Making Fitness A Priority

Fitness for so many is a part of our lives that takes a back seat when work or other obligations become a priority. It’s often difficult to juggle the needs of work and family life with that of maintaining our own personal health. But by making your personal care a priority and making it part of your daily routine, you don’t need to choose one or the other. There is time for you to make fitness a priority and keep up with your work and family responsibilities.

Michael Wade and Tim Loreman are both well known in the city for their work at Concordia University of Edmonton. Mike graduated from Concordia in 1995 before going on to earn his MBA from Dalhousie University. He returned to Concordia in 2011 to join the Board and eventually become Chair in 2015.

Tim is Concordia University’s 8th President and Vice Chancellor. He has been at Concordia for 15 years as a Professor in the Faculty of Education, and during this time also served CUE as Dean of Research and Faculty Development, and Vice-President Academic and Provost. Before joining Concordia Tim was on faculty at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where he completed his PhD.

Both Michael and Tim have reached the pinnacle of success in their careers and, while not always easy, have made fitness a priority in their lives. With the responsibilities leading over 2000 staff and students, they have found time to remain committed to their personal and professional growth.

Other than playing hockey as a child and in many beer leagues during his 30's, Michael hadn’t been involved in a true fitness program prior to 2016. In 2016, encouraged by a physician friend and faced with turning 50, he got a membership at a downtown gym and bought some training sessions. He soon found out that he enjoyed strength training and after having some success building his bench press, decided to enter his first powerlifting competition in November that same year. After bench pressing 115kg, he was hooked. Since then, Michael has competed in four other competitions highlighted by qualifying for the Western Regional Powerlifting Championships and setting a Bench Only provincial record for his age and weight class. He will be competing in the provincial and regional championships this year with the goal of qualifying for the National Championships in 2019.

Throughout Tim’s life, his fitness levels have varied. He has always struggled with his weight and keeping it off has been the main focus of his fitness efforts throughout his life. He has been a medium distance runner since his early 20s, and ran the Melbourne marathon in 1999. He once heard that ‘you can’t outrun a bad diet’ and in his case he has come to realize that this is true. Tim has enjoyed various sports throughout his life but claims that he is not a naturally gifted athlete by any means. As a kid growing up in Australia, he enjoyed cricket and Australian Rules Football. When he moved to Canada in his early 20s, he learned downhill skiing as well as cross-country skiing and has participated in a couple of Birkebeiners.

Recently, Michael joined the Asgardian Powerlifting Club at Evolve Strength and attends twice a week. For general fitness he also keeps up with his cardo by attending classes at World Health once or twice a week. Believing that physical activity is beneficial for mental health, he credits this with his success in both his performance in powerlifting and in the success he’s achieved in his career.

For physical fitness Tim runs six days a week, currently at distances between 8kms and 21kms. He enjoys the longer distances once a week. He has also recently started powerlifting, with a focus mostly on bench press. He is competing once again just for fun knowing that it’s an important part of his overall health rather than doing it to set any records or win any titles.

Tim acknowledges that mental fitness is tougher for him. He has a stressful job, and a very busy one at that. It is hard to take a break and he never seems to be able to ‘switch off’; even on vacations. It helps that he enjoys his work and has a very supportive family and group of colleagues. He too credits his physical fitness activities with helping out with his mental fitness.

Both Michael and Tim recognize the importance of keeping active and healthy to their overall health. While they both are pulled in many directions in the day with faculty and student needs as well as their responsibilities at home, they have found that making fitness part of their routine has allowed them to succeed in both their personal and professional lives.

Tim and Michael wanted to acknowledge Ian Wheat for all he has done to help them reach their fitness goals in his powerlifting club.

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