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From Swimming Pool to Yoga Studios

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It was never my goal or vision to be self employed or a yoga teacher. People regularly ask how I came to this work.   The training and confidence that I gained in the fields  of swimming and camp gave me the skills and the passion to make the transition from a full time government employee of 9 years (Bark Lake Leadership Centre) to being Haliburton Yoga.

Throughout my high school and university time  I was dedicated to being a swimming instructor and lifeguard at the Acton High School Pool, and the Canada Games Complex in Thunder Bay.  I received extensive training in leadership, first aid, emergency response, customer service,  teaching skills for people of all ages and backgrounds as well as becoming a strong swimmer.  I went to  Lakehead  University for Outdoor Recreation under the assumption that I would run a community centre in a small town eventually.

I loved municipal recreation and swimming.

I graduated from Lakehead University and was working for a professor in Thunder Bay when I read a student's work term report on working at YMCA Camp Wanakita.  After reading the report, I knew I wanted to work at the camp, and check out Haliburton.  It sounded amazing.  I came here for 4 months and stayed the rest of my life.  After 2 years at Wanakita I went to work for 9 years at Bark Lake Leadership Centre.  I was involved in marketing, program development, staff training, food services, hiring and firing etc.  I learned how to look after people and help them have good learning experiences.

When Bark Lake closed in 1995 I had to make the choice about moving away to get another government job, or finding new work in the community.  I chose to follow a passion I had always had which was to go to the Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health (www.kripalu.org).  It was  1995 and I could see that yoga was going to be a big business in the future.  I went there tired and stressed from the closure of Bark Lake, and left feeling strong and vibrant and ready to contribute what I could to the community.

There are many opportunities for young people in this community in the performing and visual arts.  There are opportunities to go to camp, to ski and play many different sports.  I will always support and work to helping bring a swimming pool here.  I am currently one of the many mom's (or dad's) who are driving their kids to Huntsville, Bobcaygeon or Bracebridge for swimming  lessons.  I do it because I know how important is was for me and I want my daughter to have that same opportunity.  And I'm sure that when a pool comes to this community someone will teach swimming yoga!  After all, there seems to be yoga for everyone these days.

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