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Trainer's bout with leukemia fuels drive to stay healthy

Written by: Cary Castagna, QMI Agency
Apr. 25, 2014

Jordan Cieciwa. (Handout)


Jordan Cieciwa doesn't fret about doffing his T-shirt at the beach.

Not that he has any reason to.

The Winnipeg-based personal trainer and fitness personality practises what he preaches — and possesses the chiselled torso to prove it.

Of course, his aesthetically pleasing physique is the byproduct of following a fitness-oriented lifestyle. But vanity isn't what truly compels Cieciwa to eat right and exercise every day.

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“I tell people that if I take my shirt off now, it doesn’t matter what I look like. But it’s nice when it doesn’t disappoint,” he says by phone. “It’s fun to be 33, go to the beach, take your shirt off and not look like a 33-year-old.”

But what really drives Cieciwa to do what he does goes beyond skin deep.

“I’m trying to avoid the hospital,” he explains. “I’ve always had that mindset because I was a sick kid, so I never want to go back to a hospital. They’re not fun.”

When Cieciwa was 12-years-old, he was diagnosed with childhood leukemia.

He ended up spending more time in hospital than he cares to remember.

“I bring it up, but I don’t bring it up a lot,” he adds. “But it’s what’s got my brain wrapped around exercise and nutrition.”

Throughout his treatment, Cieciwa was largely inactive. And as the son of “good Polish folks,” his diet left much to be desired.

By about age 15, he was admittedly overweight and squeezing himself into Size 40 pants.

Those were the days when he fretted about baring his “pudgy” torso.

“I wasn't the first to take my shirt off at the beach,” he notes.

But that was before he devoted his life to health and fitness, studying kinesiology and applied health in university, becoming a corporate wellness coach and a strength and conditioning specialist, and eventually running his own personal training studio for several years.

These days, Cieciwa continues to train clients in their homes, while spreading the word about fitness as a trusted media source.

He's also in the process of relaunching his website, onefitcity.com. The site is essentially an online fitness hub designed to inspire the masses with success stories, while helping to connect them to health professionals in their area, including personal trainers, physiotherapists, massage therapists, doctors and dentists.

“It’s the environment that we can create and it’s the support that we can give to somebody to get them results … I want to make a difference in the health of the nation One Fit City at a time,” says Cieciwa, whose clientele ranges from exercise newbies to pro athletes.

“The more that I do, the more that I’m realizing it’s about getting grassroots in the community. It’s showing people how to cook and eat healthy. It’s showing them that just an hour of being active does wonders for the body.”

Indeed, it's done wonders for Cieciwa's body.

The Canadian fitness expert — a fit 225 pounds at six-foot-three — has long been considered cancer-free.

And free of cancer, or any other life-threatening disease for that matter, is how Cieciwa intends on staying if he can help it.

“The worst thing that I can imagine happening is if I let my health go, if I stopped working out, if I started eating horribly and I wound up in a hospital with heart disease or diabetes or whatever it is and a doctor looked at me and said, 'You would not have been here if you had've just stayed healthy,'” Cieciwa says.

Find One Fit City on Facebook.

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