Our Team

The smiling owners

Take a chance and come join us. It can be intimidating starting something new for the first time. We understand why people don’t want to go to large classes so here’s a place where you can come, be in a small group setting and really get the individual attention you need from an expert with a wide range of knowledge and plenty of experience to keep you safe. This is a perfect recipe for starting something new.

Donna Hutchinson
CEO

At eighteen my claim to fame was how many beers I could drink. I didn’t exercise, smoked ½ pack of cigarettes a day, ate chocolate cake for breakfast and was pretty much a sedentary coach potato. Then I lost my mother to cancer and a few years later, my dad to a sudden heart attack. Something in me switched and I knew I had to make some changes. I attended my first aerobics class at a local gym and got about half way through before stepping out to have a cigarette. Let’s just say, I didn’t take to exercise right away and ended up exercising at home for a few years before going back to a gym. Eventually, I started to change all my bad habits and was inspired to become a fitness instructor. A few years after that I became a personal trainer and a life-long career as a fitness professional began.

Hang on a long list of 28 years of experience is about to begin. I am a certified personal trainer, group fitness and yoga instructor. I am an international presenter and author of two books and over a dozen resource manuals. I have a Diploma in Exercise Science, Bachelors of Arts Degree majoring in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Counseling Theories. I am currently completing a Master's program in Counseling Psychology at Simon Fraser University.  My passion for fitness led me to a passion for the outdoors. As such I have competed in several adventure races, ultra distance trail running events and have completed several ½ and full marathons.

What makes my heart happy is watching people achieve things they never thought they could do. Whether that’s learning to lift weights for the first time, run their first 5km or even tackle the grouse grind, I’m inspired by the courage people exhibit when the stretch the edge of their comfort zone.

Shelley Bohnke
COO

The profound loss of my brother when I was 21 coupled with the loss of my father at age 37 sent me into a spiral of addiction which almost resulted in the loss of my life. It was, without a doubt the most difficult time in my life. I knew that if I didn’t take steps to make a change I would end up in a very bad place. I checked myself into a recovery center which was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I spent three months in intensive therapy and was isolated from friends and family. When I came out, I knew I had to keep myself on track and part of this journey meant I had stay not only mentally healthy but physically as well. I am proud to say that I am 16 years clean.

It was on my 45th birthday that I walked into the local community center and joined my very first step class. I felt like fish out of water and laughed my head off at how uncoordinated I was. To be honest, I was terrified, but I made it through. I kept going and went to every class I could possibly go to and started to really enjoy fitness. I knew I had found something that I truly loved doing.  A few years later I decided that I wanted to become a personal trainer and that’s when Donna entered my life. The rest as they say is history and now I am the proud owner of Smiling Hearts Yoga and Fitness. I am excited to share my passion for fitness and want you to know that change is possible even when it seems like it isn’t.

What makes my heart happy is seeing the change in other people. Something as small a seeing someone standing up a little taller because they feel better about themselves or just smiling more because they are starting to enjoy the process of becoming healthier. There’s nothing better for me than this.

 

Bailey Durham
Trainer

My passion for fitness began about 6 years ago when I made one huge life decision which was to refuse to continue to live my life in an unhealthy way.  The choices that followed were both easy and extremely difficult. I left my home, my relationship and my job in order to start taking care of myself. I had no idea at that time that I would be uncovering a passion that would run so deep. At this same time my mom Shelley began her Personal Trainer Certification and with her infectious enthusiasm and the love  only a mom can give, with soft hands and a swift kick she encouraged me to go to the gym. She helped ignite a fire within me and to see that the gym wasn’t such a scary place after all.

I decided that I wanted to make fitness as easy, welcoming and empowering a choice for other people just like me.  I met Donna and she both challenged and encouraged me to train from my point of view.  I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason and I don’t believe that my mom met Donna to only find love.  I believe she met her to help change my life’s path. With both her and my mom’s encouragement and the belief that I had a place in the health and fitness industry, I decided to become a personal trainer.

I know what it’s like to start and stop. What it’s like when that internal mom guilt kicks in. Most importantly what it’s like to make the decision every day to make good and healthy choices and get out of the car rather than drive by the gym when giving up seems easier some days. I set and achieved some major personal goals this past year which included losing 100 lbs, completing two 5 km races and crushing 280 workouts. My most exciting achievement was to have the courage to try new physical activities that in the past have scared me.

What makes my heart happy is helping clients believe they can achieve more then they think they can and that a gym family is a real thing. I look forward to the privilege of working with you in the gym and helping you grow stronger on the inside and the out.

Niki Chilas
Personal Trainers

Growing up I learned how debilitating obesity can be as I watched my mom endure a life where her movements became increasing difficult and limited. She struggled to the point where she did not leave the house for almost 6 years. My journey towards fitness started when I was 18. While I started for purely esthetic reasons, being my mom’s caregiver and seeing how much she suffered, I realized that movement it is essential in our lives and to our wellbeing. As the years went by, I continued to take, group and personal training classes, spin and whatever was offered. I love moving and after a good class I feel happy.

My career led me to starting a travel business and that became my life for several decades until last year when I worked up the courage to take the personal training course. Not knowing where it would lead me, but wanting to follow my passion for fitness, I decided it was time to pursue something I have always wanted to do. I look forward to working with others and help them find joy in movement and to age gracefully.

What makes my heart happy is making others happy, knowing I might have put a smile on someone’s because they felt a feeling of accomplishment.

Patrick
Personal Trainer

From a young age I was an active kid participating in soccer, volleyball, and basketball. Once I entered high-school I fell in love with track and throwing events. Unfortunately, my small stature was not the best for the big events like Javelin and discus so over the course of my high school years I spent more time in the gym, learning all I could from my teachers, YouTube, and the internet about how to keep myself fit.

In 2017 I was diagnosed with Myocarditis which is an infection of the heart muscle. I was in a hospital bed for 4 days and lost 15 pounds. I felt weak and frustrated. For 3 months I was unable to work, exercise, and I was limited in how long I could spend at school. Once I was cleared to exercise, I started the journey to strengthen my body. Starting from scratch was eye opening and it has helped me appreciate my body. I discovered I wanted to work with people who have been injured and need to build up strength and mobility just like I had to do. That experience led me to becoming a personal trainer and now studying Kinesiology with the goal of becoming a Physiotherapist. In my education so far I have received advanced training in Therapeutic Myofacial release, Hypervolt percussion therapy and TRX suspension training.

What makes my Heart Smile: It’s the “aha” moments when you work really hard at something and it’s not coming to you and all of a sudden you just get it. I live for the moment when this happens to people, either in the gym with movements and exercises, in school like myself with studies, or every day things, I love the moment when people get to go “aha”.

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