WE ARE ALFAs because we are strong alone. But as Mom & Daughter together we are stronger.
Photography: ALI SOHRAB
Hair & Make up: SHANNON PAYNE & KELLYCAMPBELL
Tanning by: COAST LUXE
Coaching: Custom Built Training
Venue: OLYMPIAN GYM
T: I am a mother to two beautiful children. Health and fitness has always been a substantial part of my life. Our family has always been very active and participated in sport activities. We motivate, inspire and support each other through our group chats daily workouts.
After the sudden passing of my husband more than three years ago, my life spiraled out of control. As I struggled to come to terms with my new life. I became dependent on alcohol to cope with my grief and anguish. I was very unhappy and afraid of my future. This all changed when I started sharing my story on my health and fitness blog. In the summer of 2019, I began my personal transformation, focusing on my health, fitness and life goals. Whenever I felt lost or alone, I could enter the gym and feel a sense of courage, strength and empowerment with whichever situation I was struggling to endure. The feeling I got when I was lifting weights in the gym seemed to relieve any anxiety and uncertainty I was experiencing. To this day, I feel a sense of calmness and contentment when I train. Now instead of being afraid of my future, I am excited of the endless possibilities. It’s been a long road of self- discovery but I am finally living the life that was meant for me.
I AM ALFA because I have overcome many obstacles. I have learned to accept the things I cannot change. I have realized that each and every one of us are faced with challenges daily. How we react to those challenges is pivotal to ones, vitality. I am on a mission to become to best version of me.
J: Following my dad’s sudden passing in 2017, I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression and PTSD. It would be diﬃcult to do the smallest tasks such as, getting out of bed, going to the gym, and sometimes finding the will to live. Exercising would boost my mood but I did not have the motivation to go regularly. After a long two years of coping with my mental illnesses, I decided to enter my first Fitness Competition. It gave me a reason to get out of bed and start being accountable for my own self-care. It was a great experience and gave me the escape that I needed. Although my path was starting to look brighter, I would watch my mother struggle with her addiction and grief. Worried for her health, I convinced her to join me in my next Fitness Competition. I am proud of how far we have come on our journeys. We have become closer and stronger fighting our obstacles together.
I AM ALFA because I became the person I am today due of the unfortunate circumstances I have faced in the past few years and struggling with my mental health.
When was the most ALFA moment in your life, and why?
T: My most alfa moment was receiving my personal training certification. One of the reasons I became a personal trainer was to share my passion for fitness and communicate the significance of a balanced lifestyle with others.
J: The most ALFA moment in my life would be today. Each and every day I look back at how far I have come. Battling mental health is not easy but I am thankful to have the people in my life who love and support me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
WE ARE ALFAs because we are strong alone. But together we are stronger.
How has Covid-19 impacted your daily life?
T: The ongoing pandemic has taught us valuable lessons such as never take your health for granted, slow down, do things that make you happy, show appreciation for those around you.
J: Covid-19 has impacted my life greatly. I was laid oﬀ from my full-time position. This triggered my depression and anxiety. With the gyms being closed at this time my mom and I put together home workouts. I spent a lot of time outside going on hikes and going for walks with my brother. My message to the world during this time would be to stay connected to the people that support you and stay strong.
What are the most rewarding things that Fitness has brought you two? Fitness has given us an opportunity to spend more time together. Get to know one another better. Fitness has given us a chance to inspire, support and motivate one another with both our health and life goals.
What would be 5 things people don’t know about you Talena?
I am extremely claustrophobic.
I am very impatient.
My childhood nickname is Tina.
I recently took up the sport of golf.
I believe in Karma.
And you Jessica, what would be 5 things people don’t know about you?
I was in 2 Wonder Bread commercial at age 8.
I play piano.
I love watching horror movies.
I’m trained in medieval sword fighting.
I was a figure skater.
Can you also name few ALFA people you know?
Definitely my mom, Talena Farrell
My brother, Christian Farrell
Front line workers
And you Talena, who would be your ALFA People?
I must start with my beautiful daughter, Jessica
My son, Christian
Front line workers
What would be the ultimate tip you two could share with everyone about LIFE?
T: This past year has taught us many valuable lessons. We have learned that we may not have control over situations, people or circumstances. However, we do have control over how we react to all the above. There is strength within each one of us. Mindset is a powerful tool. What we think of ourselves shapes how we communicate with others. Choices we make can create opportunities that can positively impact others, or can demolish any camaraderie. To make a change we must be willing to let go of the life we planned so that we can embrace the life waiting for us.
J: The ultimate tips I can share is to take one day at a time and seek people around you to talk to, and to get the support you need. I find nowadays it is very hard to express mental health. I know that I felt very judge at first by people who didn’t understand my conditions. If you do not have that opportunity to talk to friends or family there are many other ways to find support such as going to a counselor or apps on your phone. But just know you are not alone and there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Your top favourite quote.
When life gives you hundred reasons to cry, show life you have thousand reasons to smile.
Where people can find both of you?
Talena Instagram: @talenafarrell , @gladiator_strongfit.
Talena Facebook: Talena Farrell
Jessica Instagram: @jjfarrell94