Not so stretchy…..

I hate stretching. Okay, I don’t hate it.  Well, not like I hate racism and processed food.  It’s just not on my ‘go to’ list of things to do.  Much like sewing, shopping in home improvement stores or bargain hunting online.  There’s nothing wrong with that stuff – in fact, it can be necessary and often good to do those things.  I just don’t WANT to do them.  I like adrenaline, I like moving.  Clearly it makes sense that I opened a Hit.  I live for snowboarding, skateboarding, wake boarding, horseback riding, climbing things, swimming in stuff and the list goes on.  My personality likes moving, sweating and rushes of endorphins.  I’m as crunched for time as the next person but I NEVER sacrifice my activities.  However, I have definitely been known to get some killer muscle-busting exercise, wipe my sweat and, ummmmm, run headlong into my next adventure.  No stretching.  However, I am starting to pay the price.  I’m getting a limp like Lurch and my head tilts a little to the left.  Always.  (If you think I look sympathetic all the time, I’m not.  It’s the perma head tilt.)  I walk around trying to rub the knot out of my right glute.  That’ll get you some looks in the grocery store.  My man now knows that if he touches my traps, even as lightly as a butterfly would flutter its wings, I’ll punch him.  It’s just a knee jerk reaction to tremendous pain but still the poor kid has started wearing head gear around the house.  I can’t shoulder check.   I can’t get into any Yoga position past the first 10%.  Imagine how a Barbie doll (minus the boobs) would look in standing Eagle pose.  I’m as flexible as one of those jacked up body builders.  Just muscle bound without the muscles.  Shameful, I know.  So, yes, I need to stretch more.  But rather than enroll myself in my own Accountability program (how would that even work?) I decided to determine how to make stretching not just something I need to do but also WANT to.  Life doesn’t need to be filled with drudgery.  There’s no reason to feel like we’re always just slogging through the “have to’s.”  Sometimes we just need to figure out a creative solution, adjust our perspective or adopt a better attitude. So, I don’t like stretching.  What DO I like to do when I’m in a stationary position? Read.  Think.  Write.  Reflect.  Why not combine them?  So, now I can take that time I use to become inspired, to learn, to better understand myself and add my stretching to it!  I have notes on my iPhone and books on my iPad.  No matter where I’ve trained, I can plop myself on the floor, surround myself with words and ideas and treat my hamstrings to some welcome relief.   In fact, I’m stretching RIGHT NOW. I might become so flexible, that next time you’ll see me, I’ll look like this……(preferably minus the beard but, hormones, you never know…..)

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“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” –  Matsuo Basho

In a bunch of studies I checked out, I found out the most cited reason women exercise is for weight control and/or loss. For men, it’s building and/or maintaining muscle tone. (Developing muscle tone was #4 for women and weight control was #4 for men.) Other reasons include increasing cardiovascular health, reducing stress and feeling good.  Pretty standard answers for why one should exercise, I suppose. During the interviews I conduct for the Accountability Program, I’ve found that most women desire to lose inches or weight and they want to feel good about themselves.  Exercise, like many things, is often a very goal-oriented endeavor. People meet their milestones and then set a new ones.  We constantly strive for progression and, if you’re like me, you are always looking for new ways to challenge and better yourself.  That is just how I am.  Unfortunately with this mindset, I’ve often found myself always looking forward, focused on the future and what will come next.  One of the most important things I am learning in fitness, and in life, is how to balance my drive towards my next goal with an ability to embrace the moment and lessons I encounter on my journey.  What’s become even more important for me than achieving new levels of fitness, are the byproducts that I’ve overlooked in the past. The biggest things for me during the journey of this gym, my health and my life, surround appreciating the tough stuff, learning resilience and practicing discipline, day to day, moment by moment. Interestingly, I don’t value the achievement of my goals as much as I cherish the things I have learned and who I have become along the way.  I’ve learned to see obstacles as a challenge and to rise above defeat.  I’ve learned the importance of choosing my attitude daily. Positive people are not born. They decide. It’s that simple.  I’ve chosen to be dedicated and committed.  I’m proud of the strength of character I’ve developed and I value that more than a cute bum and sexy arms. (Nothing wrong with those things but they are not what I value most.) You’re probably in the midst of a journey, a journey to health, to fitness, or to something else.  Keep those goals, achieve them but recognize that the value is really in the process.  While you may be looking for a certain number on the scale, be appreciative of the chance you have right now to develop discipline.  Be content to be a bud and a flower at the same time.  When we reach a goal, we set a new one.  So really the only state we ever exist in is a state of journeying. We owe it to ourselves to find the beauty in it, value the journey beyond all else.  See it as home.  Make it your home.

