BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
The human body is an intricately built skyscraper composed of approximately 640 muscles. In our fast paced and physically demanding lifestyles, we sometimes take our bodies for granted, constantly pushing it to its limit until we find ourselves overwhelmed by constant aches and pains of everyday wear and tear.
25-year-old former basketball player Denver McLean, is all too familiar dealing with the physical demands of playing sports. A competitive athlete and weightlifter, Denver has always had an interest in personal fitness. As a former team member of the Brampton Blue Devils, she enjoyed the competition and the ability to train her body, while also maintaining her own health. Her passions prompted her to consider either becoming a personal trainer, or training to compete at a higher level.
Towards the end of high school, she travelled to the United States, playing in front of scouts, and she received a full scholarship to the University of Akron in Ohio. Four years later in May 2012, Denver graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. During her time in university, Denver suffered from constant chronic pain. In addition to the added stress of training and lifting weights, her pain also stemmed from her body’s own imperfections and imbalances.
Upon graduation, she received a call from fitness coach Chanel Harris, inviting her to come and try out for the Trinidad and Tobago national team. Familiar with her skills and educational background, there was no reason why she shouldn’t join the team. Embracing this new and exciting opportunity with open arms, Denver moved from Akron, Ohio to Brooklyn, New York to begin training with the Trinidad and Tobago national team.
The experience of being a part of the Trinidadian team facilitated her first connection to the Trini half of her heritage, having been raised primarily Jamaican. It presented her with the opportunity to train with Trinidadian athletes from around the world, and to discover a side of her culture that she had never had the chance to explore before.
Training with the national team took quite the toll on her body. Her time with them was cut short and she had to leave the team prematurely, due to severe chronic pain in her hip. “It was a moment where I realized I wanted to help people who have a passion in life, and they don’t want their body to prevent them from pursuing that dream,” Denver explains.
On returning to Brampton, she decided to apply her knowledge and skills in helping people maintain and extend their physical health. She not only wanted to work with athletes, but also help the average person realize their fitness goals and take preventative measures to minimize everyday bodily stress long term. Denver got a job as a personal trainer working at GoodLife Fitness in Toronto, where she was able to help many people with their plan of action, and was even named Rookie Personal Trainer of the first quarter during her first year there. After about a year and a half working in Toronto and building her resume of professional personal training success, Denver decided to bring quality fitness training out to the suburbs.
Denver founded Mile High Health and Wellness, with the intention of bringing the quality professional training that is a commodity in the downtown core and making it accessible to the suburban community. She wanted to help the average person working 9 to 5 desk jobs by making it affordable, with flexible payment plans, and accommodate accessible mobility for client convenience.
Mile High Health and Wellness is a progressive training program, specifically tailored to the needs of its clients that incorporates timely progression to attain consistent results. Those who participate in the Mile High Fitness program, regardless of their training level, can expect a rehab phase to correct structural imbalances with the use of stability & mobility training, endurance training to make it easier for you to perform your daily activities without fatigue, and Olympic lifting training to develop muscles and coordination to solidify changes and aid in definite and constant fat loss.
“It’s a pre-hab,” explains Denver, “At Mile High Health and Wellness we are preventing things from happening so that we can keep doing the things that we love.”
Mile High Health and Wellness takes Fascial Stretch Therapy and personal training, and blends them together. Fascial Stretch Therapy is a pain free, table based, manual therapy that uses gentle movements and positions to increase joint mobility and muscle flexibility. It can help treat a wide range of conditions and symptoms that include sciatica, lower back pain, sprains, aging muscle tears, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, tennis elbow, muscular dystrophy, migraine headaches, kyphosis and sprained joints.
“Our slogan is, ‘Stretch your potential, to strengthen your possibilities’,” Denver states. It is about embracing the understanding that we need to reset and re-stretch the body to let it recover before we build it back up again. Denver discovered the benefits of stretch therapy after returning from Brooklyn. She took a break from weight lifting to allow her body to rest and recover through stretching. “I fell in love with stretching, and knew that it would be a beneficial practice to help stretch people the way I could,” she explains. Denver has acquired an impressive client base and built quite the resume, stretching celebrities and world-renowned athletes in the past few years.
Mile High Health and Wellness offers a range of stretching and personal, as well as partner, training programs. They offer flexible and affordable packages and classes conducted on site or at your home. There are unique workout routines and meal plans tailored to client needs, with routine follow-ups and progress checks to ensure their trainees stay challenged, motivated and committed to training their body to meet the needs of a healthy lifestyle. Currently on Sundays, you can find Denver on Instagram hosting “Stretch Sundays”, an instructional video on everyday stretches we can use to counteract the overuse of muscles developed throughout the week.
“You don’t need to be in pain or injured to treat your body,” Denver explains. “Don’t wait for the pain to become unbearable before you start investing in your body, we need to be preparing our bodies, instead of repairing them later in life.”