Life Story

After months of searching for ‘our next coach’, it is our pleasure to officially welcome Keith Holliday to the Coaching Staff at Fukumoto Fitness!

img_2143-2dsc_0697Keith will be going through an intensive process starting immediately and well into 2017 to be ready to coach multiple groups.  He will be observing, co-coaching, and getting to know you guys more personally very soon. Read below to hear part of his story, his significant involvement with FF already, and his goals!

 


Some Background

From the day I was born I loved to eat! I am told that as soon as I was able to be mobile on the floor, I put everything in my mouth.  When I was 11 months old it turned out eating the wrong things almost ended my short life.  Because I was so young and had asthma nobody knew I had swallowed anything, but my mom found me turning blue on the living room floor.  I ended up in the hospital hooked up to a respirator and an IV.  It wasn’t until a week later after a lung collapsed that I coughed up a crayon (wax does not show up on an X-ray).  I recovered nicely, just had less lung capacity, I now have 50% lung capacity.

I spent most of my childhood on my bicycle or in an arena playing hockey in a town in Saskatchewan.  By the time I was 10, I was also training horses for some families around the area as well as jumping from barn to barn and climbing hay bails.  I was a very adventurous youngster with no fear; I was and am a bit of an adrenaline junky.  I found out at a young age that if I wanted to play competitive hockey, which I did until the age of 13, I would have to push my limits further than most.  It taught me work ethic and perseverance.  I learned my limitations, but also how to push my mind and body just shy of my limits.  I also learned we are capable of way more than we believe we are.

When I was 18, I was extremely thin and all I wanted to do was bulk up, so I hit the weight room. Unfortunately I never educated myself on the proper nutrition to do so, so I just ate more of the wrong foods to put on weight.  At that age that plan worked out ok, it allowed me to gain muscle….but some unwanted fat as well.  By the time I turned 23-24 I had stopped working out but the diet remained the same.  Like many I got busy, had a young family, was working on my career; and eventually my health and nutrition fell to the waste side.  I lifted weights on and off through the years and played some recreational hockey but nothing consistent.

Fast forward a few years later, I was very fortunate to know some great people that attended Fukumoto Fitness, and along with the encouragement from my beautiful wife, we both joined in April 2015.  Fukumoto Fitness reignited my passion for exercise and created an interest in nutrition that I had never had; which has lead to a weight loss of over 40 lbs so far (check out my Progress Not Perfection Story HERE), as I continue to work on improving my nutrition habits every day.  I still have a love for lifting heavy, so I am so thankful Fukumoto adds in the cardio that I so desperately needed but was not adding to my fitness plan.

My Family

img_1271My family consists of my beautiful wife Andreina, we’ve been married for three glorious years and have two amazing children, Danika who is 17 and Nicolas who is turning 15 in December.  They keep us busy with their school, activities and work schedules.  We also have 2 adorable puppies, Rocky and Tango who are both 3 years old and keep us moving in the house when we are lucky enough to be home.

Life at FF

Since joining Fukumoto Fitness I have completed my Level 1 & 2 KB courses, and I have attended KB Club regularly since.  I also participated in the 2015 and 2016 Dirty Donkey Mud Run, as well as the 2016 FF Winter Games.  As an active member of FF I have enjoyed being a part of other extra activities such as the 12-month FF Nutrition Coaching Course (powered by Precision Nutrition), OCR training, Member Appreciation nights, Pumpkin Charity Workouts, Burpees for Romania, Rocktape Workshop, Flexible Steel and Warrior Fit…so basically almost anything FF has to offer, I’ve been lucky enough to attend and learn from it!

2015 Pumpkin Charity Workout..l

2015 Pumpkin Charity Workout! (don’t worry, this is not my normal attire for coaching)

2016 Pumpkin Charity workout...don't worry I smile a lot more than this guys!

2016 Pumpkin Charity Workout…don’t worry I smile a lot more than this guys!

I have surpassed many of my goals while at FF; I have been able to do a one armed pushup, accomplished a TGU with the white Kettlebell (only for a 48kg bell to show up a couple months later), and squat to press overhead with the largest bag.  Also, just being able to complete a full 20 minute tornado for me is a huge accomplishment.  These are all things that when I walked through the doors for my first workout I would have thought were impossible.

