Friday 29 September 2017

Health Champion Profile: Elisha O’Lain

Health Champion Profile: Elisha O’Lain

Elisha O'Lain

Physical Education Learning Leader, Calgary Board of Education
2016-18 HPEC President
Moving since '79

Who inspired you to be healthy? I would give credit to my father who challenged and encouraged me in many ways.  He taught me that working hard pays off, that where there is a will there is a way and that failing at something is not the end of the journey. From a healthy active living perspective, he laid a foundation for a physically active life early in my childhood taking my brother and I into the wilderness where we were allowed to explore, experiment and challenge ourselves.  I would attribute my physical literacy and love of activity to creative outdoor play. I remember having fun challenging myself with a little friendly sibling competition.  We found joy balancing walking on logs and boulders, crossing streams hoping from rock to rock, looking for routes to climb up steep hills and then sliding down giggling on our bottoms, sliding on the ice, tobogganing and making our way through waist deep snow.  As I accomplished these simple tasks I built confidence in my abilities and challenged myself a little more the next time around. The sense of accomplishments also embedded motivation to be and a love of physical activity into who I am.  Balancing on logs turned into, cross country running,  success in a wide variety of school and community-based teams, varsity athletics, coaching, scrambling up mountains with friends, long runs, yoga, nature walks with my family and an ability to jump into a wide variety of activities with enthusiasm and confidence.  

What would make this world a Healthier Place?  Focusing on and placing greater importance upon the wealth found in happy health citizens and the power of a positive and supportive community.  These are more difficult to measure, but I believe make a much greater difference than conventional wealth.

What health advice would you offer a younger version of yourself? Why? When you are a little fish moving into a big pond have confidence, find out what you can do to learn, practice and improve and go for it.  As I have lived I have become more confident in my ability to learn and what this makes me capable of;  I would gift my younger self this perspective.

What keeps you motivated to be healthy? A healthier me is a happier me. Taking care of my personal well-being allows me to be in a place where as a mother, a spouse, a teacher, a peer, a family member or friend I can give back to those around me and participate fully in my life.  I am grateful for the opportunities, experiences and people my personal wellness journey has brought to my life and choose a calling in Health and Physical education because of my desire to share my passion and help others have the same positive experiences I was fortunate enough to have in my own life.

Favorite Quote: In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step backward into safety ~ Abraham Maslow

Why? When I feel I am at a stand still I feel the static electricity build within my soul.  Embrace change, take risks, come up with creative solutions, reflect on failures and enjoy the resulting journey, adventure, and growth.