Barbara Salsberg is a 66-year-old mother, grandmother, fitness buff, actor, and lifelong student who lives in Toronto. She works part-time for U of T, Ryerson University and the Michener Institute as a Standardized Patient.
What would you say has been the biggest shift in your life since turning 40?
When I was in my fifties I made a conscious decision to try things that I had previously avoided my whole life due to my fears. I was still fearful but I wanted to overcome my fear and I didn’t want to be left with a lot of regrets later in life.
When do you feel that you’re most powerful?
I feel most powerful when I have accomplished a goal that I have set for myself.
Before I started acting I was shy, terrified of speaking up or being on stage.
Now I am confident and feel quite comfortable on stage.
I also feel powerful lifting weights. Under the supervision of a great trainer (shout out to Gillian Thomas) I have become stronger, fitter, and a bad-ass who can deadlift 95 pounds! I think every woman should try strength training.
What are the top 3 most important things to you right now?
Maintaining my health and energy.
Fostering great relationships with my grandchildren (being a positive role model).
Continuing to learn and challenge myself.
How do you make sure your actions are aligned with what’s most important to you?
I check in with myself frequently to monitor if what I’m doing actually feels right, if I am being true to myself.
What seeds are you planting today for the future?
Strength training maintains my muscle and bone strength and is a very powerful way for women to feel strong. I plan to be lifting for the foreseeable future.
Great relationships with my grandchildren.
Learning and challenging myself.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in redesigning midlife?
Don’t let your fears control you. You can feel afraid and still accomplish things that interest you. And the fear eventually lessens.