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Member Profile: Dave Flood
By Sandy Poitras

On any given early morning or evening at Thrive Fitness Studio you are bound to see Dave Flood running, jumping, lifting, pulling, pushing, throwing, climbing, crunching, spinning and everything in-between, all to the benefit of his health.

“I started three years ago,” says the CGA from Beeton, who has since lost about 30 pounds and gone on to podium at duathlons and trail run events. Like many middle-aged people, he was active right up until post-secondary school. Then studies and work shifted his focus until, as he candidly admits with a slice of self-deprecating humour, “I got fat and out of shape.”

Three years ago Dave’s wife, LeeAnne Flood, had started attending Thrive Boot Camp and told him he would like it. Dave gave it a try, committing to one session per week. Eventually he added more, his wry reasoning being that, “Once a week just makes you hurt for three days.”

The benefits of adding a regular fitness routine back into his life have been paying off in spades ever since. “The first thing that improved was my stamina and endurance,” says Dave, who estimates with his gradual re-introduction to exercise he has lost 25 to 30 pounds. (The last stubborn 10 pounds came off after committing to Ann Jackson’s month-long “Clean Your Plate” program that teaches how to “eat clean” and avoid processed foods.) Over time, he also noticed that a nagging lower back pain he had endured ceased to bother him. He attributes that relief to a combination of regular core strengthening exercises and visits to a local chiropractor recommended by Thrive.

As is often the case, increased strength leads to overall confidence in one’s abilities. This sometimes leads one to explore fitness challenges outside the gym. Last summer, for example, Dave placed second at the Bracebridge Duathlon and now makes this sport an annual event. He has also done well in his standings at the 5 Peaks Trail Run Series where he and LeeAnne are members of Thrive’s unstoppable “Still Thrive-ing” team. When the studio put out their “5 Summit Challenge” exercise contest last year Dave embraced it wholeheartedly and won for most hours of exercise in and out of the gym. Lately he has even been known to out-pace his trainer, Ann Jackson, on a few training runs. “I use Ann as my measuring stick,” he laughs. “We push each other.” Which leads to another benefit when it comes to working out at a smaller fitness studio: “I really like the boutique style of gym,” he says. “I would never go back to (a large corporate gym). You get the attention of the owners. If you want a change, you speak directly with Ann or Steve. “

Group workouts work best with Dave’s schedule and often he is the only male in the class. Although he jokes about it he says it’s a factor he doesn’t mind at all. (Classes are structured so that everyone works at their own ability.) He encourages anyone who is thinking about trying a class, to go for it. “Don’t be scared to show up and try it,” he says. “Ease yourself into it. Start gradually. And don’t expect to (rock the podium at a race) right away.”

Finally, Dave credits his wife LeeAnne for getting him started on his fitness journey. “It’s the biggest reason I’m still at it. It’s brought us closer because it’s one of our past-times we do together.” Indeed, the couple’s summer vacation last year was spent on a Sojourn cycling tour of Vermont, which included a 2000-foot gap climb. “I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but I did it one hour.”

Spoken like a true Thrive aficionado.