I am currently working on my pull-ups, I have a long ways to go, but just like all the things I mentioned above, I know this is possible and it will just take time.  In order to accomplish them I am working hard on my body composition with the help of FF Nutrition Coaching. As well, I purchased a pull-up bar for home to practice, and every day after class I work on the next progression.  I am also working on my cardio to improve my limited lung capacity.  But even though I believe this is impossible to do today, the ultimate goal for me is to be able to do a TGU with the BEAST (48kg) kettlebell.  My wife Andreina (AKA little beast – approved by her to say!) is also a future TGU progression (ever see a human TGU?) so that is a fun goal too.

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These days I enjoy playing tennis with my family (a round of golf and playing recreational hockey. I love going for rides on my motorcycle and taking anyone that will come with me.

My Goals With Coaching

I am so excited to join such an amazing group of individuals that each bring their unique gifts to the team, and I am hoping to be a person that you may be able to relate to as I’ve had many struggles and also victories in my pursuit of better.  I will be finishing up several coaching courses in the next few months to make sure I am up to date completely with the high standard set at Fukumoto Fitness. I have years of experience coaching people and am excited to utilize this skill in such a dynamic and passionate environment. I have set and accomplished many goals with how I feel, look, move, and perform and I’m excited to help you (members of FF) do the same. I am a very positive and energetic person and I look forward to finding out what is important to you so please don’t be a stranger and say hi!


Thank you Keith for sharing and we are thrilled to have you on board. There is a very long and thorough process to be considered for our coaching team and we take much pride in only hiring the right people. We believe in you and that you are an amazing fit for our community!

I’ve have been training consistently since March of this year for the OCRWC (Obstacle Course Race World Championships) which just occurred at Blue Mountain, Ontario (Oct 14-16) which is beautiful ski resort village not too far north of Toronto.

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This post will focus on the actual weekend experience as I get a lot of questions about these kinds of things (as opposed to the rigorous training and race schedule I followed this year).

Make sure to find the 3 different video link embedded to see some of the action!


How to qualify? 

There are several ways and categories to qualify for this event (visit www.ocrworldchampionships.com to find out more) and since the event is just 3 years old, they are still ironing out the kinks. Many of you reading this who are FF members or people in ‘decent shape’ would be surprised to know that it not very hard to qualify when compared to any other world championship type events. Having ages of 13-50+ give the event a very diverse feel and also enables more likelihood of more participants which helps to put on the expensive event.

What were the events?

On Friday, there was a 3km short course event that ran in heats and contained about 20 obstacles. On Saturday, there was the classic 15km course that had around 50 obstacles.  On Sunday, there was a 3-person team relay event about 5km in distance where each participant had a focused leg on either speed (run fast with easier obstacles), strength (carrying heavy stuff up and down mountain), or technical (lots of upper body rigs).

The 15km Course Map

The 15km Course Map

What were the categories?

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There were PRO divisions for men and women (harder to qualify for) and also Age Group divisions broken down into 5 year increments.  For example, I competed in the Men’s 30-34 age group division (although qualified for PRO did not register on time before it filled up and felt for my first year seeing how I stack up in my age was a good step). Furthermore, there was a Journeyman category where people who did not qualify but still race quite a bit and show a passion for the sport could be considered to race. Overall, there were well over 2,000 competitors. There were over 40 countries represented!

What were the obstacles?

There is lots of info and footage online (OCR World Championships, Mud Run Guide, or Obstacle Racing Media Facebook Pages or websites for example) but there were quite a few different style walls (shorter, taller, ramp, slip etc.), many rigs (think Ninja Warrior, or things where you need to use upper body to monkey around and not fall off), and a variety of other things of which no one really knew much about ahead of time. Some were original obstacles whereas others came from various Race Companies from around the world (i.e. Battlefrog (R.I.P), Savage Race, Toughest…..etc).

The Weaver (over under)

The Weaver (over under)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if you can’t do an obstacle? 

What I love about this event is that it is “mandatory obstacle completion”. You can’t just do burpees and run away. You can try as many times as you want and keep persevering until you either complete it or you succumb to reality. This results in ones “band” being cut off whereas now you can’t be considered for the prize money or legitimate rankings for the race.  It is a harsh reality but gives you information on what to work for in the future. To avoid people being there all day and for some safety reasons, there was a 5hour course time limit on the 15km (I think so anyways). Hundreds of bands were cut off across the weekend! If you got your band cut, you keep doing the race and giving it your all and hopefully you can complete as many of the rest as possible.

