Jodi Barrett


As women, we strive to be IT, the Superwoman! Have it all together and look great while doing it! I was thinking about this the other day, and it hit me like a smack upside the head! I think my brand and my business it is also very much the avatar I have created. Strong, confident, fit and look like a rockstar in a pair of leather pants at any age. Truth is, we can be all those things, but we must be very careful with the idea of that goal. With everything strong and independent you must also have a soft and dependent side. It would be like having a world full of sunshine without rain. It cannot exist unless you add in the rain to cool, nourish and sustain the strength of the earth.

I have wanted to write this article for a while and literally woke one morning inspired to write as I watched a beautiful sunrise. I poured a cup of coffee and snuggled in on the couch with my dog and started to write, to share my ideas with you! I think it is important that we think about this; we discuss and learn from it. Society has shifted its ideals of women. We feel the push to be strong, independent women. To raise our voices louder, hold our opinions stronger and push down the other side of our femininity as that feels like weakness, and we are not weak … Superwomen are not weak. We have gone from the role of caregiver to the CEOs of businesses. I, myself went from a 100% caregiver role to the CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada.

… you must find harmony – not balance, because balance is equal and if you want to be unique and different, you don’t want to be equal – you want to be beautifully you.

In my mind for me and my business to be a success the only way was to be strong and independent. To show little softness, as nobody wants a weak leader. Those words are not wrong by any means but for harmony and growth in personal and business life, one must not just focus on strength and independence. It must hold both sides, so I believe it is important as a woman to embrace all sides of us and that includes the softer, caring nurturing side along with the strong independent side. I think often of our younger generation of Superwomen, as I also have two young daughters and nieces. We must share our knowledge, our information, our stories, and experiences to guide them. I believe it is our job to share our knowledge so we can all learn. Western society has over-swung the pendulum away from many things when it is too far, and we have to bring it back to make sense. I have had an experience where I let the pendulum swing the last 10 years too far; I have lived there all or nothing nurturing, then the feeling to find success I felt I had to swing the pendulum to the other way of always being super strong and confident. I sit here ready to share and tell you that it cannot be one way, you must find harmony – not balance, because balance is equal and if you want to be unique and different, you don’t want to be equal – you want to be beautifully you. Different cannot mean equal.

Now before I get too far ahead, I want to share experiences to shed the light on what I am speaking of. When I was married with 3 small children living in a beautiful 2-story home, my house was immaculate. You could pop in unexpectedly and find nothing out of place. With children aged 8, 6 and 3 it should have been constant chaos, but it wasn’t, I ran a tight ship. Perfection was my goal, and I am really good at perfection. Here starts the pendulum swing. Interestingly enough, the best times I remember with my kids were having messy fun. Where I would lay down cardboard, strip us down into our underwear and paint with the ambitions of an aspiring artist. This is what I would recognize later as finding harmony within the world of tidiness and neatness, though these were just slivers of time, not enough for harmony as my goal of perfection would push me far away from my own happiness. I think we sense the need to have both sides in our life – the tidy yet messy moments. Then we punish ourselves for veering off track when veering off is needed it is part of life that makes us whole.

Embracing all parts of our womanhood will allow you to become free and liberated!

When I left my marriage, I let the pendulum swing off yet again completely to the other side. Our house was a complete disaster zone. My mom would visit and try to tidy up, and I would become offended. Here is the thing: I had that pendulum so far one way, the neat and tidy, that I needed or felt I needed it to go the other way, now recognizing healthy individuals can maintain a middle state of being. I believe Superwoman needs to possess both sides, so she feels confident, happy, loved and nourished. The other part of Superwoman that we swing out of balance is we “think” she needs to take care of everyone else. Who fills up her cup so she can be the person she wants to be? This goes back to my life-changing moment in the gym where I stood looking in the mirror not able to lift anything when I was consistently training 2 hours a day. Recognizing that day that Superwoman’s physical powers are generated by her internal strength, I zapped them dead!

