Wake Up!

Katmah Training & Performance

It’s Monday morning, and if any of you are like me… you’re wishing you could stay under the covers just a bit longer.

However, once you hop out of bed- there’s lots to be done! Nobody can deny the busyness of a new week- except your body and your energy levels, of course.

So here, a special treat for your monday (or any day, really) to help you wake up and get rid of any stiffness. Do this right as you crawl out of bed to really get your day off to a good start.. Or, integrate it into your day at work. On a break, or after your lunch to stave off those afternoon nap cravings.


We’re starting with a wide knee child’s pose. Get those hips loosened and ready to move. Wake up your breathing. Centre your mind. Stay here for minimum for…

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Keep Looking Ahead: Life Lately

I’ve wanted to write for awhile, but as usual- time and energy to sit down and type, regardless of inspiration, elude me.

It’s been several months since I’ve written last. The last several month have been full of changes. It seems like if not daily, definitely weekly, things change drastically for me- and I am just settling into a steady forward pace now. The winter was a drawn out phase of what felt like being blocked at every corner. I know that I am not the only one who felt.. stuck.. this winter. Emotionally more then professionally or otherwise.

Professionally, the winter was fairly positive. After Florida, I began really bumping up my bookings here at home and found myself in a phase of saying yes to everything I could career wise. This lead to great opportunities, and set me up for where I am at now. There were many stressors, and this all contributed to the steady, slow motion crawl to where inevitably I was supposed to end up.

For reasons I won’t get into online, I am re-doing my nationals this summer. Unfortunately not because of any issue in my original performance. Reasons aside, this experience taught me that the certification does not define me as an individual, or a professional- and hasn’t hindered me in any way. This was a great lesson to learn. This, of course, took me through a barrage of emotions. I won’t say I’m completely over the bitterness, but I can say that I know myself better as a professional and yet again adversity has taught me some valuable lift lessons… and almost empowered me in a way.

By the end of winter things that were jammed up and stuck began giving way. Emotions and intuitions I’d suppressed in order to stay comfortable came to the surface; making staying comfortable impossible. This manifested into huge energy issues and started to affect my work and motivation. Physically and mentally I shut down- which began the spring cleaning phase after the dark winter months.

With all this moving and shaking going on for me mentally, things started to change and break free. By the end of March, I found myself viewing the perfect apartment, getting it, and beginning to move out on my own.  The decision to do this alone seemed to be a catalyst for so many other positive changes. My business flourished, to a point where it is now close to being my main focus- which means beginning to cut down on part time supplements.I signed up for Precision Nutrition’s Level 1 Nutrition Coaching certification, giving me another thing to delve into. I was granted Professional Membership with the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance. I began a new partnership in my home town, which has already filled the days I wanted filled out there- within days of beginning marketing. I get offers weekly for other opportunities around the province. My energy came back, as did my motivation. My clients and friends noted this almost immediately. I started to feel a little more like myself.

It’s funny how everything happens in exactly the timeframe it does. Looking back, I wasn’t at all ready to make any of these changes before I did. To the moment, almost, nothing happened until it needed to. Any earlier wouldn’t have been as developmentally useful- and any later would have lead to more negative emotional connotations (I think, anyway). The way things happened- I was able to change, but keep important relationships in tact. Stepping away from someone I thought I wanted to know in one context, to gain them in another. Letting go of the things I’d been holding onto, and seeing things in a new light. I got to be mindful about all the things I’d felt in the last few months, and was feeling at the time, and grow from each and every one. I still am doing that.. the emotional cleaning process is ongoing. That is life, I’m learning.

