Nelson Star

Up to the Challenge in Nelson

On Monday, Tera De Vuono (right) got to work on her training session with Kirsty Holt of Kootenai Pilates. The Star will keep readers up to date every Wednesday on the progress.  - Sam Van Schie photo
On Monday, Tera De Vuono (right) got to work on her training session with Kirsty Holt of Kootenai Pilates. The Star will keep readers up to date every Wednesday on the progress.
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

Earlier this month, the Star asked readers keen on making a lifestyle change to get in the running for the Get Fit Challenge.

We received more than 50 entries for the contest and five lucky winners have been chosen to train for six weeks with a personal trainer at five different gyms around town. Here is an introduction to all participants and their trainers.

Cathy Robinson

Cathy Robinson has been struggling to lose weight and get into better physical shape since her husband had heart health issues five years ago. They’ve been working on it together to no avail.

“We just get stalled all the time,” she says. “We’ve never been able to accomplish what we want.”

The 56-year-old receptionist at Comishin & Astle Inc. has two grown kids. Robinson feels a slowing metabolism, something many women experience as they age, impedes her progress. The winter season with its draw to comfort food and Christmas season goodies doesn’t help either.

Robinson hopes to lose 10 lbs during the six weeks she’ll participate in the Get Fit Challenge. Ultimately, she’d like to lose more – maybe 50 lbs, and is looking for motivation to achieve that goal. Being in the spotlight makes her a bit nervous, but she thinks it’s going to be the deciding factor in getting in shape.

“When the whole community is watching you, you’d better keep motivated or you’re going to be in trouble,” she says.

Robinson is going to be working out with Karin Bayoff at The Circuit and she’s happy and excited for the opportunity — but also a bit anxious.

“I really hope that I can carry through. When you watch these shows on television, like the Biggest Loser, and you see how hard those people work and how difficult it is, it’s a bit overwhelming but I’ll give it a shot,” she says.

Lindsay MacKay

Lindsay MacKay is one of those rare beings that enjoys the cardio aspect of fitness. But running half marathons requires a commitment she’s never really been able to muster for weight training.

“This is a neat opportunity to see that side of fitness too,” she says of the Get Fit Challenge. “My goal is to transform my body shape — to add some muscle definition and change the current shape that I am. I know that muscle is in there somewhere.”

MacKay welcomes losing weight and inches as well as feeling stronger, a positive side effect of doing weight-bearing exercise.

Entering into the competition, MacKay was inspired to put herself out there as a role model for her two children who will not only be seeing her get fit, but also set goals and work toward them.

“I have a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter and I just love this opportunity for them to see how active a parent can be,” she says.

The busy 33-year-old teacher spends part of her time working at Redfish Elementary School and the rest helping at other schools around the district.

MacKay is motivated by the difference she expects to see in her physique. A personal trainer will facilitate making a change; something she feels will be invaluable. MacKay is going to be working out at Transcendent Fitness with Timm and Chelsea

“I am pumped! I am really excited about this,” she says. “I can’t wait to see what I can get from this and how far I can go with it.”

Tera De Vuono

Tera De Vuono used to be quite active. Taking advantage of programs at the gym – mostly step classes, she kept in shape. Then her routine changed.

“I got busy with other things and I stopped going,” she says. “It’s one of those things where you say ‘I’ll get back to it’ but you never do.”

It’s a common story. Job and family come first, often leaving little time for much else. De Vuono has two teenaged children and works at the Nelson and District Credit Union as an accounting supervisor.

As fitness took a back seat, De Vuono gained weight over the past couple years. She notices how this makes her feel and misses her old active self.

“I need to get back into exercising,” she says. “I just need something to clear my mind and get back into shape so I can feel better.”

The Get Fit Challenger will be doing Pilates with Kirsty Holt at Kootenai Pilates and she can’t wait to get going.

“I am so excited about this. I think it’s fantastic. It’s easy to say ‘I am going to do it’ but now I am committed to it,” she says.

At 42-years-old, De Vuono is interested in returning to her pre-lazy-days weight, but this isn’t her primary reason for entering the Get Fit Challenge.

“I definitely want to lose some weight but that’s not my main goal. I just want to tone my body and just get healthier and stronger,” she says.

Keith Page

For Keith Page, getting fit is all about gaining strength for rugby – that and giving shoulder rides to his 12 nieces and nephews.

The 32-year-old founder of Green-Light Communications, bachelor and rugby player is keen to build on the fitness gains and weight losses he achieved during last summer’s rugby season. It was the first year that he really delved into the sport as more than just a passing hobby.

“I’d like to stabilize my core and build balance and endurance so I have great strength and control during games and increased endurance for running,” he says.

Page intends to lose 22 lbs through the Get Fit’s six-week challenge. A lofty goal, perhaps but his confidence will serve him well.

“I want to set goals and actually get to them,” he says. “I am really motivated so I think I have a good shot at actually doing this.”

Page is familiar with many of the gyms in town and knows a lot of the trainers, but the Get Fit Challenge give him the chance to explore new ground — meet someone he may not have crossed paths with otherwise. With guidance, he’d like to develop a weight and gym routine that he can take with him.

“I am interested in having a trainer that says to me ‘do this and do it that way. Try this and do it 50 more times,’” he says.

Cracking the whip for Page will be Ali Popoff and Cody Abbey of Power By You.

Natalia Skiba

Natalia Skiba is the youngest contestant in the Get Fit Challenge. At 25-years-old, she says people her age struggle to attain fitness as well.

“Young people lose themselves in work and lifestyle just like anyone. Working out isn’t always a priority,” she says.

Skiba moved here three years ago to escape the big city bustle of Vancouver after coming to Nelson to visit her sister. Now, she holds down three jobs to contend with the high cost of living in the Queen City. When it comes to getting into shape, she lacks the financial resources and energy needed to get to a gym.

Skiba is excited for the opportunity to do one-on-one training at Renew Personal Fitness.

“It’s hard at the end of the day to motivate to go to the gym. This is a push in the right direction,” she says. “I am just so happy to be part of this.”

Snowboarding at Whitewater gets Skiba out this winter but she feels it’s just not enough activity. She believes being in better shape will benefit her technique on the hill and help her keep up with the crowd.

Her goal is to be healthy and fit – able to keep up with the Kootenay crowd as they ski and hike local mountains. Being more physically powerful will have a positive impact on her body image as well.

“I want to feel good about myself and be confident,” she says.

For more on this story see today's editorial.

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