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sutra244a

curiosity, an open sense of wonder, sometimes leads us to flip perceptions on their head in order to know things in different ways.

yesterday dawned as the last day of summer and ended as the first day of autumn.  it was forecast to be a warm, clear day and so i went to the beach to meet the dawning.

while the movement of planets, moons, stars and other celestial bits and pieces is a complex ethereal dance, the notion of the earth rotating on its lovely axial tilt as it travels in an ecliptic plane around the sun is not at all captured in the notions of ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’.

i have been sitting with this a bit lately.

yesterday, i stood still and quiet on beach sand damp with ebb tide while the horizon revealed the sun. in the vastness of that moment where the five elements met — earth, water, fire, air, ether —  there was a dizziness. a giddiness. a lived experience of rolling toward the sun.

as individuals that exist as part of a potentially infinite expanse, getting to know this expanse is part of getting to know of oneself.          ~ nicole katz on patanjali’s yoga sutra 2.44: svadhyayat ishta devata samprayogah

 

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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

 

hardstyle kettlebell swing

hardstyle kettlebell swing

as it goes with any aspect of the fitness industry — personal trainers, group fitness instructors, older adult specialists, pilates instructors, and the like — there are plenty of fit folks in prince edward island who love to exercise and who quickly figure out that offering classes, leading facebook challenge groups, or instructing others is an easy way for them to get their own workout and make some money.

qualifications, other than their own personal journey to better health, seem not so important.

when they have no specific hands-on education, what they pick up from a youtube video or a dvd release can be detrimental to your health.

this post is, as the title indicates, about kettlebell training. i have heard quite a number of stories — more than the fingers on both hands — about unqualified instructors providing poor instruction. i have been asked to take over a kettlebell class from an unqualified (and therefore uninsured) personal trainer and i have had at least a half dozen studio participants tell me about correcting the technique of other ‘instructors’ in other fitness businesses.

i am sure other kettlebell coaches have heard similar stories.

and, just recently, i was told by someone who has a connection to fitness/recreational education on the island that some people don’t think anyone on the island is duly certified (and i hope this is not based on the perception that our certifying bodies are questionable, as they most certainly are not).

these two sides of the same coin disturb me. to that end, i am compiling a list of who, in our island kettlebell world, has what certification and where you can contact them if you are interested in solid, safe, knowledgeable instruction.

  1. Kelly Arsenault. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy. subs as an occasional instructor at the whole way health & fitness studio in Charlottetown.
  2. J-Mac Beauchesne. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy. competes in GS (kettlebell sport). instructs at The Fit Stop in The Credit Union Place in Summerside and subs at Isand Impact Mixed Martial Arts.
  3. Zelda Bernard. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy. not currently teaching/coaching. lives in Eastern PEI.
  4. wendy chappell. a Certified Personal Trainer, originally kettlebell certified through Agatsu as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 in 2007 and more recently with KBell Training Academy as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 and a KBell Jam Instructor and as an Instructor of Kettlebell Sport through Orange Kettlebell Club. a Master Trainer Candidate for KBell Training Academy; has attended Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor Level 2 (received a day of instruction from Steve Cotter) and StrongFirst Girya 1 courses. participated in in-person professional development with KBell Training Academy at the national CanFitPro conference and on-line in High Intensity Kettlebell Fitness with KBNY and Kettlebell Rehab: Hardstyle Methods in Corrective Exercise with IDEA Health & Fitness Association. to date, has instructed more than 3000 kettlebell classes, workshops and courses. coaches classes and works with personal training clients at the whole way health & fitness studio in Charlottetown.
  5. April Gregory. a Certified Personal Trainer certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy and working toward a cert as a KBell Jam Instructor with same; Instructor of Kettlebell Sport with Orange Kettlebell Club. find current offerings at April Gregory: Kettlebell Training mainly in Souris and Up East areas of the island.
  6. Alan Howatt. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu and an Instructor of Kettlebell Sport with Orange Kettlebell Club. teaches at Abegweit Kettlebells Sport Club in Mount Stewart.
  7. Lola MacLeod. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu. teaches at Atlantic Fitness East in Montague.
  8. Stefanie MacQuarrie. a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, certified originally as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu and more recently as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 with KBell Training Academy and working toward a cert as a KBell Jam Instructor with same. classes are offered through “Alota Tabatas” Kettlebell Class in Crapaud and  subs at the whole way health & fitness studio in Charlottetown.
  9. Lindsay Moore. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 with KBell Training Academy. subs at “Alota Tabatas” Kettlebell Class in Crapaud.
  10. Courtney Steele. a Certified Personal Trainer, certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 with KBell Training Academy. teaches and trains at Full Throttle Fitness in Morell.
  11. Danny Walker. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu. teaches at Atlantic Fitness East in Montague.
  12. Susan Walsh. an Instructor of Kettlebell Sport with Orange Kettlebell Club since Sept. 2014. currently training under John Wild Buckly, owner of OKC. certified Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 through Agatsu and re-certified in Feb. 2014. teaching classes in kettlebell fitness since 2009 and practicing with kettlebells since 2008. owner of Studio K in Georgetown, PE.

kettlebell training is a very effective way of achieving goals. it is, however, very technique specific and as such requires specialized education of the provider.

let’s stay safe as we toss around the iron!

beginning

* to certified instructors: i compiled this list after alerting all on the list to my intention of writing this post. if i have made a mistake or omission, if you would like to be removed from the list, or if you would like to be added to the list, please get in touch.