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Top 5

I spend a lot of time talking to my members. We chat about our families, jobs and experiences but we also talk a lot about what they can do to become healthier and better members.

Here is a list of the Top 5 things we discuss:

1.  Measuring instead of weighing ~  We all want that instant gratification of jumping on the scale and seeing that pound gone but it’s not a true gauge to how much fat you have lost. Truth is, if you are working out hard enough, you will actually gain weight (muscle weighs more than fat) but you will have lost inches. I say who cares what you weigh as long as you are looking smaller and feeling healthier! Measure yourself today, work out hard for 2 months and celebrate the inches lost.

2.  Eating ~ You will get to your goals faster if you pay attention to what you are eating. I’ll be the first to say “Don’t run out and change everything you eat”. We need our treats in moderation. With that said, I do think we all have a problem with our portions. Continue with the way you are eating right now, but have smaller amounts. Eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner on a 10″ plate and then when you are hungry, snack on veggies, almonds and fruit. I bet after a couple of months, you will feel better and want to make small, healthier choices in your eating.

3.  Goals and Scheduling~ One successful way to get into better shape is by making goals. Be realistic, goals should be in short time frames and/or small amounts lost. Plan for that vacation, wedding, reunion or 2 inches lost. Once you have your goals placed, schedule your workouts in. Take these appointments with yourself seriously. We book appointments for our hair, nails, dentist. All to make ourselves look better but none of these can do for you what a great looking, healthy body will. Make the time and stop making excuses.

4.  Gym Etiquette ~ We care about making a great space for you to workout in and other members follow standard gym etiquette and if you do too, we will all enjoy the environment more.

  • ~Please wear clean shoes. It’s not nice to make the person working out behind you, lay in the dirt you just kicked off your shoes. (Runners CAN go in the wash)
  • ~Don’t wear strong perfumes. We breath hard at the Hit and it’s hard enough to breath without inhaling perfumes, some of which may not be appealing smells to all.
  • ~Please wear deodorant. Another smell that is hard to workout beside is B.O. Hate saying it, but we all know that we don’t like it!
  • ~Bring a towel. You have to be sweating if you are doing the Hit, and if you’re not, you’re doing it wrong. Lay the towel on every surface that you will be laying on so that the person working out behind you doesn’t have to lay in your wet spot! Yuck!
  • ~Respectfully use the stretching area but if you are just sitting and chatting, move somewhere else so that other members may also enjoy the area.
  • ~Do these and you will enjoy happy fellow hitters and trainers.

5. Don’t cancel or hold because of an injury ~ Talk to your Hit owners, there may be a way for you to continue      working out and staying in shape. Quite a few of my members were going to quit or go on hold because they didn’t think that they would be able to work out. We were able to show them a couple of modifications that helped them continue and successfully reach their goals without having to start over. Please keep in mind that we are not Dr’s or physiotherapists, so please consult with them first.

All 30 Min Hit owners and trainers are there to help you. Approach them with any questions or concerns you have. Hopefully some of these have helped you or answered some of your questions in the mean time.