Here we are back again to embracing all sides of ourselves and finding harmony within. You may find your mind wanting to hear the world balance. Truthfully, I have the word balance tattooed on my hip to remind myself, but as I have learned over the years I want harmony, balance is when all things are equal, and I do not want that. I feel it is inconsistent with life as we never have equality, and I do not believe we should because in life it will pull us in certain ways as life ebbs and flows! Part of my Superwoman ideology is that I gave myself to my family as the 100% nurturer. When I started my business, I flipped that to 100% business. I don’t know if I consciously decided, but the pendulum swung that way and now I was in hot pursuit of creating a strong independent woman without needing anyone, but the woman who could take care of herself and her business.

Looking back on it now, I see Superwoman needs all areas of her life to be webbed together. We do not need to be perfect, because if you ever played the game with perfect you quickly realize you want off that podium for the Perfection Award fast! Remember, my house was perfect, my family looked perfect, and my husband at the time at counselling said “I was perfect” it is hard always thinking and trying to be perfect for everyone. I remember the counsellor asking me if I was perfect. I said I wasn’t, and she then stated ‘take her off the podium of perfection, nobody wants to live there”. Whenever someone today states “I am perfect” I smile and say yes “I am imperfectly perfect” as I appreciate nice words though state that imperfections of a superwoman beautifully make her the best version of herself. I believe you can be Superwoman, you can even sport that cape with leather pants if you must. Just know that a healthy happy Superwoman is not always strong and that she allows others to hold her in moments of weakness, recognizing that to be that best version of herself you must love all the parts of you including the soft and gentle parts. Our little girls can still want to grow up and idolize this superhero, let’s just guide them to recognize all the beautiful parts of this woman. Embracing all parts of our womanhood will allow you to become free and liberated!

I walked home on a Friday after a Kettlebell Kickboxing Class. I was humbled by what I saw in that class and how I felt on the walk home. I am around clients all the time, but this Friday felt different, maybe it was my mood. As I walked, I felt a lump rise in my throat thinking about the clients I had trained. Their mindset is even trained on a Friday night. I reminded them, was not average. The average population either goes out on a Friday night to drink or sits at home on the couch trying to rest because they are tired from their lives. I am not being mean, I wish I was wrong, but the truth is our world is unhealthy and our mindset is off track. I used to try so hard to convince anyone and everyone that they can train. It sometimes felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall. People are great at finding excuses why they can’t, and I was such a good cheerleader reminding them they could.

Do not get me wrong, I will be your biggest cheerleader, but I need you to show up first. Your success depends on showing up, not on my cheerleading, but ultimately your willingness to show up for you. Your mindset is key to your evolution. Very simply, if you showed up every day for yourself, you would evolve. It sounds like it should be simple, but the truth is simple things are hard until you train your mindset and create a non-negotiable mentality. We will discuss non-negational mentality later on, but first I want to interject here and discuss how my attitude within training others evolved. As I said before, I was the cheerleader who thought I could cheer anyone and everyone into a healthy lifestyle, but I was wrong. My attitude started to change when I met a client who could have had every excuse.

With physical training, not only will you build muscle, but something else is going to build, and that is your self-confidence.

She is a recovering alcoholic who survived domestic abuse and was also in a near-fatal train/vehicle accident that took the lives of her family members. I remember her telling me about how her femur was wrapped around her body. It was not until after training her for 6 weeks did she start to share more about her life story. She was the feisty client that showed up with a fire inside her, always smiling and not having a clue what a jumping jack, lunge, or burpee was, let alone a kettlebell swing. She always smiled, tried and came back every session. She consistently showed up! As I got to know her, I would always look to her when we train as she is normally to my left on the mats, I will explain an exercise and she always replies, “I will try”. Sitting here writing this I think how simple and how powerful those 3 words are… I will try. Can you imagine if we applied that to everything we do, how we would try more things and how we would discover what we can do? After I met and trained her, it clicked in my mind the power of mindset. Most of us give up before we even start because we have already decided to fail. I believe training the mind is as important, if not more important than the muscles in our bodies because without the power of our mind we will quit and give up over and over again.

When I realized how much mindset impacted clients’ outcomes, as a business owner and a fitness trainer, I started to approach things differently. I could likely convince people to start or take one class, but I cannot convince someone to show up for themselves. If they just show up because of a free class and have not trained in months, the likelihood of training just one will not keep them continually training. They need to build the mindset to show up of their own will, not mine. I can guide and help them but first, they must be ready to try, be ready to create their success. Success is an inside job and the only way to succeed is to be consistent. This past summer when I went to our Spartan events with our KBKB Crew, I listened to how some people spoke as they approached an obstacle. Often I heard “oh I can’t do that.” Rightfully so, if that is what you believe that is what your outcome will be.

