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a group of smart, big-hearted women have come together to help feed island children.

from their facebook page:

We are a group of moms challenging you! How many children can you feed?

Research shows a strong correlation between healthy eating and academic success. Let’s give all children the same chance to succeed. Feed a child and raise a reader.

It takes roughly 3lbs of food to feed a child for one day. Let’s see how many children a community can feed. We are challenging you to reach out to your family, friends, colleagues, contacts, to see just how far reaching our community is.

How can you help?!? Reach out to your family, friends, colleagues, contacts and organize a friendly competition or host a party and get your guests to bring a can of food rather than a host gift! Put together a neighborhood challenge and challenge another neighborhood. Challenge another company or department at work; challenge yourselves.

Together Everyone Achieves More.

Contact us on FB for more details or email us at momsvshunger@gmail.com.

part of their drive was to organize yoga instructors to offer classes as part of the drive.

i have two coming up.

donations are accepted at both locations – the whole way health & fitness studio and Atlantic Fitness East – even if you do not attend the class.

be generous.

gentle yoga.png

dee

i picked up the kettlebells and got today’s program done.

i am in the second week of a StrongBody Challenge. it is far more volume than i generally work, with a 5 day on 2 day off layout. double kettlebell complexes 3x per week.

i didn’t want to do the workout today. i could list all sorts of excuses, but you already know them all. they’ve taunted you too.

so i set two goals before i started:

  • get it done
  • stay safe while doing it

when i finished, my first thought was: that was not your best effort wendy.

but that wasn’t true.

there’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean.    ~ dave barry

i worked, for many years, with stressed and distressed people. poverty. addictions. housing. abuse. marginalization. education. mental health issues. the stresses almost innumerable and so many unfamiliar to me.

in the early years of this work, so much of what i came upon, the context of people’s lives, was far beyond my ken. i am grateful that some wonderfully supportive mentors helped me keep my mind and heart open.

one of the earliest conclusions i came to was that people invariably do the best they can with what they have at that moment. no one puts out less than their best effort. at least i have never witnessed anything less than a person’s best. even when, from most perspectives, the outcome doesn’t look so good.

today i put in my best effort. as i always do. best efforts have a context.

best efforts can look different each day. don’t miss the whole point of them.

kettlebell-pics-034eight 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

kettlebell wow

 

Louka Kurcerwell first off, you might be wondering just who is this Louka Kurcer?

i first met Louka on facebook, a place where communities grow and evolve. most anyone who has some mention of kettlebell in their profile, or are somehow affiliated with kettlebell training, will accept a friend request from a compadre kettlebell enthusiast.  Louka was training and growing his business and so we connected in the virtual world.

then, much to my surprise one day, as i am puttering in the kitchen, i hear him being introduced in a DNTO episode on CBC radio! that rather put his cool factor up in my books.

and, to continue with the coincidences, when i arrived at the site of the february 2015 StrongFirst SFG1 course – at United Therapies Strive in Winnipeg –  the first person i was to meet, as we doffed our footwear, was none other than Louka.  Louka was there as a course assistant.

this is how the kettlebell universe continues to expand.

so ….

Louka Kurcer is above all else StrongFirst. his training is based on the belief that strength fixes almost everything. he trains and teaches with a minimalist, yet highly effective, approach and is considered an expert in the practice of hardstyle kettlebell, flexibility, and bodyweight strength training within the StrongFirst community.
Louka’s attitude can be compared to that of an old-time strongman and a martial artist. he challenges his students to “practice” rather than “workout”.

he is about the underlying principles, not just the tools:

“an exercise or movement has greater value if it is done with quality and purpose. that is how I build real, long lasting strength.”

he believes strength training should be a lifestyle and advocates being able to train anytime and anywhere.

“A kettlebell can replace an entire gym…and if you don’t have one available, you can still get very strong using just your body.”

that is his one-mind-any-weapon mentality.
Louka currently teaches workshops in and around Montreal and is based out of Hardstyle Kettlebell Mtl. when he is not swinging a kettlebell or putting heavy weights overhead, he pursues his other passion of art in the form of painting and drawing (which was a part of his DNTO story).

check out some of his kettlebeasts:

kettlebeastsdoesn’t that almost make you swoon?

