April 10, 2017 by Diane Thuna
Tasha has been a staff member at Trico Centre for Family Wellness for five years. When it came to participating in Trico Centre’s recent 40-Day Challenge in the Fitness Centre, she had the perfect plan – until it backfired. “As a staff member, you do feel that you want to support and participate in activities like the 40-day challenge,” explains Tasha, Facility Services Director at Trico. “But I already work a shortened day so I can’t afford to take much time off during my working hours. I knew that if I participated I’d have to come back and complete the challenge in the evenings.”
Lukewarm on the idea of such a long day, she approached her husband and two kids to ask if they would join her in completing the challenge. “Unfortunately, they were immediately and enthusiastically in,” laments Tasha. “I was definitely not expecting a yes so I was completely taken aback. They were supposed to be my way out.”
She may have been taken by surprise but Tasha didn’t back out; instead she got to work figuring out how the family could complete the challenge together. Both her kids were playing basketball two evenings a week and on weekends. The family is also in the middle of a major home renovation, with Tasha’s husband Fred completing most of the work himself. “Committing to spending so much time at the gym definitely made us feel that we would be giving up a lot of progress at home,” says Tasha.
Adding to the complexity was the fact that both kids are young enough that they cannot safely use the weight equipment and must be within reach of a parent while working out in the gym. To make it possible for them to work out in such close proximity, they had to go to the gym after 7pm when it was less busy. That meant they were fighting bedtime when they got home. “We really had to get creative to make it work,” says Tasha. “But we did it and now we know it’s do-able. Next time, we just have to remember that getting out and being active is actually less of a challenge than we think.”
Tasha and her family had powerful motivation to make it work. Recently diagnosed with a serious illness, Tasha had to have a kidney completely removed. Blindsided by the sudden turn in her health she now feels strongly that if you want to do something, you should do get on it today without waiting for that perfect ‘one day’ to arrive. “You can’t necessarily count on quantity of life,” she says. “But you can affect your quality of life. I hope to one day be an active, vibrant grandma and if I’m fortunate enough to have those days given to me, I want to make sure that my body doesn’t let me down.”
In the end, all four family members finished the 40-day challenge – and had a blast doing it. “We learned that a night at the gym could be a family fun night. It really did feel like an outing, an adventure,” says Tasha. “I loved the weekly challenge circuit-type workouts because we learned exercises we could do together. We got competitive with one another and there was a lot of laughter.”
Now that the challenge is over the family isn’t quitting, in fact they’re more committed than ever to carving out 30 minutes or so every day to be active with one another. What they do varies… from walking the dog to coming to the gym to play pickleball or badminton. “Being active makes doing the things you want to do and enjoy doing so much more possible,” she concludes. “You can’t wait – you have to find the time to do it now.”