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Exercise

Fitness Goal Setting

Last year I’ll admit, my fitness goals were not clear cut. I had the goal to work on key muscles to snowboard in January, then after that I aimlessly bounced from one goal to another. I am happy with what I worked on in 2020 and to be realistic, any “gym type goal” would have to have been adjusted anyway related to losing the gym.

In 2020 after my snowboard trip I focused on general fitness until covid happened then I put my focus on how to keep and potentially gain muscle at home with minimal equipment. I then bounced to a 3 month reverse diet and then to a 3 month diet phase. I enjoyed this experience and I feel great, healthy, and fit.

But this year is going to be different! I listened to a great podcast the other day – Beauty and the Geek (with biolayne and Holly Baxter). They spoke about how a lot of reverse diets and diets aren’t that effective because people don’t FULLY commit to the process and lose patience in the process. They also speak about a big part of committing to the process is just loving it and enjoying it fully.

So this got me thinking about what I really love and what would be something I could fully commit to. I wanted a really clear cut goal that is more specific and measurable. Most importantly I wanted something to truly work towards.

One of the biggest things I have realized this year having moved to this beautiful area of the country is how much I love being outside! That no matter what my daily walks, hikes, or snow shoes bring me clarity, peace and joy. Another realization is that I live right across from a freaking lake… So what better goal for me this next year is to do a Triathlon!!

I researched different triathlon races in the area and of course there are many and one in particular close by in July. So this is my goal that I am over the moon excited about and know that I’m going to love the training and the process of achieving this goal.

I’ve recently gained inspiration also from a book I read. Think like a warrior by Darrin Donnelly. I’m hoping to work towards my goal using the five inner beliefs from this book (which I have pinned up on my wall).

  1. I will only focus on the things I can control my effort and my attitude.
  2. I love what I do and will attack each day with joy and enthusiasm.
  3. I dream big and avoid the naysayers.
  4. I am relentless and will never give up on my dreams.
  5. I will choose faith over fear.

One of the big keys to achieving a goal is to plan. So I have my training schedule all planned out and organized into six training blocks. There will be challenges along the way such as the substantial increase in cardio I will have to transition into, being aware and careful with my chronic injuries, and learning how to freakin swim lol

Overall I am full of excitement about this new journey and goal!

Three things to consider when creating a fitness goal:

  1. What do you LOVE and would love the process of training for?
  2. Where and how would you like to see yourself in 6-12 months?
  3. What is your “why” for doing what you do?

If you have a specific goal in mind and would like a well thought out, individualized, long term plan constructed to reach this goal… I can create this for you! E-mail or message me for details. Together we can reach and achieve our goals!

xoxoxo

Frecklefit

The Five Inner Beliefs from Think Like a Warrior

Awesome Read

My Training Sched!!:)

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Exercise

From Maintenance, to Reverse, to Diet

May 2020

Back in the spring I made the decision to reverse diet. For a number of reasons which I spoke about in a prior blog.

The two main reasons were:

1) Wanting to eat more lol I have been eating at maintenance calories for SO long, I honestly just wanted to eat more (not shittier or lower quality).

2) I wanted a challenge. But I was also pretty done with physical challenges, so I knew this would be the perfect mental challenge for me given my history of body image issues and food guilt. I have made tons of progress on this front with my mindset and confidence, so this seemed like the best time to challenge it all!

So what is a reverse diet?

In short, reverse dieting is increasing your caloric intake above what your body needs (metabolic rate) to maintain your current weight and metabolism. So knowing this, I knew I would gain weight, was hoping to gain muscle but knew that some fat would come along for the ride. The challenge for me would truly be how I handled this mentally and emotionally. The other challenge would be the diet back down to a place that I felt my best.

I started with a solid plan. I programmed in a good 12 week reverse diet, calories reaching a max of 2700 per day, no cardio, just resistance training, and walks with my dogs. I had a lot of energy and was quite active despite no cardio. Sometimes I went for multiple walks per day just to be outside. I definitely felt my non exercise thermogenesis or (NEAT) was high because of the extra energy.

