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

 

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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

This thought brought to you by nearly 12 years of hardship, trials and tribulations and a ton of goofing up along the way and figuring shit out the hard way. Think about this one for a hot minute. Our social support system is critical to determining whether or not we keep on pushing through with goals and aspirations or if we give up. Do you really want it? Do you like the idea of wanting it? I’ll use my experience as an example, please let me know if you can relate…

I have spent so much time in my own space, developing my craft, fighting to be heard, struggling – really struggling. Some people, often closest to me have told me to give up. Others call me stubborn, or even just plain stupid. It’s not like that to me. It’s not a choice. I would rather wonder where my paycheque was and continue to make positive impact in the lives of others than go work for some company and build their dream. I truly don’t know what I’d be doing if I was not a catalyst for lifestyle change in others’ lives.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about the next thing, the next way to inspire to the masses, another promotional strategy to communicate my message …the list goes on and on… it’s really quite a thing for me. My overactive mind still sometimes gets the best of me and I find myself reeling these extravagant thoughts and dreams of creativity and purpose in so that it’s fuel to the fire. But at times, it goes unnoticed. Actually, I feel like most often it goes unnoticed. That’s okay though, except for when it crosses a certain line. I am human and emotions do play a role.

More often than not, I’m the butt of most insensitive jokes. What’s batshit crazy about that, is that the jokes come from people you wouldn’t expect. Just little shots from those on the sidelines, not really sure what I’m doing behind the scenes and clearly not in tune with how the words they speak may affect others around them.

“Will you pay me in exposure.”

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 11.05.45 AM.png

This is a real example from a real person in my life. A person I would have in the past called a friend. Harmless or not, the demeaning nature of this comment temporarily derailed my train from the tracks of my greater purpose. It was like a callous shot in the arm. A sting from a wasp. Albeit temporary, I’m not going to die (thank the heavens I learned this past summer that I’m not allergic to stings!) it still hurts like hell.

Why?

Because it’s from the perspective of an individual closer to me (although now that could be argued) than a random person. A person that knows (some of) my story and has seen my growth, seen my shortcomings and been there on the path for some of it. They were not alongside me shoulder to shoulder, but ironically enough I met this person and had a positive impact on their lifestyle. Typical me, years ago we met and  I provided my professional services to incorporate wellness into a lifestyle darkened by poor nutrition, alcoholism and inactivity, stress and so on and so forth…. So the comment itself bamboozles me. And feel free to use that word when given the opportunity this week. It’s under-utilized. Anyway, I know my value and was miffed by the lack of discretion. I felt like calling them out with something like:

“Hello, we got on so well because we learned from each other in times of critical need. Now you want to dismiss the work that I do because of whatever insecurities or predisposed commentary you have about my business practices…”

I did throw fire back, unapologetically – as this wasn’t the first time this individual made the exact same discerning comment. I laughed it off the first time, something like 6 months ago… but once the knife is in and turned a couple times around it’s hard to not take things personally… you know?

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 11.57.35 AM.png

However, today as I look back on it, I have let that shit go. It was not a personal attack against me. Who knows what the people around us are going through. They could be just reacting and projecting a story they have in their head about you. And that brings me finally, to my main point. Ta da! See? Full circle…

The people we hold closest to us in our personal lives have a story they’ve built up about us. So no matter what you accomplish professionally, no matter how much experience you gain in your field, you’ll always be “sonny”, “baby brother” or “one of the boys”, “daddy’s girl” the “party girl” or “wild child” or whoever you were to them when they met you.

You’ll only become a prophet once you leave your hometown.

 


 

Now, for those of you wondering what the heck I was getting flack on Facebook about anyway, I actually made a calling for an IT/Web design tech savvy person to bounce some ideas and see what they would recommend for a project I’ve been working at for a while; my new online store. I am prepared to hire the right person as web design, though I can do it – is not a great use of my time. I’d prefer to have someone much more in love with it and proficient to get it done right and with the same kind of passion as I bring to my clients.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 11.35.35 AM.png
This is what the comment above was in response to… the backstory is that in our industry trades of services and “promises of fame” often act in lieu of monetary compensation. So I felt that comment delegitimized my credibility and assumes I wouldn’t flat out hire someone to do the job. Not the case at all. Se la vie… 

Turns out for the time being anyway I don’t need to hire anyone on. I was able to figure things out and get the coding done DIY style so now all of you can check out the products and services I offer to musicians, via remote coaching, webinars and soon to be released, E-Programs.

That’s right, I’ve got a few introductory exercise workout programs and stretch techniques that I’ve built and can’t wait to release to help people conveniently take care of themselves at home with proper instruction!

For now, online coaching services and free weekly webinars – if you’re interested in checking it out, please head to the MusicFit Collective New Online Store at

—–> musicfit.yondo.com

The first webinar is set to help explain what kind of exercises are best for you in The Musician’s Guide To Working Out and I’d love to see you there.

Until next time,

Namaste sweet!

M

 

Featured image by Joshua Alfaro on Unsplash

“I dunno.”

The only words to escape my empty mind at the time. Fast forward to a couple nights ago. Similar in approach to a tee.

“I dunno.”

See, human beings are fascinating creatures. Oftentimes we tend to think about all the things at the end of the road. Meanwhile, we have missed the beauty of the turns, the hills and the coastal view all along the way.

It’s right in front of you.

But only when you’re ready will your eyes clear the fog and let you see for yourself.

And that’s okay.

We’ve got all the time in the world. It just likes to chase us.

Thanks for listening, namaste sweet.

