Feeling Better than Good

better than goodAt 42 years old, registered massage therapist Victoria McLean is feeling better than good, has no regrets – and nowhere to go but up, when it comes to her goals

Despite what some people believe, fitness enthusiast Victoria McLean doesn’t abide by the idiom that blood is thicker than water. She knows that strong bonds can be found anywhere but require just as much nourishment and positive attention as her muscles do.

“I keep my circle small – I’m closer to some friends than some family members!” she says. “These are the people in my life that lift me up, will be honest with me, and will fix my crown when I don’t notice it’s crooked.”

An Upward Trajectory

This emotional, trusting side of Victoria shows up in her work. As a massage therapist, she prides herself on helping people with aches get past their pain.

“I got into massage therapy because I wanted to help people,” she explains of her career of nine-plus years. But the future is looking a bit different for Victoria as she looks to take her job and lifelong passion to the next level by becoming a coach. After studying as a student of professional development, she is on the precipice of fulfilling her dream: helping people be the healthiest version of themselves. And according to those closest to her, her personality aligns perfectly with this goal.

“My friends describe me as someone who doesn’t back down from a challenge, someone who finishes what they start, and someone who is a no-BS, straight-to-the-point kinda girl,” says Victoria. “I’m still human and make mistakes, but I learn from every one of them.”

Finding Solace in Fitness

These are all traits that make her the perfect contender to be a coach for women like herself – especially since she doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to the gym. Lifting heavy and sweating hard are two of Victoria’s favourite ways to motivate, reward and challenge herself.

“I love lifting heavy shit,” she laughs. “I started working out in my late teens, early twenties, but only started lifting in my mid-twenties – and I fell in love!” The progress that she saw in the gym, both in the mirror and in the amount of weight she lifted from week to week, was what kept her pushing for more.

Of course, there were other benefits to her active lifestyle, too. While she admits that she initially embarked on her fitness journey to be able to eat what she wanted and feel good in her own skin, with every rep and every clean meal she prepared, she was also preparing herself for her future. As she notes, “It wasn’t until 2017 when I realized just how knowledgeable I was when it comes to health and fitness!” From there, nothing could stop her.

Learning and Growing to Be Better than Good

Listening to Victoria describe her on-the-rise second career and non-stop energy, some may be mistaken that she has been living on easy street. But, as with many women, she has had her setbacks.

“I’m still trying to figure out what ‘feeling like myself’ actually means,” she admits. For starters, her divorce six years ago put her in a bad place, mentally. Luckily, she’s on the upswing. “I’m slowly getting back to who I want to be,” she insists.

Another recent life change threw her for an even bigger loop – Victoria gave birth to her son in 2020, at the age of 39. It was a change she was more than ready to embrace, and counts the event as one of the happiest moments of her life. “I didn’t think I was going to have kids,” she says. “His little body on my chest – pure tears of happiness!” These days, when he toddles over to her room in the middle of the night, the disruption of sleep doesn’t bother her – she craves those cuddles.

Savouring the Moment

Between her personal life, her gym schedule and her coaching business, there aren’t a lot of hours left in the day. But Victoria wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Relax? I’m not sure what that is,” she jokes. “If I get time to relax, it would be poolside at an all-inclusive resort!” When she does have some downtime, Victoria hits the slopes on her snowboard during Canada’s winter and mountain bikes in the warmer months. And it’s no surprise that this adrenaline junky counts such extreme sports as her top ways to loosen up – the other biggest activity that takes up her spare time is her workouts, which she considers a habit and not a hobby and one of her main priorities.

From here, Victoria has big dreams – travelling to Africa, Egypt or Dubai is at the top of her must-do list – but she is remaining as humble and down to earth as ever. Though some define success by the number in their bank account – which Victoria admits she once did – she now has a different, healthier outlook. “Now I define success by the degree I’ve helped my clients and the work-life balance I achieve,” she explains.

When asked what advice she would give her younger self, she doesn’t miss a beat, saying, “Be more conscious of what brings you the most joy in life, stay connected to those who lift you up – and ask for help!”


Photos by @chrisvlinton


rachel debling

By : Rachel Debling

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