Meet Mia St-Aubin – Lorna Jane True Believer
Ever since I was a little girl, dressed up in my gymnastic, 80’s aerobic instructor-style outfits my mom would make me, I knew I wanted to do something impactful. I wanted to make a difference.
I was surprised to realize just how impactful my little project, my new adventure, was going to be until I was on the hill for our very first event.
There I was, on the lawns of Parliament Hill, in our Nation’s Capital, the iconic government lawn of Canada, rehearsing my opening remarks. In that moment, I realized that all those fitness classes I felt I had to teach in order to escape the most challenging time in my life – both financially and personally – were exactly what I had needed. I was meant to teach these classes in order to prepare for this moment.
The front lawn of Parliament hill began to fill in, just as I envisioned it. I was in awe. It was as if I had crafted the entire outcome from my mind.
The DJ started the music and I transformed into the person I always wanted to be. I spoke the words I had rehearsed over and over again. I recall thinking, “I can’t believe this is actually happening!” It felt as if I was looking down on me welcoming the crowd and launching the first ever Parliament Hill Bootcamp in the nation’s capital.
What began as an idea in my best friend’s kitchen, has now become the largest free fitness movement in Ottawa. After that first year I realized the great potential this project held.
For four consecutive years we have been welcoming people of varied fitness levels, all shapes and sizes, beginners, moms, experts, newbies, all ages onto the front lawns of Parliament Hill to move during the entire summer. It has become more than a body-weight workout on the hill. Parliament Hill Bootcamp, I realized, was not a bootcamp at all, it was a movement. It was a representation of the shift I wanted to see in the health and fitness industry.
This passion project was born in a most challenging time of my young adulthood. In one shot, life had thrown at me the worst financial trauma one can experience. It was a most difficult transition in my life that involved a tough break-up which landed me in my beautiful best friend’s basement apartment starting over. If this wasn’t enough, after years of ignoring my body, overtraining and under recovering, my health had taken a serious plummet, resulting in a lump in my throat which turned out to be thyroid cancer.
I had no choice but to hit the reset button on everything. Parliament Hill Bootcamp emerged from my ground zero.
After having battled chronic fatigue, chronic stress, thyroid cancer, low self-esteem, low self confidence, lack of self-love and belief in what I wanted to accomplish, this fitness proposal was the change I needed for both the fitness industry and for me.
I needed an avenue to show the world that health and fitness is not about beating one’s body up in the gym. It’s not as complicated as we have been told. Each of us has the capabilities and the tools to begin the changes we need in order to feel good. I needed a stage to teach people how to learn from my mistakes, to listen to their bodies and to learn to love themselves so they could grow and overcome whatever life threw their way.
We stand for movement that makes sense, we stand for listening to our bodies. We stand for being present in our health and fitness goals. We stand to question and challenge the assumptions about health and fitness. We teach communities to stop dieting and we encourage citizens to have fun with their fitness and to mold it into a lifestyle.
After countless brain storming sessions, our new name was born… MOVECAMP, and our new mandate; Move together at Canadian landmarks.
Where are we headed? My plan is to disrupt this industry, to change fitness messages and to improve the health of Canadians!
So, I invite you to join us as we move together at Canadian landmarks. Celebrate with us and join the movement to impact Canada’s health, to change the way we look at fitness and to finally understand what it means to feel good about ourselves.
The saying, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward” has never been so true. Sure, from the outside this looks like another free fitness movement in an awesome city that already offers many free fitness activities. To my team and I, it is a representation of what is truly possible when a group of people come together to make a difference.
If this project has taught me anything, it’s that, if you have a vision, an idea and you develop it, you speak about it, you dream about it and you brainstorm about it, it will happen. It is possible.
Mia’s 5 tips on how to move in a way that makes sense for you!
Make sure it makes you feel great!
If your workout does not make you feel good after it is over, you are likely doing too much! You should feel energized, happy and uplifted after your workout rather than dizzy and painfully sore. Moving should make you feel good!
Do what you love!
Working out is a celebration of what our bodies can do, not a punishment, therefore, movement should be something you actually enjoy! Don’t like running? Don’t make that your main form of exercise. Stick to movement that makes you happy, whatever that is!
Switch it up
It is so important to move your body in a variety of ways. You may love the same workout class every day at 4pm, but try to give yourself variety. Get outside with your girlfriends, go for a walk, try something different, lift some weights throughout the week! The more variety you have, the more efficient your body will become at shedding any pounds you want to lose.
It is so very important to get an adequate amount of sleep, and not just the typical 8 hours! If you are constantly getting to bed after midnight, this is seriously hindering your recovery time, making your daily movement counterproductive. Our bodies need time to adapt and recover from the stress we put it under. Remember to listen to how you’re feeling and rest up!
Don’t do it alone
We accomplish things best as a team. You cannot possibly have all the information on taking care of your health and moving in a way that makes sense. There is so much information out there, and it is forever expanding. So, link up with someone you trust who can help you along the way. Join a club, hire a coach and move with your friends so you can learn to enjoy the journey while you make it to your destination!
Mia St-Aubin is a dreamer, a doer and is driven by her passion for fitness. She has been active since birth. Influenced by her mother’s Canadian and world Triathlon achievements, and her father’s success as a staff sergeant with the OPP, always outrunning his recruits.
During the summer of 2016 Mia underwent a partial thyroidectomy and began her road to recovery. During this time, Mia founded the largest free fitness movement in the city of Ottawa. She is on mission to change the messages in fitness and to change the way we look at our health. She believes with the right tools we can finally understand what it truly means to “feel good”.