#The Silver Lining Project

COVID-19 made 2020 a very strange year for everyone.

From stress to uncertainty most people would review the year in a negative light. Through it all, there were some WINS. And we want to hear from YOU- what were some of the wins, or challenges that you were able to overcome in the past year? What silver linings did the pandemic bring to you for your health and wellness? Your silver lining story can be anything from creating a routine to going for socially distanced walks with friends, taking up meditation, exploring our local landscape and trying new hikes, weight loss, a self care routine, supporting local farmers and experimenting with healthier meals, getting off of medications, having the time to spend with (grand)kids and staying on the move with the- there is no limits to your silver linings.

For the month of February, we want to see your silver linings! Submit a quick story accompanied with a picture and be entered in to win our grand prize:

  • 1 year membership at Global Fitness worth $720
  • NEW: Teeth Whitening treatment from Ambrosi Place Dental Care worth $450
  • Fitness Swag Bag from Clint Pratch worth $250
  • Supplement King pack worth $200
  • Meals from BLK BOX worth $150
  • $200 voucher for your choice of fitness gear (new runners, racquet, lifting belt, hiking poles, you name it!)

*Please note that stories and pictures will be featured in the club, on our website and social media platforms. **

And the winner of #TheSilverLiningProject is….

Caden Luttmerding

Self-confidence is something I’ve struggled with my whole life but I am putting in the work and wanted to share!

The fitness journey began 18 months ago and it’s the best damn thing I’ve ever done for myself. Big thanks to Global Fitness for allowing me to train in such an amazing facility and a special thankyou to Jacob Myers for getting the ball rolling all those months ago. None of this is possible without you, pal.


Congrats Caden!!!






Taylor Armburst

Last year 2020 was a year that we will all never forget; but most of us want to. For myself and my family, 2020 will be a year that I want to remember for always and this is primarily because of the birth of our first child. Our son Bowen was born in February just a couple weeks before a global pandemic was announced. Bowen is the silver lining for myself, my wife and the rest of our family.

Before Bowen was born, I had a goal/mindset for 2020. And this goal was to focus more on time raising our new baby. I wanted to take a step back from working full-time+, to working part time. We knew it would be a sacrifice in money, but I had a feeling being around all of my sons’ firsts and having that extra time as a family would be worth more than anything

…..And I was definitely right about that to this day and I do not regret it for one second.

After taking an amazing extended parental leave of 6 weeks after Bowen was born, It was time for me to go back part time to work; but it was not an normal time to go back to work… I work as an x-ray technologist primarily in the ER/ICU at Kelowna General Hospital. COVID-19 was in full swing and the world was locked down. Every day after that and continuing on even today- I see potential and positive COVID-19 patients every single day. I feel honored to be on the front lines with my coworkers, but also, I know in part what I am risking for my health and more importantly my family’s health.

Throughout the whole year and with everything that’s going on, Bowen has been our silver lining. For a baby and almost 1-year-old now, he has the calmest observant behavior I’ve ever seen, and his laugh will light up the room like no other; there’s no one more important in my entire life then him and as my father has put it, it is simply amazing what one person no matter how old or how small how they can change in your life for the better. When times are tough at work battling COVID-19 every day, I think about Bowen and I know I’m out here for him and his future. And I’ll never quit or let him down.

Chuck Tanner

As with every one else I was blindsided with the Covid-19 epidemic. However, it is what it is!   I’m sure as most of you living here in Kelowna and Canada for that matter feel how  very fortunate we are when we look at the chaos and craziness of our southern neighbours in the US ! The issues with Covid, the  Blacks issues, Political turmoil,  etc.,  we definitely are a nation that is the envy of most of the world!  For me personally I had my fair share of challenges and bumps in the road!  My Dad had a major stroke and was put into hospice and told to get his affairs in order!  My Son and his wife lost which would have been there  first child in there pregnancy!  I also witnessed our 12 year old cat get taken out of our yard by a coyote to which I wasn’t able to rescue him in time before he was carried off !

My fiancé & I were to get married in June (2020) in which we had to cancel  because of  Covid & obviously postponed it!  We’re optimistic though that in the fall of this year that we can get married in front of our friends & family especially her two adult children and my two adult children and three grandchildren! My fiancé and I dated back in the early 80,s and then  both went our separate ways!  We both got married and both had a family and  hadn’t seen each other in 30 + years!  We both got divorced and 3+ years ago stumbled upon each other and got together! We decided we would marry but obviously not after  this craziness in which 2020 brought upon  us! So on  the bright side besides us rescheduling our wedding,  my Dad is making progress from his stroke and is out of hospice & back home now! My Son and his wife are pregnant again and expecting in late summer!

There is optimism in the air with the hope of this vaccination that hopefully by the fall we will have a somewhat a new  normalcy! I’m grateful for Global fitness as it has been a blessing to me personally as I’m fortunate that they’ve managed to keep there doors open for the most part of this pandemic!  I play Racquetball 3-4 days a week and enjoy the cardio work out with a handful of a few friends, and  we manage to break a good sweat, a few laughs  and a wee bit of a stress relief! I look at life a little differently now as I’m sure most of us do and appreciate life more than I did before 2020 came! I’ve been fortunate enough to have a good pension from my career as a locomotive engineer, (38 years)  and realize how precious life is and how important health and especially family and friends are!  Hope this story inspires people to appreciate how fortunate that they are and when storms come that we can over come it & that there is always a silver lining!

Jadie Reichenbach

 Covid 19 impacted us all in some way or another, however, the positive side of 2020 was that it gave me the best opportunity to build relationships with my 3 kids. The kids’ mom and I, now separated, adopted a sibling group of 3 about 8 years ago. We separated not long after we adopted them, so the time I’ve had with them since, has only been weekends or holidays. For most of the years, co-parenting, they have lived in a different city and at two locations, a different province. The longest I’ve ever seen my kids in a calendar year was about a month. I knew them but never had a deep relationship with any of them. Covid changed that as I was off work and they were off school. They came to visit me during spring break at the start of the pandemic, and never left. I got to see them for almost 6 months. We hiked A LOT and explored trails around the Okanagan. My oldest and I even hit the Apple Bowl track many times to run, do the stairs, and skip. We created a ton of memories.

All 4 of us feel blessed from 2020.

Jenna Francis

My silver lining for this last year has been working with Shelbi. I started coming to Global in January of last year, not really sure how to work out on my own and very unsure of what I was capable of. I just wanted to live up to the potential I knew I had.

I booked her classes 3-5 times a week to take the pressure off of not knowing what to do, and the first class with her I nearly passed out. It was so challenging but I wanted to get better. I was finally getting in a groove with working out, and then COVID hit. I was lost again, the gyms shut down and I had no idea what to do. I reached out to her on Instagram and got signed up to have her make training plans for me (and my fiancé) and the rest is history.

I’ve never been stronger or felt more sure of myself in the gym. I am improving all the time and as a bonus I’ve lost 23lbs since the beginning of COVID and 60lbs since my heaviest. The photos show comparison from end of March until last weekend.

It’s the first time being healthy has been my lifestyle and that is my biggest win and silver lining!




Vanessa Richards

I had been working with online personal trainer for 12 weeks, and over the course of the program I couldn’t believe how much knowledge I had the opportunity of obtaining. To provide some background information, back in February I was in a bit of a slump more or less mentally and physically, felt as though I was at my lowest point, and didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. In March, I decided that I wanted to turn my situation around and so I started focusing in on my nutrition which of course is a battle in itself. From March until June I was able to lose 20lbs through diet changes and incorporating the gym however, it was at that time that I had started to hit a plateau. At the end of June, Keith took me on as a client and we got to work. He then created a highly tailored 12 week program that was designed to help me reach my goals which included:

      • Continue to progress physically and mentally
      • Become more comfortable within the gym
      • Learn about and fully understand the importance of nutrition and macros
      • What type of training to focus on to target certain muscles
      • Lose 10lbs while gaining lean muscle

