… of the Towers and Trees,

They hit up Sneaky Dee’s,

Now they wait in the YYC.

Connecting to the coast,

To the west they love the most,

The Westjet girl was s’posed,

To bring my coffee: darkest roast

Davey, Davey, Davey, can’t you see

Sometimes your D’s just hypnotize me.

Alright… a little context now, right?

Little did I know when I booked the earliest flight home to Calgary, I’d have the opportunity to sit with a couple of new best buds of Towers and Trees, the Dave’s. AKA: Double Dee’s.

I bought the dude that had the aisle seat with these two guys off with a copy of my book. (Turns out his name is Wes, and he loved the book. Works with heavy equipment and is always sore. Loves music. Wanted it autographed, so of course I was pumped to hear that. )

Point being, do well. It’s important to do good, but it’s more important to do well.

Be kind to everyone you interact with. I’m flying back in to TO in a couple weeks because of that exact mentality. Good hangs always win.

More to come in the next few days… just stay tuned. And try to keep up, it’s insane in my life these days. Good kinda insane.

Catch y’all soon!

Xo

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It’s hard to afford to take care of ourselves.  There are a lot of obstacles. I get it. It’s more expensive to eat organic food, it’s expensive to hire a personal trainer, hell – we can’t even get a gym membership without spending money. I hear to tell you that there is another way.

Here are my best three recommendations to inspire a little more activity in your life, on a budget of course:

  1. Get outside and walk around in nature. It’s therapeutic, it’s free and you might even learn something or meet another human that’s outside in the big wonderful world too. Crazy, thought. But seriously, get up right now and go for a walk around the block.
  2. YouTube Yoga videos. Sure, a classroom costs $20 to drop in and that’s rich for 45-90 minutes of movement, and as great as it is for you… it’s not sustainable for most of us. You know what is? YouTube – check out some videos. Here’s a favourite to get you started —> https://youtu.be/u-gzRwDbDSg
  3. Wake up and commit to performing 100 squats that day. Start with ten right then… Then just keep track of the rest through out the day. Easy peasy.

But really, motivation is the hardest part for most of us. Sometimes if we don’t have a date with the barbell or the treadmill, we just don’t get there. If that sounds like your excuse, no matter what your definition of fitness is, I can help you get moving. And I can get you moving for less money than a cup of coffee. Now, imagine that…

I’ve listed some of the ways I’ve made my services more accessible for everyone to afford to get fit. Whether it’s in your own home, the park, the gym, learning a new sport like weightlifting speed skating or hockey, I’ve got you covered. Awesome.

And you can still afford a home. Double awesome.

Become a Patron: Perks!

  • Workout Inspired Mixtape Playlist – I’ve got an inside lane on some great new music being in the role I am in the industry, so I build playlists showcasing these talents.
  • Exercise Program – tailored to your ability, health goals and schedule. Online support and tracking and progress  Monthly reassessment via Skype.
  • Nutrition Program – eat right for your body, no diets, no hocus pocus, daily lessons and habits to slowly change your behaviours. Change the way you feel, the way you look and the way you perform with my professional nutrition coaching and learn what foods your body really wants.
  • Lifestyle Package – Without the proper fuel, the fire won’t burn. So ensure you’re getting the right food and movement for what your life calls for. I’ll build you a customized and easy to use exercise program complete with videos and everything.

 

I have a Patreon Page I’ve set up with some neat options like these ones so you can easily and affordably get fit while supporting this movement. Every patron helps to educate one more musician on mental and physical wellbeing and if we keep it up, we’ll extend the careers of millions. Let’s keep building this thing! Check it out!

Please support my cause here patreon.com/musicfit

 

Thanks for sharing!

Stay fit, whatever that means to you.

xo

I am trying to hear you, but your actions are deafening

 

 

 

I’m not here to preach to the choir. Most of you that read my stuff get it. This is an outlet though, and I’m human… not everything is peachy. This stems from a bit of frustration I have had over the past well.. years, really. However, I had a good conversation with a really good friend today all about how authenticity and being absolutely vulnerable is a superpower that people fear taking ownership of. Not this guy.

