Paying It Forward

 

Allison Louise Bembridge has a knack for changing the lives of the youth in her community. It’s more than likely her story will serve as inspiration for you, too.

As a youth probation officer, Allison Louise Bembridge loves the challenge that her job brings. After years of volunteering with vulnerable teens, she was surprised to find just how much satisfaction she found in uplifting those around her. “I enjoy helping others,” she says, “so I decided this was the kind of rewarding work that I wanted to do.”

She sees the positives in the interactions she has with the kids she is responsible for, and in many ways mentors.

“In my line of work, I measure success as any progress my clients make,” says Alison. “Progress is progress, no matter how small.  And sometimes progress can be seen in your efforts, not just your results.”

Breaking a Sweat

Physicality is important to Allison, both professionally and personally. But it wasn’t until she dove headfirst into the world of bodybuilding that she felt a true kinship to weightlifting and the community that surrounds it.

It all began, Allison recalls, four years ago.

“I started to do some weightlifting with a personal trainer to build muscle and fell in love with bodybuilding,” she explains. “I worked hard and began to see incredible results and liked the challenge of lifting.

“But what has had the most impact for me is the self-confidence I have gained through this process.  I have developed a love for bodybuilding that has now become my lifestyle.”

 

Finding Balance

A nature lover at heart, Allison looks forward to spending time with her dog Lexi, and if she had her way, she’d spend her days playing catch by the lakeside. In reality, she finds joy in spending time with her loved ones and doing what she does best: lifting and flexing on stage.

“For me, I feel most myself when I’m spending time alone doing things that I enjoy, like hiking, weightlifting or kayaking,” notes Allison. “I also feel like myself when I’m around close friends and family members who know me well and make me feel comfortable.”

With each passing year, Allison has been able to look back on what she used to believe in and exalt as important and recognize that with experience comes wisdom.

As she says, “When you’re younger, you tend to think you are invincible and that you have nothing but time. As I have gotten older, I have learned to appreciate life and to never take things for granted. I live to enjoy life by the littlest things and to value each day as if it were my last.”

And she would tell her younger self that exact thing, were she to have the opportunity.

“Life is too short not to surround yourself with happiness,” she says. “Make your dreams a reality now.  Appreciate the moments when you are in them. In a blink, they are but memories.”

Looking Ahead

Now in her forties, Allison has the life experience and wisdom to both gaze into the future and learn from the past. One person that she credits for her level-headedness is none other than her mom.

“I admire my mother because she is the strongest, kindest and most thoughtful person I know,” explains Allison. “She always sees the best in others and her positive spirit reminds me to search for the good in the world too. She is a gift to those around her.”

With her health, career and attitude intact, there’s plenty more that Allison wants to accomplish. First on her list, made even more important in the wake of the pandemic, is hopping on a plane and getting the hell out of Dodge.

“My bucket list includes travelling the world, trekking the Inca Trail, continuing to pursue my love of fitness, being more spontaneous and giving back more to my community,” she says.

Ask anyone whose lives she has touched, be they the next generations in her local neighbourhoods or her family who supports every endeavour she undertakes, and it’s doubtless they’ll say she’ll excel in all these arenas – and more.

 

Photos by @ChrisVLinton

 

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By : Rachel Debling

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