”I created and designed my website in a hotel room in Winnipeg while playing for the Blue Bombers”
Confesses Patrick Fleming, looking back on the waning days of his football career and the beginnings of Fleming Fitness.
Patrick Fleming, an Ottawa native, was drafted in the second round of the CFL’s Canadian draft by the home team Renegades in 2002, after a distinguished collegiate career in the U.S. with the Bowling Green State Falcons. He went on to enjoy stints with the Hamilton Ti-Cats (’06) and the aforementioned Bombers (’07). Fun fact: his roomie with the Bombers was Zac Taylor, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Like Taylor, Fleming saw himself staying in the game after his playing days. That’s when, as an off-season dabbler in kinesiology (his college major), he was assigned his first MVA (motor vehicle accident) victim. Fleming had been told by reputable sources that the young woman in question would never be able to walk downstairs again. It was a diagnosis that triggered Fleming’s never-quit athlete’s ethos.
Less than a year later, under Fleming’s compassionate and committed tutelage, she was doing what had once been deemed the impossible. “It completely changed the direction of my business and my life,” recalls a still proud Fleming.
Today, Fleming Fitness, based in Kanata, treats MVAs, Veterans, seniors, and everybody else for everything from the effects of seriously debilitating accidents such as fractures, concussions, and brain injuries to anxiety, depression, obesity, and the onset of age. Fleming and his co-owner wife, former Texas-based news anchor Marissa Rubin, oversee a team of 28 regulated kinesiologists, corrective exercise specialists, and exercise physiologists. The team works out of two semi-private studios. All sessions are one-on-one, removing the intimidation of attending a busy public gym. Fleming Fitness uses an array of different modalities: strength and conditioning, mobility, balance, functional training, breathing techniques, core strengthening, yoga, and more. The focus is on pain management, regaining independence, and longevity.
The company also has the capacity to stage at-home sessions, in Ottawa, the Valley, and Kingston. “Seniors, injured, and busy individuals love the convenience of having a kinesiologist come to their home,” boasts the tall, amiable Fleming. “Plus, being regulated health professionals, our services can be covered by extended health plans, and can be claimed as an eligible medical expense for tax purposes.” Fleming Fitness also has a special rate for seniors, lowering the cost per session, while Veterans have access to a special program focused on strength, endurance, and decreased pain for free, thanks to direct billing.
If you’re looking for further proof of the company’s results, check out Fleming Fitness’s online reviews: you’ll find more stars than a CFL all-star team. In 2021, Community Votes, the popular platform for media outlets, awarded it Top Fitness Facility in Ottawa. It’s a success the business’owner attributes to the quality of those who wear the company’s iconic black sports tops, professionals Fleming selects with the same exacting care that he invests in patients. “Having a quality staff is crucial,” he maintains. “We constantly have an ad out looking for qualified professionals, so when the time comes to hire someone, I have dozens to interview. This way, I can select the best candidate. They must have a high level of knowledge of the human body, how it moves, and why compensations occur. Our assessments are highly detailed. We find the muscular imbalances within the body and design a program to help correct them. Each person’s program is tailored to their individual needs. We review their wants and needs and devise a custom program to help them reach their health and fitness goals. We want to improve their quality of life by helping them move and feel better while decreasing pain. For us, health and fitness are a way of living.”
Like many businesses, Fleming Fitness took a hit when it was blitzed by the pandemic—but not for long. The company began offering virtual sessions, something it still does today, providing first-timers with a free kit of exercise-related amenities. And like a typical Fleming Fitness patient, the company’s in-person facilities are back to functionality. The company has just expanded its 1800 square feet facility on Palladium Drive, adding another 1600.
If you don’t feel you’re a candidate for an appointment, you can benefit from Fleming Fitness’ expertise via their website. There, you’ll find practical tips on everything from at-home exercise regimens to mental health. It’s just another of the myriad ways Fleming Fitness is aiding the greater Ottawa community, like its eight-year-old annual charity golf tournament which has raised over $160,000 for the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley.
Just like the founder’s experience with that first MVA, Fleming Fitness can be a life-changing experience.
By Dan Lalande
Photo by Sean Sisk