Sunday, March 11, 2012

CG Spotlight on Nicole Blake

 Just over two years ago, I walked into a Body Combat class at GoodLife Fitness.  It wasn’t my first class at the gym and cardio-kickboxing wasn’t new to me but it was the first time that I sweat, punched, kicked and actually smiled at the same time.  That powerful workout (and the many that followed) was courtesy of Nicole Blake. 

Nicole moved from Washington D.C. to Ottawa at the age of 18 and has since made O-town her home.  I recently had the chance to sit down and chat with her about life, love and health.  She’s definitely one of my most inspiring role models and adding the title “friend” is nothing short of a privilege. 

Nicole’s been a Body Combat instructor for the last four years and shows no signs of stopping her infectious advocacy of all things fitness (mind, body and soul).  Our pregnancies differed by only about 4 months and watching her on the stage while in her second trimester was a big part of what kept me motivated to stay in shape throughout my pregnancy.


 Interestingly enough, if you had asked Nicole five years ago if she could picture herself teaching a fitness class to a loyal following of “Combatters”, the answer would have been “No!”.  She enjoyed participating in the classes on regular basis but never gave instructing a thought until she was encouraged by her friend (who also taught) to audition.  Motivated by a personal goal to overcome stage fright, Nicole auditioned, shadowed and completed intensive training in order to get to where she is with her teaching today.  Nicole’s commitment to health and fitness is evident to anyone that’s taken her class. She states, “It’s a very rewarding experience to hear someone say that they were having a bad day but that my class helped to make a difference”.

 With an active toddler, a new fiancé, a busy day job, a regular fitness routine, a close knit family and copious amounts of friends, Nicole manages to achieve balance by tending to what she considers to be important while shaking off the “small stuff”.  She works hard to maintain her relationships; her schedule is often so full that making time for the people and activities that feed her soul just makes sense. She grew up in a very social home and that seems to have resurfaced in her own home life today.

If I could encapsulate Nicole in two words it would be Love Ambassador.  She pours her heart into everything that she does and makes it a point to practice positivity daily. In her own words, “I’m authentic and true to who I am.  I don’t feel like [being positive] is a standard that I have to maintain”.    I can attest to this being true.  I subscribe to Nicole’s weekly distribution email called TGIF.  For the past 10 years Nicole’s words of encouragement, motivation and inspiration has graced the email inboxes to many appreciative fans.  She takes her personal weekly experiences and shares them with the masses, her eloquent lessons of compassion that can be found in the most seemingly ordinary situations.

Sadly our interview had to come to a close but before we parted ways, I asked Nicole what she would say to the woman that doesn’t believe in her ability to get into shape and start living a healthier lifestyle.  She insightfully replied, “It’s mind over matter.  My father always used to tell me ‘You should drive your bus and don’t let the bus drive you’”. 
I couldn’t have said it better myself!

If you’re looking for an intense (but fun) work out and would like to meet Nicole in person, check out one of her classes!  She teaches Monday nights (5:30 pm) at the GoodLife Fitness in Vanier and Wednesday nights (7 pm) at the GoodLife Fitness at Hunt Club.

Until next time friends....

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful article! Yes, Nicole is a great instructor and friend. I think the Combat photo you posted, is one I took a couple years back. Nice pic! :)

    Nancy

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  2. A true friend and a true inspiration! Love ya Nicole.
    Sonya

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