Staff Spotlight: Karla Bock

Karla during a Fitness Center classKarla Bock has been an essential member of our Fitness Center team since 2001. She has worn many hats here and helped grow and develop our programs in countless ways. Indeed, the Fitness Center is very fortunate to have Karla's professional teaching skills and exercise leadership experience.


A native of Madison, Karla grew up competing in gymnastics, softball, and track and field. Karla received a degree in Exercise Science from UW-Eau Claire and has been working as a fitness professional ever since.


As a Team Leader in our class programs, Karla oversees many of our land-based exercise classes. Currently she teaches Indoor Cycling, Senior Weight Training, Masters Swim, and Power Flow Yoga. Karla's versatility is a precious asset to our facility and makes her an ideal team leader.


As if this weren't enough, Karla is one of our Performance Edge coaches, providing individual coaching to clients looking to take their exercise performance to the next level. Karla routinely trains new and experienced triathletes, runners and other endurance athletes. She has quite a portfolio of success stories, ranging from first-time competitors to championship athletes.


Recently Karla added even more to her crowded plate by co-founding Sports Medicine Multisport. And one other thing - Karla is probably the most frequently photographed staff member ever. Whenever a photo is needed of a participant doing this or doing that, Karla has been available and (usually) agreeable.


Did we mention that Karla also teaches swim lessons and lifeguards in the Aquatic Center when needed?


Karla is a competitive triathlete and endurance athlete. She has competed in three Ironman Wisconsin races and has qualified and competed in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. She competes in dozens of events each year.


Even though her athletic talents are impressive, Karla's friendly smile, fun-loving attitude and desire to help others are what make her such an asset to our staff. She is always the first to help out when the facility needs anything. And we all enjoy the playful banter we share with her.


A Few Words from Karla


Why did you choose this profession?


I chose this profession because I wanted to do something I loved. Growing up, I watched my dad in his career as a professional photographer. He did not view his job as work because he loved what he did. The profession provided great variety, allowed him to meet different people, and he had fun. I wanted that.


I was always active as a kid playing games/activities, moving and participating in sports. So in college when the degree of Exercise Science/Corporate Fitness came out, it was a perfect fit for me. I would be doing something I love, get to meet different people and help them achieve their goals and feel good about themselves, as well as lead a healthier lifestyle. Being a part of that, even a slight influence, is rewarding. My job is not work. It's a passion.

What do you like most about working here?


Having worked in a number of different health clubs/facilities since high school, I believe that the Sports Medicine Fitness Center is a special place. The number of people I get to work with and learn from here is amazing. My co-workers are like family. I know I can count on them, they're a lot of fun, and it's because of them that I enjoy coming to work every day. Two moments that stick out in my memory over the last 10 years were the amazing support and care I received when I made my venture to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, and when I lost my mom to cancer. The wonderful group I work with made my Ironman trip very special and, after losing my mom, their support was so incredible. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.


More About Karla

  • Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Current residence: Madison
  • Birthday: July 14
  • Family: Husband Jonas, my "three girls" (my dog Maizy and kittens Rasha and Dev)
  • Favorite movies: Any of the "Toy Story" movies, "Kung Fu Panda," "Up" (yes, I like animation films) and "Blind Side."
  • Favorite music: Pretty much anything except country. I like music that makes you want to move. "Car dancing" is one thing you'll find me doing quite often.
  • Hobbies: Triathlon, mountain biking, painting, making jewelry and Christmas ornaments
  • Favorite foods: Chips and salsa, cheese and pretty much any good meal that is made for me.
  • Favorite beverage: A nice microbrew beer or glass of a good pinot grigio. Skim iced latte makes that list, too.
  • Favorite vacation spots: Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain; Lake Placid, New York; Bay area of California
  • Favorite athlete: The ones I coach
  • People I admire: I admire anyone who's willing to try something new and take on a challenge, whether it is a craft, tap dance or a first athletic event. I also admire those who live authentically to who they are and show their true self, enjoying each moment.
  • Memorable moment: July, 2005, when I did a triathlon as a team with my mom. I was coaching Team Survivor Triathlon Team (a women's cancer survivor group) for the Danskin Triathlon. My mom, just finishing cancer treatment herself, did the triathlon with me and it was the first athletic event of her life at age 65. I completed the swim and bike and she walked the run portion. Watching her throughout the 3.1 miles and crossing the finish line was a memorable moment I treasure. Having raced triathlons for 11 years by that time, it was by far the best race of my racing career and still is, because I got to do it with my mom.
  • Something very few people know about me that I'm willing to divulge here: As a high school football cheerleader my sophomore year I was knocked out by a sideline tackle during a game. The game was stopped, field cleared, and I woke up to the refs, players and coaches surrounding me. Thankfully, I was fine, the game resumed and I believe we won (memory was a bit foggy). I think my assist in the tackle helped.