THE INSPIRED TRIBE:
Meet Laura, soon-to-be momma and newest lady member of Inspired Tribe
Laura is all kinds of awesome. They say that we all have the same amount of hours in a day, and if that’s true, Laura is a great example of how to make the most of them. Not only is she active and competitive, but she is positively shaping the world for young females by sharing her experiences and passions.
WHO IS LAURA?
She is a soon-to-be first-time mama (Dec 2nd is the day her bundle of joy is expected to enter our beautiful world), competitive athlete, and hard working lady! She is also the founder of Shaping Her Esteem (SHE) – a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the health and well-being of young women through fitness, nutrition and motivation.
Laura attended a performing arts school growing up, and began participating in sport competitively in high school. Feeding off the challenge and pushing her limits, Laura has competed for Canada as both a triathlete and rower. Today, she is gearing up for her munchkin to join the world, while training for an Ironman, working hard in the corporate world, and making a positive impact in the lives of young girls.
WHAT IS YOUR WILDEST GOAL?
Right now my wildest goal is to train for and complete a full Ironman within the first year of having my first baby. I’m fortunate to know several women who have done what I am hoping to accomplish, so I know it is possible. However, I am also aware that plans change, so I’m going to stay open minded throughout the entire journey. Either way, I just can’t wait to start Ironman training postpartum with my little munchkin by my side.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE?
My greatest challenge was to pursue and make the Canadian team for the 2012 World Rowing Championships while working full time, and being away from my mother while she was battling breast cancer. Having all of this happen at once was incredibly difficult and challenged all aspects of my “self” that I learned a great deal about.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN LIFE IS OUT OF BALANCE?
I have learned that my life is out of balance when I have way too much on my plate and get migraines back to back. My body is incredibly sensitive, so anytime I push myself beyond my capabilities, it starts to shut down and force me to take a step back. I always say “mind over matter”, but when balance is out whack then it turns into “matter over mind” – there’s no choice.
These days I still take on a lot because that’s just me and my type A personality, but now I’m only choosing activities I want to do and can control my level of participation/contribution. My health has to come first – especially now, with a little one on the way. I need to be healthy to take of her.
WHAT LESSON WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE WORLD?
Your own health needs to be priority over any personal goal. When your body and mind aren’t healthy, then it’s very difficult to give 100% of your focus and energy to something else. You aren’t being fair to yourself or to others who may be involved and get impacted.
In 2005, when I was racing at the World Long Course Triathlon Championships, I was struggling with bulimia. I was so focused on the sport – ignoring my health – and in the end my health ended up affecting my performance, leaving me unable to finish the race. My nutrition was incredibly poor, my body was weak, and my mind was even weaker. This was a huge wake up call for me, and after several months off after the race, I was able to pick up sport again with a strong healthy mindset.
Since then I have always put my health in front of any goal, whether it be work or sports related.
DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE TO TREAT YOUR MIND & BODY?
Walking to and from work is my most favourite daily routine that I use to treat my mind and body. The walk is a great opportunity to kick off the day with movement, breathe in that wonderful fresh air, and listen to my favourite tunes.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO GET EXERCISE?
Dancing! Perhaps it’s because when I dance I am totally letting lose and not thinking about any target time or performance goal. I’m simply giving in to the beat of the music and letting my body move the way it wants to – sweating up a storm in the process. The combination of music and movement just seriously gets my body excited! It makes me feel like a kid again dancing in my room to the latest pop hits!
TO ME, HAPPINESS IS doing what makes me feel good each day.
If I’m approaching each day with an open mind, positive attitude, and surrounding myself with people I enjoy and love, then I am setting myself up in the best way I can to be grounded and balanced, leading to happiness.
Laura, thank you for sharing your beautiful gifts with the world. Your tenacity, focus, and genuine positivity impacts so many people, causing a ripple effect of motivation well beyond your reach. Through your pursuits, we can learn to love our bodies and all that they are capable of.
Know an awesome female that should be part of the Inspired Tribe? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share her story!