The only thing I’m waiting on now is my MSc. application results. That will be the next change, if there is meant to be one right now. Tomorrow I start officially seeing clients out of Empower Fitness in my hometown, in my own treatment room! The rest of the week I split my time between city clients, riding clients, dealing with medical retail and brace fittings at Liberty, studying Nutrition, and exam review. I’ve also begun riding again.. and that has been huge! I even jumped a course for the first time in 2 years this past weekend (I won’t mention in detail how sore I was the next day). It amazes me how my instinct came back so quickly- but I won’t quite compare it to riding a bike. Lessons with C have not gotten easier- but she still says the most random inspirational things out of nowhere.. Like “Just stay positive- keep looking ahead to the next thing!”. I think she meant keep my freakin’ eyes up and look ahead- but that statement could really be applied to most aspects of life.

As always- the learning continues! Until next time..



A letter to the girl who wants it all..

Katmah Training & Performance

We all know them.

The girl(s) on the team who are constantly pushing. Pushing themselves and the rest of their teammates to be better.

The one’s who take pride in their fatigue, and yet never appear to be out of energy.

The one’s who manage it all, under pressure, and make it look seamless.

They may be a friend, a sister, a mother, a colleague, a teammate.

We all know them.

We may be one ourselves.

Some may think that they make everything look easy because “everything just comes easily for them”. Others may say they’ve never had hardships.

They know those are false accusations. But will likely still take them to heart.

I’d like to send a message to all those achievers.. one I wish I had listened to years ago.

There will come a day where you learn the hard way what it means to take on too…

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Finding the Right Client: Monday Musing

Katmah Training & Performance

If you’re reading this, I want you to get up and do 10 squats (if you can’t squat, do 10 push-ups (from your knees or even on the wall)) before you continue reading.

Done? Good- now don’t you feel better?

I run into a economical issue every once in a while. My business is young, and I’m selling lifestyle change. Those things combined mean that I sometimes get clientele that aren’t ready for what I’m selling yet. Being ready to commit to changing your habits isn’t a place everyone is at, and while my services would benefit pretty much anyone- not just anyone will do the work to get the benefits.

The health and fitness industry is fraught with “quick fix” pitches. Everyone wants to find that cure-all for their aches and pains, medical conditions, or extra pounds. They’ll buy into anything- from fad diet programs, fitness dvds and equipment…

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The One- Say Happy Valentine’s Day to Your Body.

Katmah Training & Performance

Who says V-Day has to be about your significant other? Make it about you! You only get one body. What are you doing to appreciate it?

Before you hunker down for your chocolate binge and netflix (it’s allowed, I’ll be doing it too), make sure you do a little something for your one and only body. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing, our body appreciates the simple things. Movement. Total body movement. We don’t move much anymore. A great quote from Katy Bowman’s book Alignment Matters sums this fact up:

“Our culture’s use of chairs and toilets, our beliefs in what our posture means to others, and even our clothing (rigid shoes, narrow skirts for women, etc) have all resulted in self-induced joint rigidity. All the movements you have never done are movements that would have toned muscle, kept connective tissues moist and supple, and kept blood oxygen flowing…

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A Plank a Day…

Katmah Training & Performance

A plank a day keeps the doctor away!

Planks are probably one of my favourite exercises. Not only to they work our core, they can teach us how to move with an active, stable core. Not to mention they also are great for our shoulders, hips, legs, and posture.

Another great thing about them? You can pretty much do them anywhere, anytime.

In honour of this fantastic exercise, here are my top 10 favourite variations. Add in at least one a day and see what happens!

  1. Plank Step-Outs– These no only work the core, but they work in the hip stabilizers as well. Super important for postural stability, no matter what activity you enjoy best! Important things to remember, don’t let the hips move as you step each leg out. Activate the core and only move the legs!
  2. Chatarunga Planks/Sun Salutations– A HUGE favourite of mine! With variations…

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The Slump and the Rise

I argued with a friend the other day over how much harder life after school was. They were arguing that life as a student was much more difficult. This friend has returned to University after a few years away in the real world with a steady career. I’ve just exited University after a long, arduous degree- but yet a fairly stable relationship with student life. My relationship with the real world has yet to enter the honeymoon phase- right now it’s still in the “wtf am I doing” phase.

