Last night I attended the KW Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards gala as a Nominee in the Health and Wellness category. It was a beautiful evening celebrating 42 nominees in 10 categories, and all women who contribute their skills and gifts to our community.

I was nominated along with 3 other women who have made incredible contributions to their career fields and communities over the years. These women are great examples of how I can stay involved in the community and continue to share my passion for healthy living as I near my first year anniversary. I didn’t walk away with the award, but I want to share the thank you speech I would have given if I did.

Thank you to KW Oktoberfest and Rogers for hosting this event. Thank you to this beautiful venue, Lot 42. And, thank you to the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring this category. As women, we often don’t give ourselves enough credit for the amazing things we do, and we tend to be a bit hard on ourselves, so a celebration like this is so special for each nominee, and every woman in this room. 

Thank you to every single volunteer who makes this event possible, year after year. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedules to plan every last detail leading up to tonight. Your hard work definitely shows and certainly does not go unnoticed. 

I have a few guests with me tonight. My husband Jonathan, who is my rock, my best friend, and my biggest supporter. I wouldn’t be standing here tonight without his encouragement, guidance, and unwavering love. I feel so blessed to have a partner that wants the best for me in my career, and my life (even if we did argue all morning about the best way to cook our Thanksgiving turkey). Thank you, my love. 

My mom, my mother-in-law, and my grandma-in-law are here tonight and are the reason I am the woman I am today. They are a true example of kindness, selflessness, compassion, and strength. I am the woman, and mother, that I am today because of their guidance and love. 

Thank you to the two women who nominated me for this award, Stephanie Battler and Sheri Pyne. I am honoured, grateful, and frankly surprised that after all of the burpees and lunges I’ve made you do, you still like me enough to do something like this. I feel so lucky to have met both of you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your thoughtfulness in nominating me. 

One year ago, I was in a completely different career. If you had told me then that I’d be standing here right now, I wouldn’t have believed you. My journey is an example of how taking a risk, trusting your gut, and stepping out of your comfort zone (in any area of your life) can be an amazing, life altering thing. 

I have already met so many wonderful women through my fitness business and I feel so privileged to watch them grow stronger in the gym and gain newfound confidence. I am constantly inspired (and maybe sometimes a bit too excited) when we celebrate victories and I love that I am a part of their journey. My clients connect through a shared group on Facebook, and although most of them have never met in person, they send each other messages of support and encouragement, they congratulate each other on successes, share recipes and new diet finds, and share funny wine memes, (obviously). Every woman is so unique, but we all face similar challenges and I love that this business has given me the opportunity to bring a group together to share our experiences and help each other along. 

Every time a woman supports another woman, my heart smiles. I truly believe that behind every successful woman is a tribe of other women who have her back. This nomination is a perfect example of that, and I will continue to pay this support forward every chance I get. 

Thank you.