Now What?


Out for drinks with an friend I hadn’t seen in a long time the other night.. catching up, she asked what was next for me now that I’m done with the big exam/school. I rambled about continuing to work on my business, the personal training I’m already doing and the therapy I hope to add on soon, the travelling for business and fun I’d be doing over the winter/spring, and putting together a master’s program application. Her reaction was to exclaim “so, basically you’re living your dream?”. I agreed and we both chuckled. But she’s right.. I’m working towards exactly what I wanted my career to look like… and that’s a pretty cool (odd) feeling!

The last week or so for me has been kind of a academic/study/future looking hangover. I’ve had many, many moments that remind me to be living in this moment.. where usually I’m always looking ahead. I went through my biggest challenge with the CATA exam, and now that that’s actually- knock on wood- over (part of me really thought it was never going to happen), I’ve been stuck wondering “now what?” between moments of complete relaxation.

Four years. That’s how long my brain has been thinking about the CATA exams. Four years, all for 6 hours over 2 days. And now it’s over.

They say take a week off of studying before the exam, because by that point your brain is probably so full of prep work and anxiety that it’s better to just let it sit… or “percolate” as one of my profs put it. So that’s what I did (and it was needed).

The exam itself was probably the most mentally challenging and I nteresting thing I’ve done. It was pretty cool to see all the prep I did come out when I needed it to, and run on autopilot for the practical portion, almost as if it was an outer body experience. 

They then say take a week off after the exam, because your brain won’t be in a space to function fully yet… and they were right.. as usual. This week has been a blur, and I simultaneously feel much lighter mentally as well as somewhat aimless.

A lot of thoughts have glazed over my brain this week… surprisingly not many of them being anxiety over the 6 week results wait. Most of them have been about the face to face position I find myself with the rest of my life.

That sounds a bit dramatic.. but you have to understand how much mental space this exam apparently took up. Until now it’s been all about getting to this point… I didn’t really do a lot of solid planning for what exactly to proceed with once I got here!

Who are we kidding, that’s a lie. I do.

It feels like a big shift happened once I walked out of the last practical in that exam. Suddenly there was no looming test of all things I can do. All of a sudden the reality of “I may be on my own in the real world” hit. Of course pending on the exam results. Figuring things like insurance and business registrations are a real thing I will have to do soon. Deciding my next promotions, how I want to plan the next year,  if/when to apply for a masters.. all things that were always in my head, now coming up fast. There’s no structure, no class-schedule, no required hour count or logging system, no candidate handbook for this next step. It’s really just up to me to decide/figure out.

This adult thing. It’s kind of terrifying and great all at once.

So what have I done in the last week to start figuring it out? I starting reading novels again. Went to work, felt a little aimless, went to yoga, spent time with friends.. without the sense that I needed to be doing something else. There is a certain sense of freedom now, alongside the sense of figuring out responsibility.

 I also decided to start working on a book or two, which is another little project that’d been in my head for a while.. but never plausible with other steps to be completed first. I figure now, with 5 weeks of limbo left until results come in, is a great time to start dedicating time to research and brain storming where I couldn’t give full effort before!

Onwards and upwards… that’s what they say right?




No Stirrups November: Some Thoughts and Strategies

Originally posted on Katmah Training & Performance:

Don’t get me wrong… I’m 100% for feeling the burn and making those riding muscles work without the aid of those things we put our feet in. NSN1I just have a few things I need to get out about the entire month dedicated to riding without stirrups.

As any rider who came up through a lesson program likely has experienced, No Stirrup November is a time where either someone suggests politely to you to ride withouts stirrups as much as you can, or (more often) someone literally steals your stirrups and you spend a month without them, hacking, in lessons, jumping.. you name it, you’re stirrupless.

In my professional opinion, I believe riding with no stirrups has a great place within the realms of developing position, strength, and function in the tack. Hunter/Jumper/Event riders, we’ve all found ourselves in the middle of a line approaching a huge oxer or in…

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The here and now.

