News & Updates

Mackenzie Wensauer talks about the benefits of little tasks and why she enjoys walking

During our chat with Mackenzie, Arbutus’s Westshore Administrative Manager, we dug into how little tasks make our brains feel better and why walking is a fantastic form of exercise.

What is it like learning new things?

I was definitely nervous when I first started at Arbutus because I had no admin experience, but Rachel has been awesome at teaching me tips and tricks for customer service. I’m always learning. I like to call my work my little tasks, and I love to do them! I didn’t realize I loved work like this until I took this job.

I really enjoy learning how a business runs: all the behind-the-scenes stuff! It takes a lot of little pieces to make it all work, I think that’s what sticks out the most. I definitely have a great appreciation for well-run businesses after some bad experiences. Lots of things can get lost in the void or not get done, or the same problems happen over and over again. It’s been nice to work in a place that’s organized and on top of things. Arbutus feels like a family: we all have our roles and everybody is just as valuable as everyone else.

What made you decide to work in a physiotherapy clinic?

I don’t know! I’ve always been an organizer and a planner, and I like talking to people. It’s a health-related environment, that’s the most important part. I was looking for something to help me transition out of being a lifeguard at a pool, and my mom mentioned she saw a Facebook ad from the clinic. Since being a lifeguard, I’ve been interested in the medical and health fields, so it’s been really nice to be here and learn about a different side of health and wellness. 

Have you ever received physio?

I used to be a competitive swimmer when I was younger, I swam for 10 years. I was never that fast, but I had all the sports injuries associated with it. I started off getting massages as I had a really tight neck and shoulders. The massages were too painful so I went to a physio who recommended IMS (needling) and it immediately released so much built-up tension. These days, I’m actually in a treatment plan working on lower back pain. I think it’s from having a desk job, I need to move a little more!

Mackenzie Wensauer sits on a ski lift with her friends, in the snow and pow pow.

How do you stay active when you’re not at work?

It ebbs and flows and depends on the week. When I’m having a good week, I love weightlifting! I can go at my own pace, I’m not on a time schedule, and I can listen to my music. I also really like going for walks, outside or even on an inclined treadmill. But my favourite is to put on some music and walk around downtown or along the water. That’s the best part about living in Victoria: it’s so pretty here! It’s easy to go for a four-hour walk when there’s so much to look at. And I still love to swim, mostly in lakes.

Have you always lived in Victoria?

I was actually born in Renton, Washington, it’s just south of Seattle. We lived there until I was seven. Both my parents are Canadian, but my dad was working in Washington at that time. He was born in Montreal but moved to Vancouver when he was young and my mom is from Halifax. Her dad was in the Navy so they moved around a bunch and eventually landed in Victoria. Having a lot of her family here is what brought us back here when I was seven. 

You like music! What are your favourites?

My music taste is all over the place! My parents influenced my preferences for sure, I love the 80s. But I also listen to pop, R&B, rap, and some indie and alternative, electronic…it’s all over the map. We play a lot of 70s-90s at the clinic! It’s so much fun. 

Tell us about your thrifting hobby

I really like going thrift shopping, it’s one of my favourite things to do and part of why I love to walk downtown. I started when I was 14, there are a bunch of shops downtown that are really cute. It’s fun, you get to look at cool, vintage pieces of clothing that you know have such a story. Finding nice items that fit is always exciting. I recently found a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly and my jaw dropped. I’d been looking for a good pair of jeans for forever.

You say that little tasks help you stay calm, why is that?

I notice that when I’m in a situation where I have to do my little tasks, my brain is occupied and I feel in the zone. I can easily check things off my list and it makes me feel productive. The busyness makes me feel calm and organized, and I feel like it almost increases my capacity to be more productive. When I don’t have tasks to do, I get antsy. 

What is it like to work with clients who respect your role?

It makes me feel relaxed! Clients here give us positive feedback and it makes a huge difference. It makes my day and inspires me to pass that kindness on to others. I’m a person who feels a lot of feelings and can pick up on others’ emotions, so those little interactions make work feel rewarding, not like it’s just a “job.” 

How did you get involved with your volunteer work?

My friend started volunteering at the Island Sexual Health Clinic in Victoria. At the time, I was in school on the medical route and wanted to gain clinical experience, so I applied too. I volunteer as a clinician’s assistant a few times a month. They do a lot of sexual health education in Victoria and they provide safe sex and safe drug kits to the community, so I help assemble those. I’m taking some time off from school now, but I still like to volunteer there because I get to run around the clinic and do my little tasks! And, the people there are super amazing.