Women Who Do it All are powerhouses with an abundance of drive, energy and heart. Since the creation of the DC comic book superhero ‘Wonder Woman,’ women with careers and families have been compared to the fictional character granted superhuman powers by Greek gods. In addition to family and career, these ‘super’ women still find time to develop better self-awareness and continue the path toward personal growth.
A more modern day depiction of the character might look like Jessy Graff, the Supergirl stuntwoman on American Ninja Warrior that made history on the show during its fifth season as the first woman to make city finals.
The point is a woman with a career, family, and the ability to make time for herself is typically young, ambitious, and full of fight. Brandy Key, pharmacist and business owner fits that mold. From the ‘get go’ Key's parents were strong supporters of both their children’s dreams and ambitions. Brother Benji Trice was, and still is, one of her closest confidants and 'the one' that kept her on her toes. “We were very close growing up and remain so to this day.” said Key.
Born in Paducah and raised in Kevil, Kentucky, Key is a graduate of Ballard Memorial High School. When planning her career, she said it wasn’t a difficult choice. “My mom was a pharmacy tech her whole adult life and I was in and out of pharmacies with her as a child. It was a natural career path.”
After graduating high school, Key completed undergraduate work at WKCTC (formerly Paducah Community College) and received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 2007. To receive a Pharm D. degree, the program required at least two years of specific undergraduate college study and four academic years of professional pharmacy school. Now, armed and dangerous with an advanced degree, Key’s first job after graduating college was with an independent pharmacy in Paducah.
Working for an independent pharmacy had its perks, but Key decided a corporate career would provide a greater advantage and took a position with the Kmart Corporation. The first Kmart opened in 1962 and until the 90’s was the second largest retailer in the country after Sears. At its peak, the corporation owned nearly 2,500 stores globally. Key stayed with Kmart in Lone Oak, Kentucky until it closed in 2018. After leaving the company, she found her new home at West Towne Pharmacy in Paducah’s west end.
It wasn’t enough for Key to have such a demanding career as a pharmacist, she kept pushing herself even more. In 2015, she became a CrossFit level 1 trainer for CrossFit Dig Deep. “I’ve always had a passion for fitness,” said Key.
CrossFit is a combination of safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. The workouts are varied and tailored to fit an individual’s needs. All workouts can be modified whether its weight-lifting, cardiovascular, or flexibility training; the movements are designed to be used with an everyday lifestyle. Intensity levels are dependent on skill level, whether a beginner or seasoned pro.
When living the CrossFit lifestyle, eating lean meat and vegetables, seed and nuts, some fruits with very little starch and no sugar is what’s recommended. Key said, “Nutrition and mental health play such a critical role in overall wellness. Sometimes I neglect those areas when I’m overwhelmed but I’m working on it as I speak.”
CrossFit Dig Deep was Paducah's first CrossFit gym, established in 2013 by Dennis McClain. In 2017, Key and her husband purchased the affiliate to CrossFit Dig Deep from owners Mike and Sammy Ray. CrossFit Dig Deep is located at 857 McGuire Avenue in Paducah. The business was thriving until the pandemic caused a temporary paralysis.
“Covid has taken a toll on the CrossFit business. We were shut down for 76 days in the spring and it’s been hard to recover.” COVID-19 has been difficult on many small businesses and especially gyms and restaurants. Key continued, “We had to make adjustments to our day to day operations but we are RESILIENT!”
Key gets much of her drive and ambition from her parents. “I watched my dad do whatever it took...working long hours, multiple jobs, to provide for my brother and I growing up.” Her parents had high expectations of their children. Key said that her brother Benji Trice is an overachiever as well. “I have to keep up,” she said.
Trice graduated with a Telecommunications degree from Murray State and has been employed with Computer Services Incorporated in Paducah for over 20 years. He resides in Princeton, Kentucky with his wife Jennifer Potter Trice and two sons.
Key is married to her best friend and business partner Doug Key. She has a daughter Sophie 10 and three stepsons, Kolbee 22, Braiden 20, and Tristan 14. Key is a great role model for her daughter. “Sophie has watched me run and gun and hustle her entire life.” She and Doug’s hope is to ‘pay-off all debt and leave a legacy for their children.”
Recently, Key started a nonprofit organization with a group of high school friends called ‘All Time Sports.’ The nonprofit helps to raise funds for kids in need of sports equipment, sign-up fees, whatever financial assistance is needed to keep them active. Since many sports programs in the area have been shut down due to C-19, the organization has decided to help families in need this Christmas. If you know of a family struggling, go to their Facebook page for more information.
Key is a member of the Charity League of Paducah. This particular organization raises funds for a number of good causes. One such cause is the local Special Olympics. This year, Key was on the board for the ‘Big Brown Truck Pull’. The socially-distanced affair took place in October and raised money for the McCracken County Special Olympics. Donations paid for competitions in basketball, bowling, softball, cheerleading, as well as track and field. This year’s event raised over $25,000.
It’s a goal of Keys to get her CrossFit level 3 certification in the near future. She earned her CF-2 in February that’s centered around coaching and training other athletes. There are four levels of CrossFit certifications. One of her passions is to help others grow and reach their fitness goals.
Many friendships have formed while training, owning, and working out at CrossFit Dig Deep. She said it’s fun having friends that are interested in fitness. They do things like game night, pumpkin carving contests, and even Christmas caroling.
As a pharmacist at West Towne Pharmacy, COVID-19 testing has kept Key on high alert. She and partner pharmacist Grant Mathis have been crazy busy as one of only a few places in Paducah to offer rapid COVID-19 testing. Key said, “It’s been insane. I had no idea there was such a need in this area.”
Multi-tasking is a preordained gift to women. Key takes it to a whole new level. There are other opportunities and adventures currently on her radar screen. Be watching and listening for Key’s next move. It’s guaranteed to be the next big thing. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be, When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” Lao Tzu