Leah Pells is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and retired track and field athlete who began training with SFU Athletics in the late 1980s. She later went on to represent Canada in three consecutive Summer Olympics: Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, and Sydney 2000. Pells won the silver medal in the women's 1500 metres at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. Having published an autobiography in 2012 titled "Not About the Medal," she now works as a school counsellor with School District #43 in Coquitlam.
"I really enjoyed all of my psychology courses at SFU. I loved learning about humans and why we behave the ways we do. I really enjoyed learning from Dr. David Cox, who later was my Olympic sports psychologist, and now, my friend.
When it comes to advice for undergrads, I would suggest they follow their gut instinct and take their time learning who they are. I would also suggest they offer themselves love and compassion and accept that it takes time to figure ourselves out. Exercise daily and keep your stress down so you feel well. Practice mindfulness so that the day is enjoyable. We cannot change yesterday and we have no control over tomorrow. Be kind."
Leah Pells, BA Psychology '89 and BEd Education '09.
This post was originally posted on the SFU Psychology Instagram on August 4, 2021.