Tag Archives: Fitness

Getting back to the basics  

This year has been challenging for me in several ways: huge career changes, personal relationship rollercoaster and a massive stall in my fitness progression.

Although navigating the first two has been challenging, it’s the fitness component of my life that normally helps me manage and be successful in all areas of my life – and I’ve been pretty silent about it as of late. Back at the beginning of February I took these photos showing the progression I was making over the past few months while working with a trainer and nailing my eating plan:

insta photo progress

February 2015

Just days after I took those shots, I injured my back quite badly. I went from working out daily and feeling incredibly strong.. to constant excruciating lower back pain.

After visits to several doctors and medical professionals, I had X-Rays and an MRI done to find out exactly what was going on. The MRI scan showed I had damaged both disks between L4 & L5 to the point that disk material was protruding.

If you don’t know much about this type of injury, there is no ‘healing’ from it per se. The disk material is rubbing up against the nerves running up and down my spine, causing shooting pain down my leg and lower back. The pain comes and goes in waves. Sometimes, if I move enough in the morning and throughout the day and don’t stack my spine the pain is bearable.. If I don’t move much and I’m under a lot of stress, it’s beyond manageable.

This part of your body isn’t able to regenerate, thus leaving you with either rehab or surgery. Surgery isn’t an option for me because the injury is not that bad and frankly I’m too young to have my entire back compromised by opening it up to make repairs to the disks.

Up until now, I’ve been taking it easy by waking or doing light cardio and a lot of upper back, shoulders and arms – nothing heavy loaded unless I’m seated and there’s no pressure on my lower back.

What now?

As a trainer at Element Athletic, I’m fortunate to be able to still instruct and lead sessions (thank god, otherwise this injury would be even more difficult for me to manage). Being in the gym and watching other people progress gives me joy and boosts my mood. I’m so proud of the progress the members are making and grateful to bare witness to it everyday.

With this new change, I need my fitness levels back up now, more than ever. So as I struggled to determine how I was possibly going to afford to do rehab, Element Athletic’s newest trainer, Steve Ballard: the Booty Engineer, came to me offering to help repair me through training instead of physio. It couldn’t have been at a better time – talk about manifesting!

Steve is a certified power lifting coach who, before I was injured, was really looking forward to working with. Now, months later (and me still being injured), Steve has offered to take me on.

The training

Thus far, we’ve had two sessions and I haven’t been this pain-free in months. I’ll explain more about what we’re doing along the way, but essentially we are working on re-training my movement patterns in order to re-teach my body to fire with my abs, core and glutes before my back.

More to come!


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Get Uncomfortable

Every year when January comes around I take time to reflect on the past year and set huge goals for the new year to come. I follow those goals up by making plans, getting started and hold myself accountable to achieve them. For the past few years, I’ve been crossing off my goals, left, right and centre! It’s exhilarating, satisfying and rewarding to achieve scary goals… but it’s can also be overwhelming when you try to bite off more than you can chew.

If you are anything like me, striving for great success means filling your days from start to finish just to squeeze it all in! Along with the constant need to succeed often comes pressure to continuously push ourselves day after day… it gets exhausting.

This year, instead of setting goals that I believe are generally achievable and within my abilities, I’ve decided to not put as much pressure on myself (inhale, exhale) to achieve certain goals by a certain date. This doesn’t mean that I will stop any of my fitness, career or personal ongoing goals or change my current lifestyle… it means I will go with the flow, be more relaxed, be open and take opportunities as they come.

That being said, after talking it out with Faith, we both decided that this year would be the year to #getuncomfortable.

We both sat down and discussed our goals. Some just haven’t been as easy to accomplish as we’d envisioned (my main three = fitness, stress-reduction and career). We’ve been doing the same process over and over again, expecting the same results.

It’s then that it hit me!

If what I’m doing right now is not working and I’m stuck in the comfort zone, it means that what I’m doing is clearly not working. If I want to see great success and achieve great things – I need to get out of my comfort zone and change what I’m doing.


I fully believe: “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”


With that being said – Faith and I have decided that 2014 won’t consist of us putting pressure on ourselves – but to challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, do things we’ve never done before and see what having a positive and open mind can allow us to achieve.

Plan: Do 12 things or make changes that we’ve never done before. We will be aiming to attempt one change a month for a total of 12 by year’s end.

Are you stuck, frustrated, or are interested to see what getting uncomfortable could mean for your life? Feel free to join us! Tag your commitments to change on twitter, or post in our comments sections to let us know you are on board.

#getuncomfortable challenge #1 is soon to come… any suggestions for me?


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