After leaving her entire life behind to escape an abusive relationship, Jillian found herself living in a tent in the woods.
Confused, depressed and feeling a lack of control over emotions and herself, she learned of her diagnosis of PTSD.
Refusing medication, she shifted PTSD to fuel her drive to connecting back to fitness, health, nature, adventure and herself.
She is now particularly known for her niche of integrating her imagery and story telling in powerful presentations, offering healing and connection for others.
She has also reframed her definition of PTSD to - Perseverance - Trust - Strength - Determination
In the past few years Jillian has pushed herself to achieve a world first: Paddling a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America; a journey of over 6,500km completed in 150 days. This involved going through 16 states with 23 portages (carrying the kayak), including 675kms over the Great Divide, which she did on a broken foot.
“Nothing is placed in front of us, that we don’t have the strength to overcome.
It’s just believing in ourselves enough.”
* Content Warning - Abusive relationships are discussed as well as PTSD - we don’t go into specific but it is mentioned and talked about.
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Who is Jillian
What does she do
Growing up and spending half of her life in Winnipeg
How did her love for the outdoors and nature start
Growing up in an island with her entire family
Discovering and finding their own hobbies and activities in the woods
Wanting to be a naturalist and being creative as a kid
Taking photos and having camera in hand since 10 years old
Making plans of going to specific school or university to study photography
Struggling in university studying fine arts
Getting into Prairieview School of Photography
Feeling stuck again after finishing the program
Returning to the island in northwestern Ontario to reconnect with nature
Falling inlove with the mountains and oceans
Packing up and driving to the west coast with her dog
Landing a photography job
Becoming a live-in nanny
Getting fitness while doing photography
Having a musher partner and friends
Starting their own team and a dog sledding company
Having an abusive relationship and leaving everything behind
Living in a tent in the woods with her dog for seven months
Living in the best home she could ever have that moment
Dealing with trauma