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

 

Advertisements

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

A little context

The following is a piece of poetry I just wrote. Last night I was at the Our Lady Peace concert and before OLP closed the night off, they made sure to dedicate a song to Matt Good. To paraphrase Raine Maida, he’s been an amazingly strong voice and brave ambassador in the fight against the stigma of mental illness. “It doesn’t matter if you’re f*cked up here (points to his head) or if you break your arm, it’s all the same. And we need to support each other instead of running away and give each other a safe space while we get better.”

Talking about mental health is slowly becoming a more common occurrence and it’s platforms like this with influencers like OLP and Matt Good that can make a difference.

If you know someone suffering, please reach out and get them help. There are local distress centres in just about every major Canadian city, and if you’re an artist like me, there are specific organizations to help you continue to craft. You can call Unison Benevolent Fund to speak with a counsellor. Call emergency of course if it’s an emergency, but head to unisonfund.ca and register your free account so when you feel you need some help, support or emergency relief, they’re there for you. Completely confidential, completely on your side.

Like I said, this is a piece of poetry I just wrote. I’m working on a solo singer/songwriter project, learning to write and perform pieces like this on an acoustic as nice, safe outlet for my own self care and enjoyment. It also provides me with a platform to get my message out to the world. I hope you dig.

Soundtrack Of My Life LP

No matter if it’s all in your head

A broken arm,

or what pills you’ve been fed

We’ll be right there with you, baby

We can’t escape from a living hell

The chaotic neutral,

Disempowering spell

So we’ll be right there with you, baby.

Time ticks on

Can’t see

We’re blind

Can’t hear

The cries

Out for someone “help me please

I’ve fallen again, actually”

You see

It goes

You heard

The notes

Songs that bring hope to me

The soundtrack of my life LP

I just had a brief “aha” as I was perusing through my social media feeds…

Authenticity.

Is it today’s overused catchphrase. A trend? Or can we still milk some sort of value amidst the shadows of hashtags, followers, filters, overproduced content and the need for the dopamine hits that result from that pesky like button.

Do you agree with me? Listen in here. “Authenticity”

Okay, I’m certain you’ve heard it all before.

“I can’t sleep.”

“I hit a wall after lunch.”

“I can’t get motivated to exercise.”

“I’m just not happy… I’m not sure what I want… I’m just not feeling it…”

Hell, maybe you’ve even caught yourself saying something like that…

These are common things I hear when I ask people “what brought you in today?” when they first meet with me to undergo a lifestyle overhaul.

I’ve noticed happiness and living stress-free go hand in hand, so I thought “who doesn’t wanna feel awesome?!”

Here are my three and a half pro tips for reducing stress and feeling happy, for most of your awake time in life.

1. Get moving. Get outside. Get moving outside.

IMG_3733

 

It’s science. Exercise improves mood. Sunlight also improves mood. Put them together for a smorgasbord of awesome. If you wanna be happy, forget about the deadline of that project for ten minutes and just tune out, go be with nature and take a stroll. It’ll be great. Come back at it harder with a fresh take. It also helps if you have a rad dog in your life. They make everything better.

2. Speak in positive, “architecture” language.

 

Instead of saying things like “can’t”, “don’t”, “won’t”… try affirming what you “can” do, “do” want and “will” get.

It’s amazing how much more energy you reserve at the end of the day when you only focus on the positives. That starts with language. (For more on this, check with my buddy, Mark England of Procabulary.org)

3. Breathe and Meditate

Breathing is easy. We all just suck at it. Try this when you’re feeling anxious. It’ll surely calm you down. Inhale for 7 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds. Repeat 7 times. Namasteyin’ chill?

For meditation, it’s not some voodoo crazy shit. It’s just focusing your intent. There’s a sweet app I use called Headspace IMG_3735if you’re looking for a gentle introduction to meditation. Dig it.

Try it out. If that’s not your jam, pick up a book, a pen and paper and write, draw, build something, create… sometimes that’s the best way to get those thoughts out into the universe.

Or try active meditation. Get your gym bag and hit some weights or get on the bike. I have my greatest ideas on long bike rides.

