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Tara Norrish

I AM ALFA because I push through no matter what life throws at me. I was raised to be very independent and know the only validation I need is my own.

Photography by: ALI SOHRAB

I was born in White Rock, but grew up in Nanaimo & Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island between the ages of 5-14. I moved between the two towns a lot as a kid but finally made the move to North Vancouver to live with my dad when I was 15 and graduated there. I’m now and have been living in downtown Vancouver for the last 3 years.

I AM ALFA because I push through no matter what life throws at me. I’ve had times in my life when I felt like I hit rock bottom and felt the lowest of lows emotionally. There have been times when my own self esteem has been completely shot but I chose to rise above it. I know that I can either let a situation beat me or I can overcome it and become better for it. I was raised to be very independent and know the only validation I need is my own.

What are the most rewarding things that Fitness has brought you? Fitness has taught me that I am capable & competent when at certain times in my life I felt the opposite. I moved out right before my 20th birthday so I had to learn a lot of life lessons on my own. One of the most rewarding things fitness has instilled in me is self-confidence, not just physically, but mentally as well. In addition, I’ve met some pretty incredible and inspiring people and made some amazing friendships through it.

When was the most alfa moment in your life? The most Alfa moment in my life was when I was injured after being hit as a pedestrian by a car last summer. If the circumstance had been different I could’ve lost my life that day which would’ve been 10 days before my 23rd birthday. I consider myself lucky that my injuries weren’t more severe but my upper mobility was sacrificed. My body took a lot of impact and as a result I couldn’t lift weights like I used to for months. I’m still undergoing recovery so I constantly have to be mindful of how far I can push myself. The recovery process was frustrating and I felt hopeless at times and I could’ve given up. But even small progress is progress and I chose to persevere because I love fitness. My life and my overall mindset wouldn’t be the same without it.

Please share up to 5 things people don’t know about you.

I’ve been vegan for 8 years and enjoy living a sustainable and cruelty free lifestyle. I’m always happy to educate people on how easy and accessible it is implementing a more plantbased lifestyle in this decade. My favourite sport is snowboarding. I lead the snowboard team in high school for a couple years. I’ve been boarding since I was 9 and I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush of shredding down the mountain through the powder.

Although fitness is my passion now I have always been very creative. Growing up I was heavily involved in the arts. I did 4 years of singing lessons which eventually lead to some competitions. I juggled choir, dance, piano, and even played the bass guitar for a couple years in Band class throughout my teenage years. Now I use editing my photos & workout videos as my creative outlet.

I lived with my cousins & uncle during my childhood since my mom struggled with Bi Polar disorder and alcoholism. I’m really grateful I’ve always had so much support from my family.

Since I grew up on a lake for 10 years of my life I’m a pretty good knee boarder. It’s kind of a random sport but I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve.

Please name up to 5 Alfa people you know.

My past coworker Roslind Leong. She’s a well-respected woman in the automotive industry with a very successful career in the Finance Office. I’ve always looked up to her career wise. Not to mention she’s crushes kickboxing classes in the morning before work and has a no excuse mentality. My friend Sarah Bogue, she’s the definition of a strong independent woman. She’s so hardworking and her work ethic in gym is unmatched! Daria Preradovic is just bad ass women vibes all the way. Her physique and kickboxing skills say it all. I find her efforts, mindset, and overall fitness levels very inspiring. One day I’d love to take up kickboxing.

My childhood friend Tina Hartl, somehow, she manages to excel at not one but two jobs while balancing university, a relationship, and maintaining her friendships. She is one of the most kindhearted, hard working, and genuine people I know. Lena Wong, I remember when I first met her through work and I really looked up to her. She’s intelligent, driven, and a natural born leader. She is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and remains humble which is something I aspire to be!

What would be the ultimate tips you would like to share with everyone about implementing a more plantbased lifestyle?

First is to know your plant proteins besides just tofu and fake meats like tempeh. Incorporate whole foods like peas, broccoli, beans, and quinoa on a daily basis to stay leaner!

Another one is to get familiar with restaurants that offer vegan options and how to modify things to make them vegan friendly. There’s a vegan version of everything these days you just have to know where to find it. Virtuous Pie & Pacific Poke are my two favourites when dining out!

Don’t be too hard on yourself it is a lifestyle transition. Whether you prefer to cut out meat cold turkey or eat less of it you can also slowly eliminate foods and find substitutions that work for you. I promise it will get easier. Remember, mind over matter. Practice balance, don’t rely on the processed packages food or constantly eating out. Choose when you want to treat yourself in advance and prepare your meals accordingly. Approach the change with a positive mindset and remember why you decided to transition to a more plant based lifestyle in the first place.

Your favourite quote:

“Life’s too short to settle for mediocrity”

Where people can find you?

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