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One Woman’s Journey Through Personal Training and Beyond…Part 2

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments

2013-06 Sandra Photo shoot (2)

Anne, my dear client and friend, offered to journal her fitness experience for me but it was too good not to share.  She agreed to allow me to pass along the experience in her words…enjoy!!

Visit 3:

“Okay, so Sandra began sweet and I thought this was going to be easy (foolish me).  She’s still sweet but today the weights began going up.  It’s a cool experience, feeling your muscles get tired – I would usually stop way before that point.  She’s so careful with me that when she says to stop, I know that it’s time, and when she encourages me to do a couple more lifts, I am pretty sure that I can do it.

Results?  I can feel my legs trembling a bit – and it’s great!  I am so enjoying that novel feeling that I’ve worked hard.  Plus, I stopped off to pick up some groceries on the way and, nope, I didn’t reward myself with cookies or chips.  Salmon, Brussels sprouts and blueberries found their way into my bag.  It helps that I have this lovely fantasy that I might look a little like Sandra, hey whatever helps, right?!”

2 Days Later:

“The cockiness has left my swagger – Sandra was right, I do feel it today.  It’s the thighs and the butt and, oh man, they are teaching me a lesson today.  I just keep telling myself … this is what athletes feel, right?  But I am pretty sure that I can feel myself getting stronger, so bring it on!”

Visit 4:

“I have never been so proud in my life to declare that “I stink!”  At one point during the workout, I caught the scent of real sweat … and Sandra didn’t appear to be exerting herself, so I had to assume that it was me. Wow, working out to the point of sweating is not something I am known for (this from a gal who thinks that sweating is like leaking and one should stop immediately).

The exercises are challenging and I do feel tired but just before I have time to get too pooped, Sandra moves me on to another exercise. It’s so exhilarating (yep, I said it) to feel my muscles working hard – it’s an amazing experience.

So what’s the difference so far?  I have to say that I feel taller.  My body seems fully engaged and my strong posture seems quite effortless.  It might seem like a small change but it feels like a really positive way to move through the world.  The other outcome – I feel braver.  If I could do this thing that so intimated me, what else might I be able to do?”

Continue following Anne’s journey next week!


One Woman’s Journey Through Personal Training and Beyond…

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments

Last year I was con2013-06 Sandra Photo shoot (2)tacted by someone I knew from a business networking group.  She had experienced an injury which resulted in a frozen shoulder.  This limits range of motion in your shoulder and can be quite debilitating.  Left untreated, it can take a very long time to heal.  She was undergoing physiotherapy but the injury made her very aware of the need to consider a fitness program.

After an initial meeting and intake session, Anne was ready to get started.  She offered to provide me with a journal item after her sessions so I could see my training from my client’s eyes.  I welcomed the feedback and she kindly agreed to allow me to share the funny and heartfelt journey with you.  I hope you enjoy this training experience through her eyes and body!

Visit #1:  “For any person carrying around more weight than they should, or feeling way less active than ideal, sitting down with a personal trainer can be as intimidating as a fresh round of rabies shots.  So you have an idea of how nervous I was to talk with Sandra O’Hagan about fitness training. 

Sandra herself is staggeringly fit and really focussed on the necessity of strength training and good eating for healthy aging (thus the intimidation factor). What I didn’t realise is how gently respectful she is of where each of us stands, what goals we set for ourselves and how we define success.  She has even created her own gym space so that her clients don’t need to feel intimidated by the large gym experience. Plus, she’s got a great laugh that acknowledges the humour that is also part of this journey.

So although it’s a scary step, it’s inviting too. I don’t know how successful I will be. But I am ready to take the first step … with Sandra.  And after all, we’ve got to start somewhere, right?”

Visit #2:  “Getting ready for my first ‘real’ session with Sandra was more nerve wracking than a date with a really fabulous fella.  My bedroom was strewn with clothes tried on and discarded.  The reality I had to admit was that no amount of draping or dark colours would change my outline.  So I sucked it up and headed out to Sandra’s place.

You know all those TV shows about the humiliation and hollering involved in motivating people to change their body shapes? Well apparently, Sandra doesn’t watch those shows. 

Sandra is gentle and encouraging as she gets you started. She watched for vulnerabilities in my strengths so that she will know where to build and where to be careful.  I have a shoulder that’s a little weak at the moment – she was more careful of it than I was.  And where I was already a bit strong – she offers such encouragement that I already felt like a huge winner.

While the facts are still the facts – and the mirrors are truthful, Sandra really knows how to make the whole session completely stress-free.  It was actually “fun” and, trust me, I never thought that would be a word to describe a workout!

As I left, I am proud to share – I may even have felt the tiniest twinge in my legs, I think it might be a muscle waking up.  They’ve been sleeping for quite a while, so this might be a bit of a shock.  I am delighted to report that Sandra’s “Starting Gate” is a happy place!”

Anne’s journey continues next week…please check it out and provide comments.

30 for 30 Fitness Challenge is BACK

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments


It’s Back…the 30 for 30 Fitness Challenge begins October 1st

Posted on: September 27th, 2013 by Sandra O'Hagan 2 Comments

2013-10-30 for 30 flyerOct

Real Age vs Chronological Age

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments

This is a wonderful site and a great test of your “REAL AGE” thanks to Dr. Oz.

