There’s something to be said for those who ascend mountains for fun: gutsy. Those who do it to take a picture with a Kitchell logo’d banner: smart and gutsy.

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Bearing the Kitchell name (literally and figuratively), KCI Senior Project Engineer Wilson Leech and Project Manager Paul Jackson recently conquered the highest peak in Southern California, Mt. San Gorgonio. During their one-day hike they gained more than 11,000 feet and traversed 17-plus miles of steeply dipping thrust faults (if you don’t know what that means, ask them).

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“It was a tough hike, but the views from the top and exhausted satisfaction at the end made it all worth it,” said Paul.

Wilson explained the mountain as a massive block of quartz monzonite, which sits atop an ancient platform of Precambrian gneissic rocks, providing spectacular views.

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Wilson and Paul are working on a project together at SDSU (and are also apparently novice geologists), and collaborated on the following quote to commemorate their achievement, adapted from Thomas W. Higginson:

“Great men Kitchell Employee-Owners are rarely isolated mountain peaks; they are summits of ranges.”

Indeed we are.

What’s your workout? An interview with Employee-Owner Clare Bielecki

 

Kitchell Employee-Owner Clare Bielecki is dedicated to achieving balance on and off the job, both literally and figuratively. Clare is a Business Manager with our Kitchell CEM team in Southern California. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and achieves balance, calm, and clarity on her mat by helping others breathe and ground themselves while teaching students at Radiant Hot Yoga in Orange County.

What’s on your yoga playlist?

Lots of unknown pop/electronic music for the faster paced portions of classes, more low-key tunes for the slower parts. I try to find up and coming music on Spotify as often as I can to keep it fresh and love recommendations on new artists.

Does your diet play a role in your commitment to yoga, if so how?

Absolutely! I teach HOT yoga, which means the room is heated to 105 degrees plus 40% humidity – fuel for my body is essential. Each class can burn anywhere from 350-900 calories depending on body type and class intensity. I am responsible for guiding a class with anywhere from 20-50 students, so my energy level has to be high for 60 or 80-minute classes to motivate my students.

I eat small meals consistently throughout the day and keep it high in protein. I restore potassium and magnesium electrolytes naturally with lots of greens and bananas (my favorite food). I also drink ridiculous amounts of water throughout the day- you’ll never see me without my large Nalgene bottle at my side.

How do you stay motivated to teach or practice?

My own yoga practice is very important to me – making it to my mat daily helps to inspire my messaging so I can practice what I preach. It can be a challenge to find the time, but it is always worth it.

Reason for practicing and/or teaching yoga?

I started practicing yoga six years ago as a physical workout, and it has become a necessary element to my life to keep me sane! I began teaching two years ago with the encouragement from the owner of my studio and many others. Plus, I love the challenge of the heat in the room – this practice is not for the faint of heart!

Things you’ve learned about yourself during the journey- toward becoming a teacher or daily realizations as a practitioner?

Yoga has seriously changed my outlook and perspective on life. I am a genuinely happier person when I practice consistently, and it has provided an enormous amount of grounding to my life. The self-confidence I have gained is remarkable, and I have greatly improved my public speaking skills. Guiding a class is not easy, but I have so much fun doing it, I can’t imagine not having it as a part of my life. I could probably go on for days about how much of an impact it has had on me both personally and professionally.

First thing you do after you teach class or practice a class?

For some reason I usually crave a good crunchy apple or a coconut water to refuel my body, and of course drink tons of water.

As a self-insured company, Kitchell is dedicated to ensuring our employees maintain a healthy lifestyle. We incentivize employees to earn wellness points toward their health savings accounts (HSAs), and maintain robust benefits for employees and their dependents. For more information about Kitchell’s benefits and potential career opportunities, visit www.Kitchell.com/careers.