I’m one that – I dunno – just feel it’s easier and way more cool being honest. Especially in consideration of the role I am in, typically looked up to as a source of knowledge, wisdom and the answers on how to pull through, be strong and stay positive – I’ll be the first to admit, I’m right there with you on seeking answers. I’m wicked human. I’m often in just as much of a tailspin as the next person. Often finding myself selling off things to make rent, buy groceries and dog food for my dog. Why? Series of poor financial decisions, poor judgement, poor financial education, poor control. I’m a disaster in some areas of my life. However, I’m proud of my mindset. Perspective changes outcomes. I’m an eternal optimist. And I’ll never change that. I will achieve big things.

I don’t confine myself to lanes. I read a quote from George Stroumboulopoulos the other day, check it out… follow this human on twitter and IG @strombo

Dawg2HrVwAAHqYj.jpg A lot of people, some, who feel they’re very close to me, just do not understand that part of my brain. My mind works in a special way, maybe some of you can relate to it. This is how I experience the thought process, my experience so don’t get hung up on the little things. These are just a few ways I live. Deemed successful or not, this is my creative mind and an explanation as to why I operate in the way that I do. Unfortunately, it’s ironic that the people that should read this won’t… but for those of you who do… pass it along. It’s helpful in understanding people that consider themselves artists, creators, musicians, authors or otherwise artsy and dreaming. Often times, these “dreamers” are the once that change the world.

  1. Say yes and then figure it out
    • Yup. This has definitely gotten me in a lot of shit financially speaking. However if I hadn’t taken risks without knowing the full outcome I wouldn’t be where I am today, good or bad. Rich or poor, I’m on a mission to improve the quality of life of the professionals in the music industry.
  2. Try everything at least once (with some exceptions. Don’t do drugs. We are talking experiences… and this flows into the next point)
    • Again, I tend to get distracted with things and find other things to move me further away from the end goal. As a creative, the fear of success is actually a reality. I don’t want to actually finish that song, finish that poem, finish that book… because then what? You know? From a creative’s mindset, the journey is what I really enjoy. Not the final project. That part sucks. That just means I have to face the music. It’s so much easier to just talk about the things I’m up to… you know? However, if you try a bunch of things, sure you’ll take some time… but much alike dating, you figure out what you’re meant to do. I’d rather do what I’m supposed to do in the world than hate my life waking up each day waiting for Friday, the vacation or bedtime.
  3. Do something that scares you!
    • If you’re only doing things that are in your wheelhouse, you’re only limiting yourself. Experience stuff that’ll expand your mind, expand your physical ability, expand your borders. Reach out and positively change some one else’s life.
  4. Absolutely own everything you do, good or bad.
    • You’ll feel empowered when you take control of your life. For example, let’s take your financial situation (believe me, I know… I’m working on turning that ship around). When you look at every situation you find yourself in and saying ” How is this situation completely 100% my fault?” good or bad.
  5. Say what you feel
    • Cut the passive aggressive BS out of your life and be direct. If you expect me to understand you better do a damn good job of explaining said thing. Otherwise, – well… what do they say about assuming things…

 

Thank you for reading. Please share this message. The more understanding and tolerance we give to others, the greater amount of respect between each other we’ll start to see. The funny thing about respect is that with generation gaps and value systems in the modern first world, older populations have a famed affinity with unconditional respect, regardless of whether or not it’s reciprocated. That’s right, respect your elders – even if they treat you like shit. They’re invincible. Well, I’m here to piss a few folks off, because they’re not invincible. They’re human. Just like me. Just like all of us, regardless of age, status, ethnicity, colour, gender, orientation… anything…

Let’s all just listen a little more and this world will fill up with love and respect in no time.

Peace and love, friends.

xoI am trying to hear you, but your actions are deafening

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I sound like a broken record when it comes to this cliche. But it’s a truth I’ve been realizing is more and more prevalent amongst the – and I’m going to take some heat for this one…- millennial crowd of the modern day workforce.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there a certain level of entitlement associated with the modern workforce nowadays? I feel like folks walk in fresh out of school expecting to land the job of their dreams and skip ahead of the rest of their peers based purely off of what texts they studied in ______________ bullshit university. It’s ridiculous. Especially in my field; health and wellness. You don’t just come out of kines and become the world’s greatest gift to fitness.

