring in martial arts, and lifting heavy at the gym. It shows in the way I challenge our team to push for change, look for innovation, and be okay with making mistakes and taking risks.

I hope that what I bring to the team at Haley Marketing helps to create an environment where learning, growing, failing and trying again is as autonomic as breathing. I think that mindset shows in our quality, service and culture.

Disclaimer: If you’re squeamish, don’t read this last part.

My favorite fitness story?

It’s crazy, but I’ll share it.

One Saturday, I was excited to take an MMA (mixed martial arts) conditioning class from a guest instructor. It was a three-hour high intensity interval training class exclusively for athletes. I knew it was going to be a challenge and I was psyched!

Unfortunately, 30 minutes into the class, while doing a ladder drill, I rolled my ankle and fell, and heard that ugly snapping sound of a bone breaking in my foot. My foot immediately became black and blue and swelled to double the size and I knew it was not good. But, I wanted to complete the course; this instructor was not going to be back for another year.

So, I stayed for the remaining 2.5 hours, icing my foot between exercises and basically doing the entire class on one leg. Oh it gets worse… Being sweaty and disgusting, I decided to go home and shower and paint my nails before heading to the emergency room for an x-ray, where sure enough, my 5th metatarsal had fractured. I’m still happy I finished the class, because I was forced to take 6 weeks off after that.


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