Stories of Simcoe: Kellie

Kellie McNabb holding her book and her “Ellen shoes”, the shoes she will wear if she makes it onto the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Meet Kellie.

Kellie is a French teacher at Assikinack Public School.

After going through a divorce a number of years ago, she decided to set some goals for herself:

  1. Complete an IRONMAN triathlon.
  2. Write a book about it.
  3. Find a publisher and get her book published.
  4. Be on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
  5. Get her book made into a movie.

Kellie has accomplished her first three goals.

When she first set out on this mission, she had a long way to go to reach her first goal. Kellie began training in 2011, and completed her IRONMAN race on Aug. 18, 2013. She thought that becoming an Ironman would put the pieces of her life back together, but she ended up learning a lot more along the way. Kellie began volunteering at a homeless centre and found a great amount of joy through her work there. Throughout her journey she wrote about her experiences, which has led to her being a published author.

Her book, ONE – The Power of One Step was five years in the making. It took two years to write and three years to edit and get published. The book explores her journey, her experiences helping the homeless, the excitement of her IRONMAN race and inspiring people to go for it. “If we want something bad enough, we can do it,” says Kellie.

Looking back on everything she’s done so far, she says it’s the little things or the almost failures that stand out. “Like being told you’re going to be pulled off the race course if you don’t hurry. Or my first day working at the homeless centre, there was a man with very shaky hands and he was spilling his coffee all over his hands. I went up to him and I took a napkin and wiped the coffee from his hands. He looked at me so gratefully and was so happy, and that really stuck with me.”

Kellie says that what she hopes people take from her book and from her experience, is “courage in themselves to follow their dreams and to look inside themselves for their source of happiness. I hope  they will be inspired to take joy in having compassion for and helping others.”

Kellie still has two more goals she wants to reach, and is ecstatic about what she has accomplished so far. She even bought a special pair of shoes she plans to wear if she is on the Ellen DeGeneres show, and created a vision board of who she imagines starring in a movie based on her book.

For more information on Kellie and her book, visit

Stories of Simcoe is a place to share the stories of our staff and students, past and present. Do you know someone with a story to tell? Let us know! Contact us at

Ideas include: students or staff with a passion, comeback stories, people with a cause, success stories, exchange student experiences, what I want to be when I grow up and more. Subjects can include students, parents, staff, volunteers, graduates and other members of the school community. 

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