Spotlight on Manda Watt

If you live in Kelowna and you’re into fitness, you know Manda Watt. If you haven’t heard of her, you’ve been living in a cave. Manda is Kelowna’s Premier Personal Trainer (not just in this blogger’s opinion) and when she talks heath, fitness and well-being, people in this city lean in.

A native of Nova Scotia, Manda holds a BSc in Kinesiology from Dal and is an athlete herself. Manda’s healthy obsession is Ultra Trail Running! Yes – that’s 50KM of technical racing along BC’s most rustic mix of single track and alpine trails in a single event!! Please go back and read those terrifying words again. When I sat down to talk to her about her Gravity Float & Wellness experience, here is what she had to say…

How did you prepare for your FLOAT?
“I didn’t. I was really nervous. I have a hard time sitting still for longer than an hour because I am always on the go and moving. So, this is exactly what I needed!! I didn’t think I could last the full 90 minutes, but I surprised myself. I had no problems with the prescribed 90 minutes. Mary (at the front desk) was super lovely. She made me feel comfortable and took her time explaining what the process was: what I should do, what I could expect…so that calmed my nerves a little bit.

“Floating was unreal. So Cool. I lost all concept of time. And I’m someone who always knows what time it is.”

Once you got into the pod, what was going on in your head?
“I literally couldn’t think of anything. Usually my mind is always going and…nothing! It was the first time I was able to quiet my mind. Not that I could do it continuously because I couldn’t, but for long periods there was nothing going on up there. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to me before. I have never been able to meditate, even in Savasana my mind is always going.

And what was really interesting, was when I first started to float my shoulders instantly crept up into my ears and I felt tension in my upper traps and my hips where I hold all my tension. It didn’t last very long…as soon as I relaxed all of that ache and tension disappeared. And again, I don’t know how long that took.”

Ultra- running sounds ultra- painful. Do you think your Float had any impact on injuries?
“I have tendonitis in my hip and a few other chronic things since my last ultra-run in July. Everyday my hip aches depending on how active I am and what I’m doing. After the float, on that day, my hip felt the best it has felt in a couple of months. I’m serious. And that made me think of my clients who could benefit.”

How is that?
“There’s not a single person I work with who doesn’t have some kind of joint or soft tissue issue. Lots of active people with injuries are not physically able to do yoga (or other stress/pressure relieving practice) and get the benefits of that practice. Floating is unique. Floating is passive. It does not add stress or require balance. If you can’t be an active participant in your own healing, floating is perfect.”

Manda trains, coaches and supervises between 40-55 clients. Most of these she sees once per week, but many come to her up to 3 times per week. Her fitness and physiological knowledge is unparalleled. And she throws a mean kettlebell.

Contact her at manda@twpfitness.com

Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller is a lifestyle writer whose articles and blogs feature interesting people, places and businesses. A former educator, she is a community volunteer and loves living and writing in the Okanagan. loumiller@me.com