I like plans. I like knowing the next step and setting goals around that. I like constant forward motion.

The universe likes to hand me chances to reflect a ruminate on those qualities on a regular basis by turning me around and confusing my definition of “constant forward motion”.

This has been what I’ve felt like for most of the new year. Either unmotivated, depressed, slightly angry, or serenely peaceful and in the moment. It’s kinda like being a teenager again. The last feeling is great when it happens- and as usual it’s a constant goal for me to be in that state more and more. I’m somewhat successful.

Spinning my tires doesn’t do much- so slowing things down and working on patience is always a project. But then there’s weeks like the last few where nothing goes according to plan, and I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything and the stress sets in. When I say nothing goes according to plan, I mean NOTHING goes according to plan. In this scenario I’ve spent a lot of time stewing, and until the last week or so have just been stumped. The sun is starting to peak through as I come to terms with changing the plan (why does it always take so long to come to that point?), and as usual- as soon as I refocus myself the Universe throws me a small bone (and then almost at the same time causes me to be up in the night cleaning up dog vomit after the dog ate too much of a bone…).

A constant stream of redirecting from the Universe, no structure.. just either a yes- choose this door it’s wide open, or nope- this door is slamming shut in your face. Try again later, or just move on. Or even better, peak into this door- it’s open just a crack.. but you can’t open it yet. It’s confidence shaking. Until you recognise it as a “I’m a twenty-something living a first world lifestyle with relatively minimal student debt and am being given a chance to learn and grow.. even if it involves some growing pains” moment.

Who am I kidding. It’s still confidence shaking and annoying. Regardless of how much you learn from it. But, I suppose that is the nature of learning.. isn’t it.

Right after I returned from Florida (which was amazing, btw), I decided one day to go and chat with one of my profs. It’s only been a few months since I’d seen him last, but when you’ve been seeing someone almost every day for 5 years a few months seems like a while. Two hours of ranting (from us both) and counselling from him- I felt a little better. The biggest issue on hand, regarding a major career step that’s been on put unexpectedly on hold, wasn’t solved- but it was given new light for me. While the unexpected turn for me had been mostly depressive, after this chat it entered the more productive anger stage- in which I got some serious letter writing done. The biggest thing I walked away from that chat with was how much I liked being in that environment, and how much I really did want to continue my education in the form of a MSc. as soon as I could. It reminded me that people won’t judge me for what letters I necessarily have behind my name- not at my alma mater anyway. The welcome I got from my former professors as I walked by their offices or they came into the one I was sitting in reminded me that unexpected turns in the road do not have to determine how I perceive myself as a person. Or how I perceive my abilities as a professional. Very important things for me to remember!


The above graph is perfect.

It’s so easy to get into the pattern of humming along as if the plan is always going to be the plan.. until it’s no longer the plan. Unfortunately my tendency is to completely melt down instead of accepting the change in direction like a sane person.

I have great mentors and influencers in my life- and fairly supportive peers, friends and family. I have much to be grateful for. My twenty-something female brain doesn’t always cooperate with those realities, but that’s something I can’t always control to my best ability. As I’m reminded constantly.. I’m only a human twenty something!

On a more positive note- I begin a new job in the next couple weeks as a personal trainer at another gym, after leaving one gym this week. I’m very excited to start this new opportunity, which will hopefully offer more hours/clients then previous places and work in tandem with Katmah Training, so I can continue to grow my own business as well. My own business I’ve began marketing as a more general practice (with specialised services to equestrians still, but more advertising into the general population) with the hopes of broadening my practice to different chronic pain and injury conditions and movement correction services. If the Universe is going to tempt me with doors I can’t open  yet, I might as well keep trying other ones!

Every day a new learning experience.



