Life can hit you with challenges at the most unexpected of times. That’s what my life has been recently… a series of unfortunate events. The kind that have turned me upside down and inside out. We’ve all been through life-changing events in our lives, and since March 2018, I have had my fair share. As you all know, I’ve been working on getting my body back after baby number three. It’s been hard to get into the groove, and sometimes, I see results and feel encouraged, and then something happens that pulls me away from the gym and all of a sudden I’m completely thrown off. When I lost my father to a long battle with an auto-immune disease, I struggled with my grief (I still do), but the one constant therapy for me has been the Vic Park.
Victoria Park has always been my home away from home in many senses: I feel surrounded by warmth and support, and amazing people who now feel like family. It’s also like a home because I spend so much time there (lol!). My journey to get my pre-baby body back has been a process, but I’m seeing the transformation. But when I get injured and can’t hit the gym the way I like to, I feel disheartened. My progress has been steady and I’m happy to share that I’ve continued to lose weight and shed inches. I’m more determined now than ever because I see that the results of being physically fit are not just superficial, the exercise has been therapeutic for my mind and soul, and for that, I am eternally grateful
Having recently injured my back, I had to let my body recover and heal, so I slowly and steadily began working out with Steffanie Barker @pilatesbysteffanie, my favourite Pilates instructor and head of the Pilates program at Victoria park. Getting a space in her class is virtually impossible, but with my injury I booked one-on-one training and customized my routines to strengthen my core, lengthen my body and give me my sanity back. I’m now back on my feet, and cannot live without a session with her—her method has become crucial to keeping my core tight. After having three kids, core is precisely that: core! We all have muscle imbalances due to just simply moving throughout our daily lives, but post-pregnancy, Pilates exercises really help develop an even musculature throughout the body by strengthening the core. Focusing on spinal and pelvic alignment, Pilates consists of strengthening our deep abdominal muscles (of which I had none!).
Next came boxing. New to Vic Park as of January 2018, it’s been a lot of fun and an awesome challenge learning the technique of this sport. Matt Socholotiuk @boxing_trainer_mtl has developed his own coaching style. Pilates help me work through some much needed deep work, but boxing allows for another level of relief: punching pads as hard as you can is a whole other level of therapy! Such a fantastic form of cardio, you can burn on average 400 calories every class! I can safely say that boxing has transformed my upper body, and my legs, because the actual force that needs to be exerted from every punch comes from your lower half. By rooting myself firmly into the ground, each swing packs more punch.
I really love to shake things up and work my muscles in dynamic ways. I do a combo of workouts so I target every part of my body. Booty Circuit with Alexie @alexie_mtl. The name says it all really. This is a high intensity, athletic workout and is made up of 3 stations (treadmill, functional, and werk/TRX). Booty Circuit is designed to shape your booty, amp up your cardio and tighten those abs. Each exercise is dedicated to firming, toning and tightening a specific body part and Alexie doesn't mess around. Her stations are a challenge and you might not like her the next day, but the results speak for themselves. I am addicted to this class, and clearly so are a lot of people, because her classes are always full!
Last but not least is another Movebarre team member, Suyin Monette @suyinmonette, and her dance fitness class, Movedance. I really enjoy this class because I am a former dancer and ex-cheerleader (Go Alouettes!) and love to dance, you don’t even realize you’re working out! Suyin’s class consists of 8 to 10 songs with a different style of dance for every song along with moves that are easy to follow. It is such great cardio! Don’t be intimidated by the dance world, no one is judging you, we’re all there to have fun!
I feel back on track, and I know that even though I still have another 10 pounds to lose, Vic Park is definitely equipped to help me reach my goal. Everyone there is so supportive and given the array of choices they offer, I’m never at a loss to push myself harder and try new things. Vic Park has been indispensable to my transformation both inside and out. I see and feel the results.
That is the magic of Vic Park!
Photography by Patricia Brochu