Monthly Archives: September 2015

Hinging and Locking: Finding true stability in the upper body

Integrative Movement & Katmah Training

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.

spine_mast

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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