Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


I have been active in sports and outdoor activities all my life. Whether it was volleyball, basketball, track, baseball, long distance running; hiking, white water, Arctic canoeing, winter camping, cross country skiing, tennis, or equestrian competition, sports have brought both physical and mental balance and health to my life. But of all those sports, canoeing and horseback riding are near and dear to my heart.


Physical activity and sports teach us so much about ourselves and others. It is through individual sports and the challenges that we face when we are pushed mentally and emotionally to our limits, that we gain strength and conviction and confidence. And when we take these skills into group sport situations, we are better able to work with others to make our team strong and successful. A natural and wonderful offshoot of this is that confident team players make for strong, life-long community leaders who not only lead well, but also do so putting the wellbeing of others ahead of themselves.


For over thirty years as an English teacher, with a belief that a healthy mind and a healthy body are the best combination for success, I encouraged my students to find a balance of physical and mental activity. Many of my English students were also members of our all-season Outers Club where we combined reading, writing and speaking skills with experiential activities outdoors. Writing solos, canoe trips, cross country ski outings, camping and hiking were all part of the mix that married sport with more traditional ways of knowing, and made for successful leaders and wonderful team players. These are life skills cannot be learned from a book.

Please share a story about an internal or external barrier you have faced.


When I was 10 years old, I had a terrifying experience on a runaway horse. 1,200 pounds of uncontrollable horse under me was something that I had never dreamed of in my earlier fantasies about riding off into the sunset on my trusty steed. I liken it to the panic that I imagine most of us would feel if a roller coaster were to run out of control. Now at age 65, I still remember that moment as if it were last week. The residual effect was intense and long lasting, but luckily the love of horses was stronger than my fear, and through determination and years of trial and error, I overcame that barrier and have had horses as part of my life for over 50 years.


How did you overcome that barrier? What skills did you develop in sport to helped you overcome your barrier?


Sometimes we can overcome our barriers on our own, but in most cases, wonderful mentors and coaches are involved. Often these people remain in the background, supporting us, encouraging us and teaching us the valuable skills that we need to be successful. It was through the mentorship and coaching of two special people in my life, combined with my own fierce determination, that I was able to get past my fear and ride amazing horses through all kinds of disciplines and competitions including, stadium jumping, cross country eventing, dressage and Western Style Dressage. Bob Rothgeb, and Vicki Hanes are two such people who helped me to grow from a fearful child who would cry before she rode, to a confident equestrian who has been able to form a special bond with her horses, and who competed successfully at the provincial level.


If you had one word to describe your character, experiences or philosophy what would it be? Why?




If you wanted to motivate a young female athlete to #BuildHerUp, what quote would you use? Why?


M E N T O R + P E R S I S T E N C E = S U C C E S S


We all have the ability to be successful no matter what our background or physical ability, but we don’t need to do it alone. There are wonderful people associated with sport…people who themselves have been successful, and who are just waiting for a young person to come along for them to mentor and to pass along their knowledge. If a young person is fortunate enough to find a mentor, then all she has to do is to have an open mind to listen, to learn, to practice, and to persist, and she will be guaranteed success.