Monday, October 05, 2009

Fall News

Hi All! A few things to let you know about from The Garage and Sunshine Coast Idol!

The Garage / Garage Wear / Molly’s Lane Market

Fall is finally here and the Fitness Bootcamp Challenge Series is over for the year. It was a great season with incredible weather for working out beach-side—I will definitely be doing it again next spring! In the meantime, I’ve started the fall line-up of programs at the studio and in conjunction with the Gibsons & Area Recreation Centre.

At The Garage I am offering:

• Yoga on Thursdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 5:30 pm
• Body Sculpt – Wednesdays at 7 pm
• Pay-What-You-Can Weight Training Circuit – Sunday mornings at 11 – I’m accepting non-perishable food items and/or cash for the Gibsons Food Bank

Please pre-register for any of the above by emailing or calling me at 604-886-3114.

I am also offering a few classes through the Gibsons Rec. Centre:

• Butts & Guts – Monday evenings at 5:30 (this class is full for this session—you can go online or to the Rec. Centre to register for the next session starting November 16th)
• Roller Derby & Sports Readiness – Monday evenings at 7:45 – 8:45 at Frank West Hall. This class is aimed at anyone who is interested in getting in shape for roller or ice skating, skiing, etc. Still some space left – this class starts tonight!
• 60 Day Sports Conditioning (listed in Activenet as: Fitness – 60 Day....) – Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings at 6:30 am at the Gibsons Rec Centre – There are still spaces left in this class which starts October 19th – for those interested in getting in shape for their sport or improving their overall fitness level with a great mix of agility, strength and core.

Garage Wear in Molly’s Lane Market

I have a great selection of active and casual wear at my new store Garage Wear – I am striving to bring in excellent quality, Canadian designed and manufactured clothing in technical or sustainable fabrics. Right now I have a lots of new styles by Tonic and Public Myth—you’ll find great yoga, work-out and casual clothes. I have just put some of the summer and end-of-lines on sale at 25% off—this is a great opportunity to get bamboo t-s and tanks, I also have a selection of shorts and capris priced to clear!

At our recent Fashion Show at the Gibsons & Area Rec Centre Willow Heaton won our draw for a $50 Gift Certificate for Garage Wear—we will be holding another joint fashion show at Molly’s Lane Market with Bodacious Fashions in conjunction with a wine & cheese open house and Elves Club toy & food drive on November 6th—more info at a later date on that!

Peter Beauchamp & I are proud to presenting the 2nd Annual Sunshine Coast Idol Competition!

We are holding our 2nd night of auditions Tuesday, October 6th at the Sunshine Coast Golf & Country Club in Roberts Creek. We already have the best band on the coast—the Idol Guys ready to back all the fabulous singers that have been entering the competition—Soundwerks will, once again, be providing the best sound system and engineering, the incredibly talented Chealsea Crawford will, once again be MC’ing the event and we have a great prize package and excellent opportunity for singers to get experience with a live band and attentive audience. The competition starts Tuesday, October 13th!

We will be pre-selling tickets this year to avoid the line-ups of the previous competition. As well, the SCGCC will be open from 5pm so that you may enjoy a leisurely dinner from their new SC Idol selected menu, prior to the start of the show!

Please call or email me for more info!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Congratulations... all those who participated in our August Bootcamp Challenge! We gave away some great prizes.

Sandra Brown was the winner of our Push-up Challenge at the beginning of the month—she won free entry to the class completing the most push-ups in one minute!

Selina Statnyk, who has been attending bootcamp for the past few months, also won a $50 Gift Certificate from Garage Wear for being the returning bootcamper who completed the most push-ups in a minute at the start of the class!

We also gave out prizes throughout the month for various challenges with a draw at the end of the month. Winners were (and please contact me if your name is below and you were not there for the draw and have not yet picked up your prize!):

Lisa Stiver, Sandra Brown –bamboo sports socks
Sandra Cliffe/Laura Christmas – sports bags
Jacqueline Reid - $50 gift certificate for Garage Wear
Liz O’Brien Russell - $50 gift certificate for Garage Wear
Christina Symons – dinner for 4 at the Wild Bistro
Selina Statnyk - $200 gift certificate for Garage Wear

It’s been a really great summer weather wise and I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone who has come out—so thanks again for making it memorable!

