The Art Of Balancing Life, Family And Fitness

In case you haven’t heard, our friends, power couple Dave and Nichelle Laus, are opening up a new gym in Toronto, Canada called Optimum Training Centre (OTC) – a 6,000 square foot personal training center.

Dave Laus Nichelle Laus Fitmark Bags


Before Dave and Nichelle started working in the fitness industry, they were both law enforcement officers. Now Dave runs his own photography business and is one of the top fitness photographers in the country. He credits his wife, Nichelle, for motivating him to hang up his police uniform and take up his camera and turn pro. His photos have appeared on the cover of Inside Fitness Magazine, OptiMYz and many more.

Before Nichelle started competing in 2005, she was training and competing at the amateur level in boxing and kickboxing. She has worked with the Edmonton Oilers Octane cheerleaders and appeared in several Nike TV commercials. Now with four young children, her priorities have changed:

“With 4 kids under the age of 9 we run on structure. Routine and time management is a priority for us.”

Life can get a little crazy sometimes managing a business and raising a large family, but Dave and Nichelle wouldn’t have it any other way. Nichelle coaches many mothers and helps them balance family with staying in shape. She says,

“Family first. Balancing can be a tough act, but with the right attitude, support and proper time management, it can be done. What I like to do is get up before the household and get my cardio done. Then later on in the day when the kids are at school, or on your lunch, or any other time you can get away without it affecting your family too much, do your weights or hit the gym for whatever you enjoy most. If your kids are still young, make sure you find a gym with a daycare. It was my life saver! As I always say, if I can do it, so can you. You just have to want it bad enough.”


As a parent and fitness coach, Nichelle believes in setting a good example for her own kids, as well as young teenagers:

“I have always been heavily involved in fitness and my background is martial arts. By leading healthy lifestyles, we are setting examples to our children. They are all now involved in martial arts, soccer, and other sports that we can practice and play together. We also love to bike ride, and do fun things around the house that keep us moving.”

Getting kids to remain active is one challenge, but as every parent knows, encouraging your children to eat healthy is probably the toughest part of the job. If you start them young enough, though, then they will develop a taste for healthy food and even eat their vegetables. Here is a sample menu that Nichelle shared with us:

Healthy Meal Plan For Kids

Breakfast – usually oatmeal or a healthy smoothie with fruit and a little protein

Snack – I always have fruit and veggies readily available. They will also have yogurt, cheese, or applesauce

Lunch – sandwich, fruit

Snack – granola bar, raisins,

Supper – they love pasta so we make a lot of that for them. We add protein sources to it such as flakes of white tuna, or chicken, or turkey for variety.

“Of course kids will be kids and they will definitely get their “treats.” We just always instil they make the healthy options first. Our kids drink milk and water for the most part. Juices are limited, and they never drink pop.”

One of the key factors of staying on track and meeting your goals is organization, and nothing keeps you organized quite like a Fitmark Bag:

“I love ALL of my Fitmark bags because they are stylish yet so practical. They are also extremely durable and functional for busy career moms! Everyone wants a bag that stands out in the crowd, and I always get compliments on my bags! Thank you Fitmark for making the best bags ever!”


You’re probably all wondering how Dave and Nichelle will balance life now that they have opened a new gym:

“We are not a membership gym (for now), so it will not affect our current routine at all. We have hired personal trainers who will run their own businesses out of our facility. We have also hired group class instructors to teach the classes.”

Exciting stuff. OTC will also offer “private personal training sessions, strength and conditioning classes and sessions, boot camp classes, elite kettlebell classes, private boxing/kickboxing training, and specialize in Emergency Services Specific Training (ESST).”

Everyone here at Fitmark is excited for Dave and Nichelle’s new venture and wish them the best of luck. We’ll be checking in to see how things are going, so stay tuned. In the meantime, remember Nichelle’s wise words, “As I always say, if I can do it, so can you. You just have to want it bad enough.”

Sport Your Lifestyle
The Fitmark Team


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