Once I crept closer to the 12 week mark I did start to feel heavy. I felt less light on my feet when walking and I was walking a lot slower despite the energy.

I did great mentally. I spoke kindly to myself with self affirmations. I reminded myself of the physiology of the body and repeated “my why” to myself for doing this. When you keep that reasoning of “why”, in the back of your mind, it really helps with following through on your daily goals.

After the 12 weeks of reverse dieting, I was nervous but also excited to diet. I hate the word “diet”, at the same time can’t find another word to sum it up.

So what exactly is a “diet”?

What dieting is, is dropping your caloric intake to below what your body needs to maintain its weight, causing the body to use up excess fat for energy.

Because my calories were so high after the reverse diet, I could start out dieting with a very reasonable caloric intake. I believe it was about 2000 calories per day. I set my goals conservatively to lose about 0.5lbs per week with diet breaks every two weeks.

So what is a diet break?

A diet break is literally taking a break from dieting, and bringing your calories back to maintenance. So why diet break?

For me I added it for the mental relief from dieting but also to set myself up for success in the long term. Diet breaks may slow down the weight loss process but they also help you stabilize your metabolism and maintain weight once you decide to end a diet.

Knowing all I know now about weight loss it’s all about the LONG TERM, with patience being your best friend!

For exercise, because I did zero cardio during my reverse diet, I was now set up to start doing short cardio sessions. The key when introducing a new exercise is too not over do it right away. In other words give yourself room to progress.

Over the 12 weeks I have transitioned from 2 km 12-15 minute jogs, to 4-5km 25-30 minute runs. I didn’t want to over do it with distance because of prior injuries so by week 6 when I felt like progressing I started doing interval training, running hills and stairs. I feel amazing at where I am at now with my cardio and plan to continue with it throughout the winter. I scaled my resistance training from 5x per week to 4x per week and am also very happy where I am at with this.

November 2020

So now I am officially back! After another 12 weeks of dieting with diet breaks every two weeks, I am back to where I began. I gained so much from this experience!

1. I have never felt more fit in my life. I used to measure my fitness level at how strong I could become. Now I put every aspect of fitness including resistance training, cardio, balance, and flexibility, into my programs, and I feel incredible.

2. I have learned to work through the adversity of seeing my body change and how it effected my energy, confidence, self talk, and mindset. I worked through a lot of mental challenges and feel I’ve came out on top of it all. I loved myself and my body throughout the process, which was my biggest goal.

3. I’ve gained perspective on what I would be asking of future clients, by putting myself through this little experiment. I met some of the hurdles that most people have to jump when following a nutrition plan including, how to adapt to social events, how to curb cravings, what to do when hunger sets in, and how to come out of a mental funk.

What I’ve also learned is that this system works. Calories in vs. Calories out is HOW people lose weight or gain weight. Rigging the physiological process of metabolic adaptation is how you get your body to do what you want it to do. As a whole system this works every time, WHEN you put the work in BUT there are many ways you can go about it as well that you can adapt to your own preferences or lifestyle.

At the end of the day, again I will preach that the best diet out there is CONSISTENCY, SUSTAINABILITY, and also PATIENCE, in trusting the system.

If you are interested in an individualized plan created by myself, have any questions about the process, or comments, or just want to chat, always feel free to reach out!:)

Frecklefit

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Exercise

Exercise vs. Nutrition

On Saturday I attended another canfitpro virtual conference which was yet again, amazing. My favourite seminar this time around was Dr.Marc Bubbs presentation on stress and thyroid function. I’m not going to dive deep into his teachings on this subject here but would like to break down some facts he addressed.

This information in particular I have learned time and time again. The main message being that the ONLY way, we as a species can lose weight, is through calories in/ calories out. BUT there are sooo many complex details to this that I am going to attempt to break down. Hoping to make things easier to understand, and also so you know what you need to do!

I’m going to focus on the “calories out” portion, as these things are VERY important to know so you save yourself from the exhausting “over exercise” sessions, or the “I will just walk these calories off later” mental talks.

Here we go!

