“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
My first step towards The Conscious Athlete was back in 1979 when I went to the Rideau Canoe Club to meet cute boys. Little did I know where that step would take me, but thank goodness I took it! That first year, I raced in a war canoe at the Canadian Championships and we took home a bronze medal…it was a pivotal moment in my life. I paddled competitively for 10 years and also coached the club to the Canadian Championship overall win in 1984. I have continued to paddle since then, sometimes recreationally, other times competitively. In 2011 I represented Canada at the World Championships in a women’s over 50 Dragon Boat and won 4 gold medals. In 2015, I was also privileged to paddle with a group of fellow Canadian women in the Queen Lili’uokalani outrigger race, the largest long distance canoe race in the world.The sport of triathlon was in its infancy back then and came to my attention as something fun to try in 1983. So I took another very important step in my journey and entered my first triathlon. I placed third woman overall and was hooked! I watched Julie Moss crawl across the finish line in Kona and wondered what that girl had that no one else had to get her to that point in her life, and why would anyone want to do an Ironman. Well, four Ironman later, I now know. That first step in a small grass roots race in 1983, and countless other triathlons in between, led me to my first Ironman in 1996 and my current life purpose.
My athletic journey has paralleled many other paths in my life. I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. I married and left the country in 1990 and somehow wound up a single mother in Leesburg, VA with two beautiful children. All the paths I have traveled have helped me realize my purpose in life. It is important for me to “walk my talk” and encourage others to also. In guiding many athletes over the years to their athletic goals, I have also encouraged them to see the bigger picture of their journey. I see myself as a midwife to the human spirit, helping people give birth to things from inside of them they don’t even know are there through the vehicle of sport.