*to training clients and class participants: this may or may not be an exhaustive list of certified kettlebell instructors on prince edward island. you can always ask your instructor about her/his qualifications and, if they are certified, send them along to be edited into this post.

beautiful butterycup

beautiful butterycup

i overslept this morning.  my intention was to take a 5 or 5:30am run.  my body needed more sleep than running. mmmmm

when i got up at 6:45, i passed on the run, did some happy chores with the extra time and headed off to the gym to teach classes.

i came home from work a bit earlier than expected.

flowery run 024so, the run happened.

for someone who likes the quiet runs of the  early mornings, the world is an entirely different run in the heat of the late morning sun.

as the breeze fell, waves of heat washed past me. it wasn’t long before my body began to develop a humid microclimate of its own.

the birds were subdued, brief soft calls from high branches. do they nap in the heat?

the asphalt offered a cool, but friendly, shoulder in the short stretches of dappled shade where overhead leaves sang rainstick songs. this in contrast to the warmth the road is holding in places exposed to our accumulating days of hot bright sunshine. a natural inspiration for in-floor heating?

flowery run 018blooms. everywhere! perhaps the sparseness of birdsong and the sun higher in the sky allowed my attention to rest on the corridor of wild, and not so wild, flowers along the route.

winking brown eyed susans overshadowed by the graceful noddings of queen anne’s lace, impossibly statuesque on spindly stalks. white clouds of yarrow snuggled into the yellow buzzy busy-ness of  st. john’s wort. shy fleabane peeking out from under the protective umbrella leaves of hostas. the march of goatweed and tendrilling crown vetch, delightful butter & eggs, abundant clover, laughing lilies. daisies and buttercups and dandelions, oh my.

a wsw wind, the compassionate sister of the churlish outbound breeze, nudged me home as my lower lids gathered and released, with each blink, the salty sting of sweat. my mind free and my bare feet singing a rhythmic song of solitude.

i am thankful for the new perspectives of the run. everyday is another opportunity to soften and open. blooming goodness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

August 1, 2009 sunrise, North Cape PEI

August 1, 2009 sunrise, North Cape PEI

Each year, a group of avid bicyclists travel Prince Edward Island from ‘tip to tip’ as a fundraiser for school breakfast programs.  This year, for the first time, I joined the event as a support vehicle volunteer.  And it was an amazing ride!

The Biking For Breakfast Challenge is the brainchild of one high energy, incredibly affable man by the name of Ken Trenholm.  Ken also is a founding member and one of the driving forces of the Summerside Cycling Club.

The Challenge begins bright and early at North Cape and concludes in the evening at East Point.  This year’s route, with refueling station placements, was 284.7 kilometres in length.  117 riders were registered; 97 of them took the challenge.  Lots of money was raised.

North Cape to East Point bike route, Prince Edward Island

North Cape to East Point bike route, Prince Edward Island

Photo Op at the Starting Line

Photo Op at the Starting Line

Support Vehicle Volunteers worked in pairs to provide any support needed by the riders — moral support and encouragement, tire tubes, water, directions, rubs and stretches, and just about any other request they threw at us.

Collection of blown tubes

Collection of blown tubes

There were quite a few tire repairs en route, a detour due to a motor vehicle accident, a water shortage during the heat of early afternoon, and at one point I had a rider on her back roadside while I stretched her aching backside muscles.  It was a demanding job but it was so much fun; the riders were incredibly courteous and appreciative, making it a total pleasure to  assist them.

Four of the participants were doing the ride for the second day in a row! Uh huh, yes.  On Friday they rode East Point to North Cape — ten hours of cycling time — and completed the return trip on Saturday.  Their heart rate monitors were registering over 11,000 calories expended each day.

Twisted Shifter Team Jersey

Twisted Shifter Team Jersey, John MacQuarrie

Finbar's Irish Pub, in the first finishing group. Zuska Ecerova, Cameron Thorne, Geoff Murray

Finbar's Irish Pub Team at the Start. They were in the first group of 7 at the Finish Line. Zuska Ecerova, Cameron Thorne, Geoff Murray

Leaving Portage Refueling Stop

Leaving Portage Refueling Stop

St Peter's Refueling Stop

St Peter's Refueling Stop

Rob Chambers approaching the East Point finish.  Amazing energy in those legs!

#52 Rob Chambers of Halifax approaching the East Point finish. Amazing energy in those legs still!

