There is never a dull moment when working with Ani and his wife, Montse. Every session with these two is filled to the brim with Spanish charm, a very quick wit and an uplifting energy that consistently reminds us that life doesn’t have to be so serious, even when you’re doing planks.
Ani himself started working out with the motivation that it’s something he “should” be doing in order to keep his back pain at bay. Fast forward six years and Ani is a two-session-a-weeker who has confessed that he’s now enjoying exercise and actually feels a void when he misses a session. Alongside improvements in strength, posture, breathing control and stress management, Ani’s back pain episodes are now far less frequent, shorter and less intense – something that has allowed him to really make the most of his time snowboarding, hiking and keeping up with their sweet dog, Tutti.
When did you realize it was important to take care of your health?
I’ve been having frequent episodes of acute low back pain years but there always were more important things to do than taking care of myself.
When we relocated from Spain to Vancouver, two things made me consider it was time to take action. First of all, this city is so ridiculously passionate abut healthy lifestyle (you can find more types of yoga than beer breweries) that it gets you no matter how much you resist. Secondly, it’s beautiful scenery lures you to outdoor activities even if, like in my case, you are the most recalcitrant of the urbanites suffering withdrawal symptoms when away from exhaust pipes.
All that led me to try snowshoeing all the way up Mt. Seymour. I could not keep up with the flocks of venerable grannies and grandpas that with an ear to ear smile where leaving me far behind. That’s the very moment I thought ‘No way Lopez, that’s it, seriously’.
What keeps you going?
My job is to measure performance of digital stuff like webs or marketing spend and what keeps me going is results. Same idea applies here. There is a very remarkable and positive difference compared to when I started.
Also important is how you achieve those results. To be honest, there is nothing I dislike more than a gym but I was lucky to find in Alive & Well the right trainers, knowledgeable of specific treatment for my issues, good communication skills and fun to work with so I really enjoy the sessions and get better results constantly.
What do you find yourself doing now that you thought you’d never be able to do?
Now I can hike, snowshoe and, my favorite, snowboard for decent amount of hours that not even in my best dreams could achieve years ago. More importantly, I got rid of the almost constant back pain I used to have. Quality of life right there.
What is something you are really proud of and why?
Change my mind to give exercising the importance it has because time ago it was always at the bottom of my list and you pay serious price for it. I’ve seen it can be fun and obviously beneficial.
What goals are you still working toward?
Anything that keeps me fit, endurance, flexibility, strong core, and so forth. It ensures life is enjoyable.
In terms of life goals: two things. I want to travel and meet other cultures as much as I can and in the other side use my professional knowledge and experience to help others in disadvantage find their way. I can find nothing more enriching than those two and I need to physically be able to accomplish them.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
People. Gastronomy. Coffee.
What is your favourite quote?
Teach me something I can put to work right away to do better. Keep your motivational lectures for your dog.
What is your favourite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
Cooking, putting my nose in every corner of grocery stores to find ingredients, having coffee while chatting, hanging around with my family, walking the dog, studying data analysis stuff, keeping an eye on what is going on out there in the world, good TV series, and weather permit, seat in a terrace with a beer in see people go by.