I'm Here With Magazine Issue 2 August August 2016 - Page 75

Shortly after that I realized there must be more in life. I started to live clean and then I started to compete in Fitness competitions, a hidden dream of mine. I eventually have had success with competing. I have since lost my Father; in 2013 I was fortunate enough to wheel him out of the hospice, to my new Mercedes Benz in the parking lot. It was a moment I had to show him that he wasn’t a failure as a Father. Life was just tough for everyone. I am grateful for my story; I have competed at the local, Provincial, National and International level. I am currently an amateur fitness competitor as well as my other interests and work. I love to inspire others to be who they want to be, who they dream of being, and making it become a reality.

Q and A

Where and when were you born? Vancouver, July 7th, 1965.

How did you end up in Calgary? My Mother brought me here over the Rockies Via Highway 1!!

What were your Mother and Father like? My Mother was angelic, less than five feet tall, and tough but timid at the same time. My Father was a heavy drinker and smoker who eventually became clean left the family and remarried. Leaving us on our own, I was fifteen.

What was it like growing up in a dysfunctional family? The best way to describe it was like being an animal with the violence and poor conditions.

When did you start to change your life and start competing? After I turned 40 I started to change my life to be more constructive and healthy. Seeing my Mother again was an eye opener for me. I started to compete in 2008.

What is the highest level of competition have you competed? I have placed as high as 5th at the North American Level in amateur Fitness in the IFBB (international Federation of Body Building).

What level of Education do you have? After High School I have numerous courses and certifications. Most relative to what I do now I have a Personal Training Certificate from Mount Royal University here in Calgary, Alberta.

Why do you think you have been able to overcome obstacles in your life? I believe it was because growing up was so hard and I the only way was up.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Continuing to inspire individuals, but on a much grander scale. Travelling and public speaking.

Why do you shine? I was meant to shine. I was born to inspire, and I am developing my skills to do that.

Do you have a role model? It’s funny; I tried to think of who I might want to be like. In a meditation CD I own, it says, “imagine who you would like to be like and become them, think like them and look through their eyes”. No matter how hard over the years I tried I could only see myself. I meditate almost every day.

Why do you compete? I like the lifestyle of working towards something and achieving it. It is challenging. It gives me structure. It’s tough and gritty

What other talents do you have? I am an avid singer. I love to sing, I karaoke, I also sang at my Father’s Celebration of Life. Singing calls to me. I am able to write a little!

How do you turn the negatives into positives? Well the negatives show me where not to go again!! The positives then reinforce the right path.

What brings you Joy? Seeing other people happy. Seeing other people grow and step out of their comfort zones, seeing their aura change to the better. And chocolate cake.

When you see someone not living up to their potential, what would you say to them? I try to read the individual and see what their struggles from their past is. Knowing they obviously got through that I try to relate that to now, and why they can overcome the obstacle that is in the way of them getting what they want. I am subtle of course, because I believe that it should be intrinsic for lasting effect.

How long will you continue to compete for? As long as I can.

Do you see yourself as a role model? Yes, I do now, I haven’t always. I let my past, my lack of money, my upbringing get in the way of a positive mindset; I now let it push me forward!! “If I can do it so can you” idea!

How do you rise above? Well, I talk to myself daily with positive affirmations. Even when I have doubts, and we all do, even the most positive person, I talk myself into it, Instead of out of it! I know I can choose. I have also learned to speak up to get what I want. It’s not perfect, but it gets better all the time.

If you could share only one statement what would it be and why? “Never doubt that your dreams can become a reality and be grateful for every step forward”. Yes, never doubt you dreams can become a reality. Because mine are coming true every day. It started with a regime of fitness. I can’t change the past, but I can change my present and going forward. Always look to the next day, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Use all of the history of your life push you into forward and know that everything you have done, survived, endured and learned is all part of being stronger for your future.