Photo credit: Whitney Erin Photography
Kat Stefankiewicz, the Toronto Raptors in-arena and digital host, has always been into fitness. As a face of the Raptors loyal fanbase, she is usually seen hyping up at the fans during the playoffs at Jurassic Park and in-arena.
But Stefankiewicz entered the coveted building first as a member of the Raptors Dance Pak before landing the troupe’s captain position. In her spare time during off-season Stefankiewicz leads a spin class at Spokehaus and works with fitness brand adidas as a brand ambassador.
Here, we speak to Stefankiewicz about her fitness history, go-to workouts and keeping fitness interesting.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being a couch potato and 10 being a fitness guru) where do you sit when it comes to health and wellness?
I am going to say 8 because since I was just a kitten, I was surrounded by the influence of a healthy lifestyle that catered to both physical and mental wellness. It’s all I know! I was highly involved in sports as a child, it was a natural choice to run around the neighbourhood and explore over watching television and I was always encouraged to openly share how I felt, whether positive or negative. These choices have become habits that I still carry with me today.
Can you tell me about your morning routine?
I make myself a cup of coffee and have created a habit of writing in my journal for at least fifteen minutes. It allows me to check in with my own needs and where I would like to focus my energy before I start sharing it with others. I also try very hard not to touch social media for at least thirty minutes after I wake up. (It’s not easy!) It’s unbelievable how much lighter these choices make me feel.
Have you always been into fitness?
I danced competitively and eventually professionally up until a few years ago and I still crave the desire for movement and strength. I also played competitive baseball growing up, have pretty much tried every sport at least once and still play softball in the summer. Personally, fitness goes far deeper than the physical rewards. It supports mental clarity, commitment and community.
Can you tell me about your go-to workouts? How do you find time to work out?
To be honest, my personality fights routine so I am always shaking up the workout schedule so that I stay enthusiastic. I am a spin instructor at Spokehaus in Toronto, an avid runner, a yoga enthusiast and have fallen in love with Boxfit recently. I also love a good strength training session with friends. I like to get uncomfortable and often challenge my spin riders to get out of their comfort zone because that is where you grow. Being an entrepreneur, work comes in intense waves and therefore some weeks limited time trumps workouts. I can’t say that I’m completely comfortable with this but I have learned to release the guilt because those few extra hours of sleep are just as important!
What are three fitness or beauty essentials you can’t live without?
What are other important things you do for yourself to feel pampered?
I am a huge advocate of ‘me time’. Stepping away from the hustle and decompressing makes me a better person, whether it’s escaping the city for a weekend of camping, reading a good book for an hour in the sun or a bike ride on the waterfront at the end of a long day. Life is short and you’re important so do what makes you thrive.
Are you a big cook?
I love my time in the kitchen and this has definitely been passed down from my Eastern European family. Can I call it therapeutic? I aim to cook one new recipe a week and meal prep for my on-the-go lifestyle. My body thrives on a clean diet but I definitely indulge when the opportunity is there. I love a night out with good people and good food in a good atmosphere! It’s a happy place.
Do you take a lunch break during the day?
A scheduled lunch break doesn’t exist in my days because my days are all always different. I’m usually eating at my desk or in the make up chair before a shoot. I need to get better at this.
How do you wind down at the end of the day?
I just adore my evenings when I’m home. I put on some good music and cook, do some creative writing, call the family and step away from reality for a moment if I can. To be honest, I’m often working right up until I hit the pillow (I find that I am most creative at night) but I definitely pull the focus back to my needs when the sun sets.
When you go for vacation are you looking for relaxation or adventure?
I love the combination of the two! Travel is a huge passion of mine and I love planning a trip with a nice balance of adventure and stillness. This summer I spent some time in Italy and it was exactly that; days of hiking the hills of Cinque Terre contrasted with the calm of Tuscany. It was just perfect.