Fact: There are four ways that humans burn energy

  1. Resting metabolic rate – the energy our bodies need to operate all vital organs

2. Intentional Movement – exercise, walks, yoga sessions, bike rides etc.

3. NEAT -all other movements that are not meant to be intentional (for more info read my blog on NEAT – Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

4. TEF or Thermic Effect of Food – protein being the macro that burns the MOST calories through the digestive process

So what are the ratios in which we can utilize these things to effectively get ourselves into a caloric deficit for weight loss? (Keep in mind these are approximate and not exact numbers).

Ratios

10% of calories burned comes from TEF. Not a significant amount but, there are 101 more reasons to eat more protein so get your protein in!

About 20% of calories are burned from NEAT which is almost a quarter of our energy. Still doesn’t seem like a lot but here is the shocker…

Only 10% of calories are utilized for intentional exercise. So while many of you may believe the more exercise you do the more food you can eat this is not a great mindset to have. This does not mean that exercise isn’t important but from this fact alone to me proves that NUTRITION is more important than exercise (in my opinion based off of my own research).

Here is where exercise comes back around to prove to be an important factor:

60% of our calories are allocated for our resting metabolic rates (RMR). When we have a higher RMR we essentially need more calories to operate our bodily functions, more so to operate muscle tissue. This is where we can justify eating more food, to keep our lean body mass (muscles).

So how do we increase our RMR you ask?

Building muscle through resistance training!

In the wise words of Jen Widerstrom “muscle pays for the party“. These means the more muscle we have, the more fuel we need to operate the muscle.

So based off of this information, here is what you need to think about when trying to lose weight or improve your overall fitness for that matter:

  1. NUTRITION FIRST – focus on improving your nutrition and hone in on portion control. Not only will this help you with weight loss goals but it will improve your overall health, energy, brain function skin etc. Reading your labels and keeping a food diary are two ways you can start.
  2. Eat your protein! 1.2g/kg per day is a great place to start.
  3. Resistance Train – I know not everyone likes to lift weights but doing SOME form of weight lifting or resistance training (using bands, machines, step benches etc), is important not only for improving your physique but for preventing aches, pains, and injury.
  4. Park your car in the furthest spot from the door, do an extra set of stairs bringing up the laundry, play with your kids more. Increasing NEAT or your daily steps can really impact your goals in a positive way.

Last but not least… Enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing! FIND healthy ways you can be compliant with when it comes to food and exercise. After all compliancy and sustainability are the name of the game.

Frecklefit

Categories
Exercise

Booty Booty Booty Booty Supporting Everythang

Popular to current beliefs about the booty, having big strong buns can be super beneficial. With all the #bootygainz tags and posts about how aesthetically having a big behind can be appealing, the glutes and surrounding muscles pay a big role.

I learned this not only through my education as a personal trainer but through my own experience and injuries from other clients as well.

  1. I have been diagnosed with a hip impingement myself. After a sports doctor recommended some physio, much to my surprise the exercise prescription was glute work. I workout my glutes… a lot, is what I thought as she was teaching me exercises. But what I was failing to work on were the little high repetition glute movements that work the little muscles around the big gluteus maximus. I also wasn’t warming my glutes up enough before cardio sessions which I never knew was important before.
  2. Scenario two was a client of mine with bad sciatica and lower back pain. This wasn’t only one client though as I’ve been out in the nursing and personal training world I’ve come across a ton of people with lower back pain and sciatica. From my education on human movement and injuries I have learned about how much the muscle systems are connected through our fascial system. To put it in plan terms a chronic sore muscle is usually caused by a tight muscle and an opposing weak muscle. That being said the exercise prescription for a lot of lower back pain is building the glute muscles and stretching the abdominals.

I’ve learned through all of this just how important buns of steel may be. The glutes are considered one of the big muscle groups in the body. For this reason and for preventing injury sake, you should all make sure you have glute work in your resistance training programs (whether you’re male or female).

Some of my favourite glute exercises include:

-glute band side steps in squat position

-monster walks

-cha chas

-Side lying clam abductors

-Hip thrusts in various forms

Now go get your booty build on!

