How I'm Skirting the Rules

I’m Transforming the World of Personal Fitness By Showing My Clients Strength Starts From Within

Celebrity trainer and Equinox Creative Director Kacy Duke says physical fitness isn't just about looking good—it's about finding inner greatness.

Celebrity trainer Kacy Duke has been Skirting the Rules her whole career, even if she may not have realized it. From her role as Creative Director at international fitness-club chain Equinox to teaching her clients—such as Julianne Moore, Iman, and Dakota Johnson—that physical fitness cannot coexist without mental and spiritual fitness, she’s helping women rediscover their strength, and as a result, their value. We were inspired by her graceful-yet-powerful energy when we caught up with her at a recent Skirting the Rules and Chantelle “Art of Being” salon. Here, she tells us why it isn’t a bad thing to summon your BBA (bad bitch attitude).

I’m Skirting the Rules by living my “show it love” philosophy, and sharing it with my clients every day. By “show it love,” I mean connecting my clients with self-love, reminding them that to achieve true success, they need to balance all three elements of self: the physical, spiritual and emotional. In my book, The Show It Love Workout, my message is that you can transform your whole life when you see the greatness is in you. Clients come to me to guide their physical transformation. As we go through the process, I help them unite their the spiritual and emotional elements as well so all three are brought into balance. My mantra is, “Celebrate the body you have to get the body you want.”

I believe the most powerful feminine strengths  that help women get ahead are calling upon and not denying your BBA (bad bitch attitude). This means being grounded and powerful—connected to your core—remembering who you are. Being in touch with the goddess within. Goddesses are not objects or eye–candy. Rather, they’re smart, strong and powerful beings, which is the definition of BB!  

The biggest risk I ever took was saying yes to the opportunity to work with a then-unknown little fitness company that would eventually become Equinox. At the time, I took a huge leap of faith, walking away from a steady gig as a popular instructor into what seemed like an anything but sure bet (little did I know!). I was just a kid and I was scared but when Nike VP and legendary designer Tinker Haven Hafield said to me, “You can do this, Kacy!” it was a great reminder that yes, I could!

An example of how listening to my intuition has helped me is to know early on that I would make fitness my life’s work and that I could make a difference in people’s lives through movement.

My secret talent is song writing/singing. It’s one of life’s great joys! It’s an art form and I just love creating and sharing the gift of song.

My biggest rebel move was going against the well-meaning advice of my parents and family, committing to a fitness career and standing up for what I believed was the best path for me. I wasn’t willing to play it safe to make them happy, I had to find my way and take some risks to make me happy.

A woman is most powerful when she is truly comfortable with being on her own.

A time I wish I’d listened to my inner knowing more was when, as a younger person, I didn’t fully understand my value and didn’t demand the kind of recognition and compensation that I deserved. I sold myself short. Fortunately, I am wiser now. I understand my true worth, and I am expensive!

The female disruptor who most inspires me and why is Louise L. Hay, whose book You Can Heal Your Life literally changed my life. It taught me about the connection between thoughts and emotions and their effect on the body, such as how negative thinking can drain your health and positive thoughts have the power to heal and change. Her wisdom gave me the strength to overcome one of the most difficult periods in my life, and showed me the path forward with healing, health and joy.

My advice to my younger self would be, “When people show you themselves, you better look.”

My favorite “mini-skirt” is  keeping things in my house that have meaning for me and energize and inspire me. When I come home at night, those wonderful scented candles, small statues and little talismans remind me to think about whether I have been my most authentic self today. Have I given my best? Did I “show it love?” Did I lead by example? Another “mini-skirt” I do every morning except on weekends) is sending words of encouragement and inspiration to a circle of my friends and loved ones. Its my way of sending light, inspiration and an emotional and psychological lift. And the sweet and insightful responses that come back to me keeps me buoyant and positive all day long!