That’s what I want to speak to. From the perspective of both sides, us as wellness professionals and also the consumers of wellness, which is in theory, everyone (or at least in a perfect world it should be).

First; Wellness Professionals. 

Sure, you studied under ______________, the best homie in the business. You know how many years it took him or her to get to that position? Exactly. So, how are you even close? Earn your stripes. Imagine what your grandma would say! There is still a pecking order and good thing. Here’s why:

I can still walk into any fitness facility and pick out the newbie trainers. They’re the ones that gloat about how they murdered their client, a 35 year old mother of two with a vicious leg day that left them at the mercy of their power trip.

I can hear it now… poor Becky crawling out the front doors… and her ironfisted Personal Trainer shouting something like: “Hey! Do you think you’re walking to your car? You thought the work out was done? Ten more lunges. Finish strong. I wanna see you drag these sleds to your car before you go anywhere!”

I mean that’s grossly exaggerated, but it’s kinda scary how accurate that situation is. I’ll be sitting in a lunch room of a facility where us trainers converse – kind of like a watering hole – and you’d never believe he absurdity of some of those conversations.

Yeah I get it, a good workout can mean crippling your paying customers. But it can also mean knowing when not to do that. Listening to their words, watching their body language and not being so stuck on proving how awesome you are that you missed the 13 signs before said customer passed out because you didn’t think to ask if they had breakfast before they started sprinting, swinging kettle bells and kipping into burpees for time on that sick AMRAP, bro… (who else is envisioning a CrossFit box nightmare?). It’s simple, right? Then why the hell do we still see it?

Serisously, what’s the hang up? Do these people just not care?

I’d argue, yes… there’s some people out there that get into the business to fill their ego. These people are also the typical injury-prone athletes that maintain the “no pain, no gain” mantra that should have died with the dinosaurs (technically I guess they’re still alive…). But really, if you think like this, you’re going to hurt someone. It’s completely ridiculous. Know when to work in. Know when to work out. End of story. Pay attention to the people that are paying you, and stop pumping your ego.

Leave the Ego, learn the Confidence.

Why am I saying this from up atop a perch, a roost if you will –  of pure pedastilia? (yes I just made that word up)

I’ve been that guy. I was the guy that thought I had to break everyone in front of me. Why? Because as an athlete it’s all I knew training was. Then I got schooled by yoga. Then I got interested in other modalities that teach you how much more effective breathing patterns can be if you use them correctly. I learned how to come out of a “workout” feeling energized, not drained. I travelled to take courses. I went out of my way to incorporate everything I learned into my own practice before guinea pigging people that were paying for my professional services. I put the time in. Now, not to brag, ’cause holy hell I still have a long ways to go… but I am a perpetual student. I can’t wait for the day I get my Registered Yoga Teacher Training Certificate. I can’t wait to get another C.H.E.K certification. I am always on the prowl for new ways of thinking, moving and inspiring others to do the same. I have put in a dozen years and plan on putting another few dozen in. Knowledge is power when shared. And I wanna learn it all.

So that’s why I feel as though we need to get back to an expectation that all of this takes time. I mean, if we’re teaching Lifestyle changes, let’s implement that same, long game strategy, right?

All of the above was only half of my time in the industry. You know, you hit a wall and see that you don’t know everything.. you get schooled. You eat a little pride, pick yourself up and look at it from one of two perspectives. Victim or ownership.

Ownership: Own Your Shit.

Owning or blaming? It’s easy to put the blame on externals, “The wind took the ball… I didn’t have my lucky shorts… my dog had a bad case of the hiccups…” (the last one is pretty true, Darwin gets these wicked little hiccup bursts after he wolfs down his food sometimes…) But really, think about the last situation that wasn’t favourable for you. Now, how was that outcome entirely your fault? I know, right? Tough to own it. But seriously, try that exercise out. It’s freeing.

As far as consumers of health and wellness go, the story is the same. However, in my experience I have found that most often it’s not that (especially the music industry) folks don’t want to get healthy, they just don’t know how, or where to start.

That’s where we, health professionals need to step up our game. Let’s educate and inform and give tools, resources and empowerment in the hands of the rest of the world that’s looking for answers.