Cut bands after failed rig completions

Cut bands after failed rig completions

What was the most difficult part?

By far for me it was simply trying to get up and down the mountains as the angles and impact on the body is very hard to master without practice and for someone like me who is in his infancy of developing his running game. As I write this 10 days post-race, I still have calf cramps and tightness which is kind of amusing.  I had no issues with any of the man-made obstacles due to my training routine this year which was nice!


Why again do you do this?

Many reasons to be honest but one that may surprise you is related to my mental health. We are focusing on mental health at the gym this month through various activities and charity events so its a good time to bring it up! I am just not the person I want to be mentally/emotionally when I lack consistency in my physical training…ask my wife…its probably a 75% difference in the man she gets to partner with.

Therefore I need something to train for that will get me up and get it done no matter who I feel. I can’t let emotion, motivation, or feelings dictate if I take action or not or else I am in BIG TROUBLE. As soon as I register for an event like this I have something specific to move towards. I make a plan. I train for it because I want to do well, I want to be prepared and every day I train its likely I will eat better and also likely I will go to bed at a good time. This works for me. It is part of the “Johnny Fukumoto Handbook” that is aware of some of my weaknesses and prepares for them.

I don't do it because I enjoy making "race face'

I don’t do it because I enjoy making “race face’

I do enjoy the races and literally overcoming physical situations that can be a metaphor for life’s challenges. I enjoy working towards a goal and seeing small changes over time. I feel a need to demonstrate a work ethic and integrity in an industry where there is very little of that. I like having things in my calendar to look forward to. It is rewarding seeing others try new things in life and as a partial result of my journey.

However, every day I train along the way for this race is a day where my family, my colleagues, the people at our gym, my friends have a higher % chance of getting a better version of me. That is the BOTTOM LINE. That is my WHY.

 

 

 

 


What events did you do? How did they go?

Saturday 15km Race, Men’s 30-34 Category

Time: 2:16:11 Official Result: 31/199 (159 Men completed all obstacles)

Synopsis:

Slow Start But Gaining Ground Very warm day (over 20 degrees) and got off to my usual slower start off the line in about 40-50 place for first few minutes. We hit our first ascent and many men starting to struggle immediately and began walking so focused on guys ahead of me and tried gaining ground step by step. By the time I got to Dragon’s Back where some of my family were waiting maybe 3-4km in I had managed to creep up to about 14th place! Coming up to some steep hills to run down, I decided to run backwards to ease the forces on my quads and knees and found I was passing quite a few people and in little to no discomfort at all but definitely got a few weird looks! I definitely found I was hiking or power hiking more than I would have liked but I was still feeling confident.

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Dragon’s Back

14721479_10155357100984535_9212586963124832888_nReferee Issues and Cramping After another ascent I hit up a Platinum Rig that was very short and a fun challenge. This is where things got interesting…I completed the rig, got my feet over the line and asked the referee if I was good to go and he said “yep!”. Online tracking had me in 17th place at this point about 9km (I was super pumped as I am a strong finisher and was doing better than expected at this point). As soon as I jogged away, another referee came and said I had to go back in the “re-try lane” and do it again and I was baffled. He said I had touched the outside of the apparatus after standing up therefore was relegated to go into a long line of other ‘failed attempters’ which is a big problem. There are usually long lineups and not enough lanes to keep a good flow coming…coupled with the fact that I was cleared to go by the first referee, there was not clarity pre-race or during (in my opinion), and several people around me and in lots of online footage were doing the same thing and being cleared to go. I thought “I’m screwed. My goal is now crushed…and when you’ve put in 100 runs and 120 gym workouts in 7 months up to that point, its a bit upsetting to say the least. I went to back of line (although going into the ‘first attempt’ lanes would have been quicker yet against the rules) and stood there for about 8-10 minutes waiting and beginning to cramp. I got through the 2nd attempt and found myself now in 42nd place.

