HOPE. DREAM. BELIEVE.

Almost a year ago, I was started to suffer from a hip/back injury.  It was two years to the date from my first back injury.  I did not want to admit I was hurt again. I did not want to look weak again and was afraid to admit I needed help.  But the pain increased quickly and soon I could not walk without discomfort.

“How could this happen to me? ” I thought to myself.  I felt I learned my lesson from my first injury to prevent this to happen again! I learned the importance of owning my movement and became smarter with my exercise program.  The question of why or how I became injured was an unknown. The severity of the pain resulted in three weeks of rest and again I found myself without work.  At first I was devastated with this reality, then the memory of how it was a blessing in disguised to the first time I was out of work two-year prior.  I learned so much from my experience from being injured (see letting go letting God post in July) and I knew there was a reason for this darkness of being injured and without work.

It was during this dark period I was able to see the light! There where numerous other events that intensified the darkness but I continued to see the light shine brighter and brighter.  I saw this light through my clients, family, co-workers, and Ultimate Coach. Through this time, I was able to quiet my soul and find peace with darkness as I kept my eyes on the light.

It was only then I was able to rest in peace and hear a small still voice.

Everything in my life came to a complete stop; work, co-workers, workouts, planning, family, friends everything, which allowed me to clearly hear this voice.  The voice that speaks without words can only be heard through peace of mind body and spirit creating harmony within one being.

The voice soon turned into a calling a calling that created a pull in my heart.  This pull started a tug of war on my heart for I knew I was about to leave everything to obey the voice.  I was devastated with the action I needed to take, for I love life here in Seattle. Seattle you have given me amazing clients, co-works, and friends creating my Seattle family.  The calling burns deeply inside me and I cannot ignore this pull. I have a duty to respond by doing.

As I finish this blog, I am finishing my last day at PRO Sport Club.  It is a bitter sweet but I am excited for the unknown as I continue to trust in my Ultimate Coach as he continues to speak to me and through me.  He is the one who has given my passion for water skiing and for exercise / health.  It is through these passions I will shine my Light of Love giving others a hope, a dream, and the courage to believe.

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlighten in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people"  Ephesians 1:18
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlighten in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” Ephesians 1:18

Pink n Powerful

Sue-5202A year and half ago, I started working with Sue McConnaha training one on one three times a week.  When she started working with me she was 60 years old weighed 195 lb with 49.3 % body fat.  Sue soon became every trainers dream.  She had the determination and the dedication to reach her goal.  She had many set back throughout our time working together but she did not let these life events set her off track.  Now I am happy to report Sue is now 61 years old and feels ten years younger weighing 125 lbs with  21.1 % body fat.

It wasn’t always fun and games.  It was a struggle at first for Sue.  For someone one who has not exercised on a regular basis since ever. Sue learned the art of  struggling well.  Every kind if exercise program there is going to be a struggle.  This struggle I like to describe a processes of shedding the old self in hopes for a new. This “new” can be a new strength, a new weight lost, a new body.

Through her struggle of continuous exercising, she rediscover her  new body as a magnificent machine.  She now loves to dead lift (PR 95 lbs) and kettlebell swing.  She now finds joy through movement and exercise.  Instead of working one on one, Sue has been able to join a Kettlebell class and do partner training improving her technique of working with the kettlebell.

As a her trainer, it has been amazing to watch her transformation. This transformation didn’t just happen through her body but her mind.  One of the reasons why she has been able to keep the weight of is simply her mind set.  She has told me “I know that this time, the weight loss is for life.  Making this mental decision, her action will follow.  Having this mind set is the game changer.

Sue’s story has been such an inspiration to so many. Her life testimony of health reaches many more people than those with weight lost goals. Knowing she had to overcome many challenges, she inspires me to maintain my health as I recover from my foot surgery.  I understand how easy it is to give up when facing challenges, let Sue’s story be an inspiration to not give up and chase your fitness goals.  Below is an interview I had with Sue discussing her story about her transformation.

 

What is your history with trying different diet and exercise routine been?
I started out as a chubby kid….there in lies the problem!
My first diet success was when I was in high school…lost 30 lbs the
summer before my senior year. What a difference that made for me that
last year. So good memory of what the hard work and focus yielded…I
always remembered that.
Got married right out of high school and pregnant…gaining 50 lbs.
The next 40 years has been taking the weight off and gaining it back.
Have done Weight Watcher, LA weight loss, Bellevue weight loss clinic
using a diet pill and their specific liquids. Have been on 7 day a
week 75 minute work outs. Gave up red meat…then did the Atkins heavy
protein….brown rice diet, grapefruit diet…body flushes…I could
go on and on. Any and all of these were not sustainable for me because
it was so far from normal for me.

