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In Focus | Personal Trainer Giles Weeden of GoodLife Fitness

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.

What is your name?
Giles Weeden

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I am originally from a town in the UK just south of London. I arrived in Kelowna 5 years ago.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My girlfriend Svan; we moved to Kelowna together. It was an adventure coming here from Europe because we had never heard of Kelowna before. When we took an RV trip from Whitehorse to Vancouver in 2011 we passed through Kelowna. It offered an amazing lifestyle – both Summer and Winter. We love the outdoors and so we decided to move here and did. The rest is history! Kelowna must be the best-kept secret in the world.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Argentina. Snowboarding, steak, and wine sound like a pretty awesome combination to me. Then back to Kelowna!

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
One BoardShop. I try not to go there too often this time of the year as it tends to be a very “expensive” visit as I love what they sell and the service is excellent.

What is your favourite activity?
Snowboarding through Black & Blue Glades at Big White on a powder day.

If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
Homemade pizza – hands down, no contest.

What is a hidden gem you enjoy in the Okanagan?
Enderby Cliffs Provincial Park. It’s a great local hike just 80 minutes out of downtown Kelowna. We often pick up our friends dog (“rent-a-puppy”) and escape to a good uphill climb with amazing views.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
I think the most embarrassing thing will actually happen next year. I have a bet with a friend and if I lose (which it looks like I will) I will have to sing at his wedding - I cannot sing a note, he gets to choose the song. He has mentioned “I’m a Barbie Girl”. Oh boy, it’s gonna be bad.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
A 16-day 700km backcountry canoe trip up the Yukon River. Truly life changing for a “once upon a time” Finance Director from London. It changed how I view life and what I can achieve if I put my mind to it.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
My Mum and Dad taking in a neighbour’s dog that was to become our family pet for the next 15 years.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I have two clients who are RCMP Officers. The work they do in our local community is invaluable and makes anything that I do pale by comparison. Through my work, I have been a proud supporter of The GoodLife Kids Foundation over the past 12 months. The Foundation has already impacted the lives of over 240,000 Canadian kids through national, provincial and local programs that provide ongoing physical activity opportunities. Recently I lead a team from GoodLife Fitness Kelowna at the “Freak N Farmer” Obstacle Course race in Oliver. As well as having a fantastic day out at a terrific event, we also raised $1,125 for the Foundation. Every little bit helps.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
That fitness can be FUN and can be everyone’s “happy place”. Fitness shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist!

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
When there is no powder to be “smashed” I love to lift weights and train towards Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting or Kettlebell competitions. I am not an exceptional lifter but the challenge to better myself and to feel a part of the local lifting community in the Okanagan motivates me.

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Our rooftop hot tub which now forms a big part of our new Canadian lifestyle.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
Further investment in Kelowna’s road and parking infrastructure.

If you were granted one wish for work or in life, what would it be?
More time please!

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I am a “closet accountant”. I spent 20 years in the UK as a Chartered Accountant. I now keep spreadsheets tracking all measurable workouts with graphical visualization for all of my clients. Sad but true…

What is the name of your business/organization?
I am proud to be Personal Trainer with GoodLife Fitness here in Kelowna.

What does your business do?
I help people in the local community to achieve their fitness goals, either through one on one Personal Training, or Team (Small Group) Training. I enable and encourage them to become “fit to play” in their everyday lives.

How do people connect with you through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
It’s still early days for me and my social media presence, but please go to my Linkedin account

Where can people find your business online?
I do not currently have my own online business, but please go to goodlifefitness.com

Why did you get into/start this business?
Back in the UK, when I still lived in the “corporate world”, I fell in love with fitness through CrossFit. Several years prior I had seen my father’s own health deteriorate through rheumatoid arthritis, where he spent the last years of his life in a wheelchair. When I arrived in Kelowna an opportunity came along to start a new career in my 40s. In my new career, I get to help people achieve their fitness goals and by making them stronger and more mobile to help them avoid the same path as my father.

What is the goal of your business
To change the lives of as many people as possible. I want to inspire them to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle, and to take themselves out of their comfort zone. In our comfort zone nothing amazing will ever happen!

What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Life is all about choices. I want to help so many people but there are only 24 hours in each day, and I need my beauty sleep (or so I have been told).

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
My only small regret is that I didn’t find Kelowna sooner!

Why do you think it is important to shop local?
I strongly believe that it is important to support local businesses if we want Kelowna to be a thriving community with a growing economy and lots of development opportunities. I also want to know where the food that I eat comes from. By eating locally sourced produce I know I am rewarding my body with safe and high-quality products. For example, check out bitemeorganics.com

Give someone that you think deserves it a shout out and explain why!
My client: Jean Steeves. She has lost nearly 50lbs and can now deadlift 230lb, which is over 1.5 times her bodyweight. Not bad for a 68 years old lady! Most of all she deserves a medal for putting up with my jokes and humour for over 4 years!

My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
Guy Greavette. Guy puts a lot of his time into promoting the sport of Olympic Weightlifting in the local community. As a former Olympian himself, he is a true inspiration. His biggest praise is to say “not bad” to one of your lifts. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Other information you would like to share:
Kelowna Personal Trainer Wins National Competition

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna.


 
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