Laurie Zonneveld, Personal Trainer

I have always been an active person, playing multiple sports growing up and “adventuring” outdoors.  I enjoy pushing my body to its limits while testing the strength of my mind.  The body can do amazing things it is a machine and is designed to work.  The struggle is getting the mind to believe that you are capable of that work.

The mind-body relationship is the basis for my beginnings as an exercise specialist.  I have a BA in Psychology and found myself putting it to good use as a corporate sales rep post-graduation in 2008.  For four years I was working in a job that I was not passionate about and in fact was diagnosed with depression during this time.  I left this position in 2012 and set out to get healthy and find my passion.  Using exercise as a tool to combat my depression, I found that the concept of “exercise as medicine” and health as a preventative notion rather than a treatment once ill was something I wanted to pursue.  I started my second degree back at the University of Winnipeg in 2013 and this past June graduated with a BSc in Exercise Science.

What Inspires Me?– Other people’s success inspires me! I love helping clients set goals and watch them progress to achieve them.  I’m also so incredibly inspired when my clients have the tools and education to make informed decisions about “fad” health claims, diets and plans.  There is a lot of (mis)information out there about fitness and health in general, so I try to answer questions and educate clients based on scientific evidence.  Everyone is different and everyone is going to choose what the best health plan is for them, but if I can educate and inform my clients so they make choices that promote a happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle then I know I’ve done my job.

What have I learned?- I have learned that as an instructor you really need to get inventive and be able to think on your feet.  Fitness programs constantly need to be progressed or regressed based on injury, ability and confidence in ability.  I have also found that everyone has a different motivating factor.  I like to try to get to know clients on a more personal basis, mostly because I like to get to know people, but also because it really helps to figure out how to motivate and encourage them during a program.

Future Plans?– All my life my dad has taken me on outdoor “adventures”.  We’ve skiied the Rockies, camped and paddled the Winnipeg River system and throughout Nopiming, received our sea kayaking certifications, hiked throughout the Whiteshell, and mountaineered through the Wapta Icefields.  These types of adventures have provided me with such a love for the outdoors that I’d really like to provide the same type of experiences to other young people who may otherwise not have the opportunity.  I am not exactly sure on the logistics of this plan, but it is a plan I am passionate about and have been dreaming of since prior to my start in this career.