Meet Our New FIT Coaches-Diane and Tracy!

We are SO excited to welcome Diane Kavanagh and Tracy Carlson to the Lyft Team. They will be coaching our new FIT and Quick FIT classes starting in May!! Read below to learn more about these two FABULOUSLY FIT coaches.


My husband Dan and I currently live in Lake Forest with our 8 children — 7 girls followed by 1 boy, ages 16 to 6. Yes, they’re all ours. Yes, I gave birth to all 8. No, there are no twins or multiples. And yes…we are extremely busy!

After being an athlete all my life, I was frustrated when all of my “go-to” exercises weren’t helping to shed all of the “baby weight”. After my fourth child, I decided to try group fitness classes and was quickly hooked on the energy and camaraderie I found there. I saw physical results and more importantly, felt mentally clearer and happier: The hormonal roller coaster abated, my mood elevated, I had more mental and physical energy to direct to my children. My gym time became a much needed de-stressor and “MY time” in a life otherwise totally dedicated to my family.

When my son, my 8th child, was in his last year of preschool, I realized I’d soon be home alone during the day for the first time in 15 years. I thought about what I wanted to do for myself. The answer seemed obvious. I had spent years in exercise classes and knew the power of committing to a life of fitness. I had been encouraged and inspired by many great teachers. Now I wanted to do that for others! I began by getting certified to teach Spinning (indoor cycling), and quickly moved on to other formats, loving the challenge of being on the “other side” and hopefully challenging and inspiring others.

I currently hold certifications in CPR/AED, Group Exercise, Spinning, Barre, Piloxing, Group Strength, and Tabata Bootcamp. I love teaching high intensity interval classes, both on and off the bike, because I fully believe in and have personally experienced how effective this training method is. And last year I got hooked on extreme races. I completed Mudderella with friends and a Spartan Super with my husband.

When not teaching or chauffeuring my kids around, I love to bake (8 happy taste testers!) and to read, and whenever an opportunity presents, to travel. I was born in LA and spent most of my childhood in Springfield, IL. I completed degrees in International Economics and Spanish at Valparaiso University (where I played varsity tennis). I completed a master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Chicago. And I was ABD (all-but-dissertation) for my PhD in European History also at the University of Chicago.

We are all so busy. Our lives are so full. When we commit our time to a fitness class, we need it to be not only enjoyable but also effective. I believe in teaching classes that challenge, that make wise use of time, and also encourage and inspire people to push themselves a little further each day in pursuit of their goals. I am living proof that kids, family, volunteer work, jobs, etc need not stand in the way of getting in the best shape of your life!


Born, raised, and still living in Illinois. Tracy has an intense passion for community.

After college, Tracy served in the Army Reserve at Ft. Sheridan and taught high school English for seven years. While teaching she enjoyed coaching high school gymnastics and track at Vernon Hills High School. As a former gymnast and Army gal, she craved a supportive group fitness regimen with intensity, competition, and variability. She loves to lead boot camps where she can push the limits, but have fun at the same time!

In 2003, Tracy came out of the Army Reserve as a Captain and took on a new role as a high school administrator. Shortly after she had 2 children with her husband Jim. She now continues to work part time for Mundelein High School as a national testing coordinator, but fills up her nights with conditioning her daughter’s swim team and son’s baseball team. Her focus has now broadened to keeping the whole family well trained!

Tracy continues to teach group fitness classes at Life Time Fitness and Midtown.

She is a certified group fitness instructor by AFAA, Schwinn Cycling, Hit-It Kickbox, and Life Time Strike and Total Conditioning.

Outside of strength training she loves to run and encourages others to do events with her. One of her favorite running partners is Season 14 Biggest Loser winner, Danni Allen. They both love to encourage others to sign up for 5k’s to marathons. Make a race goal and she will help you get there. Their most recent run was the Walt Disney Glass Slipper race. She truly believes you can have fun while you are racing. Come join Tracy for a FIT class at Lyft Health and Fitness!

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