As Head Coach of the Ottawa Triathlon Club (OTC), Mark Manners works with all levels of triathletes, from beginners to hardened veterans. With his passion for fitness and health, Mark builds fun into challenging, sweat-inducing classes to help OTC members get fit while building friendships over a good workout and a shared laugh. As a lifelong enthusiast of sport, he found his way to triathlon after having played hockey, competed in weightlifting, and running. He recently married his sweetheart, who also likes to swim, bike and run.
As a gifted athlete, Mark Manners knows the hard work and dedication it takes to achieve ones goals – whether that be in sport or in life. That said, he also knows that having fun while putting in the hard work will help you stick to your goals.
“We have a saying at the Ottawa Triathlon Club and it is: if it’s fun, it’ll get done. If what we offer is fun, people will keep coming back and they will get fit. I am as much a cheerleader as anything else.”
Mark’s philosophy is what makes him a perfect fit with this year’s 3KG Challenge Team at the Alive to Strive Race on April 24. Always up to a challenge, Mark is curious to see how a 3KG (6.6 lbs) vest will affect his pace on race day. “I think it will definitely slow me down! I do a lot of run commuting with a school bag on so I hope that prepares me for this challenge.”
The weight of the 3KG vest simulates the typical amount of fluid gained by chronic kidney patients in between dialysis treatments. “I’m pleased to support a great organization and to raise awareness of kidney disease. I don’t think people realize the challenges that go along with kidney health and I’m glad to highlight this for such a great cause.”
Chronic kidney patients often have sedentary lifestyles due to long hours connected to a dialysis machine. Kidney disease and dialysis treatments can affect energy levels as well an overall sense of well-being. Fitness and physical activity play a substantial role in improving physical and mental health. Alive to Strive’s Active Living fitness grants provide support to patients to participate in any activity that gets them active.
“An active lifestyle is important for many reasons,” says Mark. “Being active is about feeling good – self-confidence and determination – and that feeling will carry over into other aspects of your life…work, family, etc. I’m a big believer in fit body, fit mind. When I am active and eating well, I just feel better.”
Mark recognizes that it can be overwhelming to get started, whether it’s a sport or a fitness activity. He shared with us a few of his favorite quotes that keep him going when he has moments of self-doubt:
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl but whatever you do keep moving forward. – Dr. Martin Luther King JR
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed. – Micheal Jordan.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese proverb.
Good luck on race day, Mark! We’re thrilled to have you join us.