What is the role of sport/physical activity in your life?
Growing up I was always involved in athletics, hockey being my main focus but excelled at a variety of sports. I played high school soccer, badminton, soccer, volleyball and was the captain for all high school sports. I played elite level hockey and was also a member of Team Ontario North from the age of 14-18. Sport and physical activity were all that my siblings and I did growing up because growing up in a small community surrounded by the bush we were never bored. Sport and finding activities to do outside was what defined my childhood and to this day being physically active is something I still make sure I make time for.
How do you define wellness?
I define wellness as a balance between mental/psychological and physical wellbeing. Without having a balance of these two, I do not believe one can be truly well. Someone can be physically fit and healthy in that regard, but if they struggle with mental illness and suffer from extreme anxiety, they are putting their body at risk for all sorts of health conditions because of the negative effects of stress, etc. Therefore, I believe in a well-rounded approach of focusing on the physical aspect of health, but also focusing on the inner aspect of one’s health too.
What are the things you do each day that make you a ‘Wellness Warrior’?
Every day I make sure that I am taking care of myself both mentally and physically. I work out or do some sort of physical activity mixed in with ensuring my recovery is optimal. I eat a well-balanced, but I also make sure to take time for myself as I always find myself making sure others are well taken care of. I see a social worker monthly to make sure my psychological and emotional wellbeing is taken care of. I am continually evolving by taking continuing education courses to broaden my approach to health and learning from all sorts of healthcare practitioners. I believe that knowledge is power and the more I know, the more I can share with people to get help them become healthier versions of themselves.
Who or what is your inspiration?
My inspiration and motivation to continue to live a healthy, happy life are my niece and nephews. In 2014 I was in a terrible car accident and I sustained a mild traumatic brain injury and have been recovering ever since. There were so many times that I wanted to give up, but I just thought of them and kept pushing forward, even when I lost all hope of recovery. I needed to show them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and that is what I did. Six years later and I am back to about 75% of my normal, all because I didn’t give up and listen to the doctors who told me I would be this way for the rest of my life. So now, more than ever, I am committed to living my best life and that includes being mentally, physically, and emotionally strong.