Leigh Mitchell is a mom, facilitator, marketer, podcaster, and content creation specialist who mentors women and families to thrive. Always active in her community, Leigh loves yoga, running, and spending time in nature with her family. She is currently training to run her third half-marathon but her sons can still outrun her!
Get to know Leigh better and help us welcome her to the #AfLfamily.
Q&A with Leigh Mitchell
AfL: What is your biggest fear?
Leigh Mitchell: Not taking enough time to be in the moment and recognize what really matters — time with friends and family doing what you love. As a mother, it is very attractive to tick things off my to-do list. I challenge myself now to stop and evaluate how I really want to spend my time. I can then be creative with the to-do list afterward, for example enlisting the help of others to get things done.
AfL: What is your proudest moment?
Leigh Mitchell: Completing my third half-marathon at 43-years-old after a 13-year lapse in running. The training helped me to spend more time outside and I felt more at peace. The actual day of the half-marathon it rained, which made it tough to get through to my goal, but I did it! Plus, I got my time — only a few minutes different than my last race when I was much younger.
AfL: What are your favourite ways to be active with the children in your life?
Leigh Mitchell: Both of my boys are fantastic runners, so my oldest and I will run together now — it gives me great pleasure. We are an active family, we love to bike, hike, and beach together. In the winter, both of my children play in an outdoor hockey league and when one is in a game, the rest skate on the opposite outdoor skating trail. We also try to have active birthday parties — for example, we had a great baseball game with all my 12-year-old friends this year. It was a blast. My husband was a great coach.
AfL: What motivates you?
Leigh Mitchell: Stress relief and connection. Being active with my family keeps my anxiety controlled and boosts my happiness. When we play outside, we have fewer distractions, and I feel at peace. There is a wonderful sense of freedom — I love to promote adventures within our family; exploring a new neighbourhood, taking on a new challenge, or just the excuse to have fun is my main motivation.
AfL: What is your best tip for parents struggling to make physical activity a priority?
Leigh Mitchell: If you put it off on a regular basis then I suggest looking at your calendar — what could you stop doing? Schedule your downtime, if you have to, as a reminder of what is really important to you. Also, be active when your kids are active.
AfL: Some other little-known fact about you that you’d like to share?
Leigh Mitchell: I am scared of heights but it didn’t stop me from doing the CN Tower walk — it was super scary but I felt safe in the end and there is nothing like doing the champions pose overlooking the entire City of Toronto at night. The waterfront view at sunset was breathtaking.
AfL: Please tell us in a few words why you’re excited to be an AfL Role Model?
Leigh Mitchell: As a parent educator, I’m always learning and reaffirming my priorities when I get involved with initiatives like this, and to me it is all about being a positive parent. I’m a firm believer in the power of mindfulness and being active is a perfect way to practice mindfulness within my family. It strengthens our bond and will provide a strong connection for us as the kids become young adults; connecting with them on their level will be super critical to surviving the teen years.