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Stairway to Heaven (No Legs Allowed)

The Short Platinum Rig

The Short Platinum Rig Mentioned

Coming Back I decided to keep pushing! I got caught in another log jam on the Weaver right after the Platinum Rig before I tried to run hard downhill through windy trails, some of them pretty steep (for a prairie boy at least). In the last km, there were about 7 obstacles (most of them upper body or rig types and you can see a few on the video below) and I pushed HARD. I managed to pass about 10-12 guys in the last 5km of the race and collapsed at the finish line (after winning a great sprint battle with a guy from the Netherlands).

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Urban Sky (Rotates When You Grab)

Content and Frustrated At Same Time! I was happy with my performance but to be honest, quite disappointed with something in the race that was out of my control.  I was proud that I kept my integrity in that instance even though It cost me a top 20 finish and maybe a top 10-15. I had to exercise more patience as I was after the race, incorrectly assessed a 10 minute time penalty and ‘incomplete’ obstacle ruling for another rig that I completed (thus relegating me to 156th and an ‘incomplete’ race status). Thank goodness my little sister had videotaped the obstacle in question which I submitted for review and was approved (that rig completion is on video below)!

THIS LINK SHOW VIDEO CLIPS FROM 15KM EVENT!


Sunday Team-Relay 5km, Men’s Open Category

Time: 42:40:07 Result: 14/111 (85 Teams Completed All Obstacles)

Strangers! I had trouble finding a team for a few months but connected with a few guys a month back and we decided to go for it even though we really hadn’t met each other before! I was supposed to be the ‘speed’ guy as the other 2 are more suited for other things and are more ultra-distance runners in their own right. We called ourself the “Undrafted Canadians” and represented Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.

Wet and Fast Start It was POURING rain for this event which was super fun and actually felt it gave us an advantage as we didn’t really let it affect us too much.  I gunned it off the line and was in about 12-15 in the early minutes. It was very muddy and noticed that many men were having a lot of trouble running down very slippery slopes. Some were falling quite a bit and even beyond the safety tape and into the bush! My shoes were quite good for this event so I just ran with abandon and a few times did a 10-20m butt slide as it was so wet, it seemed like a good tactic.

Team Work!

Team Work!

THIS LINK SHOWS VIDEO CLIP FROM TEAM RELAY!

Tagging Off and Great Finish I only had to hurdle a few small boards, traverse a pretty easy pipe, climb a wall or two, and do Dragon’s Back again in the 3-ish km leg before handing off to my teammate who did a quick rig. We were in 11th place at the time. He then passed the torch to our strength guy who took a 50lb sandbag and trekked a half mile up the mountain and back with some good slipping and sliding along the way. He tagged our technical guy back in and we ran to meeting area near the end as we had to summit a wall maybe 12ft high all together before crossing the finish line. We did it in one fun and epic attempt and then sprinted hand-in-hand across the line for a memorable finish to the weekend!

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Final Thoughts

Excellent Experience Overall, it was a fantastic weekend because I was with my family, the venue was fantastic, the organizers and racers contributed a very special experience, I was injury free and performed to my expectations. I was frustrated by the inconsistencies in the results but want to extend grace as the event is only in its 3rd year and will continue to get better and better.

Apparently I missed the Team Photo!

Apparently I missed the Team Photo!

Let’s do that again I am excited that it may be in the same location next year and will be ready to set new goals (after I rest up a bit!). I also look forward to my wife joining me for a potential co-ed team next year and seeing her develop as an OCR athlete next season after much interrupted training in the last 3 years with the arrival of our 2 boys.

 

 

Allan Ajoy - winner of 2016 OCR Humanitarian Award

Allan Ajoy – winner of 2016 OCR Humanitarian Award 

Humanitarian Night Highlight I also want to mention it was a privilege to attend a dinner highlighting the 2016 OCR Humanitarian Award on the Friday night and connect with a few more people in the OCR community who love helping people, using their strength to do good, to give and not simply just race for themselves. It was an honour to be recognized as a finalist and to anyone reading this who has had any active part in the humanitarian work my blood, friend, and gym families area  apart of, thank you.

This is a professional VIDEO done on the event to give a better vibe!

Thanks for reading and I hope you were informed, encouraged, and perhaps have a fire starting in your heart about something you can work towards no matter what that is! Thanks for my family (especially my wife Jen), friends, and Fukumoto Fitness family for the support and encouragement and for every person who helped with training, childcare, fuel, gear or just a listening ear along the way.

