I have always been uncomfortable in water. I don’t even like the water running over my face in the shower. I don’t like pools, I don’t like rivers and I especially don’t like lakes.

I blame my mother. I grew up by a river and she would tell me of all sorts of monsters that lived in the water so that I wouldn’t go near it and drown. Needless to say, it worked and I have always worried about the unknown in lakes and rivers even with the harmless fish and snails in our Manitoba waters.

So with a healthy fear of water I never really did well in water sports of any kind. I could swim, but not very well. While others were having fun diving into the pool I was sitting on the sidelines or at best hanging out in shallower waters.

You would think that because of my water weakness I would be smart to keep my activities limited to dry land. Maybe take up table tennis or frolf. But instead I decided to do a sprint triathlon, which includes an 800m swim in a lake that is full of monsters and creatures that would surely grab my leg and drag me down to my early grave.

I blame Jen Fukumoto. She had the great idea that we should do this triathlon together and train together to keep each other accountable. I like Jen and want to be her friend so I agreed. I would drag myself to the pool about once a week and I hated it the entire time. Jen and I would go out to Birds Hill every once in a while and I would suffer through an open water swim, mostly on my back doing back crawl. I was getting the swim done without drowning but that was about it and the whole time I couldn’t wait to get it over with and get out of the water.

Late in August the fateful day arrived that I had to get up at 4:00 in the morning to drive to Pinawa to compete in my first triathlon. I barely slept the night before and was so nervous I could barely keep breakfast down. Everyone looked all fancy with their wetsuits and expensive bikes and there I was, no wetsuit, no fancy gear and no idea what I had gotten myself into. Just before the race was ready to start everyone was treading water ready to go and there I was freezing, standing by myself on shore. Just like I always had done, I was watching from the sidelines. This time, however reluctantly I may have been, I made my way into the water just before the horn blew. Like usual I swam mostly on my back and the distance between me and the rest of the swimmers grew bigger and bigger. I was slow and struggling and to make matters worse I got caught up in the current by the last buoy I had to get around before heading back to shore. I spent a good 5 min swimming against the current and getting nowhere. Once I finally reached the bouy I clung onto it for dear life. I was completely exhausted. There were 5 people left on shore watching and cheering me on. Mom, my husband, my son, my niece and some women I had never met, who was screaming at the top of her lungs, “Come on Megan, you can do it!!!!” I was the last one out of the water by about ten minutes but I made it. With my body feeling like jelly from my exhausting swim I ran toward my bike and got on and gave it my all. I was able to make up some time on the bike and the run so I wasn’t the last one to finish, but I was just thankful to have finished at all.

For some reason, even though I nearly drowned out in that water, something about that race grabbed ahold of me. Strangely enough I couldn’t wait to do it again. But man oh man, I needed to do something about my terrible swimming. So I decided to take some lessons. I joined a group in the fall and by the end of the 10 or so lessons I could swim 25 meters of front crawl, but was completely out of breath afterwards. So I had improved a bit but not nearly enough. One of my major problems was that I was still afraid of the water. I needed some different kind of help.

Remember the lady screaming at me from shore at the Pinawa race? That was Wanda Mathers. Little did I know then that she would be screaming at me a lot more in my future.

I blame Melodie Schellenberg. She told me about swimming lessons she found that were geared to open water swimming. She said that it was a bit unconventional and the coach, Wanda, really kept you on your toes but that she had heard a lot of good things about it. So I emailed Wanda and showed up a couple of weeks later for my first lesson.

Wanda had me doing all kinds of things that didn’t make sense to me at the time. I would have to sit on the bottom of the pool, bob up and down in the water, practice different swim strokes that I didn’t care about, but I played along. And something happened. I started to swim…like actually swim. I got to the point where I could swim a couple lengths of the pool and then 5 and then ten and after just 3 short months I was swimming 1500 meters without stopping. But something else even better was happening, I was getting more confident in the water and that fear that had plagued me my whole life was slowly fading. I wasn’t suffering through my swim, I was actually enjoying it.

Since joining the Fukumoto Fitness family I have been getting off the sidelines more and more each year. Without the support of everyone at the warehouse I would have never joined that first Dirty Donkey race, which increased my confidence and started me on a path of facing my fears. I’m a confident swimmer now and those monsters that kept me from jumping in with both feet aren’t so big and scary anymore.

I had my first triathlon this year on June 27 at St. Malo. I was still a bit nervous before hand but it was more of an excited kind of nervous. There were over 150 swimmers all going at once, but this time when the horn blew I didn’t hesitate and wait on shore. I ran in with confidence. I was able to do front crawl the whole time without stopping and without suffering. When I got out of that lake I turned around to see if there was anyone behind me. I wasn’t the last the one! You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face the whole race.

