“I have always exercised, usually every day. My husband thinks I overdo it. He teasingly says I have an exercise addiction. But I have learned that exercise is what keeps me in balance. I have a lot of energy and it’s my way of managing stress.
Working in molecular biology research, I'm involved in neuroscience, cell biology, genetics and regeneration. It's full-on working full time with two young kids, especially when they were at home during COVID. Exercise is the one thing that keeps me sane. When my children were younger I found it hard to do things on my own, for myself. That’s when I learned how much I needed exercise, as an hour just for me, not surrounded by my kids. This is why I prioritize my workouts in the morning. I know that if I don’t work out in the morning that’s when the stress creeps in throughout the day.
I was dealt my biggest challenge when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. Immediately I started running a lot. I loved being outside, I feel a real sense of freedom when I run and I loved challenging my body and seeing what it could achieve.
Exercise is a good reminder of the mental determination and toughness I have to get through every aspect of life.
Luckily, they caught the cancer quite early so I didn't have to do too much treatment but it was still extremely tough. The hardest part was the preventative surgery. Obviously, because I had drains and I so on, I couldn't do my regular exercise, and that’s when I really didn’t feel myself. But when I couldn't run I would just walk. I knew I needed to do whatever I could to keep moving and keep active just because that was what would get me through psychologically.
I had done LES MILLS workouts at Goodlife Fitness in the past, but it was only after I had my surgeries that I decided to try LES MILLS classes at home. I knew I really liked BODYCOMBAT, and quickly got the equipment for BODYPUMP and spin bike at home. Now I do a real mix of workouts, including a lot of LES MILLS SPRINT and RPM – they give me a good endorphin rush just like running. And I need that during the winter months when it gets down to -20C and I can’t brave the cold weather!
For me, exercise is a good reminder of the mental determination and toughness I have to get through every aspect of life. Whatever workout I am doing, I know I have the physical and mental strength to just keep going until it's done.
Rather than dreading any workout, I focus on that awesome feeling you know you’ll get when you’re done.
I am thankful that I’ve always had a very disciplined mindset and I have always made exercise part of my life. Some people might think, ‘How can you work out in your basement every day by yourself?’ But I just find it very enjoyable. I actually prefer having my own space over going to the gym. I have learned that I don't really need that external factor of people around me.
However, I really do like motivating and encouraging others. We have a little virtual fit gym group in our neighborhood and everyone posts their workouts every day. There's a real mix. Some of us do LES MILLS+ workouts, some do other exercises. It's just nice to have a group of people who are showing up every day. Many of them are working moms just like me – we’re all just trying to find in our early morning exercise before the rest of life distracts us.
My best piece of advice is just to press play. Once you start it's very unlikely that you're going to stop and even if you do, a small workout is better than no workout at all, right? And rather than dreading any workout, I focus on that awesome feeling you know you’ll get when you’re done.”