We live in a time when human wellbeing is challenged on every level – physical, mental, and spiritual. Sedentary lifestyles, poor food quality, screen time, and a changing climate are just a few of the things that sap our energy and attention. This often happens in ways we aren’t even conscious of, until we realize that we are stressed out, exhausted, and disconnected from the things that bring us joy and meaning. The drawn-out uncertainty of the pandemic has only exacerbated all of these trends.
Vitality work is about reconnecting all aspects of your life, uniting the disparate parts of your psyche and bringing it into alignment with what lifts you up. We live much of our lives internally, trying to stay on top of each separate domain that we hold in our heads. This work is about working with a top-level trainer to develop your body, mind, and spirit with a unified approach that integrates your whole being. You can use this integrated approach to overcome challenges, fuel your sense of personal accomplishment, and become a champion in every area of your life.
This unique approach to fitness and vitality started in 2004, when I was standing on the podium as the gold medalist for the Outrigger Canoe World Sprint Championships. I had been a successful athlete most of my life, striving for physical excellence and having some sense of the mental component needed to win. In my 30’s I was forced to take a break from running, which had been a big part of my identity to that point. I did not like it at all. Then paddling was introduced to me. I liked it. It allowed me to connect with nature, stay active, and be part of a community. I knew I had potential to compete at a high level, but I didn’t realize it could be at a world-class level until my coach mentioned that I should go to Worlds in Bora Bora in 2002. I said “okay” because Bora Bora sounded cool.
I couldn’t explain it, but I knew I was meant to go on this journey. It was a process of discovering who I truly am vs. who I thought I was. I had to develop skills in areas of my whole being – mind, body, heart and spirit – and engage all of them simultaneously. The experience I had during my race was beyond words, but the word that comes closest is ‘oneness’. I felt deeply connected to all that is – the water, the canoe, myself, others – during my race. I was feeling as if the finish line was pulling me. It was effortless and timeless. With that experience, I accessed an inner knowing that being a champion is possible, and available to us all if we allow ourselves to listen to that inner voice that tells us to take the first step of the journey.
Standing on that podium, I knew that I too had to embrace what I learned and gain even more knowledge and practice to support others. What I have discovered in the years since as a personal trainer, vitality coach, and athlete, is that this has been my life mission all along; to inspire and coach others, help them connect to all the resources they have within themselves, and to live their champion life, a life of joy and resilience.
Now I invite you to start your own champion journey. I am starting a new form of one-on-one coaching that applies everything I have learned about champion-level performance, and applying it in an integrated, whole-person approach. I am seeing people disconnected from their bodies and moving through life solely from the head, while neglecting the body, and the heart. What is being asked of us as humans is to connect these aspects of ourselves together. I find it interesting that the health of us humans is at risk, as well as the health of the planet. As Paul Hawkin in his book Regeneration states, “There is a health crisis. And a climate crisis. We need to address both. We need people to be healthy for the earth to be healthy and vice versa.” More than ever there is a need for us as humans to step into our champion selves, connect with others from a heart-filled space and to re-engage with ourselves and nature respectfully.
I have been a champion since 2004. I have been working with people for years in connecting to their bodies, increasing their overall wellbeing, and cultivating that sense of oneness I experienced so they can be champions too. The world needs more champions right now, and I hope you might be one of them. In the coming weeks, I’ll share more details about champion coaching; the science behind it, the direct benefits you’ll experience, and other information that speaks to the head. If this story has connected with your heart or your spirit though, reach out to me for a conversation. You might be a champion ready to start your journey.