This program pushed my limits to say the least. Not to mention, we probably picked the hardest time of the year to complete an initiative that requires dedication, consistency, perseverance, and discipline. Keith’s commitment to helping me achieve what seemed so far in sight yet turned out to be actually within reach, was everything. From check-ins to video tutorials, and 100% support 100% of the time I could have not done it without him. He has been a mentor, a coach, and a friend and his knowledge speaks volumes. The plan was to keep progressing towards our goal by losing 1lb per week. Over the course of 3 months I had learnt that it is possible to lose weight and build lean muscle while having minimal restrictions, also based on my specific goals my plan happened to look quite differently than the next individual and it is not solely just about “staying within a caloric deficit” in other words.. not to be scared of food especially carbs and protein!
That it is okay to fall off the wagon every once in a while and enjoy yourself, as Keith always reminded me to be proud of how far we had already come. You just continue to push harder moving forward. I can’t thank Keith enough for being my biggest motivator either, it was his advice and infectious energy that kept me going making me feel that i could achieve anything that I set my mind to. He helped me overcome many mental obstacles as well, which is a huge piece of the puzzle. Keith ensured that I was growing, learning, and feeling like the best version of myself mentally and physically!!
I took away many things such as there is never an end… it is a lifestyle change, it is choosing to be happier all around, it is choosing to get up at 5:00am and hit that workout to start your day off. I may not train as hard, but I will continue to set goals in and outside of the gym, maintain a well-balanced diet, and ensure sustainability.
I am proud to say that we reached our goal 10 weeks into the program, and overall I have lost a total of 16lbs along the way making that a total of 36lbs altogether. Keith has also taught me that it’s not about the number on the scale, it’s about how you feel! Throughout COVID I spent countless hours of which had turned into days focusing on making time for myself, working towards leading a healthier life physically and mentally, and practicing self-love. I’m excited about the progress I have made and can’t wait to see where this next year will take me. It has never felt so good to finally feel comfortable in my own skin again, with confidence and strength.

Asia Snook

At the end of 2019 I moved back to Kelowna after 4 long and unhappy years living in the Lower Mainland. I was so excited to be back with family and friends and be around fun, outgoing like-minded people. Enter: COVID.

I truly struggled with the world shutdown and not being able to do anything I had imagined when I decided to move back. However, the great outdoors were not shut down. Instead of spending money going out to restaurants, wineries, breweries and my usual go-to’s I decided to explore my hometown from views many wouldn’t see.

I got to do over 40 local hikes this summer since I couldn’t travel.

I bought a paddle board and got to experience some amazing Kelowna sunrises and sunsets.

I got a handful of memorable camping trips under my belt and even though I was disconnected from my phone, I felt more connected than ever.




Marylin Mah

I have many friends who have children involved with Special Olympics.  In the winter of 2019, I put in a last minute entry to help with a fundraiser for Special Olympics; diving into outdoor waters at -10 with my “special Pickleball” outfit (all cracked and squished pickleballs sewn onto thermal underwear).

Water was C-O-L-D-D_D_D!!!!

Took my breath away but I raised over $1000 in that one last day of entry.  Hot tub after the swim hit the sweet spot.






Brett Wilson Owner of Global Fitness



As difficult as March and April were, learning to engage with family, friends, staff, partners and clients through social distancing (zoom, zoom, zoom!!), it has created a new way of looking at many of my relationships.







Darcia Fenton



Had to undergo dental surgery and luckily the mask mandate helped to hide the swelling bruising!







My story starts in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Last year when this whole Covid started I was living in Saskatoon working at a flooring store selling flooring. I had a crazy boss. In the springtime I had a crazy experience with this crazy boss of mine witch made me want to change my life up.

Felipe Keeler

In May I decided I wanted to move to a new city and start fresh. This was a decision I had to put a lot of thinking on due to the whole Covid stuff happening I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the right time to make a move. I had a study job, started building a relationship with a girl. But a lot didn’t feel right for me.

The biggest thing is that I was unhappy with my job and the place I lived. I started to plan out where I wanted to move to and spoke to my parents were in Canada I should move to. They both recommend BC and said that I would most likely enjoy BC over the eastern part of Canada. I’ve done a few road trips to the western part of Canada and I knew nature is where I wanted to be at since I am Brazilian and grew up in the jungles. I had no idea where in BC I wanted to move to. I started doing a bunch of research to see where I would fit best but I couldn’t make up my mind, so one day I pulled up the BC map, closed my eyes and pointed at the map and told myself were ever my finger lands is where I will move and sure enough my finger land in Kelowna. I have never been to this city before, but I had lots of people only say great things about Kelowna and how beautiful it is and if you are an outdoor person this is the place to move.

I set a date of end of June to make this move. I hunted out jobs which was very hard to do since I wasn’t in the city yet and I couldn’t show who I am to my potential employers. Lots of them didn’t take me seriously duo to me being in Saskatoon still. I found a flooring store that was hiring and I already have the experience so I sent my resume and no-one got back to me. I was determined so I called the store a few times and finally got myself a Skype interview. Sure enough the interview went great and they decided to hire me. So I was able to find a job and a place to stay in start of June, all is going great.

June 28th is when I drove to Kelowna. I said goodbye to my friends and my girl and I parted ways. Arriving to Kelowna started out great. Got settled in and started at my new job. I should mention two days of being in Kelowna I left my bike locked at the mall and came out and my bike was gone. Someone cut threw my lock and took it. A week prior I just spent a good chunk of money on this bike because it was my source of transportation until I got myself a car. I ended up asking around and people told me were to look and within two hours I was able to track down the homeless guy who stole my bike and was able to get it back. What a start to a new city.

For the first month things seemed to be going well. I got myself a car and was doing good at my job. Well at least I thought. Within a month a week I got let go from my job. That really hit me. I just spend a good part of my savings on my car so all the stress and worry started to come at me. I don’t know a single person in this city.

Three weeks later a saw an ad for another sales jobs. Went to the store to check it out and see what kind of place it was. I ended up speaking to the owner and he told me to come back next morning to speak to the other owner and ended up getting hired. Been with them since.

Fall hit and I started working out at Global gym. The gym for me is my source to letting anything I got build up inside of me to let go through my workout. I finally met a couple new friends at the gym witch really helped with my loneliness. Christmas came along and my girlfriend from Saskatoon decided to move here with me. Her and I both go to global gym and love it. It’s a time where we can share with each other. We both started getting into racket ball and tennis with our daily workouts.

Global gym has allowed me to make new friends and build an even stronger relationship with my girlfriend and my mind. Kept me company on my lonely times in this new city and has taken tremendous amounts of stress to my day to day stuff. I am grateful that I’ve been able to build small friendships to some of the people that work at the gym.

Thank you, Global gym for all that you have done for my health and keeping me company at times I didn’t.

Sean Minchin

Looking back on the year of 2020, it should be easy for me to say that it was by far the worst year of my life. I think it’s fair to assume that that’s probably the mindset of most people, that have had the misfortune of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. I am choosing to look at it a bit differently, here is my story of surviving and growing in 2020.
Of course, we know the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on most people, it was no different for me. Being a first responder, I saw the fear and risk of exposure up close and personal. The virus brought new personal protection equipment, new protocols, and even changing our work shifts to 24 hours to limit exposure. Along with it all the stresses that came with managing an emergency scenes, and then a viral risk on top of the normal daily risks we encounter. Work aside like most people my relationship suffered and eventually after a few breakup cycles ended, to add another few in pebbles in the bucket of stress. It was at this time that I was faced with two paths, I could look on the negative side of things and ultimately not grow or chose the latter. I have tried to see some positive in the tragic events I have experienced, like being motivated to grow and work on myself. I started out with meditating every day. On my journey I have learned really there is no wrong way to meditate, however I feel now my mind is much clearer and focused after learning some different techniques. It was at this time I was faced with a new challenge, It started with a flood In my basement. Just as the restoration of my basement was finishing, an employee of the restoration company accidentally caused a fire in my house. Having been on shift that day I ended up responding to my own house bellowing smoke and flame. Something I’m pretty accustomed to, however when it’s your house it tends to change your outlook. To make matters worse I ended up pulling my deceased dog from the ashes. Yes, I understand the irony of a firefighter’s house burning, however I found no humor in the subject at the time. It was around this time that the gyms were closed and just about to reopen. As divine timing would have it global gym opened shortly after, allowing me to resume my workouts and taking my mind off past and current events.
With what transpired for me in the time leading up, I don’t know that I would’ve been able to survive 2020. Without having the ability to go to the gym and basically turn my mind off, I’m not sure what I would have done to get through it all.
In closing I want to thank Global Gym, I really feel being able to keep the gym open in a way saved my life.

Cam Martyna

2020 was a wild ride! Business closures, toilet paper shortages and above all, no Squash!

