You can BE, DO and HAVE ANYTHING you WANT!
I was nicknamed the Nordic Goddess. A Nordic Viking Woman by heritage, born and raised in the mountainous and rugged country of Norway. Wild, beautiful and mysterious with a gorgeous coastline and the spectacular midnight sun.
The country reflects a lot of my upbringing and many challenges that I went through in my life that has brought me to this place. I will forever be thankful for all the lessons that life has brought me. I most likely wouldn’t have been the strong, independent woman that I am today if it wasn’t for life’s trial and error’s..I think the most important thing is to stay open to Change and Constant Possibilities.
Fitness has always been an important part of my life and my coping mechanism through life’s darkest moments. I have to say that I have had many positive and happy moments as well..Life always have a way of showing you the “ups and downs” and it’s Usually through conflict that you experience your biggest growth..
Being an extremist, it took me a long time to figure out a healthy balance. Growing up in Norway climbing the biggest mountains by myself at 16 years of age with a dog taught me to rely on myself from an early age and gave me the self confidence to explore life to it’s fullest.
I left my own country when I was 19 and headed over to Miami to work in the cruise ship industry. After a couple of years, I met then what I thought was the “love of my life” at age 22, a Canadian Entertainer and Impressionist whom I married a couple of years later and moved to Vancouver, Canada with after experiencing 5 years at sea.
Life on land certainly had it’s challenges after waking up in a different port every morning and entertaining guests who were on vacation was a breeze compared to the somewhat “dull life” that faced me getting off the ships. I noticed quickly that people have a different attitude when they are not vacationing and that I had been living in a “Fantasy World”. Add that to the rainy and inclement stormy weather in Vancouver and being hit with 3 months of straight rain after I moved there, after cruising around the sunny waters of the Caribbean and California.
I realized that so much of your happiness is not where you live but your sheer attitude towards life itself! You can honestly make anything work as long as you are willing to keep an Open mind…It was time for a big attitude change, but something else happened after I moved to Vancouver..
I was working in the fitness industry and had just finalized my certification as a Personal Trainer when I was involved in a serious car accident that left me in Chronic Pain for 4 years. I was told that I would NEVER go back to being a trainer, that I should know what to do with myself by now in order to get myself better and that I would have to reeducate myself and find another career…Wow!! As scary as it felt..I just couldn’t find it in my heart to think of something else that I would rather do, so I just took a break from training others while rehabilitating my own body through researching the best methods to get myself well..
I saw every professional on the planet. The Canadian Back Institute, different kinds of Chiropractic treatments, Physio therapy, both exercised based and manual therapy, Osteopathic and Cranial Sacral, Acupuncture,Pain Specialist, Massage Therapist (Holistic and RMT’s), Reflexology, Orthopedic Surgeons, Nerve Specialists, MRI’s, Bone Scan’s, X-Rays, You name it, I DID it!! I did specialized courses on Muscle Balance and Function to learn how to get myself better.
One of the Specialist called me an “enigma” and had no idea what was wrong with me..I started feeling like a human experiment as the different therapists had different opinions and tried different methods on me…I was determined to get well and my husband at the time was feeling frustrated as I was not able to partake in our regular activities together. I remember asking him for help to even put on my socks which left me feeling completely defeated by my injuries..I am a very proud woman and asking for help is usually last resort..
Would I ever get back to training others and running half marathons, lifting weights, roller blading, horseback riding, down hill and water skiing, scuba diving, climbing mountains and everything else that inspired me..
I made it my mission to get well and took it one day at the time. I went back to work for the cruise ships while I was waiting for my body to heal and I needed a break from the constant therapy..Rehabilitation is a lot like taking 1 step forward and two steps back..I was still in pain and some days were harder than others..
I traveled around the world working in the ultra luxury market on cruise ships meeting some of the most fabulous and discerning people in the world. I was privileged to meet many people but some of the most memorable included Nelson Mandela, Diana Ross, Buzz Aldrin, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tova and Ernest Borgnine, Mr and Mrs. Loreal and so many others. I hosted many exciting dinner tables for the rich and famous and had some of the best social education you can attain anywhere.
I traveled to over 50 different countries and 500+ different cities. If I was to reproduce the travel I did during my 10 years at sea it would probably cost in the neighborhood of 3 million dollars. I have been to every continent with the exception of Australia. The closest I got was New Zealand..:)
I really enjoyed working on cruise ships and had just finished taking out the 2 brand new ships being part of the Inaugural team for Silversea Cruise Line when September.11th hit…
As my contract was finished, both my husband and I found ourselves back on land looking for work. I had just started my own personal training company on land and was in my second month, when I was offered an exciting opportunity to be the Sports Director for the Amazing “World of Residensea”, the Worlds’ FIRST condominium ship.