Obviously, you have to train for events in your life but working towards your positive mindset is fundamental. To work on mindset, we must always work on one’s belief in ourselves. I like to think of this as the light switch that we need to turn on within people. It is when they finally believe in themselves that allows them to get stronger internally and externally. Physical training is the pathway to creating a mindset that will allow people to access how to build inner strength as they work on their outer strength. We talk about a positive mindset, but how do we actually work towards a positive mindset?

We need to have a pathway for our mindset training just as we do with our physical training. I believe we can weave these together. Look at the layout:

  • Start physical Training – It allows you to build confidence.
  • Be Consistent.
  • Introduce Internal Dialogue.
  • Nonnegotiable.
  • Meaningful Goals.

With physical training, not only will you build muscle, but something else is going to build, and that is your self-confidence. As self-confidence increases it allows you to work on your thought process regarding yourself. When we have success, we feel pride and a sense of accomplishment inside. This is the small seed that you plant when you begin training. When that starts to grow if you have the proper trainer they should start to encourage and speak to you on your internal dialogue.

I believe training the mind is as important, if not more important than the muscles in our bodies because without the power of our mind we will quit and give up over and over again.

It takes 21 days to create a healthy habit. With anything, if you want to create a habit, set your calendar and Be Consistent. So, with your training, I say take 30 days because you cannot train 21 days straight when just starting so plan for a month. Make a calendar and check mark each day. Make it nonnegotiable… which I will speak on below!

Internal Dialogue:
This is how you talk to yourself. It is that voice, commentary, and roommate you have in your mind. With your internal dialogue, before you can change it, you must become aware of. Once you recognize this, you must look at your saboteur and your sage. Saboteur is the internal dialogue – the negative force within and sage is the positive talk. We want to shift our focus here.

This is your promise to yourself. The most important person that you need to make and keep those promises to. This is where you build your credibility for you to you. When you make a goal for yourself, you complete it, check it off and say, “I was true to my word!” Here you pick things that are non-negotiable, that is training for me. I will train in something every day even if it is a simple movement such as a walk. Movement is my non-negotiable. It is my promise to myself because I value it deeply within myself. Not one person will ever change that for me. Once you ingrain that into your mind, you will keep that promise to yourself because it is non-negotiable.

Meaningful Goals:
Attach a feeling to your goals. One example is the ability to play with your kids or grandkids without being out of breath. I remember running down the street with my kids when they were little; we ran fast and I remember thinking how grateful I was that I could run, climb, and keep up with them. Sometimes we need to realize we are out of shape. You might think this is odd but if you are inactive, chances are you do not do much to explore that. Often the first drill I share with my clients is the “up-down drill”. It is simply standing tall, going down to the floor and lying on your stomach, getting back up any way you can, then going back down to the floor to your back and getting up any way once again. You repeat this over and over for 60 seconds (try it). I do this to make people aware of how they move through what should be a relatively simple task. Then remind them to have a mind-body connection, like “wow that was hard”, and “omg I am really sucking wind.” Again, we need to become aware often before we can make changes. Often our lives are so sedentary we do not even realize how inactive and unhealthy we have become.

One summer, I hiked with my mom in the mountains. We got to the top of this beautiful trail and I looked at her. She was fuming mad, but it was a beautiful day and hike. I did know that the hike was not easy, but I was confused about why so mad. She said, “I did not know I was that out of shape, I am so mad at myself for letting that get away from me.” Why we need that connection is because we need to be able to attach it to meaningful goals. If you have grandkids or even kids and you do the up-down drill and realize how hard it is, maybe your meaningful goal is to be able to play with them with ease. For my mom, she wants to be active with me so we can enjoy things together, such as joining me on my Fitness Retreat. When our goals mean something, we are able to find value in them and a reason why. Think of it like this, if there was a person you liked, or wanted to spend time with, you would do your best to make that work, because it holds meaning. If that person is someone you don’t care to be around, you won’t make it a priority. Your fitness and mindset goals must mean something to you, or you will never make them a priority.