You’re Doing It Wrong: Core Activation

Katmah Training & Performance

“Tuck your ribs”
“Suck in your tummy”
“Squeeze your abs”
“..belly button to spine”
You’ve probably heard one, if not all of those, at some point in your fitness endeavours. Whether it’s yoga, physiotherapy, pilates, a bootcamp, or just from a trainer or article… those are all common ways for people to describe core “activation”.
Unfortunately, it’s now known that that isn’t the most effective way to activate the core.
In this post I’ll detail some of the latest research on the core, why it’s important to re-educate your core and learn how to activate it the right way, and what it’ll change for your health.
When it comes to spine research, the leader is Dr. Stuart McGill. Why do we care about spine research and biomechanics in an article about the core, you ask? Well- the core has a lot to do with how our spine functions… and how…

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Wide Eyes at #WEF

What I’ve been up to all week!

Katmah Training & Performance

If you have me on social media (instagram, facebook, twitter) then you’ll know that I’ve been frequenting the Winter Equestrian Festival, and Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla this week. If you don’t have me on social media- go follow me and then finish reading this post (katmah1- instagram, Katmah Training & Performance on Fbook, and Katbee13 on Twitter).

With two days left in Wellington, my eyes are finally returning to their normal size. For a prairie girl who’s only really see horse shows in Manitoba (they aren’t that exciting) and New Zealand (much higher quality.. but not WEF), getting to live every rider’s dream for a week here in Florida has been pretty epic.
Why am I here?

Again, you’ll know the answer to this if you watch my media accounts. I’m here in coordination with Stable & Spice, and Heels Down Magazine as we launch the new…

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To a year of transition: 2015 in review.

Last year around this time I did my standard New Years post in the form of a letter to myself. The intro into 2015 was a rough one, but the dedication for the year was to myself- and the year followed that trend.
Now, entering 2016, I arrive with a few more accomplishments- and a whole lot more inner peace. 2015 in short form was a series of opportunities and lesson after lesson in living in the here and now.

After bringing in 2015 in the mountains, the year started with finding solace with my inner turmoil through a great yoga class and burying myself in research. Between working with research participants, working sporting events as a student therapist, and my last semester of school and interning- I kept busy with a mantra of personal development- and exercised being 22 and having fun every chance I got.

Spring brought a battle with the mono virus, a challenging humanities prof, every extra hour spent getting CATA intern hours, and a series of events that lead my business and my name to be common place when it came to local athlete development. With the support of close friends, profs, and mentors- I finished my personal “Rebuilding the Equestrian: Chronic Pain and Postural Re-Education” project/paper, based on the work I did with 10 local riders through the winter- and submitted it to the CATA’s writing award contest. Finishing that mini-thesis seemed like mounting Everest by the time it was all said and edited x100.

I really began to develop a sense of confidence speaking in public, a skill I luckily developed at a younger age through 4H speaking competitions. I also began developing marketing strategies- something I actually quite enjoy, but often feel like I’m making it all up on the go. Through numerous clinics and workshops- I started to get the hang of promoting my services, and ideas to a greater population. Attending the Stuart Mcgill seminar when he visited in April gave me a whole new outlook on working with chronic pain and postural issues- and opened up new doors of research and practice for me. And made me fan girl pretty hard when I approached him to see if he had any experience with equestrians, and he then told me to write a book on the topic. Late May and June found me back at my usual post on the sidelines of the Clansmen football team- and a road trip to SK for a exhibition game brought the joys of travelling with 50 teenagers to full fledged colour.

Along came summer, and I found myself flying through Eastern Canada and the USA in the front seat of a red Camaro convertible on a whirlwind three week vacation with a character who re-entered my life earlier in the year. With both of us constantly seeking adventure, it was no surprise we ended our 3 weeks with 4 non-stop days in NYC followed by an all night drive back to Halifax to fly home. Going on vacation for the first time with no other prerogative  other then to enjoy the time away was a great change of pace after a busy winter and spring.