There were many wildlife firsts this year including otter sightings, a bear and coyote in attendance at various classes and the usual seals, birds and dogs... and more than the usual amount of people bar-b-cueing at our evening sessions!

We do have one more month of Bootcamp starting on September 7th – we will be continuing classes at 6 am, 7 am and 7 pm. If you would like to attend any of these classes before we move into our indoor classes for October, please let me know asap which session you would prefer if you have not already contacted me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fashion Show!

I'm very happy to announce the opening of my new store Garage Wear!

We started with a fashion show on July 11th for my store and Bodacious, another new vendor in The Lane, where some very brave friends modelled some of the items from the store... later we had a wine & cheese reception.

This all happened very quickly -- I made the decision to open about a week before I left on vacation two weeks ago, so I was able to make an order before I left and have had one shipment to fill racks with--the store still looks a little empty.

I'll continue looking for items and filling out the stock as the weeks go by so keep checking back and I'll also keep you posted--I should have some more stuff from HT Naturals this week and am hoping to get some things from Ellswear in Victoria in the next couple of weeks!

I really want to thank Lorna Ketler from Bodacious for all her help, Peter Beauchamp for all the support, encouragement (and loans of fixtures), Kerry Pollack from Public Myth for getting me stock so quickly and Susann, Marlene and Christina for modelling!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I’m very excited to announce that I am opening Garage Wear, a small retail outlet in Molly’s Lane in lower Gibsons! I’ll be carrying fitness, yoga and casual wear from BC designers/manufacturers in technical fabrics (wicking for comfort during activity, etc.) or sustainable and natural fibres such as bamboo, hemp, and soy. I’m starting off with some things from Public Myth and HT Naturals, I’ll be adding things from Victoria’s Ellswear and am looking at other local lines as well – my goal is find clothes for active people that look good on all sizes and shapes.

My opening will coincide with the Grand Opening Celebration of Molly’s Lane Market, which has just had a change of ownership. Things are moving quickly—right now there is a 50% off toy sale (great time to pick up Christmas and birthday gifts) and retailer Blue Magnolia is also selling everything at 25% off as they prepare to move.

I hope you can join us on Saturday, July 11th for opening celebrations including a joint fashion show featuring Garage Wear, Bodacious Fashions and Starlet Vintage – the show starts at 2 pm in The Lane!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hope you’re enjoying the fabulous weather we’ve been having! Just a few notes to pass on to you:

Yoga – Thursday evening Yoga with Tania Flynn will be going on hiatus for the summer – only 2 more evenings to enjoy a relaxing class—I believe she may do a Restorative Yoga Class to end off the season on June 30th. Please email to reserve your spot for this class – 7 – 8:15 pm tonight and next week!

Yoga in the fall – Yoga will resume in the fall with an additional class with Siobhán Smith which we are scheduling for Sunday early evenings from 5pm – 6pm! This will be a great way to end of your weekend / start your week. But more news on this class toward the end of summer

Fitness Bootcamp Challenge – we have 1 more week left in our current Fitness Challenge Bootcamp (ends June 26th). I am taking a short break and heading for some R & R in the Okanagan for a few days through the long weekend and beginning a new Challenge on Monday, July 6th. This class has been really great at Bonniebrook Beach with all the great weather – I’m so happy to see people achieve such great results! If you’d like to join the next challenge please let me know asap!

Stay tuned for some exciting news on upcoming Fitness Challenges heating up for the summer!

Pay What You Can Bootcamp continues Sunday mornings from 11 to noon at Dougall Park in Lower Gibsons. This is a great way to try out a bootcamp class and help the Gibsons Food Bank at the same time. Cash donations accepted as well as non-perishable food items – please email or call to pre-register. Drop-ins welcome!

Fitness Strength Circuit – Join me for a drop-in weight training circuit that incorporates strength, cardio and core every Thursday from 5:30 – 6:30. This class is a great addition to personal training sessions, you miss a bootcamp class or you want to do some strength training in a fun class atmosphere! $10 drop-in, but please call to let me know you’re coming!