I’m a part of a really sweet industry panel for Alberta Music next Wednesday night in Calgary.

It’s free for everyone. If you feel like donating, proceeds will go to the Unison Benevolent Fund, Amanda Power the Executive Director of Unison will be on the panel taking questions and providing her insight alongside myself, so if you’re in town, musician or not – free education. Check the event out here: Download YYC: Mental and Physical Wellbeing in the Music Industry

Feel free to comment, send me an email or get in touch on any of the socials if you’d like more info on anything to do with health and wellness.

I truly believe if you’re still reading this, you do care, and I’d like to remove the obstacles that kept you from being the most rad version of yourself in the past. You got see how awesome being healthy, happy and your best self truly is. But it starts with you.

‘Til next time,

Stay sweet!Untitled design-15

Stress. It’s a real thing. The last couple of months have shown us how important wellness really is. Unfortunately the repercussions of not being well, physically and/or mentally, have taken the lives of many of our beloved industry colleagues. The darkness of anxiety, depression and addiction is slowly coming to light. And for good reason. Nowadays it’s very rare to come across someone that says “no” when asked if they’re feeling stressed. It’s become engrained to the hustle-bustle, 60 hour work week we all know and love to hate. But does it have to be like this? Not a chance. Here are my top 3 picks to help alleviate stress and get you back to being the best version of yourself.

The number one thing you should do when you’re struggling with something is talk to a professional for help. Yes, your friends can lend an ear, but unless they’re trained professionals you’re not getting the full meal deal. Speaking to a professional counsellor, therapist and/or a psychiatrist will help you identify the root of the stress and they’ll then be able to provide you with the right resources to get you back in action, stat. I still go to therapy and I would recommend it to anyone who’s seeking direction, closure from a relationship, financial advice, how to conquer their fears or anything that’s got them feeling down, stressed, helpless or worse yet – suicidal. It’s serious. Below I’ve included a few links to some services ’round these parts and a brief description of what they do.

Elephant Artist Relief
  • Great local resource with everything from funding options, financial aid to counselling etc… connectors to all aspects of better well-being

Distress Centre 

  • 24/7 crisis support for Calgary and southern Alberta. These fine folks do not define crisis and are there for anyone at any time. This is their 24-Hour Crisis Line: 403.266.HELP (4357) and you can find them on the web at http://www.distresscentre.com/contact-us/

Unison Benevolent Fund

  • Non-Profit registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. They help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. Here’s their assistance number 1-855-986-4766 and website – http://unisonfund.ca
  • We actually have a “Mental Health and Wellbeing” Download session happening Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30pm in Calgary session for Alberta Music members. Amanda Power from Unison Benevolent Fund will be joining me on the panel, so be sure to head here to save your seat in Calgary (if you’re not a member, get on it! You get free access to the awesome programming – albertamusic.org/membership)
  • I actually had the treat of interviewing the Executive Director of Unison, Shiela Hamilton back last fall. Hear our conversation about Unison Benevolent Fund and how us artists can utilize their services here Shiela Hamilton – Unison Benevolent Fund 

2. Journal and Meditate 

Oftentimes, just putting the proverbial pen to paper (talk about alliteration!) can remedy a lot of stress in our lives. A new brain imaging study by UCLA psychologists reveals why verbalizing our feelings makes our sadness, anger and pain less intense. [Read the full article here]

As far as meditation goes, this is a favourite quote of mine:

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes everyday – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”

I personally like to use an app called “Headspace” for my mediation and another app called “Daylio” for tracking my mood and a daily journal entry.