Louka is offering two days of workshops – and they are happening just weeks from now!

HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL – TECHNICAL AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

the whole way KB poster1if you haven’t yet worked with kettlebells, you might still be wondering why you would want to.

  • skills developed by kettlebell training increase body awareness which translates to better safer movement
  • kettlebell training develops functional strength. that which once felt heavy will feel like a toy
  • kettlebell training delivers bang-for-your-buck fitness. you can achieve extreme conditioning with all-purpose strength
  • kettlebells are compact and can be taken almost anywhere; they can replace an entire gym
  • kettlebell training can help heal & overcome injuries while simultaneously increasing flexibility, agility & strength
  • kettlebell training benefits both sides of the performance coin: maximal acceleration in the quick lifts and maximal tension in slow lifts
  • kettlebell training teaches the correct way to perform the exercises! you will stand out because rarely does a trainee use them properly, including many (uncertified) trainers

what, exactly, is HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL?

the term refers to a style of hand-to-hand combat practiced in Russian Special Operations in the 1970s. in the 1980s, Hardstyle Kettlebell training was developed to support this combative practice.

hardstyle strength was exemplified by powerlifting and Okinawan karate. the common denominator in any hardstyle method is compression:

  • compress the muscles, because muscles produce force by tensing. maximize the tension
  • compress the joints, because a loose joint absorbs the force meant to go elsewhere; it “leaks” power and is easily injured
  • compress the breath, because a slack waist dissipates force like Jell-O. high intra-abdominal pressure increases strength
  • cCompress the ground, to maximize stability and to take advantage of the reactive forces
  • compress the focus. direct the force precisely to minimize losses

hardstyle strength training is the practice of the totality of compression skills.

this workshop will provide an in-depth practice of the 6 fundamental kettlebell exercises and their variations:

  • the Hardstyle KB swing
  • the KB Front Squat
  • the Turkish-Get Up and the Arm-bar
  • the KB Clean
  • the KB Military Press
  • the KB Snatch and the High Pull

plus, you will get:

  • technique/ form fine tuning, intensive practice
  • detailed progressions for every level of strength
  • coaching cues and exercise correctives
  • mobility drills to boost health and performance
  • safety procedures
  • program design

BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS – BEGINNER TO ADVANCED PROGRESSIONS

body weight progressions

body weight progressions

what are the Body Weight Power Lifts?


simply put, body weight power lifts are state-of-the-art drills that can be practiced practically anywhere which will increase your overall strength. the benefit is they have a large carryover to many real life applications. you will get back so much more than you put in!

this day long workshop will allow you to learn principles and techniques that will instantly make you stronger, such as total-body tension, power breathing and, NEVER training to failure. learn the Artificial Controlling Environment that will help your students and yourself become stronger fast.

you will learn that the KEY to all bodyweight drills is the hollow body position and you will receive detailed instruction in how to achieve and maintain this position.

all the exercise movements will be deconstructed and then progressively reconstructed for a systematic learning process, including:

  • the one-arm pushup series: hardstyle plank, pushup, one-arm pushup
  • tactical pull-up series: hollow rock, chin/pull-up, hanging-leg raise, front lever
  • pistol squat series: close squat, airborne lunge, pistol squat
  • handstand pushup series: headstand, handstand, piked/handstand pushup, headstand leg raise

this workshop will also cover how to design your own program incorporating the body weight power lifts.