Happy Hitting~

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The Galatea Effect

The Galatea Effect was an idea put forth by Robert Merton in 1957 suggesting that we tend to do what we think we can do.  This theory can be looked at from both negative and positive perspectives.  I prefer the positive aspect (obviously!), which reveals an individual’s high self expectations lead to high performance.

What does this mean in the gym?  It’s a bit about your attitude and beliefs.  Actually it’s ALL about YOUR attitude and beliefs.  Do you doubt yourself, doubt that you can accomplish specific goals?  Do you tell yourself you are too tired and that you don’t have enough time?  Do you tell yourself you ‘hate’ exercise and that you get bored?

Those negative thoughts and statements will become self fulfilling prophecies and you will find yourself exhausted, too busy, understimulated and resentful, even with an amazing, fun, challenging workout like the Hit right at your fingertips!

If you think you can run a marathon you’ll be more likely to push yourself through the necessary training and cross that line.  The belief that you can do something doesn’t mean that instantly you’ll achieve said goal (you won’t wake up with a six pack, sorry) but it does mean that you’ll take the required steps to get there.  Do you BELIEVE you can be as fit as possible, more fit than you have ever been in your life?  If so, you will commit to consistency, hard work and dedication in the gym and you will see those results.  (Honestly, it’s not even THAT much.  Try 3 times a week and just SEE what happens…..!)  Do you BELIEVE and KNOW that you have the capabilities to come off medication, lose the baby weight and have the muscles you’ve dreamed of?  If so, you will make time in your schedule for the Hit, you will commit yourself to a healthy lifestyle and in a short time you will find yourself healthy, energetic and ready to take on the world without medication, baby weight and rockin’ a six pack, sister!!

If you take this knowledge to heart and demand great things for yourself, you will reach heights you never DREAMED even existed.  Know your destination (for you will go where you think you can go), follow the steps and LOVE the journey.  We believe in you.

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New Years Resolutions and more

Happy New Year!

I love this time of year, people finally taking the time to focus on new challenges and goals.

As we all know, the biggest resolution every year is weight loss or toning up. These are realistic goals but most people either set their goals too high or choose fitness without adding a healthy eating plan and then wonder why things aren’t working.

Here is my short version of how to reach your fitness goals:

1. Measure yourself today. Who cares how much you weigh as long as you know that you are losing inches. Picture a 126lb women, we all see a different picture. She can be soft and overweight or she can be toned and fit. Now picture 2 inches. We all have a realistic idea of what that looks like and pretty sure we would all like at least 2 inches off of one or two parts of our bodies.

2. Give yourself a short term goal. Challenge yourself to come to the gym three times a week or more for one month. Once you get there, push yourself to add another month. At the end of those 2 months re-measure. You will have lost some inches for sure.

3. Healthier eating. I say healthier because I believe that we should all eat in moderation but if you are really wanting to see changes then clean up your diet. If you feel that you have been trying to make better choices but still are not getting the results that you want, start a food diary. Write down all foods you eat for one or two weeks (don’t lie to yourself) and then take a step back and really access how many carbs and treats you are intaking. Are you really eating as many vegetables and proteins as you could or should be? What about omega-3′s? You may be surprised to see that you are not eating as well as you think. Also eat more often and make your meal portions smaller. We should only be eating our meals on 10 inch plates. The rest of the day fill yourself up with fruits, veggies, almonds and green tea. Do this for 2 months and see the changes.

4. Choose to get fit. Every morning you wake, tell yourself you are so happy to be healthier, losing inches and getting toned. If you believe it, you have a better chance of actually seeing it in your reflection. Even cut out a photo of a body type that you would like to have yourself (don’t choose a 20 yr old body if your 55!) and work  towards it.

Talk to your trainers about your goals and challenges, they are there to help and push you. By the end of these two months you won’t want to quit, you will already look and feel better and can start working towards new goals.

Here is wishing you a happy and healthy 2012.

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Jungles and Jyms

(Matt & Monkey. Matt is on the right.)