Frecklefit

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Exercise

How to Use Fitness Tools in Everyday Life

I’ve been training for this period of my life. But not in the way that you would think! I’m trying to get the message out there that fitness is soooo much more than losing weight, or looking good, or having a healthy physical body. It is instead all about mind, body, and spirit. Plus it gives you tools to handle life!

All fitness professionals should be aiming to provide a holistic approach to fitness because at the end of the day if you have all the exercises ready, a plan, availability to your equipment or a gym and your mindset isn’t there or motivation is at an all time low, your consistency will be on the line.

What I want to talk about today is how different forms of fitness practices can be used as mental tools to handle complex life situations.

I will outline today the four tools of fitness that I have been focusing on lately which are cardio, resistance training, meditation/breathing, and flexibility/stretching/muscle release.

I have been working on all of these areas for the last few years at the best of times when my life wasn’t so crazy and I’m glad that I built up these skill sets. It is great to be able to lock these skills in when life seems to be on a high but sometimes we too get hit with roadblock after roadblock. Regardless of where you are at in life there is never a bad time to start working on your physical and mental fitness, in fact it will only benefit and help you through these times.

Recently I started a brand new job that has been pretty overwhelming. Here is how each aspect of my fitness practices has helped during the week.

THIS WEEK:

Meditation and Breathing has helped me this week to calm my irrational thoughts related to new job fears and has helped me stay calm and collected.

Cardio which for me has been hiking, has also really helped with clearing my head from the day and get some gratitude and positive good thoughts rolling back in.

Flexibility/Muscle Release has been a super important routine for me to add into my day as I have been battling a hip issue for a very long time. I will feel my bad hip if I quit doing my rolling and it is essential for me to be comfortable moving and sitting in certain positions so it’s basically kept me comfortable.

Resistance training has allowed me to EAT! lol I still get a great, strong, invincible feeling when lifting weights but has been especially important during my reverse diet as I am consuming more calories than I have been for a very long time.

Before I even started the week I was aware there would be some challenges so I made a baseline plan to fit in my fitness practices. As soon as I started I realized my plan would take some trial and error so I would check in on how effective my plan was at the end of the day and make adjustments for the next day.

Right now (after my first week) here is the plan that is working for me :

Wake up – Meditate

I initially tried to do a walk and meditate to check off two things at the same time but I found I could not successfully meditate and walk. I also am REALLY bad for scheduling in my meditations later in the day so first thing in the morning is the ONLY way I can get er done which is great because the research says this is the best time to do it.

Post Meditation – Foam Roll and Short walk

For me including a short walk to get the blood flowing and get some sunshine has felt really great before a work day, also gets me a little more energized. This is where I take the opportunity as well to foam roll and stretch my problem areas (IT band and back for me) to wake my connective tissue up and get blood flowing to those areas for support.

Post Work – Either Cardio or Resistance Training

This I usually decide based on how I am feeling. If my brain feels overwhelmed and I need to digest information I choose cardio. If I’m feeling good mentally and not super hungry I go for a good lift session.

Evening – Evening I also feel out if I’m either ready for a resistance training session, feeling another walk with my dog, or just take a rest day.

I am such a planner so having a plan for these things has always been an important aspect for me to stay consistent. But I’ve learned to give myself a little more flexibility and trial and error with each coming day, this makes me feel less pressured or that I HAVE to work out but go base on what I feel.

An important thing to remember is that works for me may not work for someone else. But what is also important is to try and create consistency with these four things. They truly are GREAT life tools to help you feel mentally okay, positive, and energized for whatever life throws your way.

I challenge you to make a plan or schedule for next week. Pencil in all of these things remembering that you don’t have to do ALL four things EVERYDAY (except meditation or breathing).

Evaluate your plan at the end of the day to see what worked well and make little changes until you get a great healthy routine going:)

Have a great week!

Frecklefit

Categories
Exercise

Upper Body Band Hotel Workout

I only have a few more shifts to go and I’m done commuting for work! Yayyy. Doesn’t mean I’m dropping my workouts and starting over next week because consistency is always number one!

