Island Moves

From strength Training to endurance exercises and flexibility, meet a few key biscayners balancing their mind, body and soul to yield a life well-lived in paradise.
Words // Bianca Sproul | Photos // Edward Leal | June 26, 2024 | People

Ultra Distance

As the World Champion of the world’s largest Epic Five Challenge triathlon, Edwin Vargas came out on top after completing 5 full Iron Mans on 5 Hawaiian islands, 5 days in a row! “I’m one of only 35 people in the world who has managed to finish the distance of the Epic 5 Challenge,” he says. Throughout his life, he’s competed in World Cups, World Championships, Ultramans and Olympic qualifiers. In fact, it was while training on the island that he fell in love with Key Biscayne. Today, he prioritizes his training regime to stay in peak condition while helming sporting events and serving as a speaker and coach for all levels of athletes. “What we do today directly impacts the future of our mind, body and soul,” he says.

Pilates Power

From leading a Pilates Masterclass in Paris to conducting a Grammys-themed workout in Los Angeles, the Pilates career of Francine McCaughan has taken her across the globe. Intense student athlete cheerleading experience prompted her search for balance after years of physical and mental exhaustion. She recovered her strength on the mat through Pilates. Now, 20 years later, she’s the owner and lead instructor at Code Of Life Pilates Studio in Key Biscayne. She believes everyone, from post-partum mothers to athletes, can incorporate her sessions into their lifestyle. She knows first-hand that being a mother and running a business means carving out time for precious self-care. She offers tried-and-true advice for those embarking on their journey to relaxation and strength: “Stay consistent, be patient, and remember your why,” she says. “Results will come with consistency and commitment.”

Making Waves 

Born in Italy and raised in Paraguay, Chiara Bergonzi spent much of her childhood visiting Key Biscayne with her family during winter break. After a student exchange in California, she discovered surfing, focusing on the wellness of the sport rather than calories burnt. While The Key is not known for catching waves, she practices her balance on a paddle-board around the gentle, grassy shores of the island. She’s also passionate about making the water accessible to all — regardless of physical ability. Co-founder of the It Takes a Village initiative, her ultimate goal is to create an adaptive surfing program on the island. Earlier this year, she attended the Biscayne Bay Marine Health Summit and is excited about the growing number of organizations that aim to ensure everyone has access to an active lifestyle by the sea. “I feel grateful every day to have the chance to live in this incredibly warm community,” she says. “Participating in activities with friends is the best way to stay active.”