Music Notes…

Sunshine Coast Youth Idol - Peter Beauchamp & I have been producing the Sunshine Coast Idol series and are heading into the last 2 nights of Sunshine Coast Youth Idol. There are some outstanding young talents here on the Coast—come and vote for your favourites Tuesday evenings at Sailor Dan’s in Gibsons. Pick up a number from 5pm to ensure your spot when the doors open at 6pm (show at 6:30).

Paul Steenhuis and I will be playing jazz with keyboardist extraordinaire, JJ Wagler at Sailor Dan’s Friday (tomorrow) evening from 8 – 10 pm and at Pack Ratt Louie’s on Saturday. Hope to see you at one of these gigs!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions about The Garage!

I get a fair amount of emails asking about The Garage and how it works -- hopefully, this answers a few of those questions!

How many square feet is your garage?

It’s small! It’s about 26’ x 18’ so…, under 500 sf. But it’s big enough for personal training and small classes (I have classes of up to 6 people inside) – I have a cement drive-way outside that is about 10’ wide by 20’ as well, so, when it’s nice, I can have people skipping, etc. outside and the garage door open. The biggest challenge was to get equipment that wasn’t going to take up a lot of floor space, so the stairmaster and small-footprint bike work perfectly. And, instead of a lat-pulldown (back exercises being more difficult to do efficiently without some sort of pull-down type machine--although I also have a squat rack), I sourced out what is, effectively, a functional trainer, although they called it a cable crossover (Body Solid makes it)… it’s commercial-rated but a fraction of the price of more commonly used gym models – it’s slightly lighter duty but, since I’m not a public gym I don’t get really heavy lifters or undue wear & tear anyway and I love that machine! It also snugs in pretty close to the wall and is great for pull-downs, pull-ups, cable crossovers, rows--anything you can imagine with a pulley.

How did/do your clients react when they hear that they will be training in a garage?

I’ve had a few of my clients for over 3 years (since I opened!). They love it. It’s private and nobody cares what you wear. I have had quite a few people who never want to set foot in a gym for whatever reason—this way they can start in private and maybe take it to a public gym later. It’s also well insulated and I spent a lot of time (but not a lot of money) making it look cosy.
I bought my house and it didn’t have a garage so I had it built 4 years ago—I wasn’t originally intending it to be a gym—that is just kind of how it worked out. There is no bathroom, which is one of the downfalls, people have to use the one in the house but it hasn’t been too much of a problem other than the house has to be tidy and I keep the bathroom stocked with guest towels, etc.

Did you have to get a special liscence from your municipality to operate out of the garage?

I just happen to be outside of the “town” limits and in the regional district so I am exempt from business license fees and zoning restrictions. That was pure luck but definitely made it possible to do, although a personal training studio is, I believe, much like any other home-based business or alternative care provider (massage, chiro) where you normally would have a single client at a time, therefore the rules may be slightly more relaxed than if you were planning to be a “gym”. I do have additional insurance on the premises and make sure that all my equipment is commercial-rated.

Can you compare your experience of where you worked before the garage to your experience now?

My last “job” was actually writing and graphic design (which I still do free-lance). I was working full-time and getting my PT certification at the same time – I love being able to roll out of bed and be at work in 10 minutes (or so). And having my own gym is a dream come true! Very low overhead now that it’s completely outfitted. I’m an entrepreneurial type as well, so working “for” other people has never really agreed with me.

What benefits do you and your clients see with the garage gym?

All of the above ;-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Summer News

Bootcamp on the Beach – with added early classes to suit your schedule!

Well, with the weather looking more like summer these days, we’re taking our bootcamp back to the beach! We’ve just finished the second week of our current Fitness Bootcamp Challenge – the next 4-week Challenge will start on June 1st! For those who prefer an earlier start I’ve added a 6am class to make it 3 classes/day (M/W/F) with your choice of 6 am, 7am or 7pm. Classes will be held with a minimum registration of 5 - call me at 604-886-3114 for more info – register early as spaces fill up fast!

Pay-What-You-Can Bootcamp Sundays to Benefit the Gibsons Food Bank!

