Keri’s daughter, Ann Kate Meagher, sports some of the studio’s gear in promotion of the studio’s mission: aligning body, mind and spirit. Photo by Katherine Johnson.
Though she pursues a passion by teaching as a fitness instructor at her personal studio, Keri Meagher prioritizes her days around her family. She understands the importance of the time she pours into her husband and four children.
The military service performed by her husband, Patrick Meagher, demonstrated to Keri that her connections to people are both irreplaceable and impactful. Every day, Meagher works to better her surrounding environment, beginning with her family, then looking to her business.
Keri Meagher, a Houston, Texas native, has been all over the map in her days as a Navy wife. She began in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where she graduated top in her class from Middle Tennessee State University with a nursing degree.
She joked about commencement, noting “graduation was the 19th [of December] and I was due to have Conrey on the 24th.” Even this early on it was apparent Meagher was born to be a mother.
She never actually worked as a nurse, but instead dedicated all of her time to raising her first born, Conrey Meagher, who is now a senior at the United States Naval Academy. Patrick would deploy for roughly three months at a time, leaving Keri alone with the baby. It was in these one on one times that she claims to have grown fondest of her role as a mom. She “never wanted a babysitter unless it was to work out or go to the grocery… that was it.”
Before kids, the Meagher pair bounced around from Valdosta, Georgia to Little Rock, Arkansas to Albequerque, New Mexico, and everywhere in between for Patrick’s Naval training. Keri’s favorite part of these adventures was “[vacuuming] the whole house from one plug!”
But as her family began to grow, so did her heart. They settled back in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for a bit, after adding Ann Kate Meagher, a sophomore at the University of Mississippi; John Michael Meagher, a sophomore at Oxford High School; and Mary Cille Meagher, a fifth grader at Oxford Intermediate School.
Keri did not work in the beginning of her children’s lives. However, she escaped periodically to workout in a local zumba class she adored.
As Patrick shifted from being a Naval pilot to flying for FedEx, the Meagher family moved to Oxford. His daily Memphis commute was worth being able to call the sweet town of Oxford home.
After settling in, Keri noticed there was no workout space like the one she loved in Tennessee. She took initiative, became a certified fitness instructor, and began teaching at the Baptist Health Plex center in Oxford.
Meagher stayed with the Health Plex for years, but eventually decided to branch out on her own. She picked up a partner and began teaching “Clubbin Cardio” classes on Tuesday nights at the Library Sports Bar on the Square.
Participation climbed consistently in the weekly workouts that featured Keri on stage, frequently with daughter Ann Kate, performing self choreographed routines. With such success in this area, Meagher and her partners decided to take a leap and open “Align” in March of 2016.
The studio features a variety of class styles that cater to an individual’s exercise patterns and schedule. Meagher aimed to craft a studio “where all fitness levels are welcome and don’t feel judged,” encouraging people to capitalize on the “most underused antidepressant out there.”
Opening “Align” has allowed Keri “[to be] in the best shape of [her] life these past years,” both physically and mentally, attributing the latter to the cherished community aspect of her job. She jokes that her clients are her social life, for she limits herself mostly, but not always, to work and family.
As the day kickstarts, so does Keri. Meagher dedicates her mornings to getting the kids out the door and to school, working around two separate starting bells. She smiled here as she talked about getting to clean up the house; for this is one of her favorite parts of the day. After this, however, her routine schedule begins to vary.
Some days she will venture over to the studio and teach or take a class, while others may be spent around at home or making trips to and from school if necessary. She makes a point to cook dinner regularly to make family time a priority, but come Tuesday night, Oxford knows right where to find her.
When asked to detail what her job was, Meagher quickly asked “which one?” knowing that both aspects of her life were full time commitments. Her children get to experience the best of the two worlds.
Meagher’s daughter, Ann Kate, reflected that “[‘Align’] has made [her] calmer and more present.” Keri noted that balancing the two has made it obvious that she is not a superhero. So, she stopped trying to do it all.
Keri said “the best advice my mom ever gave me was to do little things for yourself, to pour into yourself so that you can turn around and pour into others.”
Keri Meagher demonstrates this quote daily. She takes care of herself through her studio, ‘Align,’ and invests in her family and the community that surrounds her. Keri’s husband and four children are her soul, or “jewels,” as she would say, and her heart understands the importance of those people more than most.
The presence of the military in Keri Meagher’s life has allowed her to truly appreciate the moments she spends with her loved ones. She grasps that, though one part of her is a fitness instructor, her more valuable role is that of a loving mother to her family.