Between Serenity and Rage

What a weekend in Long Beach!

The title, which has not much to do with this post, is stolen from a line at the summit this weekend.. One of the final presenters- Brian Nguyen- an ATC in the NFL, and then for celebrities like Mark Wahlberg- he hit home with his talk on the chaos and the calm of our industry (fitness and health). After a presentation built around the ups and downs and his own coming to terms with his vulnerabilities- his close athletes dying on field, his bond with his niece, his choices to leave jobs and personal epiphanies when it came to work and life. He used a scene from the X-men to show that sometimes the best moments and best abilities come from that place just before chaos, but not close to calm.

This was one of many challenging seminars- ranging in focus from clinical tools and research, cutting edge methods, workouts (holy moly Todd Durkin), hands on practice,  business focused lectures, and motivational kicks in the ass from the top in the industry. The conference turned into so much more then just a fitness summit. It challenged me in every realm: physically, mentally, and emotionally. I went into the conference with a urge to know more about business practice, finances, and some extra motivation- and I came out with them all..not even expecting to find them at this event. I am still a little sore from the combo of Pete Twist’s and Liebenson’s fascial patterning work and Todd Durkin’s workout, and my hike on Monday.

Now I’m home for another week or so, before flying to South Asia.

All of a sudden things are moving and shifting so quickly.

That’s they way fall happens though, isn’t it. One day you’re lazing about, floating through summer- and the next the Universe shifts you into high gear and turns on the productivity centre in your brain.

California was amazing. I learned so much at Perform Better, more then I can justify with words. My clinical practice shifted and will be shifting so much in the next few months as I try out the new ideas I was privy to in Long Beach. I’m sure the patients and clients I’ve already thrown these new things were only mildly thrown off by my Wednesday morning enthusiasm.

On my day off in Cali I ventured into Hollywood and did a 6.5mi hike in the Hollywood hills. Starting at the Wonder View Trail I hiked the peaks to the wisdom tree, then across the peaks to the Hollywood Sign, and then down, up, and around Mt. Lee to the Griffeth Observatory. I was pretty done by the time I finished, with temperatures ranging around 30C- I noticed some mild sun-stroke symptoms the next day. Majority of my hike I was thinking “I’m sure glad Everest won’t be this hot”. Needless to say I survived!



The interesting thing for me, as always, with all the bouncing around I’ve done this summer, is how I can leave in one headspace and return in another. This time I did kind of a roundabout with my head space. As usual I didn’t really want to get on the plane home, but this time it was because I knew I had some hard work to do with my arrival here.

Most of the summer I’ve floated ideas about where I want to be. I vetted moving to Calgary, moving to the states, moving to Ontario, before finally getting the gut feeling I needed to stay put for a bit longer. There’s still things I need to learn and process here. And, Winnipeg is really a good base for someone like me who spontaneously hops on planes. For now. Upon making that decision I found a second location (besides my rural spot) in the city to begin taking clients at. This is exciting and an amazing opportunity to take my business to the next level. Another decision that hit home as I flew over Denver the second time. If I’m staying here I have some work to do. I am ready, deep down I am ready, to do some serious building on my professional life. Freelance writing opportunities have come along too with the new location (more here later)- and my professional realm is expanding quickly. This isn’t where the hard work is for me (other then getting on top of proper invoicing schedules.. this is not a strong point!). The work for me lays in my 20-something brain. It has been bubbling away under the surface and isn’t quite ready for the fall to hit yet. It’s enjoying the summer holidays.

Yesterday, after two long days simultaneously recovering from the Cali hangover/sunstroke/jetlag, I got home and started cleaning.

If you know me, you know I don’t clean.

I re-arranged my entire apartment, cleaned out my closet, folded clothes, and organized. I set up a new administrative program, and I creeped myself on facebook for approximately 5 hours.

Seriously.

The creeping wasn’t really planned (is it ever?). But, it served a huge unexpected purpose. It was like someone sweeping out the gutters of my brain. As I flipped through different pictures from the last few years- I relived the moments hidden behind them. The parts of the memory that nobody else knows, the perceptions I had at the time, and the person I was then. I can honestly say year to year that I look like a different person each time.What reflections did I have here? Well, for one- I’m super jealous of 2013/2014 me’s physique.. paleo body was on fleek (is that what kids say now?). Secondly, I saw the toll certain things took- no matter the smiles. I also saw how much I’ve grown, and evolved. Sometimes looking at yourself as a different person allows you to straight talk to yourself as if you were actually another, hard hitting, honest person looking from the outside in. That’s something we all need sometimes.

Last night was the first semi-dreamless night I’ve had in a while. I dream a lot lately- sometimes about realistic things, sometimes about flying bears on bikes. The realistic things hit closer to home- and reflect the inner workings of my head- though, not always in a way that brings closure for my conscious brain. They make me think. I can’t say I woke with mountains of energy this morning- but I woke in a state of calm that only comes after some emotional sweeping.

