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'Physical activity saved my life': How one woman hopes her story of resilience will help others

This is the second year Ashley Callingbull, and Indigenous woman and fitness and wellness coach, will be the keynote speaker at an upcoming virtual event for CanFitPro.
Photo: Metro

Physical activity saved Ashley Callingbull’s life — that’s what the fitness and wellness coach tells an audience of 4,000 people at an event called CanFitPro.

And she hopes other women will be inspired to improve their health by being active — and maybe save their own lives, too.

But this, like many other events, it has gone virtual, and Callingbull — the keynote speaker for the second year in a row — will be delivering her story differently this year: online. 

Her message is simple: Take care of yourself and live your best live.

“I share my story of resilience — how I overcame so many obstacles in my life as an Indigenous woman and overcoming the abuse and poverty I’ve had to deal with,” she said. “I live my life around taking care of my physical, my mental and my spiritual (health). So health is extremely important to me and so is my mental health.”

She explains that CanFitPro is an opportunity for her to meet all kinds of women with different backgrounds who are all there to share their stores of resilience — something she finds “inspiring.”

This will be the second year Callingbull will be the keynote speaker at the event. She hopes by sharing her story, others can relate and find comfort and be motivated. 

“I had to learn that regardless of what happened to me in the past, and what I had to over come, I need to let go and I needed to love and appreciate myself for who I am,” she said. “My influence were looking up to people I wanted to be like. It’s difficult as Indigenous woman, there’s not many women I looked up to — at my young age, there wasn’t women doing the things that I wanted to do.”

Being Indigenous, she hopes she can break down the barriers she faced and hopes to open doors for other women. 

“It’s so wonderful being able to do that,” she said. “I may not be the first, but I won’t be the last.”

The CanFitPro 2020 virtual series runs from August to November. For more if=nformation, visit CanFitPro's website

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