When I played squash for the first time, on Court 1 at Global with my high school class, I was immediately hooked!

I’ve been playing ever since and my love for the game has only grown! Encased in those four walls with a racket and ball is my Happy Place, so I was devastated when the club had to shut down!

Yes, COVID rained on everyone’s parade, but there is always a Silver Lining – There is one, literally in the photo!

My wife and I spent more time outdoors and in the fresh air of the beautiful British Columbia mountains! Look out those views!

One of those unforgettable times was a two-night hike up to Berg Lake – just at the base of Mt. Robson. It was difficult choosing only 3 photos to share with you – Truly stunning views!

Getting our hiking boots on and exploring our enormous and spectacular backyard is my Silver Lining!

Richelle Seward

2020 was like eating soup with a fork. Now, some of you may read that statement and laugh because of the many truths behind it, but the fork itself is what gathered all the good that came out of that year. The global pandemic placed a great level of precariousness on all our lives, mentally, spiritually, and physically. The amount of emotional turmoil that many individuals, myself included, experienced because of the pressure from social limitations was unplanned to say the least. As someone who relies on fitness to put my mind at ease, I felt like I had been robbed when Big White shut down, and soon after, all the gyms. As selfish as that may sound, I relied heavily on snowboarding and the gym for my mental health. It was an escape for me as I navigated through the steps I needed to take in my life to find myself again and fall in love with being on my own, a true journey through solitude. I bought a road bike despite never riding one before, and in just over two months I had logged over 1,200km. I hiked a few times a week, including Cascade Mountain in Banff. I felt like I had a great, well-rounded routine of activity to help me keep my anxiety at bay. It wasn’t until December of 2020 I was in a skiing accident and blew my ACL, MCL and meniscus. It was the universe’s way of telling me to slow down, which nearly made me lose my mind. My specialist said I would be lucky if I was able to ride next season. Knowing me though, I went at this injury with the attitude that said “Oh you think I’m injured? Watch me”. I had relentless persistency as I pushed myself every single day after my accident with proper rehabilitation and mediation, and slowly over time gained strength in surrounding areas of my knee. Two months later, my specialist told me that whatever I had been doing for rehab in combination with ‘great genetics’, I am back up on the hill (with a brace) and am able to resume all physical activity. My silver lining for this past year and moving into 2021, is finding gratitude for what we have access to. Living in Kelowna opens so many doors to fitness and outdoor activity that we truly took for granted in the past, I believe many of us can admit that. 2020 brought me patience, appreciation for friends and family, and authenticity to myself. I am truly grateful for Global Fitness and the members I can call family, you all make this facility feel like home.

Yasmin Ochoa

At the beginning of 2020, my husband and I were set to have a big, grand, wedding in July that we have been planning for the better part of two years. Three months into 2020, when COVID-19 took over the world, we knew we had to cancel it. With my family down on the coast, and most of my siblings are primary school aged, I moved to help them out and ended up staying for seven months. My husband and I were living apart, had our wedding taken away, but really did our best not to let it get us down. Both of us being enthusiastic and passionate about fitness—and with gyms being closed—ended up both taking up and really enjoying running. He challenged himself to complete seven days straight of 10Ks, and I was running almost every day. In September, we made the very spur of the moment decision to get married anyways, with our immediate family and closest friends in attendance, and only gave ourselves ten days to plan. It ended up being perfect, with beautiful weather, and we got to have a three-day honeymoon/staycation that was lots of fun. I moved back home, with him, a few weeks after and we have enjoyed having our routine of being together and have also enjoyed having gyms open!

Our silver lining was that throughout the worst of the pandemic, and being so far apart, we were able to really hit a lot of fitness goals, as well as have our very quickly planned wedding turn out better than we could have ever imagined.




Deb Asselstine

2020, Did that just happen? It sure did, not sure my outlook would have been without Global supporting us throughout the year!
I couldn’t be more Grateful. Thank you Global!!!
Fitness to me is everything, helping me to be a better person for myself & others.
When Global had no choice but to close the doors because of the pandemic, my friends Sherri-Ann & Angela who are also members of Global joined together to
start home Zoom classes. Credits for setting up Zoom go to my friend Sherri-Ann. You are the best!
We kept to the same workout schedule as possible, adjusting where we all needed. Meeting with these girls and seeing the smiles on their faces every morning even though virtual was the best part of my mornings!
Still being able to get my workouts in, it didn’t compare to Global’s welcoming atmosphere staff & members provided. So, for me, having my friends, family & a fitness center like Global has kept me grounded through the past year.
I have always been appreciative but now more so then ever. Makes my heart grow seeing the way people have come together this past year.
All the best for 2021!



Randy Butler

After being laid off and struggling to find a routine, I decided to flex my creativity instead of my muscles by learning acrylic paint pouring. Of course, materials ended up being sparse because of so many people finding their own creative outlet but the results kind of speak for themselves. To date, I’ve made about 30 paintings and have given most of them away to friends and family. Each one is unique and colors are customized for the person I am painting for!







Matt Irving

For 2020, my silver lining was getting back into golf. I golfed a lot as a kid but then drifted away from the sport as I got older. With Covid limiting some of the activities I would normally do, golf was a great alternative that is Covid friendly. (socially distancing, outside, etc.) Who knew that it’s twice as much fun with a couple ice cold cruisers going! Still got a wicked slice…








Cori Marcotte

The beginning of the lock down in 2020 was extremely difficult. I was working 2 jobs living in Prince George and when COVID hit, I was laid off both of them. If you’ve never been to Prince George BC, I highly recommend NOT going. It’s the “armpit” of BC as most would say. Not only was I not working anymore, I also didn’t have a gym to go to which is honestly one of the few things to do in PG. The gym was my get away, it’s a place where I go to better myself and clear my head. Working out and living a healthy lifestyle is my passion and having that taken away from me was the hardest part. My mental health deteriorated. I tried my best to do home bodyweight workouts, but it’s not the same as popping a scoop of pre workout, putting your headphones in and being in a place other than your living room to lift weights. I think Pierce (my partner) took it a little harder than I did as the gym has been his escape and therapy for years. It was to the point where it was even hard to take our dogs outside for a walk just from being in such a low mental state. One day we sat down and talked about moving. We always had plans on moving to a new place, we just were never sure when we were going to make that move. We both weren’t working and we both needed a change so we decided ‘SCREW IT-, let’s make the move now.’ We came to Kelowna beginning of May, right before the lockdown was lifted. Already the change of environment was extremely helpful. The weather is much more beautiful in Kelowna. We were out on walks with the dogs every day, working out outside, and then finally when Global re opened we both got jobs here. Since being here I have also finished my personal training which is something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m now taking a nutrition course. Don’t get me wrong there are still some difficulties with COVID that most would not think is ideal. But the fact that I have a job in the environment I love the most, and I’m able to be in my happy place and work on not only my physical health but my mental health as well is the biggest win in my books. Moving to Kelowna and working and working out at Global has been my silver lining.


Gord Palmer

The silver linings in this past year have gotten me through it fairly unscathed. Once the initial shock wore off and I got used to the safety precautions put in place for the fitness industry. Everything has gone smoothly with the odd correct and adjust periods. I understand 2020 has been a struggle for a lot of people and I appreciate all the good things I have to focus on.
I haven’t stopped training clients or teaching fitness. Just adjusted to whatever the current restrictions would allow. My clients and class participants have been incredibly dedicated to their fitness and understanding of the necessary guidelines in place to keep us all safe.
I’ve added Pickleball and Tennis to my personal workout program. I never get tired of learning. Whether its fitness related or otherwise. Cardio in classes is not permitted under the current guidelines so these two sports are a great addition to the weekly fitness routine.
Outside of fitness I purchased a property with my partner and sister-in-law and we are currently building new homes. This is a new process for me and very exciting. Our design build company has built many beautiful homes for clients but this my first project for us. I’m proud to be building something a little out of the ordinary and with a smaller footprint for ourselves.
Between building a new home, keeping up with my Fitness Business and learning two new sports it has been a busy and amazing year. Without the disruption of Covid-19 the year would have looked like any other year I’m sure and I may not have had the time or motivation to do any of the above.
I don’t have to look hard to find the silver linings in my life and for that I am grateful.

