serving the Vernon area as your guide on the journey to a healthier, happier self
positive & challenging environments promoting health, fitness, well being & community
OUR PEOPLE IS WHAT MAKES US GREAT
OUR PEOPLE IS WHAT MAKES US GREAT
When I was a child, my sister and I spent the summers at home, while our mom went out to work.
Cleverly – to keep us entertained and out of trouble – she gave us a daily “to do list” full of chores, but she also added something unique…
Part of the list was random fitness challenges; 100 situps, 50 pushups, 100 lunges etc. It still amazes me that she was onto something back then and as a result helped us form good habits. We always looked forward to these mini exercise challenges – definitely preferring to do pushups over laundry!
Fitness has always been a part of who I am at the core. It’s something I truly love doing.
Sports have always been present in my life and ice hockey was always the top of my list. I played AAA from age 11-16 and moved towards Junior ‘B’ in the PIJHL and Junior ‘A’ in the BCHL until age 18.
Aside from my passion for the game, I loved the preparation itself. ‘Dryland Conditioning’ including squats, bench presses, sled pushes, tire flips etc. made me feel powerful, alive and was tons of FUN!
I was one of the few players who kept up an in-season strength program on my own, mainly because I loved being in the gym, but also because I knew it was a key factor in my development. Many of my friends would ask for my help to teach them the movements I was doing so they could learn properly and get stronger. Guiding them came naturally to me and I was always excited to help.
Fast forward a few years, no longer playing hockey but still exercising and lifting weights, I eventually had a void that needed to be filled. Longing for community, camaraderie and some competitive drive, I connected with a coach and gym owner and started right away.
Again, friends and fellow gym members approached me asking for help, whether it was correcting their squat form or giving them tips to achieve their first bodyweight pull-up.
Organically my training methods evolved, I took on more coaching responsibilities, and things kept growing from there.
I’ve always had the drive to help others be the best they can be.
Which also means walking the talk, and holding myself to the highest standard to be a good role model and leader. I believe in ongoing investment in myself to maintain the highest level of practical and applicable knowledge so I can be the best coach for my clients.
My top priority is your development.
Helping you reach a perfect blend of performance, health, and longevity.
I apply this mindset to everyone I coach…
Whether you’re in your 50’s trying to improve your golf game, or in your teens looking for peak performance in your sport, health, longevity, and performance are the goals we set out to reach.
I really love coaching and take care of my evening classes!
CrossFit Level 3 Certification
Bachelors in Exercise Science, Master in Kinesiology, USA Weightlifting, CrossFit Kids, Adaptive CrossFit, Precision Nutrition, Cenegenics Nutrition
Growing up I was active, from 10 year in Gymnastics, 6 years playing Softball and 5 years in Ringette. In my late teens I ditched all activities and lead a rather unhealthy life (nutrition was never a focus nor was I ever educated what was healthy or good for you).
Fast forward to adulthood and my sister introduced me to CrossFit! I stuck with it on and off! I think I was always interested in competing, due to my competitive side, but I wasn’t driven enough to make any big changes.
It wasn’t until I had an opportunity to advance my career with a move to another Province. It was this point in my life where I had no other influences and found myself down a new path through CrossFit and its community. I found myself with big goals and I needed to get my body in better shape, thus turning to help with my nutrition.
After seeing how much improvement my life had with changes in my diet, I was hooked! I started signing up to take the Precision Nutrition course and started my journey to create my own company ‘Empower Life’ to help others succeed with Nutrition just as I have.
During the pandemic, I decided to close the doors to Empower Life as we had recently bought Forge in August 2019 and I was finding myself spread thin.
Fast-forward, after we found our footing during the pandemic we made the decision to have a baby. My goal was to start growing my nutrition business back up after baby so I could get back into my biggest passion, Nutrition. Behold – Eat More Nutrition evolved. I am beyond excited to be back working with people on their nutrition habits and overall health, but being in the gym coaching and managing Forge strives my passion along my nutrition! I am so grateful to have this opportunity to do what I love.
Life is not perfect. Reaching for perfection will leave you feeling unhappy no matter what you achieve. Attainable goals will keep you moving upwards.
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Never in a million years did I think I had it in me to be “into fitness”, let alone be a successful coach.
I’ve struggled with obesity all my life, and at my heaviest I weighed 245lbs. Over many years, I’ve tried every diet on the shelf, and all I got was a yoyo affect. Nothing ever kept the weight off. It was beyond discouraging, to say the least.
After I lost my job due to a company shutdown, I felt like this was my opportunity to really focus on myself and learn how to be healthy for life. Not only from a physical standpoint but nutritionally as well.
