I used to be a competitive track and field athlete. I tried all the events in middle school, but pole vault had some kind of magnetic draw to it. I grew up on a BMX bike, so flying through the air upside down on a stick appealed to me a lot more than the running circles around the track.
Pole vault blessed me with opportunities. My training exposed me to the weird combination of gymnastics, sprinting, and lifting. I was fortunate enough to have won 5 national titles at different age classes, two of them being back to back gold at the CIS championships. I had the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2009 Pan-Am juniors in Trinidad, as well as the 2010 World Junior Championships which we hosted in Canada that year. I was part of Athletics Canada's development stream being prepped and groomed for the 2016 olympics, my ultimate goal.
In 2012, my world changed. I had had Crohn's disease since I was 11 years old, but it had mostly been in remission since then. A couple weeks before my last CIS championship, it came back. Within 3 months, I had lost 40 pounds, was addicted to painkillers, and deeply depressed. After a year of trying to train through the pain, but failing, I started to come to terms with the fact that I would no longer be going to the olympics. I felt like my passion, along with all of the amazing coaching wisdom and training knowledge I had gained, was wasted. I decided that if I could no longer compete, I wanted to become a coach and share all of these lessons that had blessed my life. I was in the hospital when I started studying for my first personal training certification. I studied and became certified in nutrition coaching next, as this was just as big of a part of my healing process.
I remained chronically ill until a surgery in the spring of 2015 in which my entire large intestine was removed, and I was fitted with an ileostomy bag. I had 3 months worth of painful complications, but I built myself back up, step by step. I vividly remember doing my first push up, and it bringing me to tears. My happiness was once dependent on jumping higher bars, lifting heavier weights, and breaking more records, but after my surgery, simply accomplishing a push up brought me tears of joy, that was so liberating!!! I did something I wasn't able to do before, and that was a real high. I am now compelled to share that feeling of empowerment with others. It doesn't matter where you are at, you can always get stronger. Strongfirst's motto is "Strength has a greater purpose." And I couldn't agree more. Whether it is someone's first pull up, a snatch PR, or simply getting up the stairs doesn't wind them anymore, it doesn't matter. Strength has a greater purpose, and I want everyone to find it for themselves.
-Certified Personal Trainer
-FMS (Functional Movement Systems) level 1
-Precision Nutrition Level 1
-NCCP Track and Field
-NCCP Olympic Weightlifting
- SFG level 1