Fitness and sports instructor Tammy Barriage first joined the PSP team on the west coast about four years ago, but almost took her career in a different path before winding up at CFB Halifax.
(Article by Rya Melanson, republished from http://thechronicleherald.ca/trident/1340696-meet-your-psp-fitness-and-sports-staff-tammy-barriage)
Having earned a masters degree in therapeutic recreation, Barriage took a job at the Halifax Infirmary upon arriving on the east coast, but said she soon felt a calling to come back to the military environment.
“There’s just such a huge promotion of quality of life here; we focus on creating that well rounded lifestyle and being active, but doing it with things that you’re passionate about.”
“We’re on both ends of that as instructors. We get to receive it, and then we also get to support it for the CAF members. That’s really important to me and that’s what brought me back here.”
Now at the Fleet Fitness and Sports Centre, she works with military men and women daily, using her therapeutic recreation background in an out of the box way, encouraging members to find the physical and recreation activities that they feel passionate about to improve their health.
She said the respectful environment that PSP staff work in, with CAF members never failing to show appreciation for their high levels of expertise, also encouraged her to come back with PSP Halifax.
The job has also presented unique opportunities like deploying on an RCN ship; Barriage spent six weeks with the former HMCS Iroquois on Op CARIBBE, which opened her eyes to the limitations and physical requirements of life at sea.
“I got to be right in the action and see those busy schedules, and seasickness, and exercising in the middle of the night and all those things that create challenges. It’s all about learning what they actually do for a living and applying that to the work we do.”
Being active and living a balanced lifestyle is an important part of her life outside of work as well, with basketball being a longtime passion. Barriage played varsity in university, coached the men’s team at CFB Esquimalt, and still keeps busy playing in a women’s league in the Halifax area.
She’s also put an increased focus on yoga recently, gaining new certifications as an instructor, and said surfing also became a passion while living out west. It’s still possible to catch some waves in this region at places like the Lawrencetown and Martinique beaches, she said.
“Being physically active was something that was always ingrained in me. It’s part of the reason I started my undergrad studies with kinesiology, I was so interested in the human body and the way it works.”
She’s now considereding using her education background to get more involved in the health promotion aspect of the CAF world, and is currently involved with an injury prevention program at FMFCS along those lines. Either way, Barriage said she feels lucky to work in this environment and isn’t going anywhere soon.
“We know it’s not just a regular gym and that we’re not just personal trainers. It’s truly a career to us.”
Read more at: http://thechronicleherald.ca/trident/1340696-meet-your-psp-fitness-and-sports-staff-tammy-barriage