There is a great mantra that we often use at TWIST that says:

Taking care of yourself, being accountable to your own health, wellness and fitness, and setting yourself up for success is infectious. Others recognize it, people respect it, and everyone is affected by it. Being a leader of one sets the tone for others and soon they will follow your example. This is how a movement begins.

TODD PELLY

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

Leader of one to me means holding true to my core values. My core values are what defines me and they guide every decision I make in life.

Putting myself first- in a convoluted way, by putting my ultimate needs first, I’ve actually taken a large step backwards in this regard so I can put more important things like my practice, kids and family ahead of my own needs. This will pay off in the long term however, as I will have a stronger relationship with my kids and wife as well as having a good name in my profession. It’s a sacrifice well worth making in the medium term for long term success and personal fulfillment. In this same vein, I work out at TWIST to make everything I do more effective. When I exercise, my relationships are stronger and my business is more productive. I’m happier and have a better self esteem when I exercise, and that permeates every aspect of my life.

My why – my kids. I work hard and exercise so that they have a positive role model who will live a longer, stronger life.

AMANDA BABIC

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

I want to be proud of the life I’ve lived and I want to have fun living it. I live in the most beautiful place on this planet, my husband and I have 4 kids who all love sports of some sort, and we want to show them that being strong makes life so much easier to live.

Whether its carrying 7 bags of groceries on one arm or climbing a mountain, our bodies are our machines that allow us to to do the things we want to do. I want to grow old with a body that works well, that can withstand trauma and battle disease. I want a mind and body that can try new things and not be afraid. I want to be afraid and know that I can pull myself through.

To me, a “Leader of One” means that I have the responsibility to inspire myself to be the greatest ME I can be. Mahatma Ghandi said “Be the change you wish to see in this world”, it is a quote that I love, and I believe that it can be / it has to be applied to ourselves first, to be the change we want to see in ourselves

DON KWASNYCIA

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

Leader of One, that’s a phrase that really hits home for me. I am 64 and live with Type 2 diabetes. I have witnessed many friends and colleagues sit at home and remember how they once loved to dance but can’t anymore, loved to golf but can’t walk the course, loved to ski but don’t have the stamina. I decided to take control of my life and be proactive in exercise and making healthy choices to improve my quality of life before my doctor forces me to or worse yet, I have a stroke or heart attack.

Too many of my friends have suffered debilitating illnesses and even death due to not keeping active and watching their health. How can you preach to your children to make healthy choices if you can’t do it for yourself.

Get up off the couch and take the first step, all the other steps will follow, enjoy the journey and become your Leader of One.

MICHELLE KASPRZAK

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

For me being a leader of one means honoring the opportunity I have to be my best self-everyday. It means sharing positive energy and recognizing that what I choose to say, do and whom I choose to spend my time with matters. It means living my life with my values and actions in alignment.

I am a super blessed mother of two beautiful little girls, a passionate High School Health and Physical Education teacher, Coach and Trainer. I have the incredibly fortunate opportunity every day as an educator and coach to be surrounded by inspiring young people. I want my students to always know and understand that they were made to be Amazing!

Sport and physical activity have always been an integral part of my life. The connections I have made with people through this and the valuable life skills I have developed because of these opportunities have helped to define who I am today as a Woman, and for that I am always grateful. I truly believe that when we fill our life with healthy hobbies and amazing and positive people who inspire and challenge us, it makes it so much easier to be our best.

Since my girls were just babies I have told them every time I leave the house that mummy is going to train, to play, to run, etc. so that I can feel Healthy, Happy, Beautiful and Strong. One day when my oldest daughter was just one and sitting in her high chair I was getting ready to leave to go train at TWIST and I leaned in to give her a kiss goodbye. When I stood up she raised her little arms above her head and cheered, saying in her little voice Healthy, Happy, STRONG! I cried tears of joy in that moment because not only did it reaffirm to me that what I do and say matters, but it filled my heart to know that as a mother I could help my daughter to be excited to feel all those things, to be all those things, and to live her life to the fullest!