Please check it out and let me know what the outcome was.

Maybe you can set a goal to change the outcome of this test?

Would love your feedback in the comments below.


What I Learned during 30 Days of Activity

Posted on: July 8th, 2013 by Sandra O'Hagan 2 Comments

2013-06 Day 11 of ChallengeThe 30 in 30 Challenge started out as a way to get people more active and support a great charity. I was hoping to get a few people involved and would donate my personal training package as a prize. Ultimately over 70 people registered and 20 prizes were donated by some great friends and companies.

The challenge took on a life of its own and became very inspiring to myself and others and lessons were learned in the process.

I learned that some people would rather not try then risk feeling like they failed.  No criticism intended as I live this philosophy.  I realized those who signed on and did more activity then they did before, even if it was 5 days of activity from zero, were successful!

I learned that crazy busy people fit activity into their lives and there are always people busier then you and I who are active and exercising.

I learned that I could sprint 9.5 mph.  My goal for the challenge was to get to 10 mph but 9.5 mph still felt like a huge success.

I learned that I was terrible at taking selfies, you know pictures of yourself.  Hence the sweaty photo attached to this blog from Day 11 of the challenge.

I learned that people are uber generous and all of the donators of prizes including those who approached me even when they didn’t know me at all, are very special people.

I learned that my goal of changing lives when I quit my job has manifested in very different ways then I originally thought.  This challenge changed some lives.  Sedentary people walked, walkers ran and people who were already active became more active and some even “walked with possibility”.

I learned (already knew) that House of Friendship is a wonderful charity and were super supportive and some of their staff even signed on for the Challenge.

I want to thank the participants and supporters of the 30 in 30 Challenge and House of Friendship for being such great folks who are making a difference in our community!  Ready for the next Challenge?

Did you take the challenge?  What did you learn?

30 in 30 Fitness Challenge at SO Full of LIFE

Posted on: May 29th, 2013 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments

2013-05 30 in 30 Fitness Challenge

Announcing 2013 Wellness Speaker Series

Posted on: February 4th, 2013 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments

Mark your calendars for our first WELLNESS EVENT of 2013 entitled, 

To Stress or Not to Stress?

being kicked off by Renate Donnovan MA, CEC, CHt Counselling Hypnotist and Personal Coach, back by popular demand after providing an exceptional session for us in November on Emotional Eating and its effects on Fat Storing.

 Weighing on Your Mind Session                                                                                   
Weighing on your Mind Event Nov 2012
Doctors estimate 86-95% of illness is related to stress. If the illness is not caused by stress, it’s aggravated by stress. In 2010, close to 30% of working Canadians described themselves as “extremely” or “severely” stressed. But what is stress? How and why does stress have such a negative impact on the body?

Join us Wednesday February 13th 7-9PM at SO Full of LIFE Fitness and Wellness Studio for this 2 hour playshop! Learn the basics of how the brain registers stress and 3 practical techniques for reducing your stress and improving your health!

$15 per person-Space is Limited – Please register in advance at or call Sandra @ 226-749-0000

Next Month:  Take the Green Smoothie Challenge!  Discover how simple it can be to do a healthy, all natural cleanse and why it is so great for your body! 

Join Andrea Hauser, Homeopath ( to talk about the amazing benefits of detoxification and the Green Smoothie Challenge.  Wednesday March 20th 7-9 PM

Unleash Your Inner Strength with GROUP TRAINING

Posted on: January 28th, 2013 by Sandra O'Hagan 4 Comments

Introducing “SO Vibrant” Group Training 


Promo Group FitnessYou want to work out, you don’t know where to start or you have started and are not seeing results and personal training is not in the budget…now what?

The answer is here…Group Training in a private studio!

Exercises designed to build strength, flexibility, stamina, functionality, promote weight loss and make you feel YOUNG again!

Utilizing weights, balls, cable equipment, suspension systems and cardio equipment this program focuses on turning back the clock on aging with a program suited to all fitness levels

Tuesday and Thursday 10 AM starting 

February 19, 2013 Drop in Rate $20 per Session

Dates and times not suitable but interested in the program – email your request!!

Email  or call 226-749-000 to reserve a spot

Happy Blue Monday!

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments

As I sat in my office after enjoying wonderful clients this morning, I was loving the sunshine streaming in and feeling warm and cozy while sipping a great cup of coffee.

To my surprise, I opened Facebook and realized it was Blue Monday…the saddest, lowest day of the year…really?  There is no doubt that the days are short and the sun not as frequent, the air cold and January half over with resolutions having been made and broken and that can be tough.  While that can bring you down, do not despair, there are many benefits of this time of year…

The warmth of a fireplace

A nice big sweater, hoodie or comfy sweatshirt

No gardens to weed or grass to mow

A new year providing new opportunities and excitement for the upcoming months

The days start getting longer

Snowy days create a beauty unmatched

Skiing is at is best with consistently cool temps

Soups and stews full of healthy veggies and proteins are wonderful comfort food in winter

Take a moment and think of what you are grateful for and smile.  Remember, what you think about, you bring about.  If you read and believe it will be a bad or sad day…you are probably right.

Shake it off and enjoy what each day has to offer and while you are at it, make someone else’s day just in case they read the same article many of us did about Blue Monday!