Vicki Ikeogu, firstname.lastname@example.org
WAITE PARK — It's 4 a.m. on a Monday morning, a time when most people would still be dreaming of excuses not to get out of bed.
But Kim Swenson is not like most people.
"My day starts out very early," said Swenson. "I (have to get in) my personal workout around 5 a.m."
Out the door before the sun barely can peak over the horizon, Swenson heads into work with the goal of inspiring others to be the best they physically can be.
"I've been given the nickname Cruella de Vil by some of my clients," said Swenson.
It's a name Swenson wears with pride as she challenges her trainees to reach their fitness goals.
"When my clients reach their goals, it's exciting to see," she said. "It's life-changing."
And rewarding for Swenson, who has been named Best Personal Trainer in the 2016 Best of Central Minnesota Readers' Survey.
The journey to becoming a medical fitness specialist at Rejuv Medical was a personal one for Swenson.
"I've always been active my whole life," she said. "Until I had back issues."
Through the work of physical therapy and targeted exercise, Swenson regained control of her life. And found her calling.
"You really see the health benefits," said Swenson. "You see the importance of nutrition and daily exercise. And if I could help someone else not end up having surgery or getting diabetes through exercise and nutrition, I would love to help."
The chance to help started two years ago.
Over the course of those two years, Swenson has taught numerous clients through one-on-one and small group training sessions. She also runs nine boot camp sessions a week.
It's a busy schedule, but Swenson wouldn't have it any other way.
"My clients are why I get up every day and do what I do," she said. "Their hard work and dedication is truly inspiring."
Follow Vicki Ikeogu on Twitter @VickiSCTimes or on Facebook at facebook.com/sctimesvicki. Call her at 259-3662.