One of the fulfilling aspects of serving as an MLA is the honour of representing so many inspiring people at the Manitoba legislature.
In the Kildonan constituency, one of these people is Sandi Knox, a Riverbend resident whose story is one of perseverance, grit and success.
Sandi, a fitness trainer, won the national CanFitPro Fitness Professional of the Year award in 2015, becoming the first person from Winnipeg to receive this honour. It’s an incredible achievement, well-earned through years of work and dedication.
Her turn to professional trainer after two careers in the health care field, in hindsight, may have been always an eventuality. Truth be told, Sandi is sincere that her conversion from suit-and-tie to yoga pants was a eureka moment.
An attempted robbery against her in 2001 inspired her to learn self-defence and martial arts. From there, she began working as a personal trainer with a multi-faceted approach to health and fitness.
In 2008, Sandi and her husband Sheldon Gephter opened Body Balance on Henderson Highway in East Kildonan. Their studio includes a room for Sheldon, a massage therapist, to work his craft. From zumba to self-defence and what Sandi calls a "boot camp," Body Balance is practically a one-stop shop for a range of fitness benefits.
Sandi is unassuming in exercise gear when ready to lead a session. Yoga balls and resistance bands adorn a wall at her studio in the kind of neat precision in which a proud military kid is well-versed. Her parents were both members of the Canadian Forces, and her disciplined work ethic appears at least partly influenced by the time she spent at military bases as a child.
All these years later, the top Canadian award for personal trainers is on a mantle at Sandi’s shop. For her, more importantly, is her message: "healthy body, healthy mind." This ethos is at the core of her practice. Diet and exercise are key, but discipline, dedication and determination — the drive to achieve one’s goals — are also critical components.
Sandi Knox is an inspiration for her work to better the wellness of our community. We can expect great things from her in the future.