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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

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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

centered

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

 

 

 

paul plakas was in good company when he met up with these fabulous island kettlebellers

Healthy, fit bodies require good food, regular sleep, loving companionship, intellectual stimulation, a sense of purpose and kettlebell training.

Really.

Learn all you need to know about kettlebell training at a complimentary Kettlebell Skills Clinic.

Monday March 12th at 6:00pm

Please register in advance by contacting Wendy.  902.894.8943  or thewholeway@wendychappell.com

It is time to let Kettlebell Training change how you think about fitness, exercise, and your wellbeing!

P.S. Tell your friends about the clinic, I bet they are interested!

I have the great fortune and honour to work with some amazing people.  What could be more awesome than having a client arrive for her personal training appointment with Hello Kitty in tow?

hello kitty

The workout was not a piece of cake.  The sore muscles the next day?  They were the icing on the cake!

Thank you M, for your commitment and the fine company you keep.

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