What have you been up to for the past 1.5 years?
I have been living in Toronto, Canada, working at an elite multi-disciplinary sports clinic with a range of athletes, from ex-professional sports players and kids on track for the NHL to weekend warriors training for their first marathon and people looking to improve their yoga flow.
I’ve also learned to cope with seriously cold climates (I’m talking -30!), I’ve learned to ski and I’ve also gained serious appreciation for the spice level of foods from the Caribbean. You cannot mess with jerk seasoning without knowing how spicy it is!
What was the highlight of living in Canada?
The highlight was definitely access to travel to new places in the world. Canada itself has some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Especially in the rockies where we hiked through frozen canyons & skied some of the longest runs in the world (very slowly). I was also lucky enough to travel to Mexico, Cuba & to quite a few national parks in the US which I highly recommend!
I was also lucky to have spent the majority of 2017 completing a functional movement & chain reaction biomechanics course. During the course I acquired a whole new set of tools to incorporate into tailored treatment and rehab plans for my patients and it was incredible to spend an intensive period of time with like minded professionals.
What did you miss the most in Australia?
I missed brunch and coffee of course! It’s an enormous relief to be able to safely order a coffee at a cafe without adding 10 specifications! And avocado on toast being a staple on every breakfast menu makes me truly happy.
I also missed the Australian attitudes towards work-life balance. I think our improving views towards health driven workplaces are leaps and bounds ahead of North America which was something that surprised me living in Canada. People would routinely work 10-12 hour workdays and annual holidays were commonly kept to only one week. My patients were often burnt out and I found myself more often talking about the importance of sleep and quality of sleep, moving from your desk during the day, eating the right foods (and not at your desk) and how valuable mindfulness and taking time for yourself is in our busy society. This was certainly not every person, but it was a common theme for office workers particularly.
Do you have any winter tips for us now you have lived in Canada?
Other than the obvious like rugging up and wearing the warmest possible socks, movement was key for me when keeping warm! I felt the cold far more intensely on days where I didn’t exercise. So for anyone struggling with the Melbourne chill, I would advise you to walk a little quicker when you’re headed somewhere, to do an early morning exercise class or work out to keep yourself warm for the rest of the day and if it feels like your office heating is failing you, try and get your co workers involved in a dance break – it will get your blood going and you’ll sit back down feeling warmer, happier and more energised.