Finding Success at St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center
Published in the Woman Today magazine, March-April 2019 Issue
Gina Tennison knew it was time for a change.
“I had let go of working out and eating healthy,” said the Proctor local reflecting on 2017. “I had also put on quite a bit of weight in doing that. So I decided that as I was turning 40, I wanted to make my health a focus again.”
Refusing to settle for quick fixes, Gina adopted the mindset of ‘slow and steady.’ She started exercising regularly and tracking her calorie intake. She also connected with her primary care provider, Dr. Denver Ulland at St. Luke’s Mount Royal Medical Clinic, to get his thoughts on her plans for moving forward.
“Dr. Ulland spent time with me explaining the science of weight loss,” Gina said. “It was really helpful to hear his perspective.”
After nine months of consistent effort, Gina shed 45 pounds. Looking back on her success, she recognizes now how important it was for her to find a local, convenient place to work out. For Gina, that was St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center.
A full-service Center
Located inside Proctor High School, St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center opened this past fall. The Center is available to both community members as well as Proctor High School students, and offers all the amenities needed to foster health and wellness.
St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center provides its members with strength training equipment and free weights, cardio equipment and squat racks. A full line-up of fitness classes and personal training services are available, as well as a staff that is passionate about health and fitness.
“I’m all about wellness and just being healthy,” said Shannon Polson, Fitness Center Coordinator at St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center. “I really enjoy how it makes me feel, and I know that it can make other people feel great too.”
Fitness classes are offered daily, with Shannon leading many of them. As a regular in morning yoga, Gina has especially appreciated Shannon’s ability to teach.
“Shannon can lead someone who’s never been in a class before without singling them out,” Gina said. “At the same time, she can make it challenging enough for those who are more experienced. She’s a great instructor.”
In addition, Pilates cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes alternate daily over the noon hour. Senior-specific classes are available every day later in the mornings. All fitness classes are held at St. Luke’s Sports & Events Center in Proctor.
Shannon is especially passionate about the benefits of group exercise. “There’s so much in the media about how you should look and eat, but just being a normal, middle-aged person, I know that’s not how the real world works,” she said. “Connecting with others through fitness is important to me. We all struggle a little bit, and we can help each other.”
Even after losing her 45 pounds, Gina still has goals for herself. “My hopes are to continue being consistent with diet and exercise,” she said. “I’d also like to be able to do 10 pull-ups eventually.”
To help her accomplish these goals, Gina has recently teamed up with Jake Disterhaupt, Strength & Conditioning Program Coordinator at St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center, for personal training.
“I love personal training,” explained Jake. “It’s really rewarding to help individuals get where they want to be.”
Gina has appreciated Jake’s help and enjoys the individualized workouts he’s created for her. “He definitely can provide a workout that you will feel the next day or two,” Gina said. “But he also makes it a lot of fun and asks questions along the way to make sure you’re comfortable.”
Personal training is offered at the Center to individuals or small groups by appointment with either Jake or Shannon.
The future of the Center
As for the future of the Center, Shannon anticipates growth. “I’d like to offer more classes and expand our hours on weekends eventually.” Coming soon, members will have the opportunity to access the Proctor High School pool through open swim hours and aquatic fitness classes.
St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center is open Monday through Saturday. Memberships are available on a monthly or annual basis. Day passes can be purchased as well. Physical therapy is offered onsite with a physician referral. Soon, the Proctor High School pool will be available for physical therapy.
Overall, Gina is thankful for St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center and everything it offers. “It’s so convenient because it’s local,” she said. “The equipment is great, and the staff is just so welcoming and helpful.”
The staff is just as grateful to be a part of it. “St. Luke’s has been a phenomenal place to work,” Jake said. “There’s a large opportunity for growth because of how much the organization is currently growing. It’s a great time to be a part of the St. Luke’s team.”
For more information about St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center, including a full list of fitness classes, visit slhduluth.com/ProctorFitnessCenter or call 218.249.6296.
BELOW: Jake Disterhaupt, Strength & Conditioning Program Coordinator, and Shannon Polson, Fitness Center Coordinator, (from left to right) at St. Luke’s Proctor Fitness Center.