Monthly Archives: January 2016

You’re Doing It Wrong: Core Activation

Integrative Movement & Katmah Training

“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!

Integrative Movement & Katmah Training

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!