Getting Fit with ParentFit

Cheryl Borecky, owner of Go Active, has a goal. It isn’t a personal fitness goal like running a marathon or riding her bike from Vancouver to San Francisco in seven days (although she’s done both). Her goal is to help parents and families be active. A parent herself, Cheryl knows all too well the challenges involved in finding time for exercise. With a husband, three-year-old son, high-energy dog and her own thriving business, Cheryl is one busy lady. But she makes it work. And she wants to help other parents in the Bay of Quinte region find ways to stay active with their families.

Go Active is an outdoor adventure company that runs Stand Up Paddleboarding lessons and tours in the summer, snowshoe adventures in the winter, and indoor and outdoor ParentFit classes year round. All of Go Active’s programs are family-friendly, particularly the ParentFit classes, which are strength and conditioning classes just for parents.

The indoor ParentFit classes are run out of CrossFit Trent at 99 Dufferin Avenue in Trenton. Here, parents of all ages and experiences can come with or without their children for a CrossFit-style workout that focuses on functional fitness and is adaptable based on participants’ abilities and/or injuries. Cheryl coaches pregnant moms, post-natal moms who come toting newborns, and parents of toddlers and older children.

There is an area for children to play but the approach is free-range, with children often participating alongside their parents, imitating the movements. Look around the gym during any given class and you may see parents using their children as weights when doing squats, moms breastfeeding to calm crying babies, or Cheryl simultaneously coaching, bouncing babies, DJ-ing, and running the time clock, all while ensuring participants achieve an intense workout in the time they’ve carved out.

“Many moms start the classes with feelings of guilt because they are taking time to do something for themselves,” said Cheryl. “It’s amazing to see their perceptions change with time as they realize they need to take time to ‘fill their cup’ and that it is essential to do things for themselves to be good parents and spouses.”
ParentFit participant, Trish Lord, got out of the habit of being active when she went to college. Her high school days of volleyball, soccer and figure skating ended and the weight started tacking on. Year after year her weight increased until finally, at 426lbs, she made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery.

After losing some initial weight from the surgery, Trish embarked on a fitness journey through Go Active’s ParentFit classes. When she started in May 2015, she was 350lbs. Today, 16 months later, she is 200lbs.

“I credit Cheryl and her class,” said Trish. “She is so motivating. She keeps me on track.”

Trish has seen huge improvements in her everyday mobility. She used to struggle with stairs and couldn’t get up off the floor without assistance. Now she’s doing sit-ups, burpees and lifting weights. She has no problem keeping up with her kids and husband, and they can participate in activities together.

“My kids come to ParentFit with me and they love it,” said Trish. “They love to play on the rings and go on the rower. My kids see me being active and they know it’s just a regular thing.”

Trish encourages others not to be intimidated. She recalls a time when she was first finally able to do sit-ups and everyone else in class was finished before her. Each person came over and did sit-ups with her until she finished. “I cried,” said Trish. “They’re all so supportive. There is so much camaraderie in the class. It’s amazing the relationships that develop – you all have kids and sometimes you have bad days, but your ‘family’ is there to help out.”