James Ponak

In May of 2013, Tanja Shaw came to a luncheon that my employer organized, and they had her talk about health and fitness. When she walked up to the front, I noticed how fit she was, and I thought, “I want to be fit!”
I had been a long-distance runner, but could not get rid of the extra weight I carried, or the bad habits that kept me “chubby”. I decided that I needed to join Ascend Fitness, and invest in my health to become a fit person.
Since May I have been attending Ascend small group training, two days a week. I’ve noticed something greater than the 10lbs and two inches off my waist. I now have a mindset of health and fitness. Tanja, and her great team of Gord, Jane, and Cynthia, have created a fitness and health culture. Besides the fitness classes that are really “shaping” me, and pushing me, I receive informative emails on how to think and live healthy, and I get invited to go hiking on weekends.
I joined Ascend with weight loss at the forefront of my mind, but I’ve noticed that I have more energy, I use my core muscles when I lift things, and I sleep better, too! Lastly, I’m at a point where I see how the Ascend team has helped me, but I’m realizing how much this saying is true: “You get out of it what you put into it.” My investment, along with Tanja and her team’s accountability, is really causing me to change my eating habits, because I don’t want to go back to being chubby, tired, and disappointed with my self-image.
I haven’t arrived, but I really, really feel like I’m on my way to a great place in my life! By the way, I just did a half- marathon in August, and my Ascend training helped me go from 2:12 to 2:06- 6 minutes off last year’s time! Next race: Run For Water in May 2014…under 2hrs baby!!!

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