The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the HorseMay 1, 2021
My name is Delilah Topic, and I am the founder of www.winningwithin.ca
I reside in beautiful Kelowna British Columbia, where I practice as a Medical Oncologist
and as a professor at UBCO medical school. I have also been an athlete for most of my
life! I was a competitive figure skater from the age of 6 to 17, after which I took a break
from competitive athletics for a few years. I got into running when I entered university at
the University of Toronto. The majority of my running career has been in my 30s (I am
now 41) when I joined the Master’s Track and Field team for Canada. I have been
fortunate to compete all over the world in international competitions, winning several
national and World Masters Games medals.
My motivation behind creating this website is multifaceted. Having been in competitive
sport from a young age, much of my self-identity and self-worth was intertwined with
performance for many years. It has taken a lot of introspection and growth to be able to
value many other qualities about myself that have nothing to do with athletic
performance, accolades, or medals. The bottom line – I am MORE than just an athlete.
WE are more than just athletes! We are friends, parents, sisters, brothers, daughters,
sons; we have interesting hobbies, we volunteer for organizations that help better our
world. There is SO much more to us besides sport and competition.
Furthermore, I am very passionate about the topic of body image in sport. There are so
many negative messages out there on social media about what an athlete ‘looks like’
and pressures to conform to a body that is believed to deliver peak performance. This
can set the stage for negative self-esteem and body image, poor nutritional choices, a
dysfunctional relationship with food, and in the severest of cases, an eating disorder.
Personally, I have felt pressure to be at what I perceived as an ‘ideal weight’, and it
definitely caused undue stress on my body, and on my mental health. Although I do
have type 1 diabetes and must watch my diet closely, at times the line between my
diabetic diet and disordered eating was blurred. I feel much healthier now after an
intentional weight gain, and my performance and well-being has only improved. It is my
wish that we instill positive self-esteem and body image in young athletes before they
develop unhealthy habits that are later difficult to break. My hope is that this website can
be a resource to help accomplish that.
I am so excited to share the stories of numerous athletes around the country, and ignite
important discussions surrounding these important topics!