Gifts fitness has given me | a birthday gratitude post

Tomorrow is my birthday. You can bet I’ll be having cake!

Happy Birthday Fitnitchick!

Forty-seven years of age. Where did the time go?

I haven’t asked any fitness friends to gift me a birthday workout. I felt those burpees for a week, Dai!

I don’t want any presents. Trying to declutter and reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ in my house.

And will be taking my entire family to a cultural event with the money they’d have spent buying gifts for me. Experiences make me happier than things.

I’m content, grateful and happy to have had a wonderful 47th year and only hope that the year leading to 48 will be just as rich and exciting.

Can I share my secret with you? It’s all because of fitness.

Gifts fitness has given me

  •  A stronger and healthier body. I’m lifting more (and better) than ever before in my life. It makes me feel powerful and bold and comfortable in my own skin. My doctor tells me that I’m the perfect patient for his over-busy practice 😉
  • The ability to recover more quickly from injuries. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my share of injuries; last summer’s bout with Achilles tendonitis was not fun. But having a strong fitness foundation has certainly helped me to recover more quickly and without noticeable loss of strength or endurance.

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  • Positive energy and enhanced self-confidence. If you’ve ever attended one of my fitness classes you’d be surprised to find out that for most of my life I was quite uncomfortable being at the front of the classroom. My graduate advisor used to joke about the red splotches that would appear and disappear randomly on my face whenever I stood up to give a presentation. Teaching group fitness has given me the confidence to regularly don a cordless mic, cheer and encourage large groups and basically say whatever comes into my head while doing so.

exercises for legs and glutes

  • Opportunities to share my message of health and wellness with a larger audience. When I first started writing this blog (November, 2010) I never imagined the doors that it would open for me. Regular requests to write for other websites, invitations to speak at conferences and workshops, new clients (both in person and on-line) and most recently, the opportunity to publish my first fitness book.

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  • A reason to return to reading scientific papers. I spent the first 12 years of my adult life at university. While I loved being a research scientist, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t how I wanted to live the rest of my life. Being a fitness professional allows me to indulge my life-long love of learning. I actually get paid to read the most recent scientific literature in the health and fitness fields and share my interpretations with clients and readers. All without ever having to write a research grant proposal or worry about tenure 😉
  • A supportive network of friends and colleagues who encourage, support and inspire me daily. All too often we read about the dangers of the internet. The feelings of isolation and depression it causes in some. The belief that people hide their true selves behind their keyboards. The worry that some anonymous stranger is out to harm you or your children. Thankfully, my experiences with social media have been quite the opposite. I’m grateful for the encouragement, support and inspiration my online friends give me each and every day I log on.

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  • Cherished friendships with women I would never have crossed paths with outside of fitness. Friends who make me think and laugh and push me to be the best version of myself possible. I only hope that I return the favour 🙂
  • Body acceptance. I recently shed my final body image insecurity and have been proudly sporting shorts in the aerobics studio and weight room. Go me!
  • The energy and endurance required to keep up with a busy, active family of five. Hiking and kayaking and swimming and tennis. Geocaching and bocce and lawn darts and croquet. All require sustained energy (both physical and mental…); stamina I wouldn’t have if I didn’t exercise regularly!



What’s the best gift fitness has given to you?

If you could have any kind of cake in the world for your birthday, what would it be?



  1. Love it! Happy birthday!! 🙂
    PlumPetals recently posted…Finding My FootingMy Profile

  2. Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing these gifts with us! Love the gratitude. I feel the same way about running and blogging. Both have enriched my life! I like frosting. Buttercream. Hold the cake! Happy 47!!!
    Erica @ Erica finds recently posted…Guest Post: From IT Desk to Nutritious in The CityMy Profile

  3. Happy Birthday, lady! I just celebrated mine with a sparkly half marathon! Wishing you a day of fantastic cake and celebrating you.
    I found your blog through Angela this morning and look forward to following!

    • Thanks so much Jessica, for both your birthday wishes and for following my posts!

  4. Happy Birthday Tamara! My birthday is not till July but we celebrated last weekend as my mom is having surgery and will not be able to make the traditional poppy seed cake. So last weekend my mom surprised my sister and I (always celebrate our birthdays together) with the cake and turkey dinner. I am getting a fitness tracker for my present.

    • Poppy seed cake sounds delicious! Which fitness tracker did you decide on? The GearFit? 😉

  5. CHILD:
    happy birthday taMAREahhhh.
    my daddy is 46.
    Miz recently posted…What “begets” for you?My Profile

    • Thank you so much darling child! I can hear your voice all the way up in Vancouver xo

  6. What a great post!! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
    Michelle recently posted…#NotAllWalnutsMy Profile

  7. Happy Birthday! I love this post! So much positivity here.

  8. I laugh at 48, you youngster!! hahaha. Here is my birthday wish for you – that you return to Santa Barbara (I am selfish in that way), and that your children continue to surprise and delight you. I am looking forward to being friends for the next 48 years, eh!
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted…Ultimate Baby Boomer Workouts: 7 Key Training PrinciplesMy Profile

  9. Happy Birthday!!!
    I’m a little sad that there isn’t a birthday workout this year – last year I enjoyed your b-day workout!
    Have a super weekend!
    Kim recently posted…Pet PeevesMy Profile

  10. Happy Happy Birthday Tamara!!! I hope that you have an amazing day and I agree – gifts of experiences are so much more memorable. I love these gifts that you have received. It’s really pretty amazing, isn’t it?
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…High Five FridayMy Profile

  11. Happy Birthday! I love this post too. I would say confidence and self-esteem are two of the biggest gifts fitness has given me. Plus sunrises on my morning runs. 😉
    Coco recently posted…Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

  12. PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are a youngster in my book! 🙂

    Have a wonderful day & weekend!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted…You are My Inspiration!My Profile

  13. Darleen says:

    Tamara, you are a true inspiration. Happy Birthday. We do family plank-offs in our Kitchen because of your encouragement. 🙂

    The best cake in the world is in our Port Moody backyard at Cake-Ya. It is a traditional Japanese bakery and they make the best (I mean THEE best) whip cream and fruit cake. Light and delicious. Yum

  14. Happy birthday! Fitness has done so much for my life as well. It has given me so much confidence and the ability to keep up and even go beyond in life.