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eight years ago today group kettlebell training launched in prince edward island. well, in atlantic canada.
this morning my day started at 6am with a private client’s hardstyle kettlebell training.
in between, there have been more than 3300 group kettlebell classes and workshops in my life and a juicy heart-thumping growth in the number of kettlebell coaches and kettlebell practitioners in eastern canada.
when i reflect on how much good and strong and laughter and friendship and sweat kettlebell has brought into my life, which is pretty much daily, i am grateful.
grateful for everyone who has coached me. in person and on line. your gifts have been treasured, repeatedly distilled, and respectfully honoured.
grateful for everyone who has endured my coaching and truly graced my life by touching iron with me. your gifts have been selfless and are held near and dear.
grateful for kettlebell, who is a steadfast and humbling comrade. your gifts are enduring and finely nuanced and warmly worn.
cheers to you all for you are the kettlebell universe.
only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found. ~ pema chödrön
and so it began.
from books put out by Dragon Door, i began teaching myself kettlebell movements and began incorporating a bit of kettlebell training with personal training clients.
in late 2007 i attended my first certification course and learned so much! it was a heady weekend full of sweat, bruises, and total mind engagement. with this, my initial fascination converted into a passion, both to use and to share this unique and effective way of training.
after that first cert, i continued using the kettlebell as part of my personal training repertoire, but i also developed a group fx format with kettlebells which i eventually had opportunity to roll out.
today, january 28th 2015, is the 7th anniversary of the first group kettlebell class i offered.
since then, i have taught kettlebell skills in a group format and led group classes 2975 times.
and because kettlebell training has so many nuances and iterations, i have also since completed 6 additional kettlebell certification programs and attended/audited quite a few other kettlebell trainings, such as workshops and certifications courses.
the opportunities for learning are endless. there are at least 4 or 5 additional kettlebell certs i’d love to take. if the time is right, some of them will happen. i am happy to leave that to the future.
the kettlebell universe is an interesting and quickly expanding place, filled with all manner of passion, talent, commitment, skillful execution, amazing coaching, and creativity. it engages and pushes limits and evolves. this is what i most love about kettlebell training.
little did i imagine what would come of my fascination with kettlebells when i came upon them in a 2005 magazine spread. (you can read more on that here)
daily i am grateful for how kettlebell training has contributed to my life and that of my family and communities.
thank you to those from whom i have directly learned: Shawn Mozen of Agatsu, Ajamu Bernard and Drew Miller and Stephanie Yankovich of KBell Training Academy, Steve Cotter of Full KOntact Kettlebells, Sharon Shiner SFGII, Jason Dolby and John Buckley of Orange Kettlebell Club. and to the many, many who share top notch on-line resources which have contributed to my knowledge.
and so it continues.
i have, of late, been giving quite some thought to the variety and breadth of kettlebell training that is around these days and what it is i offer to my clients and class participants.
i have taken a number of kettlebell certficiations, workshops, and courses and follow the work of a number of folks forging creative and awesome ways to train with kettlebells. from the straight up hardstyle brought to north america by Pavel Tsatsouline to the girya sport style of Valery Fedorenko, from the mma blend of Joey Alvarado, to the group kettlebell programming of Ajamu Bernard, a myriad fitness kettlebell variations are available.
there are strong differences in training philosophies which give rise to all manner of stylistic variations and nuances across this kettlebell universe.
in my classes, i offer a variety of styles and sometimes a meshing of styles, in order to achieve certain class outcomes. in my personal training, i coach hard style, or close to, or sport style depending on the goals of the client.
earlier this week in a class i taught, there was an interchange about the ‘proper’ performance of a movement. it was a great example of stylistic differences and it related to the execution of the kettlebell windmill.
here, Shawn Mozen of Agatsu, coaches straight legs (his students coach locked out knees)
and here, Pavel Tsatsouline of StrongFirst, coaches a soft forward knee
the training philosophies of these two men are quite different (check out their websites to learn more). and, in the world of strength, conditioning and fitness, the same movement may be executed differently to address different goals.
a part of my job as a fitness service provider is to work fast and furious to stay at the edge of industry knowledge and practice; to wisely and judiciously distill, synthesize and package that information; and, to deliver safe and effective services.
this week has been an awesome learning week!
