Dianna Bonder Spotlighted Member at Gabriola Fitness
Member Spotlight

Meet Dianna Bonder …

The hurtles she’s overcome and her accomplishments would grab anyone’s attention. She’s become dedicated to her workout routines – and it shows!! She agreed to let me interview her and take her picture in hopes that her story will inspire someone to make that first scary step in the direction of achieving physical fitness. She wants you to know that it’s possible for you too.

How long have you had a regular exercise routine?

I have been going to the gym for approx. 2 years now. Prior to that I had no regular exercise routine and had never been to a gym.

How old were you when you started?

I was 48 years old when I started

How old are you now?

I am now 50 years old (though I still feel like I am 12)

How many days per week do you go to the gym for your workouts?

I generally go to the gym 5 days a week first thing in the morning. 

How long is your average workout session?

My average session runs approx. 1.5 hours

Did a coach or a personal trainer help you develop your exercise routine?  If not, how did you learn it?  If so, how long did you work with a coach or personal trainer before you felt ready to branch out on your own?

Initially I started working out on my own for a few months but didn’t have a good sense of what to do in the gym. I primarily used the elliptical and not much else.  I then worked with Jo Jeff for a few sessions to develop a workout routine with power lifting. This was absolutely money well spent as it gave me focus and an understanding of what I was doing and trying to accomplish. After a year and a half I began working with Tasha to help take my workouts to the next level. Currently I weight train three times a week on my own and work with Tasha two times a week. 
What was it like coming to the gym for the first time?

When I first started at the gym I was really hesitant to even step foot inside the doors! I had huge misconceptions about the gym culture that might exist in there! I imagined all sorts of intense, gym-fit radicals and worried I would feel completely out of place! What I discovered was a space with people of all ages and outlooks, trainers who understood and cared about the individuals and their personal journey’s and a deeply supportive group of fellow gym go-ers!! From day one I felt like I actually had a shot at reaching my health and fitness goals!

What would you say the benefits are to having a regular exercise routine?

Dianna Bonder performing a tricep press at Gabriola Fitness

Wow!! There are so many benefits!!!! Energy! Strength! Weight Loss! Flexibility! Endurance! And not to mention workouts are the true fountain of youth!!

What are the biggest challenges to maintaining that regular routine?

Going on the days when you just don’t feel like going. That takes mental strength and I am only JUST beginning to understand how much of it is mental conditioning. Everything else is easy!! Ha!

What advice would you give to someone to help them overcome the challenges of maintaining a regular routine?

Such a difficult question because everyone has different circumstances and different challenges. But I think for many people just getting themselves into the gym when they aren’t feeling like it can be the toughest part. Committing to a day and time that works consistently can be a big help…that way you aren’t trying to “fit it in” to your schedule. Making it the priority is hard but necessary. Having someone who challenges you to go is also a great help. And taking photos of yourself along the way so that you can see visibly the changes and progress you have made. That is a great way to kick your butt out of bed!

If someone wants to get started, but doesn’t know how to, what would you say to that person?

Make your way to the gym and meet with the trainers. Tell them what your goals are and have them develop a routine or plan for you. I think everyone starting out at the gym should work with a personal trainer for a few sessions. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get overwhelmed and then frustrated.
What is your favorite exercise?  Why? 

My favorite exercises right now are handstands and headstands! I am obsessed and working hard to master them both!

How do you feel about continuing to workout at the Gabriola Fitness Centre during the global pandemic of Covid-19?  

Jo and Tasha have done an incredible job in re-organizing the gym to accommodate the Covid requirements. I feel happy and safe and healthy whenever I am there. Everyone is very consideration and mindful of the situation and I feel so fortunate that we have the gym during these crazy and difficult times.

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