Thank You for Sharing the Love!

July was an absolutely amazing month for feeling the social media love and support. I am constantly taken back by your following, sharing, and blog/twitter love. Thank you everyone who has read my blog and checked out my nomination in the Genuine Health Inner Champion Contest. My blog has just been nominated as Best Health Magazine’s Fitness Blog of 2013, so my ask for your support continues.

Best Health Magazine Blog of the Year!
I am now further honoured to have learned today that my blog has been nominated by Best Health Magazine in their Best Blogs of 2013 contest. There are some amazing blogs on this list and it is very heart warming to see my name. I have loved sharing my passion for healthy, active living with you and have learned so much from what you have taken the time to share back. If you have a second please continue to share the love by clicking here and giving my blog your vote! http://www.besthealthmag.ca/special-features/bh-blog-award

Taken March 2012, this goal will become my reality!

Genuine Health Inner Champion Contest
You made over 3000 votes during July in the Genuine Health $10K Inner Champion contest and I was beyond honoured to sit in first place because of you for the past 3 weeks. The contest continues through to the end of this month, so I am asking for this love and support to continue. You can vote daily here in order to help me make my fitness dream of opening an indoor cycling & yoga studio a reality. Sweating for social good is my intention behind Tribe, as we not only build community through fitness but we support the community. For more details & to vote click here: http://www.genuinehealth.com/innerchampion/heather-gardner/

Thank you everyone for your support and generous giving of your time to voting. Both contests take mere seconds to complete (nothing to fill in) and your actions are deeply appreciated.

You are my Tribe, my community, my network, and my fitness family.
Thank you for your continued support.

Building My Tribe – I need your help!

Physical activity has always been part of my life. Not in an over explicit way, as in “hey, let’s go for a bike ride because it’s healthy”, but in a “hey, let’s go for a bike ride because that’s what we like to do” – we grew up as active kids and as habit has it, my sister and I are very active adults. My dad continues to be an active role model (he’s walking the entire Bruce Trail) and being on the move is our way of life.

When I was in high school I fell in love with fitness, I still played spots, but loved working out, loved moving and grooving and feeling strong. I looked forward to heading to the Hamilton YWCA Saturday mornings with my mum for aerobics (this was the 90s) and that’s definitely when and where my love for fitness grew. I got my group fitness certification, indoor cycling certificates, water aerobics certifications, and started leading classes right away – I loved it.  I loved inspiring and motivating others, challenging people to be their best self, live their best life, but even more, I loved the community that I became apart of  – my Tribe.

On March 17, 2012 I said this goal out loud. photo(26)It actually really scared me in spite of being something I had always wanted to do. I sat thinking “is this seriously what I’m going to write down, but then people will know”. Growing up I didn’t really know anyone who owned their own studio – I had no clue how to do it? is this even a “real” job? So I tucked that thought away, but as most you know it was never  far from my mind.

Moving to Toronto in 2010 showed me that yes it is totally doable and a real job! I met some amazingly fierce females who were following their dreams and I realized I can do it too – in fact I am!

My new goal is to open Tribe, an indoor cycling and yoga studio here in the heart of TO and I plan to do it next year (a year earlier, but hey why wait!). My goal is to build a fitness community, a supportive and inclusive studio where everyBODY belongs. A studio that is an electric filled energy mood lift – whether it’s a cardio party high and a calming yoga zen.

So I need your help.

I am currently in a contest through Genuine Health that will fund me 10K to make this fitness dream come true. All you need to do is vote – once a day. Nothing to fill in, just click the link and click vote!

Here’s the link. Please vote, share,  feel my gratitude, then get a sweat on when we open – and believe me you’ll know when that happens!

http://www.genuinehealth.com/innerchampion/heather-gardner/

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. – Jane Howard

Studio Review: Movemeant

IMG_2595Last weekend (Saturday, Jan 5) I had the pleasure of attending two opening weekend classes at movemeant, Toronto’s newest Cycling, TRX, and Gravity studio. Opened by Queen st. w. lululemon alumni ambassador Matt Kenny, the studio blends the most current in boutique fitness trends with the lofty heritage building feel of Queen West (the studio is located at 777 Richmond Street West (Loft #2026); look for the giant metal doors).

Movemeant specializes in indoor cycling, TRX, Gravity, and ashtanga yoga, and all classes are lead by Matt. I had the pleasure of catching a 45min sweat inducing cycling class and sticking around for a glute shaking 30 minute TRX suspension training session.

IMG_2592For indoor cycling, Movemeant uses the Schwinn AC Sport bike which I can honestly say are the smoothest and quietest ride I’ve ever had.  These bikes are top of the line as they use a magnetic disc for resistance which drops closer to the flywheel with ever turn of the tension dial without ever touching, this is what keeps the ride so smooth. At some quiet points in the class you could actually hear the purring of the wheels – it was awesome! Matt taught as his usual amazing self. He blends a fusion of yoga and self-reflection concepts with cycling motivation and excitement- he has a very strong following within the Toronto fitness community. His tough love style – “if you’re not adding on tension, you might as well be sitting on the couch” – motivates his followers and challenges you to turn up that dial and leave it on the floor! With a great selection of music, clear directions and safety cues, and challenging profiles, it’s no wonder these classes were sold out within days.

One interesting feature to the cycling class is that you need to bring your own set of headphones to plug directly into the bike.  All music and the instructors microphone are played through your headphones which gives you  full control of the volume.  Many riders loved this idea. I found it slightly isolating, as I love to “wooo” when asked how I’m feeling. The headphones made it feel like I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) do that.

The true perk of the ride came afterwards when Matt  passed out cold facecloths  that had been soaked in eucalyptus and bergamot – a wonderful treat after a very sweaty ride

IMG_2593Later I attended a TRX class. I’m very familiar with the TRX program and enjoyed the challenge that Matt offered. In classes at other studios I often found that variety in skills was lacking and that the class was tailored to more general fitness levels.  Matt was able to differentiate the class for all levels and with only 6 suspension straps each participant can get the attention (and challenge) they need.

The studio is small, but very stylish. They do not have “change rooms” but do offer change stalls (note: they do not have showers). They do offer plenty of storage space for your belonging during class (no lockers, but lots of racks and cubbies). For a small fee you can rent clip shoes for cycling as well as hand towels. Matt has done a great job of maximizing space, and creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere that is guaranteed to kick your butt!

Movemeant offers nearly 30 classes a week on evenings and weekend. With rates that are comparable to other local studios. With drop-in and multi-class packages, you’ll definitely be able to find something that meets your needs, so be sure to check them out!