Not everything is going to go to plan. You may not win everything you set out to do. You may fail.

I once heard “failure is a sign you’re trying…”

I also adopted this philosophy into my personal life recently:

“When you try, you will fail. It’s only an issue when you fail to try.”

So let this message resonate with you however it may. Maybe you’re an athlete, hellbent on winning first every time. Maybe you have kids and you share this mantra with them, consciously or subconsciously. Maybe they feel the need to always come out on top, with grades, sports etc… Whatever it is, just remember that it’s health to be okay. When you learn how to lose, you’ll really start to win.

Ever heard this: “once you learn to fall you’ve got it.”

I didn’t really start to trust myself on speed skates until I fell heading into my final corner of the mid season competitions in 2015. I was set to PR by at least a couple seconds. Instead, I lost focus and slammed into the padded boards, laid motionless until my body and mind processed what had just happened.

That was the only time I fell. Period.

Are you okay with just being okay every now and again?

Food for thought.

Peace. I’m off to Ontario now.

Much love.

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Sure, we all want to lose 10 pounds yesterday… but how we are pushed towards the ability to do that isn’t realistic, is it?

“Lose 12 pounds in 12 days!”

“Drop a dress size over the weekend!”

“New radical diet that burns 3lbs of fat in a week!”

None of these are sustainable, even if they do work.

Sustainable coaching comes with trades. As a coach that prides himself in helping my athletes through “the grind”, the tough plateaus, the unmotivated morning of training after a wild weekend of partying and misbehaviour… I prefer to coach on the foundation of sustainability.

I like changing a person’s entire lifestyle: the way they move, the way their relationships improve, the way they feel when they get up each day, stay happy and engaged at work and then return in the evening with energy to play with their kids. I like that. I get more satisfaction from hearing: “my husband and I now enjoy taking the grandkids out to the playground or out hiking with the dogs on the weekend. We never thought that would happen at this age… thank you.”

Over:

“my six pack was looking better than last summer at the cabin…”

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with aesthetic goals or short term programming, but I’m in the business of changing lives. And that is just a tough gig when you throw crash diets, quick exercise programs and the next fab “service” out there. Of course the people will get results. They’re highly motivated for 4 weeks. But what happens after that? When the eat kale, drink more smoothies and less beer realities kick in?

Think about it this way:

You’re super Mario. Bopping around, jumping over turtles and trying to save the princess. What I do as your coach isn’t just give you the flowers, the stars or any of the other power ups – no, no. They’ll always be there. I teach you how to harness those super powers so you fly through life feeling invincible.

That’s sustainability.

I coach you to be sustainable.

Xo

So there’s a reason California and other Mediterranean, coastal or otherwise temperate, sunny climates are home to a generally more active demographic: they like to be outside!

I took nearly all of my sessions outside today when applicable, and boy oh boy was that ever a good call! Everyone pumps harder, doesn’t realize it and then wonders why the next few days their legs feel like linguine and they can’t reach above their heads.

We are meant to move in nature.

Go outside and immerse yourself.

Go play.

Whether it’s coming in and bossing out on the olympic platform, running a sprint for 3 minutes, or maxing out her previous record dead lift, my athlete of the month goes to Karen.

 

It’s crazy to think that this rock star has dropped about 40lbs in a year, started Olympic Lifting and setting Powerlift records nearly every time she touches the bar and – what I think is the most important change – has truly integrated a healthy lifestyle into the daily routine. Day in, day out.

I’m here to write about my experience of working with Karen. I can’t begin to tell you how much I feel as though she has helped me grow as a coach. Not just because I can basically toss any exercise at her and she’ll fine a way to get it done, but because how ridiculously determined she is. This is what it takes to make positive change in your life.

Let’s start with her dedication to getting comfortable in being uncomfortable.

Comfortable

She had never tried Olympic Lifting, let alone even really know what exactly it was one year ago.

I showed her how to throw a barbell over her head… the rest is history.

Just to put it in perspective she clean and jerked 105lbs (that’s shown in the video up there…)

She deadlifts, she runs, she squats, she makes everyone around her happier and she absolutely kills it at work. Sure she might dislike doing the exercise at times, but she puts her head down and goes.

