April 2016 was when it all began: an injury on the volleyball court resulted in torn ligaments in my right knee.  

Having been going to the gym for the better part of 20 years (and having worked through other injuries in the past) I spent the next eight months trying to rehabilitate on my own but saw little improvement. Then, in December 2016, my chiropractor introduced me to EPIC Fitness, and thus the beginning of my transformation.

2017 was a year of highs and lows: knee surgery, followed by a separation and a major business transition. Stress levels were at an all-time high, motivation at a low, and my health and fitness was taking a back seat. But luck was shining down on me when I connected with my trainer Kathleen Holt. With her guidance, I have witnessed a significant change in my health and wellbeing. Not only did she teach me the correct way to work out and achieve personal benchmarks, she encouraged me to set realistic but challenging goals for myself. This, combined with her tweaking my diet and eating habits, has resulted in me losing 3 inches off my waist (while building muscle in my upper body and fully rehabilitating my knee).

What I believe has made my experience with EPIC fulfilling is Kathleen’s genuine nature, which I think sets her apart from other personal trainers. She stays in touch outside of our regular meeting times –sharing recipes, tips and tricks, etc. that she thinks will help me stay on track and is incredibly intuitive to how I am feeling on a day to day basis. She keeps me honest, accountable, and focused week after week.

My most important goal moving forward is to continue to strive to be a good role model for my three beautiful girls – aged 2, 4 and 6. I want to show them the importance of leading a healthy life, and set an example to never quit, be committed, always try new things, and live an “EPIC” life.

When I was asked to write this piece about my fitness journey with EPIC, I thought of an excerpt from the book The Activist:

 “Quitting is not the answer. Life is not fair, and you can’t quit every time something unfair happens to you.”


Kathleen Holt

Chris Johnston is a truly amazing man. Although he has faced some obstacles this year, he has never quit on his goals. He continues to strive for greatness even when he is feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I have had the privilege to get to see Chris grow not only in the gym, but as well emotionally, mentally and spiritually. His family is so important to him and it’s refreshing to see someone seek improvement not only for themselves, but for those around them. He is an amazing role model to his three young girls, they are so very lucky to have a Dad like him.

I have learned a lot about introspection and grit from Chris. When it comes to personal development, he is always up for the challenge. He has been taking the reins on his own training and programming outside of the gym. It’s a dream to watch someone invest in the process, soak up all of the knowledge, then be able to implement it for themselves outside of the EPIC Fitness walls.

Chris has learned a lot about his body and how to move it. Body awareness takes a lot of time and dedication; he has definitely put in the work. Not only has he been able to rehab his knee after surgery, but he has drastically improved his big lifts, power, and coordination. He also informed me that he is able to give tips to others at the gym to help them improve their form.

I know that his journey is not complete and he will still have many mountains to conquer. Thank you for being an inspiration to everyone around you and for always striving to do your best. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you – I know it will be great!