What made this program so different?
This program has been able to figure out a plan in the current
lifestyle that I have.

Was you mind set different from the rest attempts?
I honestly didn’t think I could or wanted to do it again. But I always
remember how good it would feel when I would be loosing and feeling
better about myself.

How much weight total did you lose? Start weight? Goal weight? Current Weight
I started last April 22nd at 193lbs with a goal of 150lb. That is
about the same start and goal I have had on all of my various diets.
Sometimes I got there and other times not. Seemed like the decision
point was when I would be close to the 200lbs on the scale..
I am happy to say I surpassed my goal and I weigh 120lbs and have been
at that weight for the last 3 months. I haven’t weigh’d 120 since I
was in the 6th grade.

What were some challenges?
Challenges were not as evident this go around because the formula was
working. My husband and I go out often so menu items were a struggle
at first. Then I figured out any restaurant would prepare it how ever I
would ask. I just wish there was a diet wine…as that is one of my
vices.

Can you describe you job responsibilities and how this was a challenge?
So I am in charge of Bakery and Food Courts….all food related. WeSMcConnaha3
have cuttings all the time…it is not that appealing when I am trying
to spit out the sample in front of 12 people….but they are used to
it now. Even have 2 or 3 of them doing the same thing!

What about your work travel schedule?
Travel is always interesting….nothing nutritional offered on
commercial flights so I just get a salad to go before I get on and
don’t use the dressing. When on the company plane there is plenty to
pick from I am so lucky.

Was there anything hard to give up like certain foods, habits, etc
Limiting/eliminating wine big challenge?

I still think about it and work at it.SMcConnaha2

Since you have reached your goal weight what keeps you motivated now?
My motivation has been that  it keeps working…that never happened
with any diet because it wasn’t sustainable.

What motivated to lose so much weight?

The attention from the quality people at the pro club….You, Julie,
Ali, Dr Upton…the people at the desk’s…everyone. My husband has played a huge support role as he does most of the cooking .Also everyone’s
comments are very motivating puts a smile on my face every time.

Explain the need for back surgery during the program and how it could have created a set back, but you did not allow for it.  How did you not fall back into your past unhealthy routines?
When I found out that I had to surgery I thought this would be a
stopping point not knowing how it would set me back. Well it didn’t!I
It took about a week to get back to a soft routine and that was it. I
stayed the course with the nutritional part recording
everything….sometimes over estimation the amounts to keep in check.

What advice do you have for other who struggle with weight loss?
You have to keep trying…it took me until 60 years old to find the
program that fits my lifestyle.
I believe I have discovered the formula that works good for me.
Everything I do I feel is sustainable.

What advice do you have for people your age being active and exercising?
You must get up and move…5 minutes then 10 minutes…and more. Never
push yourself to make it hurt just feel good. If it hurts you won’t
want to continue.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
The most satisfying thing to me is setting a good example with my
family, friends and people at work. I have explained my process to so
many people that it keeps me even more motivated.
My grandson is constantly inspecting what I have on my plate and
comparing to his…now he always orders a salad instead of french
fries…how can you beat that.

 

Coming out of the Closet on CrossFit

Many have asked if I am straight, bi, and/or lesbian. This post is not to answer these types of questions. But I am coming out of the closest to set the record straight about my opinion about CrossFit.

 

When I first entered exercise as a professional, I was eager to become part of the CrossFit movement. Yet over a year of doing CrossFit style workouts my body became very broken. As a result of this, I was totally turned off from the Crossfit community. Like a high school student feels being benched the entire season, I felt I was the outcast for physically not being able to keep up with my teammates. Jealous I was not part of the team, I banded CrossFit. Then I find out the gym I am working at is opening a CrossFit “box.”

 

As CrossFit continues to grow, I have been challenged professionally about this growth. Like any type of exercise whether it be CrossFit, Zumba, Martial Arts etc, without the proper coaching there is always going the be the risk of injuries.

 

There is a lot contrast about if CrossFit is healthy or not. When the real question is how are the participants being coached. If you want to perfect a skill through Crossfitt, or kettlebells, it will take time and diligence. We can’t just jump into these classes knowing exactly how to do all the lifts and expect no injuries. It takes time and proper coaching. Even as a coach, I still seek coaching to perfect my kettlebell swings and the water skiing abilities.