 Returning from holiday mid-summer I began working at horse shows as the medical coverage. A new role being on the sidelines instead of being in the ring. My first year not showing in almost 15 years. This being said not training or showing allowed me the chance to venture on that holiday, and work on rebuilding finances from school, interning, and past show years… and the aforementioned holiday. The summer months were fairly quiet for Katmah Training clinic, new client, and seminar side of things- which was to be expected during the busy show season for many riders. Bright points in the quiet period were finding out the magazine I write for was sending me to Florida twice in the coming winter, and beginning to organize more international opportunities for Katmah Training come the next spring.

As fall approached, I finished clinical internship hours and quickly finished the field portion as well with football re-started for regular season and show season finishing up. My CATA exam application went through as I convocated in October and began the prep for the exam in November. Two of my biggest accomplishments within a month of each other. Convocating itself was the offical end to a long, hard, challenging 4 years in my BSc.. Fraught with sweat, blood, and tears- along with serious exercises in mental stamina. A right of passage for all AT’s, I know.. similar to the prep routines leading up to the exam. The exam was probably the biggest mental test I’ve done, just stress management wise- but I was relieved to find the practical portions to be a breeze, and all my prep work come to my rescue many times. Results are still pending as of right now- which is currently my obsession.

Fall, as I’ve come to realize, is a big transitional time. Many of those around me were dealing with their own stresses- and I noted that there were times of great emotional turmoil for myself and those around me.. sometimes just caused by outside stressors entirely. As fall passed, things returned to a balance, and I came out of the season able to focus my energies better- a issue I’d been working on since experiencing the mono virus in the spring. It’s beginning to come clear how much this career path can take out of you, if you don’t know how to monitor your own energy. In a profession where much of your job is dealing with other’s problems and expending your energy to help them change theirs.. it’s easy to feel unbalanced and outsourced. Working on yourself makes for a better client experience too.

Winter (or what was supposed to be) rolled in, and with the weather staying warm- the first few months were quite pleasant. Having finished the exam, and with nothing to do but wait for results I refocused my energy by taking time away from anything academic like. MUCH NEEDED. After about a week of that I found myself beginning my application to a masters program. I took on a few new clients, and began pushing my online promotions again in preparation for a stint in Wellington, Fl. for the Winter Equesetrian Festival. As always I found motivation in my clients, as their success and progress was a result of guidance I brought them. The satisfaction and progress of my clients has and always will be a huge driving factor for me, as I continue to journey down this uncharted road.

In early December I was lucky enough to go on another little holiday break with J, where we both got a craved mental and physical escape. Spending a week in the mountains alternating between hot pools on the side of a mountain, watching movies in our rented condo, and taking day trips to do hikes and visit breweries around the area- we forgot the need to check our phones and emails, wear a watch, or worry about a single thing. It was the perfect get away, with perfect timing. Similar to the beginning of 2015 where the mountains recharged me, I found myself in the same area to reflect and relax at the end of 2015.

 The Christmas rush took us from basically the time we got home to the new years, between hosting family and visiting family and friends it’s been another whirl-wind few weeks. The last few weeks of 2015 were filled with Florida prep and promotions and a healthy dose of holiday celebrations. 2015 brought an end to the familiar and an introduction to a new chapter of my professional life.. and 2016 is looking like it’s going to continue that trend. So far the beginning of 2016 is full of potential for travel and professional development. I really didn’t expect to be taking the business international so soon- but the adventure is continuing along at it’s own pace and I’m just doing my best to keep up!

On a personal side of things, my hope for 2016 is to continue sourcing my own balance. With lots of travel opportunities, I’m looking forward to stepping outside of my comfort bubble and developing my own presence. Stepping away from the known is the only way to continue growth, this much I know. In between travel stints, there are some exciting opportunities to continue pursuing here at home too- but more on those later. For now the name of the game is anxiously, but calmly, awaiting my CATA results!

 Welcome 2016, may you be full of opportunity and education!



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