I officially graduated this past week, and it was more emotional then I thought it would be.

 I’ve been operating under the assumption that I’d already completed my degree for a while now, so convocation was just the official handing of the paper. However, the night before I found myself reflecting on how much I’ve worked through to get to now. Yeah I’ve been done technically for a while, but all of a sudden the official completeness of it hit me. This chapter is closing, and now it’s time to reveal the next page.

I’ve written a lot about transition the last little while. Fall is always a transitional time, and as I find myself stepping away from academics for a bit to develop my business and career… I’m a little terrified. The past year has been all about me doing me, and for someone who finds it easy to get wrapped up in the 5 years from now and into other people’s lives… I’ve worked pretty hard at staying true to myself and doing what I need to to further my own personal development. Now, here we are at another stepping stone. I have a paper that succinctly sums up 4 years (and a bit) of endless learning, hard bouts of burn out, low points, high points, and enlightenment. Can a piece of paper signify the amount of personal growth I’ve done emotionally and mentally? Not really.

I wasn’t hit with this wave of emotions because of the next steps I face in my career or even academically.. I think the emotions were stemming from the more unknowns that are at my door step, and the known fact that I still have a lot of personal development and experience to go through (which is something that never ends, I’m learning). The things I know right now are that I have a vision for the next year of my life. Any ideas I have for the next 5 years are hazy, and while some of them may occur the truth is I don’t know where I want to be. I know who I want to be, and what I want to accomplish within that time frame… but in what order, where, and how is still unclear. As, again I’m learning, it probably should be for where I’m at. I’m uncomfortable with the unknown. Not that I want to know my exact future. But I’m uncomfortable with the known that things as they are now are likely to change, again and again. I recognize that this is okay, and normal, and even to be expected… but the simple act of graduating unleashed all these new, somewhat unfamiliar emotions and concerns about my personal life.

I vaguely remember feeling like this after my high school graduation. In a different capacity, of course, but some of the same “fear of the unknowns”.

I’ve talked to and read about many who say the 20s are the most difficult age for this reason. Everything is always transitional. You’re always learning, adjusting, losing, gaining, and finding out who you are and where you’re supposed to end up. Life is all about not knowing when the next curveball will be thrown, but still managing to swing at it with some success. The support systems you develop are there to rebound off of as you ricochet towards the next thing. The ones you love bolster you, and/or keep you focused in their own ways.

I’ve been taking some time the last few days to reflect on where I’m at, and make peace with not knowing what comes next.. even if I have strong feelings about what is coming next. It’s really easy to get wrapped up living 5 years from now, and ignore the amount of work, exploration, learning and turmoil that has to come first. It’s very interesting to me that I can feel so confident in my education and professional life, while so confused about parts of my emotional life. Even operating under the deep sense of “it will be what it will be”, why can’t I quit pondering the “it”? I have this intuition that I always get exactly what I need, even if it is tough to process.. and that long term there is some sort of path we are all placed on. Our decisions and choices lead us towards ultimately what we’re supposed to experience, and those experiences cultivate the individual we are to be. All you can do in the process is enjoy the here and now.

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On Transitions (Log 3)

As always fall brings times of change, both in the weather and in everyone’s lives. For me, this fall is my first fall not returning to school- but instead scrounging through the real world. The fun thing about being technically done school is that I’m still studying for a certification, and don’t have much way to change my income abilities until that’s done. So I’m living the lifestyle of a student.. without being a technical student. That includes the regular stressors a student would have in the finance, stress, living, and figuring out how to “adult” departments.