 

I have the privilege to work with an amazing team of experts these past three years. They have challenge themselves to continue to expand their knowledge and coaching skills, while at the same time pushes each other to new physical limits. I have learned so much working with them both with coaching and reaching my personal physical goals.

 

With the new CrossFit Bel-Red opening up, I trust all the coaches will take the correct safety precautions. I know this team of CrossFit Coaches will make a huge difference in this community and will start changing the poor reputation CrossFit has to a safe and effect type of exercise. They have changed my opinion of it and I am excited to see the impact this “Box” will have through our community.

 

CrossFit has an amazing community, let this community grow to support all types of movement, exercise, and sports. Even though the high school student may not have the chance to play on the court they are still supporting their team by being there. We all can support one another. Not everyone can physically do CrossFit, more power to you if you can, I may be little jealous. Let us support our differences and remember the main goal: improving each other life through health and exercise.

 

CrossFitt may not be for everyone but movement is for everyone. Find something you enjoy and go “live with passion!”

I will leave you with one last comment. I am not a cross-fitter but I am open to learn from them. I am not bi and/or lesbian but open to dating not a boy but a man.

Seattle Seahawks Superbowl: Something bigger and better

SeahawksparadeIt has been a crazy week with the big win for the Seattle Seahawks. As I was watching the Seahawk’s victorious win, I felt like I was part of the win simply because I consider my home Seattle.  Having a home team win one of the biggest games in our culture, it created this pride within me. I started to be proud to be from Seattle, proud to be part of the 12th man, proud to be part of something big.

With the team’s return, the majority of the city shut down to celebrate with a parade welcoming our team home.  Having this new pride for our team and my new home, I wanted to be part of this big celebration. My co-worker and I were  able to escape the gym and adventure to downtown Seattle.  Like the millions of salmon swimming back their nesting home, every 12th man was making their way to the heart of the city.  Joining the millions my co-worker and I felt like we were swimming ups stream just to find a way to get close to the parade.  With our determination and creativity, we were able to make it and joined thousands creating the 12th man.

Being down there was an incredible experience. It was amazing to be part of the crowd, and how we all had one soul purpose, to celebrate the Seahawks and their amazing season.  Everyone waited patiently upon the team’s arrival and as I waited it hit me.  The 12th man creates a community of people coming together service a purpose, supporting our hawks.  The 12th man is more than just a cheering squad it being part of something that is big, with a big purpose.

We all want to be part of something bigger and better.  The exciting part there is something bigger and better than the 12th man just listen to what our Seahawks say what is it.

Competitions

Being a competitor, I love the challenge of any type of competition. The mental focus of syncing the mind and body to work together in the “zone” can be challenging at times. It is only time the mind and body are able preform at its best. This is what every athlete strives for, being in the zone at the present moment.

Planning water ski competitions schedule for 2014, I start to wonder how do I practice the zone during the off season? I find it extremely hard to practice this when I am not even out on the water yet. Though at the same time I see the mental challenge it creates and I am up for the task. As a water skier, I am always looking ways for improvement.  I am consistently competing against myself and  determined to progress to next level. Every time I am out on the water I treat as if I was at a competition, striving for my best.

Just like making my practice part of my competition, each day we all have the opportunity to make it a “game day.” What every you may be training for, approach each day with the mental tactic of  a competition. On any competition day we all have this mental approach of winning, transition this to everyday by attacking each workout routine or practice set with a winning mentality.  Even though it is not a true competition, your are competing against your old yourself striving for a new part of you. We can’t win every competition and not every day is going to be a fantastic thrilling day, but each day we will be seeking ways to improve ourselves. Make every day a “game day” and enjoy the present moment.

Game Day

MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy New Year

Due to the busy season of Christmas, I decided I am taking the month of December off from blogging.  I will be back in the New Year with fun exercise tips and nutritional guidelines.  Till then enjoy this crazy video of me water skiing during the winter.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Live with passion

A Water Ski Legacy

A legacy is someone from the past who has created a new direction into other’s heart leading them to live their dreams.  Herb O’ Brien has left a influential legacy in the water ski world.  He had a vision for the sport and invited others to join his journey as he carved new ideas that led the water ski industry.  He was a very generous man and never hesitated to help a friend. Blessed to have meet Herb and ski at Radar Lake, I only hope I can create a legacy like his inspiring others to live their passion.  As skiers, we all carry  part of his legacy whether it be creating new skis or swerving right and left.  Keep his legacy alive by living your passion in celebration of life.

