Healthy Living Y Stories YMCA Health and Fitness

Chris’s quest for confidence

Personal trainer Kris helps client Chris with strength training in the Cooper Koo YMCA weight room

Chris’s fitness journey started as a preoccupation with his weight. But once he lost over 80 pounds, he realized what he’d really gained from working with his personal trainer Kris: a newfound confidence, a love for running, and a role model who inspired him to become a fitness instructor himself. Here’s Chris’s Y Story:

I was very active as a kid, but it was hard to keep that up once I started university, and especially after I graduated and began working. The weight I put on started to bother me more and more, until eventually, it was all I thought about. I knew I needed to do something before it was too late.

I realized getting healthy wouldn’t be as simple as just going to the gym. So I figured if I hired a personal trainer, they could educate me about fitness, remind me why I wanted to pursue it, and hold me accountable to my goals.

After my very first session with Kris, I knew I had been matched with the right trainer. He clearly knew what he was talking about; rather than just walking me through workout routines he made up without my input, Kris would take the time to teach me why I was doing these particular moves and how to do them right, so I always got the most out of each session. Eventually, I went from 256 pounds down to 170. I’ve never felt better, and my family and friends have all noticed how much more confident I am.

In addition to helping me a lot with strength training, Kris basically introduced me to cardio. We started off simple, but as we progressed, I developed a real love for running. Now, I’m doing three-hour marathons!

The best part about training with Kris is the motivating atmosphere he creates. He can easily adjust my workout depending on the energy I bring to the gym, and always knows how to turn around what would have otherwise been a “meh” workout. I know I’m not just a client to him; we’ve become friends, and because of that, I know he wants the best for me and he’ll push me until I get there.

Kris inspires me to be the best version of myself—not just in terms of my health, but overall as a person. Seeing his love for what he does made me want to give back too, which is why I’m now a volunteer at the Y. I teach group fitness classes and even have a strong following of regulars who come work out with me all the time! It’s safe to say Kris has changed my life in ways I never even thought possible.