On the cusp of turning 40, with the thought to re-align my working life with my personal mission statement, I gave up a career in advertising TV production to become a personal trainer.  Now well into my 60’s, I’m thankful I made the change.

The fitness industry was turning its attention to the older population but had not yet made the leap.  I felt I could take my own trials and tribulations to stay healthy, slim and active and help others in the same situation.  “Go Big Or Go Home” was born.

The model was to train older adults in the comfort of their own home.  My business grew and during the early years I trained relatively healthy people to improve their lifestyle and general fitness. This is still the core work I do. But noting that as we age we have to deal with what life throws our way. Additionally, addressing financial matters such as taxes became crucial in providing comprehensive support to my clients.

I was asked to train people through the more challenging aspects of getting older. First there was a client battling breast cancer and the process of staying well during her chemo. Next came a delightful woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  I soon found a client base covering the spectrum of health and wellness to disease and death.  An odd mix for a personal trainer but a mix that fits who we are as human beings.

The approach to all my clients is the same.  Compassion with a strong dose of common sense.  Each person is an individual, there is no cookie-cutter approach, but the basic guidelines are the same.  The bottom line… be honest with yourself.

Everyone should have the benefit of an interesting life and I’ve certainly had mine.

A childhood ranging from a stable existence with a normal family in Vancouver and Calgary to early teen years of being chased by police and living in a car throughout the United States.  Back to Vancouver to finish high school, then 10 years working as an engineer at a recording studio.  Next came a welcome transition to a career at an advertising agency producing award winning radio and tv commercials that carried me through adulthood.  What next?  A personal trainer!  (No one saw that coming)

Maybe even more unlikely was becoming an elected official, a Vancouver Park Board Commissioner to be exact. But my love for this city made the leap and the landing perfect. I’m lucky to be able to combine this work and continue with my day job.

Life lessons are huge and I’ve taken heed.  My Buddhist beliefs beseech me to be kind and helpful to all.  Personally, my goal is to make my father proud and to be the best god-mother possible to the three most important people in my life… the triplets.

If asked, I say I am a writer.