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If you were here for Member Appreciation Night on August 31, you heard many announcements for the rest of the year including the selection of our next coach for our Coaching Development Program (formerly known and the internship program).

Stephanie Hamm will become a familiar face over the next few months and we hope you’ll make her feel welcome as she contributes to our community!

This year she has already completed (save for one final exam) the Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), Functional Movement Systems (FMS), CanFitPro Personal Training Specialist (PTS), and First Aid/CPR courses!


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I had a lot of energy as a child. I remember spending hours skipping on my front sidewalk or kicking our beloved Nerf soccer ball against the screen door of our house until it essentially disintegrated. I would ride my bike through the entire Assiniboine bike path multiple times per week during summer vacation and not think much of it. It was something to do and I’m sure my parents were eager for me to expend as much of my energy outside as possible.

Unfortunately, as I got older, I became extremely self-conscious and lacked the confidence to do the things I wanted to do. I was too shy to pursue the things that interested me because athletics did not (and in many way still don’t) come naturally to me.

Instead, I gave up on myself and resolved to allow the genetics that blessed me with a smaller frame carry me through life. I figured that not having to worry about my weight equated to being in good health. So I lived a very sedentary life through most of my teens and young adulthood. Though I felt very unhappy and wanted more for myself, I was too embarrassed and shy to ever venture out from the bubble of safety I had created for myself. I dabbled in a few gym memberships and tried fitness classes here and there but nothing felt natural to me and the atmosphere in many of those gyms reflected an attitude that didn’t fit with my vision of what I wanted in a community of like-minded people.

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After my first child was born, I fell deep into postpartum depression. After my initial diagnosis, I began going for long walks with my son to clear my head. Those walks gradually built themselves into jogs and later runs. I began to look at my health in a much different light. I’d started running with my husband after we got married as a way to be active together but what I discovered after becoming a parent was how fitness goes so much deeper than the physical. It was essentially part of what brought light back into a very dark time in my life. The mental and emotional benefits for me were undeniable.

Getting my CFSC Certification in May

Since then, my confidence has grown tremendously. Not because I’m the best at what I do but because I’ve learned that confidence doesn’t come from being the best at something. Confidence comes from learning to step outside of your comfort zone to try new things. In doing that, I’ve discovered that I am capable of so much more than I realized and I continue to surprise myself with the things I can do. In 2013, I participated in a 12 person, 200 mile relay run through Southern California. I’ve run 4 half marathons and completed a 10k and a relay race while pregnant with my third child. This past year, I participated in a Spartan race and the Dirty Donkey KickAss run; both of which I enjoyed immensely.20150714203519

I started training at the warehouse in November of 2014 and from the first day, I felt as though I had come home to family. I’m excited and humbled to be able to join a team of like-minded people who live out the values and passions that I subscribe to. I look forward to learning from them and being able to pass on my love and passion for what I do to everyone who comes through the doors. Whether you’re stepping into the warehouse for the first time or have been around for awhile, I can’t wait to walk alongside you in whatever phase of your journey you’re in and to offer you all the encouragement, motivation and high-5’s you need to keep moving toward your goals. And if we happen to do a 200 mile relay or a Spartan race together one day, even better!

 


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!

 

Carrying 55lbs with good posture!

How do I ever thank all of you at FF who have contributed in such a positive way to my life!

My time at FF was the best experience I have ever had working out and I have worked out for the better part of my adult life doing weight training, aerobics, Pilates, Boot Camp, running, cycling and this is the best I have ever felt.

I love the coaches who definitely know what they’re doing. I love that they just want everyone to become better in their fitness  level and health-wise. I love that they watch everything we do and correct anything they see that is not just so.

The positive attitude that all display when working out and continually cheering each other on to do better and be stronger is so encouraging and refreshing so that we all can continue to do all the things we enjoy as we age.

People at the fruit market always wanted to carry my big box of fruit and vegetables out to the car for me but I would never let them as I want to be self-sufficient and strong for as long as I can be.

There are many things one gives up to get when they leave to live elsewhere. Leaving FF was one of the hardest for me as I saw so many results.

