Whitney Darchuk’s passion for fitness propels others forward.
© Herald photo by KJ Dakin
Whitney Darchuk receives the YWCA's Women of Distinction award for Young Women’s Leadership, which is specifically for a woman between 16 and 25 years of age. Darchuk is the owner and operator of a massage therapy business and a manager and class instructor at Saskpro Crossfit. On top of that, she continues to help with her family’s business and pursues her own professional development as well.
Darchuk is the owner and operator of a massage therapy business and a manager and class instructor at Saskpro Crossfit. On top of that, she continues to help with her family’s business, Ben’s Auto Glass, and pursues her own professional development as well.
The YWCA is honouring spectacular women in one of five categories: Arts, Culture and Heritage, Education, Business, Entrepreneurship or Leadership, Young Women’s Leadership and Lifetime Achievement.
Darchuk has captured the Young Women’s Leadership award, for a woman between 16 and 25 years of age.
Darchuk is honoured to receive the award and says that acknowledging the strength and accomplishments of women is particularly important, as things are still unbalanced in the minds many.
“Sometimes I feel like there’s things out there that everyone just assumes is just a man’s job, or only men can do these types of things, and I don’t really believe that’s true. I think women are just as powerful and can do just as much as men can,” she said.
She holds herself to some high standards as well.
“What I can do in the gym, people might think that a female can’t do those kinds of things but they can and I like to help females get there. But first of all I like to be living proof of it too. So whatever I teach to people and show that they can do, I make sure that I can be living proof of it and do it myself. And I think once people see that … they set their goals and standards higher,” she said.
She notices that women often don’t believe they have the strength to do certain things in the gym and she works to show them otherwise.
“Females that come into the gym and they’re 45 years old and they walk in and see this guy doing pull-ups. And they are like, ‘there is no way that I am ever going to be able to do a pull-up,’ … sooner or later before they know it we have them doing pull-ups like the men do,” she said.
From helping others accomplish their goals in fitness to the adrenalin rush she gets when she pushes herself athletically, Darchuk is passionate about what she does.
“All my work I enjoy and I’m passionate about but my greatest passion lays with the Crossfit side of things, and I’m really honoured and lucky to have that opportunity,” she said.
“What I do with the whole gym stuff is life changing to people … to be able to pass my knowledge on to help people with what I know and what I accomplished is a pretty rewarding thing. They accomplish big goals or dreams they thought they would never be able to achieve,” Darchuk said.
And they are like, ‘there is no way that I am ever going to be able to do a pull-up,’ … sooner or later before they know it we have them doing pull-ups like the men do,” Darchuk said
Working for the gym happened naturally.
“I just kind of walked into the gym as a regular member myself, back in 2009… I was there for about two or three months, and then the owner of the gym there, he approached me and asked me if I would be interested in becoming a part of his business and his product that he was developing for the city,” Darchuk said.
She grew up playing a lot of sports and athletics.
“So I was still keeping up doing sports and stuff like that and I guess my athletic ability showed itself to him and then just my passion and dedication to kind of that aspect of life,” she said.
“I guess he noticed that and how much I enjoyed it and when I enjoy something like that it kind of becomes my life,” she said.
“I took his offer and it’s just kind of grown from there,” Darchuk said.
Now she does much of the background work for the gym, such as managing the coach’s schedules, keeping track of gym member’s attendance, coaching classes and running her own endurance team. She also helps people with their nutritional goals. Darchuk is continually training to take on more managerial responsibilities at Saskpro Crossfit.
As a trainer she enjoys watching people’s progress.
“It’s exciting to see them at a high of being so excited to accomplish something (when they) were starting to doubt themselves,” she said.
As a massage therapist she continues to balance running her business with working at the gym and helping with her family’s business, and also makes time for family and friends.
“I juggle all three jobs together.”
She’s got a busy life, but she likes it that way.
She has grown up in the city and she has no intentions of going anywhere. She hopes that her success might convince other young people to stick around and add their strength to the community.
“So that we don’t loose all those young people trying to move away that think there is no opportunity here,” Darchuk said.
“I think if you look at the big picture of things, P.A. is a great place to grow up. When you’re younger there is a lot of opportunity here,” she said.
“I think it’s a great place to live and be.”