Paddle Into Fitness began with professional athlete Gillian Gibree who became hooked on the sport on Cape Cod in 2007. After exploring the beautiful marshes and SUP surfing on the Outer Beach, she discovered Stand Up Paddle Boarding was an amazing fitness routine while being fun and adventurous at the same time. Not only was it the perfect total body workout, but a low impact, beginner friendly, all inclusive sport. Adding her yoga practice to a paddleboard seemed like a natural fit, and the calm ocean provided the perfect healing environment. Soon after, Gillian began teaching the sport to her friends and family on Cape Cod, and then brought her lessons to San Diego after she relocated.
The Paddle Into Fitness beginner lessons and Stand Up Paddle Yoga classes started in 2009 in San Diego and expanded up to Orange County within a year. At the same time Gillian began working with companies such as Roxy, Ocean Minded, 404 SUP and Kialoa Paddles as a professional ocean athlete – traveling the world to compete in different SUP events. After training instructors in San Diego and Orange County, Gillian saw the need to create a quality teacher training program to offer to the public by using her background not only a professional paddle boarder, but also as an ocean lifeguard & emergency medical technician. In 2012, Paddle Into Fitness began offering four day SUP Yoga and two day Paddleboard certification programs approved under Yoga Alliance and the World Paddle Association. Soon after Paddle Into Fitness expanded into SUP Fitness, and designed a two day program approved under the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Over the years, Paddle Into Fitness has received amazing reviews from certification graduates and international recognition from numerous media outlets – including the cover and feature SUP yoga article in Yoga Journal Magazine and San Diego Magazine! The passion we have for the sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding, yoga & fitness is contagious – and we at Paddle Into Fitness are excited for you to learn how to teach our signature classes from us and begin sharing this life changing sport with others!
Gillian is a Massachusetts native who developed her love for the ocean through prone paddleboarding, ocean swimming, standup paddling and surfing while working as a lifeguard on Cape Cod. The serene New England environment was also the perfect setting to take her yoga practice into nature, and bring balance to the body after competitions and time in the water. After college, Gillian took a lifeguard position in New Zealand – a place full of adventure and untouched coastline – and her love for water sports and outdoor fitness inspired her to create Paddle Into Fitness.
After Gillian moved to San Diego, she began competing in ocean events around the world as a Roxy athlete. She placed first in the Go Pro Mountain Games & the Quiksilver Waikiki Festival in the SUP Survivor Race & the Water woman Race, and also traveled to Peru as a member of Team USA for the ISA World Championships. She’s been a regular on the podium in the Battle of the Paddle California and Hawaii, and was a top finisher in numerous national lifeguard championships. She also showed her philanthropic side by paddling across the Cape Cod Bay to raise money for the Boston Children’s Hospital. Gillian loves exploring new places on her paddleboard as well as SUP surfing, river running, and freediving, and her goal is through her travels and teachings to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle, follow their dreams, and give back to their local communities.
Gillian has a B.S. in Sport Management and is 200 hour E-RYT with Yoga Alliance. She has a decade of ocean lifeguarding experience, is a certified Emergency Medical Technician, and is sponsored by Roxy, Kialoa Paddles, and 404 SUP. Gillian was on the cover of Yoga Journal, SUP Australia, San Diego Magazine, and has been featured in Self, Shape, Outside Online, ESPN Women, Yahoo Sports, The Travel Channel, and NBC World of Adventure. She has also presented SUP Yoga at the San Diego Yoga Journal Conference & Wanderlust Festivals.