If you are interested in trying out a bootcamp, please join us Sundays at 11 am at Dougall Park in lower Gibsons for an hour of fun, body weight exercises. This class will continue through August with proceeds benefiting the Gibsons Food Bank (administered by the Salvation Army). Anyone interested is invited to attend—non-perishable food items accepted! Please email me at for more information or if you would like to pre-register! Drop-ins are also welcome.

Yoga Continuing Through the Summer

Yoga with Tania Flynn continues Thursday evenings from 7 – 8:15 pm. Please call 604-886-3114 or email me at to pre-register as space is limited. Tania is leading a very relaxing and invigorating restorative yoga class once a month—with the next one scheduled for this upcoming Thursday—May 21st.

Please check my website for info on other classes and/or personal training – have a great Spring/Summer and I hope to see you soon!

Music events:

I will be performing JAZZ next weekend (May 22nd and 23rd) at Sailor Dans across from the Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons. Please call 604 886-9112 to reserve. Accompanying me will be JJ on keys/bass and Paul Steenhuis on guitar/bass – come and check out the fabulous tapas menu and some great jazz!

On Saturday, June 6th I’ll be at Gramma’s Pub in lower Gibsons as part of the Gibsons Jazz Festival – joining me will be Sacha Fassaert – guitar/bass, Paul Steenhuis guitar/bass, and Doug Howden on drums,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

May 10 – Move For Health Day launches Pay-What-You-Can Bootcamp Sundays in Gibsons!

About Move for Health Day

The World Health Organization urges its member states to promote Move for Health Day annually to raise awareness of physical activity as essential to health and well-being.
Since 2002, the World Health Organization has promoted Move for Health Day (MFHD) as a global day of physical activity. The BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) and partners have led this initiative to bring awareness and life to this campaign in BC. May 10, Move for Health Day, is now a contributing factor to the province's efforts to meet the 20% physical activity goal for a healthier BC in 2010. The day has captured the imaginations of many and is becoming a launching pad for summer activity routines.

Last year, approximately 68,026 British Columbians from all corners of the Province got moving on Move for Health Day. Through the efforts of community programmers and leaders and many other motivated individuals our goal for 2009 is to have 200 events registered and 70,000 British Columbians getting active!

Pay-What-You-Can Boot Camp – Affordable Fitness for All to Benefit the Gibsons Food Bank

This year, as part of the Move For Health Day I'm inviting everyone to participate in a Pay-What-You-Can Boot Camp workout at 11 am on Sunday, May 10th at Dougall Park in lower Gibsons. This bootcamp will continue on Sundays through the summer with proceeds benefiting the Gibsons Food.

Get Fit and Help the Gibsons Food Bank - If funds are tight, this boot camp is a great way to get in a weekend workout for little to no money… it’ll include lots of great body-weight moves that require no equipment and can be done anytime, anywhere! And, for those who have been thinking of giving a bootcamp a try but want to find out what it’s all about, It’s a great way to get a taste of boot camp in the great outdoors without making a big time or money commitment—it will also benefit the Gibsons Food Bank with cash donations or contributions of non-perishable food items.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To Cleanse, or not to Cleanse

I was at a fitness networking event some time ago and met a woman who, as well as being a personal trainer, was touting the virtues of some particular "cleanse" -- and, it sounded to me, making a good portion of her income, selling it to her clients and anyone else who would listen. "You carry so many pounds of undigested matter in your intestines"... "need to rid the body of toxins".... and so on, and so on...

I recieved emails for months attempting to entice me into trying it and I think I finally blocked her email address because 1) this hard-sell approach to marketing just does not sit well with me and 2) I haven't heard any empirical evidence to support the necessity for "cleansing" or "detoxifying".

I have a very forward-thinking MD (she keeps herself well informed on alternative therapies) and I spoke to her briefly about it and she echoed my feeling that there were no studies to suggest that there was any need for any of these (sometimes expensive) therapies. I also have a client who is a doctor who advised that many of these cleanses simply act as laxatives and posited that Metamucil would work just as well for a fraction of the cost.

