My name is Mae and I’m the youngest of four children. A lot of people say that the older you get, the more life experience you have. I’d say that was a half-truth, depending on how you were raised. My family wasn’t the wealthiest growing up, but we never went without and my parents raised us with good intentions.
One of my fondest memories as a child was making lefse every Christmas. Lefse is a traditional seasonal Norwegian potato flatbread. All of us kids would sit on the kitchen floor with our dad and a huge cooking pot and mash all the potatoes while stirring in the other ingredients. You then section it, roll it flat and cook it on a dry/floured griddle. Once it was cooked, you’d smother it in butter and pour sugar on top then roll it up and eat it like a taco! Wheat and refined sugar – the staples of my childhood and what I avoid on a daily basis now haha.
MY TRANSFORMATION FROM A LIFE I TRIED TO NUMB TO A LIFE I LOVE TO CHASE, MOST LIKELY ISN’T ONE YOU’VE HEARD OF AND MY INTENTIONS ARE TO SHARE IT WITH AS MANY PEOPLE WHO WILL LISTEN.
I’m just shy of being 6’ ft tall, but that wasn’t always the case. I was pretty short for my age, but the summer between grade eight and grade nine, I grew four inches! This created many issues for me when it came to physical fitness and I fell behind in gym class. I was super clumsy (still am – a bit less now) and you’d swear I had two left feet. Kids can be cruel, I didn’t fit in and didn’t know where I belonged.
As I grew older, I became sidetracked and lost sight of healthy habits. I developed unhealthy habits that molded and shaped me only after they almost killed me. My transformation from a life I tried to numb to a life I love to chase, most likely isn’t one you’ve heard of and my intentions are to share it with as many people who will listen.
My path to health and fitness took a few turns before it got on track, but now that I’ve found such an amazing community, full of life and passion, I couldn’t see myself with any other squad.
SOME DAYS I’LL TOSS IN MORE GLUTE AND HAMMY WORK BECAUSE THOSE AREAS FOR ME ARE EXTRA HARD FROM RECOVERY OF PARALYSIS.
I recently made the decision to shift into Real Estate and am learning all the ins and outs under one of Vancouver’s top sellers.
For me, my fitness goals most likely differ from a lot of people. My main goals are: core strength, stability, balance and hand/eye coordination. The end goal is to be stronger, more stable and centered from the inside out – mind, body and spirit.
And just casually also hitting my dream stage at The Arnold Amateur in the Bikini Division this coming March, 2019!
When it comes to training, currently I’m entering back into a build and my program is two days on; frequency changes every 4-6 weeks. Legs & Core; Chest/Back/Bicep. Every day I train, I always have a little extra core and calf work thrown in. Some days I’ll toss in more glute and hammy work because those areas for me are extra hard from recovery of paralysis.
Thoughts on HIIt, Power lifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, other:
When I think of bodybuilding, I get pretty excited. Bodybuilding has had a huge influence on me and continues to influence me daily. It’s amazing to see what the mind and body is capable of and pushing your limits just a little bit further each time in every training session.
MY PARENTS SHAPED ME INTO THE PERSON I AM TODAY…
Nutritional & Supplements:
I like to keep my nutrition and supplements pretty basic. I eat a pretty clean Paleo diet, with the exception of cheat meals and simple supplements. A multivitamin, some mineral support, vitamin C, vitamin D3 & K2 (in the am), Omega 3, Melatonin (in the pm), and BCAA as well as a bit of sugar-free electrolytes.
I can’t say I have any special skills… Hmmmm, I’m double jointed in my shoulders and can wrap my arms around my head haha! But seriously, if I had to pick something, I’d say it’s my desire to persevere regardless of circumstance. I guess you could say I have cat-like reflexes and I always land on my feet.
What do your parents mean to you? What did they teach you?
When I think of my parents, I think of love and compassion. My parents shaped me into the person I am today; they did the best they could raising me with the abilities and resources they had at the time. We moved around a lot and I had changed schools a few times, but they always made me pick my chin up and carry on. Three strong traits I have from them would be: strength, stubbornness, and a compassionate heart.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
I find the largest separation of Status Fitness Magazine from other fitness magazines, would be their desire to connect with athletes from all walks of life and showcasing their stories with true compassion. Finding real people with real stories of how they got to where they are, is true publishing. It’s easy to find a fit person and ask them a series of questions then publish an article, but to draw out what drives them and fulfills them is where you see the difference in publishing from the heart.
SHOOTING WITH WARREN FROM HEALTHY VISION PHOTOGRAPHY WAS AMAZING. HE IS SUCH A RELAXED PERSON AND MAKES YOU FEEL EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE…
What would it mean to you to become the next Status Fitness Cover-model?
Becoming a Status Fitness Cover-model would be an absolute dream come true. To be featured sharing my story and bearing it all to the public would make everything all worth it. If my story helps even change one person’s mindset and puts them on a better, more fulfilling path, it would fill my heart with joy.
If you could ask Status Editor-In-Chief, Rodney Jang one question what would that be?
What was your inspiration when you started Status Fitness Magazine and has it become everything you had imagined?
What was it like working with photographer Warren from Healthy Vision Photography for Status Fitness?