Each and every one of the cyclists on that course was an inspiration.  Determination and courage, stamina married with generous spirits, personal bars raised high and minds sharply focused on propelling themselves beyond personal limits.

I spent a phenomenal Saturday among people who are the embodiment of fitness; cyclists and volunteers shiny and bright in the quality of their humanity.

Am I not I blessed?

Finish Line Jubilation

Finish Line Jubilation

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

Each and every time I walk along the streets of Charlottetown, I take my life in my hands.  This is a small city which only recently began a public transit system (Yay for folks in need and our environment!) and, if I give the benefit of the doubt, struggles to be bike friendly.  There were some “share the road” signs posted in a few discrete locations this summer.  Kudos for that; it is a step in the right direction.

As I walk, constantly startled by bicyclists approaching me from behind on the sidewalk, I am reminded of my frustrations around the many challenges we face in this province to make bicycling a safe, enjoyable, respected, and respectable means of transportation.

Specifically, three issues leap to my mind.

1.  Use of helmets.  Helmets are, thankfully, mandatory by law for all bicyclists in this province.  Even if they weren’t, any degree of common sense would tell you to protect the brains of yourself and/or your children.

I have no ‘hard’ statistics to cite here, but I know from observation this law is little observed and little enforced.  Not only do most adults ride bikes without helmets, many children do as well.

I shudder and cringe each time I see a rider without a helmet, knowing how abruptly life can needlessly change.

National and various provincial statistics show most accidental bicyclist deaths to be a result of traumatic brain injury.  Most brain injuries occur as the result of lack of a helmet.

You need only have one conversation with emergency room staff at a hospital to get an attitude-shaking picture of the bicycle accidents which come through their doors.  Even mild brain injuries can have far-reaching and devastating effects on your life and those who love you. 

Not only should you always wear your helmet, it should be an approved helmet and be fitted properly.

2.  Bicyclists who either do not know or choose to ignore, the proper use of bicycles. It should not be a surprise that bicycles are vehicles and, as such, subject to the same rules of the road as motorized vehicles.  Sidewalks, boardwalks and crosswalks are for pedestrians.  If you are walking your bike then by all means avail yourself of sidewalks, boardwalks and crosswalks.  If you are in the saddle and riding you do not belong in these places and are, in fact, placing pedestrians and yourself at risk.

As a bike rider, you are entitled to your space on the road.  In the lane.  Use of proper hand signals and observation of all traffic signs makes your actions, as a moving vehicle, predictable to other drivers and pedestrians alike. This makes for a very good situation.

3.  Motorized vehicle operators who are less observant of bicyclists than they should be.  Car and motorcycle drivers must exercise alertness when sharing the road with bicyclists.  Bicyclists in your lane, turning, or making lane changes should be treated like any other vehicle on the road.

When motorists provide bicyclists with sufficient space, proper right of way, and respect on the roads, safety risks for everyone are minimized.

Bicycles are definitely green in terms of environmental costs and out-of-pocket operating costs to the rider.  They are an efficient active means of transportation and provide all kinds of benefits for the rider’s health and fitness.  Merchants could install bike racks or appropriate places for parking and locking bikes.  Communities could hold public education events.  Truck drivers on roads with no shoulders could exercise extra vigilance during ‘biking’ season.

With some effort on the part of riders and motorized drivers and city and municipal governments, sharing the roads of Prince Edward Island could be a winning proposition for all!

the mayor of Montague, at this time, was uninterested  :(

the mayor of Montague, at this time, was uninterested 😦

I would be very pleased to ride my bike around my rural home community and in the small city which is my work community with fewer concerns.  I would be thrilled to regularly walk on sidewalks without the startle of bicyclists swerving around me or braking hard behind me.  I would be joyed by a community concerned about decreasing bicyclist accident statistics and increasing its dedication to a greener lifestyle.

Share your experiences.  Write to your local paper and MLA.

Pedal On!

Along the Bras d'Or Lakes of Cape Breton

Along the Bras d'Or Lakes of Cape Breton

Having grown up on the Atlantic coast of Canada, in an incredibly beautiful place called Cape Breton Island, a distinct heritage courses through my veins.  I happen to love bagpipe music and fog and salty air and Gaelic accents. I have had the good fortune to live in a number of coastal areas, including the phenomenal shores of the Bay of Fundy and the place known as ‘the fair isle’, Prince Edward Island.

East coast living means fresh seafood is not only a dietary staple, it is a gastronomic love affair.  At this time of year, the lobster fishery is active.  Lobster is a very healthy food to add to your clean eating menu.

Not only is lobster meat lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than beef, pork and even the leanest lobsterchicken, it is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful in the prevention of heart disease and hardening of the arteries.  It is a great source of protein and is high in a number of vitamins, including A, B2, B3, B6 and B12. It is also a good source of minerals such as potassium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, iron,  and magnesium.

nutrition_compar_chartThis information-packed chart, and everything you’ll ever need to know about Canadian Atlantic Lobster can be found at this site which features New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia lobster.

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