Hitting the gym to make a clean getaway

Aug 28, 2014

Erin Filliter has come to Free Form Fitness for help with her prison break.

It’s a somewhat scary proposition for the 34-year-old communications director. She’s never had the courage to attempt a prison break before. But if she wants to avoid the prison guards, she knows she must be in top shape.

We’re talking, of course, about Ottawa’s Prison Break Race, taking place in September. It’s a five-kilometre course with 15+ obstacles to overcome. Participants wear three flags, and must, between obstacles, avoid the “prison guards” who are trying to snatch them.

Erin has always tried to maintain her fitness through activities such as dancing, yoga and running, but has struggled to stay consistent over time. Last year, she left a hectic job that had put additional pressures on her already challenged exercise and nutrition routines. For six months, her life was split between Ottawa and her husband’s family in California, as they debated their next career steps and where they would live.

They did decide to remain in Ottawa, and Erin settled into a new job. But months of travelling back and forth and being hosted by family had taken its toll on her healthy eating and exercise habits. She craved a return to an established routine, but found it difficult to get started.

“I couldn’t do it on my own and I didn’t want to go to the McGyms,” she said. “ I needed help and some motivation.”

Erin had worked with a personal trainer before and found it to be a great experience. She decided to check out FFF’s Dalhousie location, which was close to home in the ByWard Market. Seven months later, she hasn’t regretted the decision.

“FFF’s friendly atmosphere and training model with two different trainers was what I needed to get going,” Erin said.

She began with a five-day-a-week routine to “kick it into high gear,” but has since settled down to three times a week. Her husband shares her membership, and comes in for the other sessions to regain the strength he lost as a result of college football and military service injuries.

“This has already put me in better shape than I ever was before exercising on my own,” Erin said. “I am learning a lot.”

Preparing for the future

Rather than focusing on pounds and inches, Erin tracks her success by how she feels and how well she is holding to her exercise and nutrition routine.

She isn’t only preparing for the Prison Break Race, she also considers it vital to be in good physical condition as she and her husband consider having children.

“I am preparing my body for the future,” Erin said. “I see this as an investment in my future family … If we are going to have kids, it’s something my body needs to be ready for. And I want to be a role model for a healthy lifestyle for my family.”

It begins with knowing when it’s the right time to ask for help.

“Sometimes, you need experts to help you through,” Erin said. “If it were a mental health issue, you would seek assistance from a mental health specialist. If it were a medical issue, you would seek assistance from your doctor. So if you have issues with physical fitness, why wouldn’t you get help from a qualified personal trainer?”

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