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Tina Charters

I AM ALFA because I am tenacious and have taught myself how to fiercely pursue the things that I believe in, that are important to me, and that make the most positive impact on myself and my family.

Photographer: Ali Sohrab

Make up: Shannon Payne

Venue: PlatoonFX

My journey has been amazing and I am very grateful for how fortunate I have been. I am a 50-year-old mother of 2 living in Calgary AB and a fitness / wellness enthusiast. However, it certainly has not been without challenges and hardships. Who I am today is quite different from who I was, and although I have still retained my core values, I am still learning and adapting every single day.

My journey began a little differently than most. I was born in Toronto ON and lived in foster homes until the age of 6, that’s when I was adopted by foster parents Hans and Marie.

Shortly after I was adopted my parents moved us out of Toronto to Saskatoon, where my passion for athletics was born. This started when my adoptive parents put me into competitive figure skating. Figure skating was my salvation as a young girl trying to adapt to my new surroundings and find purpose in my new life. It gave me an outlet to channel my energy and I developed a love for the sport. School was a struggle for me as I had such a late start. Unlike school, Figure Skating was something I was naturally good at. I thank my father for negotiating with the school and my teachers to allow me to keep skating despite mediocre academics. He knew how much skating meant to me and I will be forever grateful for that. I competed at a high level for 10 years and in 1982 (I was 11) I attended the Saskatchewan Winter Games where I earned a gold medal. In my late 20’s my husband and I moved from Saskatoon to Calgary, we had just lost our first-born son. This was the lowest point of my life, new city, no friends or family and no baby to take care of, yet I had the body of a 190-pound postpartum mom. My mental health and emotions were completely depleted. Working out and being at the gym helps me ground myself when my world is spinning. It is my place of peace and salvation. It was at this time in my life I learned that physical fitness and body health were crucial to repairing my mind and heart. I rebuilt myself into the person I am today, with fitness at the core of it all.

The positive experiences from my own athletics growing up has made sports an important aspect of our family to this day. I believe children learn what they live, the lessons taught by athletics like sportsmanship, dedication, and teamwork are an integral part of growing as a person. Who I am today is very much a by-product of the challenges I have overcome. I have learned to not shrink from these, but take them head on. Finding my individual purpose and identity through fitness has taught me, you are never too old to pursue something in your life because age is simply just a number.

I AM ALFA because I am tenacious and have taught myself how to fiercely pursue the things that I believe in, that are important to me, and that make the most positive impact on myself and my family.

What are the most rewarding things that fitness has brought you? I have been athletic my entire life and the most rewarding gifts from fitness are my self-confidence and peace of mind. When I am physically active and feeling fit and strong, I am more able to manage life’s nagging nuisances and major hurdles. Fitness brings me a sense of calm and purpose when all other things are out of control.

When was the most ALFA moment in your life? There have been so many moments when I needed to be fierce and persistent including recovering from the death of a child, however the most ALFA moment was when I decided to compete at age 50 and winning my first competition last July.

How has the pandemic impacted your daily life and what did you learn from it? This has been difficult for sure, especially the restrictions. I watched the pandemic severely impact my daughter who is a professional dancer, as it massively impacted her career and mental health. I have learned that we need to be patient and more compassionate with each other.

Who would you like to inspire the most and why? This is an easy question for me….my kids for sure. We learn so much from watching and observing. My adult children will derive so much benefit from watching a good example of persistence, perseverance, and fierce dedication to what they believe in. Their generation are our next leaders, I spent many years teaching my kids to give everything they had to their sports. At the age of 50 I needed to walk the walk that I talked about. When your kids tell you they are proud of you it lands differently.

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

Competitive figure skater for 10 years, born in Toronto, adopted, Slurpee and junk food addict. Love to binge a 90-day fiancé marathon.

Please name up to 5 ALFA people you know. My "slippers" each of these women have (who are like one person) poured their LOVE and STRENGTH into me every day for as long as I can remember. Charlene H - teaches me to ALWAYS get it done. Leanne W - the MOTHER we all want to be. Kelly G.T - a BELIEF that every woman deserves to ride the elevator to the top of their potential. Shen - STRENGTH to NEVER shrink for anyone. Diana - this women has PERSERVERED through the shittiest last 2 years and still believes the world is a good place. Lastly but certainly not least - Carly and Cole - these two are at the CORE of who I am. Carly is BRAVE she has shown herself and us that you always have a choice, choose YOURSELF. I am so proud of you Carly. Cole is KIND hearted and WISE beyond his years. He sees the good in everyone until he doesn't. I feel inspired everyday by your presence son.

Who would you like to thank and what are their contribution to your life? I don’t have 1 or 2 people to thank along my path of life, so many people whether it be simple or complex interactions have guided me, inspired me and believed in me even when I did not believe in myself.

What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about LIFE and Health? You get one life, embrace all aspects of it, do not merely endure it. Your physical fitness is directly correlated to your mental and emotional wellness. Invest in that. Any movement you do throughout the day is good for your body, use that mindset and simply move more. Celebrate the little wins. Don’t think of a workout or a fitness goal as Mount Everest. Chunk it off in small manageable size hills, some days it will be aunt hills which mean u simply get yourself to the gym. Some days rolling hills and other days mountains. However, you do this remember 80% of anything and everything even just day to day life is simply showing up, consistency is the real key.

What are the most attractive attributes in a person? Humility and Kindness are the first two things that come to mind. Confidence but not arrogance are terrific attributes. My favorite people are the positive energy givers of the world.

Your top favourite quote: I always choose hard work over talent, because hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. - “Jennifer Lopez

Where can people find you?

Instagram: @tina.charters

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