May Featured Athlete- Laura Barnes

Laura Barnes
I grew up doing as many sports and outdoor activities as I could. Never really excelling in any of them, but always trying new things from rugby to Irish dance, and never giving up on improving my fitness.  My passion for movement lead to a degree in Physical Education from the University of Victoria and I now have been proudly teaching Phys. Ed. and coaching kids sports for 17 years.  I was both a rower and rugby player at the collegiate level, and have competed in Irish Dance, distance running, bodybuilding and CrossFit as an adult. I also share yoga and CrossFit with the community as a local teacher and coach.
My biggest motivation for staying fit is my family, particularly my kids. In this digital age, I want them to grow up with physical movement being as important as eating, drinking water, and sleeping at night. Because it is. My husband and I share only one passion: the outdoors, particularly the mountains. We are teaching our kids to ski, rock climb, hike, and mountaineer. Luckily we live on a hobby farm, where daily movement and exertion is necessary rather than optional. The kids also help us with our vegetable garden and food box delivery program we run in the summer.
I consider healthy eating a must when it comes to fitness. If I could change anything, it would be people's view of nutrition programs and custom diets. I so often hear people referring to these programs as being "restrictive" and "depriving" when I see them as a fulfilling privilege. I have experimented a lot with my nutrition over the years, and have ended some unhealthy habits.  The result being not only a leaner and stronger body but one that sleeps much better, performs at a higher level and has a strong mentality to go along with it. A much better mom to offer my kids.
Women from my generation (I'm 41) have been taught by society that exercise and dieting are for the sake of altering appearance. This took me many years to dismiss and finally begin training for strength, endurance, agility, speed, and general longevity of life. I am now the fittest I have ever been in all my years. On a daily basis, I work towards shifting views of women towards the reasons for exercise and nutrition plans. My daughter knows that the reason I balance my macros, count my calories, and train at 5:30 in the morning is because mommy is going to hit that 300 lb deadlift any day now, and run that 21 minute 5km that she has been chasing. Not because she is trying to change how she looks. It works!
I spent my mother's day at my daughter's dance rehearsal!  Couldn't think of a better day!
Favorite quote: A sound mind in a sound body (Greek proverb)
Favourite Fit Balm product: Hand Repair Balm is a must for this CrossFit athlete!

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