Shooting with Warren from Healthy Vision Photography was amazing. He is such a relaxed person and makes you feel extremely comfortable, not to mention very talented with a natural aesthetic eye. My only drawback, next time, I’ll be sure to schedule more time and capture even more amazing shots!
6 things people would not know about you:
I’m pretty much an open book, but there are a few things people may not know about me:
– I graduated with honours as a Paralegal in 2014.
– I’m scared of heights even though I’m so tall!
– I’m literally an overgrown child.
– I’m an over analyzer.
– I probably have more love and compassion for animals than I do humans because they can’t help themselves.
– I would eat wheat and refined sugar everyday if it didn’t kill me!
I HOPE THAT SHARING MY STORY GIVES HOPE TO ANYONE WHO MAY STILL BE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION OR LIFE IN GENERAL.
Who inspires you?
My mother is my biggest inspiration. She is the glue that always held our family together. She’s also the person I pull all my strength from. You see, I come from a very long line of strong independent woman on my mother’s side. All my aunts, my grandmother, and my mother have endured more strife and pain in their lives, yet still managed to raise amazing children. We always come out on top, regardless of what life throws at us.
Who do you wish to inspire?
I hope that sharing my story gives hope to anyone who may still be struggling with addiction or life in general. Things can always be worse and you’re the only person who can control how you feel. This is also something that I am always working on myself – mindset – it’s a powerful tool.
…DOCTORS DID NOT EXPECT ME TO RECOVER AND ADVISED MY MOTHER START TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR MY FUNERAL.
My story has a bit of a convoluted past. When I was younger, I became mixed up with the wrong crowd and started experimenting with drugs and it wasn’t long before I was addicted. I was 21 and bartending; hired because I was very personable, but that all changed. My personality shifted from extrovert to introvert, my speech started to slur, and I was stumbling over my own feet. I had contracted an extremely rare brain virus known as toxic leukoencephalopathy. It was August 2007 when I walked into the hospital to see what was wrong and by the end of the month, I was completely bedridden. The virus attacked the central lobe of my brain causing me to lose all motor skills and muscle control. I was physically handicapped, paralyzed from the neck down and I couldn’t form words.
After 10 months in the hospital shuffled between the neuro-rehab and palliative care ward, doctors did not expect me to recover and advised my mother start to make arrangements for my funeral. I am forever grateful that my mother is as strong as she is and that she fought to have me discharged to her care at home – against all hospital recommendations.
My bedroom at home became an extension to my hospital room: hospital bed, gel mattress, ceiling lift and feeding equipment. Coming home is what saved me though. My recovery started to snowball, and I kept pushing forward. I grew stronger everyday transitioning from a ceiling lift, to a shuffle board, to a walker, to a cane and finally no supports at all. One foot in front of the other, even if it’s metaphoric.
I went into the hospital at 21, discharged at 22, and by the time I was 26, I was considered to be fully recovered. I had re-gained my independence. In those five years, I realized that I could accomplish anything so long as I put in the work, regardless of another person’s opinion – professional or personal.
Now I live a life focused on health and fitness. Pushing my mind and body to new strengths and facing the challenges that are presented to me head on. Some days are harder than others, but you can’t let that stop you; things could always be worse. Believe that you’re strong enough and the most amazing thing happens – you are.
Being completely at peace with my mind and body. I’m an over analyzer and it can make me anxious at times so ultimately, peace of mind is something I strive for daily.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
5 lessons you have learned:
Some of the hardest lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn:
– Shortcuts don’t make things easier
– Everything happens for a reason
– Never judge a book by its cover
– Money doesn’t buy happiness
– Patience is a virtue
These seem so simple, but I feel for a lot of people – including me, so easy to take for granted. I still learn these lessons, taking something new from it each time.
Music and artist you listen while training:
When I’m training, whether it’s in the gym or outside, I’m a huge fan of Muscle Prodigy – It’s All on You; and just some good old gangster rap – Biggie Small, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Eminem and Tupac!
Some of my favourite actors, would be Adam Sandler for always making me laugh, Drew Barrymore for enduring and overcoming being a childhood star, and Morgan Freeman on a deeper more meaningful level.
And of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger – himself as an icon and his documentary, Pumping Iron
I have one favourite movie from my childhood: Drop Dead Fred
Favorite books and authors:
I’ve honestly, never been much of a reader, and that’s largely due to my short attention span, but recently, I’ve found a lot of peace in it.
There’s an author, Michael Hyatt who wrote a book “Your Best Year Ever” and it’s a book on personal growth and self-improvement. I believe that us as humans should always be learning, always striving for more, whether that be physically, mentally or spiritually.
Anything Tim Ferriss
IF IT DOESN’T CHALLENGE YOU, IT DOESN’T CHANGE YOU.
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Some of the best qualities I look for in people, a sense of humour, kindness, compassion, ambition, and humbleness. These five elements I believe are the foundation of past and future leaders in every area.
Advice you can give to children who want to start training?
Do your research! Make sure you know the information you’re being given is a) safe b) accurate c) matches your personal goals.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” – Fred DeVito
“She is full of wounds
Riddled with scars
But she is still standing
And she is beautiful” – R.H. Sin