At 425 pounds, life was a struggle for Jason Roy. It was even difficult to do things such as walk up the stairs and walk around the block.
But things are much easier for the 38-year-old now he's lost 127 pounds.
“The last major thing I did was a 12-kilometre walk,” Roy said. “It's a big change.”
He attributes some of his weight loss to personal trainer Clint Knott, who runs Body Balance Studio in Blezard Valley, where he's been working out since last April. Now Roy is preparing to take on an even bigger challenge.
Along with six other people associated with Body Balance Studio who are also attempting to lose a significant amount of weight, he plans to enter the third annual Miner's Mayhem race in the spring.
The race involves obstacles spread across a seven-kilometre-long course, wrapping around Adanac Ski Hill and Rotary Trail. Participants have to do things such as run up the ski hill and crawl through muddy water.
For Roy, it would be a victory “just being able to say I can do it,” he said.
Knott said he thinks the group, who wants to tackle the Miner's Mayhem together, is pretty amazing. He said he's confident he'll be able to get them into good enough shape to take on the race.
“They're really motivated to come and work out and everything,” he said. “I'm just glad they picked me to help them with their journey.”
Yvette Bisaillon said she'd reached 278 pounds before she started working out at Body Balance last July. The 48-year-old has since dropped 50 pounds, and is aiming to lose another 50 before entering the Miner's Mayhem.
“I want to take this shell off,” she said.
Bisaillon said she can't overemphasize Knott's role in her weight loss.
“He doesn't care what you look like, what size you are, or what jiggles and what doesn't,” he said. “He motivates you to what you can do and he pushes you to what he knows you can do.”
Thirty-year-old Joanne, who didn't want her last name used, started working out at Body Balance last April, and has already lost 52 pounds.
“It's very exciting,” she said.
Joanne said she's looking forward to entering the Miner's Mayhem, as she's never participated in an athletic event before.
“It's just something that I've always wanted to do, but I've never had the motivation to do it,” she said. “Just with the group of people that are doing it, everyone's just so amazing and motivating.”
Although 60-year-old Anne M. Matte — who started working out at Body Balance in September — hasn't seen a drastic weight loss just yet, she said she's noticed her clothes are fitting more loosely.
In preparing for the Miner's Mayhem, this is the first time in her life she's set a physical fitness goal.
“Will I be the first one up the hill? Absolutely not,” Matte said. “But I will make it up the hill.”
Bisaillon invites anyone who's interested in preparing for the Miner's Mayhem to work out at Body Balance.
“The more the merrier,” she said.
For more information, visit www.balancestudio.ca or phone 705-507-4998.
Northern Life plans to check up on Jason, Yvette, Joanne and Anne periodically over the next few months as they train for Miner's Mayhem. The group has already lost a collective 195 pounds.