However, I don’t like being on my phone. I find it’s actually quite contradictory to disconnecting and being mindful, as we spend so much time glued to the Snapface and Instabook already. So, if you’re like me, I’d recommend going out and grabbing a journal from a local bookstore for $25. Or better yet, I wrote a 21-Day Self-Love Journal. It’s easy to follow along and start placing gratitude, self-worth and consideration at the top of your charts… Super helpful if you’re struggling to get there on your own. Day by day you just implement the tools I prescribe and voila, you’re on your way to becoming the best version of yourself in just 21 days. Start reading it here for free – Start With U: 21 Day Self-Love Challenge

3. Exercise!

That’s right, in general, findings from research indicate that exercise is associated with improvements in mental health including mood state and self-esteem, although a causal link has not been established. Research on acute exercise indicates that 20 to 40 minutes of aerobic activity results in improvements in state anxiety and mood that persist for several hours. These transitory changes in mood occur in both individuals with normal or elevated levels of anxiety, but appear to be limited to aerobic forms of exercise. [Read the full article here]

So what’s the difference between aerobic exercise and all that other stuff? Well, aerobic exercise is exercise where your body’s cardiovascular system (the lungs and heart and circulatory system) work to provide the main source of energy to the body. Things like long walks, jogging, resistance circuit training (sorta), swimming, hiking, cycling, flow yoga and trail running are all examples of aerobic exercise.

We also have Anna Beaumont a voice teacher sitting in on the “Mental Health and Wellbeing” download session in March with myself and Amanda, so be sure to register if you’re interested in learning more about how mindset, meditation and movement can help your playing, reduce your stress and essentially help you to become the best version of yourself.

Here are a few other ways to get active, try something new and have fun:

Edmonton

MindBodyLogo-1

City Fit Shop – Whip around obstacles and play like a kid again in Edmonton’s premiere

obstacle course gym.

logoss.pngThe Surf Studio – Hang ten, dude. Get your surf on at this one-of-a-kind fitness experience. You’ll understand why those surfer dudes and babes are ripped! Holy core, Batman!

topVertically Inclined Rock Gym – If you’re not afraid of heights or awesome things this might be the ticket to getting a new activity down. Kids programs, adult programs and birthday party specials, this place has it all for veteran climbers and rookies.

Calgary

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Bodhi Tree Yoga – Looking for the best Yoga studio experiences in town? Look no further than Bodhi Tree. Plus Alberta Music’s own, Amy Thiessen teaches here. Incredible instructors and space so this spot is great for the seasoned yogi and first timers alike.

Click here to learn more about the MusicFit Collective Affiliate discount to save some coin on your yoga passes.

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Bike and BrewCalgary’s first cycle shop and cafe, these guys offer it all. Have a cup of the best brew in town, snack on some baking from Corbeaux Bakehouse or try a sandwich from locals vendors Peppino while you get your bike serviced. They also offer group rides, information sessions and product knowledge workshops so once the snow clears you’re all set to ride.

Click here to learn more about the MusicFit Collective Affiliate discount to save some coin on your caffeination and select merchandise. 

There are some musician specialty clinics happening in March and April as well:

Sunday, April 8 “How To Effective Load Gear”

Load Gear Without Fear

This is a musician wellness workshop that will focus on practical theory and knowledge combined with practical movement patterns to ensure you’re keeping your body in good form and avoiding injury. Limited space, AB Members only (get your membership at www[dot]albertamusic[dot]org/membership") Price includes taxes and service fees.

C$59.00

Sunday March 25 “Down-regulatory exercise: Working-In”

How To Use Exercise To Inspire Creativity and Performance March 25 (AB Music Members Early Bird)

This specialty clinic will touch on effective down-regulatory exercise and stretching techniques to help alleviate pain, reduce stress and help you increase creativity and performance. You’ll be at 11. Why don’t you just make 10 louder? Because this one goes to eleven. AB Music members discount (get your membership at www[dot]albertamusic[dot]org/membership) Limited space. Price includes taxes and service fees

C$59.00

Well folks, I hope you can take something valuable away from this. If you’re interested in a consult to determine how to organize parts of your lifestyle you’d like to improve, please reach out. For all Alberta Music Members I offer 50% off, all hour long consultations  and I can meet in person and via Facebook video every Friday. Contact me to book a spot.

Quick recap and I’ll get out of your hair:

  1. Talk to a professional if you’re having challenges in life.
  2. Journal your thoughts and take time to be with yourself.
  3. Exercise! There’s plenty of ways to move your body and they don’t all revolve around the gym…

As always, thanks for reading,

Namaste sweet!

Peace.

MUntitled design-13

Ps. Rad photo eh? Check my brother out on Facebook Sean Schwartz Photography

As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.