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Being physically and mentally fit allows you to be flexible in challenging times.
Member Since – October 2015
Exercise has always an important aspect of my life and in the life of my family. Being the youngest, I learned from my brother and sister (both now personal trainers) how to train effectively and with proper technique. My passion for fitness started with track and field during elementary school. I would compete in short and long distance competitions. It gave me such a rush to run with all my energy. As a kid, I felt speed to be my super power.
The one and only constant in my fitness story seems to be Repsol Sport Centre.
Member Since – September 2008
I have been a member for over 10 years but my health and fitness routine has changed many times. When I look back now, I can appreciate how many different programs I have been involved in. I’m know this list of programs will continue to grow and I can stay fit and healthy in ways I never anticipated.
I first joined in my early 20s when I was in in great shape and had the time and enthusiasm to do anything. I was always ready to challenge myself and decided that I wanted to try a triathlon. I had always been a strong swimmer and had picked up running over the last few years, but cycling was a completely foreign world. When I joined Repsol Sport Centre’s Tri Club, I didn’t even own a bike! The 3433 Triathlon Club was so welcoming – the coaches were motivational yet supportive and I made many great friends. There was a range of different classes you could choose and with each new semester you could switch up your classes to focus more on swimming, biking or running. It was a great way to get into the sport.
When it was time to register for my first race, we got a group of friends together and rented a house for the weekend at Wasa Lake. It is such a great venue and fun event, especially with a group of friends supporting you. Since then, we have gone back for the weekend many times and it’s always a great measure of how my fitness level is doing. Last year, I had my 1 month old son with me so I didn’t take part in the event, instead I just cheered on friends and family from the sidelines.
As life has gotten busier and changed with the addition of my son, I found myself back at Repsol Sport Centre more than ever. There are so many great programs for babies and new moms. During my maternity leave, we did swim lessons together and then I signed up for the Baby and Me Class. This was by far my favorite “baby accessible” workout class in the city. You could wheel your stroller right into the gym which means not having to wake them up if they are sleeping! The class also gives you the option of leaving them in the stroller if they are happy and then you can really focus on your workout instead of chasing after them. As my baby became more mobile, I started taking him to the childcare center. I could not say enough good things about Jennah and the wonderful caregivers there. This quickly turned into my son’s favorite place to go, he would run into the playroom and then not want to leave an hour or 2 later when I came to pick him up. It also meant I finally got back some time to myself.
I was definitely not in the same shape as when I first joined the tri club all those years ago but I have always stayed healthy. I have really enjoyed the weekday morning Pilates and Strength & Balance classes to help me build back up some muscle tone and strength. My lifestyle has changed again now as I find myself back at work full time and pregnant again, all exciting changes but it gets hard to fit exercise into that schedule. I know that I will continue to go to Repsol Sport Centre and continue to take care of myself and I am looking forward to all the different facilities and programs I have yet to explore …. like FLOATABLES
Using the power of variety to conquer injury.
Member Since – July 2010
My fitness journey started in 2008 when a co-worker asked me to run a 10k for the Calgary Corporate Challenge. I remember thinking there is no way I can run a 10k, but I gave it my best shot and finished. I first started training on my own with the little I knew at The Talisman Center, which is now known as Repsol Sport Centre. Once I finished the 10k race I was hooked on running, the adrenaline rush of the race, and the sheer feeling of accomplishment. This was all I needed to continue my fitness journey.
After completing my first race, I started to train for longer distances. Before I knew it, I was training for half, and then full marathons. I ran my first half marathon with a training plan my friend gave me. I had no idea what pace meant, what speed work was or what a long run entailed. I continued on my training journey picking up random plans I thought would work only to sustain an injury in the end. I ripped my hamstring and had to stop running completely for over a year! I was devastated not knowing what to do next, when I realized that cross training was the next logical step. Once I started feeling better I began to incorporate cycling classes, yoga and swimming laps to my routine. This made me realize that I wanted to start training for a triathlon.
I started to build up my stamina by swimming in the fifty-meter pool. This also helped my body, to get a better idea of what it would be like to swim longer distances for the open water swim. While learning the technique of how to cycle for a triathlon, I was able to get some much-needed advice from staff at Repsol Sport Centre. They were able to assist me in properly adjusting my bike, learning the techniques used for hills and brick training see what it would actually feel like to complete a triathlon. Because of my training at Repsol Sport Centre, I finished second in my age group at the 2012 Banff Triathlon. I loved the challenge of the swim, the thrill of the bike, and the adrenaline of the run so much that I competed in the Banff, Chestermere Lake, Lake Chapparel and Penticton Triathlons in years following.
Unfortunately, while training for the next triathlon I sustained another injury to my Hamstring. I wanted to keep in shape while I recovered from my injury, so I started to try different classes to enhance my fitness training. I added Group Power, Group Core and sometimes Maximum Step Classes (which were a challenge as I am not that coordinated on the step). Things were going great until again I sustained yet another injury; this time it was my hip. All my hard work to get back to the fitness level I was at once again came crashing down. I had to completely stop all my classes, and the only activity I was able to do was jog in the water. This was the case for the next six months. Once I started to get stronger I was able to start swimming laps once again. I liked to swim five days a week until I sustained another injury. Because of how low impact swimming was after a while I was finally able to start running as well.
I am now happy to say that through sheer commitment, determination and consistent training I am back to running, cycling classes, yoga, and swimming five to six days a week. Throughout my fitness journey at Repsol, I am so grateful to Heather Ferns who is a truly inspirational and an amazing person. Each time I saw Heather, either in a class or walking through Repsol Sport Centre, she was someone I looked to for advice and guidance in my fitness training to getting me back on track.