So whether your travelling or staying a night in a hotel you can get that workout in. The program I built does use a barbell which I have at home so I swapped in a band for this week as it’s a lot easier to haul around and just adapted my workout.

Here is a full upper body workout I did in my hotel this afternoon utilizing only a yoga mat and a long band.

My warm up consisted of arm circles, long overhead stretches and range of motion.

Exercise 1:

3 sets of 15 Wide Grip Upright Rows

Exercise 2:

3 sets of 15 Lateral Raises (each arm)

Exercise 3:

3 sets of 25 Band Straight arm Lat Pulls (Tip: get your elbows back far behind you when you pull down and squeeeeeze your lats)

Exercise 4:

3 sets of 15 Lying Cobra Pose Lat Pulldowns

Exercise 5:

3 Supersets 10 Full range band bicep curls into 10 Partial Curls

Exercise 6:

3 Supersets of 15 plank get ups (keeping the hips from moving) into 18 Plank march ins total alternating legs

That’s it! Took me about 25 to 30 minutes.

Stretch really well afterwards pulling each arm up overhead and bending to the side and holding. Another stretch to reach up as far as you can with both arms stretching your lats and hold.

Keep Working Hard. You are worth it!

Frecklefit

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Exercise

Resistance Training as Supplemental Exercise

During my coaching journey and talking with tons of people about fitness, working out, likes, and dislikes I’ve come to realize that there is a lot of variety in exercise and not one form of exercise pleases all.

Much like my last blog talking about experimenting with different forms of exercise and finding what you like best, I’d like to talk now about how you can supplement your favourite exercise with some injury preventative measures.

Resistance training is important no matter what form of exercise you take up but it doesn’t have to be a long gruelling lift session. It can be in the form of lifting light weights, yoga, pilates, etc. and it doesn’t have to be long!

The reason why resistance training is important is not only to build muscle but to build and strengthen connective tissue as well. Connective tissue is what connects all your bones and muscles and helps your body to operate efficiently.

A lot of injuries happen to connective tissue because they’re not built strong enough to support whatever exercise you are putting your body through. So we know now it’s not just our muscles that we want to strengthen but our ligaments and tendons as well.

This is the reason yoga is so beneficial. Connective tissue is strengthened by doing unilateral movements or balance work which is a lot of what yoga is. But there are also a lot of exercises you can do in the gym or with weights if your just not into yoga.

As mentioned before I had taken up hiking in the last little bit so I have created a new workout program to supplement my hiking that focuses on strengthening ankles, knees, and hips.

Here is one of my workouts that I created that’s easy to do right at home. This is just day 1 of a six week program so each week will get more and more challenging.

Warm up:

1 set of glutebridge abductor ladder (trying to reach 10)

One leg deadlift, into curtsey lunge, into split squat x5 reps, repeat other leg, for 3 sets

20 second warrior pose into same leg 20 second squat hold, repeat other leg x2 sets

2×25 band glute bridges

30 second one leg wall sit, repeat other leg x4 sets

3×15 weighted calf raises

3×20 vacuum twists

50 russian twists

Personally I loved this workout and can’t wait to progress and strengthen my joints.

You can get a trainer to make you a supplemental program for whatever form of exercise that you love! Use resistance training as a supplement and keep moving and enjoying all that exercise gives you and your life!

Frecklefit

*If your interested in a customized program send me an e-mail or a DM on instagram and I’d be happy to create something you will purely enjoy:)*

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Exercise

Rethink Your Exercise

I’m not writing this blog to tell you to start hiking. In fact I’m never going to push or tell you to do any form of exercise. I’m never going to argue that one form of exercise is better than another but based off of solid facts and physiology different exercise is beneficial for different reasons.

But why do we exercise in the first place? Yes it is good for bodies and helps prevent health issues from arriving in the future but I think I will support it more in the fact that it is soooo good for your brain, your outlook, your heart, and spirit.

Exercise can improve your quality of life so much that for me, it is the biggest and most solid reason to be doing it. So that being said I am a big believer in finding a way to get excited about doing it!

