Running The Remedy
Katie’s Prescription for a Better Life
by Chris Dias
When asked to write about X-RX Prescription and Fitness, I thought, fantastic, finally some fringe benefits. I’m not the most robust individual; I get winded surfing Facebook. I could smarten myself up a bit, lose a few pounds, strengthen the pump. Few people know this outside my friends, family, and those I casually pass on the street, but I used to be obese. I’m not being hyperbolic, I was genuinely large. One day, I had enough, started walking, cut Pizza Pops out of my diet, and dropped 120 pounds in a year. Despite struggles, I’ve kept the majority off though admit I could be in much better shape.
Wasn’t this supposed to be about X-RX and Katie Paolucci?
Yes, I’m offering context, in that I was also hoping for a free consultation out of this. I generally avoid gyms because of self-esteem issues I believe many people suffer from. I also had a habit of stretching muscles I shouldn’t when I did a gym, forcing me once to slog through a work day with “T-Rex” arms. After talking to Katie about her program, I realized what I needed was a trainer. So, I beg your pardon if I turned my interview into a not-so-subtle attempt at exploitation.
“You asked me what I would do with someone like yourself,” Katie started. “The easy answer is diet and exercise, but really, it's not that simple. No two people are the same. I don't have cookie cutter plans that I use. I don't know what I’m going to do with you until I have met with you in person and got to know you're current and past situations. I need to know physically how you are. There is a lot of psychology involved with this process. Anyone can pump iron, but if that's all it took then everyone would be in great shape. I like to find out the barriers that people have and try to find solutions to getting past the barriers.”
That’s what separates Katie from the rest. It’s as much about the state of mind as it is physical fitness. That’s what prompted her to start X-RX Prescription and Fitness (and we’re on a word budget, so let’s just settle with X-RX). Katie doesn’t just offer one-on-one training, though that’s one aspect of the business; she also presents small group training (gathering friends to exercise instead of them sitting for hours in front of a Nintendo Switch), and fitness “boot camps”.
The boot camp is more intense than a traditional fitness camp, more closely related to calisthenics. It’s a fun and safe indoor group fitness boot camp adaptable for people of all levels using body weights, free weights, and resistance bands to gain strength, lose fat and have fun. Katie has a real passion for helping people overcome physical and mental hurdles, probably due to the fact she wasn’t born with a Billy Blanks VHS in her hand (did I just date myself?).
“I have spina bifida,” she says frankly. “I've had two separate surgeries to correct the abnormalities in my spine. During the second surgery, the doctor fused my entire lumbar spine. I have very little mobility in my spine, and still, to this day have chronic pain. I have no doubt that if I wasn't in the shape I am in now, I would likely be debilitated. And I need to be careful--I am always one wrong move away from bed rest. I am very mindful of my movements.”
Four years ago, Katie suffered from prolonged discomfort, depression, and insomnia. Side effects from the medication she was on resulted in her gaining fifty points. It wasn’t until she found yoga where her life started to turn. After three classes, her pain had improved, and after seven, it was gone.
But then what about my knees? I have bad knees.
“With my formal education and my own personal experience with spinal problems, I can assure you that any exercise that you do with me will be safe and effective. If I wouldn't do it, you won't do it. This applies to boot camps as well as personal training. I’ll monitor your movements carefully—the human body is of a poor design and breaks pretty easily. I really like to work alongside doctors to make sure we have your best interest at hand. I’m not a fan of CrossFit. It can be dangerous if not monitored properly.”
It’s a modern myth that losing weight is exercise’s solitary benefit. It’s only one aspect of a complete package that includes mental training and proper nutrition, and when educated in how to maximize these different disciplines, people will be able to lose fat, gain more energy, eliminate pain, relieve stress, and just generally feel better. Katie prescribes fitness and nutrition as a mean to resolve issues most people turn to medication to solve. It won’t fix all of them, but there is a shocking number of conditions exercise and a proper diet will address.
Katie earned her Diploma in Kinesiology from the College of New Caledonia in 2016. She also received her Personal Training Certification from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP)--the best certification available in Canada. Everybody who leads classes at X-RX has the same level of education and care as Katie—two years of post-secondary education in the field of kinesiology and well as extensive personal training education with CSEP (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.)
“To maintain this certification and its high standard, we have to continuously keep educating ourselves to ensure our knowledge is always fresh and up to date. We also have to maintain a minimum of level C first aid with AED. This is what separates my boot camps from any other in town.”
But back to my selfish desire for free consultation.
“For you, we’d pre-plan all exercises for the day, breaking them down into beginner, intermediate or advanced. You don’t have to feel foolish. You are here for a reason. No one is watching you (save Katie/the trainer). For you, we will start with a full body exercise program, paying special attention to strengthening your weak knees. I do have three classes a day currently. We work mostly body weight, dumbells, resistance bands and TRX suspension training. For the moment, it’s inside, but eventually, we’ll be working outside. We take all fitness levels. I also offer monthly, full body composition analysis that is included in the price. That includes weight, measurements, and body fat analysis.”
I’m hopeful with some additional manipulation, I might be able to score a free session, perhaps with more gushing praise (she has a very well-made website). However, in the end, one class just won’t cut it. It would ultimately require several to track my progress and tweak my plan to perfection. It isn’t a workout, it’s a life.
Addendum: I got that free consult.