Kenneth Walker is a father to a four-year-old son, has a successful career in law, and is a competitive cyclist, but finding a balance between these aspects of his life was not always easy.
Kenneth has always been a determined, high-achieving, hard worker. Born and raised a Memphian, graduating from Whitehaven High School, University of Memphis, and University of Memphis Law School, Kenneth now serves as the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at Memphis-Shelby County Schools, where he combines his training in law with his passion for serving his Memphis community.
Fitness has been a large component of Kenneth’s life since he was in college, preparing for law school. “Focusing on my fitness has always been a great way to manage my stress and escape,” he says. His initial focus was on running and weightlifting, which sustained him through law school and helped him manage his stress during his early career.
Kenneth’s career pressure peaked during the pandemic in 2020 when he was tasked with acquiring equipment for remote learning for each student in the Memphis-Shelby County school system. This new job and responsibility to solve an unprecedented problem inspired Kenneth to work tirelessly for his community, but he began putting his own mental and physical health aside. “My demands at work necessitated my full attention, and I put myself on the back burner and let my community become my entire focus.”
Kenneth soon recognized he needed to re-dedicate himself to his personal fitness to find a better balance in all aspects of his life. After his wife gifted him a road bike for Father’s Day in 2021, Kenneth immediately fell in love with cycling. He says, “Cycling is such an intense sport, much more intense than my workouts in the past. The intensity and commitment it takes to succeed in cycling have helped with my work-related stress, and having fitness goals helps me take undue pressure off of my career.”
Now, Kenneth cycles about 200 miles weekly, often waking up before 5 a.m. to complete his ride while his wife and son sleep. He is a Grind City cycling team member and enjoys group rides and races, too. Cycling has become a fun activity for the whole Walker family – his wife and son join him for his out-of-town races, and his son participates in children’s rides at every opportunity. “My health commitment makes me better in all aspects of life. I want to be the best I can be as a cyclist, father, and lawyer,” he says.
By Zoe Harrison
Photo by Tindall Stephens