Things sound pretty good, eh? It wasn’t an easy road. Combine daily (sometimes painstaking) lessons and habits to help refocus her relationship with food and her nutrition, overcoming scheduling bumps, vacations, sickness – all the typical excuses… with life’s general random “curveballs” and you’ve still got an individual that never missed a session. A date with herself. A date with change. A date with progress, over perfection.

I’m honoured to get to work with Karen towards her craziest goals. Together with her attitude and what skills I can pass along I really see the sky as the limit. it’s amazing what the power of the mind can do.

Thank you, Karen. Stoked to see what’s next and keep this going.

Stay sweet.

M

 

The relationship we have with our lifestyle is a learned skill. That means it can be changed. In order to foster and develop a healthy environment, one of the first things we must do is provide accessible education. By empowering individuals to make lifestyle choices for themselves, we will create a culture people will gravitate towards. That’s super rad.

Xo

M

I feel as though I’m echoing a post I did a year or more ago about how pivotal rest and recovery is to a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

Let’s face it, if we don’t sleep well our recovery suffers – both physically and physiologically. Here are some of the things I have found to be helpful in getting (and staying!) asleep.

Pick up magnesium gel and apply it to your neck and legs and any other sore spots before bed 

This stuff is nectar of the Gods. Magnesium is still touted as one of the highest deficiencies (next to Vitamin D) in the average North American diet. This is largely due to our unbelievable abundance and availability of processed food as opposed to raw foods, where the stuff comes from naturally. Apply it directly to the skin to have a higher absorption rate and immediate results. Ever had an Epson salt bath? Magnesium for the soul. Set a few alarms, you’re going be out like a light.

Take a hot shower

Heat increases the body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin, a secret sleepy drug that can help regulate your sleep/wake cycle. A nice hot show right before the sheets leaves me squeaky clean, refreshed and ready for the zzz’s.

Shut down ALL electronics 2 hours prior to your planned bedtime

This allows your body to wind down. White light from screens, tablets and phones, TVs and those super annoying fluorescent lights all trick your body into thinking its go-time. Nicht gut, for mein freunden that are now celebrated “Night Owls” (side note, aren’t most owls nocturnal…? making them all creatures of the night… seems redundant..)

Shut er’ down, read a book or write a poem or something to relax the mind.

ps. Fun Fact! They have done some studies on white light’s response on the body vs. the eye, as some people argued that only if your eyes notice it. However, have you ever randomly woken up when the sunlight cracks through your blinds? Bingo, body sense light, welcome to the circadian rhythm. We’re tuned with the sun. When the moon is out, your lights should be too. Here’s an article that supports this wild claim. 

There we go. Hopefully you fine folks sleep easy and get some rest now. It’s very much a part of the program!

Til next time, sleep tight… I mean, stay sweet!

Peace!

xo

M

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Time to get over your insecurities, friends. Yes, you are indeed an athlete.

My whole career I’ve maintained the approach that we as Health Coaches, Personal Trainers, Fitness Instructors and Strength & Conditioning Coaches train “athletes” not “clients”. Why? Simple. Everyone we work with is competing for a prize. What that prize is may differ, but we are all competing for a prize. If you check the definition of Athlete, it stems from Latin, Greek and old English as some variation of a human that was into competition and winning prizes. So, definition-wise, it really just boils down to how you define “prize”. For most of us that prize is our definition of healthy lifestyle.

Now I’ve had the pleasure of training nearly every walk of life. From top performance professional athletes, to business executives, professional musicians and radio personalities to stay at home moms. The wealthiest of wealthy to those that are on welfare. Cancer survivors, folks that have suffered from strokes, heart attacks and depression and your everyday, 9-5 office workers. They’re all athletes. The only difference is that their Olympic Gold may not be the same as yours.

Food for thought the next time you don’t think you’re up to snuff with the “athletes” out there.

The most important step is the first one, and once you make the decision to take it, it’s only matter of time before you get to the point where you’ll get the prize you’ve been chasing.

Once again, thanks for the read, thanks for the share and thanks for the support. I truly love the feedback so keep it coming! ‘Til next time… stay sweet.

Owner, SchwartzFit

Peace!