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HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL:  saturday july 18th, 9am – 4pm

BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS: sunday july 19th, 9am – 4pm

either workshop:

$200. by JUNE 30TH
$250. after JUNE 30TH

combine HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL with BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS for
$350. by JUNE 30TH
$450. after JUNE 30TH

contact Wendy Chappell 902-894-8943
thewholeway@wendychappell.com
for information

payments via email transfer to
thewholeway@wendychappell.com
or through paypal
info@wendychappell.com

this is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

6am sun

6am sun

i ran outside this morning for the first time since forever.

i did not run far or fast, but i ran fresh, with the heavy morning dew collecting along my hairline, alongside corduroy fields and amidst a veritable symphony of morning song birds.

i was grateful to be there.

i am currently teaching a 75 minute clubbell yoga class in montague once a week and will be bringing clubbell yoga to the studio in the very near future.

in the meanwhile, i am offering a 45 minute cbyp12 blend (clubbell yoga primal 12 blend) class on wednesdays at noon beginning next week, wednesday february 4th.

cbyclubbell yoga is the fusion of two ancient disciplines — club work and yoga. it is the union of strength and asana.

primal 12 addresses common movement patterns, sports-related skills, in a way which combines dynamic flexibility training and the strengthening of stabilizing muscles (particularly in the hips, shoulders, core). it is a program with will supplement your current strength training practice or yoga practice.

primal12zthis class will sandwich high intensity interval bodyweight and clubbell yoga conditioning movements between a flow warmup and a weighted & unweighted yoga flow.

this promises to be a delicious midweek treat in your exercise & movement routine.

wsu0u1TDtmXqpEuzt2Hroo8kLs6PGX3S8lSWyLz-acEit is just short of 9 years — May 2006 — since i purchased my first set of kettlebells: three fat-handled glossy-painted cold cannon balls with handles. an 8kg, a 12kg, and a 16kg.

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.

AKC training clean&snatch circuit 2

Agatsu Certification 2007

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.

kettlebell-pics-034the 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.

swing a kettlebell

saying-goodbye-quotes-deep-meaning-picturei found out yesterday that next week will be my last week of work (classes) at Atlantic Fitness East. at the beginning of December, i handed in my notice for March 1st, knowing the owner would take care of replacing me long before that date.

and so it is.

i am so grateful for so much from this time in my life. when i moved to the island, arriving labour day weekend of 2003, i thought i would be traveling to charlottetown to look for work …. ummm, after we were settled in the house and the girls were settled into school and udo was settled into work and life dissolved into some sort of crazy busy routine. but lo and behold, there was a full gym just down the road from our home. and it became an important part of our lives, in so many ways.

i started as a member at this gym down the road, getting in some long juicy workouts and slowly becoming a regular around the place. i moved from member, to floor trainer and eventually combined that with private personal training, staffing the desk and teaching classes. i have traveled a lot of miles on the floors of that space and learned the names, goals, and vulnerabilities of countless folks. every person gave me something important.

hearthandi cannot possibly name everyone who has a place in my heart over these years, but there are a few i must mention by name:

Carol Wilbert, the day manager for Atlantic Fitness East when i arrived here, was persuasive in talking me into my first position — a part time gig as a floor trainer. there were no certified personal trainers on site and the facility was sorely in need of a floor trainer to work with members. i am very grateful to all the kindnesses Carol extended to me during the years that our time there overlapped. she had a good grasp of what needed to be in place to provide a well-rounded service to members; she had a solid and consistent personal workout schedule,  and she was a consistent smile and upfront personality to work with.

Donna Harris, who i now count as a friend, was the first to hand over the health and fitness of  her body to me and to engage with me in personal private training. she was excited and trusting and motivated. it was so fun to train her and she opened the doors for others to make such a commitment to their own health and workouts. i am grateful for the dedication Donna shows to herself and the unwavering support she gave me as a trainer and gives me as a friend.

Mandy Li, through Donna’s urging, became my second  private client. Mandy used me to create big, meaningful and lasting changes in her life. Mandy is such a generous person and by training with me gave me so much. she is light-hearted and earnest and i am grateful for her generous spirit and ongoing friendship.

