At 42, I don’t remember a time I didn’t want to run, hit a ball, or try to make the perfect play. Physical activity was just always a part of my life and I thought that was the norm for everyone.
Growing up with British immigrant parents, we—my parents, older sister, brother, and I—moved around a lot while my parents navigated a new country, finding their niche.
By Grade 7, I attended six different schools around Edmonton, Fort McMurray, and one year in England before coming back to Canada.
Our transiency created a longstanding “new girl” identity for me, although I fought the unsolicited label at each new school. Being innately shy, I couldn’t force anyone to notice me or accept me; I had to find another way to earn my sense of belonging.
For me, that “other way” was through sports and physical activity.
In elementary, when my family moved around most, there weren’t any organized school teams to join—other than in England when I somehow made the netball and rounders teams and fended off my “new girl with weird accent” status.