Photographer: Brian Sloane
interviewed by Gene Marie
“I try to always think of others before myself. My relationships with family and friends carry great value in my life…at the same time, I want to achieve my full potential…by pushing forward through life despite the underlying fear of failure.”
Hey everyone, my name is Neil Koehler. I’m 22 and I live in the small town of New York Mills, Minnesota. I graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota in May with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Biology. I work as an assistant manager at Snap Fitness and as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home. I also teach tennis lessons. I have intentions of going to medical school for dermatology in the future.
What are your personal as well as professional interests?
I’m interested in many aspects of health, including diet and fitness, as well as medicine, particularly dermatology and the anti-aging field. I also like plants, as I’ve worked at a greenhouse in the past. I played tennis competitively throughout college and continue to help others improve at the sport. I’ve played piano for 13 years and perform for weddings and other functions, as well as play for personal relaxation.
What inspired you to be a model? What encourages you to be successful?
My sister Kendal first encouraged me to pursue modeling. Auditioning for and appearing on The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency in the fall of 2006 provided me with the inspiration to work hard to develop my look and achieve my full potential. I am further motivated by the ongoing support of friends and family, who urge me to continue to pursue my dreams. Participating in two photo shoots with Brian Sloane in Dallas, Texas has given me confidence through witnessing the development of my look. Nurch Novinger of Integrity Talent Management in Oklahoma has provided me with additional guidance on how to achieve success as a model. Christopher Mohs and Frostfire Modeling and Talent Agency have given me my first agency exposure and continue to provide support. I am very excited about upcoming opportunities, as I have a shoot with Jenn Hoffman in Los Angeles scheduled in the near future.
What’s the best part about being a model?
I like the confidence I feel when I’m in front of the camera, as well as the amazing versatility in looks that’s possible with only minor tweaks in emotion and positioning. I have always been conscious of my health, and being a model allows me to monitor this aspect of my life even more closely. Being around beautiful women isn’t bad either.
What are your most important goals in life?
I am always most happy when I can help others, whether it be by listening, being a caring friend, or sharing my talents. Throughout life, I try to always think of others before myself. My relationships with family and friends carry great value in my life and I’m constantly trying to strengthen them. At the same time, I want to achieve my full potential as an individual by pushing forward through life despite the underlying fear of failure. I want to make the most of every day because life is far too short.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and I went to Nationals shooting freethrows in the Elks Hoop Shoot competition in seventh grade. I also created frighteningly good drawings when I was only two years old that were analyzed by a psychologist.
What is your diet and workout like?
I lift weights about four times a week on average, increasing the intensity and frequency prior to a shoot. I lift relatively heavy for 3-4 sets in the 6-10 rep range, doing mostly compound movements such as squats, bench presses, pull-ups, and dips. The keys for me are variety and consistency; the body wants to be complacent and in order to see results, the workouts must be changed periodically. Yet without consistency, results will also be very limited. It is not unusual for me to work out twice a day in the days and weeks prior to an important event. It doesn’t feel like punishment to me; the rush I feel working out makes it fun! I usually do cardio after my lifting sessions for around 10-20 minutes on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical at a relatively high intensity. Russian Kettlebell lifting also provides an unusual form of cardio—the results are simply awesome!
My diet consists mainly of quality proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Some great sources of protein for me are eggs, yogurt, and whey protein shakes. I try to limit my consumption of simple carbohydrates and saturated fats as best I can, while realizing that having the occasional “cheat meal” is not the end of the world, and in fact, is a good thing! I take fish oil supplements for a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for proper growth and development. I also drink a lot of water and eat 5-6 small meals each day. This keeps my metabolism burning throughout the day and gives me constant energy! The most important meal of the day for me is breakfast; if I don’t “break the fast” from the night before, I feel sluggish for the rest of the day.
How long have you been working out? What’s your favorite exercise?
I have been working out regularly since junior high, but my workouts have evolved over the years. In the past, I was more focused on core stabilizing routines, including Pilates, yoga, and Swiss ball training. In college, I began to ramp up the weight training as well to further develop my body. My favorite exercise is the seated cable fly because of the great pump it gives me!
When you hit the gym or you’re out for a run, what kind of music do you listen to?
I like anything really motivating…right now in my iPod I have some Linkin Park, Armin Van Buuren, Paul Oakenfold, DJ Sammy, and Timbaland
What occupies your time when you’re not modeling?
I keep busy working, babysitting my two nieces, and relaxing and chilling with friends!
How do you spend your weekends?
I like to sleep in and hang out with friends, watch movies, and get a little R&R.
What’s next? What are your future plans?
Besides modeling, I want to work in the health care field for the next year to gain some experience. I plan on applying to medical school next summer, but by then my plans could change…
Who or what are your influences?
My parents provide good examples of how to live a fulfilling life, but I also try to pave my own way to success by following my gut instincts and believing in myself. My personal trainer Alexis Goeson at Snap Fitness has given me the motivation to achieve all of my fitness goals! My nieces have taught me that no matter what problems the day brings, there is always time for fun.
I believe that with enough hard work, education, and brushing aside of negative followers, anything is possible. I am very reliable and easy to work with and will do whatever it takes to achieve success. Thanks for your interest and for featuring me!
Thanks for accepting the interview! We are proud to have you as Mr.August! Thanks for allowing us in your world! Keep in touch Neil!
Photographer: Brian Sloane