This photo is taken at YVR September 1st 2015. I am standing with my Aunt Rita (76) who bears the most responsibility for getting me into health and fitness.
When I was young she worked as a researcher for the military testing athletes and soldiers in fitness related studies and she told me all about these fascinating studies. She bought me a tennis racket and used to teach me how to play (I never was any good).
In her 40’s she took up running and ran many marathons and half marathons. She continues to run to this day.
When I was in my teens she became an aerobics instructor and took up weight training. When I was 15 she took me to my first gym “Joe’s Gym” in Toronto. I was too young to actually train there but Joe the owner allowed me in as long as I stayed with my Aunt. All the big body builder types thought it was cute that the scrawny young kid was working out with his Aunt.
She took me to see a body building competition. I read all her Muscle & Fitness magazines.
When I was in my 30’s she became a CanFit Pro certified personal trainer. When I decided to do the BCRPA equivalent she bought me the ACE text book to study from. I scored 100% on the test.
I have had a lot of mentors & support along the way but as far as role models go my Aunt has been the greatest of these.
When she retired she only got busier. A typical day would include a morning run, a trip to the gym, dance class, etc. I’m a lay about but she is constantly in motion. she has never looked or acted her age. It is an inspiring example that I hope to live up to!
No she has never tried CrossFit but she is visiting Vancouver for 3 weeks so you never know. Regardless, you will feel her spirit and inspiration in everything that we do in our little box on Dunbar Street!
Hello Corey and Ritva! It was very nice to find the charming photo of you both on this site. And your story about Ritva’s influence on your way to take care of your own and other peoples health was very touched to read.
Loving greetings for you all
Tarja and family
I hope that you and your family are well:)
Greetings to all!