Yesterday, I drove out to Kitchener for the Total Woman Show. The show featured more than 150 exhibitors, speakers, workshops and a fashion show showcasing the ten finalists in the Fabulous Women Over 40 Model Search. These extraordinary women have battled cancer, overcome abusive situations and faced other challenges in their lives. While emcee Audrey Wilson stressed that it's not just about looks, all the women looked radiant as they modelled fashions from local retailers.
Later, I sat in on an interview with local Olympians, Amanda and Cindy Overland, and their father Ernie. What an extraordinary family! The two girls and their brother Kevin are Olympic athletes. Ernie has volunteered at the Cambridge Skating Club and run 16 marathons, five of which were the Boston marathon.
While it was tough and expensive on the single father, he managed to raise three gifted elite athletes. Amanda and Cindy stressed that they didn't make any sacrifices. Instead, they made choices to eat, exercise, rest and manage their stress. And they have faced many challenges. Cindy had mononucleosis, ruptured her appendix and broke her arm in four spots. Kevin was involved in a serious car accident. Amanda has experienced knee, back and groin pain. And Ernie faced a divorce from his wife.
When asked about their role models and mentors, they cited their parents and each other. Cindy included Terry Fox and her coaches, Lisa and Tom.
In their own words...
"There was some kind of tough inside me and I was able to do it." (Amanda)
"Work hard and leave a mark on your kids." (Ernie)