Rêve Rider Spotlight: Kelly Hoffman

After successfully overcoming an advanced stage cancer diagnosis a few years ago, Rêve rider, Kelly Hoffman, experienced a significant shift in her perspective, one that enabled her to go after a lofty dream and turn it into reality. As a lifelong athlete, she decided to try out for Team USA for the masters division of field hockey. After a grueling try out--and a battle with some self-doubt in light of the amazing competition--she was appointed to the practice squad and, ultimately, pulled up to the competition squad this winter. This week, she embarks for Spain with her team to represent the country in the Master World Cup! Kelly and her dynamic personality has become a core part of the Rêve community, so we were so excited to catch up with her and discuss this exciting adventure. We caught up with her to talk about her experience as an elite athlete and how Rêve factors into her training for the upcoming international competition. 



Tell us a little bit about yourself! You spent your younger years in Virginia and Maryland, how did you end up in Maine?

After completing my undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins, I applied to law schools in the Northeast.  I accepted an offer from the University of Maine School of Law where I happened to meet my wife, Beth, during our first year as law students. We decided to stay in Maine and a year out of school I received a great job offer from Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, LLC, where I continue to practice primarily defense litigation, professional liability, and employment law.  

What inspired you to start coming to Rêve and when did you start? Perhaps more importantly, what made you keep coming back?

In 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While undergoing treatment, my friend Katie Hawkins organized a charity cycle at Rêve for me. Unfortunately, there was such a severe snowstorm that the event was canceled. After making a full recovery, my friend Hillary who frequently visits Rêve invited me to join her.

I continue to spin at Rêve because it is an amazing workout. The instructors are friendly and charismatic, but also push me to work harder than I would on my own. Unlike my experience with collegiate and competitive sports, when the Rêve instructor is yelling at you, it is only for encouragement and to challenge you.  I also enjoy the people I have met at Rêve and there is accountability in seeing the same faces at the classes I regularly attend.  Finally, Beth and my Mom have remarked that I have lost some weight, which I largely attribute to the high intensity cardio a Rêve workout offers.

This week, you will be representing Team USA as a goalie at the Olympic Masters Field Hockey World Cup in Spain. Tell us a little bit about that journey! How did you decide to try out for the team? How has it been to be part of the team?

Surviving cancer as a young adult caused me to assess and reevaluate my life goals. Field hockey has been a passion of mine since high school, and when my collegiate coach told me about U.S. Women’s Masters Field Hockey, I jumped at the opportunity to become a part of the league. I started training early in 2017 and attended tryouts during the summer at University of Maryland and Yale. The tryouts were brutal and I had a lot of self-doubt.  I was trying out and playing with the best players in the United States, and just a few years before was in active treatment fighting cancer.  When I learned I made the training squad, I was incredibly proud of myself.  In February, when I found out I made the travel team I was even more psyched! I am so grateful to my collegiate coach for suggesting I attend the tryouts with her, because without that suggestion, I likely would not be traveling to Spain to compete on an international level.

Being a part of Team USA has been epic and legendary.  It amazes me how good everyone on the team is and how excited we all are to get out there and represent USA.  The team is made up of players from all corners of the country, and when we all get together, I like to say the unicorns have come together to play.

What is it like to train for an international competition?

I have always been athletic and active, but since making the team I have ramped up my workouts and find as many playing opportunities as possible. I get on the field one to three times a week in addition to Team USA practices held twice a month. I cycle at Rêve at least four times a week and run on off days. I have built up my speed and endurance to push my 5K time below 30 minutes.

I really have enjoyed Rêve as part of my training because of the dynamic workout it provides. We’re not just pedaling along, but shifting from in the saddle to out of the saddle, increasing tension, varying speed, etc.  This has helped me move lighter on my feet on the field and explode within the striking circle when making a save.

What are you most excited for for your trip--besides the competition itself, of course? 

Our first game is against Zimbabwe on Saturday, July 28. I am really looking forward to this game and the international competition, but even more so, I am truly honored to represent the USA. The team is fitted with kits that include a “sightseeing uniform.” When the team travels about Spain together, we are required to wear the sightseeing uniform at a team.  I am also looking forward to having Beth with me in Spain. We are planning to go to a famous restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, near Barcelona together, and as a whole, just enjoy the experience.

Beyond field hockey, what are your favorite things to do outside of the studio?

Spending time with my wife, our twins, and our dog. For our twins’ second birthday, I bought them a yellow electric Mini Cooper Beachcomber that I guide by remote control until they are old enough to guide the car themselves.  I love to drive them around the neighborhood in that thing while taking the dog for a walk.  Having twins has been adventurous; they bring a smile to my face, say and do the funniest things, and have made me a better person.   

What Harry Potter house are you in?

The Sorting Hat placed me in Slytherin with my gal, the legendary SK. I have a strong inkling that Erin McDonald is a Slytherin with us, but only the Sorting Hat can tell!

Back at the studio, we will be cheering on Kelly and all of Team USA as they set out to capture gold! #rêveitup


Bernadette Doykos