Simplify your goal and hold yourself accountable. We often fall into the trap of excuses. By letting ourselves off the hook, we are only creating problems for ourselves and causing our goals and accomplishments to get derailed. Be real with yourself, and your goals and move forward with a plan of success. Allow training and mindset to weave themselves together to bring you clarity within your life and give you the best shot at success!

I have written before about how I started my business, and what the driving force was behind wanting to launch a fitness company at 41, but I have never really written about what the last 5.5 years have been like. Possibly, I was not ready to put the raw down for others to read. Though going forward, I will give you a glimpse back so that you can understand the beginning.

It was 9 years ago already that I left my marriage of almost 15 years; I had chosen to be a stay-at-home mom because after my middle daughter got sick, I decided my children needed me at home and my spouse at the time was able to financially support that decision. My world has drastically changed since then and one of the most pivotal moments that sparked that change, was when I was at the gym one day.

The gym was where I spent a lot of time because it had become my escape from my reality. It was the one thing I had solely for me so when the kids went to school, I spent 2 hours at the gym making myself physically strong so I could endure my internal unhappiness that had crept in over the years. A person who is not specifically training for a sport of a specific goal does not need to spend 2 hours at the gym and run 10k every other day. Two hours was too much, but not when you are avoiding and trying to numb the pain.

As I was learning who I was again, I began to realize that we often need to uncover what we have covered up with our expectations or others’ expectations of ourselves.

The pivotal moment came one morning when I went to the gym, sat down on the bench and literally looked up in the mirror at myself not having any strength to lift anything other than my head. I sat there staring at a very physically strong woman. Training had led me to this moment, the moment when I had to finally own my shit. I got up, grabbed my bag and walked to the lake, stood at the bridge and cried. I thought I was broken then but now, I know I was brave because I was in uncharted waters and finally was going to make a change. I knew I had to leave, I knew I would disrupt 4 lives during the process and had hoped one day that they would all understand. After 13 years of wanting a perfect family, and perfect marriage, I was going to leave so I could remember who I was supposed to be. I am not saying you have to leave your marriage to find yourself; you don’t; it was something I had to do because I had checked out.

So, my journey began and after taking time to simply be me, I found I was drawn back into fitness as moving my body was the most natural thing for me. As I was learning who I was again, I began to realize that we often need to uncover what we have covered up with our expectations or others’ expectations of ourselves. All the labels that we use allow us to get lost in the roles of our lives instead of who we truly are. I was a mom and a wife, but I also was caring, funny, fun, adventurous and full of life!

I decided as a single mom to launch a fitness company across Canada. My goals were big, and part of my goal was to show my children that you could go after your dreams at any age and that if you worked hard and smart, you could do it!

During this time, I found 2 things along my journey, martial arts and kettlebells. I enjoyed the discipline of training during this time because if any of you have been divorced you know everything feels out of control and in chaos while you are in the midst of it. Training led me to look at my inner self then it gave back to me the ability to have control over one area of my life. It allowed my body to feel good, my mind to have an escape and allowed me to be tired at night so I could sleep peacefully when my world felt nothing like peace. There are a lot of ways to escape your day and I dabbled in the bottle of red wine until I too realized that that only made it worse. The training was the root of myself, it was my teacher and it only made sense to me when I founded Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada that I could use it as a tool to get people fit and to teach and inspire them to work on Strong Body ~ Strong Mind.

Now that is a quick Coles version of the start of the process, as no story can start without a beginning, but what I wanted to share today was that at 41, I decided to do something out of the ordinary. I decided as a single mom to launch a fitness company across Canada. My goals were big, and part of my goal was to show my children that you could go after your dreams at any age and that if you worked hard and smart, you could do it!

So, at 41, I launched this company across Canada, never having been a CEO before other than for my children and household and I ran my own dance club during my university days. Now to be clear, I had no idea really how I was going to accomplish this feat, only that I knew I would, but I just didn’t know the steps quite yet. I had much to learn every day, OMG like every day and still every day. From technical information to running the website, which involved a bit of coding, to branding, marketing and sales and still working at being a mom. I give myself little credit for my tech skills but truthfully; I think I kick ass for what I have learned. No, IT is still not my strongest suit but at 41, I was learning and after all those years of multi-tasking as a mom, I knew I was very capable. I began doing certifications across the country and travelling doing pop-ups in different provinces, yes carrying 20 20lb kettlebells in the back of my vehicle…. not the safest occupation at times, but I survived. Along the way, I failed many times, having pops with not many people and being left feeling defeated. One time when I travelled to a pop I remember the turnout was poor and walking back to the vehicle feeling discouraged when my son who had travelled with me simply said “I guess today was about learning”, he would have been roughly 16 at the time. I took a deep breath in, looked at him and smiled and said “Yes, I guess I did”. Mindset is so important with everything that you do in life and at that moment my 16-year-old son taught me something very valuable and I still smile thinking about how I learned that day!

