Smiling Again

Anne became a part of the PISE family through the Times Colonist Health Challenge. She is an inspiration and we are delighted to have her training at PISE. Below is a bit of her story in a letter she wrote upon completing the TC Health Challenge.

PISE Fitness Health Victoria AnneThank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in the recent Times Colonist Health Challenge. I cannot say enough about staff members at the Times Colonist and PISE, and their roles in making this challenge such a success.

I applied to the challenge because I needed help moving forward following the death of my husband last July. Everyone with whom I was in contact regarding my application was so supportive, understanding, and motivating. Several individuals at the Times Colonist made the extra effort to send personal notes of encouragement and condolences and made sure that all the par ticipants had all the information and support we needed to be successful. The reporter, who was also a participant, did an excellent job throughout the process in getting to know each of us and in reflecting our varied goals, concerns and challenges. His articles reinforced that this was a health challenge and not a weight loss gimmick. My friends and family were all amazed at how well he captured my personality and story in his articles, and I know that other participants had a similar experience. This is no small feat given that some of us felt quite vulnerable sharing our stories with a reporter.

I believe I won the lottery twice over; first by getting selected into the challenge and second by training at PISE where both the facility and all the staff members were outstanding. From my first contact with Lindsay Lynk, PISE’s Fitness Development Coordinator, the twelve weeks were mapped out and potential barriers removed. I was given a parking pass and gym membership, body composition and flexibility/movement were both evaluated, and I was placed into a weight training class for three days a week. Lindsay provided a further hour each week for one-on-one training. Two sessions with PISE’s Mental Training Consultant helped me immensely in creating personal strategies for success in the program. Nutrition sessions were informative and helpful, and also allowed us all to get together and compare notes during the challenge. Post-testing in both body composition and flexibility gave me objective measures of how far I had come – so much more useful and revealing than just numbers on a scale.

It is difficult for me to describe how this challenge has helped and changed me except to say that I can smile again and do so easily and frequently, and that regaining myself has helped me to connect with my memories of Len before he got sick; something that was impossible for me prior to the challenge. I miss him now more than ever, but have learned that I can go on without him and know that he would be so pleased and proud. Now that the challenge is over I am taking an even tougher class at PISE and continuing personal training sessions with Lindsay. I am even registered in the Mudderella race in Whistler this September. (Hundreds of women racing through a l0 km obstacle race amidst copious amounts of mud … ) I hope that PISE and the TC continue to sponsor this challenge in future years. I am sure it is an expensive undertaking but it really does change people’s lives for the better. I am walking (running!) proof. The TC Challenge got me into the gym, but it is the people at PISE that keep me coming back.

With heart-felt thanks,
Anne Graves