"Barre is an addiction! I love how every class is different and it never gets boring. I love how it is an effective, whole body workout that targets all those little muscles I didn't know were there before I started barre."
"I know God gave me this body with more potential than I have ever imagined and I aim to test that potential out in every way."
"When I train at home or the gym, I don't look in the mirrors - I focus on my work. When I start to think "is that person talking about me or laughing at me?" (yes, I think that all the time) - I mentally snap out of it and shake it off and FOCUS ON THE ACTIVITY. I move as if I am the only one in the gym."
"Admittedly, not every day is a great day. When I need to lift my spirits, I get onto my canary-yellow hand cycle, which is powered by my arms instead of my legs. It gives me back the exhilarating sense of freedom that I used to get from running. The thick runner tires glide over dirt and curves, so I don't have to pay attention to every little bump as I do win my wheelchair. In it, I can go almost wherever I want. I feel liberated. I'm alive."
2014 - “The Canadian” Ironman
"I trail run outside almost everyday. Often, I leave home worried with unanswered questions, timing issues, contractual difficulties, scheduling challenges. Every single time, within five minutes, these are gone - evaporated. The brain has switched off, hypnotized by the regular rhythm of my running shoes on the trail's dirt and the inhale-exhale cycles. Focused on avoiding the roots and rocks and water, I let go and become creative. The funny thing is that when I get back home, these worries are usually gone for good. Lost on a Gatineau Park dirt trail, somewhere..."
"Moving makes me feel alive! I love the connection to my breath, the way it calms my mind and gives me a greater sense of self and my surroundings."
Why I Move..."the complete release from the rest of the world. Being in that moment and nowhere else. Above all else it's fun!"
"In yoga, practice doesn’t make perfect. No matter how many classes you’ve taken or taught in your life, each time you practice is simply another opportunity to deepen your practice. Work on the stillness of your thoughts. Work on the stillness of your body. Work on your focus, resist the urge to fidget during a pose, wipe away your sweat, or fix your hair. Allow your imperfect self to just be in the moment. Be in the messiness of your mind."
"I am a survivor of multiple incidents of abuse. As a small child both home and school were dangerous places for me. Edmonton's river valley became a place of sanctuary, peacefulness and safety for me. I walked the trails as a kid and young adult. Then (insult to injury) I was shot in the back of the head while walking in the river valley one autumn afternoon-a random incident of stranger violence. Back in the "olden days" there was no knowledge of PTSD [post-tramatic stress disorder] and its longterm effects-dissociation from one's own self, severe anxiety, insomnia and social isolation are just a few and so I lived for a long time in a kind of void. About a year after being shot I realized I had not been outside other than walking to my car. I began slowly--by jogging around and around the schoolyard in front of my house. I had never run before--I wasn't an athlete by any means. But, I just had to move. Then, I got a dog and, with a bit of company, I began to run the river valley trails I missed and loved. I just couldn't have them taken away from me. Over the years I ran longer and longer distances gradually reclaiming the entire valley as a place of peace for myself. And, when my son became old enough, he became my willing jogging companion. Moving was a lifesaver, and I mean this most sincerely--those of us who live with PTSD know it's darker side, the compulsion towards isolation, self-harming and suicide. I would run, when I felt those urges. I now realize that this was an instinctual coping strategy that kept me connected to my physical body--present and helped me feel safe in the world, something that is challenging for me. I have also, in my adult years, taken up yoga, and sought the help of a personal trainer (as well a a good therapist). Feeling strong in my body helps me to be present--to not dissociate when my out of whack stress response is triggered. It helps me to feel safe, and it helps me to deal positively with a challenging condition--to make some darn good lemonade.