May Member of the Month: Mike L.


Mike Lyon



When did you start at Kanna?

From day one.  I joined from another gym when it opened, and have never left.

What are your favorite numbers and why?

13 – my wedding was on the 13th, and my son was born on the 13th; 21 – my daughter was born on the 21st

What movements do you like?

I’ve always liked most of the Olympic lifts (C&J and snatch, squat, deadlift).  Kettlebell swings and double-unders are favorites too.  I like box jumps also, but I struggle with them.

What movements do you dislike?

I hate overhead squats more than any exercise ever.  I’ve also never liked pull-ups or Turkish getups.

What sports or fitness things did you do before Kanna?

I was a typical “sports kid” growing up, although I was never great at any of them.  I played soccer, basketball, and baseball on teams into high school, and a ton of hockey and football on the side with my brothers and friends.  In and after college, I can’t really say I ever had a big workout routine.  I joined a few bigger gyms and wasted my time at all of them.  I trained for 3 Broad Street runs (which were awesome) and one half-marathon (which wasn’t) more than 10 years ago. I never had the fortitude, discipline, or desire to keep a workout routine long term.

How did you find Kanna? What was your first workout?

I blame Coach Chris for that.  He introduced me to CrossFit a while back, and we were members together at another gym where he was coaching.  When Kanna started, we were thrilled to come aboard (and it was a lot closer to our home, which helped a ton).

My first workout was a Maltz Challenge (I <sort of> did a half Maltz) as a drop-in to another gym back in 2010-11.  Every second of it was brutal, but I loved it.  The feeling after it was done was really cool.  My work at the time didn’t really allow me to get to classes, but after I switched jobs a couple years later, I jumped in.

What’s your “why” for working out? 

It’s pretty simple for me: I work out to feel good.  I feel much better, refreshed, energized, awake, and “on” than when I don’t.  I am not a good goal-setter and could stand to greatly improve in that area.  But I’ve never really been motivated by targets or movements when working out.  It’s much more about feeling better.

What’s your favorite thing about Kanna?

Easy – the people.  The community and the camaraderie that the Kanna staff has created is truly second to none among workout facilities that I’ve ever seen.  The people are committed but friendly and hard-working but supportive.  I’m just as thrilled to see new faces in workouts as I am to see old friends every time I come in.  The workouts and facility are awesome too, but the people–from the staff to the members–are the reason I stick around.

What are your hobbies?

I love to golf.  I’m not good at it anymore (I used to be decent)–I never have time for it.  But I’m always in for a round if I can squeeze it.

This is going to sound funny, but a big hobby of mine now is coaching baseball.  I don’t know if I’m any good at it, but a friend got me into it a couple years ago when my son was 6, and it actually ended up being an enormous stress reliever at a time when I needed it.  My son is now 8 and playing on a competitive travel team, and my daughter is starting this spring too.  It’s been a ton of fun (which is good because I’m doing it almost every day of the week these days…)

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I’m a big Broadway and theater fan.  I couldn’t tell you any big show out there right now and I haven’t been to see a show anywhere in several years.  But I’m a huge fan and would jump in for the chance to go if given the opportunity.  On the same lines, I’m a big comedy fan also.

What PRs or accomplishments (fitness-related) are you most proud of?

A 400 lb deadlift a few years back was pretty cool.  A while back, I had watched a guy who was in tremendous shape be pumped to land a 400 lb DL, and when I hit it I had fun flashbacks to that moment.  A red Level Method score in the front squat was cool also.

What’s on your fitness bucket list?

A strict pull-up, but I haven’t really been dedicated to that, which is on me.  I need to drop some lbs before I can get it.  I’d also like to get a muscle-up some day, but again, long way to go.

What’s on your general bucket list?

There is a lot, but the two biggest are (1) Going to the Masters in Augusta, and (2) Seeing the beaches and memorial sites in Normandy in France.  Going to the NCAA College Basketball national championship was on it for a while, but I knocked that off in 2016 (and got to see the greatest shot in basketball history while I was there…go \\//)

What advice do you have for people new to Kanna?

The same advice I give a lot of people: just show up, and keep showing up.  If you go, you’ll be impressed.  If you don’t think you’re in any kind of shape, one, you’re wrong, and two, it won’t matter.  You will see progress, and more importantly, you’ll be surrounded by an incredible community that is actively trying to help you do better.  

Also – if you find that a workout sucked one day, good.  It’s supposed to sometimes.  You’re doing something right (as long as you aren’t hurting yourself).  The next one will be better, and the fact that the last one sucked will make the next one easier.

Anything else you’d like to mention?

Shouts to the OG’s!  And a huge shout-out and thanks to my wife, Melinda, who not only encourages me to keep showing up at Kanna, but makes me everything that I am every day.

***Kanna members: The MOTM custom workout will be on Saturday May 13th!***

How does one become Member of the Month? By embodying the Kanna ideals of Learning, Working Hard, and Having Fun. By contributing to the community and supporting others in and out of the workout. By being open to coaching and improving oneself for the sake of being better, not to “win” the workout. By just generally being a good person and having a positive attitude. And a lot more, but you get the idea!

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