3.5 Alright, this one is tough. Live with intent.

 

For everything from waking up, eating, playing on your phone. If you find yourself distracted with many things, your focus will stray…take control of your life! Put the phone down. Be with yourself and just chill. Everyone will hit the like button for your witty post tomorrow. Be intentional.

That’s is from me. As always, thanks for reading. ‘Til next time, namaste sweet!

M

You know what I’m talking about.

You’ve heard it before.

Maybe you’ve even said it.

“Yeah man, I’ll be there around 4…”

Or better yet, “how’s 4 ish…?”

None of theses fly with me.

There are a few reasons I set all my appointments for :07, :37, or :17…

1. Punctuality is increased. Dramatically. Why’s that important? Well, asides from the obvious respect for my time it shows when clients and meetings are run on time, the psychological response of a late person is frantic and scattered. Do you think that changes in a meeting or a personal training session. Heck no. I then spend 20 minutes getting the psychology of the meeting in place, or spend 10 minutes longer on neurological warm ups sorted out so the athlete gets in the right mindset before lifting heavy things above his or her head.

When the client shows up at 4:05, they’re actually 2 minutes early. You might be surprised how much difference that makes…

2. More importantly, when you say “ish”, “kinda”, “maybe” and all other forms of “soft talk” (see Procabulary.org) you give yourself a lax deadline… so how could you possibly make a set time?

You’re guaranteeing your own failure at making a set time when you don’t actually hold yourself accountable to a set time.

So here’s my challenge of the week.

Pick an appointment and consciously pick a time and make it to the appointment by that time. Verbalize it to hold accountability. It can be as simple as going out with friends and just telling them you’ll be there by 6:15 rather than “around 6”.

Let me know how that goes. And how that feels.

Til next time,

Stay sweet!

I was bumped up on the therapy wait list. I head in Friday morning instead of two weeks from now, and that’s exciting. I embrace talking about my experience. It helps me fit things in and take things out.

I (re) learned a lot last night:

Great friends are always thinking about you and will always have your back.

I had to reschedule my session last night with my two best pals. They sent me this in lieu:

They are both doing so well and even when their coach isn’t there, they still push it. Champions are doing the work when no one is watching. These two are champs. Thanks guys.

Music is powerful.

I don’t know where to start.

Jess and Robb, thank you. Music and Motion was a compete hit tonight and you guys were great. I can’t wait to get some pictures up from the House. For now –

@jessandrobbmusic

These two beauties came with me to the Ronald McDonald House and played an awesome set of music for the kids and their parents while the kids basically used me as a jungle gym. It was awesome. The families loved it, mom and dad got to relax, and that’s why I do this.

Then the show, K.Flay and Sir Sly both just killed it. The amazing thing about both of these artists is the poetic complexities. I’d strongly encourage you to take a listen to the hardships and the battles and the adversity in the art.

This is where the title comes from today. Borrowed and paraphrased K.Flay’s sign off before the last song she performed…”Remember, right now isn’t forever.”

That stuck.

placeholder://placeholder://

And leads me to wonder if the human condition has room to be fully complete…? or if the lifestyle choices and the drug use and addition and anxiety all lends itself to some higher form of the craft. Like seriously, what would we sing about? How would we relate to our audience if the new rock star lifestyle was about gluten free bread, hemp seeds and kombucha. Like how hard of a life is that?

Food for thought…

Children have so much to teach us, but we adults have a hard time with humility.

How come my nephew can squat, jump, balance and do bear crawls but my 20 something clients can’t?

Just an example…

Last night I was a human jungle gym for 6 kids 5-9 years old and feed a straight diet of sugar. And we got them all under control and relaxed. They respond well when you ask them to perform a task. They do not respond well when you tell them what not to do…

Thanks Mark England.

Child whisperer. That’s my alias.

Again, we await RMH photos for evidence.

We busy ourselves with what’s important. We prioritize our needs.

Or at least we should. Don’t take it personally, but do take it as a sign that the effort isn’t mutual and there’s a disconnect if you feel that you’re reaching and grabbing and the reciprocation is just not there.

Carry on.

Thank you for checking this out. Again, moral of the story is whatever you’re going through, highs and lows, it’s temporary. Nothing is a forever and you will be better off because of all the experiences you go through. Learn to embrace it and the journey is wicked fun.

Thanks for listening!

Til next time,

Stay sweet!