Jordan Wocknitz

2020 was the year I was going to travel the world. I had more money in the bank then I had ever been able to save before, a job that allowed me 4 months off and a fist full of adventures already planned out from the year before. It was going to be the best year of my life, by a long shot.
Lost my job, moved in with my parents, and spent my savings.
What a twist……
BUT, the crazy thing is, 2020 was still the best year of my life, just more in an existential powerhouse of inner growth sort of way instead.
I believe things happen for a reason and this year of terror was the most eye opening experience I have had in my 28 years of life.
The Silver Lining:
Losing everything pushed me to see through the veil I had been viewing life through, and allow to release parts of my identity that were not serving me any longer. My life had been predominantly ego driven which I was for the most part unconscious of and I was able to shed beliefs that no longer served me anymore and begin to see with eyes unclouded, maybe for the very first time.
I can honestly say because of last year I have been able to step into the shoes that I believe I was meant to fit, and my vibes have never been so high.
Carrying this new sense of self love and understanding into the New Year has given me an unreal sense of accomplishment and I couldn’t be any more excited to see what I’m going to manifest this year.
Bring it 2021.

Melissa Stogaard

This past year has been a whirl wind of adjustments for me. Single mama to 3 boys and having all there school and activities coming to a halt. My sanity- the gym was shut down. I was horrified how would we handle all of this, but it gave me the opportunity to slow down and get back to basics and nature. To bond with my children in a way we couldn’t all caught up in the hustle and bustle of school, sports, gym, work.
I now work from home which saves me the anxiety of rushing to work. My children and I have deepened our bond and learned to unplug and get back to hiking and nature and really connecting with each other. So my silver lining is the bond thru my children and slowing down and appreciating the little things again. I have also taken on meditation and yoga for some self-care again. I didn’t have time for all of this before so it’s a blessing. This year has us all reconnected and focusing on simple and amazing things that got lost in the chaos of busy life. I’m thankful for this.




Amanda Pham 

I’m sure many people hate the thought of 2020 and would love to lock it up in the past to never think of again.

I however feel quite the opposite.

2020 started off just as any other year. My new years resolutions “be a better partner,” “be more fit” and, “work less and make more money” seemed like goals I’d try to accomplish just like every other year and most likely end up failing.

In March when the pandemic shut down everyone’s reality, I had my first window to actually achieve one of my goals – “be a better partner.” This was a first where my partner and I have ever spent so much time together and we really made the best of it. We finally got to do the many things we said we would together if we ever had time. We even bought a bunch of workout equipment. Every day we made our way over to a park near our house and do outside workouts together. Within no time I was on a better workout regime then I had been doing for the past three years of working out. Suddenly I was accomplishing my goal to “be more fit.”

June came around and a day I had been dreaming about finally came true. The man of my dreams got down on one knee and proposed to me. He actually surprised me, which is insane seeing as I am so nosey. I was over the moon excited!

One month into being engaged we decided to have a Covid wedding because we wanted to keep our original anniversary date that was less then 2 months away! The government mandated regulations for gatherings of fifty persons max came as a blessing to us as it allowed us to keep things small, personal, and inexpensive. We quickly planned our wedding and when the day came, everything was perfect. Our closest friends and family were there and we got to enjoy every moment of it together.

Flash forward to the end of the year. I had a really bad experience at work that led me to take stress leave. During my leave I realized I was riddled with anxiety, working way too hard, and not making nearly enough money to validate rarely seeing my husband. I decided to quit my job and start working for myself. This led me to achieve my last goal, “work less and make more money.” Now I get to work my own hours, go to the gym with my husband every day and make more money then I ever was working nine to eleven hours a day.

This story isn’t short and sweet. It’s long and sounds like a fictional book with the best fairytale ending. I am so grateful for 2020 and for everything it challenged me and us to be. This is the first year in my life where I have actually achieved my goals and resolutions and I can only hope that every year forward is even close to as amazing as 2020 was.

Blair Bosscher

Because of Covid, I almost had to cancel my wedding. The Covid restrictions in May limited a gathering to only 50 people and we had 160 invited to our wedding.

We ended up cancelling on about 130 people and had the most amazing intimate wedding with 25 of our closest friends and family.

2020 was a crazy year but I still got to have the best day of my life!







Jane Nohels

Since the beginning of 2020 I have been doing everything in my power to find the “Silver Lining” in every situation possible. The irony of the of “Silver Lining Project” and its timing are quite perfect.
I’ve been meaning to write this all out in order to free myself from everything that was 2020 however often when I feel I am able to put it on paper I am always overcome with overwhelming emotion and anxiety and burry it all right back down never fully facing the toll it has taken on me. So, thank you Global Fitness for giving me this opportunity (aka enticing me to share in hopes it empowers and encourages others to do the same) to share how I found the Silver Linings in 2020.
January 2020 I quit my job and made the decision to return to Kelowna after having spent 2 years on the coast in a not only mentally but physically abusive relationship that ended, well let’s just say not well. It broke me.
Being the stubborn woman that I am, I was not about to let something like that define me so pushed it deep down packed up my life and headed for home. I had secured a new position that had incredible potential and had been working with a real-estate agent to purchase a new home.
I arrived in Kelowna March 1, 2020 life in tow, and BOOM COVID.
Everything that I had “planned” was gone and just like that, my life as I thought I knew it was no longer.
Trying to work through the mental anguish that comes after experiencing physical abuse is something, I simply can not put into words. Having left home at the ripe old age of 15 I have always had a “suck it up buttercup” mentality as it was only me who had my back as was often left with no choice but to solider on. My way of coping had always been to focus on the things I could control such as work, money, my living situation, all of which seemed to be literally swept from under me in what seemed like second.
Fast forward a few months only to find out the one person who means more to me than anything in this world (my Dad) has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Needless to say, my world crumbled once again. With all that is Covid we were informed we would be unable to see him which in turn broke the remaining part of the broken heart I had left.
I was devastated, and a complete wreak. Which leads me to these Silver Linings…
I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for some really amazing friends and Global Fitness (Darcia, Asia and the incredible team. You are so amazing for doing anything and everything to keep your doors open for all of our needs both physically and mentally) I may not have come out of 2020 as positively as I did. I was pushed further out of my comfort zone than ever before. Having to rely on the support of others (which I don’t do well) to get me up and out of the house even when I felt like there was just no point.
I have been able to switch my focus to the gym and use fitness as outlet to deal with the things in which I still have no control over. It has genuinely helped ease the anxiety which helps my overall mental health.
I have since secured an amazing career opportunity with an incredible employer. I have purchased a home, and my dad has successfully completed his first round of cancer treatments. (not out of the woods yet and still a long road ahead but “silver linings”) I assure you it is not all sunshine and rainbows because, well, life. However, with everything 2020 and Covid took from me it has given me so much more! I have a greater sense of who I am and I think I’m really starting to like her.
Believe it or not prior to this initiative set forth by Global Fitness my best friend and I have always joked using the term “silver linings” when a situation may not have gone the way we had planned. It has helped me understand that even though we make think something is supposed to go a certain way there is ALWAYS a reason it turns out differently!

Aaron Drake

Putting the world on hold left a lot of people feeling lost in 2020. I had the next year fully planned as I was moving to another country for grad school, but then the Covid travel restrictions forced me to defer my education for an entire year. Fortunately, the extra free time gave me the chance to catch up on other aspects of my life instead. I got to finish my Kinesiology degree, visit home in the Yukon to see friends and family that I’ve neglected for the past few years, and complete some hikes that I didn’t previously have time for.




Jordan Groves

On March 16th, 2020, Global Fitness had to shut down indefinitely. My job, my gym, and my second home- shuts down because of a global pandemic. I haven’t missed more than a week without working out, or having a shift at Global in over 8 years. It was a change, and it was a big change. 8 weeks later Global re-opens to the public, I go back to work, and life gets “Somewhat” back to normal. Then in the summer unfortunately our cat went missing. It was heart breaking and only added to the stress and uncertainty. My girlfriend and I are huge animal lovers so it was a hard pill to swallow. 4 months later someone spotted our cat, takes a picture of him, and posts it on the lost and found pets Facebook page. We were shocked- 4 months later, over 10 kilometers from our house! We instantly rushed down and start looking in the area that he was spotted. A few days went by with no luck finding him, then finally he was spotted again. This time we got down there quick and caught him. It was surreal. He was healthy and still the same cat, just missing a tooth. I guess the silver lining would be that sometimes when life seems like it can’t get any worse, have a little hope, and have a little faith, because it will surprise you with joy just as fast as it can surprise you with hardship.





