Injured? Sick? Don’t push the panic button! Do this instead…

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A couple of summers ago,  I blew out both my shoulders doing something dumb. I was stressed, over-tired and not warmed-up when I attempted to do a simple exercise on a stability ball with a colleague. Annoyed with our conversation, I had zero focus, I felt over-whelmed with what I could have been doing instead of where I was and what I was doing. I fell flat on my face with both shoulders positioned badly.

My very first though was, “Oh my god I can’t exercise! I’m going to get fat and depressed…”

As a coach, clients regularly tell me about their various injured body parts or illnesses. Whether it’s a common cold, pneumonia, putting a shoulder or knee ‘out’ while playing ball, stepping out of the car ‘wrong’ or sleeping ‘funny’, I listen to the self-defeating mantras that are going through their minds. I’ve been there too…

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Most Things Work If You Do Them

On my summer holidays from Custom Fit, I did not do strength training work outs in the barn. I didn’t practice yoga or Pilates in the studio. Instead, I rode between two and five horses a day and I strolled (like a blindfolded toddler) around our property and down the dirt road with our puppy Vivian.

Over my break, I decided to focus on riding and walking. I made the decision. Because I chose to do this, I didn’t feel guilty about taking a hiatus from my fitness routine.

Instead, I chose to plug into the moment. Doing this allowed me to focus on the joy of walking my puppy and being back in the saddle.

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Need Your Ass Kicked? Try This Instead…

We have a new puppy. Her name is Vivian. So she doesn’t grow up thinking her name is ‘No’ (a-la Meghan Trainor style), we decided that the best way to train the puppy is to be as tough as possible on her so she ‘gets it’ as fast as possible.

To make this happen, we criticize the puppy and we call her names. We do hours of obedience training every day. And, when she doesn’t obey, we withhold food and water until she complies.

At every turn, as a family, we berate Viv; we punish her every mistake. Basically, we take turns kicking Viv’s ass…

Makes sense, right? Perhaps you feel the same way about yourself after a summer of debauchery and sloth. You could use a good ass kicking to drop a few pounds so you can get in shape…So your jeans fit.

You deserve it. It’s what you need…

If you think that is a sound and fair plan, don’t bother reading the rest of this post. And, if you think I’m a coach who just ‘takes numbers and kicks asses’ at Custom Fit, don’t bother joining us this fall in person or online.

If you agree that there is a better way, keep reading.

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Simplify to Show Up Filled Up Every Time

On Friday the Simplify Your Life (SYL) summit wrapped up. The summit consisted of 12 days and 24 experts (me too!) speaking about how to streamline health and wellness practices. The experts shared nuggets on how to fill our tanks through simplifying.

Throughout the summit, de-cluttering and Marie Kondo’s book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up came up often. When Kondo’s book came out in 2014, I initially thought the premise was silly: Keep only things that bring you joy.

What..?

 

But, I when put the theory into practice it was straight forward and so, so simple: Get rid of  junk that weighs us down and suddenly we show up, filled up ready to give back more.

When our lives are full of chaos, whether in our physical or mental space, or in our relationships, we can get stuck in the ‘I don’t have enough time’ trap. As a coach, I hear this stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks-one-liner regularly.

Here’s the thing—we put the ‘I don’t have the time’ mantra to the test when we suddenly have enough time to

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Building the Gratitude Muscle: ‘Get To’ Versus ‘Have To’

We’re in the middle of a drought in central Ontario. To conserve well water, the other day I got to sit in the laundry mat. While I waited, I got to write the start of this post (and three others).

I didn’t need to; I got to.

The other day we got two inches of rain! It was time to drag my outdoor sand horseback riding arena and weed my garden. I headed out excited to tackle these two chores. With the rain, I gratefully dragged the arena and did not suck dust. The soft soil in the garden made pulling weeds by the roots easy.

Completing these two chores reminded me of this mantra once again: I get to.

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Hit Bottom, Simplify And Get Back Into Routines

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Are you watching the Olympics? It’s amazing to witness athletes at their peak. The work and dedication required to reach the ultimate goal in sports means simplifying life down to this: sticking to routines and many years of narrowly focused training. These athletes live and breathe their routines. They climb and climb, they reach their top, peak and then, they descend. And, they descend on purpose. That’s because athletes of this caliber know that you can’t keep peaking.

And, just like Olympic athletes, we can’t keep peaking either. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can.

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Is My Super Food Your Poison…?

How to learn the difference with a 7 day reset


“Mom, you need to go ride a horse and find a dog.” This was the advice our 13 year old daughter, Lila, recently gave me. Knowing that she is now officially smarter than I am, I laughed and said, “I’m on it!”

I am a big believer in embracing the seasons in life. I’m not just talking about summer versus winter. I mean things like:

  • going to school
  • establishing a new career
  • getting married
  • becoming a parent or grandparent
  • retiring

Things like that.

After losing our beloved dog Betty this spring and completing three big work projects, my kid offered her advice based on a new season I’ve recently entered:

  1. I have a fantastic schedule for my fitness business at Custom Fit.
  2. My first book, NOURISH was published in April.
  3. So I can reach people worldwide, I learned the technology to start sharing my coaching services online. (I’m in the middle of coaching my fourth course: The Nourished Equestrian.)

This also means that I am coming out a highly unbalanced (totally out of whack, if I’m honest) couple of years. When you are in the thick of it (whatever it is), do you find that you stray from doing what works for you too?

Here’s what I have learned from a late spring and early summer of slowing things down: 

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Posture Tip: Don’t Give Up Your Middle!

Do this for more core strength and stability in everything you do.

Core strength…It’s all the rage and just about everyone wants more. But, you can train your abs all-day-long and still have a weak core and a back that aches because of this common postural mistake: giving up the middle.

Are keeping your core connected while you ride your horse, garden, golf or push a baby stroller?

Some people succumb to gravity and dump forward; some people ‘pop’ their ribs and hyper-extend their backs. Regardless, in everything you do—from sports to household chores to driving in your car—always seek to find a neutral spine and pelvis to develop your core properly (and to save your back).

Good news! You can correct this body awareness issue with practice.

If you’re awake, to have a strong core and a stabilized back and pelvis, work to keep your core connected three dimensionally. Here’s a quick video tutorial about keeping your middle (core) connected with good posture.

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