BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
As the new year approaches, the motivation to set new goals will set the course of action for the year ahead. Life is an uphill battle, a journey filled with many challenges and it’s never too late to start living your passion.
Trisha Curling is no stranger to indulging in retrospection, and re-evaluating life choices. Born and raised here in Toronto, Trisha comes from a Jamaican background of strict upbringing, with parents that taught her the value of hard work and being grateful for all that this life had provided.
Trisha is a part of a very close knit family and from a young age she was always reminded to appreciate and cultivate those relationships, not only with family, but also friends. Trisha attended Markham District High School, where she was an active teenager participating in various sports such as volleyball, handball and basketball. In addition to sports, she was also an artist, going on to study Visual Arts at York University after high school.
In her early 20’s her older brother introduced her to weight training. She had a few other jobs, working at an art gallery, and a call center, before finding a job at Goodlife, where she was a personal trainer, teaching classes as a fitness instructor and helping people achieve their fitness goals. Trisha really enjoyed that time in her life, she was passionate about fitness, and it brought her happiness.
After giving birth to her daughter, Trisha decided that she needed to have more financial stability in her life. While she loved fitness, she needed to make sure that she would also be able to provide for her daughter and so she enrolled in Teacher’s College in pursuit of a more practical and stable profession. Over the years, she had taken some teaching jobs working at camps, teaching art, so decided to blend art and teaching to make a career out of it.
Trisha spent nine years teaching elementary school between from Kindergarten to Gr. 8. She was able to delve back into the world of visual artistry, teaching art at Claude Watson School for the Arts in a long-term supply position and later receiving a full-time permanent position at a middle school. Trisha jumped back and forth, with the opportunity to teach children of all ages, but it was a very high-stress job that left her feeling unfulfilled.
In 2010 her older brother Andrew passed away. He had been a huge influence in her life in terms of having and maintaining a positive mindset, introducing her to weight training and encouraging her to take part in physical activity. After having her daughter, she had put on some weight, that she had been unable to lose. It only got worse when she was teaching, dealing with high-stress situations, unable to make the time to workout. When her brother passed away Trisha slumped into a depression, gaining even more weight over the course of four years.
While browsing online, she followed the fitness journey of Jessie Lam a woman she had known while working at Goodlife. She was into Yoga and watching her reminded Trisha of how dedicated she had once been to her own physical fitness. She wished that she had continued her regimen; she was overweight and her body was riddled with injuries including her neck, back, ankle, shoulder you name it, she needed help otherwise she was going to continue to suffer.
In December of 2014 Tisha made the decision to humble herself and seek the help she needed. Feeling lost and in need of support she took up training with Jessie, and through months of training dedication and hard work, she was able to bounce back to a more healthy and fit version of herself.
Upon re-entering the fitness industry, Trisha was able to heal both emotionally and physically from the loss of her brother. Her mental well-being improved drastically through constant positive affirmation, allowing her to feel energized, happy and more alive than she has ever been. She went on to become a certified personal trainer and yoga teacher and started her own company offering private lessons hoping to connect with others and help them improve the quality of their own lives. Her company Ani O Yoga, comes from the African name her brother had given her, Ani, meaning Earth Goddess, and she has used its power to take back control of her life.
“Go in faith, I believe that everything happens for a reason,” Trisha shares. “Everything starts with a mind shift, you do have the power to take control; do what makes you happy.”