Premier Member Highlight: Larry Myhre
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Premier Health & Fitness Center this year, we thought it would only be appropriate to highlight a member who has been with us since day one. You may have seen Larry Myhre around the gym or cycling around Tallahassee. He participates in several group fitness classes every week and has become a staple figure in the Premier community over the years. As a workout junkie who is recently retired (technically), he is now here at the gym quite a bit, and we don’t mind it at all.
Larry’s fitness journey started young. He got into sports as a kid and loved it because it was an area in which he thrived. Growing up, Larry always had a difficult time in school. He later learned at the age of 25 that he has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Because he couldn’t find much academic fulfillment as a child, he turned to athletics where he excelled and still does. He says that exercise and physical activity is what gave him the ego boost that he needed as a young person. After so many teachers told him there was “something wrong with him”, it was liberating to put his focus and energy into things that he enjoyed and was actually good at.
Over the years, general sports and exercise weren’t cutting it anymore, so Larry became involved in several extreme sports. If you know Larry, you know he loves cycling and always has. It’s no surprise that mountain biking became his next exhilarating adventure. He would travel to mountains all over the country to feel the thrill of biking through rugged terrain at high speeds with nothing but nature surrounding him. Through traveling and becoming a part of the mountain sports community, Larry picked up other extreme sports like rock climbing and white water kayaking. He also used to be a professional SCUBA diver and he dabbled a bit in skydiving for good measure. He claims to have loved all of these extreme sports because they too helped with his ADD. When climbing a cliff face or paddling down a class 4 rapid, the mind literally cannot focus on anything but the present moment. Focus is not only key to succeeding in these activities, but it is imperative to survival.
High energy and intensity is a theme in Larry’s life. His former career as a sound engineer for live television gave him the same kind of rush that extreme sports would. He would often work the NFL Super Bowl and other major televised events. In fact, he once won an Emmy for his work in the Super Bowl in 2008. He says “The bigger the event, the bigger the rush. If I screw up, not only does the boss know, but so do the millions of people watching!” This idea of the importance of focus and presence plays a pivotal role in Larry’s mindfulness practice, which has made him successful professionally and otherwise.
In his youth, Larry lived all over the world, but he considers his roots to be in Seattle, WA. He went to a military high school, through two bouts of college, and ended up in Tallahassee in 1983 by following his martial arts sensei from Miami who was starting a Cuong Nhu dojo here. After one visit, he fell in love with the nature, the pace, and the community of Tallahassee and decided to make it his home.
Larry’s relationship with martial arts permeates through just about every aspect of his life. He speaks of “the way” as a concept that has guided him through most life obstacles. For Larry, martial arts is not merely a physical activity, but rather a discipline, a mentality, and a lifestyle. In fact, he incorporates parts of his martial arts practice into some of the classes he takes here at Premier, like Muscle Up, for example. He adds hand gestures and certain movements from martial arts to the exercises taught in class. He claims to enjoy the intensity of the high-energy fitness classes and incorporates elements of martial arts to find grounding, flow, and balance.
Cycling gives Larry that sense of flow and balance as well, even more so in the last few months since cycling has been the catalyst to his new friendship with Kyleigh Boyd. (See Kyleigh’s member highlight here). Kyleigh, who is 19 years old, met Larry at Premier in indoor cycling classes. She began regularly cycling with Larry outdoors to learn from his years of experience with the sport, however Larry says he thinks he learns much more from her. He says “To teach is to learn”, and cycling with Kyleigh and learning from her is a humbling and beautiful experience. She reminds him of “the way”, which, coming from Larry, is a huge compliment.
If you see Larry around the gym, feel free to introduce yourself. He is pretty objectively outgoing, and will probably happily tell you stories about his extreme adventures if you ask. Larry has some words of wisdom for anyone on their own fitness journey, whether it is to find balance, health, or just fun. He says “When you force something or overthink it, its not going to happen. When obstacles arise, relax; let it go. Catch your own ego and allow yourself to revise”.