i am indebted to the many brilliant minds with whom i have had the honour and privilege to study and work in the last dozen years. i am excited about the many courses and workshops i will be attending in the upcoming months. i am grateful for the challenges to my skills and knowledge offered by colleagues and the questions posed by clients and class participants.
move and be still, wendy
i am so very pleased and privileged to have had Amber Petersen come into my life. this woman is strong and capable, definitely an individualist but at the same time an amazing and supportive part of a team. by day, Amber pays her bills by reproducing oversized things. enough said. but, i’d guess her daytime persona simply provides the means to her passions – woodsmoke and cold beer, atv’s and cabin living, snow mobiles and chainsaws, self reliance and sheep in need of shearing. she is fiercely active, perhaps a tad hard on herself, and smart as a whip. amber started kbell jam with the very first session i launched in january 2013 and she is still around, tossing big ol’ kettlebells, and spreading work-hard love and the essence of effort. i love her.
I have been aware of the need to work out since a fairly early age. I’ve never been greatly overweight but always a little chubby, so I have always been aware of the need to stay active. In recent years I was doing a lot of at-home workouts (P90X and the like). However, in December of 2012, I found myself in a slump and I was struggling to get motivated, so I decided to try a new class. That class was called Kbell Jam.
I was completely new to Kettlebells and to the whole way health & fitness and Wendy. I took one kettlebell skills clinic to get acquainted with a kettlebell and decided to sign up for 8 weeks to see how it went.
I’m a pretty outgoing person, not exactly the shy type. But all the same, I was a bit nervous starting out. I was grateful to be able to “blend in” in the class at first. I was able to pick a spot and a kettlebell and stay in my little area to complete the guided workout. Wendy was awesome, she’s encouraging and she’s knowledgeable especially about kettlebells and movement techniques. Right away I clued in to the combination of cardio and strength that kettlebells provide. As someone who enjoys strength workouts but could really use more cardio, I much appreciated that! More bang for your buck!
I think it was at week 5 or 6 that I had decided I needed to extend my 8 weeks to the full 12 weeks. You see, in week 5 the format changes, we were separated into small groups. And the change also . It forces you to use the heavier ‘bells for certain exercises; it challenged my body in a new way. I also was able to get to know some of the other people in class thanks to the small groups. Fun, friendly competitions were born as we egg each other on (even to this day) to push ourselves to a healthy limit. Every class is something different and although I have read about muscle confusion and why it is important, I more just appreciate this out of a LACK OF BOREDOM … you just never know what to expect.
After the 12 weeks were done I immediately signed up for another 12, and now I can’t seem to stop! Although it is sometimes offered at different times, I love the 6 am session: get it done and out of the way, ready to start the day type workout. I love the girls in class. I enjoy watching the others grow as they move through the 12 weeks, starting with small ‘bells and progressing to using some of the heaviest ones!
This year I signed up for 2 concurrent Kbell Jam sessions, putting me at 4 days per week. I have lost 7lbs in the 12 weeks. And one full size. This may not seem like much, but as someone who loses and gains quite quickly, and also was not dieting at ALL during that time, I think it says a lot. In fact, I credit Kbell Jam alone for this weight loss.
I find the functionality of kettelbell workouts to be amazing. I’m pretty physically active and find that training with kettlebells has made my day-to-day activities much easier.
Last week I finished off another 12 weeks of Kbell Jam and now am trying a NEW Kettlebell class. I’m quite excited about it, and more than addicted to kettlebells!
well, in common parlance, we’ve completed another year in orbit around the sun. i am grateful that this planet, filled with amazing vistas, diverse flora, compassionate hearts, and a good measure of fear, held tight to its path and brought us through solstices and equinoctes with equal amounts of equanimity.
2013 has been a ride. i mean, it has been the continuation of the ride. the journey. the dance.
there isn’t anything i would undo, even if i could.
in 2013, my mom turned 82, my oldest daughter turned 25, and my youngest turned 18 and entered university. it was the 28th or 29th revolution through space with my fave companion space traveler – xo you.
the furnace fritzed, the cold water tank sprung a leak, the pine trees further colonized the property, and spooning made everything work.