Jonny Anber 

2020 was the worst and best year of my life. Lost jobs and fear led me to being able to take 6 months off and spend every moment learning, growing, and playing with my children. I never would have been able to do this any other year. Forever will I be grateful for the chance at watching my them grow up.







Nick Frank

Although 2020 was filled with negativity, I found ways to stay positive through exercise and hobby. Swimming in the Okanagan Lake during the summer was a great way to stay fit and positive. Relatively new to swimming as an exercise I was able to swim 800m in one go which is my personal best. Swimming has turned into a hobby of mine.

Another hobby I used to stay positive was cooking. From baking my own bread to canning my own tomato sauce, cooking helped me stay in touch with friends by trading recipes and such.







Deena Johansen

2020 was a crazy year for everyone. My silver lining of the pandemic was when it all started. At the time I was working and doing 7 courses in college. When lockdown happened, all classes changed to online and I got laid off from my waitressing job. School going online was a blessing. The profs cut a lot of their curriculum because they didn’t know how to transition it quickly since the semester was almost over. My workload got cut almost in half. I was also able to work at my own pace in some classes because the profs recorded and posted the lectures. I could pause when I needed an extra second to write down notes. Or rewind if I missed something. Over the summer, because I was laid off from work, I got to spend more time with my loved ones as well as work on myself. I got to go to the gym more, had more time to play sports, go on hikes, and just enjoy summer. I also found a job I loved! Plus, with receiving CERB while I didn’t have a job and having minimal bills, as well as not having to drive to work all the time or eating out, I got to save more and pay off some debt. By the end of the year, life slowed down even more with higher restrictions. I had even more time to work on myself by starting a new fitness program and learn how to relax more.





Sien Tan

2020 has been full of growth, and while growth also comes with growing pains, it’s had it’s #silverlinings.  I’ve had the opportunity to grow my yoga and wellness coaching practice and am so thankful for the stability, consistency and support of the global fitness community.  Bring it on 2021…I’m ready for you!








Raja Hadawi

Prior to COVID-19 and for the past few years, we have been spending our winters down south. This year however, things were different, and we decided to stay home for the winter. I have always been an avid squash player and because we used to go south for the winter I had not played for many years.

When Global started the squash league in the fall of 2020 I saw an opportunity for me to get back into the sport that I love. So I signed up, and again unfortunately due to COVID the league was cancelled, but not before I met some very nice people that also happen to play squash, so I established a small bubble of 3 people and we are continuing to play together during the winter months.

Global is a great club and so far, it has managed to provide us with a safe environment to all the

members. Joining Global has been the best thing that I have done this winter. It provides a good way to stay healthy in both body and mind.

In conclusion, the silver lining to me was joining a well-run club that I look forward to attending on a regular basis. It allowed me to get back into shape again and to play the game that I had been away from for too long.

Again, I want to commend all the staff at Global for doing everything in their power to provide us with a very safe environment so we can maintain our physical and mental well-being during these unprecedented and difficult times.


Torrey Woody

2020 hit me harder than I care to admit… I lost my job of 10 years only to start a new job in August and again be dismissed early February. But it hasn’t only been a financial struggle; as restrictions fell upon us, we were unable to socialize which has deteriorated my mental health. Not being able to get out and let of a little steam every once in a while has been difficult for me. That said, my silver lining has most definitely been being able to spend time with my 1 year old daughter. She’s my motivation to better myself; so I can be healthy, confident and a good father. No matter what gets thrown our way, we are strong and I am proud.





Pierce Obrycki

2020 wasn’t the greatest year, but Cori and I were still able to move down to Kelowna with our two dogs  and find work this year like we’ve been planning to for about a year and a half!









Sean Gaston

My name is Sean Gaston, and I’m a professional wrestler. At least I’m getting there. 2020 should have been my third year wrestling and I had so many amazing plans and matches lined up for the year. However it’s almost been an entire year now since the last show I was on. My 2020 started rough even before the pandemic. Depressions, toxic relationships, and almost broke as can be. My last show was one of my worst performances and it’s haunted me ever since. Being the mess I was, I spent the first two months of the pandemic doing absolutely nothing, only hurting myself further. Then a late April day I decided I wasn’t going to tell my future that I did nothing during 2020. Reached out to a trainer and got my ass back in gear. Left the toxic relationship and left the island to came to Kelowna I. July. First gym I even bothered to look at was Global and I was hooked from the start. Global Fitness has been an amazing place to help turn my life around and now I’m grinding harder than I ever have to ensure I’m faster and stronger when wrestling comes back one day. One year ago I was a depressing mess. Now, I’m just sore. But motivated more than ever, and most importantly, I’m happy with myself again.





Colin Barthel

To start 2020, I was working 60hrs a week in -30C weather in the Northern BC, and was engaged to be married in July.

In March, my 12 year relationship ended and we called off the wedding, I got laid off due to Covid-19 and moved in with my parents.

But I got to slow down my pace of life and had time to focus on my fitness, go to the beach, and spend more time with family.

The silver lining is now I live and work in my hometown, Kelowna, I put on 20lb of muscle, and I couldn’t be happier!






Joel Ritchie

With 2.5 million people dead from a virus that is still spreading like a wildfire this should be a story of doom and gloom. If you want that story turn on FOX news. If you want a story of awesomeness…keep reading.

When life closes a door, just open it again, that is how a door works.

I have a young family of 5. Summer is 12, Jaxson is 9, Georgia is 5, my (smoking hot) wife and I. 2020 was hands down one of the best years I/we have ever had. Because of the travel restrictions we stayed in our epic “backyard” as a family. Going on a trip to Tofino, which we never would have done if we could travel freely. We spent every possible day out a Kalamalka lake together, which we never would have done if the kids competitions were on. My wife was laid off from her job, and now she is studying for her real estate exam, which never would have happened without the lockdowns. We have ski passes this year, instead of going on a winter trip. My business has literally tripled in size, with more in the pipeline. My kids grades have improved tremendously since we can now help them focus on homework. The list of positives, for my family, that came out of 2020 was abundant. That is a picture of Georgia in Tofino…she’s our favorite.




Bobby Vandenhoorn

Since Covid-19 became prevalent in early 2020, I made a decision in my mind. I just decided within me that Covid-19 would simply not affect me personally in a negative way. I chose not to give it much attention, and only control my controllables.

I ended up having an amazing year in all the areas of my life I truly care about. Throughout the year I recall making mention in conversation with others that it was my best year yet! I was typically met with an expression of confusion or disbelief.

The truth of the matter remains though is that the golden rule of “what you think of and believe truly does become your reality” and “what you focus on gets your attention”

At the end of 2020 I could look back and realize that I had a lot of success in my day job, amazing success with my true passion which is art, and a lot more free time to spend in areas that truly matter. Areas like time with family, investing in my relationships/friendships, focusing on my art passion, and adapting and enjoying fitness in the outdoors, (when the gym was closed, I would get my workouts in by going for a trail run or mountain bike.) Ultimately, we were all faced to adjust in some way, and pivot in a slightly new direction. We had less certainly when we think of the future than we did pre-Covid.

At the end of the day though, with challenges comes growth, and I noticed growth personally (here’s the silver lining) in these key areas:

  • Learned to be ok with an uncertain future. (Have faith)
  • Believing that what you think truly becomes your reality (Belief)
  • Learning to pivot when necessary. (Adaptability)

Here is a photo of one of the oil on canvas portraits I completed in 2020: (It’s of Anthony Bourdain, entitled, “No Reservations”)

Sophie Vinette

Although having to work from home and mainly online was initially quite the adjustment, it has allowed for more flexibility and intentional choices when it comes to self-care. Being able to develop a more consistent yoga & mindfulness practice has truly been a big silver lining for me this past year. Working in mental health during a pandemic has its own challenges as we are all collectively impacted and personally affected in many different ways. A big shout out to our wonderful yoga instructors Sien & Kate and the Global Fitness team for offering virtual sessions, which I can attend from the comfort of my home – what a treat! The opportunity to create more art and spend quality time with our furry baby has also been a blessing.







Abbey Hughes

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2020 was a year of good luck, and abundance. However, to many, there was nothing lucky or abundant that year. For me, COVID19 changed my life in many ways.

