- Posted by Gilleen Witkowski
- On November 5, 2017
- 0 Comments
- business, cardio, dog-walking, dogs, fitness, fitnessblender, outdoors, recreation, sports, strength, Toronto, women in business
Edit: Workout Complete!
I was never good at gym class in school. Between lack of coordination, slow speed, and short legs, I couldn’t contribute much to team sports. (Still can’t. I joined an easy-going baseball league in Toronto last summer, and never quite got over a fear of the ball.)
But I took an alternative high school class taught by an outdoors enthusiast and I learned that you don’t have to be a jock to push your body to be tough and strong. And that fitness is for everyone, for the health of our hearts, lungs, muscles, and brains (see: uOttawa Prof Shares Seven Rules for Preventing Dementia in New Book).
Though the seeds of fitness and an appreciation for just getting outside were planted then, other life priorities took over my main focus – going to university, working many jobs, trying to figure out a career, enjoying city life in Toronto. I wanted to keep fitness in my life somehow, and I wasn’t digging the numbers-crazed culture I saw at corporate gyms.
Enter Fitness Blender.
A work friend introduced me to their free videos at a time when I was sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, barely moving while sending emails, crafting social media strategies, and writing e-newsletters. I felt like I was stagnant in life (hello, 20s!), but definitely wanted to work on my physical health – and this would allow me to do it for free at home.
What draws me to Kelli and Daniel (the couple behind the workout videos) is that over time they started allowing their personalities and senses of humour to shine through in their videos, so it truly feels like I’m working out with personal trainers who have my back. And they remind their fans how good it is to put the computer down and head outside for some fresh air and exercise once in a while.
Even big cities have parks, trails, and secret spots to discover with friends
Also, I love that Kelli and Daniel don’t prioritize losing weight or counting calories, focusing instead on getting strong, feeling good, eating healthy whole foods but not limiting yourself. They encourage you to take breaks when you need, then find the courage to pick up on and carry on again at your own pace, range of motion, and comfort level. This is such a wholesome, real approach to fitness in a world with a lot of mixed messaging on food and lifestyle.
Years after I found Fitness Blender – they moved with me through jobs, apartments, relationships – I took a step that married some of those lessons I learned early on in high school with the day-to-day fitness I was working towards as an adult.
I quit my good job working for a labour union and dove headfirst into entrepreneurship, launching a dog-walking company. There are many benefits to running Walk My Dog Toronto (meeting new clients and spending time with dogs; exploring the city of Toronto; managing amazing staff who love what we do), and among them is the very life-changing aspect of being outside and walking for hours each day. It’s definitely different from my days of working largely solo at a desk.
The pups we walk love their outdoors time too
Desk job or outdoorsy job, there’s no question that Fitness Blender has helped me stay on track with my health for years. I’m so heartened to see a trend in more positive, inclusive, realistic fitness programs out there – online and in person (see my friend Ida’s Strength in Motion business in Toronto, for example). No matter where you are at in life, or how you spend your days, you can find fitness guidance that will make you feel good, and stronger too.
Walk My Dog Toronto offers dog walking services and in-home pet care services in downtown Toronto. With easy online booking, we walk your dog while you are busy or at work. We give your dog love, socialization, and exercise, and we keep in touch with you every step of the way with our walk tracker.