A move to a new city prompted Heather Brown to challenge herself in a new way.
If you think semi-retirement means sitting back and taking it easy, you couldn’t be more wrong. Heather Brown, 58, for one, used that time to overhaul her life and moved from Toronto to the smaller city of Paris, Ontario, so as to reconnect with herself and her community. It was then that she realized that while she had achieved financial and intellectual success in the past, she had neglected her physical self. “I had never really challenged myself in this respect. Just ‘existing’ physically wasn’t the way I wanted to move forward with my health. The gift of ‘re-invention was one I wanted to fully explore,” says Heather.
Since that time, she’s discovered her passion for weight lifting. “Setting quantifiable goals and seeing the muscularity of my body responding is the visible gratification of this discipline. However, the most remarkable result of weight lifting for me has been the tremendous increase in mental strength. In essence, ‘what the mind believes, the body achieves.’ I have shocked myself —and my trainer—in this respect on many occasions.”
Her trainer, in fact, is who Heather names when it comes to whether or not training lifts her spirits. “Nick Hayward from the Fit Effect brings the most happiness and joy to my health and wellness regimen. The joy I feel entering his gym is cathartic; it is a culture of support, respect, inclusivity, and healing for any and all ages. When I moved to Paris two years ago, I knew no one, and now my life is surrounded by kindness, acceptance, and joy. A true sense of community in every respect exists by extension, through this one person. My sense of self has become so much larger than just me, and I am a better person because of it..
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