my dad would have turned 94 in 2013, though he’s been dead 10 years, and it was the 17th anniversary of my sister, Claudia’s, death. her death forever changed my relationship with my nephews and by moments i grieve this. however, neither my dad nor my sister have been lost to me, but the nature of our relationships has evolved. every year they are richer, deeper, more fulfilling. ❤
both daughters and i completed the Run Or Dye 5k together in september. i loved this, as neither of the girls was a runner before training for the event. organizationally and ethically, the event was a mess (one that i’ll never repeat), but i was heart-bursting happy to run and get messed good with these young women who used to fill my days as – still, in my mind – toddling bundles of wonders.
sunrises and sunsets were killer in 2013. but mostly, it was the clouds that pulled my heart from my chest and my breath from my body. clouds, and the warriors of basic goodness and courage who wandered through my awareness.
in 2013, social justice movements built momentum and social media was a significant tool of connection. it has been a spectacular unfolding and entwining.
my facebook feed has been filled with artistic souls, clever beings, compassionate presences, wide eyes. lovers and friends, strangers but for interwebly sympatico, hilarity and the fatiguing, soul-wrenching aspects of people-nature.
but there is continuity, persistence, tenacity, indomitable spirit.
i am awestruck. every single day.
as this orbit completes itself, january 1st let`s me celebrate 4 and a half years in the studio. really, that means i celebrate 4 and a half years of the lifestreams of astounding people intersecting my lifestream. it has been nothing short of total soul satisfaction.
the studio was founded on the bedrock of personal training clients, kettlebells, yoga . . . and fitness enthusiasts with a passion and a skill in persuasion!
over the years there have been shifts in programming – i loved the Morning Moxie and all who bed-headed those workouts; BawdyMax classes that seemed to scare the bejeezer out of folks; Jazzercise for the fun if not for the fitness; Yoga for the masses and Gentle Yoga for the gentle amongst us; Kettlebell Classes in the amazing sunshine of Victoria Park; Bootcamps indoor and out; Core DuJour, and so much more!
this year i launched KBell Jam, having completed my KBell Jam certification in the fall of 2012. man oh man, it has been fun! there were more ‘Jam weeks in the year than not, and classes of the most hard-working, laugh-loving, strong-body-building, crazy-kettlebell-loving, huge-hearted people.
i am so very grateful that Ajamu Bernard had the good sense and tenacity to talk me into his Kbell Jam certification.
in 2013 i certified in FKCI Kickboxing and ran an early morning Kickboxing Camp in the studio. Some mornings i laughed more than i instructed, i am sure. that happens when couples roll, bleary-eyed, into the studio for 6am kickboxing and get to kick crap out of each other as the start of their day. it was ALL LOVE, ALL THE TIME.
i also attended an MMA Summit in the fall and spent a day learning drills and getting training tips from amazing UFC folks like Myles Jury and Greg Jackson,
in 2013 i completed contract work for a number of clients. Kettlebell Classes at Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre at UPEI, seated exercise classes at Whisperwood Villa, Seniors Fitness Classes for City of Charlottetown, and a big mix of classes (Kettlebell, Seniors Fitness, QiGong, MashUp, KBell Jam) at Atlantic Fitness East. i also had some nice corporate gigs with too-long-sitting employees and a few high school programs.
personal training clients continued to come into service during the year. at the most odd times of year, it seemed. pt clients are my passion and lifeblood, in more ways than one. i am honoured and privileged to share such intimate relationships with them and to assist in creating/recovering health and fitness in their lives.
later this month i will mark 6 years of group kettlebell instruction. 2013 ended with an accumulated total of 2404 classes/groups/workshops coached/instructed. i don`t know how many thousands of hours of personal kettlebell training i`ve done.
i was very happy to bring my kettlebell work into sharper focus in 2013 and join the Master Trainer, Candidate, team of Kbell Training Academy. i took the course early in the year and co-taught my first certification program in november in Dieppe. i look forward to further developing my skills and experience as a Master Trainer this year.
in addition to completing a course in Kettlebell Rehab, i certified in LeBarre. Jenn Hall is an amazing driving force in the fitness industry and has chosen to share her energy, enthusiasm, and badass barre work with the rest of us. good thing Mark Lebert arranged for pink and green Lebert Equalizers! LeBarre classes are launching in the studio in just 12 days!
