Finding Balance, Calgary Herald

Local fitness guru overcomes childhood pain to help others,

When self-professed tomboy and wild child Sandra Bueckert boarded the plane from Jamaica to Canada in 1973, she never expected life could turn so cold in less than a few sleepless nights. But the then-seven-year-old’s carefree days playing in the sun and sand of the island country she called home were about to end forever. “When I was told we were leaving Jamaica, it was the worst day of my life. I loved it there. I would disappear and run o with friends then show up for lunch or dinner at my grandparents’ house,” says Bueckert. “I can still remember lying in bed at night in Jamaica, the rain pattering down on the aluminum ceiling, underneath my quilt. This was home. This was my life.” Canada was di erent. First, there was the blanket of chilly white snow that seemed to cover up the Bedford, Ont., ground as if milk had fl ooded the street. Then, there were the dark nights she spent hiding under the covers, listening to her father attack her mother just metres from the bedroom door. Bueckert, 44, now lives in Calgary with her husband and two sons, where she runs One on One Personal Fitness Instruction. She is the organizer behind the second annual WOMAN Conference (War On Misinformation And Nutrition), an event on Saturday that seeks to empower women, as well as support those hurt by family violence. Tickets are $125 until Friday; see for details. Events include inspirational speeches and a fashion show. And proceeds from the fashion show will go to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, an organization which supports women, children, youth and men hurt by family violence. Bueckert understands the issue fi rst hand. She was born in Canada to immigrant parents. But her mother and father, who already had several children when their youngest came along, began to feel the economic strain of raising a family while assimilating into a new nation.


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