Everyone has a story … this is ours …
David graduated high school in 1977 and his organized team athletics and fitness routines came to an abrupt end … he joined a gym for the first time. He was challenged to find more efficient ways to keep himself fit while pursuing a biochemisty degree in university and fell in love with weight training and aerobics. This was the beginning of his immersion into fitness and wellness, and his career started with him teaching high-impact aerobics … loving the music, group energy, and movement. Instead of being a technical writer for the federal government, David chose to follow his passion and made teaching fitness his career.
Lisa taught waterskiing for seven summers at Camp Tamarack … loving the outdoors, encouraging kids, and offering skill development in a social environment. She graduated from university with a degree in French in 1993, yet had no idea what she was going to do with her life. Lisa went to work for her grandfather in their family paint business in search of a learning experience. Although she was there for less than a year, she learned about her weaknesses and also that she was resourceful, creative, relentless in the pursuit of efficiency, and solutions-focused. Determined to apply these attributes to bigger and better things, Lisa founded Borden Communications and Design Inc. in 1994 from the corner of her one-bedroom apartment. She had no business plan, just a goal to over-deliver on every promise she made while maintaining a passion for her work … just as she does today.
David was fascinated by the human body and dedicated to healthy movement as he is still is today. David competed at the world championships in Sport Aerobics in 1995 and 1996. In 2000, while working as the director of fitness operations for Mayfair Racquet and Fitness Clubs, he enrolled in full-time yoga teacher training. David brought these disciplines into his teachings, fusing athletic performance and training with mindful and functional movement.
Lisa became a mother in 2000 and was determined to be fully present for her newborn and her growing business. The catalyst that propelled Lisa into a relentless pursuit of wellness was the birth of Lisa’s second child, who was born with allergies in 2002. She was determined to improve societal “norms”, and became even more engaged, interested and open-minded to making positive change for herself and her business. After Lisa spent months on bedrest while pregnant with her third child in 2007, she was determined to reconnect with fitness and take care of herself so she could do the same for her whole family.
When Lisa joined Mayfair in 2016, she crossed paths with David, attending his early morning indoor cycling classes. Over time, they realized they had remarkably similar work ethic and outlooks on life, despite being different people on different paths in different professions.
Lisa could not understand why David wasn’t on social media or branding himself and offered him a consulting session as a thank you for his interest in helping to improve her fitness. Instead David showed her that he was on social media by posting this on Instagram.
Lisa learned that David was stubborn, interesting and interested, curious and open-minded … perhaps a little crazy. David thought Lisa was challenging, interesting and interested, curious and open-minded … perhaps more than a little crazy. Something clicked.
David was at a stage in his career where he was able to spend time pursuing his lifelong passion of equestrian studies. He was also growing increasingly more interested in the spiritual components of wellness such as Reiki for both humans and horses and taking an even more functional approach to his practices, trainings, and teachings.
From her basement home office, Lisa continued to focus on her commitment to doing better … for herself, her family, and her clients. The scope of her work narrowed to only working with ethical organizations and taking on pro-bono work that could bring about powerful change.
Until David met Lisa he had never had anyone take an authentic interest in the “outside the studio” aspects of being a full-time fitness professional. Eventually, David chose to let Lisa help him update his LinkedIn profile. She taught him an overwhelming amount of things that he didn’t really want to know … like hashtags and proper hydration. Lisa started to be curious about all that David was exploring in his life and work, especially when he declared that his theme for 2019 was about “connection”.
Discussions and debates about business, fitness, wellness, and life became daily occurrences.
While David was teaching seven days a week at a dozen locations around the city and Lisa was working overtime as an entrepreneur and dedicated wife and mother of 3, they found time to develop a logo, build a website and create content for David. He didn’t understand the full value and significance of the virtual world for a fitness professional and was even resistant about it all … but she was pushy and he surrendered … a little. David challenged Lisa to carve more time out of her full schedule to increase the scope and functionality of her fitness … she was resistant, he was persistent, and she surrendered … a little.
David kept showing up for sessions with Lisa. Lisa kept showing up for classes with David.
It turns out, being fully present, co-learning, and authentically giving and sharing with no expectation breeds heightened creativity and a desire to explore and practice. Through the development of their first co-created program, Future Proofing, they discovered a new level of health and wellness. David’s self-studied functional movement teachings combined with Lisa’s self-taught business development and marketing skill brought about the concept of Wellness Intelligence.
After decades of Lisa and David working as individual forces, they decided to officially combine their experience-based wisdom, teachings and unique skill sets. Along with intense struggle (mostly due to their stubborn natures, fierce independence and passion for supporting change) came something that really works. Being Unconventional Idealists at heart, they founded The Akira Concept Inc. Immersive Wellness Solutions in the fall of 2019.
With powerful support from their colleagues, clients, friends, and family, they coined the term Wellness Intelligence with the understanding that this is what they are supposed to be offering to others in this life.
Their beginnings may have been at opposite ends of the spectrum, but David and Lisa seek and share a singular mission: to empower, to infuse hope, to believe in possibility, to spread love and joy, and to help everyone discover their Wellness Intelligence. They mentor open-minded individuals, creatives, wellness professionals, and entrepreneurs on how to live and work efficiently and ethically, while having a regenerative influence, creating legacy. They are both dedicated to embodying what they teach … living and working with balance and flow … giving and giving back.
We look forward to bridging the gap between knowing and doing … bringing you back to the simplicity of foundational wellness.
Unconventional Idealists and Co-Founders of The Akira Concept Inc.