  • I lost over 20 lbs and it is exciting for me to find clothes in my closet that I can wear again.
  • I am stronger and more accepting of myself rather than always feeling bad because I can’t do everything as good as everyone else does.
  • The friendships I forged will stay with me always.
  • The encouragement from the great coaches and the wonderful people I had the privilege of working out with will always be a joyful memory for me.

    Strong row!

Friends and family will visit me but I wish I could have taken you all with me but I realize that cannot be.

Coaches, please keep on doing what you do with such passion and excellence.

Members of FF family, never forget what you have at FF. You have been given a gift at FF with the wonderful expertise and passion  the coaches display all the time. The passion they all display by example cannot be matched.

I wish you all the best of everything and great success as you encourage by example to look after the bodies we have been given. God bless you all in every aspect of life and may you all continue to be healthy and fit.

I miss you all already
From a grateful heart,
Ruth

My name is Meghan and I’m married to Ty, who has been a great support to me as I’ve become healthier. We have two young children -our son Jude is 3 ½ and our daughter Nori is 2. I have been training at Fukumoto Fitness since Feburary 2014.  I joined Fukumoto Fitness to do something positive for myself after having two little babies. My husband has always been active and fit and I wanted to get on board. I wanted to get stronger and gain more energy. While I was nervous to start, and this was very out of my comfort zone, I found the coaches so encouraging and noticed myself getting stronger with every workout. I was hooked! Fast forward a bit and I am still loving my workouts. I love seeing what my body is capable of and pushing myself a little bit harder every time.  I have become so passionate about Fukumoto Fitness and encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle. Through my own personal nutrition challenges in the past year, I have also become very passionate about healing my body through nutrient dense foods and feeding my family in the same way.

To see Meghan’s full Wall of Fame Story, Click HERE!

I am very excited and honored to be joining the staff at Fukumoto Fitness! I will be taking over the administrative role from Jen and handling emails, scheduling, and answering any questions you may have. I am also looking forward to welcoming newcomers to our Fukumoto family. Jen will be overseeing my work in the next few months as I continue to transition into this role. While I have had the privilege to get to know many Fukumoto members, I am excited to meet more of you in the future. I am looking forward to balancing life with my kids along with my passion for movement and ensuring everyone enjoys their experience with Fukumoto Fitness. I am so proud to be part of this community!

Ps. If you want to meet me in person, I’ve committed to doing 500 burpees in a row Monday May 11th (in the eve) as a part of the FF Staff’s collective effort.  I’m going to do my best, hope to see some of you there!


We first introduced Meghan at the “Family Meeting” a few weeks ago. The FF team is thrilled to have her on board as she brings great passion and work ethic to the table.  Being the first point of contact for newcomers is a significant role as well as being instrumental in the care of our clients as a whole! Her attitude, encouragement, and results are what we hope everyone aspires to at FF. Welcome officially Meghan!

 

The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step…..

March 2014. Sept 2014. March 2015. (The Last Year of My 2 Year Journey)

You may have heard the above quote by Lao Tzu and this rings true for my path to a more fit and healthy me. I joined Fukumoto Fitness October 13, 2014 after a year-and-a-half journey on my own where I completely changed my unhealthy and inactive lifestyle to a healthy one. I did so with small incremental steps that have lead to BIG results.

To the surprise of many, including myself, I’ve lost nearly 300lbs. I’m quite literally less than half the man I used to be two years ago March 24, 2015. Suffice it to say, I had reached a point where I was exceptionally unhappy and started to move down the road to gastric bypass or lap band surgery. In discussion with my Doctor, my BMI was too high to even qualify for the surgery in Manitoba and so I would have to lose about 100lbs to even be considered.

I was in disbelief that I didn’t qualify for surgery. I was gob smacked and angry. It was in that moment I recognized that I was responsible to get my health in-check and that’s where I committed to make small, incremental changes to my diet and to increase my overall activity.

At no point did I crash diet; I didn’t do low-carb this or that. I just remained mindful. Simple right? Not really. At the very core of what I was doing was to invest in my health and be an active, rather than a passive participant. What I’ve come to learn is that if something is important to you you’ll make time. And this is where the Fukumoto team and the #FitFam come in. My colleague and friend Wanda Lavallee encouraged me to join.

