Lisanne Glavin is an engineer who manages a small tech company in Ottawa and is a mother of two grown kids. She has been going to the GoodLife Ottawa Place d’Orleans club for more than five years and has lost more than 45 lbs over that time. Regular workouts have also helped her overcome a knee injury and address her chronic heartburn from stress.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Lisanne managed her team’s transition to remote work. Not only was she worried about her company, but also the health of her kids, who have asthma. With gyms closed she tried to get outside and walk a couple of times a week, but otherwise exercise took last priority.

The gym is a chance for me to de-stress, to think about something else. Then at the most stressful time in my life, I just stopped working out. I had no motivation to exercise and no routine.

In the first few months after gyms were forced to close, Lisanne gained 15 lbs and the heartburn came back.

“Even my knee injury started acting up. It was so frustrating and depressing to lose all the improvements I had achieved,” Lisanne explained.

When her gym opened with COVID-19 safety rules in place, Lisanne went back immediately to personal training. She says people sometimes stopped her on the street as she left the gym to ask her if it’s safe.

“When I was in my club, I felt completely safe. You could see all the staff working constantly to clean and sanitize and everyone was wearing masks throughout the club. You could literally see how safe it was to be there,” she explained.

During the time the clubs were allowed to be open, Lisanne was able to lose the weight again and her heartburn went away.

“Even my knees felt better. Working out at home is not the same as being at the gym with other people. It’s all about the motivation and the social connection to others.”

As we enter the second year of the pandemic, more people like Lisanne are feeling the effects of heightened stress and more sedentary time. Exercise plays a vital role in managing mental and physical health. For many, opportunities to connect with fitness professionals and work out in their familiar gym community are essential to being happy and healthy.

The pandemic has been full of challenges and triumphs for our Members and Associates, especially in areas where gyms have faced frequent and lengthy closures. 

Throughout June and July, we'll be using our channels to share your stories. We want to hear from you. Tell us what you missed most about gyms being closed during the pandemic and how it impacted your health. How did you adapt your fitness routine and what are you looking forward to most when Clubs re-open?

Please submit your story here