Who Are Your AO1 Coaches? Part 2
Coach Jasmine’s Story
Hi! I’m Jasmine, the first of four sisters. While Stefanie is the adventurist, no fear, “I can do anything” sister, I am the older, much more timid, responsible, and detail-oriented one. I calculate risks and hesitate greatly with fear. Stef often came to my rescue as a timid child. As young as 3 and 4years old I remember Stefanie boldly marching up to a neighbourhood bully demanding he apologize and give the roller skates back he stole from her big sister (I was whimpering, hiding behind a bush as she did this). The bully did not argue with her 😉
Stef often notes that she didn’t want to miss out and longed to do all the things her big sister got to do first. I, on the other hand, had to be coerced to do them first… alone! I would have gladly switched places and often looked up to my 3 younger sisters who seemed so brave. However, looking back I am so thankful for those many times of being pushed out of my comfort zone. I may not be naturally confident, but I have learned the value of stepping out, being vulnerable, setting large goals, dreaming big and taking risks, but also setting a course, working hard and being faithful to complete it.
As a team, we balance each other out. My weaknesses are Stef’s strengths and vice-versa. However, we share common dreams and visions and thus work really well together.
Our common love for health, fitness and inspiring others to live to their full potential was instilled in us both from a young age. Our mom modeled a healthy lifestyle. She made nutrition and fitness fun for us. She involved all four of us sisters in cooking, baking and hosting healthy meals for both our family and serving others. She set the example of faithfully exercising each morning. I remember doing aerobics from as early as 6 years old with her and loving it! As a family, we engaged in lots of outdoor activities, hikes, and sports together. Our dad deposited the thrill of adventure and striving to achieve dreams. When you go for a jog with our dad, you never walk the hills… you sprint the hills and celebrate at the top! There were always little milestones to complete along the way. When we were very little and decided we didn’t want to walk around the 10km Vancouver Sea Wall, he turned it into a game. We got points on how many little men we jumped on along the way (the painted ones on the ground) and how many people we could pass. He was also full of positive affirmations, dreaming big and never settling because he said we are capable. We likely came up with our AO1 motto “you are more capable than you think” from his inspiration. He actually made us say to him every day before we went to school (right up to College!) that “we were a success”. I hated saying it in the moment. It felt so awkward. But now, looking back I am thankful for all those deposits of a healthy mindset.
This is one reason we felt a fitness program, would be incomplete without a mindset and community component. We are so thankful and blessed to grow up in a family where each of us was valued as individuals, inspired to dream big and affirmed as we stepped out to accomplish these things. Whether we succeeded or ‘failed’, we had the support and encouragement from our family/community and could get back up stronger. Although I have a natural inclination to be timid and fearful, I don’t struggle with it. It is a very, very rare occasion where fear is so strong that it paralyzes me. I am so thankful for the healthy, strong, positive mindset that was instilled in me from a young age and the tools I’ve been taught to strengthen that. We are thankful for this and know that if it’s possible for us, it’s possible for anyone. We want to share this message with others, affirm others, call out the positive in others and give them tools to discard the lies and strengthen the truth in their lives.
It’s difficult to write a short autobiography but here is a recap of my life up to now:
In high school, my love for fitness, people, helping others discover their life purpose and merging the two grew. I joined every sport and fitness elective available. I remember being the only female in many of those classes and being so intimidated of the football players in the class, but NEVER let them see my weakness. I was determined to run as fast as them and hold my own strength. I never won the bench press competitions, but my moment of glory was holding the plank for the longest.
My school had incredible opportunities and I took full advantage of them. At 15, I joined a class to train to do my first backpack trip. We hiked and camped along the 47km Juan de Fuca trail on Vancouver Island. It was incredible and was a thrilling milestone to achieve. At 16 I joined another class to do a humanitarian trip to Nepal. My parents encouraged this but never paid for it. They knew if we worked hard, raised and earned the money ourselves for our trips (my sisters also did similar excursions) we would value it so much more. They were right! This trip opened my eyes to people from another side of the world. I saw so much poverty and such depth of joy in their eyes. This wrecked my heart forever and deepened my love and compassion for people even more. In my last year of high school, the last trip I took was much more tame. It was a horseback riding camping trip up in Northern British Columbia, Canada. It was beautiful. I love horses and loved the community of our class. By being exposed to so many thrilling adventures through a High School Physical Education program I was determined to go to school and be a PE teacher.
Another part of my life that was growing strong . . .
was my faith and love for Jesus. My life wouldn’t feel complete unless my foundation was firm. I decided I wanted to dedicate one year after graduation to Jesus to really establish my purpose in life and then continue on with my ‘dreams’. So I enrolled in our local Bible College. It was an incredible year. I was still really timid at this age, but the more I discovered my true identity, gifts, and purpose I became less aware of myself and in return, confidence rose. I realized that my shyness and timidness was rooted in pride and self-centeredness. When I took my eyes off of myself and placed them on my audience of one and what I was called to do, I had so much more strength and courage. I began public speaking and teaching. I realized that this was one of my gifts and passions. If I stayed timid, I never would have discovered this. This school year ended with another trip, this time to Nigeria. I could easily write another post dedicated to each trip because there was so much depth. You go on these humanitarian trips prepared to serve them and in return learn so much from the local people there and are incredibly blessed.
Fast forward several years, I have now completed a diploma in sports science, certifications in personal training, bootcamps, nutrition and went back to Bible College to complete a four-year bachelor program in leadership. Various opportunities rose for me to use and continue to develop those skills. Some were paid, most were volunteer. I feel fulfilled, no matter what the title if I am living out my potential. I’ve held jobs as a waitress where I learned how to read, anticipate needs, and serve a customer. I’ve volunteered in children’s summer camps where I was reminded of the joy of being childlike, goofy, and laughing at myself. I’ve volunteered in running leadership development programs for youth and young adults. These programs shaped my own leadership skills and gave me opportunities to speak truth, value, and health into broken lives and see them rise to their potential. I’ve strengthened taking account of details by working in the inventory department of clothing warehouses. I’ve taught fitness and a balanced healthy lifestyle to girls in recovery homes. I’ve honed my organizational and administrative skills by working in offices and supporting the goals and dreams of other businesses and charitable organizations. And lastly, I’ve stretched myself in many positive ways dreaming, creating and launching personal businesses.
I see great value in all that is set before us. How we view and respond to each situation is our choice and will determine the success of our destiny. Every life circumstance is an opportunity for personal growth and development. All of it will contribute to shaping your life journey and destiny.
I am thankful for the thrilling adventures, as well as the mundane accounting work I’ve had. It has all been valuable.
Lastly, I was married to the love of my life Alex in 2014, we welcomed our son Obadiah (we call him Oby) in 2017 and expecting another little baby boy this July 2019. They are the reason I strive to fulfill dreams. I love to ‘work’ and complete goals. But none of it would be worth it if they weren’t by my side. I love them to the moon and back.