I prefer to inspire others and show them that you can have an everyday job, have kids, have a family and still be able to compete at a high level.
My name is Laura Stevenson. I am the fitness coordinator here in Ottawa and also for Gatineau as well. So, I look over the staff that is managing our gyms.
I've always been in sports. I was a gymnast, I played soccer, did fitness, bodybuilding. I did my human kinetics at the University of Ottawa. I idealize a lot of the women who do have families and are still competing at a high level, older athletes that are striving to be the best. For me, that's more where I'm at.
A component of being operationally fit is fitness and that's where we come into play as we want to make sure they're coming into the gym, but we also need to make sure that they're fit for their Forces test. Usually, it's every year. Last year, we won't talk about it because of the COVID, but I mean, they need to pass and be at a certain standard to be able to go overseas or be deployed. If we can give them the tools and understand that certain degree of motivation. We play a huge part in being able to get them fit operationally.
You don't know how your life is until COVID hits, I find. So, we had to adapt and it was very difficult. I mean, we found ourselves in our home and our home is not necessarily where we tend to want to be fit. We try to get out of that and that's why we come to the gym and get out of our everyday life.
We had to shift everything on the virtual side, which for us is a huge learning experience as well. We never had Facebook or Instagram, so we did virtual classes every day. We got people in Zoom PTs, we got units involved. In a situation like now, COVID, at home, what can they do? We want them to come to us and be that resource for them as well. But just to be able to try things that maybe you've never tried before. I even say that fitness isn't done in a gym. Like, you can even go outside and get those extra steps in. So, a lot of people take out that pressure of: "I have to go to the gym to be fit and I have to go to the gym to get the result." But at the end of the day, just be more active. I just want everybody to know that it is possible to do your fitness in your living room, outside, with friends. You can go on a FaceTime. Find something that makes you feel good. It might not be something that you used to do in the past, but I really feel like the mental component, the physical component of being fit gives us so much good during these COVID times that I think they will benefit us all in the end.