Solo Business Stories: How Kimberly Berg’s Rebel Fit Club fights back against Parkinson’s

Pic of Rock Steady Gym

Rebel Fit Club Training

Kimberly Berg’s Rebel Fit Club helps people with Parkinson’s Disease.  Jackie’s advice helps her business run at top speed.

Name of business: Kimberly Berg, LLC

Years in business: 3 Years

What led to your current business?

“I have a Master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology and an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist/Personal Trainer, Corrective Movement Specialist and professional dancer who is on a mission to help people with Parkinson’s Disease change the course of their disease through exercise and dance.

“I have been in the health/fitness industry for over 20 years training people with a wide range of needs, specializing in Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease and orthopedic rehabilitation needs.” Kimberly is also a motivational speaker.  She started as a cardiac rehab therapist for hospitals and developed outpatient cardiac rehab programs.  She worked as a personal trainer for people with chronic pain and functional movement issues.

“My focus shifted to Parkinson’s in 2006 when Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) recruited me to help research the best comprehensive exercise program for people with Parkinson’s. People loved how hard I pushed them.

Pic of PD Rebels Zombies Thriller

Kimberly Berg’s Rebel Fit Club performance.

“In addition to these classes, I taught them to dance. The PD Rebel Dance Company was born. In 2012, They performed THRILLER in a cemetery on Friday the 13th in April, Parkinson’s Awareness Month which received a lot of media attention. We perform different routines at conferences including opening night at the World’s Parkinson’s Congress in full zombie make-up by special effects artists. The props and costumes were designed by the dancers, which became its own team-building project.

“As a result, I was offered a position as the Exercise Coordinator for the Brian Grant Foundation and created the Powering Forward Boot Camp, developed training seminars and a series of online exercise videos for people with PD.

In 2015, she created Kimberly Berg, LLC.  “I started with 7 people.  But the business was growing fast, and there was the issue of how to run a business. I was used to being an employee, not an owner.”

What is working now?  What are your successes?  “I now run boot camps, boxing programs, drumming and dance plus training other trainers to work with people with PD. I am Oregon’s first Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) coach, opening 5 affiliate programs in Portland and SW Washington areas. There are over 220 fighters and 30 very full boxing classes a week offered to 4 levels of fighters. My fight club The Rose City Rebels and all-female group the Rose City Knock-Outs bring awareness that PD is not an old man’s disease but can also affect women and young people.”

What class did you take from Jackie?  “Another business owner heard her speak at a meeting and gave me her card. We started one on one meetings.  I also read her book.  Even if you have run a business for many years, it’s got great tips for managing business stress while making a living doing something you love.”

Can you name one or two things that she really helped you with?

“Jackie listens to my struggles with everything from financial decisions to stress of running a business. She has taught me it’s ok to dream big but finish the project I’m currently working on and then go to the next.”

Lessons learned/take away/advice? “She has taught me many tricks to running the business successfully, right down to my auto-pay system.

“I used to cry just thinking of asking for people to pay for my services. Her other words are ‘let it go and move on.’  After reading her book, these are common problems with creatives. We are dreamers and idea people, sometimes our future dreams sound more interesting than finishing our current projects. We also tend to be emotional and take things personally, she reminds me the business and my compassion are separate, I can lead with my heart but I have to keep the business successful.

“Lastly, I tend to be a work-a-holic, she reminds me I need to hire others to keep me from burning out, ‘You can’t do it all, and do it well, It’s time for an assistant.’  Thank you, Jackie!!”

Kimberly is busy coordinating 30 volunteers and teaching classes. She writes a weekly blog with exercise videos, nutritional and emotional support for my subscribers in addition to holding monthly social events.

“I soon plan to open my own center in addition to keeping my affiliate sites. Kimberly Berg’s Rebel Fit Club, a center where people with chronic conditions can come to get a comprehensive approach to healing so they can Take Back Their Fight! In addition, The PD Rebel Performance Project will soon become a non-profit to help educate the public on the healing power of the arts and help with scholarships for people who can not afford quality programming to slow the progression of their disease.”

Contact Kimberly:
Fb page: Kimberly Berg’s Portland Rock Steady Boxing
Phone: 503 407-1335

Gain Jackie’s valuable help by purchasing Best Beginnings.