i read (or reread) a lot of books in 2013. as i generally do. not fiction (you don’t want to know, so don’t ask). i like to read scientific journals too, but they aren’t listed 🙂
- tim anderson. original strength: regaining the body you were meant to have
- tim anderson: pressing reset: the guidebook to becoming bulletproof
- dan john. never let go: a philosophy of lifting, living and learning
- judd biasiotto. psych
- thomas hanna. somatics: reawakening the mind’s control of movement, flexibility and health
- thomas hanna. changing your age: using your body and brain to feel younger, stronger, and more fit
- pavel tsatsouline. simple and sinister
- gnowfglins. lacto-fermentation
- shawn mozen. agatsu kettlebell
- al kavadlo. we’re workingout
- lewis richmond. aging as a spiritual practice: a contemplative guide to growing older and wiser
- kelly starrett. becoming a supple leopard
- pavel tsatsoulin. enter the kettlebell: strength secrets of the soviet supermen
- dan john. intervention: course corrections for the athlete and trainer
- melissa and dallas hartwig. it starts with food: discover the whole30 and change your life in unexpected ways
- mike mahler. live life aggressively: what self-help gurus should be telling you
- pema chodron. living beautifully: with uncertainty and change
- gray cook. movement
- amber rogers and go kaleo. taking up space: a guide to escaping the diet maze
- josh kaufman. the first 20 hours: how to learn anything … fast!
- and so many more! ebooks, kindle, lovely hardcover and paperback editions 🙂
and so, it is not done. nor can it be.
but, as 2014 dawned the colour of smoked salmon, luminous, ripe and juicy with potential, i am reminded that a new year starts every day. each day i awake, i make gratitudes and set intentions and roll from my bed ready for life.
may our world know greater peace, compassion and common sense.
i made no resolutions for the new year. the habit of making plans, or criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ~ anais nin
KBELL JAM CAMP ONE – IRON & SWEAT
* two classes per week at 6am on wednesdays and fridays
* the appropriate choice if you`ve never before touched a kettlebell
* a great workout even for experienced kettlebellers
* motivating group setting
* private facebook support community
* before and afters (photos, measurements, weight) if desired
* $115. + hst ($131.10) for 8 weeks or $170. + hst ($193.80) for 12 weeks
* begins wednesday january 15th. the 8 week session ends friday march 7th. the 12 week session ends friday april 4th.
KBELL JAM CAMP TWO – FIRE IN THE SKY
* two classes per week at 6am on tuesdays and thursdays
* open to participants to have kettlebell experience and/or have attended KBELL JAM CAMP ONE
* motivating group setting
* workouts designed specifically for progression
* private facebook support community
* before & afters (photos, measurements, weight) if desired
* $115. + hst ($131.10) for 8 weeks or $170. + hst ($193.80) for 12 weeks
* begins tuesday january 14th. the 8 week session ends thursday march 6th. the 12 week session ends thursday april 3rd.
as a special promotion for KBELL JAM CAMPERS, add any other once weekly studio class at a cost of only $5. + hst/class
these programs will be kept small in order to maximize service to participants. spaces are, therefore, limited. if there is insufficient enrollment, one of the sessions will be canceled.
gift certificates are available.
kbell jam is the brain child of Ajamu Bernard of Kbell Training Academy. trained in classic kettlebell lifting, and spreading the fundamentals of kettlebell training for many years, Ajamu also observed that kettlebell coaches were bringing this amazing tool into group fx settings. what was lacking, though, was an overall structure and format to group training with kettlebells and he set out to change that.
kbell jam is the world’s #1 kettlebell group training program.
it is a brilliance which combines movements from Ajamu’s KBell Trainer course and applies them to teaching kettlebell lifting techniques in a group setting. class participants are taken through three formations in classes over a 12 week progression program, developing endurance, strength, and power.
in the fall of 2012, Ajamu coaxed me into attending his first canadian kbell jam instructor certification course. he had already launched the program in Puerto Rico. so, in november of last year, i joined an amazing group of kettlebell coaches in Toronto, and immediately grew to appreciate and love the kbell jam program.
i was so excited to bring kbell jam to pei!
kbell jam launched on january 15, 2013 with both a morning and evening session and, eventually it was run simultaneously in two locations. it was incredibly fun and rewarding to teach the kbell jam format. i was privileged and honoured to watch participants grow in skill and strength, starting tentatively with 8kg kettlebells and confidently using 36kg + before the session weeks had passed.
i taught 40 weeks worth of kbell jam in 2013.
i am truly excited about the 2014 kbell jam sessions.
i hope to see you there.