UBU combines fitness and mindful practices to boost self-esteem, improve communication, and build a supportive network for young girls. Interesting and related stats from HPEC & CAAWS include only 8% of girls met the recommended Canadian Physical Activity guidelines yet, nearly all parents said their kids were very physically active; Only 1/10 high school girls enrol in optional physical education classes (after Gr. 10), meaning there’s a 90% drop-off rate by age 16 for girls taking phys. ed. in AB.
UBU aims to build self-confidence in youth so they will set personal, meaningful intentions and strive to achieve goals rather than letting others determine their fate. UBU empowers youth to pick themselves up when they fall, ask for help from a support network when they need it, believe in their abilities, and find mindful tools that resonate with them to work through doubt and frustration.
See my "why" in YEGFitness magazine Nov/Dec 2018
In 2019, UBU will continue to evolve and expand. If you are a coach looking for a team-building workshop for your sports team, all-gender workshops will be available; girls' youth groups and school programs interested in a different approach to get girls active while feeling a sense of belonging and empowerment-customized, short-term sessions can be created for you. Contact Michelle at UBU for more info.
I am a runner, which I came across a bit by accident after growing up playing sports—volleyball and softball—but realizing that scheduled games and practices were really hard to commit to once I had kids. I dabbled with running with a group of friends who ran with a Calgary-based Running Room clinic and tried out a few 5K and 10K races before diving into my first half marathon a few years ago. Since then, I’ve completed six half marathons, one full, many more 5K and 10K races, and have completed about 15 trail races since first trying them out last year. My most recent intense physical challenge was doing the last 3 legs of this year's Canmore Grizzly Ultra Marathon as a duo team. With the large amount of snow and mountain elevation climbs, it really challenged my mind and body. Now my 2018 race season is done, I am looking into what's in store for me in 2019.
When my father became very ill in 2015, I decided to train for my first marathon. Running became my peaceful place to meditate, take time for me, and stop thinking about everything I couldn't change. I had to be more present--more mindful--to survive. The extreme physical exertion marathon training put on me, wore down my inexplicable resistance to traditional meditation, yoga, and trying new things. I reconnected with journal writing after years of pen silence, and taught a few journal writing courses and shared with others how effective writing can be as a stress-reliever. All of these mindful tools got me through one of the toughest times of my life.
I continue to write as a freelancer for various publications to share the inspirational stories of other people, movements, and organizations. Everyone has a story.
There will be weekly posts about what the girls are learning about in the program and links to relevant articles, too.