The founder of MoveCollective, Mia St-Aubin, tells us in an interview about the movement's beginning and her inspirations.
The beginning of MoveCollective and Mia St-Aubin's inspirations.
MoveCamp - which used to be known as Parliament Hill BootCamp was born out of my personal rock bottom. Like many, I had a story and I wanted to share it through making a difference. In 2014 I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer while going through one of the most challenging personal struggles one could go through. Coupled with the endless conversations from clients of the many reasons why they just didn’t feel good and how they were unsure what to do about their health, I knew there had to be a better way.
Truthfully, the movement began with workouts on Parliament Hill, but it then grew into so much more.
After having to extend our first season due to the high demand from our city of Ottawa, I knew we were onto something. It wasn’t until I met with Senator Greene Raine at Parliament to discuss our movement did ambition to truly spark change in Canada’s health come about.
Learning of the different national awareness campaigns and all the amazing municipal programs I knew there had to be a way to bridge the gap between these initiatives and work together. Our nation needs more action, we need more guidance and specific task-oriented initiatives to not only move more and move more intelligently but to actually understand what being a holistically healthy person means.
We put so much emphasis on exercise and moving for fat loss that our country is suffering greatly still from other disorders that are affecting our health.
MoveCollective was born out of a desire to curate the intelligent wellness content out there, the events, the practitioners, the holistic organic companies, the boutique gyms, the wellness professionals and bring it all to one place - a healthy hub for activities, experiences, and events across Canada.
My inspirations, first and foremost, come from my family who I was fortunate enough to grow up in. They taught me the value of health from a very young age. It then comes from my own personal struggles and challenges with my health, realizing that if these scares can happen to me, they can happen to anyone.
I feel it is my obligation to teach what I know and provide a platform for other professionals to educate our growing community so that we can fulfill the mandate of National Health and Fitness Day and truly make Canada the fittest nation on Earth.
What gives you the motivation to continue as an entrepreneur in the well-being field.
My motivation comes from the fact that I will not be here one day. One I will cease to exist, and so as dramatic as that sounds, I want to know that I built something, that I have left behind my legacy that is actually making an impact.
We live in a world where marketing is scary, especially in the health and fitness industry, and feeds off of people’s pain points, quickly selling them a solution or a quick fix.
This shame-based approach not only belittles people, but it also sets them up for failure, not really ever understanding their own health and their own bodies.
My motivation is to teach, to educate others, and to empower our nation to be a part of their health and fitness, to learn to love it and to understand WHY we partner and work with the companies that we do.
There are a lot of good people, doing a lot of good things and I want to highlight that.
Your passions, your mission and the ethical message you want to transmit to your community.
We need to wake up.
We are smarter than we are led to believe.
We aren’t all lazy, unmotivated, failures like the marketing suggests. You know more than you realize and you CAN live a healthy active lifestyle.
We need to stop dieting.
We need to stop jumping on the bandwagon and we need to pay attention to how our bodies are feeling from the inside out.
We have been having the same conversations about health and fitness and Canada’s health since I was born, and I am sure sometime before then. Senator Greene Raine is a huge inspiration to me from this perspective as she helped to do something about it through the Participation Campaign.
This is what I would like to leave behind me.
A “doing campaign” a mission to mobilize communities through initiatives like ours.
Your essentials: The Green Beaver products for your skincare routine and for training.
I feel like the more I learn, the more I know I can’t go back (which is a good thing). I am sensitive to most products that are not scented with essential oils or natural scents so Green Beaver is perfect for me this way.
The coconut body cream is one of my most favourite products that I use daily as well as sunscreen and toothpaste. Anything I can use that I know will not harm my body literally gives me a sense of joy.
Where your training routine mostly takes place (at the gym, at home or outdoors) and how many times a week?
It’s a mix of all the above!
I move nearly every day but it’s always different. I do a lot of moving meditation and stretching. I love running and walking my dog and I also go to the gym. To make my schedule more flexible I’ll often train at home as well and have gathered some great pieces of equipment over the year.
Some tips and advice when the energy is down and you lose the desire to move.
My go to’s
Journaling - free writing all your thoughts, feelings and emotions - get it all out!
Meditation - So much can be heard when we choose to sit still and listen
I honour and listen to my body. When I am feeling unmotivated or down there is usually a reason, so instead of beating myself up for it, I’ll go to bed early, take a nap, go for a walk or do a really good stretch and moving meditation, and if I know that I will feel better with some movement, I will do a good warm-up and then go from there, usually I end up having a great workout!
In my professional opinion, understand who it is that you are becoming, being excited about that, visualizing that will give you all the motivation you will need.
And lastly, MoveCamp - when I know I am set to be in front of the entire city to move and inspire there is genuinely nothing that motivates me more. I know the city is depending on me and my team is depending on me, not only that, they are there moving their butts too and that really gets me going!
Your favourite activities for moving and having fun (alone and in groups).
I have always been in love with running, ever since I was a little girl and my mom introduced me to the sport. Mom was a very avid runner and athlete so I guess you can say I take after her.
I love anything outside and in the bush, I believe it can heal you just getting outside in the sun, moving. Living in Ottawa I am so lucky to have access to hiking trails so close by.
In the winter I love snowboarding and getting away to enjoy the mountains. In the summer you can always catch me at the beach, my dad used to call me a fish - I love swimming so much :).
And, of course, MoveCamp is a huge part of my fitness routine. I actually put my gym membership on hold during the summer months because I’m either running, walking, training at home or at MoveCamp. I believe in really listening to your body when it comes to training and for me, one high-intensity workout a week with some runs and walks and some good stretching is enough.
What does your nutrition look like to keep your energy level up (the essentials).
I love, love, love food.
I eat all organic food and get my meats from truLOCAL - a company I love and that partnered with us supporting our movement.
I make sure to put great things into my body and really pay attention to how it responds to the fuel I give it.
Meats and Fish
Healthy fats - avocado, coconut oil and nuts
In the summer I love loaded salads with my own dressing a hemp hearts to top.
I love anything pickled and enjoy a really good snack with dill pickles and organic cheese.
In the winter I love homemade soups (that I make from Selia Rose’s cookbook - a must-have for simple healthy eats! Selinarose.ca).
Mealtime in my home is a production. Before when I was overstressed and did not understand the meaning of a healthy balanced lifestyle, I would rush through meals, now I take the time to appreciate the food I am making and eating, I play jazz music in the background and I make this a special time in my day. Not every day is exactly the same in length for these meals but, just as I was taught as a child, we sit down and give thanks and enjoy the meals we get to eat!