Keep Calm & Carry On: pushing through the nerves to move forward

I’m* presenting a workshop tomorrow at the Esquimalt MFRC’s Pacific Women’s Day called Embracing Your Strength. It’s a workshop on setting goals but more importantly, recognizing that you already have the experience and strength to achieve greatness!


I was inspired to submit my application for this event after remembering my business coach (I refer to her often because she’s brilliant and everyone needs a brilliant and motivating voice in their business life) encouraging all of her clients to share our stories and get out there. Well, I’m out there now! I was calm and collected until this week arrived. Uh oh…how is this going to go? What if everyone hates it? What if I spill coffee on my outfit? OMG what am I going to wear?!?

I’ve got my presentation ready and the handouts will be printed this afternoon. I’ve deleted slides and jotted notes, and while I know that I’m anxious about it I know I shouldn’t be. I know what I’m talking about. I’m leading a workshop on something I’ve had to do myself time and time again. When I lost my job at 25? I cried first, but then I channeled my energy into finding my next position. When I took the leap to go back to school? I embraced that challenge and graduated at the top of my class. When I encountered difficulties being a stepmom? I sought out resources and learned and did my best. I’ve done scary things before and I like to think that everything’s turned out pretty great. So even though I still haven’t chosen my outfit, I’m talking myself into believing that this workshop is going to be an amazing experience.

Something I’ve learned which always surprises me is that the pros I admire still get nervous! If the big guns get a little apprehensive, then it’s ok for me, too! I know a fitness instructor who is leading a workout event tomorrow who was doubting her material earlier this week. She leads workouts for a living, (and does a fantastic job of it!)so why would this be any different? NHLers get nervous before a big game. TedTalk presenters often mention being nervous before their talks. Heck! Seasoned marathon runners have nervous poops before big races.

We get nervous because we want to succeed. That drive to achieve is what probably led most of us to starting our own businesses in the first place. We want to create something great and share it with the world. We want our audience, our clients, our fans to enjoy our work and while this workshop is not a fitness event, I want to empower other women to take a leap of faith and start moving towards something big. I am excited about how goal setting has worked for me and I am excited at the possibilities for others to take away even one little morsel of what I have to say and change their lives because of it.

So, yes I’m nervous but I’m not backing out. I’ll probably feel nervous until my presentation is over but I’m embracing my favourite slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” (I have it posted around my house) and moving forward. What big thing could you do for yourself or your business or life if you didn’t let the fear and nerves stop you? 



*I, as in Shannon the woman, not Meraki the business.

Happy? holidays

Remembrance Day is over so the holidays are upon us (have you been to Walmart lately?) This time of year is tough for many people and for many reasons. The holidays are not always happy.

We know there are going to be parties with rich food and (lots of) alcohol. There will be late nights rushing from work to the school concert to shopping. Sleep suffers. Our healthy diet goes out the window and our fitness is put on the back burner while we prepare treats for the office party and bake for the neighbourhood cookie exchange. Our mental health also takes a beating: especially for moms who want everything to be perfect for our families.

christmas-stress-memeI’m currently putting together an event for a fitness business that focuses on empowering people to take on this time of year with strength and confidence. I am so in love with this idea because I’m a firm believer in prevention rather than cures. The event is a combination workout and coaching to prepare participants to focus on their goals and remember their strength, and will wind down with a yoga practice. I’m a little disappointed I’ll be here in Victoria and have to miss this event because it sounds absolutely delicious! A morning spent investing in my physical and mental fitness! If you are in the Annapolis Valley area of Nova Scotia go check it out #IAmStrong Holiday Edition.

For the rest of the country: find a way to prepare yourself for the coming chaos, because we know it’s coming. Here are a few tips on how to get ready:

  • leave some empty spots in your calendar: Just like you take a rest day from physical training, give yourself a break from the craziness
  • learn to say no:This one is hard, I totally get that, but there no point committing to an activity that’s going to make you miserable
  • create a budget: spending can get out of hand and financial stress ain’t fun for anyone! Set a realistic budget (no need to go into debt buying every neighbour a gift) and stick to it.
  • make time for fitness: (You knew I couldn’t leave this one out!) Your health and fitness is NOT a luxury: it’s a necessity! Keep up with your regular routine or try something new to keep you motivated and energized.
  • remember what’s truly important: We often lose focus of what’s important at this time of year: spending time with family and friends, spreading kindness, etc. It may even be helpful to jot down a quick list of what you want the focus to be on this year.
  • enjoy yourself: Enjoy your favourite festive treats, but stick to one or two instead of the whole pan! Watch your favourite cheesy made for tv Christmas movie or meet an old friend for a mint hot chocolate. Refer to tip #2 about saying no: if you hate going to the office party, don’t go! If you don’t have time to bake for the class party, buy something instead. You’ll get no judgement from me because I’ll be doing the same thing!
  • be kind: Not everyone enjoys this time of year and it can be very difficult for many. Check in on friends and neighbours and reach out to those in need.
  •  If this season has you feeling depressed or anxious or suicidal, please call your doctor IMMEDIATELY or call 911. How to have a HAPPY Holiday

I love this time of year because of the music (yes, I have my festive playlist going already), decorations, and seeing how excited my kids get. There’s just a feeling of magic in the air that isn’t there the rest of the year, but I will manage expectations, keep up with my fitness and take it easy on the treats. I’ve got this!