The rebuild project has been coming along nicely. A couple weeks ago I started riding again, a horse at the old barn that needs some exercise. That plus sticking to my 20minutes of exercise a day rule and keeping my eating on track for the most part. I’m happy to say I’m back down to a weight I’m content with for now, and I feel much better physically. Mentally I am very overwhelmed a lot of the time, and have been working on finding ways to de-stress throughout the week. The past few weeks I’ve found that by the time I got to a Friday I was experiencing headaches, lots of fatigue, and prone to tearful outbursts. Pretty much what I used to get like during midterm season! When you work long days and don’t see huge financial income, it’s easy to start feeling like all your energy is being drained and not much of it is being replaced.

This past week I worked to hit reset a bit, for myself. I took a mental health day in the middle of the week because I was feeling what I usually get to on Friday’s, on a Tuesday. A day completely off, not thinking about anything stressful, was very much needed as I’d been working 6 day weeks for a while. Plus working on a move, and adjusting to different living areas. That day off in the middle of a busy week did make a huge difference and for once in a long time I didn’t get headaches on Friday! Unfortunately now as the next week approaches I feel the overwhelming stress coming back.

The thing is, I know this will pass. It does every time. This fall is full of it’s own unique changes and transitions, and navigating them is a part of figuring it all out. It’s not productive to want constant affirmations on if I’m doing the right thing, working hard enough, and achieving what I should. The constructive feedback I get from study sessions, and support I have from loved ones comes in different ways but it’s always there. My confidence about my exam is increasing, and I’m finding ways to manage my stress levels.

I know that the next month probably won’t get easier with the certifications approaching, promoting the business, football nearing playoff season, other jobs as usual, and getting used to new living situations. However, I also know that what I’m working towards is exactly what I should be doing.

My goals for the next week are to dedicate some more time for myself, and work-outs. The start of the new month gives opportunity for another reset and more opportunities to continue working toward my goals!

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Hinging and Locking: Finding true stability in the upper body

Originally posted on Katmah Training & Performance:

The human body is a fascinating thing. When one thing doesn’t work the way it should, something else will adapt to make movement as efficient as possible. The body will also always do it’s best to balance itself, in whatever way it can, which is also accomplished quite often by something doing what another thing should be.

Let’s talk today about the elbows and the mid-upper back.

One of those things should hinge and flow, while the other should stay stable through movement in the tack. One is compared to an elastic band, while the other could be related to the mast and supports on a ship (I don’t know the technical terminology…). One is a hinge point for two dynamic resistors (hand and core), and the other is the stable base point from which all control stems from.


Our elbows are pretty much a direct contact to our horse’s mouth…

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On Stress (Rebuild Log 2)

I spent a weekend out of the city for the first time in a while this past weekend for my birthday. The weekend was everything I wanted it to be, a mix of friends, family, and relaxation in the country. Away from work (except for the half day of promotions I did for KT&P (ps check out the new website!) at a show my mom was competing in) and the hustle of the city, with no time demands placed on me and no reason to think about the week ahead.. it was a great mental recoup that was much needed.

The problem with weekends like that is that they don’t happen very often, and come my return to the city and regular schedules I was hit with a stark contrast. This being my first year not returning to school I don’t have the structure (even if loaded) of being on campus in classes, and have more time to dedicate to work. So between three jobs I split my week combined with a few personal clients and study sessions in prep for November’s exam. I also cram in there work outs, football coverage, and the slow promotional process for the business. I found this week especially draining on my mental status. While I enjoy all my jobs, they don’t exactly challenge me. I find my study sessions every week actually the most invigorating (which is a good sign, right?). I do find I miss school if only for the mental stimulation and structure it provided (not to say that wasn’t also very stressful). I am one to believe stress is a state we choose to be in, rather then end up in. However, I do notice the feeling of being pulled in many directions all at once even when I’m choosing a positive mind-set about it. And, some weeks are harder then others. I’ve noticed how stress affects my body more-so lately in the last few months, with the lasting effects of mono demonstrating how much of a tolerance I had built up and then lost. I also have a greater awareness (developed from learning the hard way) of what burn out feels like early on, and when I need a break. Good and bad.. bad in the way that I don’t seem to be able to handle as much as I used to. Also- the things they don’t teach you or tell you about running and doing all your own branding on your business.. it’s hard and tedious and time consuming!!! The hours I’ve spent this week alone tediously perfecting the website and coming up with promotional images are adding up. This baby I’ve created is rewarding in that it’s challenging and what I want it to be, but remind me of that next time you see me losing it over website design, video creation, or social media marketing.

