Sisterhood Fitness – where women support encourage and train

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“I will not walk in front of you as your leader, or behind you as your follower, but I will walk beside you as your sister,”  Founder of Sisterhood Fitness and Pointe Claire resident Janice Hillrich.

Founded out of passion, personal experience and a need to get healthy, Janice Hillrich has developed a unique way to take women from a sedentary lifestyle to one of health and fitness.

“When I was 12, I was diagnosed with roto-scoliosis, a disease that caused my spine to grow like an S while rotating like a corkscrew,” Hillrich told WIB in an interview.  “I had my first major surgery at 13 and had five subsequent surgeries until the age of 40.”

While life saving, the many surgeries left Hillrich with a complete spinal fusion from top to bottom, and into the pelvis. Doctors advised her to stay away from all forms of physical activity for fear of injury.

Janice Hillrich
Janice believes exercise is the best at stress relief

“Thank God the medical mindset has changed,” Hillrich explained.  “I took their advice and led a very sedentary lifestyle. The results were to be expected.  I was overweight, lethargic and in constant pain.  My body was simply not strong enough to support itself through day to day activities, and I was in a constant mental fog and suffered from depression. I looked and felt much older than I was, and I knew that if I did not make significant changes to my lifestyle, I was doomed to a life of more of the same.”

A light went on for Hillrich when at 53 could not see herself continuing along this unhealthy path.

“I began by cleaning up my diet.  Over the next ten months, I lost the extra 40 pounds that I had been carrying. Very doable at one pound a week and just by removing unhealthy “foods” from my diet.  I felt better, but still weak. No energy or muscle tone.  I started doing some resistance training at home on my own, and the results were amazing!  I could see muscle definition developing.”

Contrary to the original “stay still” advice Hillrich did not injure herself but gained strength and endurance.

“For the first time in 40 years, I was not living in pain.  My knees and back no longer hurt. I had bounding energy and sharp mental focus. I felt reborn, mentally and physically. I was hooked,” she said.

At the age of 54, having never been in a gym, Hillrich not only joined one and hired a personal trainer but she proceeded to become a Certified Fitness Trainer and now teaches and guides others through journeys similar to her own.

Pull ups are difficult but possible according to Hillrich
Pull ups are difficult but possible according to Hillrich

“We are women training women, supporting and encouraging each other. We integrate a wide variety of fitness modalities,” she explained. “Programs are tailored to each individual and include weight training using both free weights and machines, boxing, resistance training, mat work and core strengthening through TRX and RIP training.

“I will not walk in front of you as your leader, or behind you as your follower, but I will walk beside you as your sister.”

To contact Janice Hillrich for your complementary consultation email janicehillrich@gmail.com

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