Healthy, Happy, Beautiful and Strong is always my goal, it is what motivates me to be my best, it is my hope for everyone I have the honour to connect my energy with. I want to be proud of the life I’ve lived and I want to have fun living it.

GREG LOGAN

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

A number of reasons, a few are:
Daniel, is my new friend and skiing buddy. Dan, Dirty Dan, or Dan the Man is 21 years old and Autistic. Skiing with Daniel is very challenging as he has to be monitored all the time as his attention and focus is constantly changing. My responsibility is to get Daniel down the ski run in one piece and ensure he has some fun doing it.

Sarah was my skiing buddyette 2 years ago. Sarah is 15 years old, likes hot chocolate, Taylor Swift and has Downs Syndrome. My responsibility was to get Sarah safely down the ski run, make some snow angels, and have fun.

I am a Certified Level 1 instructor with CADS (Canadian Association for Disabled Skiers) and have been doing this for the last 4 years. It is imperative that I make myself a Leader of One to maintain my balance, strength and core to help my students.

I also have an awesome girlfriend that looks after herself and I have to keep up with.

LESLEY FIELDGATE

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

I was motivated to change my lifestyle in my mid twenties when I was diagnosed with MS. At that point, I focused on changing my eating habits, started working with a naturopathic doctor and taking nutritional supplements.

Twenty years later I had a relapse that set me back again. I then added yoga, hiking, and cycling into my daily routine in hopes to reducing the chances of another relapse.

Another ten years is where I am now and everything is pretty well balanced in my life. I started working with a personal trainer at TWIST a year and a half ago and it has taken me to the next level of fitness and self-awareness. Through my journey to optimal health I didn’t realize the major impact of significantly improving my fitness level would have. I have TWIST to thank for that!

It has given me the confidence to be strong not only for my long term health but to be able to live my daily life to the fullest and continue to better myself every day. I need to be strong and fit to not only look after myself and my daughter but also my wonderful aging parents.

…And also to be able to carry several bottles of wine at the same time! Ha!

LYNN FENTON

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

Running became a part of who I am during final exams in fourth year and forty-one years later it is still a vital part of my life. My husband of 33 years and our two sons have never known me not to be a runner. They watch me go out onto the trails with my running buddies of 15 years even on those dark and stormy October mornings. No excuses! We’re 50/60 somethings and those runs have afforded us a special supportive friendship through the ups and downs of life.

My husband is my co-leader and we believe in being active and together led our family into experiencing the outdoors of the North Shore through skiing, mountain biking and hiking. We hoped by our example that our sons would also become passionate about the outdoors and have it become a part of who they are in life.

We get excited when they’re excited about heading out!

SUZANNE MCFAYDEN

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

For me being a leader of one means honoring the opportunity I have to be my best self-everyday. It means sharing positive energy and I did not want to be the mum who couldn’t keep up with their kid. A bout of depression left me out of shape and to be honest a bit lost in my own life. When I joined Twist, I had already started on the path to getting myself back to being ‘me’ but had no idea the change in journey that it turned out to be. Who knew that I would not only would I find a level of fitness that I didn’t know was in me but a place of such acceptance for every shape, size and ability. Additionally, I have a group of new friends who are there to cheer on the success and also to give encouragement for those days when the stress of family, career, and life are pulling you down.

To me a Leader of One means that you accept who you are regardless of whether it doesn’t add up to what society things is perfect. “Strong like bull, run like tractor” – I am still not fast but I am strong and that strength in mind and body has convinced me to no longer be afraid of life but to get out there and live it. And yes I can keep up with my kid

DOMINIQUE FALLS

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

That’s an easy one to answer: social justice.

I am lucky enough to have grown up in a time when girls around me were jumping into activities with both feet. You name, I played it. But it wasn’t long before I heard things like “oh, it’s just girls’ soccer” or “you’re pretty good, for a girl.” As I write this, it has been no more than 24 hours since somebody used gender to describe my skills, my ability, and worst of all, my body. So, why do I train? Because women need to know what it feels like to be fast and strong. And, because women need to lead by example – to show that gender has no bearing on living a healthy and active lifestyle.

