Keith Robinson (aka the Kiltman) has recently relocated from Port Macquarie to New England has been seen out and about locally pounding the pavement, punching the pads and performing push-ups in his new home town of Armidale …
Keith’s a qualified personal trainer and is inspired by helping others work on their fitness too! As the New Year begins, if you’re feeling like you need to work on your health and fitness … Keith can help. Kilts are optional!
You’re a recent “tree-changer”. What brought you to Armidale from Port Macquarie?
I spent a couple of years growing up in the New England, and since then I’ve felt a calling to the area. Coming here for holidays always seemed like I was coming home. The plan was eventually to move back this way, so when a couple of opportunities came up, it was like it was all falling into place – and we made the move.
What have you loved most about living and working in the New England so far?
One of the big things is that I get to see a lot more of my brother, who also lives in Armidale. After 25 years of not seeing much of each other, it’s good to get together with him a lot more regularly.
Everything about the New England has been great – the adventure, the landscapes, even the weather (all four seasons in the couple of months we’ve been here). The people are great too; I think I’ve met at least one person each day I’ve been here.
What’s your personal fitness story?
I guess I’ve always been fairly active. In my late teens and early 20s I was into martial arts, boxing, and weight training. As is the case with a lot of people though, a combination of a busy lifestyle, kids, and poor diet led to my fitness levels declining. When I was in my mid-30s, I suddenly realised that I was no longer that 20-odd year-old kid who could eat fast food and drink beer six nights a week and not put on a single kilogram. That was a bit of a wakeup call for me, and I started focusing on my health and fitness.
I have a “no excuses” policy for my personal fitness – no matter how busy my day is, or what the weather is doing, I have to find a way to make it happen. I’m now 45, and I’m fitter than I was when I was in my 20s. And I still enjoy a beer … just not six nights a week.
What fitness/business qualifications do you hold?
While on my own fitness journey, I discovered that I enjoyed helping others with their fitness. To fuel my growing passion for fitness and quest for more knowledge, I completed my Certificate III and IV in Fitness, which qualified me as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. I have also completed a Level 1 Run Leader course through Athletics Australia, and Senior First Aid Course, as well as a Certificate III in Business.
OK … people are going to ask. What’s with the kilt?
Well … The “Kiltman” started off as a charity fundraising idea. I came up with this idea to raise money for Legacy; I would run
10 km in a kilt each day during Legacy Week. By the end of the week, I’d raised nearly $3,000, which was far more than I’d expected.
After that, the kilt came out every now and then for a bit of fun. Then at the start of 2017, I set myself a goal to run 52 half marathons in my kilt that year. By the end of the year, the “Kiltman” was quite well known around Port Macquarie.
As well as Legacy, I’ve also worn my kilt to support Soldier On and The Movember Foundation, and also for community events that promote a healthy, active lifestyle.
What are some of the most common reactions you get from people when they see you’re wearing a kilt?
The most common question I get is, “What’s under your kilt?” (To which I give the obvious answer, “Shoes and socks”.)
Some of the reactions I get from people are great. When I go in a running event, the support I get from the crowd and other runners is phenomenal. It’s an amazing experience when you’re running down the finish chute at the end of a half marathon, and the crowd is yelling, “Go Kiltman!”
One time, after a particularly tough running event, another runner came and shook my hand and thanked me. He said that he was doing it tough, but then he saw me and thought, “Well, if he can do it in a kilt …”. That was a very moving moment for me and contributed to my desire to become a Personal Trainer.
What are some of the sessions you can offer people, to help them improve their fitness?
I offer tailored personal training plans to suit your lifestyle and goal. No matter how busy you are, there’s always a way to fit some exercise in. As I mentioned before, I have a no excuses policy for my personal fitness, so if you have a goal, I can help you to make it happen.
As well as one on one personal training, I also run group fitness classes, a run workshop, and starting early 2019 I will be running regular classes from the Armidale PCYC. I can also do Personal Training sessions at the PCYC gym.
I’ve also teamed up with Healthy Inspirations Armidale for their new “Healthy Him” programme for men and will be running classes along with Gayle Keene.
You’ve been known to tackle quite a few random challenges – such as running a marathon in full highland dress (including jacket, hat, bowtie and kilt) and completing an obstacle course that involved crossing dams and climbing ropes (also in a very wet and soggy kilt!) What are some of your plans for 2019?
I’ve already signed up for my first running event for 2019 – the Port Macquarie Running Festival. I’ll be tackling the Treble Breakwall Buster, which consists of a half marathon, a 10 km, and a 5 km run, all in one morning. I’ll definitely be signing up for local events like the Duval Dam Buster, and Armidale Fun Run again. And I’m pretty keen to have a crack at the Warwick Pentath Run – five events over two days, all adding up to 42.2 km. Apart from that, I’ll see what other challenges crop up.
Where can we follow your fitness journey, or sign up for one of your classes?
You can follow my Facebook page, Kiltman Fitness Armidale, type in #GetFitWithTheKiltman on Instagram, or give me a ring on 0432 992 812.
Interview: Jo Robinson.