(Caving in short shorts and flip flops. That's how I roll.)

(Someone's gonna get it......)

(Exhausted, soaking and frozen with the hard part still to come.)

('Deep' is relative. Deep for Filipinos is waist-high for Canadians.)

(I took this photo with the camera I didn't lose.)

It’s about time for an update here!  December 2011 was an adventure.  A trip to Malaysia (Borneo, more specifically) and the Philippines was included this month along with Christmas and the regular goings on at the gym.  As I have in other posts, I’ve found the best way to recap the latest events or to reflect on life is through an ‘I have learned’ format. the list will be horrifyingly incomplete because to fully express the journey and lessons learned in the last little while would result in a novel, not a blog post.

~ I learned that summitting a mountain at 3:30 am during a monsoon is scary.

~ I learned that rip tides in the South China sea are scary and that I’m a better swimmer than a certain Filipino life guard.

~ I learned that caves filled with ammonia and sulphur are scary.

~ I learned that I need to take complete responsibility for myself.  I need to trust my instincts, trust myself to read situations and respond accordingly.  No one is really any smarter than I am.

~ I learned that Filipinos are unbelievably lovely people and that we should all be a whole lot nicer to each other here in North America.

~ I learned that I was right to believe whole heartedly that Audrey would win her first Muay Thai fight.

~ I’ve learned that I get very excited shopping for super cheap clothes and that in order to hold as much as I can, I will carelessly set my man’s camera down.  I also learned that someone else will pick it up and keep it.  (On a related note, I learned my boyfriend is very forgiving.)

~ I learned that witnessing the poverty and just a few of the 250 000 street children from the back of a taxi in Manila will make me cry.

~ I learned that you should always stop beside a poor girl sitting on a bench holding a baby, smile and give them money because you have enough and they don’t.  It is that simple.

~ I learned that I should be even MORE grateful for my health and refuse to compromise it in any way, even if my methods appear extreme to others.  That is their unfair judgement and I don’t care what they think.

~  I learned to be even MORE grateful that I live in Canada for so many reasons.  Mountains to snowboard on, grocery stores full of fresh food, my family, my friends and the Hit!!!

~  I learned that I am a sensation in Borneo and numerous people will want to point, laugh and take pictures with a blond giant.  (I’m thinking my picture has made it on to more than a few Malaysian facebook pages.)

~ I learned that traveling with your boyfriend and his father makes you acutely aware of how alike they are.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay but still moderately unnerving.

~  I learned that I can achieve anything I set my mind to and I’m taking that attitude full force into 2012!!  (You should too!!!!)

Let’s bring it this year, baby!!!!

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Best Life

You’ve heard it all before.  You’ve read Women’s Health, watched the Biggest Loser, listened to your doctor, gossiped about the newest diet craze sweeping Beverly Hills and some whacked chick on CNN got you all freaked out at the latest unhealthy-living, self-inflicted disease that is on the rampage killing couch-surfing jerks everywhere.

We’re smacked in the face harder than Audrey’s right hand day in and day out about being physically fit, about why we need to live better, why we need to manage stress, eat properly and exercise.  Media everywhere is on a health kick.  We see the ramifications of not following clean living all around us.  We see humans close to us and far from us who suffer heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a whole heap of other completely preventable, reversible illnesses brought about by laziness.  You would think that with all the info out there, all the research and all the reasons why we need to take care of ourselves that we would unstick our sand-filled heads and replace some bad habits with good ones.  But, noooooo.  We distinctly make the choice to watch mindless TV, eat worthless food and refuse to be active.  That’s it, Hitters.  Let’s put a stop to this.  I’m calling you out to BE the change we want to see in our world. (Props to Obama.)  It’s time to raise our standards about what it means to be a person, to show the world who we really are. If not NOW, when? Its time we stood up to be better human beings.  Choose to REFUSE mediocrity.

