It's something we all strive for. Call it work/life balance, what we really mean is a juggle of work, our partners, family, friends, fitness, sleeping & eating well and generally just creating good habits that serve us well on a daily basis. Robin-Marie opens up here about how competitive sports has shaped her life and how women's rugby in particular has led to a healthy lifestyle, many friends and inspiring other women.
I fell in love with competitive sports and intensive training in general, and rugby in particular, in my teens. It was around the same time I, like many girls my age, was also struggling with body image and self-esteem issues.
Women's rugby was a sport that demonstrated acceptance, sportsmanship, and a place for all body types and all fitness levels. It also encouraged balance between intensity and aggression, and friendship and camaraderie.
After playing the sport for 15 years and on four continents, making countless friends and memories, finding balance in my mid 30s is something I continue to strive for.
I still love training - and for that matter living - with intensity. As I grow older, and hopefully more mature, I've had to work harder at balancing my taste for the intense with a focus on mobility, gentleness to my body, and overall mental and physical health.
I still train hard - CrossFit is my exercise of choice these days - but I try to balance that with yoga, meditation, and as much time in the mountains as my job and lifestyle allows.
I still sometimes struggle with body image issues - I don't think that's something that ever goes away completely - but I have a community of strong, powerful, wonderful women around the world whom I greatly admire and motivate me to live well, and a fiancé who loves that I can keep up with him on our multi-day hikes!
The other day our 6 year old niece in England asked if she could wear her Canada rugby jersey to her sports hero day at school - it made it made me realize how important it is to demonstrate healthy, balanced lifestyles for the next generation of women and encourage them to fulfill whatever athletic dreams they might have.