Once upon a time, I had three different fitness memberships. Despite that silliness, I was still looking for a place that offered decent yoga. My dream was to find everything I wanted — from equipment to classes to the right vibe — under one roof, for one price.
And then I found something even better: Fitness Freedom.
Like me, founders Natalie and Alison Fisher were frustrated at the lack of fitness options, not to mention the plethora of gym fees and dizzying contracts. The Victoria sisters’ eureka idea was to create a way to try out different places for one flat monthly flat fee, with no contracts and easy cancellation. And so Fitness Freedom was born.
So, if you like having access to a number of options, or simply want to experiment to see what works for you, it’s an awesome way to roll. The program currently offers access to 15 facilities including gyms, martial arts and yoga studios located all over Victoria. This adds up to about 200 classes of all varieties.
My first class through Fitness Freedom was boot camp at Studio 4 Athletics downtown. That was a wake-up call, as I hadn’t taken boot camp classes for at least a year. Energetic and bubbly, instructor Julie French took pity on me, but also did her best to kick my butt enough that I was sore for days afterward. But I kept going back, as she has a knack for making things fun while getting in a great sweaty workout.
Another place that stood out for me was Moksana Yoga, a funky studio tucked in FanTan Alley. Moksana has a rich repertoire of classes, including weather-dependent rooftop yoga and swing yoga. I especially liked the slow-paced Restorative Yoga class with Jenn and worked it into my schedule every week. I almost fell asleep one time, and since then I’ve heard many soft snores in this ultra-relaxing class.
And there’s always room for surprise: one day me and my workout buddy (and Vic Life co-conspirator) Emma arrived at downtown yoga studio Shadow Mountain Health & Wellness to discover the Hatha class was cancelled. Disappointed, we were about to leave when the guy who ran the place sat us down with a cup of herbal tea and convinced us to try a half-hour self-defence technique class instead. We hesitantly gave it a go and wound up having fun while learning how to take down a guy in a dark alley. Hi-yah!
Fitness Freedom kick-started my workouts and got me back into boot camp — which I now do religiously once a week (sometimes even twice if I’m feeling jiggy). And it’s paid off: I have more energy, dropped a few pounds and feel less stressed.
For $59 per month, you can attend eight classes a month (with a limit of four classes at any one studio). That’s a great deal when you consider that drop-in fees at most gyms and yoga studios run between $15 and $20. Check out fitnessfreedomcanada.ca for more on pricing, studios and a live online schedule.