One of the best things about my job is the people. From the people I get to work with on a day- to-day basis, to the colleagues I get to network with at conferences, to the fitness professionals I present to at clinics and finally to the young athletes who head out to compete at the highest levels there are many reasons to feel priveleged at what I get to do.
And every now and again I’ll work with an athlete who completes their competitive career and returns home to tell you they want to do what you do.
That’s an awesome feeling.
It makes me think I did something right somewhere along the way. And I don’t mean in terms of personal bests on the weight room floor or number of championships they won (although those things are really cool too).
Instead it feels good because they want to help others. They want to apply their abilities and education in a positive way. And they want to work alongside you in order to do so.
And right now that’s what has happened.
We’ve had the opportunity to take on a top flight university athlete as a summer intern.
What do I mean by top flight?
Oh I don’t know…how about:
2 National CIS Championships in soccer
3 BC High School Championship Basketball titles AND a BC High School Championship soccer title
A Provincial title in ringette
The Augie Cianconne Memorial Award as the Top Female Athlete of the Year for Kelowna
Offers from multiple universities to play university level basketball and soccer
Not too shabby, eh?
Well below is a short note from Kayla Ungaro to introduce you all to her. I’ll step aside and let you get to know her a little better.
I just finished up writing my final exams for my fourth year and decided to come home for the summer to work and be near my family. I have been given the great opportunity to be able to work with Chris and learn under him for the summer, and wanted to share with you all a bit about myself.
I was raised in Kelowna, and happy to call this beautiful city my home. Growing up, I have always been involved in sports, whether playing, coaching or just watching. As I entered my high school years at Immaculata, I was playing competitive soccer, ringette, basketball and volleyball. All were extremely time consuming and physically demanding on my body. I started to get worn out from going from one sport practice to another in the same day, and having two different tournaments on the same weekend.
In the ninth grade, I suffered an injury which caused me to sit for over 6 months. This injury really set me back, and I started to realize I was not able to play everything, even though I would have loved to. I focused my emphasis on soccer and basketball, and had to quit playing ringette due to the conflicts. During my grade 12 year, I was recruited to play soccer at both Trinity Western University and Simon Fraser University and basketball at Trinity. This was one of my more difficult decisions to make, as I loved both sports.
I chose to study and play soccer at Trinity, as I thought it was the best fit for me. I played 3 years of CIS level soccer there, while studying for my bachelor’s degree in human kinetics. I am currently finishing up my degree, and plan on going to grad school to study occupational therapy. I am also studying to write my CSCS certification in the next couple months. I have also had the amazing opportunity to be involved with coaching, specifically this year with Special Olympics Basketball in the Lower Mainland.
After graduating from high school, I started training with Chris to help prepare myself for entering my rookie soccer season at Trinity. The strength and gains I made in my fitness level were tremendous. This was my first experience with a strength coach and it was nothing but positive. Having the opportunity to train with Chris made me want to enter in the fitness world. I was able to see him work with various individuals of all backgrounds and it intrigued me to try this area out.
Over the past semester, I took a course called “Advanced Principles of Strength Training” and had a project which allowed me to train an individual one on one. This experience was over a couple of months, and it gave me a better idea of what this industry was like. Not only do you have the chance to work with amazing people, I was able to help this individual start on the right track for living a healthy lifestyle. Having the ability to help change an individual’s life in any way; whether its rehab from an injury, improvement in sport, or helping improve overall health is the most rewarding aspect of this industry.
I look forward to learning from Chris, as he is a great mentor to have and full of knowledge. I am also excited to meet all of you and get to work with you over the summer, even if it’s running the sand dunes in the desert heat which we will hopefully be getting!
Well said Kayla!
I’ve always thought that the success of service based business in not in the equipment, the facility, the advertising or anything else that might be important.
Instead the success comes from having the best people possible. We all know Kayla is an incredible athlete. I’m excited for you all to meet her and get to see what a great person she is as well.
Welcome aboard Kayla!
***In the comments section below say hello. If you or one of your kids plays soccer, basketball or ringette make sure to let her know.***
Chris okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’
ps…the article about ‘trail running being bad for your glutes’ was based on Kayla spraining her ankle recently while running trails…there has to be some level of hazing of the intern, right?
pps…she also deadlifted 225 lbs from the floor today and made it look easy