5 Ways to Grow Your Business

To get started planning your event visit


I’ve said this before, but as fitness and wellness entrepreneurs you have to get out of the gym or clinic to grow your business! I’ve put together a quick list of 5 ways your business will grow your with a live event.

  1. You will attract attention. By hosting a fun and unique event in your community, you will get people (and by people I mean potential clients) buzzing about your business. Put up posters and advertise on social media: get your logo out there. Don’t forget to reach out to media: you’ve got a great story to share!
  2. Reduce the intimidation factor. It can be scary for some to walk into a new fitness facility or visit a clinic, so eliminate the intimidation factor by presenting new clients with a no-commitment opportunity to try you out.
  3. Establish your credibility. Seeing is believing! An inspiring or educating Instagram gallery is great, but do you practice what you post? Show the community what you do and how you do it live, in person.
  4. Community building. Small businesses need the support of a strong community and you can strengthen yours by reaching out and inviting your neighbours to join you for a special event. Consider supporting a local charity or cause. When you support your community, your community will support you!
  5. Generate extra income. Building a business to share your passion is great, but don’t forget you need to make a profit. Hosting an event outside of your normal schedule presents the opportunity to earn a little (or a lot) more.



How to get back on track when things go off the rails

I always find this time of the year difficult: it’s chilly and damp and chilly some more. It feels like it’s dark all the time and I just want to snuggle cozy in bed. But I’m quickly reminded that I’m a responsible adult with children and a husband and a business and a life to lead. So, how do I shake off this autumnal melancholy? IMG_3276[1]

I take on something new. In the past its been an online course in understanding the terrorist threat, or a workshop in vintage hairstyling, but this time it’s a splits class*. Yup. Splits as in legs in opposite directions and ultimate flexibility. It starts tonight. I have attended classes  at this studio before so I feel comfortable going into it but I know it’s going to be a challenge. Especially considering I’m a runner whose hip flexors and hamstrings are gradually getting tighter. This should be interesting to say the least.

So for me it’s splits class that’s giving me a new challenge and new focus, but for you it could be anything. I have found that having something new to focus my attention on helped me to rediscover my confidence and has energized me when I needed it most. Think of something you have wanted to know more about or try or improve on (like flexibility), and sign up for it before you can change your mind! 


*I’m attending the Splits Class taught by Luna Mammom at Amethyst Dance & Fitness on Johnson Street in Victoria.

The Power of the Playlist

Last night was cold and rainy night here in Victoria (it actually ended up snowing, ffs!) so I decided to invest $5.75 in the drop-in gym fee at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre. I hopped on the treadmill and turned my running playlist and started warming up.


I can’t run and listen to podcasts because it slows me down. I can’t listen to normal radio tunes because again, they slow me down. I prefer to run with music and I find it helps me get in the zone (and pace) much easier. Don’t worry, Dr. Jason Karp, I will make time for beautiful “Inner Runner” runs every now and then (If you haven’t read his book yet, what are you waiting for?) I spend my iTunes money on workout remixes and high bpm tracks to keep my pace where I want it. I have an abnormally high resting heart rate, (and yes I’ve seen a cardiologist and been exercising for years, so it’s just high and I deal with it), so I find using typical heart rate training suggestions and low bpm music doesn’t work for me.

I’m sure you’ve all experienced playlist magic whether it be calming tracks or upbeat party tracks designed to enhance or even create a specific mood. So why not apply it to your workouts? I have seen results connected to my running playlist choices. I remember running at least a one-minute faster 5k because of a high bpm track playlist. I also create a playlist for each event: I train and race with it.  I have my angry music (“Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit) for when I am running off an angry spell and my empowering tracks (“Magic: Dr. Pack Remix”) for when I want to boost my speed and feel stronger.

Music can motivate and inspire and even make you faster. I find it enhances the experience and I can’t help but sing along and sometimes I might even catch me dance a few steps. So, what’s on your powerful playlist?

My current running playlist is:

  1. Bulletproof by La Roux
  2. Magic Dr. Pack Remix
  3. Animal Dr. Pack Remix
  4. Fight Song Workout Mix
  5. We Are Young (feat. Dr, Parck)
  6. everybody Talks Dr. Pack Remix
  7. Take On Me DeLorean Vocal Remix
  8. Basket Case 170bmp Speedmaster mix
  9. Downtown Workout Mix 130bpm
  10. Little Know It All Sum 41 and Iggy Pop
  11. Come On Eileen by Save Ferris
  12. Castle on the Hill Sprint 135 bpm
  13. Laura Palmer by Bastille
  14. Locked Away Workout Mix 128bpm
  15. Kalinka Sunrider Radio Edit
  16. Warriors 166bpm Workout Remix