NoMiNoU Ambassador Profile: Michelle Maryk

Our ambassador Michelle Maryk has one of the most inspiring personal stories, and we are so appreciative that she has agreed to share it with our readers. At the age of 18, Michelle survived a very severe car crash where she was told that she may never walk again. It’s a testament to her immense inner strength that she was able to conquer the many physical and mental challenges she faced, and we know you will find her story as uplifting as we did. <3

What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is a state of well-being. To me, the mental state is even more important than the physical state. A healthful mental or internal state brings about a nourished physical or external state. One’s physical condition need not meet any criteria to be considered “well.” It is how one feels and what is inside that determines a state of wellness.

How long have wellness and mindfulness been important parts of your life? Walk us through your personal wellness journey.
Wellness has always been important in my life, but it became increasingly important to me after a devastating car accident in Mexico when I was 18. I was in a coma for three days, ended up partially deaf in one ear and developed epilepsy. I had 186 stitches and was told by the doctor that I may never be able to walk again.

The accident led to depression and this is when I realized that one’s mental state is more important than one’s physical state. I credit yoga for healing me both mentally and physically. Yoga pushed me to focus on being present in the moment, taking me away from the pain and sadness. It helped me gain my physical strength and mobility. I wasn’t supposed to move or walk for about four months as advised by the doctor. Nonetheless, I secretly did yoga in my bedroom hoping my parents wouldn’t catch me disobeying the doctor’s orders. School and yoga were all that I focused on to get me through this difficult time. I needed a positive distraction.

Years passed with my yoga journey and I was eventually introduced to pole fitness by a friend who dragged me to an intro class (begrudgingly, might I add). But I instantly fell in love with the sport. Two years later, I was competing in the Canadian Pole Fitness Championships. In July of last year, I decided to take my yoga practice to the next level and enrolled in ashtanga yoga teacher training. After the training, I realized teaching yoga and offering the healing benefits that helped me through my accident was important to me. This past January, I started teaching private yoga, strength training, and flexibility training classes via word of mouth. I’ve have started teaching community classes at local studios and have had the honour to join the NoMiNoU team as a brand ambassador!

What does a day in your life look like?
After I wake up, I start my day with fruit and a latte, followed by my yoga practice, contortion training and/or cardio. Each day varies depending on what I have scheduled but it’s usually a combination of seeing private clients, teaching at studios and paperwork/computer work. Throughout the day, I make sure to replenish with lots of fluids and have a healthy lunch and snacks. In the evenings, I do contortion or pole training and fit in a healthy dinner somewhere (and dessert!) Then I get a good night’s sleep and do it all over again!

How do you incorporate wellness into your everyday life?
I’ve always tried to incorporate wellness into my daily routine. But after my car accident, balance and wellness became a top priority. After developing epilepsy, I really started to take it seriously. Epilepsy robs you of your independence and the little things we take for granted. My seizures are typically caused by stress, lack of sleep, dehydration and pretty well all the things that happen when we don’t take care of ourselves. So I have become very conscious of my health and wellness, essentially because I have to if I want to function like an independent adult.

I try to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat regularly, and get in at least a little bit of exercise every day – especially when I am feeling busy or overwhelmed! Exercise clears my mind, helps me sleep better, reduces my stress levels and acts as a mood stabilizer.

What are your top three wellness tips?
1. Always stay hydrated.
2. Get your sleep.
3. Do not deprive yourself. I have dessert every single night…and then some! There are healthy alternatives and even if it’s not considered “healthy”, go ahead and enjoy it if you’re craving it. If you are exercising regularly and eating healthy meals for the most part, then you can indulge. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and so is food!

Words you live by?
“It never gets easier; you just get stronger.”

What are your favourite items in the current NoMiNoU collection?
I have my eye on several things! I really like the LG Empowered by Day Black and White Leggings, the Sisiutl Shorts Red and the Wolf Infinity Scarf.

What or who is currently inspiring you?
Health and fitness professionals are constantly inspiring me but I consider my father to be my biggest inspiration. This year marked the 40th anniversary of the company he founded in 1977. I could not be more proud of him. He came from a poor, broken home and was a bonafide “hustler” since he was five years old, trading and selling marbles on the playground. He has been such an inspiration to me and I have honestly never met a more intelligent and eccentric individual. I’m so lucky to be able to call him “dad.”

What’s next for you?
I have many yoga projects in progress right now! I am offering private, semi-private and Skype classes on yoga, strength and flexibility training. I have also just started writing a self-help book based on my experiences with anorexia nervosa, compulsive exercising, body dysmorphia, bipolar disorder, depression, and dealing with trauma. There is more to come, but if you’d like to keep up with my journey, please follow me on Instagram. Each month I randomly select one Instagram follower for a complimentary private class tailored to their needs.

Inspired by Michelle?  Be sure to check out the rest of our ambassadors!