Cultures collide as COVID-19’s descent on the world leaves personal trainer global adventurer Darian Bessell stuck in Calgary.
Originally from Germany, Darian has been travelling the world for the last year and a half, landing in Canada in February with plans to stay and work for a year. After getting all his permits in place and obtaining a work visa, he was hired by one of the major gyms in Calgary as a personal trainer. Unfortunately, he was immediately laid off after COVID-19 hit the city.
Seeing the situation as an opportunity to strike out on his own, Darian began offering his services as a personal trainer online, offering free consultations by Zoom or in person. His first client, Matt Keay, connected with Darian during his search for a way to improve health and mobility as well as mental wellbeing in his demanding role as a CEO.
“I look over at my two-year-old daughter and she’ll be holding a squat position playing with toys for nearly an hour, totally natural for her,” says Keay, “why can’t I do that?” Keay suffers from sore hips and wrists due to years of abuse from skateboarding and poor diet. This proves difficult, as his role as a leader demands high performance and consistent energy.
“I’ve got training every day with Darian … well, it’s more like all day long,” says Matt, “I’ve heard people say how fitness is a lifestyle, well I really understand that now. I am standing more at my desk, doing more stretches, busting into a squat in the boardroom and the pain I’ve dealt with for years is melting away.”
Darian Bessell, newly appointed Business on Camera Director of Physical and Mental Health will bring health and wellness to high-performance entrepreneurs in Calgary. “The knowing-doing gap is a worldwide common issue,” offers Bessell, “people know that enjoying nuts as a snack is healthier than a chocolate bar, and they know the way they feel physically could be better. Often some simple support tools to improve mobility can have a huge impact on overall fitness and hold the key to a new healthy lifestyle.”
The human body sends signals that it is in poor condition by aching and demonstrating discomfort. The mind also sends signals, for example, feeling depressed or tired all the time. Most people know that they have to change something, but it is all too easy to get caught up in routines and maintain bad habits.
“Most people have the desire to do more for their mental and physical health, so why not just do it then?”
Health and fitness is one of the most flooded industries on the market with new gadgets, diets and methods constantly emerging, leaving no shortage of options when it comes to personal health.
“Choosing to work with Darian was based on the education he had regarding the symbioses between mental health and physical performance, nutrition and mobility. He often referred to a program created by Dr. Kelly Starrett called “Becoming a Supple Leopard,” continues Keay, “a ton of professional athletes and stunt actors are Supple Leopards; I would describe it as intentional and intuitive. For me at this time, the goal is to feel better everywhere, increase mobility, energy, and mood in under thirty minutes a day.”
Darian’s goal is to help individuals overcome the disconnect between desire and action by cultivating discipline and a strong commitment to health and happiness in his clients. “People have to take a huge step to get over the gap between knowing what is good for them and really having the discipline to do it,” says Bessell, “Human beings get used to things so fast and fall into a cycle of ‘I need to do something about that’, then continue to ignore it, and fall into the deep hole between knowing and doing.”
Darian gives people that much-needed kick in the butt. By helping clients reposition their approach to fitness and replace negative habits with positive changes, his program addresses physical and mental wellbeing, leaving clients feeling better than ever. “Other benefits include better sleep, more focus and better work-life balance,” says Darian, “it is all about implementing a holistic approach to health to get your body in an efficient, healthy position, and maintain it with intentional practice.”
Keay is thrilled with his results and excited to see where the program takes him. “I am constantly paying attention to my body now,” he says, “the way I sit, the way I walk, engaging my core, doing a squat instead of bending over to pick something up…it’s really had a tremendous impact on my ability to move properly, and we’re just getting started.”
Darian can be reached by phone at 403-478-3836 or [email protected]
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.
Hospital and health-care staff in Alberta to return to work today
EDMONTON — Hospital and health-care staff are to return to work today after the Alberta Labour Relations Board ruled they acted illegally when walking off the job to protest recent cuts.
In a decision issued late Monday, the board ruled the workers’ refusal to work amounted to an illegal strike under the province’s Labour Relations Code, and they must return to work according to their scheduled shifts.
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents the workers, said it would notify its members of their obligation to obey the labour board’s directive.
The AUPE represents about 58,000 health-care workers, although it wasn’t clear how many walked off the job.
There were reports of picketing outside the Royal Alexandra Hospital and University of Alberta in Edmonton, Foothills Hospital and the South Health Campus in Calgary, as well as at many other facilities across the province.
Earlier this month, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the United Conservative government would be cutting up to 11,000 health jobs to save money during the pandemic, but he said nurses and front-line clinical staff would not be affected.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.
The Canadian Press
Canadians don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ when voting during pandemic: experts
EDMONTON — Monday’s re-election of another incumbent premier in Canada’s third recent provincial election shows Canadians don’t want to “rock the boat” during a global pandemic, say political experts.
Saskatchewan, British Columbia and New Brunswick have all had elections in the last two months that were defined by COVID-19. All the incumbent parties were re-elected. And British Columbia and New Brunswick went from minority governments to majorities.
Although each election had its own provincial issues, three professors pointed out that the votes were in provinces that have had some success keeping the novel coronavirus under control. Voters may have been happy with how the leaders handled the health crisis and wanted to continue in the same direction.
“It’s so difficult to predict what voters had in mind but, if there is a collective will, certainly it does seem to point to … stability is what they wanted,” said Donald Wright, professor and chair of political science at the University of New Brunswick.
“Canadians can look at the disaster unfolding in the United States and be thankful they have good governments both in Ottawa and the provincial capitals. Canada may be very appreciative of the governments we had with the pandemic.”
New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservatives were re-elected in September with a majority for Premier Blaine Higgs. His snap election call made the province the first to hold a vote since the pandemic began.
A similar dynamic played out in British Columbia where Premier John Horgan’s NDP gained enough seats on Saturday to form a majority government.
“I can say that certainly in B.C., a big part of the dynamic was that people felt this jurisdiction (did) relatively well (with COVID) and consequently worried that any changing government might destabilize that,” said Max Cameron, a professor in the University of British Columbia’s political science department.
“I think it did produce that desire to not to rock the boat at this particular moment, so in a kind of ironic way, you could say that the experience of governing a minority actually catapulted the government into a majority.”
A similar sentiment must have been felt among Saskatchewan’s electorate Monday, said Gerald Baier, an associate political science professor at the University of British Columbia. Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe won a majority government, the party’s fourth in a row.
Moe and his opponent, NDP Leader Ryan Meili, had contrasting plans for how to steer the province through the pandemic.
Meili promised millions of dollars in increased spending for classrooms and to hire more front-line health workers. Moe promised to balance the books by the 2024-2025 fiscal year, while keeping the economy going and creating jobs through tax and rebate incentives.
“(If) people are happy with the job the government’s been doing during the pandemic, they’re much more likely to say, ‘Now is not the time for a change’,” said Baier.
“They’re much more likely to say, ‘Right now is not the time for a new set of hands on the wheel’ and I think that’s something that explains part of the dynamic in Saskatchewan.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press
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