Guest Blog Post by Kara Johnson, co-owner Level Up Cycle & Fitness

Level Up Cycle and Fitness Newberg OregonIt was quite fun and occasionally hilarious when Diane, Crystal and I were trying to come up with a name for our new fitness group and business. It had to be catchy but also really needed to reflect our vision for what this would all be about. The texts were flying for days.

When I ran “level up” by my husband he said it was too “gamer-ish”. We all thought it was catchy, but I couldn’t get past my husband’s comment, so we kept brainstorming. I came back to it one evening and randomly searched the internet for what “level up” meant. I happened to stumble on an excerpt from a post by Cindy Yantis, author of Thought Changer Blog. It read:

“What does it mean to level up? Simply put, it means to improve your current station in a way that feels like a powerful shift. And, it starts with a change in thought, a shift in mindset, followed by brave action…”

I took a screenshot, circled this excerpt and sent it to Crystal and Diane with the words, I think I know. THIS is what we wanted to be about.

A powerful shift in thinking. Getting curious about our potential. Opening our minds and hearts to the possibility of more, of better. Brave action–a willingness to sit with discomfort, knowing greater strength is on the other side. Peeling back the layers to eventually reveal our best, truest selves.

It applies in all areas of life. To us, each fitness class is really a practice, and often metaphoric to our life journeys.

So gut check everyone! Can we identify specific areas in which we know there is more? Areas in which it’s time to shift our thinking, take brave action and level up? Diane, Crystal and I were extremely intentional about this name, this brand. We are here to cheer each other on.




Kara Johnson is a wife, mother of four, musician and, of course, fitness lover. She and two partners own Level Up Cycle and Fitness, a group fitness studio in Newberg, Oregon. Kara finds joy in cultivating mutually uplifting relationships and experiences through group exercise (good beats always help too!). She believes that true fitness is wholistic. It’s about stepping into and fully embracing our best selves and how we are designed, both inside and out.