Lisa Tremblay says we all have ups and downs in life but it’s all about the choices we make.
Tremblay, 35, is a trainer and co-owner of Discover Fitness/Discover Performance.
“I’ve been to some pretty dark places over the course of my life,” she says. “Your path doesn’t have to define you or dictate what you will become. I’m proud to be where I am today.”
Born and raised in Dubreuilville, Tremblay says being surrounded by people who struggled with addiction for many years helped make her the person she is today.
“I’m actually thankful for it in a way. I was fortunate that my parents helped provide me with opportunities that were not easily accessible being isolated in a small community,” she says.
For many years, she was a competitive figure skater, travelling to bigger cities in the summers and attending summer schools to advance her skills. She also took part in pageant contests starting with her hometown before proceeding to Toronto and Alabama where she placed fifth in an All North American Pageant. During those years, she’s won titles such as Miss Personality, Most Photogenic and had the opportunity to attend modelling school.
With her father working as a labourer at a lumber mill and her mother being a waitress, she had to choose between pursuing modelling or figure skating because financially it was no longer feasible. Tremblay chose figure skating.
“I must give credit to my parents even though they were dealing with their own fair share of issues, our wellbeing was the most important,” she says. “There were no luxuries, I lived in a trailer which conditions were questionable. I shared a bedroom with my one and only younger sister and we didn’t even own a car.”
She quit skating when she was about 15 because she wanted to experience other things but her love for skating never left. During her adult years, she was a part of the Gold Miners' Daughters roller derby team where she was a jammer.
“I’m a firm believer about reminding ourselves to never live with regret, but sometimes I wonder about that figure skating decision,” she says. “But here I am now, built Discover Performance and get to skate with various athletes, I guess it was just meant to be.”
Tremblay grew up with thyroid disease, which led to battling with weight most of her life. After having her first child, she decided to join the True Star program and this is where her love for fitness started. That was over 14 years ago.
Throughout her life, she worked as a legal assistant, at GoodLife Fitness, Rogers broadcasting, taught a weightlifting class, and now is a fitness centre's co-owner with Kate Durst-Suarez. She's also enrolled as a part-time student at Athabasca University where she is studying business with a major in marketing. “We have always worked extremely well together, we are a team that share the same values and vision. It was a no-brainer that together we could do so much more,” Tremblay says about working with Durst-Suarez. “Kate has been such a key player in my life, my mentor, my coach, my friend and now a business partner.”
She loves to help and has volunteered for many organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society, Timmins Community Park Association, Rock on the River event, has sat on the roller derby board as well as helped food banks and sports teams.
Tremblay says she really started excelling when she found love, joy and passion in what she did. The numerous awards she received individually or for her business are an affirmation that she or her team are doing a great job, she says.
“I do take pride in my work and being recognized for it is a plus. I do not solely depend on them but I feel pride when receiving them,” Tremblay says. She has been voted Trainer of the Year several times, awarded a plaque from Rogers for top sales and another plaque for exceeding 105 per cent of her budget. Her co-business is also a two-time Nova Award recipient.
Tremblay’s husband Ryan has been her rock who stood by her despite any obstacles, supported and never stopped her from pursuing her goals. They’ve been together for nine years and have two daughters.
Tremblay says she’s lucky and proud to be a francophone. “Being bilingual is the greatest gift that a person can have. To be able to communicate both in French and English has given me a greater advantage when it came to school and work,” she says. “Both my daughters are enrolled in a French school as I see the importance of keeping our language and heritage alive.”
She describes herself as an impulsive, sporadic person who welcomes changes. Tremblay says she hates feeling trapped or feeling like life is on cruise control.
“I like the bumpy, unpredictable rides. It drives people around me crazy. It is not for everyone but that’s how my life has been and that’s how I believe the next five to 10 years will be,” she says. “I don’t know where I’ll be but I know I’ll be wherever I need to be in that moment with all the right people.”
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com