If 2020 was a playlist, it would best be described as dissonant cacophony. 8 months in and the blows keep coming. It is with a heavy heart and tear filled eyes that your favorite DJ delivers the latest hit, a sweet tune called “My landlord evicted me”. All of you are aware of the struggles to keep our business running during this pandemic and subsequent forced shutdowns. The gym has been open for a total of three weeks since we were originally forced to close on March 19th. Despite only being open for those three weeks. My landlord received full rent for the next five months. When I paid him the rent for the month of August on Monday, with no clear indication of when we might be able to reopen due the county orders, he informed me that he has another renter that would like the space. An artist friend that would like a studio. Prior to this revelation. I was peppered with a barrage of questions and comments expressing concern about the state of my business. Particularly, whether or not I would survive these shutdowns. After reassuring him that I was prepared to ride this thing out. I’m fighting to keep my business. I’ll do whatever it takes.

The questioning persisted and I became defensive. I knew something was up. I said “ You keep asking me if i’ll make it, I’ve told you several times that I remain hopeful and confident. If you’re waiting for me to say that I’m throwing in the towel , you’ll be waiting forever. If you don’t feel comfortable with me here, or you’d like me to be gone, you’re going to have to say it!” It was then that he sheepishly replied that he has a friend that has been wanting the space for quite some time. He feels torn because he likes me. But He and his friend don’t think that my business will survive. And he wants a secure long time tenant. So yeah , two old white dudes discussed and decided the fate of my business; whilst not in my presence. I was not in the room…when it happened. I am not surprised. And I ain’t mad. As my mother; the only person more proud of me than myself for being a black business owner, said ; “Tell that man thank you!”: “Honey, he did you a favor!” If you’ve heard my mom talk before, I’m sure those words just spoke you in her mellifluous southern voice, full of sass and sassafras.

And just like that. Here we are. The end of one era. And the birth of a new one. I cannot put into one hundred newsletters the number and range of emotions that I am experiencing. The years of work that led up to me starting my business. All the years building and working to run it. All the friendships, all the success and triumphs, all the memories. Oh, the memories… Kel-Core is closing its doors. 1248 Thompson Ave is no more. And as sad as I am to announce this. I’m equally excited to tell you about the new era for Kel-Core Training Systems! We are losing a location. Not our relationship. We are still here to help. The delivery and venue are different. But the intent to help and serve are the same. During a time when gathering together, and gathering indoors is so tenuous, inconsistent and unpredictable and risky, we want to be able to help you with safe, solid, consistent and reliable coaching. We are committed to helping you reach your health goals with our nutrition and fitness plans. We are super excited to tell you about our new program launching in September!

A glimpse into the past can oft give perspective to the present. On a visit to my family in North Carolina for my sister’s wedding a couple of years ago, I came across some old family memorabilia. Photos, report cards, letters and such. Amongst which I found two items of particular interest. Both were letters from my camp counselors at a two week overnight camp when I was 11 or 12 years old. In one letter, the counselor tells my parents that I am having trouble with all the aquatic activities. That I had endured a pretty bad incident trying to learn to water ski. But that I was a very kind boy who led all the prayers for grace before meals and at night. The second letter was congratulating my parents on the success of me finally water skiing around the entire lake. And that the counselors were still impressed by my kindness and thoughtfulness. A camp counselor withstood a severe injury during horseback riding. And on my own volition, organized and recruited my cabin mates to make a card for this counselor. Incidents that foreshadowed a life of applying myself to overcoming physical and mental obstacles. Spreading love and kindness. And being grateful for this gift of existence.

That is my essence. That is Kelvin to the core. The venue and delivery have changed but again; the song remains the same. I remain your humble servant. Here to help, here to guide, and here to inspire. I am here to help you realize that you have the power to achieve your goals. I am here to teach you to harness that power. I want to share as much knowledge as I can to help educate you in ways to feel good in your body and thrive in your life. I am here to help you become an educated, autonomous and life healthy athlete. During a time marked by so much turmoil and uncertainty. With so many things beyond our control, it is easy to feel helpless and fearful. It can be paralyzing. Impeding our desire to the very things that we can have control over. The very things to help us overcome some of the day to day mental and physical obstacles and barriers we face. The devastating and ongoing effects of Covid-19 spares no one or thing. The face of the fitness industry has morphed into an ongoing stop and start saga of shutdowns, reopens and infection risks. Making commitment to our exercise and fitness as we have previously known nearly impossible. What needs to be done in a time like now speaks to my essence. What needs to be done speaks to Kelvin’s core. Kel-Core Training Systems. Adapting to the times. Committed to a continuing effort to help you reach your goals. And thrive from reaping the rewards of your efforts. Living healthy. Living well. Living Kel-CoreStrong.

We are proud to announce the launch of our online training services on Monday August 31st!

“Kel-Core Strong “, a 21 day JumpStart to living healthy, living strong, living well and thriving. Despite not having a physical location presently. And an unknown and uncertain future forecast of when we may be able to reopen our doors in a new location. We are still deeply committed to delivering world class coaching in nutrition and fitness with a safe ,consistent, and highly accessible platform. More details will be coming out about the program , but here is a brief overview. Kel-Core Strong is a 21 day program leading into and followed by an ongoing program. There are 3 options for the program a 21 day nutrition program, a 21 day fitness program, or a combination package that combines the 21 day nutrition and fitness programs. Customized programs and prescriptions catered to individual goals and needs. Consistent delivery, accessibility, and Accountability. They can’t stop me. They can’t keep us apart. Losses become lessons. We find a way continue on. We keep moving. We keep staying strong. I will continue to use all my tools and knowledge to lead, educate, and inspire as many as I can. I will dedicate and concentrate my efforts on the youth. I have plans for fitness and nutrition outreach programs to promote health and wellness in socio-economic challenged areas, I will be supporting scholarship foundations to HBCU endowments. I will be establishing a mentorship program for aspiring trainers and coaches in black communities. A direct and frontline effort to assuage the gaping disparity in health conditions. The devastation in the BIPOC communities further exposed the ugly revelation of a failed system. I want to help change that. I want to continue to help whoever wherever, however, and whenever. If you need me, there are new ways to find me. But I’m still here. Fighting the good fight. If you want to help me in my fight, you know where to find me. I’m always down to get down with other soldiers fighting the good fight. Stay safe, stay well, stay strong.

If you want to support Kel-Core fitness, visit:


CrossFit Kel-Core

Fitness and Nutrition Coaching

CrossFit Kel-Core is the home of Kel-Core Training Systems. We offer world class training and nutrition coaching. We work to help people reach their goals and learn to live their life thriving, not just surviving.

Kelvin Nivens
Phone: (831) 325-9387