My name is Michelle Lindstrom. I am a writer/editor, group fitness instructor, and founder of You Be You Wellness (UBU) who can’t sit still very long or do just one thing at a time. My interests include writing and editing for publications to tell the lesser-known stories about everyday heroes, organizations, and programs.
Also, I’m passionate about motivating people to move more than they did yesterday because movement and physical activity is directly connected to mental health and overall well-being.
We all have different baselines and reasons for setbacks. So instead of painting everyone with the same brush when leading fitness classes or youth programs, I try to inspire participants to become more self aware and understand their why, which is a combination of their specific motivations, intentions, and interests–not their partner’s, parents’, boss’, kids’, or friends’.
We’re human and naturally want to follow and do the latest and greatest according to the Instagram pack. But the more we do this, the less we check in if we are doing what actually makes us happy, reduces our stress, and empowers us to acknowledge and use our individual strengths.
Let Me Write for You
Businesses and startups, this is why you want me to write and edit for you
My Why: I have always been the one to ask, why? I cannot help but question why we do things the way we do? Why did you start your business? Why are you interested in your industry? Why should people know more about you, your employees, your business?
This curiosity is something I feel most people have but as they grew up, they lost the child-like urge to ask a lot of questions. I haven’t, which drives some people crazy, but I hear some amazing stories because of it. I want to share what I find out with others so they can tell a friend, and they tell a friend, etc.
COVID-19 has exposed the good and bad in all our business processes, leadership methods, educational supports, healthcare system, economy, social connections, and more.
I have a soft spot for telling the underdog’s story. The one you don’t hear very often. The non-fiction comeback kid, type of story. In a time like now, with a worldwide pandemic, business owners and community members are showing their innovative, resilient colours. Some are reinventing themselves to produce a different product that helps the healthcare system’s overloaded needs, while others are taking their brick and mortar services online. It’s impressive and I want to share your story with others.
Alberta’s underdogs, right now, include all of us. The parents who are working from home and wondering how to also homeschool their kids. Those who lost their jobs and are navigating the EI processes while doing their best to manage their anxiety of an uncertain future. Those in healthcare, essential services, and first response teams, you all have a story to tell that needs to be heard. The humanity part to help us all understand how to connect, empathize, and support one another as we also keep our social distance.
My How: I will build hype where hype is deserved through my passion: communication. Online, social media, my blogs, and through word-of-mouth, which is a very trusted, albeit old-school, method (when was the last time you registered your kid into a program without asking a fellow parent what he/she thought of the instructor, location, etc.?). I am all about collaboration and constantly expanding my community connections because I believe we’re better together and can lift each other up. I will connect with international communities via timely and purposeful social media posts; relevant events; meaningful volunteer opportunities; and honest media coverage.
My What: 1) Increase visibility of Canadian organizations by writing engaging content for their websites, blogs, and newsletters. 2) Edit proposals, internal documents, and employee-written blog posts for businesses, organizations, and community groups. 3) Introduce the public to new staff with professional, yet lively, employee bios, or reintroduce the world to existing staff with an updated bio. 4) Have businesses, organizations, and community groups take notice of me at the same time I take notice of them so we can work together.
Let Me Create and/or Lead a Program for You
For schools, businesses, and youth organizations, this is why you want me to create and lead programs/workshops with your groups
UBU: Adults What’s Your Story workshop
Just before COVID-19 shut down almost all businesses, I led a 2-hour workshop for nine, 18+ participants to guide them through a self-awareness journey for them to jot down on paper in a guided way. The intention was for them to explore their likes and dislikes so they will do more of what they love and less of what they feel they “should” do. Activities included physical activity, group discussion, journaling, and outlining a big goal to achieve by Dec. 31, 2020,all to help them realize the connection of social, emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
At the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, I led a hybrid program of UBU: Girls & UBU: Schools at Ecole Michaelle-Jean. The first program ran for 8 weeks from October-December with 15 girls in Grades 7-9. The intention was to help build the students’ self awareness, leadership skills, a greater appreciation for physical activity, and gain a high-level awareness of well-being tools, such as writing, nature exposure, gratitude, and fitness.
The second round began in February 2020 and was scheduled to be a 4-session program with 15 new female students in Grades 7 & 8, but COVID-19 forced schools to shut down soon after our second session. We will see if we get to complete the whole program.
UBU: Girls Wellness Workshop
On February 3, 2020, through Forest Terrace Heights Community League, I led a 2-hour workshop for 13 youth who identified as female and were between the ages of 8-11 years old. The workshop introduced participants to a few stress-busting well-being tools with the intention of helping build self-confidence and leadership skills while encouraging participants to try new things without the guarantee of success. The girls tried public speaking by introducing their partner to the whole group, competed in fun relays, journaled, participated in group discussions, and considered their own go-to, well-being tools.