This week was the start of a new routine with a close friend where we grocery shop and meal prep for the week. We did this on Tuesday and it was excellent, I’m still enjoying the food we made later on in the week. We oven cooked some chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic, and sauteed garden beets, shiitake mushrooms, and garden onions in salt and pepper (we were in a basic mood). We also got some plain greek yogurt, chia, and no-sugar added fruit puree (which I’ve been enjoying as breakfasts), and kept some raw veggies for snacking. While there was breaks in the cooking we did a short HIIT workout, because sweaty cooking is the best cooking (?). I’ve been able to stick to my goal of a 20-40 min workout of some sort once a day this week in excellent form. Monday I went for a 3k run around my mom’s in the country (added to the relaxing effects of the weekend out there), Tuesday was the HIIT day, yesterday I stuck to light cardio and mobility work, and today I walked 12k for work. Tomorrow I’m planning a upper body work out and Saturday I’m hoping to get to a yoga class (and will also be moving some stuff out of my apartment) as a work on a new living situation. Sunday will either be a day off completely or some yoga again. I’m feeling great about all this! I now just need to get my head adjusted to the rest of my schedule.

My head tends to get overwhelmed in the in between moments. When I’m driving from one thing to the next, or finally get home in the evening. I’m starting to develop better strategies for using those moments to relax, rather then zombie out or stress out. It used to be that I didn’t have time to do this, so I guess that’s evidence of the changes in my schedule (sorta?). Managing this has been a learning curve, if you’ve read this blog over the last few years you’ll probably see a repeating cycle. Great, great, great, tired, burnt out and not so awesome, mental break down, great again. I’ve found now that I am more of a constant with not so many extremes one way or the other.. which I take to be progress. I’m also working on my mental state over the exam in November. While I don’t want to be stressed about it, I do want to be stressed enough to have some “good nerves” keeping me on point. There is a fine balance, and finding it is another goal with the rebuild project I’ve designed for myself. The right eating, exercise, and mental balance has always put me in the best position for success.. so on that journey I continue!

Also- if you have a chance.. check out the new website design I finally got to for my training page here. I’d love opinions and feedback from readers! Feel free to share it too :)

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The Rebuild: Log 1

I’ve always strived to be the best example I can be for my clients, and as I find myself growing and developing my brand this year I’ve also found myself struggling to keep up with my own health and fitness levels. A couple years ago I was the image of an athlete, sticking to a pale based clean diet, regular work-outs to complement my full in the tack training program. I felt my best, looked great, and performed to a high level all year. 

Then I broke my leg and found myself set back both mentally and physically. The accident was in the winter, and come time for spring training I found myself struggling with my head when it came to training like I used to (the leg took its sweet time to recover too). I still got through the competition season, though it was far from the best. I found my schedule filling up with things other then my own gym time, and when my horse sold at the end of the show season I felt immediate relief to be released from the time commitments at the barn. Yes, I was ready for a break. Through that fall I was so busy and burnt out from my own research, school, and life in general that eating and exercise took a back seat when they should have been front and centre. My leg completely healed but my head not quite, I fumbled through the fall. 

New Years 2015 was the first turning point. Fresh from a therapeutic trip to the mountains and ready to focus my energies more positively I got involved with a advanced yoga class that pushed all the right buttons. This winter also brought the first big recognition of my vision for Katmah Training. Many positive things were thrown my way, and then in March I got mono. If you’ve had mono… You know what I mean when I say that it’s one of the most frustrating and limiting virus experiences. While the worst of the symptoms only lasted about a month for me, I’ve since found any extra stress brings those symptoms back… And this is 6 months later. 