63302_10151712596044757_1689552538_nand then there was the avalanche of personal training clients and post-rehab pool clients through Workers’ Compensation and Motor Vehicle Insurance. there were sometimes months on end when my daily shift was chock full of folks taking on new knowledge of how to live healthier, workout in safer and more effective ways, and to place trust and love into sometimes horribly broken body parts and psyches. people of all ages, with a diversity of health needs and fitness goals; they were all people put into my life to teach me. thank you to each and every one of you, i hope you have some lessons learned and remembered from these times too.

in addition to personal training, i began doing some administrative and desk shifts when Carol went on a maternity leave. towards the end of her leave, ownership of the gym changed hands and desk staff positions began rolling over like kitties for belly rubs. along the way, i shared in a steady desk staffing position with Susan English, Jen MacLean Mulally, Donna Harris, and Art Griffin. these were folks who made it easy to come onto shift behind them, having done their jobs well and thoroughly. they all taught me much about sincerity and integrity in a challenging workplace. they were all so loved by members, and for good reason.

pool staff (who frequently morphed into other responsibilities) with whom i shared time there: Adam Ross, Simone VanIderstine, Shanahan Gardiner, Alysia Angus Lunt, James Sullivan, Brett Hancock, Michelle Sullivan, Rebeccah Hume, David White, and so many others for whom i have lost last names. swim instructors and life guards who were young, enthusiastic and hungry to apply what they had learned and so refreshing to observe.

agilityat some point along the way, i added a group class schedule to my other duties at Atlantic Fitness East. there has been a variety of classes and a huge smileful of class participants: power & grace, mostly abs, yoga break, kettlebell, seniors, jazzercise, yoga, kickboxing, mash up ….  i have loved the energy of the groups and have thrived on creating class formats and programs which are safe, fun, challenging and balanced. i am so very thankful for everyone who has allowed me to practice on them. a few of the class participants have gone on to become instructors themselves: Susan, Danny, Zelda and Lola  have all obtained recognized certifications in Kettlebell Coaching and Kim Beck, a floor client from way back, has become a personal trainer; i was humbled by her description of my role in her journey and to assist her in meeting the standards of her practical testing.1hlc 040

the current gym owner, Meaghan Lister, has often allowed me to direct my work at Atlantic Fitness East, to bring new ideas into the facility based on my ongoing professional development and to just leave me with responsibility – autonomy – in my work. i have gained much in my relationship with her.

and, i should note that it is no small thing that two of my daughters had their first official work in this facility, both serving as customer service reps on the desk. it has served them well in life to have this experience.

squatwhile there is much i have gained at Atlantic Fitness East, there are so many i will miss. for the past 5 years i have only taught classes and i have wild and passionate attachments to the fine people in these classes. to the kettlebellers –some of you who picked up your first kettlebell on january 28th, 2008, under my cohersion — so many of you over the years who have loved or loved to hate the iron, oh my gosh how do i say thank you? you have been strong and funny, graceful and oafish, determined, sweating and smiling, screaming …. and you’ve introduced me to a number of new invectives.  you have given me more than i have ever had to offer you and you hold a special place in my heart. thank you, thank you. and,  to the (mostly) women in the Seniors Fitness Class: thank you for your wisdom and kindnesses, your story telling and distracted socializing, for putting up with my memory challenges and listening to my life stories. thank you for understanding, deeply, how important your physical health is to your fulfilled living and for being (mostly) consistent in your exercise commitment. you are a very difficult group to leave. truly.

you all know who you are.

and so it is.

next week. and then a different week after that one.

cbyphotothis nexus allows me to attend more fully to my work at the whole way health & fitness studio. i will be rounding out the services there, offering more yoga, including Clubbell Yoga, and finding a way to incorporate Primal 12 programming into the schedule. i am really excited about this.

and, montague, you are really not rid of me. today i picked up a key for the space in which Lainey`s Taekwondo is practiced and grows. starting next week, january 11th, i will run a 6 week Introductory Clubbell Yoga Series in this great space. there is still time to get in on it!

2015, my heart is open, get into me. bring joys and sorrows and the path i do not yet know.

and so it will be.

Whatever-is-happening

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a KETTLEBELL SKILLS CLINIC  teaches you the basic movement patterns of kettlebell training. Once you execute the movements properly, you’ve given yourself the gift of an amazing new training method.

