Ahwatukee resident Eric Kinneman grew up with a love for wrestling. “It’s a year-round sport,” he shares. “It’s not a game, but a way of life. Wrestling has a certain mindset and principles—it’s about accountability, working hard when no one is around, and training for what’s next in life.” Because of his positive experience with the sport, it’s a passion he shares with his two children, Ryder, 15, and Regan, 10.
Ryder is a sophomore at Desert Vista High School who has been wrestling since the fifth grade in a wrestling club and for his high school, where he made the varsity wrestling team as a freshman. His little sister, Regan, is in her second year of wrestling with local Thorobred Wrestling Club and is already nationally ranked in her weight class. Kinneman is the volunteer wrestling coach for both young athletes.
Alongside Amy Kinneman, his wife of more than 20 years, Kinneman balances work as the branch manager for Lend Smart Mortgage, parenthood and dedication to his own fitness journey. While he still loves wrestling, his latest fitness venture is trail running. He has been running local trails nearly daily for about three years.
“It’s important to Amy and me to lead by example when it comes to fitness and hard work,” he says. “As a cancer survivor, it’s just a different mentality. Fitness is number one to me, so I make it a priority. Everything else falls into place after that.”
A true family affair, Kinneman can often be found running the trails with his son.
“Ahwatukee is the perfect place to live if you run trails as we’re surrounded by mountains and can access so many beautiful trail systems in minutes. Right now is the ideal time of year for getting out there and enjoying our amazing trail system,” Kinneman says.
“When my children grow up and look back on their childhoods, I hope that they remember that we prioritized fitness—and they carry that with them into the rest of their lives,” he continues. “Not many things are more important than your health.”