The pre-COVID me needed a change! I was living in Victoria, working a meaningless serving job, not socializing with many, and lacking the opportunity and interest to further myself in areas of desire. The onset of the COVID pandemic triggered a domino effect in my life which gave me a nudge to make positive changes for the better.

2020 brought about many changes in my life. In March, I lost my job due to the pandemic. I was forced to move from Victoria to Kelowna. I had to find new employment at a time when the economy was shutting down. I had to recreate myself. COVID allowed me the time to work on myself, to grow my relationships with my new friends and family. It made me realize the little things in life, and what made me happy; I love workouts, watching the sunset, daily walks with my dog and, journaling with a coffee in hand. I used the time to get to know the new, beautiful area in which I now call home. I discovered characteristics about myself; I always thought of myself as an extravert, but really, I am kind of an introvert. COVID gave me the time to be on my own and investigate myself; this would not have happened in a non-pandemic era. COVID made me a better version of me!

COVID19 was truly my year of the rat. Good luck came my way, but it came through my hard work and dedication to make change. Abundance, I believe was always present; but, COVID19 forced me to slow down, reflect, and acknowledge all that I already had in my life.

Evanie Boyd

When I look back on the year of 2020, I can identify many small (and large) silver linings. Despite the chaos and uncertainty that this year brought, I have much to be grateful for. However, I’ll focus my submission on just one circumstance that brought tremendous joy to my life!
In July, I had the privilege of becoming “mommy” to a sweet, furry girl! We named her Nova, and she has been such a delight. Raising and training Nova has had its moments of patience-testing and frustration, let me tell you! But ultimately, it has been a dream to foster this special relationship. To have a constant companion in your life, who expresses such an unwavering love towards you, is such an incredible emotional experience. Caring for this little one gave greater structure and purpose to days of disorientation and anxiety. This remarkable companionship, particularly during a year that could be described as “lonely”, is particularly special.
Thank-you, Nova, for being my silver lining this past year! I love you, Little Bean.





Darren Gillespie

The past year has been a challenge for me personally, but I am grateful for it.  With all the spare time I suddenly had, I decided to invest in myself.  This was a big step for me because I hadn’t taken an honest look in the mirror for quite some time.  Was I happy with the reflection staring back at me?  No, absolutely not.  I was able to find some positive, but I knew there was so much more potential inside.

I started journaling every morning with a cup of strong black coffee and with time I started to find new hobbies.  I took cooking more seriously, I fell in love with going for walks, and I even attempted to cut my own hair and was almost proud of it.  The point is, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.  Sounds easy, but we humans are creatures of habit. Most of this time was spent alone and I was okay with that.  As much as I love spending time with friends and family, I quite enjoyed the time to self-reflect. One thing I missed dearly was the gym.

I decided to invest in a personal trainer in late 2020.  For me, the gym is a stress release and a place where I am able to see continuous growth on a regular basis.  Yes, it’s fun to be strong and look fit, but that is only a small part of why I love exercise.  It took me a long time to understand why I love working out so much, especially now that I’m not playing any competitive sports or training for anything specific.  What it comes down to for me is being better than you were the day before.  That’s it.  Yes, there is more to that than just lifting heaving things and putting them back down, but it’s easy to see progress and success.  Training with Peter has opened my eyes to what I think I can do compared to what I can actually do.  Everyone works harder with their trainer, but I’ve noticed my overall intensity has skyrocketed since starting this new program.  He is able to tailor specific movements to my unique situation so that I can get the most out of my time at the gym.  I was really happy to end 2020 on a happy note and start the new year with a burst of energy.

I am continuing to discover my strengths and where I need to improve, but I now focus more on the journey rather than the end result..  If you don’t like the situation you’re in, have an honest conversation with yourself and change it.

Thank you Global for being a cornerstone for not only myself, but so many others in our community.

Colette Lyhne

While this is a late submission, the fact is I have been really thinking about this past year and current year we are in, reflecting. An ongoing growth segment.

Reflection really is about who we are to the outside world to who we are when we do look at that mirror. Often times, more than once.

In my summary, my reflection has noted huge change. Navigation on a daily basis. Adapting to the evolution of change, wholeheartedly, has brought a new meaning to the word ‘humble’.

I am so grateful for all that I have received this past 12 months and continue to be. Hindsight is 2020. My former past has revisited me on so many levels.

Overcoming various obstacles both personally and professionally.

Professionally, I was fortunate that I sustained employment the entire time. Working in essential services provided me strength to support my employer and employees. Ebb and flo with the continued evolution of change.

Personally, I connected wholeheartedly to my horse, who has secretly become a strong, silent therapist. Sensing and feeling every ounce of my being, my horse, Beau, whom I adopted in the late fall of 2019, has provided me with unconditional love, through grace, empathy and support, which we have all received, but in different ways.

I have been so lucky to receive and exchange freely and openly by being honest and true to who I am today.  I am not perfect and thankful that I learn and grow everyday.

My future self reflects the same attributes, grace and gratitude for all if it. Every single ounce of it.

I to be so lucky to recite this memoir today, knowing that tomorrow may not provide the same as I have done today.

Thankful for it all.

Anne Pettit

Hauling out my dusty old sewing machine from the back of a closet became a silver lining for me this winter during Covid restrictions. I’ve had a lot of fun creating custom tote bags for family and friends.

Another silver lining has been Global Fitness & Racquet Club setting up pickleball programs. My husband is grateful to the Global staff for my continued sanity!!







Jimmy Pabla

I don’t have much to say about my journey for #TheSilverLiningProject accept for the gym be it Global or Golds before that or Four seasons before that, it has always straightened out my life be it in my university days, career or even reconciling my marriage. I found that this building has a spirit that has vibed with me since I was 13 years old. I love this place!






Rianne Virostek

2020 for me, despite the chaos in the world, was an amazing one. I was able to spend more time with family members, get in the best shape I have been in my life and make a move out to BC, which I have been wanting to do for several years. The pandemic allowed me to have more down time to finally take a second to look at what I was lacking in life and I was able to make big changes resulting in a happier me.








Jesse Pert


It’s been a hard year and there is no doubt about that, I know I personally hit an all time low and went through levels of discomfort that I never thought I would feel. It was hard but I have never been so grateful to have the opportunity to fail and rebuild stronger than ever. Sometimes life has to knock you down to set you straight, and thanks to the time away from work I was able to break and learn who I truly want to be and how to live this life to the fullest.. it took me until a pandemic to realize that we are here to enjoy life. Regardless if our happy is different than others happy. Do you, and do it hard! Have fun enjoy life, it doesn’t last forever so make it count!






Marina White

When Covid arrived and everything shut down, I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. My Mom had brought home a new puppy earlier in the year and she had made a snuffle mat to help occupy her new dog.  She began making and selling more of them for friends and family. The snuffle mats became so popular that I began working with her, making the snuffle mats- the business of Snuffle Mat Mama was born! This helped me keep busy, productive, and bring out my creative side while everything else was shut down. I was also able to teach a couple virtual classes for Global from home. I hope everyone enjoyed the “video-bombs” of my dogs!

Now that the gym has re-opened, I am enjoying my time back working with clients for active rehab full-time, and working with my mom on the side.






Liam Johnstone

Even in the dark times of Covid in 2020 I decided to look to the light and be optimistic. The exciting thing that made me get through was building new connections with people. I had the opportunity to take a step back and reflect. It helped me grow my mindset and as a person.






  1. Moira Drosdovech

    I actually got my wish which I had from the start and got Covid-19 so that I am now immune!

  2. As a family we took my mom out of her semi-independent living facility as she would have died due to lack of exercise and focused care – she is now living with my sister and is doing much better!
  3. Found out a lot more than I knew before about human rights as they relate to these lockdowns and quarantines.
  4. Saved some money by not going away on vacations! But did some seriously great camping in BC last summer with our new little travel trailer and the dog – more to come in 2021! Explored some new places we’d never been before.
  5. Played a LOT of physically-distanced pickleball this past summer and made some great friends.
  6. Went on some lovely hikes with friends all over the Kelowna area.
  7. Weekly Sunday family dinners as nobody was going much of anywhere!
  8. 2021 can’t be worse than 2020 – can it?! Hopefully that is also a silver lining – we’ve seen the worst and have much to look forward to in 2021!!



Mark Sadlowski

This is my first year of indoor tennis. Covid talked me into joining Global  as  most other forms of recreation were shut down.