As I continue to age, I am realizing the importance of staying fit and healthy. I am so grateful to be able to come to such an amazing facility as Repsol Sport Centre, where I feel encouraged to work hard to be the best version of myself.
Although I am not the fastest or strongest by far, I am certainly willing to put in the effort.
Member Since – January 2016
My journey started at Repsol in January of 2016 and I was 226 lbs. What brought me to Repsol is unusual. I was out of town, in my hotel room, flicking through channels when I came across a broadcast of the Kona Ironman event. I was in awe of regular people who were crossing the finish line after a 17-hour race! I watched the whole thing and when it was over I was inspired. I wondered if maybe I could do something like that one day. Even half the distance would be an amazing goal. It was such a crazy idea, but what if I could? During the summer of 2015 I decided to try a tri-it, and sprint distance triathlon. With how physically difficult at the time these distances were to me, I just could not imagine how I could finish a longer distance. I felt slow and out of shape. I decided to make a change, and as a New Year’s resolution I joined the gym.
With my new goal, I entered my new gym with new anxiety. I had no idea what to do with myself! So at that moment I decided to keep my goal a secret for now. I decided that I had to start somewhere. I perused the gym website and found a listing of different group exercise classes. I thought, why don’t I try one of these cycle classes? It might get my legs moving again. I signed up for my first cycle lights class and I loved it. I was hooked. I started going to a few more classes, and by the summer, I was taking more cycle lights classes, running on the treadmills, and cycling on the machines. It allowed me to be in better shape to train outside during the summer. When the fall came I realized that I had lost about 10 lbs. My body felt stronger, and I thought that if I really put the effort in, I just might be able to reach that crazy goal I thought of long ago….Without anyone else knowing, I booked my Ironman 70.3 for the next year. In that moment I decided to commit to an even bigger change. No matter how slow, and no matter how ugly, I was going to do it somehow. After a long negotiation with my body and my fridge, I concluded that I had to spend more time at the gym and eat right. I decided to change to a plant based diet, and after some helpful tips from the gym’s nutritionist, I felt like I was on the right track. Most, if not all the free time I had was devoted to going to the gym to train myself, swimming laps in the pool, and of course going to those cycle lights classes.
By the spring of 2017 I was feeling much stronger. I decided to sign up for a few shorter distance triathlons just before my Ironman 70.3 (which was still a secret to most) to see how my self training was going. I found myself joining a 30-day cycle/yoga challenge at the gym. At this point I had not tried a yoga class, and so I did. Yoga classes felt amazing! My tight muscles were getting what they sorely needed. During the challenge I tried every type of yoga class. With all the of classes I was joining, and the training I was doing on my own at the gym, I found that I was never bored. On top of that, I was now 50 lbs lighter. The icing on the cake was finding out that I won 2nd prize in the challenge! Enclosed in the prize package was a gift certificate which allowed me to pick up my first tri suit. I was looking forward to what could happen next.
I started June 2017 off with a sprint distance. I finished it and it felt good! I felt confident coming into my next race which was an Olympic distance. It would be my first open water triathlon. I thought that an open water swim should be just like a pool swim sans the walls, right? I was wrong. I panicked, and I was the very last person to finish the swim…the very last one. I was crushed. I felt discouraged, and embarrassed. You name it, I felt it all at once. I got out of the water though, and I finished the race. I was one of the last ones to cross the finish line, but it was important to me that I did not bail out. I had to finish it. My new found anxiety pushed me to seek swim coaching for the first time only weeks before my Ironman 70.3. I was contemplating on not showing up for my big race. My feelings of discouragement quickly morphed into blazing fear. Over those few weeks I learned that swimming with a group, and being coached was an excellent way to get over my fear. However, to be honest with whomever is reading this, I was still too terrified to tell anyone that I was just about to participate in an Ironman 70.3. I mean, what if I chickened out?
July 23rd, 2017. I came dressed to run a race, and to accomplish my goal. I finished an Ironman 70.3 that day. I finished MY race. My secret goal became a reality. It was one of the most terrifying days of my life as it was also one of the most amazing.
As of this November of 2017, I am now 64 lbs lighter, and my goal is to finish a longer distance triathlon next year. The Repsol Sport Centre has been an integral part in reaching my goal this year. I am now ready to commit to an even bigger change. I have just recently joined the 3433 Triathlon Club as I feel that training with other like-minded people, and coaches, will help me achieve greater things. Although I am not the fastest or strongest by far, I am certainly willing to put in the effort. I may feel intimidated, but I have a goal I want to reach, and no matter how slow or ugly, I’m going to do it somehow.
On days I want to try something new I feel that I am never without an option. I have recently tried boxing bootcamp, and adrenaline, and I love it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt intimidated at the gym, and to them I’d say to keep at it even when things are not going right. Failing is normal. Mistakes are normal. Change takes time, but it will happen. No matter how slow this process may be for me, I know I have the capacity to overcome what lies ahead. But of course, all of this is just a secret between you and me.
I am often asked what I am training for and the answer is always the same – life.
Member Since – November 2011
Growing up I was always very active. Track, boxing and baseball kept me busy during my school years. However, after graduation, the level of athletic competitiveness declined, and I struggled to find what I needed as an adult. I tried different gyms and trendy activities, but never did find the right fit until I found Repsol Sport Centre. That was over ten years ago.
What motivated me was the want of change. If I can do it, you can do it too!
Member Since – November 2007
Being 189lbs with height of 157cm at the age of 53 in Feb 2015, I wanted a change but didn’t know exactly what kind of change, I just needed a change.