About Me

Born in Cape Breton Nova Scotia, I grew up surrounded by beauty and quickly grew to love the outdoors. I graduated from Acadia University with a Kinesiology Degree, followed by my Education Degree and finally my Master’s in Educational Leadership. For 15 years, I was immersed in the education system holding various roles which including high school math teacher, Math Department Head, Elementary Principal, Summer School High School Principal, WQSB Board Wide Math Consultant and motivational speaker. Currently, I run my own yoga and wellness business for the past 9 years.

I have two beautiful children, ages 14 and 15, as well as a supportive “motivated” husband. Like many other families, we work hard at managing our busy schedules while at the same time finding that much needed balance with family time.


During my high school and university years, I suffered from an eating disorder and resulting depression that lasted over 5 years. With therapy and the support of loved ones, I was able to recover and regain control of my life. As a result of this experience, I know first hand how important positive mental health is to our overall well-being.  I firmly believe that healthy lifestyles and the celebration of our bodies’ natural shapes and sizes need to be addressed continuously as part of overall awareness of mental health issues. I developed a few motivational presentations around Positive Mental Health, presenting at various schools, private groups & businesses in the Ottawa and Toronto areas.

The presentation uses my experience with depression and an eating disorder as a platform for a discussion around how using negative coping mechanisms (i.e. disordered eating, bullying, overplaying strengths, alcoholism and avoidance) to handle stress can lead to mental health issues. Topics surrounding eating disorders, self-esteem, negative coping mechanisms, bullying and positive self-talk are explored as I share intimate details and expose myself emotionally by being forthright about my thoughts, feelings and attitudes – something that is still difficult for me to openly share.

Obviously, I firmly believe that positive mental health is at the core of a happy life. For this reason, in September 2015, I organized a Virginia Vs Bruce adventure which raised money for Positive Mental Health in youth ($18,000). I ran the Bruce Trail End to End (900km) in just 13 days, 6 hours and 28 minutes, securing the fasted known women’s time. To learn more about this adventure (pics, videos and blogs) click here or the Virginia Vs Bruce tab on this website.

Positive mental health is something we all need. Learning how to identify our negative coping mechanisms and substitute them for positive coping mechanisms is key. Personally, trail running is one of those positive coping mechanisms. Trail running gives me peace. I love the feeling of “floating” and feel free in the wilderness. I am just “me” on the trails – not a mom, teacher, wife or number in a line.  I find it very therapeutic. As I explore different trails and challenge myself for new feats, I always feel energized and alive. What makes you feel alive?


As a fitness instructor and outdoor enthusiast, I love all aspects of health and fitness. Competing in various road, trail and mountain bike events over the past 20 plus years have challenged me both mentally as well as physically. In 2013, I ran the Boston Marathon and like many other people, was greatly impacted by the tragic events that took place that day at the finish line. My husband and I walked away from the marathon physically unharmed, but emotionally impacted for life.


Our goals for our family life were reinvented. Our dreams became plans and eventually actions we made a priority to put in place.  I gave up road running and changed my focus to trail running and began “ultra marathons” (anything 50 km or over for distance).  It ignited a spark inside me and my next fitness challenge began to mold: running the Bruce Trail end-to-end in support of Positive Mental Health (click on the Virginia Vs Bruce tab above to learn more). Well this dream became a reality – I did it! I held the fastest known time for a female to complete the entire Bruce Trail – 900 km in 13 days, 6 hours and 28 minutes in September 2015 and raised over $18000 for Positive Mental Health for Youth in the process (NOTE – this record was recently broken by Chantal Warriner In July 2017. Well done Chantal!)

The picture below shows me finishing. I will never forget this day as long as I live. In this moment I felt so many emotions. My face shows what I was thinking.  I am loved. I am supported. I am very capable. I am good enough just the way I am. That is what the 900 km (21.5 marathons – not miles – marathons) in over 13 days did for me. What’s your next challenge going to do for you?


Fitness/Health Accomplishments

Cayuga 50 Ithica New York 2023 (Finished together side by side with my 15 year son together 50 km and 2000 m of climbing)
Simcoe County Mountain Bike Trails – Every trail in one day July 2022 (135 +km of single track in one day of light)
Limberlost 28km Trail Race 2022 (2nd girl overall)
Barrie Waterfront Half Marathon 2022 (1st girl 40 plus, 2nd girl overall)
Ran all of SCMBA Single Track Trails (89km) in 14hrs. 2021
Mountain Bike all of SCMBA Single Track Trails in Oro-Medonte (88.6km) in 6 hours and 20 min (2021)
Phoneix 50 km Trail Race 2019 (London, Ontario) 2nd overall girl, 11th overall men and women
Ran all Single Track Trails Copeland Forest (54km in 2020) in 8 hours
Mountain Bike all Single Track Trails Copeland Forest (54 km in 2019) in 5 hours 30 minutes
Finger Lakes 50’s (Finger Lakes Region, New York) 50km Race June 2018 (1st girl in age category)
Laurel Highlands 50 km Trail Race (2017 PA, USA – 3rd girl overall, 8th overall male and female)
End to End Bruce Trail Run: 900 km in 13 days (2015) – that is 70 km a day (fastest known time for female from 2015-2017)
50 km Ultra Bear Mountain Trail Race (New York 2015 – 6th girl  14th overall)
Cayuga 50 Mile Ultra Marathon (80 km) (USA National Championship trail race, Ithaca New York 2014 & 2016 – 15th girl)
Hardwood Solo 50km Single Track Mountain Bike Race (2013)
Boston Marathon 2013
Disney Marathon 2012
30 km Around the Bay Race (2010, 2011, 2012)
Vulture Bait 25 km Trail Race (2010, 2012, 2015)
Seaton 30 km Trail Race (1st place overall for women 2011)
Mississauga Marathon 2010
Numerous Half Marathons, 8 hour Mountain Bike Races, 15-30 km Trail Races
Egg Nog Jog (3rd place for women overall in Georgetown 2010 & 2013)
Numerous Mountain Bike Adventures (Colorado 2012-2014, Switzerland 2017)
Acadia University Basketball Team (‘95-’97 Junior Female Athlete of Year and Basketball Rookie of the Year)