Five months ago I reached out for more concrete guidance when it came to my exercise regime. I had felt I reached my limit as to what I could do on my own. For those that can relate, I had a substantial amount of hesitation in joining Fukumoto Fitness. I had managed to lose weight by working out alone in my basement with cardio and fitness equipment. So the decision to move from a private workout environment to a public one was a challenge. If I could paint a picture for you it would look like this: sitting in my car, in new workout gear, resisting the urge to drive away rather than face my fear of walking into a room of fit people getting information and a fitness assessment. My car had been put into “drive” a couple of times but I kept my foot on the break and made the decision to push myself into the information session. To my surprise, I found a spectrum of individuals looking to become more fit and active. Like-minded people that I could relate to and in those seconds, minutes, and hour, all the self-doubt melted away.

Since joining, I’ve continued my regular regimen and layered in the classes, coaching, and guidance from #TeamFukumoto and it’s been amazing. In the 5 months I’m down a suit size, 40lbs, and I can see and feel my physique changing! I feel even stronger and healthier that I did before.

This journey is about me being the best that I can be and with the guidance of the Fukumoto team and encouragement of the FitFam I feel I’m doing just that. What’s more is that I appreciate the nutritional challenges. Over the course of the month of March I’ve moved away from using sweetener in my coffee. This was a considerable challenge for me as it was the last place sweetener remained in my diet.

I can say that right now I’m the healthiest that I can be in this very moment. But I equally recognize that this is all an evolution and I’ve reached a point where the changes I make are ones that I can easily incorporate and live with as part of my overall health strategy and lifestyle. I won’t compromise and make my health a ‘make-work’ project. It simply has to be something that I can manage. And that’s the exciting thing about this journey. It’s mine to own and if I invest I can achieve my desired result. I’m proud to say that I’ve done so with zero medical intervention thus far. I’ve saved my own life in the process and found me.

Your goal, whether it’s a small amount of weight loss, large amount of weight loss, or changes to your overall physical wellbeing can feel daunting.

The pictures associated with this blog post are as follows: March 2014, September 2014 (just before joining #FitFam), and current day. You’ll notice I hadn’t included a true beginning photo from two years back at my heaviest as I’m looking forward to sharing that once I take another big step in my journey. That BIG step is that I’ve been scheduled to have skin removal surgery, which will be the first piece of medical intervention that will be necessary to date.

For those that find themselves in a similar state that I had once been in, my message to you is simply this: healthy living (which may include weight loss for some) can feel like the loneliest journey if you allow it to be. Take the time to invest in yourself by finding like-minded individuals that can serve as a support network for you. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

I wish you success as you endeavour toward, through, and beyond your journey of a thousand miles…

David Zyla MWF 6am

Years ago, I found an environment filled with all sorts of people who had the same goal in mind. Be better. I don’t know what prompted me to buy-in – most people think about making changes in their lives but never do. I think it was the positive environment, genuine care for each other, and super smart training methods that hooked me. It was the feeling I got from developing my own strength and ability that kept me going back. My own mother thought it crazy when I’d excitedly tell her about cleaning a 40lb bag and swinging a 20kg kettle bell.

In October of 2014 I stopped training in the usual sense due to a medical concern. Essentially I was advised to avoid weight-bearing exercise. This left me wondering how I could continue to maintain the level of fitness I’d worked so hard to achieve. The truth is I got a little bummed out and started using the restriction as an excuse to stop training outright. Worst. Decision. Ever.

Not only did I start to lose mental clarity but in 7 short months I also lost 15lbs. I know what you’re thinking, “You stopped working out and LOST weight?!”. I did. It’s not a good thing, and I’m not happy about it. The weight I lost was all muscle.

I see this as a problem because this means a loss of strength and building into a strong body philosophy vs a “weight-loss philosophy”.  If you’ve read my original Wall of Fame story HERE, I did have a lot of physical changes when I joined years ago and had weight loss changes but THIS IS DIFFERENT.  Those were healthy changes and I changed my nutrition as well.  Weight loss for me does not mean success if you feel worse, are weaker, and get caught up in defining yourself by what’s on the scale.

Sometimes life throws us curve-balls. It’s almost inevitable that each of us will encounter a life event that makes us stop and ask ourselves “What now?”. What’s important is how we react, think, and behave after those setbacks.

