Finding your inner warrior, at any age
The incident was a wake up call. He started walking to work the next day and hasn’t stopped. “It felt really good,” he said. “It’s a positive time to think, relax and work out problems. I learned to carry a notebook with me, so I could write things down.”
In addition to that 8.5-kilometre round trip, he started watching what he was eating (he has a weakness for sweet baked goods and potatoes), and cut back his work hours to reduce stress.
By August of that year, he had lost 15 pounds, but he still didn’t feel like he was really getting in shape and wanted to do more. The question was how.
“I didn’t think going to a gym and doing it myself was going to cut it, because I didn’t know the first thing about it,” he said. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to train myself properly.”
He found his way to Free Form Fitness and started with personal trainer Michael Robichaud in December 2012. His initial interest was mobility and conditioning, rather than strength training, and Michael tailored a program that fit the bill.
Brian is now down to 170 pounds, and his waistline has shrunk from a tight 36 to a loose 32. Coworkers have noticed the change in his appearance. But while the compliments are a source of motivation, what matters most to Brian is the change in how he feels. He’s taken up hockey again with fresh vigour. “My conditioning is very good, my mobility is very good, and now we’ve started on strength building,” he said.
Brian has also made a convert of his wife, Kathy. “She was very unsure about doing this, she was never big into sports,” he said, but he emphasized how supportive the Free Form Fitness personal trainers are and she agreed to try it. “She likes the personal touch – they have really adapted to her needs – and she appreciates the quality of the trainers and their attitude,” he said.
“I’ve learned a lot about how the body responds to exercise and how it responds to different foods you eat,” Brian said. “I know there are a lot of things I can do to lose weight and respond to stress. And what really truly amazed me is how the trainers can fatigue you by knowing how to work the right muscles just the right amount.”
His next challenge? Ottawa’s Spartan Sprint in June – a five-kilometre obstacle race designed to test one’s inner warrior. It was Kathy who pushed him off the fence. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, then my wife came in, talked to the trainers, and signed me up,” he said.
Race preparation demands a new focus on cardiovascular development.
“By the time I finish that, I plan to have my weight down to 160, have my cardio fitness level up, and be able to just maintain it from there,” Brian said. “In two years, I will have gone from the worst shape of my life to the best shape of my life.”