Kirk Leavell Feb. 26, 1971 – Sept. 21, 2020
Kirk Leavell was a man among men. A breed apart. He was honest and decent, giving and loyal, strong and quiet. He garnered love and admiration from his family, friends, employees, and clients. Never one for small talk or empty platitudes, you knew you had accomplished more than the goal if you received praise from Kirk. He pushed us all beyond our limits and rewarded us all with our own proud accomplishments.
Married to Julie in December 1995 and father to Karsen and Kash, Kirk was a fixture in the Austin fitness industry for over 25 years. A talented athlete, fitness was Kirk’s passion and he shared it openly and willingly to anyone daring enough to step into the arena with him. He was a renowned personal trainer, helping people of all fitness levels achieve their goals. From soccer moms to high school kids to professional athletes, Kirk challenged us all and drove us all beyond our expectations. He wanted to help people live their lives to the fullest.
In 1996, Kirk and Julie founded Wild Basin Fitness, one of Austin’s finest and most respected fitness facilities. In 2006, they opened a second location in their own neighborhood of Steiner Ranch that is still in operation today. Kirk’s businesses survived recessions, real estate booms and busts, and all of the everyday issues that plague small businesses because he valued his clients over all else. He sincerely wanted each and every one to succeed. He never turned anyone away, instead always trying to find a solution that would help someone move forward. When the recession hit and people lost their jobs, Kirk kept them on until they could pay again.
He mentored his employees to help them become better trainers and instructors and he listened countless times as they suffered their own personal tragedies. His energy and work ethic were unmatched and he expected the same from those around him. He took countless young, inexperienced trainers under his wing, teaching them not only training but about the culture and people and energy that were the heart of Wild Basin. His loyalty to them was timeless and their loyalty to him boundless.
Kirk was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying golf, fishing and hunting with his friends. He would fit in a golf game at every opportunity, one year fitting in 250 rounds. He also provided endless stories from his “guys weekends”, most not fit for publication, but all cherished by his friends.
He was self-effacing, rarely taking the spotlight but always supportive in the background. His favorite Wild Basin shirt said simply “Kirk Sucks”, a sentiment shared by his many training clients. He could charm a snake with his wit and smile. Not one for many words, you could be assured that he was most definitely judging you from his corner perch with his trademark smirk. But that’s ok, because that’s how you knew he cared.
Kirk’s passing leaves a gaping hole in his family and community. We are all less without him and will miss him dearly. It is with heavy hearts and true anguish that we all bid him farewell. Rest in power, Kirk Leavell.
Kirk is survived by his wife Julie, children Karsen and Kash, sister Laurie Leavell Deckert, and mother Cathye Leavell. He is preceded in death by his father Tommy, who most certainly welcomes him home.
The family will lay him to rest privately and are planning a celebration of his life with an open house October 11th from 2-4pm at Wild Basin Fitness in Steiner Ranch.