So we had mono, a brief period of motivation and progress following.. Then a 3 week vacation consisting of amazing food and many beers… Because what is a vacation without those things… Followed by returning home broke and 10lbs heavier. So here began my next big push to get back on track and look/feel my best. This was about 6 weeks ago. In the midst of working about 30hrs a week at internships, and another 20-30  at paid positions, and another 10 with clients/working on the business I started bumping up my exercise and cleaning up my diet. After 3 weeks with seemingly no change in my weight or how I felt I got frustrated. Then did some research. 

Turns out mono kicks the immune systems ass, as well as slows your metabolism right down. Which makes sense seeing as I get every cold that comes around town, where I used to have a gladiator of an immune system. My next move to counter this on going mono problem was to research some supplementation for my immune system and my metabolism. Since both rely on a healthy gut, probiotics were first up. Adding to my regular supplements of calcium/magnesium and omega-3s. Then I looked into Siberian ginseng (not Korean or Asian or North American!), which is known as an “adapogen”, and can help with energy management and metabolism. I also researched (and not just google searched) juice cleansing. Which from what I can read, if done right is an excellent kick start to health reboot. I’ve juiced before and love it. Something to be noted though is a cleanse is meant to be done for days only, not a permanent diet solution! 

So, after all my reading I came up with a plan. I began taking probiotics, ginseng, and vit.D, and did a 3 day juice cleanse (where I (mostly) stuck to juice made from fresh fruits and veggies, cranberry juice (no sugar), water, and herbal teas), and set goals to get stricter about removing processed food, sugar, and white starches from my regular diet. I also began revs,ping my exercise plans. Instead of putting pressure on myself to find time for the gym.. I decided to dedicate 20 minutes a day to weights, cardio, or calisthenics. With at least one intense yoga class a week when possible. 

Since I know a lot of the weight I carry is water retention, and some possible a result of background stress, I also set intentions of not putting as much pressure on my body image. Something I haven’t struggled with much until recent years. Not so uncommon for womeni. Their mid-20s I hear. The juice cleanse was a attempt to see what could be accomplished by removing inflammation from my body. And, as predicted, after 5 days of a juice cleanse and then very clean eating I was down 5lbs and feeling much more energetic!  

That was about 3 week ago, and the 5 lbs have stayed off until recently. A week ago I began to increase the intensity of my workouts, and almost immediately came down with strep throat. Insert grumpy face. I will admit to being very stressed at the time as well, and missing the mark on clean eating due to events and work scheduling. So a minor set back. Now, after a week off I’m feeling healthy again and ready to get back on track. I’m wanting to regularily blog about the ups and downs of this “rebuild” as I work towards getting myself as healthy and fit as I can. With some exciting promotional opportunities coming up this winter and spring for Katmah Training, I need to look and feel my best to represent my brand. Before those events even I have my big exam, which I also want to be mentally and physically on top of my game for. So, this fall is dedicated to achieving those things. 

*please note that all nutritional, supplemental, and exercise ideas I write about are not necessarily an opinion on what is best for others. Health is dynamic and individual, and should never be a “one size fits all” approach.*

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What kind of Therapist do you want to be?

When I first started practicums (which feels like ages ago), my first supervisor told me to “work under as many different therapists as you can” to see different styles and ways of working alongside different clientele and focuses. Since then I’ve worked in numerous clinics under different ATs and even a Chiro/AT. I’ve attended extra seminars and conferences, and begun my own training and movement client base under the supervision of my mentor. I took that advice to heart and tried my best to learn and observe a variety of treatment styles, even if they didn’t always match up with my own philosophies. What better way to learn and grow your own ideas then to experience other’s ideas?