My goal was to become a confident swimmer in open water and to swim 800 meters in 20 min. I worked hard towards that goal and I surpassed it and that is definitely something worth smiling about.

To check out where Megan has come from in the true beginning at Fukumoto Fitness,

Check out her Wall of Fame entry HERE when she first got off the sidelines almost 4 years ago!


We are so thrilled to announced that as a community, we not only met our lofty goal of $15,000 to send Romanian orphans to summer camp and other activities but SURPASSED IT!

As of this moment, we’re at about $22, 500!

What does this mean?

Summer programming for Impact Romania through Camp Discovery and other smaller camps and activities has been covered!

Full program information is on the donation page link HERE

How did we accomplish this together?

2 week pre-training burpees drive [~$2000]

*over 100 clients did burpees pre class for $2/round with matching FF donations (Video/Article HERE)

50 FF Members raised $ for burpees through their friends, family, networks [~$13,000]

FF Members Extra Donations [~7500]

Thank you to each person both in the Fukumoto Fitness community (staff and members) and those who are friends of our members for being so generous and making a difference in the lives of children! This is about way more than fitness and exercising and we’re excited that you guys all get it.

Thanks also to the Herald newspaper and CJOB for help spreading the word in the community!

Please click read the thank-you below from Impact Romania director, Bob Fukumoto.

There were many amazing stories that came out of this such as:

-someone getting their students involved to do burpees at school

-someone showing their mechanic in the shop how to do a burpee right on the floor

-performing over 32,000 burpees together in 2 weeks (and more on own!)

-a kid hosting a bake sale and doing burpees to send 1 kid to camp

-someone doing burpees in their dress clothes!

-a few surprise overwhelming single donations of $1000 and even $2500!

We hope to update you with information, photos, and video from how your money was put to work this summer at Camp Discovery so please stay tuned.

Proud to know you all and thank you for your giving of time, sweat, resources to help because we can. We are a small community but we are strong and definitely BETTER TOGETHER!


Between April 20 and May 9, many members at Fukumoto Fitness through $2 into the Burpee jar to participate in 90 seconds of burpees pre-training in support of Burpees 4 Romania, where for a month and a half we try to creatively raise as much money as possible to send Romanian orphans to summer camp (Camp Discovery).

Not only did members get in better shape as a result but the awareness was kept strong at the gym to raise funds through networks outside of our fitness community.

FF had pledged to donate 5 cents/burpee done in this 2 week timeframe and also to host a 3 hour event, Monday May 11 (4pm-7pm) where thousands of burpees would be done by staff and members in conclusion of the 2 weeks!


Some Fun Numbers:

120+ different members participated at least once 

10+ members participated every time

$900 was raised in burpee jar

$1715 total after FF pledge added

16, 282 Burpees Done Pre-Session (FF Record)

Top 5 # Burpees

1. 10am MWF (2990)  2. 6am TThS (1705)  3. 730pm MW (1540)  4. 430pm MWF (1430)  5.  530pm MWF (1245)

Top 5 Individual Attempts at Burpees

1.  10am MWF (64)  2.  430pm MWF and 6am TThS (43)  3.  730pm MW (40)  4.  730pm TTh (30)  5.  530pm MWF (29)

Anita Gladu MWF10am (orange shirt above) won the prize draw of a $200 shopping experience thanks to Lululemon!

Monday May 11 Burpees at the Warehouse (4pm-7pm) 

16, 106 Burpees

29 Participants

Dozens Did 100+

16 Did 500 or More

Jeff Gough, Deb Schwartz, Chris Unruh performed 1000+

Staff Combined: 7, 770 (Meghan, Jill, Barbara, Craig, Scott, Jethro, Jen, Johnny)


Next year, we have a new format to make this even better and we’re excited that we’re going to surpass our goal of $15,000 raised this year! We’ll know all the details next week.

Thanks for your support!

We are a caring community of genuine people who want to meet you where you are so that we can live better together!

At Fukumoto Fitness, we strive to create a place where you experience dynamic coaching, efficient training, effective accountability, and feel safe yet challenged.

We are DIVERSE yet we are one FAMILY.

We are about RESULTS but are MORE than ‘just fitness’.

We CELEBRATE your story. We are about long-term PROGRESS, not perfection.

We are excited about your STRENGTH. We EMBRACE flaws.

It’s about what you CAN do today.

We are committed to being a HIGHLIGHT of your day.

We are committed to being a part of CHANGING YOUR LIFE.

We are better together!

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