1. How did you get into training
I have always played sports since I was a kid. I played baseball for the city of Barrie for many years and basically every other sport. I was training in the gym in public school and continued into University as an outlet during study breaks. I began CrossFit in 2011 and was competing in that sport before transitioning to Powerlifting in 2015 by running the Wendler 531 program. I started at Torque in 2016 to prep for my first meet and never looked back. I have competed in several meets since then including a 1st place finish at Nationals in 2018 and 2ndplace at WPC Worlds in 2018. I just competed in my first bodybuilding contest in my off season and received 1st place in Figure and Physique categories, as well as qualifying for Nationals
2. How many years have you been working in fitness
I have been working in fitness approximately 2 years. My primary career is as a Mental Health Specialist and Counsellor for the past 13 years. I currently work mainly with adults and specialize in Crisis Intervention, as well as on the Mental Health Unit with the police.
3. What is your biggest personal success
In training, my 2ndplace finish on a world platform and 1stplace at my first bodybuilding show were both pretty neat.
But other than the actual tangible wins, the REAL win is the progress I have made after working on my mindset and mindfulness practice daily, and overcoming various things that used to hold me back, such as fear and anxiety related to performance, increasing my confidence and self-efficacy, and overcoming mental barriers during periods of injury.
Academically, I would say receiving my Masters in Health Policy and Disability Studies, as well as living in Montreal for one year completing a full-time intensive French immersion program at McGill where I became fully bilingual.
4. What is your favourite thing about training
I love training more than anything so it is really the highlight of my day. I really enjoy a good pump so have always included some elements of bodybuilding training. I also really love when something really scares you, such as a super heavy weight or stepping on stage in front of a huge crowd, and the feeling you get after you just KILL it. Nothing can replace that really. And that feeling of confidence is very transferable to daily life and struggles outside of training, which is key to building resilience.
I am also very goal oriented and have a growth mindset, so I typically have a competition I am working towards to focus my training. I prefer training and the process of training over the actual competition itself, but I use that goal as my daily drive.
5. How many days per week do you train, what is your training split
I do some form of movement daily. I train 5-6 days a week with weights, whether I am following a powerlifting style program or bodybuilding at that time. With powerlifting I typically train a bit less due to the effect of the higher intensity on my body and the ability of myself to recover slower due to various factors, such as working shift work.
My ideal training split is upper lower upper lower so I can recover properly. If I COULD I would train heavy and intensely every day but my body does not allow it nor is that sustainable long term :p
6. Who is your idol/motivation
The people in the local powerlifting/bodybuilding community and at Torque Barbell really motivate me daily. The athletes I meet and follow at local and international meets are also very inspiring. Anyone who is trying to better themselves daily and working hard. People who work hard, consistently, and with dedication every day but have pressures such as family, work, etc., are a huge inspiration to me. And I am always internally driven to be better than I was yesterday, so no matter what I can always source that internal fire!