As I prep mentally and physically for Nepal (9 days!), the physical challenges I’m facing seem less intimidating. Even my bum leg has shaped up. When it comes to mentally I feel confident about the endurance challenges- but have a intrigue over what emotional hurdles will come up. As I’ve found with travelling, I’m hit with the unexpected emotional regurgitations (usually the ones that I plan to “forget” to pack on my way out the door). They always find a way into the suitcase, though, don’t they. This is part of the reason I feel so drawn to this trek- because there’s no escaping anything internal on the side of Everest. I’m only beginning to get used to the feeling of mixed apprehension, optimism, avoidance, grief, and enlightenment that I’m sure is only going to get stronger. Yes, it would seem I need to literally climb a mountain to figure the mole hills out in my head.

But hey- I wrote tonight! And I wrote almost every day in California. This is progress for someone who has been fairly blocked writing wise for a year or so. Yay me!

 

The only mistake is standing still. 

“All we ever do is all we ever knew” -The Head and the Heart


Written on a plane somewhere over Colorado and Idaho. 

Flying always incites a new realm of possibility for me. What’s more invigorating then watching the world from above- on your way to a destination, new or familiar.

I’ve struggled with writing lately, on a personal level. Out of practice maybe. Lately my life seems to be in a constant state of change. I’ve unearthed a new restlessness in my soul- and this summer that restlessness has taken me all over the place- both physically and spiritually. From adventures around Manitoba with friends, trips to Calgary for Certifications (and reconnecting with school friends, and myself)– oh and I did certify! Virginia for what turned into 2 weeks of sitting with ongoing thoughts and inner conflict- resulting in a spiritual journey I was only half expecting, and a refresh I was much needing. And now, as I fly over the mountains in Colorado on my way to Long Beach for a much awaited conference (Perform Better)… 2 weeks before I take off for Nepal to trek the first Everest base camp (oops, impulse decisions)- I’m in the midst of yet another unexpected chance to sit with my restlessness and… enjoy it.

I reread my last post the other day, half in an attempt to spark some writing and half because it popped up when I was revising my page. So much of where I was still resounds in my heart- but so much has changed. It’s hard to say if I’m more at peace with certain things then I was upon writing in the spring- but I can say for certain I am at peace with other things. That’s the nature of this life we lead- ebbs and flows depending on the moment we find ourselves in.

Inner and outer conflict create space for us to explore and push our boundaries. Without that exploration growth is stunted.

The last few months, and mostly the last few weeks I’ve questioned this new level of restlessness (and I know my loved ones have as well). What am I so unsettled with? Why is my soul so desperate for the unfamiliar? I don’t feel that I have anything to run from, but also find more pieces of me when I am listening to the restlessness.

Maybe it’s not being unsettled that concerns me- perhaps it’s being settled. That’s not to say I am not extremely grateful every day for the things I have in my regular life. Rather- I am wary of falling into old habits and getting comfortable. At this point in my life I am more comfortable in discomfort- sometimes because it’s a distraction- but more so because it reminds me that all the little things, the nagging emotions or the every day habits- those things fade away and become less pressing when I follow the path my restless heart chooses. It’s a reminder that what we think are big problems rarely are in the turning of the world.

More thoughts and updates from California to come!

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Fix it Fridays: How do you break your fast?

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Katmah Training & Performance

Over and over again I have clients telling me how they struggle with a morning routine when it comes to their nutrition.

I know you’ve all heard the lecture on how breakfast is a must and how important it is for your daily health and long term health goals. If you haven’t, the gist of it is that eating a balanced, healthy breakfast ensures that you’ll kickstart your metabolism for the day ahead, be less apt to choose sugary, starchy snacks throughout the day, have improved energy, mental capacity, and generally be less of a grump. Hanger is real.

I give this lecture to clients a lot. Most often, the response I get in return is the “but I don’t have timmeeee” statement.

You’re talking to the Queen of morning procrastination, and yet I still manage to get something into my digestive system before my first commitment of the day. It’s…

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Fix It Friday’s: How Stable Are You? 

Katmah Training & Performance

No, I’m not talking about how much time you spend in the barn, or how you handle stress…. I’m strictly asking about your physical stability.

There’s a few tests I do for this when assessing a new client, one of which I’m going to share with you today. I truly believe that education is the key to getting every client and athlete to their next level, whatever their goals may be. So sit tight, and get ready to test your core ability in a few simple steps!

I write lots about the core. The core is basically the area between the base of your skull/and chin to your hips. Common misconception is that it’s your abdominals, but it is so much more!

The core is important for everything we do. In various athletic endeavours it does one of two main jobs- either stabilizes our trunk so our limbs can move…

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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.

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO! 

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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