Don’t just become healthier to avoid disease or look skinnier or live longer, though all of those are fine enough reasons.  Frankly, I suppose in the end I don’t care what gets you motivated: dropping some poundage for the Christmas party, some tropical trapped-in-a-bikini holiday or not wanting to end up like your diabetes-ravaged great aunt.   As long as it works for you.  Really, though, those are all quite selfish desires.  Maybe consider some loftier goals.  Become healthy so you can make in difference in the lives of others.  The direct products of prioritizing your health are physical strength, the byproducts are a strong mind, well-developed self discipline and positive energy.  Start with the health and reap benefits that you can’t imagine.  They will enable you to go out into your world and be great.  You will institute positive change in your family, in your community and in OUR world.  Think beyond yourself.  Truly develop REAL habits. End the inner monologue of procrastination.  Just do it.  Stop wallowing in self pity, stop blaming others.  Stop wasting time fighting battles your create for yourself.  Don’t let others hold you back.  Don’t let them make excuses for you.  Stop eating crap.  We live in a country where we have been gifted massive stores full of fresh, real, whole food.  Take only what you NEED.  Empty your mind of excuses, of the garbage, of the distractions.  Your mind will now have the room to grow remarkable ideas and set remarkable goals.  Let health just BE in your life.  Just BE it.  You then have the ability to move past the trivial.  To DO remarkable things.  Change lives.  Set a real example.  Learn to care about others and love them.  Live your best life.  Whatever that may be.  Everybody has a completely different best life, your best life will not be my best life.  But I guarantee that everybody’s best life has one thing in common, a healthy body.  “As you care for your body, so you care for your life.”  If you love and care for your body, you will love and care for your life.  And that is how you change the world, how you look beyond yourself, how you surpass mediocrity, leaving ‘average’ far behind you.  Screw the bare minimum in anything.  Go above and beyond.  At work, at home, in the gym and wherever your feet take you.  This is your one shot in life.  It’s time.  It doesn’t take a month, a year or a decade to change your life – it happens in an instant.  It happens the moment you make a fundamental commitment from the deepest place within you  that you’ll no longer stand for mediocrity and dedicate yourself to living the life you were destined to live.  Your best life.

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Don’t hibernate!

Don’t go into hibernation ladies!

Even though it’s winter, don’t lose sight of your goals. You need them in order to make changes. Goals are very important during this time of year as it’s easy to lose sight of your health when the weather gets wet, cold, gloomy and we start to layer up. Personally, this is the best time of year to make some new goals and work towards them (early NY resolution). We all have hot vacations in mind, need to be in shape for skiing and/or a great little black dress to put on during the holidays. Don’t find yourself in panic mode, trying to cram 3 months of working out into 2 weeks. You won’t get the results you could have had.

Write down your goals and then make them a priority. By the time summer rolls around, you will be ready for those great new tanks and shorts while everyone else is trying to figure out how to lose those last 10 pounds they have been covering up over the winter.

So if you are thinking about taking it easy in Decemeber…… THINK AGAIN!

Don’t quit on yourself! 30 Min Hit,  3 times a week, is the gift to yourself. You will be the toned fit girl at the party who isn’t worried about what she is eating because you are working out enough to burn it off.

Make the choice, make the goals and make it in….. 3x a week!

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YOUR best – nothing more and nothing less!

I was working out by myself and right in the middle of uppercuts, I stopped to write this blog.  As I was punching away, the key to successful workouts (and successful everythings, for that matter) occurred to me.

