Since March of this year, Tapestry at Wesbrook Village has gained a couple of new faces in the fitness department. Chris Taylor and Brynna Walker have been bringing new energy to our rooftop fitness centre while nearly tripling the enrollment in personal training programs in just four months. We had a chat with these two varsity rugby players to find out about their experiences leading them to Tapestry and connections they have made in their first few months.
Fit and Strong at Tapestry…
Friday mornings starting at 9 am, you can hear the buzz of conversation, sound of laughter, and fitness leader Chris Taylor booming out encouragement over the workout music playlist. The participation in the hour long Fit and Strong classes held Fridays with Chris and Mondays with Brynna range from 18 – 24 residents. This means spaces can be hard to come by as late arriving residents spill out beyond the mirrored class area. Fitness classes have traditionally been mainly attended by women. We were happy to see about a half dozen men participating in this morning class.
Meet Fitness Instructors Chris and Brynna
Chris Taylor is from Northern Ireland where he played rugby at a national level. This included playing on the national U18, U19, and U20 squads. While playing rugby, Chris pursued his undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science. A back injury after the junior world cup meant Chris utilized his training to rehab his back within a year and a half. Chris landed here in Vancouver when he was later offered a rugby scholarship at UBC. He has since completed his Masters in Kinesiology at UBC. When asked why he wanted to work with seniors, Chris explained that he helped his grandfather successfully rehab after he had a stroke six years ago. He realized this was something he could see himself doing outside of rugby.
Brynna Walker started the same day as Chris. And as it happens, is also a varsity rugby player who played at University of Calgary. Originally from Manitoba, Brynna went to U of C to first and foremost play rugby and decided to pursue her degree in kinesiology. In her third year, she discovered she could pursue a specialized minor in adaptive and therapeutic physical activity. This minor provided Brynna many practicum opportunities with people who experienced strokes and brain injuries. She found this experience to be very rewarding. So when her friend Hannah who worked for Tapestry at Arbutus Walk referred her to Tapestry, she figured that working with our residents would be a great fit for her.
What has been apparent is the new team additions of Chris and Brynna certainly have been a great fit for Tapestry residents. Each resident has the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with our fitness team. The time is spent not only to orient residents to gym equipment, but more importantly for Chris and Brynna to get to know our residents; their state of all around health, sports they have enjoyed, their goals, limitations, and opportunities. With Chris and Brynna’s strong educational backgrounds and experience, the residents are appreciating their hands-on, professional fitness program at Tapestry.
“Brynna and I have been taking the time to listen to residents. They connect with us so that we can make their programs individualized. Then they feel accountable to come to the fitness classes and personal training! The more they show up, the more motivated we are to keep the classes meaningful and beneficial. It becomes a very motivating relationship”, Chris explains.
“This job has already been so rewarding. Tapestry residents have been sharing their passions with us. They care and want to connect with us. We get so much feedback and support from the residents”, as Brynna explains, resident Carol stops at the fitness office door to compliment her on how great the gym looked and express her appreciation for the organization.
An ongoing challenge has been getting more men involved in Tapestry’s fitness programs. With this week being Men’s Health Week (June 13 – 19), we will be learning more about how the men who participate in fitness programs are currently benefiting. Stay tuned!
All group fitness classes and access to the gym are included in Tapestry resident monthly fees. Our fitness team is dedicated to meeting as many fitness needs for residents as possible. Are you up for it?
Call us to book a tour and lunch at Tapestry at Wesbrook Village at 604.225.5000.