Recently, after a discussion on different treatment styles, philosophies, and options,  I was asked by a young patients mother what kind of Therapist I wanted to be. After close to 4 years observing, practicing under supervision, and interning… you’d think I’d have a fluent answer to give. Yet, I struggled with my answer. It’s not that I don’t have an idea or a perception of who and what I’m becoming as a professional, but it was how to describe it.

The thing with the profession I’m in is that pretty much every successful and practicing AT/Kinesiologist I’ve met has the same vision for what we do. Varying ways to get the same thing done. Yes, personalities and treatment styles are different.. but the atmosphere and goals are generally the same. Some may focus more on manual/soft tissue work while some my focus more on movement modalities. Some attend conferences and seminars on one thing, while others attend with interest in another. But at the end of the day, they all want their patients to get better, be better, and live better. They accomplish this with patient education, continuing ed for themselves, evidence based treatments, and knowledgeable exercise therapy programs.

So.. what kind of therapist do I want to be?

Early on I recognized I had a love for solving a problem and improving performance. This is one reason I fell in love with biomechanics and movement correction. Not only do these areas benefit athletes of all levels, they are practical and useful to general population clients as well. I’ve always had a thing for teaching and empowering people, which has blossomed as I’ve progressed into this career choice. The past month or so I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a client progress from being unable to walk without the support of crutches and deal with two legs that just would not do his bidding to being able to walk across the room standing up straight, unsupported. His renewed positivity and insatiable drive to keep improving is inspiring and motivating to say the least. Every patient or client I have that realizes their own ability to improve themselves is something that inspires and motivates me. I’ve realized more and more lately how blessed I am to have found a career that enables me to empower others, and also brings substance and meaning to my own life. This is something I’m very grateful for.

Of course there are days where I’m tired, I’m unmotivated, and I’m nervous for my upcoming certification exams. Some of those days I still end up working with clients, or doing my jobs.. and I always come out of the day feeling better and a little more motivated. Leading up to my exams this fall, I am both nervous, and excited. I know I have a solid base to support me and I have a preparation plan leading up to the actual exams. More then anything I feel undeniably ready to take this next step in my career path. As someone who is always about 5years ahead of herself, this exam is only a doorway to the next thing.

I want to be a therapist that is inspiring, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. I want my clients to leave sessions feeling like they have the tools to help themselves. I never want to stop learning, or lose the ability to adapt to each patient and work in a style that best suits them. I want to be a chameleon therapist that can fit into anyone’s mindset, see through their eyes, and change their perceptions on their body, health, and lifestyles if needed. I want to promote my profession and help change the way the world views healthcare. I want to help athletes better themselves and be the best they can be. I want it all, and I’m determined to get it.

This week I completed my interning hours and finished my last university course. 1200 hours plus some in clinic and field on top of 4 years in University, all leading up to this fall’s exams. I have an excellent support system behind me, and an every better vision for who I want to become. I think it’s a question every aspiring AT should ask themselves… what kind of therapist do I want to be? The way to finding the answer takes blood (usually other’s), sweat and tears.. but as any journey often is.. it’s worth it. Here’s to the next step in this adventure!

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In the past week, in an attempt to make up for some of the fun (spending) I had while on holidays, I’ve worked close to 90hrs. Luckily most of those hours were spent at horse shows as the medical coverage. A world I’m very used to.

While it was very nice to catch up with some of the regular crowd and observe the sport I’ve been a part of for so long, it also gave me lots of thinking time. While I worked away at my CV, reflected on internship hours and progress of my own business, I recognised that everything comes and goes in phases.

I’ve learned many things since venturing into developing my own professional image and business, which is bound to happen when you go into such a venture with zero business experience or training. I’m pretty good at learning on the fly, but I also battle impatience with progress as I go.

A year ago at this time I was making the tough, but necessary, decision to step back from competing. It wasn’t even a tough decision in the fact that it was so clear what I needed to do for both myself and my horse. And I don’t regret any part of it. However, it did change my lifestyle quite a bit.

