Local resident taking part in major fitness event

September 28, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

It’s a dream come true for local resident Kimberly DaPonte, who will be taking part in a major fitness event in Detroit next week, dubbed Operation Rise, where she’ll be pushing her limits, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The first ever event, Operation Rise will take place September 6th to 8th, at Top Gun Fitness Facility in Shelby Township, Michigan. Erik Evans, the owner and head trainer of Top Gun Fitness Facility, created the event.

Four contestants have been chosen from across North America, but for Ms. DaPonte, it’s even more special, as she’s the only Canadian to take part, the other three being American. During those three days, the contestants will be taking part in what is described as “intense training with an educational experience that will be second to none,” with five training sessions “that will push each individual to their physical and mental limits.”

Also on hand for this event are Dr. Paul Rimmer from Nexus Fitness Content in England, to provide training and educational opportunities, along with Matthew Mancour, the director/producer, will be filming/documenting the event into a mini series, that will be released through social media.

In an interview with the Citizen, Ms. DaPonte, 37, explained she saw the trailer to apply to the event through Instagram and Facebook. “I just went ahead and applied right away.” She was informed at the end of July she made the top 12, and once she knew that, “it made me obviously want the opportunity even more.” After being notified, she did an online interview with Mr. Evans, and was then informed beginning of August she made the final cut.

However, she says she thought it was a joke, “I didn’t believe it at first. I’m just modest in that sense.”

Ms. DaPonte says that now “the pressure is real,” but is very humble, grateful, and above all, excited to take part in Operation Rise.

She says she has always wanted to do something like this because “I’ve always envisioned myself being part of something physically and mentally challenging… I knew if there was ever an opportunity to join a physical or mental challenge, that I would drop everything in a heartbeat and do it.”

Mr. Mancour, asking personal questions, to get a basis for her story, recently interviewed her, which Ms. DaPonte admitted she “didn’t realize it’s going to be more of an emotional journey than anything… I wasn’t expecting that until I spoke with (Mancour).”

She added because she didn’t expect this to be an emotional challenge, she’s excited for what she’s not expecting to get out of it. She says she’s looking forward to the small things; seeing the other contestants, “to meet them and hear their stories,” along with finding out exactly why she was picked.

To prepare for this event, Ms. DaPonte has been working and training hard. Though she does work out regularly, she is “focusing more on endurance and strength” rather than aesthetics, as before she just lifts weights, but wants to improve her cardiovascular performance.

She described her usual day as starting off with a fasted morning conditioning. “It’s a combination of a bit of weights, with cardio intervals,” then later does high-intense interval training.

Though she was in a car accident a few weeks ago, she got out of it with no major injuries, but since then “I haven’t taken one day off. Even if it’s going into the gym and riding a bike lightly, I just didn’t want to skip a day.”

Asked how she is preparing herself mentally, Ms. DaPonte says by working with her friend Doug, who does healing and energy work, and after the car accident, “has helped as well, physically and emotionally.” She also trains her mind by listening to inspirational and motivational speakers Wayne Dyer and Matt Kahn whenever she is able to, along with reading scriptures from her bible.

She is also looking forward to learning and using state of the art scientific fitness technology. “I’m really intrigued by the behind scenes stuff, as well as the workout.”

Ms. DaPonte says she “wasted away some years” and wants to focus on herself and her health, and push others to go live their lives and dreams, and that it’s never too late for that. “If I can reach out and inspire anyone, I hope I can do that.”

Despite being the oldest contestant, it has not stopped her from doing the event. “I’m the old grandma,” she laughed.

Once the event is done, Ms. DaPonte says she will come back to Orangeville and slim down for a photo shoot, though she’s looking forward to “a couple days off, and maybe eat junk food.”

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