I began by joining an outdoor bootcamp and committed myself to an 8-week challenge they had going on. There were a lot of emotions I was feeling and fear was probably the biggest one. I think it was fear of failing to be honest. I knew this was going to be one of the hardest things I was going to dedicate myself to, but also realized I owed it to myself AND my quality of life. There was no excuse to back out on this.
Results don’t lie! When I lost 28lbs in my first 8 weeks as a result of my hard work and dedication to the challenge, I was hooked, and I couldn’t ignore this feeling of being proud of myself!
It felt like for the first time, I was finally able to see and feel the results I’d been trying to achieve for so many years. I guess you could say I got addicted to the feeling, I was on a high and stuck with the workouts and meal plans, and slowly the weight continued to drop.
My fitness level was becoming stronger and I was given the opportunity to become an instructor with the bootcamp. I was hesitant at first because I felt I still had a long way to go. However I was so passionate to share everything I’d learned, and help people who were just like me achieve their goals and become happy within themselves. I knew and understood the struggles of starting a journey such as mine. I still do!
With this new found strong passion for working in fitness, I decided to take the next step and I joined Forge Valley Fitness.
Starting here in March 2013 brought my dedication to fitness to the next level. I absolutely fell in love with the atmosphere and the underlying community culture. It gave me new challenges that made me feel even more proud and confident in my abilities as an athlete and in becoming a professional coach.
My journey led me through many ups and downs, which is to be expected. I wasn’t going to let anything take me back to that unhappy place. I had achieved so much! I progressively lost 100lbs and I am thrilled to help others with their own journey to find happiness in their health and fitness.
CrossFit Level 1 Certification
Laurie’s youth was rooted in a love of the outdoors and activities such as hiking and skiing. She also was involved in many organized sports like swimming, volleyball, gymnastics, karate, and even netball.
It wasn’t until her twenties that Laurie became interested in free weights, cycling, running, and yoga.
Nowadays, Laurie participates in these activities (and others) with her husband and two sons. It is her desire to be a positive role model for them because it motivates her on a daily basis.
It was Laurie’s passion for living an active life that lead her to become certified as a fitness instructor and then a yoga instructor. Laurie truly enjoyed instructing fitness classes and continued developing her own weight lifting programs but found she was looking for something more, something to challenge her physically and mentally.
That something turned out to be CrossFit.
CrossFit demanded she sharpen her skills and redouble her efforts every day, and she fell in love with it. She enjoys the variety of programming, the physical demands, and mental challenge, but most of all, the supportive atmosphere of the CrossFit community.
Laurie achieved her CrossFit level 1 trainer certification in September of 2013 and is excited to assist others to achieve their individual goals. Laurie trains at and continues to learn from the high caliber of coaches at Forge Valley Fitness.
CrossFit Level 1 Certification
My experience with functional fitness started in Grade 11. My highschool offered an athlete development class that operated outside of the regular school hours called Agility. This program was intense and offered to student athletes who played on various high level team sports. Hearing the rumors of how challenging it was, I was drawn to it like a moth to flame. My morning routines changed for the remainder of my ongoing life. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I would wake up and head to the gym for some multi-modal general physical preparedness.
This style of exercise transferred wonderfully to the sports I played. Soccer, snowboard racing and more notably rugby. After highschool, I attended Simon Fraser University and studied psychology, biomedical physiology and kinesiology. I also joined the SFU rugby team and gained a variety of athletic experience. It wasn’t until later in the year my highschool rugby team was in need of a coach. I volunteered and it was my first experience coaching. I learned that coaching is incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding. Much like my agility course, I was drawn to the challenge and ended up hooked. I continued to coach rugby at various levels as I progressed in my professional life. Over time I realized that in my pursuit to accomplish something challenging for myself, I cultivated a passion. A passion for teaching, inspiring and guiding individuals to become the most effective version of themselves on and off the field.
After some time I started to focus more on my own athletic performance and slowly withdrew from rugby. This was largely due to joining a functional fitness gym and competing for the first time. After a couple of years training and developing as a functional fitness enthusiast, I became fascinated with the environment behind the group gyms I trained at. I started looking into various courses where I could gain some credentials. At the time I told myself the courses were simply for my own knowledge as an athlete. But deep down I was drawn to the idea of being a fitness coach.
It wasn’t until the Forge Valley Fitness crew found me running warm ups and leading stretches with the Vernon Jackals; a local rugby club that they offered me the amazing opportunity to coach. My desire for a meaningful career in a field that I am truly passionate about was met with a fantastic opportunity. I joined the team in October of 2020 and made my career change permanent shortly after. Under the tutelage of Terrence, Bonnie and Trishauna, I have developed a foundation of which I will continue to build upon. Striving to provide the best coaching and inspiration to members of Forge Valley Fitness.
CrossFit Level 1 Certification
Must have functional fitness or CrossFit experience!
2704 45 Avenue, Vernon, British Columbia V1T 3N4