Name: Fitz Koehler
Birthdate: May 27, 1974
Where were you born? Hollywood, Florida
What are your community activities? (church or faith-based involvement, local, regional and national professional organizations, non-profits, etc) Fitness expert for ABC’s TV20 News, Morning Mile founder and volunteer Mommy, Oakley Ambassador, Board Member for UF and Shand’s Diabetes Center for Excellence, UF HHP’s SPARC Advisory Council Member, Advisor to Peerfit.com, Coach for my kids’ i9 Under-10 Youth Soccer (Go Rabid Aliens!), Mentor to dozens of UF students from the College of Health and Human Performance, Volunteer speaker for the Girl Scouts and Alachua County Schools
List any awards you have won for community service: President’s Council on Sports, Nutrition and Fitness: Community Leadership Award 2013
What is your definition of success? Personally? I’ll feel successful when I have every school in the USA using the Morning Mile and when I believe I’m having a massive impact on the health of most Americans on a daily basis.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment? The Morning Mile – waking up each day knowing over 100,000 kids might be waking up early to walk or run before school elates me.
How do you exemplify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional? I’m happy. I’m never satisfied. I’m pushing the envelope. I ask for guidance when I need it. I have learned how to say no. I juggle the luxuries and demands of work, family and friends at a relentless pace. I’m young enough to still have fire, but mature enough to have high standards and a sturdy backbone.
Businessperson who has most inspired you: It’s a tie between Jeremy Foley and Joe Cirulli. Both have built empires based on high standards, and they’ve both always been generous sharing their time and ideas with me so I may one day do the same.
Best advice ever received: Always associate up.
Greatest professional challenge: Tackling national media.
First job: I was the birthday clown at Galaxy Skateway. I got to lead the Hokey Pokey, which was and is still perfect for me.
What color crayon would you be? Why? Yellow! It’s a bright and cheery color that makes me happy. FYI – everyone is welcomed to send me yellow tulips or roses.
Favorite after-work drink: Diet Coke (I’m a nerd)
If I had a magic wand, I’d turn my family into super heroes.
What is your favorite Gadget? My shiatsu massager. I’m always beat up!
How long have you been in Gainesville? Since my freshman year at UF in 1992
What do you love most about Gainesville/Alachua County? I love what a sweet and active place it is to raise a family. Being embedding in UF is such a gift too.
Three things people would be surprised to know about you: I fought competitively as a kickboxer for about eight years, but fear bugs. I used to be 40+ pounds heavier than I am now. I will likely run for office one day, maybe Governor!
Advice you would give a younger you: Running a business will never come as naturally or be as fun as teaching fitness, but hang in there. You’ll eventually get the hang of it.