“Follow your passion!” With Ming Zhao & Cathy McKinnon

Follow your passion! Time will pass regardless, and you will starve the world of your gifts if you hide behind fear. Fear is a healthy emotion that the world could do more with however it is a true test to determine how you will acknowledge that fear, move past it, and leap ahead of that […]

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Follow your passion! Time will pass regardless, and you will starve the world of your gifts if you hide behind fear. Fear is a healthy emotion that the world could do more with however it is a true test to determine how you will acknowledge that fear, move past it, and leap ahead of that fear to reach your goal. No one is you and that is the best gift you could give to the world.

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cathy McKinnon.

As the founder of Wellness Warrior Coaching, Cathy McKinnon takes her clients through a combination of health and life coaching to get them on their way to becoming the healthiest, happiest, most inspired version of themselves! It was several major life events including infertility and cancer that led her to transform her life and now she takes her years of research, education and personal lessons learned to help others shift their lives.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

This was definitely not a career I saw for myself or desired when I thought about going to college for my future however it was my thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2008 that truly shifted my life. I wanted to learn and do all that I could to live as healthy as I could so that I never had to go through that again. I swore when my son was born that I would do all that I could to be the healthiest version of me so that I could show up as the best version of myself for him.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

This was definitely my grandmother, she was hands down a pivotal person in my life. She was the bravest woman I’ve met and even though she was only about 5-foot she stood tall and brave in all circumstances. She didn’t back down and was the definition of how amazing your life can be when you are brave. I remember when talking with my grandmother one afternoon as I often did, routinely stopping by to visit her and bringing my son to visit with her; she said, “ you hold down the fort and you do what you have to do for your family but remember to laugh along the way because life can get awfully serious”. This simple sentence in a casual conversation has stuck with me through the years, I can still picture her saying it. Many times we get lost in the to do list of what we have to do to keep things moving forward; but life is meant to be lived! So I always remember to incorporate laughter amongst what can at times seem chaos.

She always taught us to be resilient but remember to laugh as all too often life can get serious.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I had a different focus when I started my business for it was too narrow-focused in sports recovery. While of course sports recovery is a needed service out in the world when I stepped back and looked at my skillset, I could provide much more with the need being larger that was not being addressed. Balance! Female athletes try to balance all life throws at them while maintaining being the best in their field. The burnout out trying to juggle it all and keep physically fit can lead to some overwhelming times.

The lesson in this is to address the overall well-being of the person to keep them from getting to the point of exhaustion and disconnecting from their true self.

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Follow your passion! Time will pass regardless, and you will starve the world of your gifts if you hide behind fear. Fear is a healthy emotion that the world could do more with however it is a true test to determine how you will acknowledge that fear, move past it, and leap ahead of that fear to reach your goal. No one is you and that is the best gift you could give to the world.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

Allowing those I connect with, whether it be online, in person, over the phone, etc to see the real me. I’m not hiding behind a magical superhero cape by day and then changing at night even though some may call me Wonder Woman (wink wink). By being honest and sharing my struggles as well as my vulnerabilities has been the best way to connect. I have struggled with life challenges just like the next person but it’s about how you get to the other side of that struggle that makes the difference.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart.

You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

Each morning I start my day with a green juice- throwing in whatever greens I have on hand. Celery, spinach, kale, cucumber, etc. This gets my body off to the right start for the day.

Taking time each day to move my body (whether running, Yoga, lifting, or HIIT) ensures that my body is operating at his best so that I have continued energy to keep chasing my goals! I used to despise exercise and now the gym has become my happy place. For me it is both the physical aspect of remaining healthy but it has become a place for me to clear my head.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

Ensuring I get my yoga practice in has been both a benefit for my mind and body. The time on my mat (whether as an instructor or student) has provided more mental benefits than I could have originally asked for. It’s incredibly therapeutic on so many levels and helps you maintain flexibility in both mind and body.

Meditation is a daily staple. When I started with meditation, I couldn’t quiet my mind (or sit still) for more than 5 minutes and now it has become a means for me to maintain mental clarity. Whether its 10 minutes quick in the morning or 30 minutes at night; taking the time allows me to reset and reboot.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Taking care of your body- will give you the confidence and energy to show up daily!

  1. Eat Well- this is different for everyone based on your body and your goals, so I don’t give broad specifics however avoiding sugars, alcohol, and high fat foods also ensuring you get your water intake, lots of fresh foods and proteins to fit your targeted training
  2. Get Rest- this is easier said than done sometimes especially with our full schedules however in order to operate at its best your body needs time to reboot. Denying your body, the time to rest and recover can lead to brain fog and injuries from pushing yourself too hard.
  3. Give yourself Grace. We are human and we will all have good days and bad days. There will be days that you do not hit all your goals for the day, it is OK. Beating yourself up for the bad days will not net you anything; simply reset and start again the next day. Many times, a bad day is indicative that you need rest; allow yourself that.

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

Dr. Perlis of Perlis Wellness Center has truly helped me not only understand the holistic picture of health but also offered varying ways to solution them for my busy lifestyle. She takes a truly holistic approach and treats symptoms not just lab results. She looks at environmental factors as well and works to reduce the toxicity in your environment that is impacting your health.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

When Dr. Perlis suggested the Matrix treatment it sure sounded odd! The Matrix detoxification and regeneration treatment uses suctioning technology to detox the body and extract toxins from the organs, improving immunity. It has been used in Europe for years and is making its way to the US. It feels like a strange cupping treatment however after 6 sessions you can literally see a difference on the before and after scans that they complete.

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Prioritizing your own wellbeing — that includes both physical and mental health. We have been a society, that for too long, that has put our wellbeing to the back burner. This mentality has had negative impacts on all aspects of living. We need to return to fundamentals of ensuring we are in alignment with what works for our bodies and our goals.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

So many choices, but I think I have to go with Rachel Hollis as her message of going for your dreams as your authentic self is what the world needs more of. Showing how magical life can be when you step into your authentic imperfect self and share your gifts with the world is what more need right now than the comparison cycle of social media.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?




Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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