By Jen Gendron: Health & Wellness Coach
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – my favorite quote by Gandhi which appears on the wall in the upper level of our health & wellness centre. When I feel myself struggling with my purpose and trying to find my way in business, I like to bring myself back to this quote and what got me started.
I started my business almost 12 years ago after working in the fitness industry for just over 3 years. I wanted to continue to work in this industry I loved but still have the flexibility to juggle my family responsibilities which included raising my three young boys, one with a very serious health issue, and working around my husband’s shift work as a police officer. Teaching classes and working with clients was very personally rewarding for me and my passion to learn more and grow within the fitness industry continued to expand as I worked with more clients with different goals and needs.
Over the years, as things became more critical with my son’s health, we had to work through some very serious and eventually life-threatening situations and learning new ways to look after my own health both physically and mentally became increasingly important. Learning ways to find some sort of balance with all the things I juggle, and to manage stress has been an ongoing journey for me and one that has not lacked its struggles and hurdles. The tools I have learned over the years now make up a big part of what I want to share with my clients. I truly believe that we have a choice at every turn in life and when we are faced with adversity, we can allow it to break us or, we can find a way to learn from it so we can get stronger.
In recent years, my business model has shifted away from being focused only on physical fitness to a more wholistic approach to wellness and I want to continue and grow and evolve it in that direction. Practices like meditation, yoga and Qi Gong have become increasingly important to me and I am being drawn more and more to spending time in nature. In future, I want to incorporate more outdoor fitness programs as part of our offerings and develop more outings and trips that involve hiking and other outdoor activities.
The most recent struggle that our family has faced was my husband’s diagnosis of PTSD three years ago. This has been a difficult challenge and continues to have its ups and downs, however, it has also strengthened my desire to continue to promote the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection and the need to be open about our struggles to support one another. It has led me to look for new ways to work with clients who are struggling and to continue to further my education to include health coaching, stress management, nutrition and meditation to be able to provide a unique blend of skills in my health & wellness coaching.
In order to achieve physical health, we need to start with our mindset and discover the thoughts and beliefs that are getting in our way. Taking a step towards any change is hard but I truly believe that if you are ready and believe in yourself, anything is possible – you can BE the change you want to see!