TIM SARNA

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

I am a Leader of One for my family; my wife Lisa, my son Andrew and daughter Ally. They are the ones that drive me everyday to be the best, at home and at work. We have always been an active family, spending time at the cottage and for the kids playing hockey. My goal is to make sure that I have many years ahead to continue to enjoy my family.

I believe in order to be a “Leader of One”, you have to take care of your mind and body. Several years ago, I realized I was neglecting my body and began a journey to change. I have gone from being in the worst shape to being in the best shape of my life. It has made me a better husband and father. Twenty years from now, my plan is to be as active as I am today.

In order to lead others, you must begin by being a “Leader of One”. It means continually pushing yourself when being average is the easier choice. A quote by Anson Dorrance that my daughter shared with me that embodies being a “Leader of One” – “The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at a point of exhaustion when no one else is watching” – replace champion with “Leader of One”.

ANNA DEMPSTER

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

When I was younger, not only was I obese, but I was a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. I was constantly trying to conform to what my peers wanted me to be, what society told me I needed to be, and what I felt would make me happy. However, once I realized I would never ‘fit in’ I decided that the only other option was to stand out.
To me, being a strong, bad@$$ female is what sets my soul on fire. In a society where being skinny and feminine are highly praised, I want more. I work to defy social standards and break away from gender roles, in order to pursue what makes me happy. I am a leader of one because I am not afraid to make a statement in a world that tries to silence my voice.

“When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do” –Rupaul

JOANNE & ROB FRANCE

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

2017 was the year Rob and I became leaders not only for ourselves but for our family.

We were your typical inactive couple less than 1 year ago. We had a diet high in fat, sugar, and fast food. We were overweight, over-tired and certified couch potatatoes! My mom had fallen and broken her hip and watching her struggle to even learn to get up out of a chair was difficult. Driving up in front of Twist that first day in January was scary. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do the workout physically.  Truthfully I was embarrassed by the condition I had allowed myself to get in. That day was life changing! I have met the most encouraging, supportive people.  Personally I have lost 53 pounds, 4 sizes and am the strongest I have ever been.  Rob has lost about 10 pounds, 2 sizes and gained a significant amount of muscle! We try to plan out our weekly menus to make grocery shopping faster and easier. It helps to avoid the fall back into the old habit of fast food. Our family all participated in a run in June- 2 of us completed a half marathon, 2 of us 10km, and several more participated in the 5km run. Our middle son is currently training for a marathon in May with the hope that he’ĺl qualify for Boston in 2019. Date night for us has changed from a weekly outing at a local restaurant to a Wednesday night HIT class! We still go out for dinner occasionally but we choose carefully off the menu. Our friends and family all know not much gets in the way of our workout schedule… some don’t understand it but thats OK. We are now teaching our grown kids that it’s important to make time for yourself that’s what actually gives us the energy to take care of the people that we love.

We are healthier, happier, stronger and more confident.

Joanne and Rob France;

ANDREW PRIMMER

I’M A LEADER OF ONE BECAUSE…

I have a responsibility to more than just myself.

I am a single parent to two young girls that look to me to be the guide on their journey. Part of that is a balanced lifestyle where an emphasis is put on physical fitness and participation in sports. They look to me to help make healthy choices and to educate ourselves on healthy nutrition. They also take lessons on the importance of not giving up when the path before you is hard.

I could have found many reasons to give up on a path to a healthier lifestyle. Debilitating orthopedic injuries brought me here in the first place that was an obstacle to my path. If I was going to give up because it was too hard, I couldn’t be a leader to them, I couldn’t even lead myself! Thanks to the Steve and the rest of the team helping to motivate me and make me accountable when at times I wanted to give up, I am now a leader of one!

The truth is when you are a leader of one, others naturally want to follow. It begins with the decision that I WILL NOT GIVE UP TODAY…