I’ve modified my routine to walking, jogging, wall-climbing, and my diet has naturally evolved with that (I cannot believe how my appetite has changed with my activity level). The other thing that has helped is looking at every opportunity to move as a work out. I farmer carry my loaded basket of groceries. I squat to pick up firewood and bear hug that stuff until it’s time to put it down beside the fire. I mindfully engage my core when doing house work (thanks to a VIDEO of a crazy guy who turned cleaning the tub into exercise).

I’m a little ways away from final results and medical clearance for adding weights back into the mix. In the meantime I am purposeful in how I move, and will take any opportunity to turn everyday movement into something that is good for my body, and my mind.

May this encourage anyone who finds themselves away from the FF warehouse at the moment.  You can still do what you CAN and follow the nutrition challenges.  Its about your perspective when things aren’t ideal.

Kim

We’d like to welcome Alana Grimolfson to the team as she starts her coaching internship with us over the next coming months.  Here’s a bit about her!


Greetings Fukumoto Fitness Team!

Growing up in the small town of Riverton, I was always playing outside or involved in community sports. When I was 6 years old, my brother was getting ready for hockey practice and I said to my Dad, I want to play hockey. Within 15 minutes, he had a mix n’ match of his equipment and my brothers old hockey equipment and I was at my first practice within the hour. From then on, I wanted to play all sports. In high school I played volleyball, badminton, track & field, and hockey. Hockey being my favorite, I wanted to take it to the next level. I played three seasons for the University of Manitoba Bison Women’s Hockey Team. My experience with that team is where I developed my passion for fitness – strength and conditioning, and coaching.

Since my hockey days, I started golfing, playing touch football (my new favorite sport), and got into the world of triathlon. In 2010, I made a scary decision to sign up for an Ironman race. For a full year, my life revolved around my swim, bike, run training. On August 28th, 2011, I finished the Ironman Canada race, and proud to say, well within my goal range.

For the last 7 years, I have been a physical education high school teacher in Selkirk and have been involved in many teams through coaching.

In the past few years, I have developed a love for strength and conditioning. My workouts now revolve around weight lifting and kettlebells. I believe kettlebells are magic.

Outside of the gym, I spend my time with my family. We love to go fishing, camping, hiking, snowshoeing, anything to get outside. Whether it is +30C or -30C, we will be out there.

I am very excited to be joining this community of great people who share my passion for fitness. I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge and enthusiasm to the gym and learn a great deal from all of you as well.

 

Change is often not easy. In fact, change is usually quite difficult for us.  It involves discipline, facing our fears, often difficult decisions and persistence. Change for the better does not come without effort. It doesn’t happen by accident, without intention. As humans, we enjoy that which is familiar; we are comfortable with what we know, even when our ‘comforts’ become detrimental to our health.

At Fukumoto Fitness we love to see change. We love witnessing people becoming healthier, whether that’s someone’s mobility improving, better mental health, avoidance of diabetes, or simply being able to balance on one foot again to put a sock on. We realize it can feel like we ask a lot of you. We know that showing up at class instead of staying in bed on a dark, cold, December morning is not easy. We know that changing nutrition habits takes a lot of effort and discipline, as well as grace and patience.

I am learning a lot about change these days. This week is my last week at Fukumoto Fitness. I am sad and somewhat afraid to leave what has become comfortable and familiar to me.  But just because change is difficult doesn’t mean it isn’t good. In the next season of life I plan to be home with my children as well as pursue my work as a doula in a larger capacity. I am realizing how addicted most of us are to being busy and I am choosing rather to re-learn how to rest and live more mindfully. It is hard for me to admit to choosing to not do everything – I have loved my ‘dream job’ at FF, but I know that Hugo and Petra are growing up quickly, the moments are precious. There will be more chances for me to do more outside-the-house work in the future.

I will treasure my time at FF. What a wonderful gift it has been to be part of such an extraordinary community. The dedication and commitment I have witnessed is so inspiring and motivating.  It’s fun for me to think back and remember that I couldn’t do more than two push-ups when I started training here, had never touched a kettlebell before, and certainly hadn’t ever done rope jacks.

I will miss you, my FukuFitFam! I would love to continue to know what you’re celebrating; don’t forget to tell me when you’ve reached your goals and how fantastic it feels!

Be well, my friends.

-Dana

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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