I have no doubt that eating a healthy diet that limits things like saturated fats, sugar, alcohol, processed meats; and advocates lots of raw fruits and vegetables will help anyone feel better and aid in weight loss. I also feel that, for most people, the occasional "fast" (choose any one you like--one-day lemon water, all grapefruit for a week, pureed soups for a month) would make one feel lighter (you would definately lose weight though you may also be malnourished) and is probably not harmful... but I don't believe them to be necessary or beneficial in "detoxifying".

And some links that echo my thoughts on this (and yes, you will find a myriad of websites that tout the benefits of various detox cleanses--all with no empirical basis). In the end (no pun intended) it's a personal choice--me? I'll stick with the healthy eating and exercise, thanks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

***Press Release***

Verna Chan, Debra Shields, Randy Goodridge, Andrea Kobus, Matt Morris, Tania Flynn Photo by Marlene Lowden

If you’ve listened to morning show host Matt Morris on CKAY radio in the last few weeks, you’ll have heard him talking about his experiences in the 2009 Fitness Challenge Bootcamp with radio show listeners Andrea Kobus and Randy Goodridge.

After an intense six week test of stamina, strength and tenacity, the victor has been determined in the Challenge Bootcamp presented by The Garage Private Personal Training Studio and CKAY Radio. The contestants, Andrea Kobus and Randy Goodridge, secured their spots in February by calling CKAY during the morning show, and then having their names drawn to workout with Matt at the Garage three times a week for a six week period that ended on Friday, March 13.

Both contestants were weighed and measured and tested on strength and endurance at the start of the competition and again on the final day. During their 6-weeks of training, Andrea, Randy and Matt, were put through the paces by BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer Verna Chan with agility, strength, core and cardio drills. Friday the 13th turned out to be lucky for Randy Goodridge who “inched” out his competitor by showing the greatest overall improvement to secure first place. In addition to making major gains in his fitness level, Randy jogs away with a Secret Soak Package from The Rockwater Resort, a natural fibre hoody from Windsong Gallery in Sechelt, a $100 gift certificate from Romantique in Lower Gibsons, and 4 hours of housekeeping services from Blissful Homecare in Gibsons. Runner-up, Andrea Kobus, who also showed considerable fitness improvements, recieves a $50 gift certificate from Pack Ratt Louie’s Grill in Gibsons.

Indoor and outdoor bootcamps continue at the Garage with a new six-week challenge which began on March 16th and another starting in April – call the Garage at 604-886-3114 for more information.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fitness Bootcamp Challenge

Matt, Me, Tania, Randy, Debra, Andrea...
I think I have the best job in the world!

We went to the pub after the end of the last class of our Fitness Bootcamp Challenge to celebrate with a bevy. Yes, that is rather like jogging to the pub, but, after working so hard for the past 6 weeks, this group deserved it!

The results everyone got were truly impressive! They lost inches, gained strength, improved core and endurance... and enjoyed some camaraderie through this adventure. Congratulations to all of them. The winner will be announced Monday (16th) morning just after the 8am news on
CKAY Radio (you can hear them online at that link). Thanks again to The Rockwater Resort, Windsong Gallery in Sechelt, Romantique in lower Gibsons, Blissful Home Care and Pack Ratt Louie’s Grill for donating some fabulous prizes for the event! And thanks to Matt Morris of CKAY Radio for being as enthusiastic in his participation as his promotion of this event.

Tania Flynn, who teaches yoga at The Garage on Thursday evenings, and has had a lot of experience teaching bootcamps in the past, has been leading the Monday evening class and it's been great to have her expertise--she's also a big fan of working outdoors (rain or shine as in previous posts) so she led the group for a great (and very wet) session in lower Gibsons as well as a very scenic and enjoyable session through Sechelt with a tough section up the hill to Chat. Secondary. I look forward to her participation in upcoming bootcamps!

Monday is also the beginning of another round of the Bootcamp Challenge! I'll have morning and evening classes going and expect we'll be heading outdoors a little more once the weather warms up... (or at least the snow disappears). What happened to Spring?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Can't go wrong with babies and puppies!

Molly is a frequent Garage visitor...
Yes, all sorts of celebrities work out (or, as in Molly's case, hang out!) at The Garage. She even has her own Facebook--friend her here!