Goodnight. 😚

-ms

Calisthenic or “body-weight exercise” often goes underrated in the world of fitness. Overshadowed by the likes of the latest Spin Class, or CrossFit “Workout Of The Day” (WOD) – and don’t get me wrong, I love my friends at YYC Cycle & at CrossFit Above All – but social media has coached us into moving our body with some sort of apparatus generally speaking.

I am here to dispel that notion and shed some light on another way; a way for people that enjoy getting in shape with the things that they have around them… Like a stair case, a wall or the playground their kids hit up on the weekend.

What is calisthenics? 

Simply put, sequences of “primal” movement patterns (squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling and twisting…)

Many people consider body-weight exercises as elementary or “rookie” because of the media’s misconception of the strength training fuelled by the big box gym and companies that sell shit that they want you to buy. Really though – we all have the resources right in front of us. And if you are still skeptical about how body weight training could possibly make you strong, check this fella out. Ido Portal is a God of movement and one of my favourite specialist to model programming from. Here is a bit of his practice. Tell me what you think.

If you are interested in learning more, click here for a primal movement pdf to help you learn the basics.

I am offering a 6 week body weight training program too. In person and remote. Click here if that sounds like fun.

Thanks for reading. Stay sweet!

I’m back!

Hey everyone! If you’ve never taken a breather, I highly recommend it. Be it from social media, the phone and emails or just from the daily hustle and grind – it all adds up and sometimes it’s nice to just recharge and breathe.

I spent May doing just that. I’m refocused, energized and have realigned my vision, got a few projects really rockin’ and rollin’ and most importantly, I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.
I find that I have more energy than ever! I’m waking up with the sun every day, going for a jog with Dar or doing some yoga in my living room and then heading in to either volunteer at Ronald McDonald House or down to INLIV to work with an all-star personal training team to inspire some amazing lives! I even bike almost 200 kilometres every week for fun!
I can’t say it was all me. I owe a lot of it to resetting my mindset and that only really started to kick in about 6 months ago when I started getting coached through the same system I teach my coaching clients, Precision Nutrition’s Pro-Coach.

Between volunteering, creating, coaching, catching live music events around town, hosting two shows; one on TV and the other, my very own radio show (now available on iTunes!), entertaining (or more like being entertained by) my pup Darwin, it seems like there should be a lot fewer hours in my day, right? It’s all in how you manage your time, I s’pose.
I’ve attached some links for you to take a peek at some of the things I’ve been up to. I hope you enjoy it, share it and remember the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, burnt out or out of control – take a step back and breathe. Reach out if you would like some help or even just an ear to vent to.

SoundScape

Check out the TV show I host, SoundScape YYCTanner James plays some tunes, talks about the upcoming release of his debut novel and chats with me about the changing landscape of Calgary’s music scene and how he’s thriving as an artist in the wake of the gunslingers and oil barons of the wild, wild west. It’s a real doozy. Tune in.

PPLSKLZ RADIO

The first episode is out! Be sure to tune in on that commute to work or over lunch break for your hour-long dose of local music-fused with real discussion on proactive healthcare for musicians and music lovers. Chalked full of value, this episode includes the first part of a new gender series “What Is A Man” I’m unrolling this month, some great local artists including Jo-Jo O’ and the Woods and The Heirlooms and tips and tricks to help keep you moving and feeling great! Check it out below.

The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle

Now available on amazon.ca, get your copy of my book in either old school paperback or fresh, like the kids these days – e-book. Order your copy today!

Thanks for reading, until next time… stay sweet!

 

And just like that it could have been taken all away from me. 

For some reason, I decided to loop back before entering the crosswalk on Monday. Mounted on “Big Red” my mountain bike converted to commuter to get to work and back and run errands around Calgary, my timely hesitation before rolling into the crosswalk may have very well been the half second that kept me alive that day. 

The car careened into oncoming traffic stopped at the redlight facing westbound on 9th after t-boning the drivers side quarter panel of a car2go, smashing that car into the concrete wall bordering 4th st. 

I was about a tire length from being steamrolled by that grey sedan, but instead, as I watched the car come to an abrupt stop right beside me in that oncoming traffic, passenger thug and his dog escape and cowardly flee the scene I took another breathe of oxygen. I was still standing. 

Sometimes I guess that’s the world’s way of telling you “Not yet, man. You have some work to do.” And while it’s a long arduous battle these days, mom’s right – it could always be worse. I could have been under that car. Instead, I made a split decision after I took into account the scene was in good hands with EMS and Police. It was on. 

Who knows what I would have done had I caught that bastard before he and his dog hijacked that black pick up, but shit I tell ya I’ve never pedalled so fast in my life. What a sketchy, coked-up piece of shit. His time will run out. I think he should consider himself lucky I didn’t catch him. 

Probably for the best. Knowing me I’d be the one facing charges. 

Now I can focus. Even though times are tough – no amount of money could put into perspective what it means to have the handful of people that flash through your mind after you gain perspective from a traumatic incident like Monday’s hit and run. 

Family, my dog, close friends and my first love. It’s amazing to think it could all go so quickly. Amazing that she’s still in my head too. Back of the mind, yet still front of mind… 

I’m happy to be here. I’m meant to do something more. And I’m more inspired (and impoverished, haha!) than ever to just light it up.

Tell those you care about how they make you feel. Trust in yourself and don’t ever give up. And no matter what… Chase the thug down, no matter how effin’ scared you are. Chase that mthrfkr down as hard as you can. Even if it’s right after hes nearly hit you with a stolen car in a crosswalk on your way to work. It’s good for your soul. Chase. 

Peace. ✌️