I convinced my son and also my nephew to join and we have been playing tennis all winter and it has been awesome.  Nothing better than playing a sport with family! Thank you Global!






Carlos DaRosa

As I reflect on this past challenging year with COVID it is very easy to feel fatigued both mentally and physically but with all life’s challenges we also have the opportunity to grow over our circumstances! In “normal” times my life can be very challenging with a busy career and children one of which is on the autistic spectrum. All of Lihana’s special needs programs were canceled in 2020 due to COVID which he values so much and provides my wife and I our sparse times of respite. This pandemic really challenged us as a family to come together even stronger and to ensure we devote our own individual mental vacations for ourselves!  As a family we love the outdoors whether hiking or biking and we are so fortunate in Kelowna to have such amazing access to so many trails. For my own personal time I love playing tennis and Pickleball. Being lucky enough to be able to financially afford joining the club this fall and winter has been my silver lining! The opportunity I had at Global to help build, organize and teach Pickleball was inspiring. It reminded me of my passion for running programs and helping people develop. Working with the Global management and their openness to structure a model to accommodate both tennis and Pickleball has been awesome.




Abby Cullen

The beginning of 2020 was a very exciting time for me; I started if off in London, England with a busy year of travels planned ahead of me. That came to a halt just a few months later. I went from living a very free, flexible life while still prioritizing my academics, to moving back home to my Dad’s house out of fear that I would get too lonely for the unknown amount of time I would be stuck alone in my apartment due to this new pandemic.

I’d say the biggest let down I personally experienced from COVID was cancelling my research trip to Africa, which I had been working on closely with my favourite professor at UBCO. We had to cancel just weeks before departure and thousands of dollars in non-refundable credits later.  This not only meant that everything I had been planning for academically, adventure and pleasure wise was cancelled, but I would have to make up these research credits by doing another semester at university that I had not anticipated. Obviously, this was a huge disappointment but to my surprise, I was later able to realize a bright side of this story.

In the fall, I began another semester online, which was a struggle. I can now confidently say that I am NOT a fan of online school. This seemed just another downside of COVID as I now am forced to finish up my university degree online. All these downsides are leading me to a head start on my new career.

There was a company I was introduced to during this online semester that I was assigned to work with for the duration of the semester. This was a group project that turned into a project from hell. Myself and my other group members were later all kicked out of the class because of another student’s plagiarism that I was not aware of. Knowing that it wasn’t my fault, I went to upper management where I was told that they were sorry but “This probably wouldn’t have happened if school wasn’t online.” I then felt completely defeated. Just 6 months ago I, a hard-working student with a well-deserved high GPA who saw the end of her degree in the near future, became student who now has an F on her transcript and has to complete ANOTHER semester due to not receiving the needed credits from this class.

Back to the company I was introduced to… Well, now the bright side starts to become apparent. Just before Christmas, the district manager of this company reached out to me with a job offer. Even after all the mayhem that went on throughout our semester of working together, I proved myself to be valuable in an employment setting. The offer was more than something a 21-year-old would ever expect to receive financially, opportunity and experience wise, not to mention I knew how awesome the team at this company was. I was thrilled and soon accepted the offer.

The pandemic destroyed my travel plans and plunged me into an additional semester of study in an undesirable platform which proved disastrous. Nevertheless, surrounded by my family at home and not abandoning my strong work ethic led me to an exciting and completely unexpected opportunity.  Sad and disappointing moments of a hellish year seemed to offer anything but a silver lining, but a galvanizing ending to the year carried over into a great beginning for 2021.

Josey Bertrand

2020 was probably one of the biggest years of change for me with so much change happening all at once. It started off with a new home, a new position at work, health conditions, and as the world knows it Covid 19. I ended up working from home quite quickly.  As an introvert and someone who enjoys being at home, although I love it, working from home was quite the change at first. Learning to ignore distractions like chores, boyfriends, cats, and really learning how to separate home from work took some time. My family also entirely lives in Alberta and when Covid hit it was nearly impossible to see them especially with my mom having an auto immune disease and high-risk health issues. Then the gyms closed and if anyone knows my boyfriend, this was not an easy feat for our little fam. I started doing workouts from home with some dumbbells we had, and a yoga mat and Jordan was resilient. He spent every day outside doing band workouts on random things, stairs, and anything he could find to keep active. When the gyms opened back up, we really learned to appreciate what we have and saving our sanctuary was what mattered to us. We also bought planters and grew our own vegetables so every day we had something to keep us busy and ever excited watching them grow! I don’t see many people these days but I’ve also come to realize that I have a huge network of support keeping me going. My silver lining this year was realizing how resilient we are, finding love and joy in the simple things, and that even though your surroundings can change, your dreams don’t have to.




Derek Chin

As someone who lives with OCD, the pandemic was very difficult for me. The lack of routine, major life changes, and being out of a job right when I had just moved out of my parents place really took a toll on my mental health. My tics got to an all time high (which they tend to do when I’m anxious) and my one place to relieve stress, the gym, had been removed. Around this time my training fell out of place because let’s face it, home workouts just do not hit the same. During the lockdowns, I started to go through each individual piece of my life and make some long overdue changes. I truly think that if I was not forced to be alone with my thoughts for such an extended period of time, I would not have been able to do this. It was not easy at first but the first few started to build up momentum until my life amendments became a daily occurrence. Because of this, in 2020, I managed to renew my passion for lifting, go to school and get certified as a personal trainer, start my own business, improve my relationships, and get out of my comfort zone in many different areas. All of this has led to a more productive, happier life. My management of my mental health has never been better, my outlook on life has never been more positive and I have never been more satisfied with my current state of affairs. Now I get to do what I love as my primary source of income, I have significantly more control over my tics, and my personal relationships have never been stronger. 2020 did not get me down, it actually improved my life in every aspect.




Samantha Snook

My start to 2020 was great! My husband and I hosted a new years eve party in our house that we had recently moved into.  We rang in the new year surrounded by lots of our friends and couldn’t wait to host more fun gatherings. We had goals and intentions for 2020 to be the best year yet…haha…seems comical now.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, many aspects of my life changed.  I work as an x-ray technologist at KGH and the challenges we were now facing were something that I never imagined.  The possibility of contracting covid-19 or bringing it home to my loved ones was a real fear as I regularly work in the ER and go up to the ICU. Potentially not having enough PPE to protect ourselves at work from covid-19 was a major concern. I am very close with my family and not seeing them regularly was difficult. Through these challenges I had to remember:  I am employed, I am proud to be working on the front lines, I am fortunate to have a supportive family that all live in the same city and I have a loving husband.  I knew my situation could be much worse off compared to others and I clung onto these silver linings in my life.

In October 2020 I had a new silver lining to 2020 – My husband and I found out that we are expecting our first child!  It seemed weird to be trying to have a baby during a pandemic, but for us it couldn’t have worked out better.  It may be a strange time to be pregnant but I am enjoying it.  I am especially thankful that Global Fitness reopened their doors so I can continue to have a fit and healthy pregnancy.



Melina Marini

During Covid there has been many things that have benefited me. I feel like it has given me the opportunity to strengthen the important relationships in my life as well as put a focus towards myself and school. Covid has helped me to put a priority to my fitness goals and seek the opportunity to continuously grow. It has given me the opportunity to reflect on aspects and goals in my life that I never had before.







Scott Maciag

Well I’d say that 2020 was very interesting, it made us realize how import our health and families are.

My partner was already being healthy after our son was born, but after the 2nd wave I realized that I had to get my butt into shape. I got a membership at the gym and started going 2-3 times a week while eating healthy. Over the last year my partner and I are down over 100 lbs, this weight loss has made us become closer and healthier mentally and physically.

If it wasn’t for COVID I may not have had the chance to slow down life and regain my health. I’m thankful for being pushed and seeing the importance of spending time family and taking control of our health!






Danny Zegil

I wanted to get back into gardening, I know it is very relaxing . My cherry tomato plants are doing GREAT.  Moral of my story—-BE relaxed,  BE kind,  BE caring,  BE helpful, BE generous,  BE compassionate, BE and do whatever you feel like doing,  and you will BE HAPPY just BEING YOU.








