Meet your PSP fitness & sports staff: Madeline McDonald
Hometown: Milford, NS
PSP employee since: July 2019
What inspired you to pursue a career focused on fitness?
I am someone who always likes to be on the go. Throughout high school I loved playing sports, and learning about how the human body works. My interests led me to attend Acadia University to obtain a degree in Kinesiology. After graduation I became a Kinesiologist at a physiotherapy clinic. After this I started working at a civilian gym, and realized that the fitness industry is where I belong. I then became a part of the Shearwater PSP team, and have been loving every second of it.
What do you enjoy about working in the CAF/DND environment?
Working with DND allows me to use my education and experience to help better the health and wellness of the CAF. I love using my knowledge to figure out what types of activity works the best for our members and instilling a passion within their lifestyle for physical activity. Another perk of working for DND is that we are able to learn first hand from our members about what is new in the CAF, as well as learning about what all the different trades are responsible for, and how they all tie in together to protect our country.
What are some of the challenges that come with the job?
It’s definitely a challenge to try and remember all the acronyms the CAF has. THERE ARE SO MANY! While talking to members, they will say acronyms of courses they have taken or trades that are available and I’ll learn the meaning of new things each day. Another challenge is that a lot of members see PSP staff as the bad guys who make them do 84027+ pushups (not to mention the FORCE test)- we really aren’t the bad guys. We’ve stepped away from the old style of PT, and have moved towards a friendly environment where we want you to succeed. Are we going to push your limits? Yes, absolutely. That being said, we will never make you feel like you are weak, or that you have failed. If you need advice, modifications, a stretch to hit that tricky lower back muscle, come see us. It is our job to keep the CAF operationally fit, and we can’t do that unless our members are comfortable with us. Come and say hi, we’d love to hear from you.
What kind of exercise or sports do you enjoy in your free time?
I have been playing rugby for the past nine years, and am still currently playing at a recreational level. I have started to incorporate crossfit regimes into my training sessions, and have been very satisfied with the results. While in high school I played badminton competitively, and recently have decided to pick the racket back up.
What are your tips for staying fit while spending more time at home and practicing social distancing?
I believe the best way to stay fit while also practicing social distancing is to try and keep a routine. It is easy to just sit and binge watch your favourite shows while eating snacks. However, it is important to take the time to get up, and keep yourself stimulated. I’ve been doing PSP Halifax’s live workouts everyday at 12:00 and it’s really been helping me add structure to my day. It is also helping me stay accountable, as well as gives me a sense of social connection.
Tell us something unique about yourself outside of your job (hobbies, special interests, etc.)
I have one of the most unique grandmothers that anyone could have. She lives in the middle of nowhere in Cape Breton with no electricity. One of my favourite things is to head up for the weekend, get outdoors, and experience the pleasures of living off the grid.