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Marlaina Sommer


When my husband asked me if I would like to interview Marlaina Sommer recently, I initially said that I was quite busy. Then he informed me that I might be interested because Marlaina had told him she was going to be starting up a new business where she would be creating a health and wellness program that would integrate aspects of both physical and mental health in a one-stop-shop experience. I started to think that what Marlaina might be doing meshes with my own past career in the fitness industry and my current career as a counsellor.





When I met with Marlaina, I learned that she has worn many hats herself, having worked as a school counsellor in Pembina Trails School Division, as well as having been a teacher, and a marriage and family therapist. Marlaina has been exercising since she was 18 years old. She is an avid runner for the past 33 years, and has completed five marathons and two half marathons.

When Marlaina retired from her role as a school counsellor last year, she decided to embark on a new venture. After completing the requisite course work and examinations, she certified as a personal trainer with the Manitoba Fitness Council.
Marlaina and her husband Hillel exercise regularly throughout the week, including twice a week at the Rady JCC. She really enjoys the time that they spend together exercising. In speaking about her current exercise regimen, Marlaina said, “These days my exercise buddy is my fit, wonderful husband. We run, walk and strength train together several times a week. Luckily, we never seem to tire of spending time with each other and always have lots to talk about.” (My husband should take note of this. When are you going to attempt a weight class with me, Bernie? The Rady JCC offers terrific classes.) Marlaina also told me she’s been married for 31 years and has three adult children. It must be true that people who play together stay together.

Marlaina’s new business is called eMotion Fitness Therapy. She explained that her goal is to meld physical wellbeing with mental and emotional health.
The idea, she said, came to her when she was training with other runners preparing for a marathon in a group out of the Running Room. According to Marlaina, it was always easier to pass the time when she ran with another person or with a small group of people. She said that people would open up to her and would talk about their lives.
I, myself, found it quite easy talking with Marlaina and could understand how others could also enjoy engaging with her. She explained that it’s often easier to open up to another person when you’re both moving and not necessarily speaking face to face.

That observation led her to develop the concept of engaging in therapeutic relationships with physical exercise. So, this past summer, after retiring, she began a new chapter in her life.
eMotionFitness Therapy offers clients three integrated approaches: Option one includes walking in nature - which has a calming effect while engaging in the therapeutic relationship and emphasizes making sense of one’s current situation. In option two Marlaina offers clients a comprehensive fitness plan, including cardio, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), strength training and flexibility movements suited to one’s fitness goals. Option three is geared for folks who are new to fitness and who want to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.
“Whether you want to make a change to improve your outward appearance through exercise or an inner change to help you manage stress or improve relationships with people in your life, Winnipeg’s eMotion Fitness Therapy can help.”
Marlaina’s website is

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