Cassie Rezka

2020 was a year of desired and unwanted changes. I don’t have anything negative to say about 2020 other than the summer could’ve been a bit longer. Yes 2020 was pretty chaotic and unpredictable but it taught me presence. The unpredictable lives we live everyday are usually rushed, sporadic, and impatient. Rushed, that’s how I felt before Covid. But I think experiencing something so unpredictable, so restrictive, made me really reflect on the way I was living life daily. I lived unappreciated days, I didn’t love every day and I wanted to change that so I did, and I can honestly say that I love everyday I live. Every day is a new adventure, it’s a new lesson, a new relationship, a new opportunity to get you one step closer to your best self.

So, Today I live presently without feeling rushed. I am mentally, physically and emotionally better because of this new mindset. Positive outcomes come from a positive mindset so be present, patient, and positive!

A few extra positive things that came from 2020:

  • Lots of amazing recipes created
  • Working on my career
  • Connecting with loved ones
  • Amazing focus
  • Self care practice everyday!

If there’s one thing to take away from this is, time is very valuable and days, months, and even years can go by unappreciated; SO… Wake up every day with presence and purpose and your days will go from 5/10 to a 10/10 !!!

Sending good vibes.

Olivia Rabb

Just before Covid happened I moved to Kelowna for a job that drained me mentally and physically, then when Covid hit, I got laid off and the job got shut down. Instead of moving back to the lower mainland, I decided to take this time and experience a lot of the Kelowna outdoors and really fell in love with this place, I was able to do things I have never done before. Spending a lot of time in the outdoors and going on my first backpacking camping trip, it really made me appreciate life and what the Okanagan had to offer. My friend Sadie and I also decided to start up a business during this time. Overall I had a really good year.





Connor Runnalls

Turn adversity into opportunity.

This was a phrase that persisted throughout my college baseball career over the last five years. In a year like 2020 where adversity seemed to be lurking around every single corner, I am grateful to say that in hindsight, the year provided a great deal of opportunity. 2020 overall was going to be a celebratory year for me, regardless of whether or not there was a pandemic. It signified the end of my undergraduate degree, and the excitement of graduating, though it was not quite as I had imagined. Most significantly though, 2020 spelled the end of my baseball career. The way the season shut down abruptly, was like a band-aid being ripped off, but it also gave me time to evaluate what my next move needed to be. I still miss baseball in every waking moment of the day, but I was also fortunate with the amount of time I had to devote myself to my future. With the world being shut down, it made sense for me to move back to Kelowna and spend all my time studying for the LSAT’s. I studied more for my LSAT’s than I think I studied for any single class in my undergrad. As restrictions began to ease, I returned to working at Lululemon here in Kelowna, and have been creating a ton of new friendships and networking opportunities. I completed my law school applications, while scoring in the 84th percentile on my LSAT. Now, today as I look back on the year that has been. I am in the best shape of my life both physically and mentally, while getting to spend all the time in the world with those who matter most to me. The only thing left is the acceptance letters from my goal Law Schools. As treacherous as 2020 was on the world, I am happy to say that it was full of silver linings, memories made, and progress towards my future.



Kyle Mayner

The Covid-19 quarantine pandemic had a very positive impact on my life. Coming into competitive golf season, I was required to have a very solid season. Grade 11 is the year where many schools recruit their prospects for the fall of 2021. With the Covid pandemic cancelling many local, provincial and national events, it would be very difficult to attain my goal of a golf scholarship. During the quarantine phase, I remained ambitious and continued to improve my game with what I had. As tournaments were very limited, I was able to compete in VGT, (Vancouver Golf Tour events,) VGT is a professional, high ranked amateur golf tour based in the lower mainland. In my 3rd start I was able I was able to secure a win, (in amateur flight,) shooting 70 (-2) of 7,000 yards in a very deep field. I took this momentum and continued to have strong tournament results for the remaining events. I finished t-4 in the BC Junior, t-21 in the BC Amateur, and won the MJT Tour at Okanagan Golf Club shooting (-8) for 2 days. As a result of my efforts, I have signed and committed to Simon Fraser University on aa golf scholarship, joining a strong team with many high ranked Canadian amateur golfers.  I will also be under academic scholarship as a result oof my scholastic success. I thank all my friends and family for supporting me along this journey. Nathan – my swing coach to help bring my golf game to a high level both mentally and physically for 2020. As well as my friends at Global Fitness Kelowna for providing me a top tier gym facility to train at!




Kim Haythornthwaite

My Silver Lining was my 25 year old son.

It’s not often in our busy lives that we get to spend quality time with our grown adult children.

With COVID shutdowns we both found ourselves with time to reconnect in a meaningful way.

The picture I attached is us hiking the Juan de Fueca trail this summer. This was one of several big hikes we did together.

We also spent time clearing a wooded lot I own to make it fire safe. With his girlfriend, all three of us learnt how to operate chain saws and a wood chipper and worked hard together outdoors for several months.

COVID gave me time with my youngest son that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I had the opportunity to really appreciate the amazing adult he has become.

Daryl Dunstan

The best description for 2020 I heard was in the form of a math problem: If you’re going down a river at 5 km/h and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to re-shingle your roof?

While the pandemic kicked off hard with a cancelled trip to Mexico – the metaphorical canoe losing a wheel – we found more than enough pancake mix to make up for it.

Normally, we spend every May long weekend in Penticton wine tasting, but with that out of the picture, we found a different use for the wine fund: new bikes. And much to my surprise, this is how I found a way to legitimately enjoy regular cardio during the week!

With half the world shut down, I’ve spent countless hours this year riding the rail trail, biking to breweries in the sun, and looping the boardwalk on lunch breaks. My lungs love it, and frankly, so does my brain. I often forget how peaceful the world can be outside of Zoom meetings.

This leads to the second big change this past year – we spent more time camping and exploring our own backyard. From canoeing and hiking to exploring the countless waterfalls in Wells Gray Park, even when it rains, these pastimes are just the best. Growing up in the Okanagan, it’s easy to forget how good we have it, and I love that I was able to rekindle my sense of gratitude for my surroundings this year.

Lastly, I picked up some unusual new hobbies and found new ways to keep in touch with friends and family this year. Between disc golf, flair bartending, and countless evenings playing Jackbox TV, I’ve kept busier during the pandemic than I initially expected, and I’ve had loads of fun doing it.

I’m grateful for all the relationships in my life and I’d like to give a shout out to the people at Global doing everything they can to keep the gym open during a doozy of a year. I won’t be re-shingling roofs anytime soon, but I know that this place is the source of my energy and I’m deeply appreciative of you all!

A big THANK YOU to you and the team for everything you guys do!

Drenden Imber

2020 was definitely not an easy year for most people but I definitely made the best of it.  I started the year extremely over weight in a dead end kitchen job and when we got shut down things just seemed to continue to get worse.

March started off like there was going to be no positives so I decided to take matters into my own hand and actually put the lockdown into good use.  I started doing small runs, about 5 minutes is all I could manage, but after a few weeks I was really starting to feel better mentally and physically.  I then made some changes in my diet and really started to reap the rewards.

Fast forward to the June and i had lost around 30 lbs and was gearing up for my first 24 hour, 50km ultra race.  Despite the world being on lockdown I found a light with virtual races that allowed me to run on my own time by myself and stay socially distanced.  After completing a few of these races and getting myself into global fitness for weight training I was becoming the best version of myself I had every seen.

My new found fitness, confidence and mentally clarity really then started to reflect into my daily life and people started to notice.  Eventually I was contacted by a tree company in Kelowna who had seen my hard work and dedication and decided to offer me a new career path in the arborist in which I have loved since the day I started.  Since then I have continued to stay on that same path, have lost 80 lbs and have done multiple podcast interviews to inspire people to make the best of the current situation and become the best person they can.   2020 was definitely not an easy year for most people but it certainly had its silver lining!

Greg Sebell, SPONSOR

Like everyone else, 2020 brought us a ton of new challenges, but it also brought us an incredible opportunity – it was the catalyst for BLK BOX, our new meal prep company and healthy take away restaurant in the Landmark District. It was literally created and launched, from start to finish, within a year of the pandemic.

My business partner, Lonni Van Diest, and I had connected while working with Third Space Coffee (he was Operations Manager, I was head of Marketing and Creative). We both had to put our heads together and pivot fast to keep the doors open. At the height of the virus outbreak, we saw that cafe break sales records. In that moment we realized that we could make BLK BOX work – even in a pandemic.

Like any new business there are challenges and learning curves – and we’ve had plenty of those. But the community support has been incredible. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s to keep growing, challenging ourselves and keep dreaming big despite circumstances beyond our control.





Author: Global

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