Published on February 28, 2011
The Journal Pioneer
CHARLOTTETOWN – Samantha Thorpe may not have thought breaking her back would eventually lead her to create a fitness DVD.
The Summerside native, and accomplished athlete, was told she’d never play contact sports again after damaging her L4 and L5 vertebrae during a cheerleading stunt at the University of New Brunswick.
But Thorpe, 22, found a way to stay in shape. She became a figure model, similar to a male bodybuilder, and eventually founded TogetherFit.ca with her fiancé Josh Rioux.
The couple offer personal training both in person and over the Internet, teaching people how to work out, and do it safely.
Recently, while shooting a promotional video for her fitness boot camps at Summerside’s Generation XX, she was told about an online competition in which the first prize was a fitness DVD shoot.
“I thought there was no point in not entering it, you’re not going to lose anything, so once the clip was done and edited we entered it in (the contest),” Thorpe said.
“There were about 35 to 40 contestants from all across North America, and everybody had different styles. Some were Latin dancers, we had aerobics instructors, pole dancers – everything you could think of.”
The Fitness DVD Star contest was sponsored by Regan Rogerson’s production company 208 Entertainment, which happens to have a studio in Summerside.
Thorpe’s clip was selected by online voters as the best of the bunch, earning her the opportunity to film her own workout DVD.
“I think what happened with the voting was that everybody on the Island pulled together and really supported an Islander, whether it was people from Summerside, Charlottetown, Souris, Morell, it didn’t matter – it was kind of the Island against the world,” she said. “We incorporated a lot of people from around P.E.I. in the video, too, and it was cool for them to see themselves in the contest…so the word got out that way.”
Thorpe is currently earning her nursing degree at UPEI, something she wants to complete before she begins to focus on shooting the DVD. She expects filming to begin in August or September.
While 208 also has studios in Toronto, Thorpe hopes to shoot the film close to home.
“I’m hoping to (shoot) it in Summerside just for local tourism and to try to incorporate my roots into it,” she said. “I want to have something that’s high energy and that people are going to want to do and to buy, and not just have it collecting dust on the countertop or the bookshelf.”
For more on Thorpe, visit: www.togetherfit.ca.