The truth is, when you are an entrepreneur, it’s a game where you are in constant motion to turn right, go up or maybe was that left? Or so it has been for me thus far. I believe if you are an entrepreneur, you should love what you do and have a vision and purpose.

I had also started teaching Kettlebell Kickboxing Classes as I knew if I was going to guide trainers, I must also experience what they would experience and if I was to teach them the craft, I wanted to be hands-on also. Finding harmony in my world, I believe 5 and a half years in I could say that maybe now I understand, and I work on what that looks like. It took learning, as it took my children moving out for me to do some deep looking at my goals and how I wanted all my relationships in my life to look. I believe life will teach you if you are willing to listen. I also think that sometimes we fight what we have learned, and we carry regret instead of simply learning, forgiving ourselves and moving on.

On forgiving myself, I took a flight to South Carolina to do a 24-hour walk with an Ex-Navy Seal Thom Shea, to even realize that I had not yet forgiven myself for leaving my marriage and changing how my family looked. I had to forgive myself and acknowledge what life was teaching me. I simply had to learn not to carry the weight of my mistakes as reminders of failures but to carry forward what I had learned so that I could grow as an individual. I share this because if you think your personal life does not flow into your business; I believe you are wrong. When working on the masterpiece of your life it encompasses all areas.

During my 5 and a half years, I have definitely felt and been in the grind. I see success differently and often have to sit and remind myself that there are many different types of success, so I sometimes have to ask myself what success will ultimately be for me. I have had the opportunity to travel and meet incredible people, I have written for magazines, for various companies, certified over 40 trainers in Canada, pivoted my studio classes online within 48 hours of a global pandemic and launched a flagship location during this pandemic. I have done much of this alone because I thought I had to prove to myself that I did not need anyone and that I could do it, you know, a single woman in her 40’s trying to prove that it can be done. After having done so much then to finally look at it and allow me to feel success and say “I did what I could alone and realize that now I don’t have to do it alone anymore.” The flagship has allowed me to learn the true value of the team as I have had to hand over the reins to my trainers so I can travel for retreats and projects. This has been one of the biggest accomplishments for me personally. I have learned when you find good people you need to embrace them and take care of them because when I travelled I always knew my clients were in the best hands. One of my personal challenges was taking time to fly to South Carolina and returning early only to stay home as I had staff in place to run the studio. I have learned as a leader if you want your people to learn how to lead you must allow them to. I confidently let them run the studio while I stayed home, took some time to reset and worked on the backend of the business.

The truth is, when you are an entrepreneur, it’s a game where you are in constant motion to turn right, go up or maybe was that left? Or so it has been for me thus far. I believe if you are an entrepreneur, you should love what you do and have a vision and purpose. Your success will lie in all different areas of your business because when one isn’t going as planned you can find strength in the smaller successes. I have spent many days sitting on the floor in tears wondering how or what to do. By learning more about internal dialogue, I am able to get back up, and move forward each day, with goals for today, tomorrow and 6 months from now. I have learned that no business survives on a plan that is set in stone because if you don’t change and grow you will crash and burn fast. Mentors are needed, downtime is needed (this one I still work on), and truthfully, spirituality and relationships are needed. All can fluctuate, but they are needed to be complete as not only a business person but as a person. I have learned this the hard way. As a personal goal and business goal, I won’t concentrate on surviving, because I know I am a survivor and it is not time to step forward into the next phase of success! I can finally allow the top to be lifted off so that I can truly see what I have envisioned for myself and my company.

Currently, 5 and a half years in, I am now growing my online training platform, running our flagship location, and doing certifications and travel retreats. The sky’s the limit and as I grow as an individual, I am curious about what will happen in the next year because the future never ceases to amaze me.