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Sharon Devellis

Sharon DeVellis: Speed Skating Her Way to a Healthier Mind and Body

Emma Waverman

Emma Waverman

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Sharon DeVellis has been the hilarious and poignant voice of the Inside Scoop at the Yummy Mummy Club for four years. But it is her role as Speed Skating Mummy that has really ignited her passion and made her stronger—inside and out. She took up speed skating in 2010 on a whim, and her story has been motivating mums across the country to try something new for their physical and mental health.

So, why speed skating?

Sharon: If you had told me a year ago that I would be speed skating and loving it, I would have told you that you were crazy. But I tried it once and it just lighted a fire in me and I love the feeling it gives me. It isn’t competitive but I feel like I am working towards always getting better.

When I am on the ice it allows me to focus and forget about everything else: the shopping, the laundry, all the things that I haven’t done. And while I am lost in the moment, I know that I am also working towards a stronger and healthier me.

And are you good?

I’m terrible. I had only skated three times in my adult life before I put on those skates. The first lesson I was just trying to stay upright. I’m the worst in the class; everyone is always waiting for me. It can be embarrassing. But I still love it. And I’m getting better.

So why add a website?

I started the blog as a diary of sorts but then the response I was getting made me look at it differently. Women kept telling me I was so brave to try something new, so I turned around and asked mums to try something new themselves.

Now the site is about challenging women to get outside of their comfort zone. I use speed skating as an example, but I also did the EdgeWalk at the CN Tower and the Warrior Dash. Mothers always put themselves last and they are so busy making sure that everyone else’s needs are met that we forget our own—and that makes us less effective as mothers, and as people. We aren’t good to anyone if we can’t function.

Are you focusing on physical activity?

Sharon: No, it’s anything that turns the light on inside of you and sticks. I have other things on my list like watercolour painting, maybe knitting. I was a terrible knitter when I was a kid.

Me: But the physical nature is rewarding…

Sharon: I am doing something active and loving it. It doesn’t seem like work and I am getting in better shape at the same time. My cardio has increased 10-fold and I ran 9K last week, just for the sake of it.

Me: Your son speedskates too. How do you do it all?

Sharon: He does and just like all families we have extracurriculars and carpooling and busy lives. I find that speedskating takes the valve off of my stress, somewhat. But nothing runs perfectly. I believe in planning! I made chili in the slowcooker this morning and I always know that Wednesday is breakfast for dinner night because of a time squeeze. I try and make things that can be turned into something else a second night. I always make sure there is a good selection of fruit, my kids aren’t great veggie eaters but I cannot keep enough fruit in the house!

And then, Friday is crazy night in our house.

Me: I’m afraid to ask, what is crazy night?

Sharon: Every week one of my two boys alternates in choosing the dinner. And it can be anything. At first, the boys were stressing me out by choosing junk but now after a couple of stomach aches they choose a dinner that they like. And we watch a movie together.

Me: That sounds like a nice tradition.

Sharon: I think, hope that kids remember experiences more than things. I remember the stuff I did, more than the stuff I had. So, I hope that the lessons I am teaching my kids are about trying new things, staying active and being a little crazy sometimes.

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