All you gotta know is that you did your best.  You can walk away with your head held high.  And that’s it.  That’s what is great about the Hit.  There is no one you have to answer to but yourself and that is true in anything, your job, relationships, whatever.  If you did your best, there is no guilt, there is no self judgement – only pride and self respect.  Who cares if Dayna can do double time knees for a whole two freakin’ minutes? It’s not about the specific accomplishment or being better than anyone else.   If you’re not able to keep a turbo-charged, nitrous-fueled Michelle Poon pace, that’s fine.  Just ask yourself “am I doing MY best?”  We can motivate you, we can challenge you, we give you the tools but only YOU will know if you are doing your VERY BEST. Another great thing about the Hit is that if you are doing YOUR best you WILL see results.  Guaranteed.  At times when you are sick or tired, your best will be less than when you are rested and energetic.  Trying to force your sick or exhausted self into accomplishing what you can when you are healthy is a recipe for disaster.  You will deplete all your energy and suffer setbacks.  Don’t overdo your best.  Understand what your best is for that moment and then settle for nothing less.

Asking if I’m doing my best helps me maintain my focus.  If you are honest with yourself you will be able to answer the question, “am I doing my best?’ simply and clearly.   If I ever feel crappy at the end of the day, I can usually reflect back and I can find times where I wasn’t my best.  They are why I do not feel pleased.  Maybe I was impatient on the phone with my mother, maybe I didn’t leave the gym floor clean for Audrey, maybe I watched TV when I should have read a book and maybe I drank too much coffee.  None of these things are catastrophic and we all make mistakes. I don’t practice self-loathing,  I just tell myself that I will do my best tomorrow.  But when I do have a day where I can look at each moment I was in and I know I did my best, I feel happy, proud and peaceful at the end of my day.

Doing your best goes a long way in feeling good about who you are and loving yourself.  Loving yourself is an essential element to a happy, beautiful life that most women struggle to realize.  Doing your best doesn’t mean you are perfect and it doesn’t mean you are (or ever will be) Double Time Dayna. ( And that is GOOD.  Not that I don’t love Dayna, but I don’t want 200 hundred Dayna’s in my gym.  I want every special, unparalleled one of you.)  What doing your best DOES mean is that you will be further along in your journey to be your true self, a happy, healthy and truly unique human being who LOVES herself.

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Two years

It’s hard to believe that at the first of December, 30 Minute Hit Edmonton will be two years old.  These years have gone by so fast and a remarkable amount has happened in both my business and personal life.  I feel like such a grown up sometimes. (Don’t worry, though, I’m not.  I’m really just great at acting like one.)  When I thought about the last two years, naturally a list formed of the memorable experiences.  The reflection has also caused me to realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing people.

Things that popped into my head when I think about the last two years:

~ Rolling my dad’s truck on the way to work and still being at the gym on time.

~ Getting to have some of the best times of my life with my little brother working at the gym.  I hate his stupid new job, even if he can get me a good deal on a new ski doo.

~ Meeting Audrey and having one of the most fantastic employees anyone could imagine.  Her dedication, passion, responsibility and enthusiasm make this place what it is.  She truly excels at what matters.  I’m lucky to be able to learn from her.

~  Seeing my mom utilize the gym and become stronger.

~ Having amazing people support me and make this all possible.  Couldn’t have done it without them.

~ Overcoming many problems from almost shaking down this silly building and angry neighbors to plumbing nightmares and computer horrors.  The problems never stop, however, the reward is in learning how to deal with them and not let ‘em get ya down.

~ Being overtired and crying a lot (that was the first year.)

~ Having such amazing girls choose to make this their home.

~ The countless Starbuck’s and Tim Horton’s cups that have appeared on my desk early in the morning or late in the evening.

~  Seeing how proud my dad is of me.

~ All the collapse-down-on-the-floor laughing moments (usually when someone falls or hits themselves in the face)

~ Being frustrated when people quit.  Don’t they know how much I care?

~ Helping girls achieve their goals and realize how strong they really are

~ Learning a lot about myself, the most important being that the principles and attitude that make your time in the gym successful also apply to every other area of life; determination, a serious work ethic, self discipline, perseverance and passion.

~ Beginning the journey of making sure that my time on earth has a meaningful purpose.

Pretty fantastic to have hung with my little brother these last couple years.

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