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On a Mission

48 COMPETITIONS. 48 STATES. 48 DAYS. Kelsey’s got this.
Kelsey Lensman/ Used with permission
Kelsey Lensman/ Used with permission

Forty-eight states, 48 competitions, 48 days — Kelsey Lensman is ready to crush them all. A 2014 Hoover graduate, she founded Mission48 and EmpowHER Fitness and is a 5x bodybuilding competitor, 4x powerlifting competitor, powerbuilding competitor, half-marathon, Spartan and other races competitor.

“I am currently pursuing Mission48, where I will complete 48 fitness competitions in 48 states in 48 days to raise money for ROX, Ruling Our Experiences, a 501c(3) that develops confident girls who control their own relationships, experiences, decisions, and future” she said. “My goal is to inspire women to do hard things, push their limits and build true self-confidence.”

Lensman talked about what brought her to this point in her life. “I am a normal girl with big dreams, and even bigger actions,” she said. “I graduated [from OSU] with an athletic training degree. I am a certified athletic trainer. I was always intending to go to physical therapy graduate school; however, at the end of my senior year, I decided to start my own business instead, helping people become the best version of themselves.”

She began competing as a senior in college. “I always wanted to [compete], but never thought I was ‘ready’ or could do it, so fi nally I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone and go for it. I felt a pull on my heart strings telling me I had a different mission. After a life changing year of training to step onto a bodybuilding stage, it led me to understand each of us has a world of unlimited growth and opportunities. We only need to seek them out and take advantage of them. I realized that true transformation comes from multiple areas: nutrition, training, mindset and community.”

She never looked back. “As a result of my own journey, I founded EmpowHER Fitness that coaches women all around the country in their nutrition, fitness, and mindset,” Lensman said. “I also run EmpowHER Fitness Events, which are all-women’s international strength events that challenge women to step out of their comfort zone and show themselves they’re stronger than they think. My unique approach to fitness has helped hundreds of women get results, grow their mindset, and become strong, confident versions of themselves.”

Lensman talks about what inspired her about Mission48. “Two years ago I watched a documentary called ‘50.50.50,’” she said. “It told the story of Iron Cowboy who competed in 50 Romans in 50 states in 50 days. I was incredibly inspired by his journey.”

With new inspiration and ideas from the documentary, Lensman thought about what she could accomplish. “After the documentary, I sat there and thought, ‘What am I capable of?’ Immediately I thought of the idea of competing in 48 different fitness competitions in 48 states to challenge myself,” she said.

However, when Lensman first came up with this idea she didn’t act on it right away. After thinking about it for some time she decided to take action.

“Two years after sitting on the idea I finally had the courage to go for it and created what is now Mission48,” Lensman said.

With this mission in mind, it is important that multiple components [nutrition, fitness, mindset and community] be a part of one’s journey.

“You’re one whole person, so it’s important to have all ‘parts’ of you included in your journey,” she said. “Your nutrition affects your fitness, which affects your mindset, and vice versa. Many people notice when they start getting their fitness better, then their mindset is positively impacted. They all impact one another, so if you want to improve you start small and focus on one, but know that leveling up in all areas of your life will be impacted as a result.”

With starting a new mission comes new challenges. “One of the challenges I’ve had to overcome is events canceling on us last minute and needing to make new events within hours,” she said. “We have a pretty tight schedule, so when one cancels we’ve needed to think about solutions fast instead of dwelling on the problem.”

Lensman talks about who her biggest role model and support has been. Even though it is hard to pick just one person, Lensman tells about how her fiance has been there for her.

“It’s hard to narrow down my biggest supporter as I’ve had so many amazing people in my life,” she said. “My fiance has been a massive supporter in my journey and has always given me the belief when I doubt at times. I’m blessed to have great people in my life that keep me going.”

Lensman talks about her Hoover High School experience and about her favorite high school memory.

“My best Hoover memory was making it to states my senior year in basketball,” Lensman said. “It was such a great ride to finish our senior year strong and work towards a big goal with the team that we had.

2017 Hoover alumna Taylor Ulik [pictured above left, with Lensman] is a friend, as well as a former classmate and teammate, of Lensman.

“When I was a freshman at Hoover, Kelsey was a senior,” she said. “Kelsey played volleyball and basketball and was someone that many of the younger players looked up to. After she graduated I continued to follow along with her life on social media.”

Being that Ulik has known Lensman and has been following her on her journey, she has been able to see her grow as a person and as a competitive athlete.

“Kelsey has always been a genuine and kind person to all,” she said. “She is also the best teammate or cheerleader one could ask for. And when it boils down to it, that is creating a ‘team’ for women to feel a part of no matter what stage of life they are in all for the same purpose of building strong women.” Part of Lensman’s message is to empower girls Ulik talks about how Lensman is influencing many young girls.

“So many young girls struggle with body image, eating disorders, and overall confidence,” she said. “Kelsey will be the first to say that confidence is something that is earned. You aren’t born with it. She is helping inspire so many young women to build that confidence in themselves and feel strong in their bodies.”

Follow Lensman’s journey at https://kelseylensman.com/

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About the Contributor
Savannah Goss
Savannah Goss, Business Manager
My name is Savannah Goss and this is my third year on staff! I am a junior this year and am involved with ASL club and link crew. Outside of school I like to work and spend time with friends and family.