When it comes to fitness, consistency is #1 on the priority list and the thing we need to aim for the MOST when achieving a healthy fit lifestyle. So how can you be consistent with your exercise regime when you hate it? or you absolutely dread doing it?

Yes you can mentally force or push yourself to do it but can you mentally push to do something you hate multiple times a week for the rest of your life? I know I couldn’t…

That’s why it’s important to find a form of exercise that you are going to really enjoy and that’s where it starts. The enjoyment builds momentum and motivation and even excitement about doing it! It may trigger a push to try something else to or make things more challenging as well and most of the time it does because just like a drug exercising releases hormones leaving you wanting more.

I have always been someone who has really enjoyed lifting weights because it makes me feel strong and it’s allowed me to use that feeling of strength into other areas of my life that I felt I really needed it. I have a new found passion for hiking because I love being outside and surrounded by nature.

There have been many times where I have taken up a new exercise because of some reason but there has always been a “why” as to why I’m doing this form of exercise and not because you HAVE to.

Once you build momentum with a certain form of exercise you will have to do a little bit of resistance training and stretching just to prevent injury but it shouldn’t be the focus of all your exercise and doesn’t mean “lifting things up and putting things down”.

Everyone is different and prefers and enjoys different things so don’t feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing and find things you enjoy the most! Everyone needs to exercise 100% but any form will do as long as your creating joy in your life.

If you are looking for a trainer find someone who is versatile. Someone who doesn’t just believe in one form of exercise, who gives you an enjoyable injury prevention resistance training program that isn’t daunting, and who will overall create you a program that is personalized just for you!

Here are some different forms of exercise that you can try:

Hiking, hill training, dance, Zumba, yoga, swimming, biking, speed walking, running, rollerblading, soccer, baseball, basketball, running around with your kids (get them to create an active game ex- tag), rock climbing, snow shoeing, skiing, snowboarding, skating.

Comment below if I’ve missed any awesome forms of exercise to share.

If your interested in a personalized workout program send me an e-mail cleclair19@hotmail.com 🙂

xoxo Frecklefit

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Exercise

Isn’t that NEAT?

NEAT or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

What is it and why is it so important? 

When we look at weight loss, we look at four different components that we can manipulate to lose weight. Those are intentional exercise, thermogenic foods, basal metabolic rate, and non exercise activity thermogenesis.

The NEAT component is basically all movements that are not intended to be exercise but burn calories. These include and are not limited to walking to your car, taking the stairs at work, cleaning the house, taking out the garbage, walking to the mailbox, standing up from the couch, and playing with your dogs. NEAT is also chewing your food, fidgeting, adjusting your body to get comfortable, scratching, and typing. 

So basically ALL movements done by the body unintentionally and/or not meant as to be exercise.

Movements like these surprisingly can help you burn more calories and help you reach your weight loss goals. You would be surprised how much energy you can burn and how much little things add up quickly. The more you move your body the more calories you will burn, the more weight you could potentially lose IF adhering to your nutrition AND exercise goals.

This is the reason why you will hear fitness experts telling you to park in the furthest parking spot, take the stairs at work, offer to run something down to the mailroom at work, ditch the remote for your TV and stand to change the channel. They understand that every movement counts for something and it is true.

Increasing your NEAT can be as simple as taking the dogs for an extra walk around the block. Play a little harder with your kids at the park. Got cleaning to do? Scrub the shit out of your toilet bowl. There are so many little things you can do to get moving a little more and get you on your way to more weight loss or fitness success.

NEAT is especially important to look at if you have a sedentary job. Think of how many hours you spend barely moving your body. You must be aware of this and try your best to make up for it during the rest of your day. People with sedentary jobs may need to look a lot more at intentionally exercising on top of increasing their NEAT. 

DO NOT underestimate the POWER of movement. If you’re a beginner to exercising or thinking about improving your physique or losing weight, you may even want to just start with being conscious of how much you’re moving and try to run a few more little errands throughout the day or clean your house a little more even! What a double whammy that one would be!

xoxo

Frecklefit

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Exercise

My Snowboard Adventure

When Blair bought me a snow board a couple years ago I’ll admit it caught me off guard. We had no trips planned or time off to go snowboarding but Blair knew that now when the time came we’d be prepared and we could just go.

