This is a Thank You

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I’ve been asked a number of times why I have a personal trainer.

I don’t have a profound or inspired answer. I actually can’t even remember the exact moment I decided it was something I was going to do. I guess I figured if I was actually going to make some changes I should get some help, since really I had no idea what I was doing. (When I say no idea, I cannot stress how much I truly mean NO IDEA.)

I also don’t remember my initial plans with regards to said personal training. In the very beginning, I’m sure my goals were to refrain from puking and somehow handle the muscle pain so I could move enough to show up for the next session. (Strangely enough, there are times these are still my goals!) But I didn’t have a plan for two months, six months, a year; I figured I’d give it a try and see how it went.

I’m pleased with the results I’ve had thus far and, more importantly, I enjoy every session (and HIIT class and run). I have set and achieved some goals, then set bigger ones. Overall, it’s truly a routine and lifestyle I love.

Over the nearly year and a half I’ve been at this, the questions “Are you done there yet?” “Are you done with your trainer yet?” “After you run this, are you done for a while?” have eased up a bit, though they were never asked with disdain. It’s not odd for people to ask, especially since the changes in my life were a complete 180. But at this point, I’m not sure “done” is in my vocabulary.

Sure, I show up willing. But thanks to personal trainer extraordinaire Brett Kirkland, I’m able. And as much as he will always credit every damn thing to me, I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. From suggesting I try a HIIT class and ensuring me shortly after that I would survive a 30-day challenge, to telling me I could run a half marathon months earlier than I was initially thinking, to kicking my ass twice a week via training, his belief in and encouragement of me is incredible – as is his ability to always push and challenge me.

I never would have guessed I would lose the weight that I did, feel fit or be able to run for 10 minutes straight, let alone do more than one pushup, squat shoulder press a 50lb dumbbell, squat my body weight… or be training for a marathon (more on that next time).

I know it’s Brett’s job to train people from one end of the fitness spectrum to the other. And from my experience, he does it incredibly well – all the trainers at Blitz do. And it is evident daily that it is so much more than a job to all of them.

What Brett and Chris have created extends into their community and beyond. I spend a lot of time at Blitz and with people I’ve met there. It results in a lot of fitness and running related hangouts, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. With personal training and HIIT at Blitz, the Wolfpack (born out of Blitz and consisting of my absolute favourite folk), Run Collective, the River City Runners and November Project Canada, I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by people who set and crush goals, while always pushing people forward and lifting them up. And it’s FUN. I’ve never known better humans.

If you’re a part of this community – or any community (fitness-related or not) – I’m sure you get it. Either way, this isn’t a push to sign up for Blitz or pursue Brett as a personal trainer (though I would obviously recommend both).

This is a thank you. To Brett, who I feel I should thank every single day for the immense impact he has had and continues to have on my life. And to the communities, collectives and crews I mentioned above for defining “fitfam” and proving the value of being a part of something.

This is a nod to life-changing decisions – and the people who really make them happen.

(And I’m not talking about myself.)

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