Here's a great article from K9 Magazine on how having a pet helps you get in shape and live longer!:

Friday, March 06, 2009

Spring Alert!

It's been feeling like spring with the sun shining and the crocuses daring to show themselves through the still-freezing ground!

We're almost into the 6th week of our first Fitness Challenge Bootcamp with CKAY Radio morning host Matt Morris, and CKAY winners Randy Goodridge and Andrea Kobus, who are all reporting great improvements in strength and stamina since beginning the class! Congratulations to all of them for working so hard--rain and shine--they're all winners! It still remains to be seen who will come out showing the best improvement--that person will walk away with the Secret Soak package from the Rockwater Resort, a natural fibre hoody from Windsong Gallery in Sechelt, 4 hours of housekeeping services courtesy of Blissful Home Care in Gibsons and a $100 Gift Certificate from Romantique in Lower Gibsons! One week to go!

The 6-week Fitness Challenge Bootcamp is a great way to get in shape for spring. It includes pre and post bootcamp fitness assessments, lots of one-on-one guidance to accomodate any fitness level, indoor and outdoor elements to give lots of variety and keep you on your toes, and a mix of calesthenic moves, endurance, agility training and stretching.

If you'd like to participate, give me a call--I'm offering morning and evening Bootcamp classes (7 am or 7 pm) 3 days a week. The next class starts March 16!

I'm also teaching a class called Butts & Guts at the Gibsons & Area Recreation Centre. In this class I do some overall strengthening and cardio with a focus on (as the title describes ;-) butts and guts... you can sign up for the next session which starts March 9, at the rec. centre or on-line at

As there is only 1 Butts & Guts class/week offered at the Rec. Centre and people have expressed interest in doing the class twice a week, I am offering the option of doing a class on Thursday evenings (5:30 - 6:30) in my studio on Veterans Road. Please contact me if you are interested in attending this class.

Yoga with Tania Flynn continues on Thursday evenings from 7 pm to 8:15 pm--if you're interested in attending please sign up before the start of the month as space is limited!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What to do with all that baby weight!

Baby lunges and baby crunches...

A fond farewell to Pauline & Patricia!

Patricia is the daughter of my oldest (in terms of longest time with me, that is!) client. She had a baby last year and has been coming to the gym with her mom and the baby since soon after she delivered. We've been finding creative uses for Pauline (baby) as she (like her mom) doesn't like to sit still and is seldom happy just watching from her baby chair!

Patricia leaves with Pauline to her new home abroad today--I'll miss them both and wish them a good journey!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Yes, it's been a while since I last posted here. I've been busy. Fall was a blur of music events (we did a local version of Idol that was a big hit and ran for 10 weeks!), the holiday season and a LOT of snow (for our area)--which put quite a damper on everything pretty much--holiday parties with friends, Christmas shopping... getting out of the drive-way.

Nevertheless, the roof did not collapse under the weight of the snow, we managed to have a lovely Christmas dinner with friends at home and a relatively quiet New Year's Eve at a local restaurant... and now it's... March! Sheesh!

I had an idea for a Fitness Challenge and proposed it to the local radio Station CKAY -- they were excited to do it and offered up Matt Morris, their morning show host, to do it with a couple of listeners and their progress is being tracked on-air.

We're heading into week 5 and it's been a lot of fun... and some not-so-fun as it is 3 days a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) and I've given our Monday sessions over to Tanya Flynn who teaches yoga in my studio and also has a lot of Bootcamp experience--she is leading those sessions outside in different locations and last week it rained buckets while we were outside.

(Wet pushups on a bench in Lower Gibsons--yick!)

Everyone was quite happy with our inside "weights" day the following Wednesday... especially as the ground outside was, once again, covered with snow!

The class is a competition between the 2 listeners (in previous pic on either end). At the end of the six-week session we'll be doing some measurements and testing to see who has the most improvement--and it will be very interesting to see as these 2 are on total opposites of the scales. The winner gets a nice package of a night at a local resort spa, cleaning services, etc.

That's it for now--I will (honestly!) start to post more!