Tell us who you are, where you're from and what your background is.

I was born in Lethbridge and raised on a farm 60 miles east of here.  I loved playing sports and was lucky to play basketball and volleyball in high school. I attended Trinity Western University in Langely, B.C. and graduated with my psychology degree in 1993.  I worked at the MSA hospital until I had my son in 1997 and three years later, when I had my daughter, I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom.  When I decided it was time to go back to work, I choose fitness.  Why?  Well that is a loaded question and a multifaceted answer.  In life, challenges arise.  I had a lung operation back in 1993 where they removed 2/3 of my right lung.   I remember having to walk around the hospital floor with chest tubes in, dragging along my IV thinking if I keep walking I keep breathing.  It was a very scary time and when I could finally lift my hand high enough up to brush my own hair it was a very exciting day.   I am also a breast cancer survivor and had a double mastectomy in the spring 2014 along with reconstruction surgery.  It was a long emotional process in which exercise was my tool to help me through.   For me, the key to recovery was movement.  Movement is medicine.  It is good for the body and mind.  I believe in being the strongest you that YOU can be.  Sharing my passion for exercise lead me to be a fitness instructor and personal trainer.

When did you join the University team and what do you do?

I started teaching group fitness classes at the university in the fall of 2014. I teach a wide variety of classes which include strength training, spin classes, strength and conditioning, barre, fitmoms, fitball, and active boomers strength and core.   I am also a personal trainer in the fitness center.

Can you tell us more about how your job has changed during the Covid-19 pandemic?

When we had to shut down the gym with the pandemic I was given the option to teach virtually. I went from working in a warm and welcoming facility stepping into a classroom full of excited energized people to a living room, now studio, looking into a little iphone talking to myself; it was a very weird feeling!  At times I was wondering if anyone was out there, and there are a few videos of me close up one eye in the screen looking intently to see if it is on and if anyone is out there.

Facilities are opening how do I feel about that? what does it mean for your clients and visitors to the gym?

I am so excited that we are opening!  The horns rec staff have put in so much planning and details for us all to return to the facility completely safe.  I feel very confident to go back into the facility and am vibrating with excitement.  It looks a bit different with the cardio equipment spread out and the spacing of the equipment but it is a good different. Extra staff are in the fitness centre cleaning and sanitizing.  I think it is important for people to be back to their routines and sense of community.  We have also added outdoor group classes at the stadium that people can register for on Mindbody.

What is your favorite part of your job?

EVERYTHING from walking into the classroom, the PEOPLE, the smiles, the hellos, the sweating, the sharing of good energy, and the friendly banter. I especially love watching personal training clients improve the quality of their lives through health and fitness. I have been blessed with so many people that have shared their lives with me and I have been so encouraged with all the support and care people have shown.  During isolation I had a few days where it was tough to get up and teach into an iphone but the positive comments I recieved and the gratitude people shared was so encouraging that even when we were not together we were not alone.So I have to say thank you to everyone.  Know that throughout our lives our bodies need to move to create balance, strength, and stability.  Fitness is for everyone and every level and I am excited to share in your journey.