Ever since I can remember, one of the greatest joys I’ve had in life has been finding different ways to challenge myself physically. I remember as a 7-year-old riding my bike in the empty parking lot across the road trying to race the cars driving by, certain that if I practiced enough, I’d win one day. I remember picking myself up after a hard bale snowboarding, attempting some trick I had no place trying and thinking “All right, I think I know why I crashed, let’s try it again!”
Mountain biking, martial arts, skateboarding, rollerblading, playing basketball, tennis, climbing over things, jumping over things, anything I could do that challenged me was a delight. And the only thing as rewarding as accomplishing that new best time or skate trick was the journey getting there.
That feeling of moving towards a goal drove me, often to the ER. My poor physiotherapist mother was cursed with a son who was always jumping off things, breaking bones, spraining tendons and tearing out chunks of skin in the pursuit of glory. But I was lucky enough to have that physiotherapist mother who let me take on those challenges while always trying to educate me about being as safe as possible. Most of those lessons fell on deaf ears until I was 16 and started helping part-time at her clinic. I saw firsthand the effects on the human body of moving carelessly and realized just how life-altering chronic pain could be. I was still a 16-year-old kid and still did some dumb things, but this started me down the path of learning that it’s important not only to move but to move well.
I continued my love for athletic endeavours into my 20’s participating and competing in countless different activities until the death of my father. Grief takes many forms, and for me, it became emotional eating and beer. I lost my fire and gave into self-destructive behaviour that led me down a 277lb path. Luckily, I had a moment of clarity in 2004 and really understood what I had done to myself. And at that moment I had that thought again: “All right, I think I know why I crashed, let’s try it again!” I saw my next challenge and went for it.
It was hard, really hard, but I got there. I stumbled and triumphed. And through those failures and successes, I learned some valuable perspective. I learned that our challenges can all look and feel very different but if we meet them with commitment and tenacity, we can turn them into joy and triumph. Since that moment of clarity, I’ve become a personal trainer, mountain bike instructor, I’ve worked in gyms, and I have run my own studios. I’ve worked alongside some amazing professionals and had wonderful clients from every walk of life. I’ve looked into and out of the fitness industry from many different vantage points.
I’m truly excited to be part of a new voice in the fitness industry and lend my experiences and lessons learned to go beyond fitness as we know it and work towards that next challenge together.