After a stressful first last semester at University, and a rough growing period through the early winter I stumbled into learning how to focus my energies on bettering myself, practicing gratitude, and figuring out where I stood now that I didn’t quite have the routine of spring and summer training to look forward to. While I haven’t ever really gone through a huge longing to find horses to ride and train on lately, I realized that I have struggled with finding a hobby that really keeps me motivated since last summer. I became quite regular with yoga through the winter, but as spring came and I got busy with business and new clients I phased that practice out (temporarily of course). Then came going on holidays, and returning was a stark reality of something all of those who are self-employed and newly started will likely get… all the leads on clients I’d had before I left had moved onto other things, gone to the lake, or lost interest.

Not a big deal as I am not solely self-employed, but a realization that I’d entered a quiet period. For MB, July-August are always quiet in most areas as people take off for the lake or other things. And since I’m now in crunch time to finish up internship hours, it’s almost a good thing I don’t have too many new consults on the go. However, impatience always sets in when I realize the phase I’m in doesn’t match up with where my head is ready to be.

Slowly but surely I am getting clients back onto a regular schedule, and restarting my regular marketing. Nobody ever tells you how easy it is to poor endless energy into your creation, and not see much return. I would be lying if I said I haven’t had a few freak outs the last month or so. With all the little stressors that come along with starting something new and out of the box, plus beginning to study for the certifcation exams this November, AND working three part-time jobs to support those things and live in general I’ve found a love for days where I’m not required to be somewhere.

Before this Spring I was the type that needed to be busy all the time, and usually was. Then I got hit with Mono, and while I got over the worst of the symptoms within a month.. my threshold for stress and energy output is still recovering. I’m sure there are other factors feeding into the decreased energy, but every once in a while I have a week or two where I’m visibly lacking in vim and vigor.

Luckily this weekend I have entirely off, and off is exactly what I plan on being. Fitting in a few social calls is all I have planned and am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ll take every chance I get to recoup and re-organize! It’s probably a good thing I don’t have heading back to school in the fall to look forward too, I’m not sure if I am ready to add in a full semester to all the other things I have going on. Certification with be just enough for me, thanks!

Coming up for the rest of this month I continue as the medic for a few hunter jumper shows, get a study schedule in order, and continue working on improving my own health and energy levels. Since this weekend isn’t crazy I chose it to try out a juice fast. 48hrs in of just juicing fresh fruits and veggies, eating only watermelon, fresh made vegetable soup/broth, pineapple, drinking cranberry juice and apple cider vinegar, and lots of water and herbal teas.. I’m already feeling revived. Although I also slept half the day today, that may be part of it as well. With the mono my immune system also took a good hit, so I’m rebuilding my energy, immune, and digestive systems back up slowly but surely.

As students head back to school this fall, so will I to practice and study the last four years of my education. With my three-part certification coming up in November, I’m getting back into that headspace. It’s actually a challenge to start studying things that you know, but haven’t studied for in quite a while. I’m tentatively booked for a few more clinics this fall, returning to places I worked with in the Spring. Another thing I”m looking forward to; seeing how riders were able to use the tools I gave them months ago (and seeing if they did use them at all), and giving them some more.

The Heels Down Conundrum

Originally posted on Katmah Training & Performance:

From they day we start riding we were told to get our heels down as far as we can. Keeping the heels down and the toes up is a common thing to want to instil into a new rider, mainly for safety reasons. Us riders spend most of our time functioning off of the ball of our foot in the stirrup. Though it’s common to see even the most advanced riders jamming their heels down and keeping them that way. The forced rigidity in keeping the heels down this way is not necessarily a benefit to us in the tack (or in the rest of life).

Lets start with a brief anatomy lesson.


There is a whole bunch of stuff in the foot and ankle, but the joint we want to focus on today is the “subtalar joint” which is the joint that moves the foot/ankle into “dorsiflexion” (heels down) and…

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