I also didn’t think it would be two whole years until I actually got to use the damn thing but it seemed every time we planned a practice trip to small mountains in Winnipeg something happened where we would have to cancel.

When this amazing opportunity came up for us to stay at kicking horse mountain for free, thanks to some awesome friends we knew this would be our chance. I didn’t imagine my first time learning to snowboard would be on one of the hardest mountains/hills in Canada but I accepted the challenge and got mentally prepared for it.

I knew snowboarding wasn’t going to be easy but I also knew that the only thing that would hold me back would be fear. When kids learn to snow board or ski they’re at an age where they’re fearless and invincible so learning a new difficult skill like this is so much harder as an adult. It is true that it is such a mental sport.

I prepared my body for the challenge and created a workout program to work on the muscular endurance of my legs and lots of core work. I felt very physically prepared by the time we got out here. But I still knew there was only so much I could prepare myself for. I knew I would be falling a lot and accepted this fact so I tried to go in with zero expectations just to know that no matter how many times I fell I would have to get back up again.

The first time locking the boots onto my board was terrifying, I felt so uncomfortable and off balance. Then there was the chair lift… I will proudly admit I didn’t biff coming off that chair lift once even the first time haha. When I looked down at the mountain strapped onto this board that I never used before, feeling very unstable I felt the hairs on my entire body standing up. I was so scared but I reminded myself, the only thing that will hold me back is fear so let’s do some falling!

I was fortunate enough to go with a group that was very patient with me and waited for me along the way and were so encouraging so this helped a ton.

We did three runs the first day and I probably fell every 30 seconds if not more. I got up and fell, got up fell, got up fell. I did about two backwards somersaults in a row at one point, smoked my head where my teeth even smacked together, but I got up dusted the snow off and kept trying.

Eventually I figured out how to stop and snow plow but wasn’t even comfortable with that until about day two. After day two I could make it down the steep parts by “feathering” or basically going side to side while snow plowing down the whole way. I knew that snowboarding was way more than just that and that I needed to get away from feeling comfortable doing that and get onto the other edge of my board where again I was very wobbly and uncomfortable.

I’d also like to mention how much my leg muscles BURNED. No workout program would have prepared me for squatting for 20-30 minutes straight while twisting my core back and fourth. Very new muscle burns for me but of course I loved the exercise part of it.

On day three I came up with a great strategy because I now knew how to comfortably stop. I would get myself into a complete stop then force myself to turn my board towards the mountain and get on the dreaded toe edge of my board. I started falling again but I would get up and do it again.

When I found myself getting comfortable again feathering I would stop myself and literally talk myself through it. “Get on your toe edge” “Thats it” “I got this shit”. Hopefully too many people didn’t hear me and think I was crazy haha. By the end of day three I made it down the entire mountain without falling one time.

After practicing this strategy I just kept at it and if all else fails I’d go back to the basics and stop, then force myself out of my comfort zone onto my toe edge, then stop, then toe edge, stop, toe edge. By the end of day four instead of feathering down that last steep part I was carving! Not fast by any means I took it at my own pace but I was fricken carving and it felt so damn good!

Day five I got to soak in all I had learned and just enjoy trying new things, going through narrow parts, and even throwing little mini jumps in there when I was feeling it. We went to the highest part of the mountain which was twice as long down but I didn’t even question whether I was ready for that or not I just did it. I felt like I got it on day five and felt like a total bad ass! It was so rewarding knowing I pushed myself through all those uncomfortable moments. I think of how many times I fell day one and two and am grateful I went in so fearless.

This was such an empowering experience for me! I cannot wait for our next snow boarding trip and know it’ll be just that much easier to relearn again.

I’ll use this experience as a metaphor or learning lesson about life. When you push yourself outside your comfort zone and refuse to give up no matter how many times you stumble or fall, the reward will be just that much greater.

Frecklefit