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Living for today

Kinesiology grads Darren Steeves (MSc’05) and Sue Comeau (BSc’90) join forces to pen a book promoting wellness

To sport scientist, wellness consultant and, now, researcher and author Darren Steeves (MSc (Kinesiology)’05), “it’s not work-life balance we should pursue—it’s life! This is the life that counts!” According to Steeves, people can’t keep putting off their lives, waiting for their overcrammed schedules to magically align with what they really want from life. They have to take control and live with intention, compassion and awareness.

“You have to have a purpose and know your vision and your values,” says Steeves. “Most of all, you have to keep your resilience battery charged. As we say in our wellness workshops, you’ve got to charge your ‘R’ battery for a ‘Q’—or quality—life.”

Steeves works extensively with Dalhousie University on wellness programs for students, faculty and staff, and is leading a three-year study in collaboration with the School of Health and Human Performance and Dalhousie Student Affairs to explore the optimal means of building students’ resilience. His white paper on resilience, Staying Charged, was released in the fall of 2017.

The desire to share his message with a larger audience led Steeves to approach his friend, former colleague and fellow Dalhousie alumnus, Sue Comeau (BSc (Kinesiology)’90) to co-write and publish a book they’ve called Are You Ready? Stop Wishing it Was Friday.

Rather than expounding advice like your average self-help book, Are You Ready? takes you into the day-to-day life of marketing executive Alex, a fictional composite of hundreds of stressed-out, dissatisfied people Steeves has helped over the years.

“I know so many people will recognize themselves in Alex,” Steeves says. “We chose a narrative approach to draw people in with a character and story that would resonate.”

As a screenwriter, novelist, fitness writer and author of her own motivational books (The F.I.T. Files, which feature the story of Finn, an active 13-year-old who wants to get his friends moving, too), Comeau was the perfect writing partner for Steeves.

“I was excited when Darren approached me. He’s such a great thinker, I knew it would be a cool project,” says Comeau. “We share similar values and a desire to help people with motivational stories that really engage them.”

The two met more than a decade ago, when Comeau—a certified exercise physiologist who did her undergrad in kinesiology at Dal—was teaching in Dalhousie’s School of Health and Human Performance. At the time, Steeves was pursuing a masters in exercise physiology. They stayed in touch ever since. Are You Ready? is their first collaboration.

Are You Ready? and Comeau’s latest F.I.T. Files book, It’s Your Move, are both available on Amazon.ca.