When it comes to finding fitness inspiration these days, you need look no further than social media for your daily dose of #fitgoals. WTD Contributor Christine Noonan recently had the chance to catch-up with one of our fave Toronto social media fitness all-stars, Lisa Davidson, a.k.a. Toronto Fit Mom (@TorontoFitMom), to talk running, cross-training and more!
Well TO Do: Please introduce yourself to the Well TO Do readers.
Lisa Davidson: Hi, I’m Lisa, also known as Toronto Fit Mom (@TorontoFitMom). I’m a yoga instructor, competitive runner, wife and mother living and working in downtown Toronto.
WTD: Fitness has always played a role in your life. Can you share how this passion came to be and how it has helped shape your current career?
LD: My first time running was as a 7 year old with my Dad. We ran 5km and I loved it. When I was 12 I made the school track team, but after that competitive dancing took over my life and I had very little time for anything other than rehearsing, performing and competing. As a teenager, I also starting getting cast in musical theatre shows (yes, I’m a drama kid). After high school, I studied dance at Ryerson which ultimately led to performing on cruise ships and in London, England. While on cruise ships I used my down time to begin running again (not that easy on a ship) and I haven’t looked back. After my performance career came to an end, I worked in various “desk” jobs, but it was never the right fit for me. After practicing yoga for a few years I decided to take the leap and turn my passion into my vocation. Yoga led me to fitness and ever since I have been sharing my passion with others.
WTD: How did you decide on your brand, Toronto Fit Mom?
LD: Actually, it was my husband who came up with the name Toronto Fit Mom. I wanted something that incorporated my urban lifestyle, my fitness profession and the fact that I was now a mom – arguably the most job of them all. I seek to inspire other women to reach their fitness goals – especially after becoming a mother and wanted to be easily identifiable as one of them.
WTD: I know that your five year old son has completed races and often works out with you. What advice can you offer parents on how to inspire their children to be active?
LD: I believe that children learn by what they see and he has always seen me running, going to the gym or yoga studio. He is always there at my races to cheer me on as I go by and at the finish line to congratulate me on finishing another race. From a young age, he has always asked when it would be his turn to run the race and have me cheer him on and I was so proud to watch him finish the Zoo Run 5km race a few months ago.
WTD: Now that race season has come to an end, how do you stay motivated to continue with your workouts until next season?
LD: I welcome the opportunity to cross-train and not be so tied to a strict running schedule. It gives me the chance to actually take more yoga classes (rather than just teach) and also get out to new fitness/yoga studios in the city. I am fortunate enough to work with a coach, and we have already set my 2017 race calendar. That helps keep me motivated to get stronger and faster so that I can set personal bests next year. I may be a year older, but I feel like my best is yet to come.
WTD: Can you recall the emotions before your very first race? Do you use anything from that experience to inspire you for current races?
LD: My first race was actually a full marathon! I ran the 2008 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and I was extremely nervous and I’m sure had newbie runner written all over my face. The inspiration I take from that race is to never run that far! These days, I focus on 5km and 10km races which I enjoy much more than the longer distances.
WTD: How do all of the different activities you do work together to create a fitness routine?
LD: Running and yoga are actually quite complimentary. Running is a very repetitive motion and so your muscles can get tight and shortened. Yoga helps to lengthen and stretch those muscles and of course, build strength throughout my whole body. Hitting the gym is equally important because in order to run fast, you need to use your entire body, not just your legs.
WTD: What is your current favourite method of movement?
LD: As this is my off season, I am enjoying having the opportunity to experience different studios and teaching styles. Other than my colleagues classes at YYoga, I am really enjoying Studio Lagree. It is a reformer workout taken to a higher level and I love the type of workout where you can still feel the burn days later. I know that sounds crazy, but I love it!
WTD: You teach a variety of fitness classes at various studios in Toronto. Where can people find you sharing your enthusiasm for fitness?
LD: I’m on Twitter and Instagram, @TorontoFitMom and I use my social media to inspire others to get out and be active.
WTD: What’s next for Toronto Fit Mom?
LD: I’ve got my eyes on the World Masters Athletics Championships which are being held in Toronto in 2020. That’s a few years away, but I figure that just gives me more time to get stronger and faster. For my yoga practice, I look forward to sharing my style of yoga teaching with as many people as I can. I like to treat each class as choreographed “dance” where the music and poses all flow together to get people sweating, finding their zen and getting strong.
WTD: What’s exciting you most about the Toronto wellness scene right now?
LD: I love all of the fusion classes that are popping up at various studios. With my dance background, I love any opportunity to reach back and draw on my knowledge and combine it with my more recent knowledge of yoga/fitness and create a full body workout that leaves you sweaty and smiling.
WTD: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
LD: In the wise words of Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod “Keep fit and have fun!”
For more fitness inspiration by Toronto Fit Mom, follow her on Twitter and Instagram – @TorontoFitMom!
Photo Credits – Feature Image: Alex Procajlo @Alexandersean25; Body Image 1: Lisa Davidson @TorontoFitMom; Body Image 2: Nathan White @_nwhite