The last few weeks of preparing for OptiMYz Live, our health and fitness show, have been pretty wild. A few details: 

My daughter Claire and I were visiting her grandparents in Amherst, where her grandmother was in hospital after an operation. “You make me want to live,” her grandmother had told her. On the trip I got a call from Max Brennan, the publisher of OptiMYz. Dr. Natasha Turner, ND, one of the speakers at OptiMYz Live, had called from Toronto to cancel. Could I call her?

OptiMYz Live is coming up on the weekend of Jan. 23 and 24 at the World Trade Centre & Convention in Halifax. It brings the magazine to life with a great line-up of speakers and demos of our brand pillers of fitness, health, nutrition, adventure, and mind. 

So I called Dr. Turner, who is now based in Toronto but was originally from Amherst. No, she was unable to come, unfortunately. I asked about her mother, who is recovering from a major operation of her own. Natasha is a specialist in keeping your hormones in line; an important mission, seeing as how they run a lot of your life.

Max called again. Could I show up on Breakfast Television the next morning: be there at 6:45 and go live at 7:15? Sure, I said. Next thing I was at the ATV studio, sitting across from host Maria Panopalis. The theme of the day was “how to make 2010 your best year ever” — the theme of OptiMYz Live.

I previewed our presenter Andrew Russell, an Olympic paddler from Dartmouth, who will speak about setting challenging goals, and the detailed planning that goes into achieving them. All top athletes understand this, and it is a lesson for the rest of us. Andrew has been getting up early to train since he was a teenager, getting out on the water even in bad weather. He has that calm focus of all elite athletes, and at the Nubody’s Fitness Centre he puts his medium-sized frame through intense workouts that make most regulars seem pretty lax, even the big guys. PS: Like all the successful people I know, Andrew loves what he does!

We talked about “power foods,” the topic of our nutrition editor Jennifer Brenton, yoga (there will be a lot of that at OptiMYz Live), adventure travel, and the power of gratitude: Steve Foran will cover that one. Turns out that service to others and a true sense of gratitude for one’s blessings are two of the keys to having a happy and successful life.

Then it was over. Thank you, Maria! (You can see the video on our website She was planning to have other speakers on the show too: Dena Churchill, DC and yogi Jenny Keirstead for two.

In other news, Max and I borrowed my brother-in-law’s van and delivered our beautiful signs to Pete’s Frootique, the World Trade & Convention Centre, and MicMac Mall. We will be putting on a mini show and selling tickets to OptiMYz Live at MicMac Mall on Sat. Jan. 16, and selling tickets there on Sunday, Jan. 17.

Then we confirmed Dr. Rosalyn Hayman, ND to speak on hormones, one of her specialties. This will relate equally to makes and females. What you eat and drink, how you exercise, and how you manage stress all impact your hormones, the body’s signalling system that influences a lot of how you feel, how much energy you have, and oh, yeah, your weight.

It’s been a wild few weeks preparing for the show. Grandparents need looking after too. It’s all part of health and fitness, the world of OptiMYz. For details, check out Tickets available at the the door or through Ticket Atlantic. OptiMYz Live: Sat. Jan. 23 and Sun. 24th, at the WTCC, Halifax. See you there.

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