KETTLEBELL TRAINING provides cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, power training, endurance, flexibility, balance and core conditioning all in one intense workout.

if you’re looking for metabolic conditioning with endless variety, this is where you’ll find it!

if you’re looking for small group classes with loads of coaching and personalized feedback, this is where you’ll find it!

if you’re looking for a casual and supportive group of participants, this is where you’ll find it!

new year. new training method. new energy.

swing a kettlebell. it might just change your life.

don’t miss a beat after ringing in 2015!

love_kettlebell_in_red_aluminum_license_platekettlebell skills clinics are scheduled for:

6pm monday, january 5th

and

9:30am saturday january 10th

call me at 894.8943 or email me at thewholeway@wendychappell.com to register.

the briefing on the physical testing

being briefed on the physical testing

last weekend (september 13/14 2014)  i attended an Orange Kettlebell Club (OKC) Instructor Certification Course hosted by Tim Bell of  Bell’s Kettlebell Concepts in Halifax, NS.

OKC, out of California, offers Kettlebell Sport Training and competitions. head coaches have all certified through the International Kettlebell Sport and Fitness) Academy (IKSFA) in Russia and they all have a passion for getting on the competition platform and digging deep.

john wild buckleythe Halifax course was fortunate to have the expertise, passion and big-heartedness of John Wild Buckley and Jason Dolby. These two are exceedingly adept guys, each with a unique skills set which complements the other. They are a dynamic team with razor focus, fiercegentleness and a gigantic sense of fun.

18 participants spent two days being walked, jogged, waltzed, jason dolbyand jitterbugged through the breakdown of the 3 competition lifts – the snatch, the jerk, and the long cycle.

Jason and John have pretty amazing coaching skills and cueing techniques which helped create movement patterns where none existed, fix impoverished patterns that were already established, dealt with anxieties and concerns, and built confidence. They have mastery over the nuances of kettlebell sport and are fine wizards of building mental toughness and a strong sense of community.

yeah, they filled me fuller than i thought possible.

on day 1 we talked of thumb direction grips, how to find, stay and return to your home/shelf position on the iliac crest in rack, the importance of a great warm up, power production and energy conservation and bonestacking, or skeletal support in stance.

we learned and practiced backswings (swings) and cleans and jerks. the nuancing of timing on hand insertion and avoiding callus-catching were covered. the flow from the dip to the undersquat of the jerk was a challenge for many of us and it was a fascination watching as John repeatedly broke it all out in a multitude of ways and put it back together again. with surgical precision.

there was so much for me to learn from just watching these guys work. soak it in, percolate, synthesize and integrate, try it out, find the best fit.

and there was an ongoing transmission on patience; one of my favourite parts of the training. waiting for the kettlebell to be weightless for the smooth sweet spot insertion; waiting for the trigger point – the 7 o’clock position – on descent before hinging the hips and lowering the torso into the backswing; waiting for the breath to direct the movement. these lessons, and those on accepting your body as your best coach, jenga-stacked into my buddhanature. these are some of the foundational blocks of everyday warriorship and living with courage.

day 2, after reviewing and tuning up a bit of our day 1, took us through the snatch and breath work. Breathing is what keeps it all together in a competition setting, each movement finely set to the rhythm of the breath: when they remain aligned there is grace and beauty and the ability to endure; when they fall out of rhythm, like the first practice of a varsity marching band, the results, while youtube worthy, are not pretty.

the weekend culminated with written and practical testing. The practical testing required us to mimic a competition: picking whichever of the three lifts we wanted, we performed a 10 minute set with just the one hand switch (if working a single kettlebell lift) at, minimally, entry level of the OKC competition ranking table.

i chose the 12kg long cycle, requiring 64 reps.

i did not meet the testing requirements and have set a personal goal of retesting before the end of the year. i will meet those standards and i know there will be a lot to learn in the process.

the course was an amazing learning and practice weekend. i am so very grateful for the opportunity to learn from the other 17 participants and be coached by John Wild Buckley and Jason Dolby; they are (taking a bit of poetic spelling license here) Sport Trainers and Competitors ExtraorDONAIRe.

chu-hi!

 

this post is a lightly edited version of one i wrote for my blog at kbell training academy.

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