UBU: Girls 8-week Fall Program
From October-December 2019, I led the third multi-week UBU: Girls program in Sherwood Park for youth who identify as female who are in Grades 6-8. The weekly sessions ran for two hours on Tuesday evenings at the Spark Centre with key messages being about empowerment, active wellness, and mindful lives. The objectives were to introduce participants to a variety of well-being tools they may not experience in their everyday lives and hopefully find at least one that resonates with them to use on their own to help self-regulate extreme emotions, reduce stress, and increase willingness to try new things.
UBU: Girls Connect. Move. Belong. Event with ivivva by lululemon
On September 29, 2019, I led a 2-hour workshop at West Edmonton Mall’s ivivva store for youth who identified as female and were between 8-14 years old. The main theme was about girl power and lifting each other up while also acknowleding the positive impacts physical activity has on mental, social, emotional, and physical health.
Since January 2019, I’ve led mindful fitness classes with co-ed groups of Sport Fit, Sport for Life, and Sports Performance classes in Grades 5-9 at St. Theresa Catholic School (Sherwood Park), Hillcrest Junior High (Edmonton), Vimy Ridge Academy (Edmonton), and Ecole Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (Sherwood Park) where we’ve focused on moving to break a sweat but talking about what connects us; how we can manage extreme emotions; what is empathy; and who are their mentors?
Since the spring of 2018, I’ve worked with U9-U15 Girls Phoenix Soccer teams (Sherwood Park) and U12-U15 Red Deer Rush Ringette teams to help with team building, understanding the mind-body connection, and helping players understand the power of being a great team means connection with teammates, and playing to each others’ strengths.
Walk the Talk
In the new year of 2017, the idea of Walk the Talk came to life. After asking a variety of people late in 2016, who I find to be inspirational, to come talk to kids in Grades 4-9, I found six willing and able people to take on the task. The principal of the school helped find a regular space for us to meet (the band room) Fridays at lunch every few weeks. The kids were taking through each speaker’s life journey to success, through hardships, and examples of grit to find their way. The speakers included a personal fitness trainer, an R&B singer/songwriter, a MS fighter, an entrepreneur/businessman, a rapper/video making company owner, and a TV news reporter. The purpose was to let the students know that success comes in all shapes and forms and even successful people have battles. They work hard and find ways to get through tough times and inspire others. They walk the talk.
The “I Am Me” Project
Since the spring of 2014, I have built on a personal passion to build self-esteem and self-awareness in young girls. To do that, I created a program I called “I am Me” that has been used and customized to suit the situation and group it was run in.
Spring 2014 – I organized a six-week program that ran once a week (every Saturday afternoon) for one hour with a group of 20 girls between the ages of 8-12 who were from the Edmonton Ismaili Community. Expert speakers presented to the girls on topics including Body Image, Leadership, Mental Health, Bullying and the Importance of Physical Activity. This group called the program “Girl Empowerment.”
Spring 2015 – With the same group as 2014, I led a similar program that ran over two weeks, but were two, full-day Sundays. The difference was that parents were invited and listened to one speaker in one room while the girls listened to another speaker in another room. This encouraged open discussion and questions and allowed the speakers to provide age appropriate and specific information for each group. I included Internet Safety and Building Better Communication Skills as topics in this set of sessions. By the end of the two days, both the girls and their parents heard from all the same speakers and were able to broach discussions with each other with a new toolbox of skills, language and empathy at their own dinner tables at home.
Spring 2016 – I took the idea of this program and brought it into a school in Sherwood Park to run over 10 weeks on Fridays at lunch time (following the school calendar, so there were some breaks between sessions). This program was targeted towards girls in Grades 4-6 and I led some of the sessions while speakers came out to the others.
The purpose of this is to be a proactive program, giving girls tools for what is ahead for what is most likely ahead of them: varied experience with bullying, sexism, peer pressure, dating, stress and more. The whole program is to encourage more discussion and for girls to expand their community and support system because they feel important, worthy and healthy. We called this “Girl Group.”
Putting Fun and Run Together – a school’s Fun Run Club
Spring 2015 – From experience of leading beginner adult running programs and training for my own half marathons and one full marathon, I took that knowledge to lead students in Grades 3 and 4 at one Sherwood Park school through a beginner’s running program. To keep it an inclusive and supportive program, there were no tryouts and everyone in those grades were welcome. It was important to keep it fun, organic and loosely planned as weather and the kids’ interest always played a factor in the practice sessions that ran twice a week after school for 10 weeks. We worked our way up to a distance of 3-kilometres by doing a mixture of age-appropriate body weight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, burpees etc.) with relay races and running laps around the field (or gym if the weather was nasty). I organized a sponsored race with bibs, permits and swag bags exclusive to the students at the end of the training clinic. We called the group “Fun Run Club.”
Spring 2016 – We only ran the same program for five weeks this time still focusing on building up to the 3-kilometre race I had planned at the end of the clinic.