Cue the warm sun shining on your face, the various birds and creatures jumping from tree to tree, the calm flow of the water and the excitement to try something new and connect with nature–this sounds like the perfect recipe for stand up paddleboarding in the Quinte West region. Add some balance to your summer with GoActive Ontario: their services are the perfect combination of challenge, fitness, and play!
Okay, so where can you do SUP (stand up paddleboarding) and what is GoActive Ontario? The name says a lot: this Quinte West-based business promotes the idea of going outside and being active, whether that’s trying something new or doing workouts in parks or on the water in the surrounding area. Right now they mostly focus on (but aren’t limited to) stand up paddleboarding because of its versatility and the opportunity to experience the many waterways in the area.
Mik and Aggy Popiel are the current owners of GoActive Ontario. With their passion for the outdoors and the community, as well as experience with playing sports, teaching outdoor activities, and their respective backgrounds in the military and kinesiology, they are the perfect business-owners-couple. They are both inspiring, approachable and knowledgable in many areas of outdoor recreation, leading people of all ages through challenging (and fun) activities.
Mik works full-time with the Canadian Armed Forces, where his experience and love for the outdoors stemmed from. In his free time, he is the one behind the communication and strategy of the company, connecting with fellow local businesses and entrepreneurs, thinking of new services, and just trying to make GoActive Ontario as awesome and welcoming as it can be.
He loves the Quinte West area because of the numerous waterfronts and trails that are all in close proximity to his home and other locals: “Coming from Alberta, I experienced the struggle of trying to enjoy activities outside. It was always such a long drive to get to a decent trail or campground just so I could take my board or bike out for a fun challenge.” Now that he and his family call Quinte West home, he is ecstatic about being surrounded by beautiful landscapes and opportunities. It’s important to them that their kids get to grow up appreciating the area and having outdoor activities easily accessible to them.
Aggy is also passionate about outdoor recreation and how being active brings people together–her constant smile says it all. She started out working as an instructor with GoActive Ontario, and then when the opportunity to buy the business came up, she says it was a perfect fit. She now works part-time with GoActive Ontario as an instructor and owner, and loves every minute of it. Aggy was born and raised in Poland, and has “always been a pretty active person with playing sports, being outside, and trying new things.”
She also has a sports background, which comes from coaching rugby and playing at the Provincial and National level years ago. She has a combined interest in outdoor recreation with knowledge and experience of the positive effects being active has on your body, mind and spirit. “I have the best job. I get to be out on the water every day in my bathing suit sharing what I love with others. I consider a lot of my customers to be friends because we have so much fun together.”
I had my meeting with Mik and Aggy on a paddleboard (where else?) and I think it was the best board meeting I have ever had. I had been on a paddleboard before but had never been taught how to properly do it. Aggy made me feel really comfortable and talked me through the process of getting ready to stand up on my board once I was in the water. If anyone tries to tell you SUP is easy, let me tell you: just trying to stand up on the board is a workout in itself! I managed to stand up and paddle while chatting and looking around the beautiful Murray Channel with little struggle, but I did still fall into the water near the end thanks to some unexpected waves. A word of warning everyone–don’t wear your denim shorts and Ray Ban sunglasses while doing SUP, it isn’t worth it. Needless to say, I had a great time and the wet drive home was well worth it.
GoActive Ontario currently focuses on three key services: SUP (stand up paddleboarding), Fitness and Play. They offer these services in Belleville, Quinte West, Wellington, Brighton and Cobourg.
Stand up paddleboarding provides the opportunity to try something new that is both relaxing and a great workout. All levels are welcome. All instructors are knowledgeable and fully qualified to provide the best and safest experience, so don’t be shy if you’ve never done it before.
GoActive Ontario offers a variety of options for SUP with classes located at various waterways in the area to help you explore Quinte West (like the Trent-Severn Waterway and Little Lake in Brighton). They also offer some of their SUP classes indoors during the winter months at locations like the Trenton YMCA.
If you’re looking to spice up your boring treadmill routine, the fitness services with GoActive Ontario are a great choice. Push, pull, run, jump, lift, throw, climb and crawl, outside or inside, on land or on the water, with or without the kiddies with their fitness programs. Choose from: FIT and SUPfit, One on One or with a Few, and Team Training and Building. Whatever your fitness goal may be, the staff at GoActive will provide their expertise to make that happen.
Do you remember the beloved term “play days” as a kid? Well, at GoActive Ontario the word play is important again. Join in one of their Playdays to have fun and try something different, connect with other locals/outdoor enthusiasts, and get out of your comfort zone. Not only are Aggy and Mik obsessed with outdoor recreation, but they also understand the importance and beauty of community involvement. They partner with many local businesses to make their Play services come to life. Try some axe throwing, cycling or paddling next time you’re looking to play!
If you love Quinte West as much as Mik and Aggy do, check out GoActive Ontario next time you’re looking for something fun or challenging to do outdoors.
To stay in touch with the GoActive community, events, and updates, or just to show them some love, check out some of these links: