Coming Full Circle

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Do you recall transitory moments in your life? Moments when things really changed for you? There have been a lot of transitory moments in my life and a lot of those have occurred during the time I was in Toronto.

A very big moment in my adult life happened over two and a half years ago, when I got back into fitness. I don’t know if it directly coincided with the fact that I had just turned 30, or the inspiration I got from a friend (the beautiful Sosasha!), but it was a big life-changer. It was the moment, when I started being active again. It didn’t really come as a sudden decision but rather was a slow progression from a relatively unhealthy and pretty inactive lifestyle to becoming the person I am today.

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Therefore, it was quite a strange feeling being back in Toronto this past week and visiting some of the many places I had worked out in and also seeing my “fitness family”, the men and especially the women that have supported me on my fitness journey.

Toronto is without a doubt the reason why I am so active today. Though I grew up being SUPER sporty and partaking in all sorts of sports, Toronto gave me a newfound love for leading a healthy lifestyle. The city’s many gyms, trails, parks, fitness studios, etc. as well as trainers and fitness enthusiasts really pushed me to reach new goals and challenge myself in ways I never thought possible. People hustle hard here and also work out really hard.

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While I lived in Toronto for almost 10 years, I battled with some anxiety due to an extremely stressful and toxic work environment, crappy relationships, etc., so I turned to fitness as a way to help me cope with it all. Fitness has helped me so much that I was inspired to obtain my personal training certification in the fall with NASM, in order to be able to help others with their own fitness journeys.

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Coming back to Toronto after being away for more than 8 months this past week, really made things come full circle for me. Not only did I get to refuel by doing some of my favorite workouts in the city, I also got to chat with some of those who inspired me along the way. I’m now leaving my hometown feeling even more inspired to keep moving forward on this fitness journey and can’t wait to see what’s next!

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Photos & hair by: Cabello by Carolina

What I’m wearing: Hyba Solid-Coloured Crop Legging (get it here), Hyba Printed Medium-Impact Sports Bra (get it here).

This post was written in collaboration with Hyba but all opinions are my own.

9 Inspiring Fitness Instagram Accounts to Follow

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This past year, I decided to start following a lot of women in the fitness community as a way to inspire and push myself to do greater things. They have been a huge source of motivation, especially during my injury so I wanted to share with you today, some of my favorite inspiring fitness accounts to follow for 2017!

1) @alwaystri – Sarah is a motivational speaker, an Ironman triathlete, a Paralympian, need I say more? Ever since I met her at the Nike Women’s 15k race in Toronto a year and a half ago, I have been following closely all of her training and racing exploits around the world.

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2) @melliecay – Melissa is a marathoner and spin enthusiast. She loves yoga, hiking and loves being active while traveling around the world. Her smile and energy are infectious and she’s just as awesome IRL as she is on Instagram.

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3) @gofitjo – This mother of two is real go-getter and positive leader. Her fitness journey is one to inspire. She always has super thoughtful and motivating things to share on her account.

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4) @yellowrunner – Sally is part of the Nike Trail Team in the US and is one of the most badass trail runners I’ve ever heard of. She recently accomplished the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and UTCT in South Africa. She has inspired me to start trail running and go after some bigger fitness goals.

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5) @sashaexeter – Sasha is known in Toronto as one of the city’s top fitness ambassadors. Her drive and hardworking ethic has been a huge inspiration to me these past couple of years.

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6) @rarax3 – I had the pleasure of meeting Jamaica just recently in LA. I love her positive attitude and super fun fitness feed. She’s always running somewhere beautiful or taking rad workout pics.

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7) @evannclingan – This redheaded New Yorker is an inspiring marathoner with a super colorful and cheerful account. I love her honesty and the dialogue she has with her followers on her feed.

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8) @smasheton – I credit this lady for inspiring me to get back into the pool after years of absence. I grew up being a competitive swimmer and with her many encouraging swimming posts, I found the strength to jump back into the pool again. Asheton is a force to be reckoned with.

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9) @camille_pic – This French author and health/sport blogger is currently training for an Ironman. Camille always posts great food recipes and inspiring training pics (and also cute dog pics!). No need to speak French to be inspired by her account.

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The Good Fight

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Earlier this week, one of my fitness inspirations and Toronto blogging maven SoSasha, invited an amazing group of women to fight “The Good Fight” at Equinox. We had the privilege of working out with Nate Bower, a personal trainer, a fitness expert and most importantly a 4-time provincial boxing champ.

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I’ve never boxed before but I got to throw my fair share of punches when I was a teenager in karate. I was therefore pretty thrilled to get to try a new sport. We got to participate in Nate’s super high intensity boxing class. We learned how to wrap our wrists, did a boxing warm up, learned some boxing technique and did a bunch of drills with the bag and with a partner. It didn’t take long before I worked up a sweat! I was surprised by just how much footwork is involved in boxing and how athletic you need to be in order to complete drills.

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What I enjoyed most was that it was a great stress relief because let’s be honest, throwing punches on a bag always feels good! What I found out is that it’s also a great complimentary workout for us runners. It’s a full body workout and also great cardio. It was also a ton of fun!

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If you’re looking for a new workout, with a rad coach and in the most beautiful gym in the city (they have the most luxurious facilities, the best post-workout smoothies, kind staff and a rad choice of classes), make sure you check out the Equinox 50 minute boxing class with Nate Bower!

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To know more about Nate Bower and his Bower Boxing, go here and for more info about Equinox, go here. Thanks again for the invite Sasha! #SSFitxEquinox #EquinoxMadeMeDoIt

**Photos by Dirk Teunissen.