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ACE-certified Success Stories

Emily Roback
ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor
The Women’s Fitness Club and Spa
Ontario/Women’s Fitness Club of Canada
Toronto, Ontario

Don’t take her height as a measure of her strength or success, at an even five foot; Emily Roback can really pack a punch.

Rocky meet Emily
Up by five a.m. each morning, Emily Roback believes in getting the absolute most out of her day. Whether it is training clients, teaching inline skating, preparing for Chiropractic College or simply offering little prayers of thanks, Emily’s self-discipline is incorrigible.

“I don’t go halfway,” she says, “If you do you waste your client’s time and your own time.”

Knowing Emily it is evident her ‘all or nothing’ approach to training extends into every area of her life. She works hard and plays hard all the while inspiring those around her to do the same.

Stepping into the Ring
Emily’s first bout with training came in 3rd year university as a kinesiology student at Laurentian University in Sudbury. She was given the assignment to develop an 8-week Emily Roback training program for herself. The objective of the assignment was to see how much muscle she could gain.

Emily took on the project with enthusiasm, and subsequently began probing the ins and outs of the training world.

“I am a person who wants to know about everything,” she explains, “I want to learn about what other people are doing.”

In her final year at Laurentian Emily accepted an internship as a Fitness Consultant. She took this opportunity to teach herself how to properly use gym equipment. Emily also developed a ‘how to’ manual for future interns to use for reference.

“Every job I have I like to leave something, so when I am done that place is a little better,” she says.

Round One
Upon graduation in 2001 Emily moved to Hamilton, Ontario to take a part-time job with PROMED Rehabilitation Centre as a kinesiologist. With PROMED she worked one-on-one with patients with rehabilitation needs.

Always looking to do more, Emily also joined the team at the International Family Fitness Centre as a fitness consultant. There she volunteered her time and energy to the club providing nutrition seminars and training workshops.

It was in constantly being in the gym that Emily set a serious goal for herself. She wanted to become leaner and stronger. To motivate herself, she entered sanctioned fitness competitions. Who could do the most push-ups, the most chin-ups?

“I try to balance what I give to my clients and what I give myself,” she says, “I have one hand for me and one for my clients.”

Working out five to six times a week, Emily dropped from a size seven to a size one and gained remarkable strength and flexibility.

Leading with the Chin
While working her two jobs Emily saw a poster for inline skating lessons. Having speed ice skated competitively in university, Emily decided she did not want to take the lessons but wanted to give the lessons.

“I don’t settle for second best,” she says, “I just say ‘I can do that’ and I do it.”

Emily got certified as an inline instructor and promptly began coaching for McMaster Sports’ Skate School. Along Bayfront Park in Hamilton each Sunday she teaches basic skating right up to trick and speed skating.

Against the Ropes
The second of five children, Emily grew up on a strawberry farm in Alberta. From birth she was faced with her own set of hurdles. The only one in her family, Emily was born hearing impaired and as a child had to take speech therapy.

Today she recalls being known as ‘the girl with the hearing aids’ at school. As her family moved around a lot, she constantly had to explain her disability to new friends and teachers.

But being an individual who believes there are no setbacks in life only lessons, Emily turned the disability in her favour. Being hearing impaired enabled her to qualify for financial support for post-secondary schooling via scholarships.

In high school as her peers sprouted past her, Emily also became known as the short one. She, however, refused (and still refuses) to compare herself to others.

“To me I am the tallest person in the world,” she smiles.

The Old One-Two
In the summer of 2002, Emily moved on once again. This time it was to the Women’s Club and Spa in Oakville, Ontario. She continued working as a personal trainer as she prepared for the next step in her career.

Her ultimate goal had always been to become a chiropractor and eventually open an outdoor wellness centre. While gaining experience as a trainer, she applied to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractor College in Toronto.

“Training is a really good stepping stone for any field,” Emily believes.

Although she wasn’t accepted in to the College on her first attempt, Emily did not let the hold-up deter her.

“I knew I wasn’t really ready,” she says, “I still had a lot to learn.”

One thing she did learn was that with 500 applicants the key was to stand out among her competitors. On her second interview, Emily brought a picture she had painted reflecting her concept of chiropractic care.

It worked, the application board remembered her and in the spring of 2003 she was granted admission to the College.

Knock Out
Emily began her four-year program this past September. She continues to compete, coach and train part-time at the Women’s Fitness Club of Canada in Toronto.

“I’ve learned so much through training,” she says, “each person you meet is a book of knowledge.”

And those who have crossed Emily’s path have learned much from her as well.

“She is extremely inspirational,” says Carrie Dehn, one of Emily’s clients at the Women’s Club, “From everything she has been through and what she has learned along the way.”

Carrie recognizes Emily’s ability to feel out each person. She works to find out what they are interested in and to understand their goals.

“She really likes to try new things, each session is different so you don’t get bored,” Carrie says.

Emily advises other trainers to do the same.

“If you keep doing the same things over and over you’ll find your clients come in less and less,” Emily says.

Emily uses a client’s body type and size to assist in determining the program she will create for that individual. She believes that ultimately everyone can change his or her body.

“Your body is the canvas, you are the artist,” she says.

The Final Round
Emily’s future, like her past and present, is dripping with inspirational goals and lofty plans. She would like to intern in a developing country, compete for Miss. Fitness Canada, create a fitness TV show and perhaps someday get married (if she can find a man who can keep up with her!).

Ultimately, Emily says, “I just want to be strong inside and out, and to let people see that about me.”

Sitting across from Emily, her strength and determination send out a contagious glow. It is impossible not to see.

Source: Jamie Burnham, June/July 2004 Fitness Trainer Canada

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