By Woodard, Dale on May 16, 2018.
For the Herald
Bodybuilding and training is just a hobby for many, but for Dakota Tallow-Manson, it’s much more than that.
Tallow-Manson recently qualified for the upcoming national championship after claiming first place in the Alberta Body Building Association competition.
She says while she was surprised by qualifying, she still wants to do her best to represent those who are important to her.
“I didn’t even expect to do as well as I did at provincials, but I definitely want to represent First Nations people and Albertans the best I can,” said Tallow-Manson
Tallow-Manson had a child at the age of 19, and went on to make a commitment that would change her life forever.
She committed to a lifetime of sobriety, and hopes to keep that promise.
“Being a parent is really stressful and at the time I was dealing with a couple of personal problems related to mental health and I found alcohol made it worse so I wanted to be a good role model for my son,” said Tallow-Manson.
Tallow-Manson is of Blackfoot descent, and recently started a First Nations fitness YouTube channel hoping to give back to her heritage.
She got the idea to make the channel after sitting in on a Native American History Studies class at the University of Lethbridge.
“Our instructor was giving a lesson on statistics relating to aboriginal people and he said First Nations people are more likely to get diabetes, or suffer from an addiction,” said Tallow-Manson.
She thought that with the channel, she could reach out and provide alternatives to other First Nations people.
“Basically, everything negative among my people are at increased risk so I wanted to affect change in a positive way, the way I changed my life was through fitness, so I decided I could reach the most amount of people through a YouTube channel,” said Tallow-Manson.
Now at the University of Lethbridge, finishing a Bachelor of Accounting and Marketing, she says time management is key.
“I’m 100 per cent time management,” said Tallow-Manson. “I do an Excel document and every minute of my day is allocated. I follow it perfectly.”
While she has her sights set on a future bodybuilding pro card, she says achieving that won’t be her main focus moving forward.
“I’m going to do everything I can to work towards that, but only as long as it’s not interfering with my ability to be a good parent and student,” said Tallow-Manson.
Tallow-Manson will get to showcase her talents in Laval, Quebec this weekend hoping to make a name for herself.
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