I still wasn’t able to demonstrate a lot of the exercises for my clients and had to “wing it”, by talking them through the exercises instead..Luckily, I was pretty good at giving detailed instruction verbally!:) The Natural and Easy way out would have been to accept the offer with Residensea, but I felt a large obligation towards the clients that I had taken on and did not want to leave them feeling abandoned by me leaving for a 4 month long contract.
So, I stayed on land, while my husband got another offer to go back to a different cruise line and entertain which brought us into having a long distance relationship which lasted for a whole 10 YEARS!! We were apart 8-10 months a year. Had it not been for the fact that my own dad was always gone working in the cruise ship industry while I grew up, I most likely would have never endured that..My husband didn’t endure it either as I later found out he pretty much had a woman in every port..:)
I got busy on land and had lots of time to work on my fitness career. I felt inspired to pioneer the fitness boot camp industry in Canada and got started in 2002 in Vancouver after flying down to Big Bear,California and got trained and NESTA certified as a fitness boot camp trainer, the 3rd in Canada.
7 Years after I was told that I would never go back to being a trainer after my MVA that left me in Chronic Pain for 4 whole years, I not only went back to being a trainer, being able to demonstrate ALL the exercises, but I even went to compete in Natural Bodybuilding and placed Top 3 in Canada which qualified me for the Natural Olympia in Natural Bodybuilding representing Team Canada in Greece in 2007.This was a Lifelong Dream. I am very proud to say that I am a Lifetime Natural Athlete and have never taken any performance enhancing drugs or steroids. I placed 4th in the World, Naturally!!:)
Still struggling with aches and pains and sometimes being bed ridden with back pain. My back was always in a state of feeling hyper mobile.Some days I could barely even make it across my living room floor into my kitchen to make a protein shake..The pain was sometimes so severe that I just about passed out..Never giving up, I taught boot camp from the back of my truck a couple of mornings in my most severe state.. The Original MRI’s showed “normal findings”, but one of my specialists diagnosed me with a herniated disc on my L4-L5 after my accident and a later MRI done 10 years later showed the actual damage. I later found out that the majority of people suffering from back pain has a problem with their L4-L5 area..
Still feeling perplexed and still not sure how to fix the actual injuries, just taking care of my back the best I could in order to perform and feeling pain free, I had many days of frustration and wonder of what I needed to do next..After my divorce, I left Vancouver, 1000 clients, friends and all my regular therapists who knew my body and moved up to a small town with only 5000 people in the middle of the dessert in BC.
My husband and I owned a couple of properties together and I took over the recreational property here with no house on it in the middle of the wilderness in the only dessert of BC after our divorce. Major Life Changes left me completely exhausted when I got here, especially emotionally and mentally. My back flared up and I was in extreme pain once again. My disc had re-herniated and was feeling in complete despair as I didn’t know anything about the local therapists in town. I talked to a couple of the locals and was recommended a couple of names. I ended up going with a local chiropractor who came out here to retire after owning a big sports clinic in Banff, AB, he had a sports medicine background and didn’t do the traditional chiropractic treatments which I had not had the best experience with.
I later found out that I really needed the gentle treatments because my back was so hyper mobile and he told me that he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to help me but that he would give it his best shot..He suggested that I buy an inversion table which I did. It was honestly the best investment I ever made..
It’s now 6 months since I could barely walk and since I had tremendous nerve pain going down my legs..My discs are decompressed and almost back to normal! I feel the best I have felt in years and have just started doing some training again..It’s a bit slow but moving steadily ahead..Last week my chiropractor told me that when he saw me in December of Last Year he honestly didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to train again and that he wasn’t sure if I was headed for back surgery!!:)
I feel so happy, fortunate and extremely thankful to have such gifted people in my life to guide me in my process and healing. I am back to teaching boot camps, coaching, consulting and planning several future fitness retreats as well as competitions. I am in my 40’s now and feel really positive about the future. Keeping an Open mind to Change is really important and accepting the things you can’t change in the moment and embracing where you are at. Loving yourself and feeling worthy of having the life that you deserve.
We are all capable of much more than we think.. So much of my healing was done through the power of the mind and thinking positive and getting back on my feet..Trusting in the Universe that it will give you everything you need including the people you need to meet when you need to meet them. Through my own experience and hardship, the gifts were that I have learned so much about chronic pain that I otherwise would not have learned which I have been able to guide others who are in pain much more successfully in my own career.
With a background of being an athlete all my life, I have pretty much injured every part of my body from the neck down to my big toe at some part or another in my life. This has made me stronger as a human being, able to encounter bigger challenges being thrown my way as well as being more patient and understanding with others going through similar body issues. I have learned that pretty much everyone out there has some kind of “issues in their tissues” and The most important lesson I think is to not let anyone else tell you what you can and cannot do..If you think you CAN do it, you are RIGHT..If you think you CAN’T, you are also RIGHT….