It has been a full year since his funeral and a full year wearing the bracelets that was given to all guests in memory of his generosity.  The bracelet resembles more than Herb’s legacy, the three beads reminds us all to live with hope, to have dream and to continue learning.

Hope Dream Learn

This beautiful gift called life gives us the opportunity to live a life of  legacy. Herb O’ Brien followed his dreams and  wanted others to be part of it

What kind of legacy are you leading?

RADAR LAKE

Off Season Training Begins

This past weekend I was able to compete in my fist tactical strength competition.  It consisted of max dead lift, max pull ups and the 5 min snatch test.  Those who are not familiar with the snatch text, it is completing as many kettle snatches you can within the 5 mins.  I accomplished a 205 lb dead lift, 14 pull ups and 105 snatches.  However, I could not have completed any of this without the amazing encouragement that was surrounding me from all the other competitors.

The best part of the day was seeing how strength brought strangers to friends, friends to encourages and  encourages to competitors within minutes.  The atmosphere was filled with motivation and inspiration, like a forest set on fire the motivation and inspiration started burning inside each of us in hopes to do our best.  As a result, many people had personal record  PR (in water skiing we call this personal best PB).  It was amazing to see and be a part of the determination, the strength and the encouragement from everyone wanting to improve their physical abilities.

As any competitor, we want a t-shirt to wear for bragging rights.  This was the shirt rewarded to all the competitors.

tshirtTSCfall13

I love the quote on the back of the shirt.  As a personal trainer, I believe strength does have a greater meaning.  For some, strength is losing weight, others may be a fight against cancer,  or it might be like my case a back injury and being able to walk pain free is strength. For me,  strength is a tool, a hope to use as inspiration for others.  Many of you know my story (and if you don’t you can read previous post about my back injury) and from this story of healing I hope I am able to inspire others to never give up on their dreams.  It is people and their stories that motivate me to continue to strive for my best, yet there is still a greater meaning to strength for me.

Snatch Test 105

As a competitor I am constantly reminded where my strength comes from:

  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go ~Joshua 1:9

He is my strength and power.

Strong First

God First

Life Lessons: Women’s Week 2013

Live is an adventure and there are many lesson to learn along the journey. At Coble  ski school  this was the theme for the Women’s Week.  What brought this theme was one of the ladies everyday would had out Dove Chocolates and say “here is your life lesson for today.”  With this premise, I became more aware of the life lessons that  presented themselves everyday.

Most of the time I was in the boat coaching throughout the entire day.  Even though I was not being coached myself there were many things I was able to learn through this experience.

As a personal trainer and a coach, I am always looking for areas for improvement to progress the person to the next level, saying or cuing the right thing becomes an art.  There were many times I would catch myself saying something and think did that really come out of my mouth, (in a good way).  I felt like someone else was whispering into my ears this entire trip giving me the correct words to say to each women there.  This surprised me because as this would happen immediately I  was able relate it to my skiing, and my personal life .  I started to be aware of these life lesson through water skiing,and understanding the bigger picture of life and how these lessons related to me as a Christian.

coblesept2013
Coaching Women’s Week 2013

The main lesson I was able to learn while coaching: Don’t pull the power away from the boat, instead let the power of the boat work through you.

Thank you again Ladies for an amazing Life Changing week.  You will always be remembered when I am out on the water.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. – Ephesians 6:10

Dove Chocolates
Life Lessons

 

Nationals 2013 – West Palm Beach

Nationalswpalmbeach2013

2013 has been an amazing summer  full of water skiing and traveling.  This past week I was able to compete at the USA Water Ski National competition in West Palm Beach, FL.  Unfortunately,  during the competition I did not ski as well as I hoped.  Yet I cannot complain, I have had a very successful season.   During this time last summer I was recovering from a condition called costochondritis.  This is a conditions which causes inflammation on the chest  and making it painful to take deep breaths at times.  So even though I did not place as I hoped to at nationals, I have been able to ski and travel to some of my favorite places without any signs or symptoms from this injury.

While  at Nationals , I was able to reunite with many friends  and meet new skiers as well. Nationals is like a BIG family reunion. So many people travel from all over the nation to come and compete.  It is an amazing atmosphere full of rivalry, team spirit and excitement.  Just being there is a thrill to experience.   When I was not watching friends ski, I was able to talk to some of the pros like Marcus Brown and April Coble.  However the one conversation that was most inspiring was with Krisiti Overton, an amazing skier and strong christian woman. To be able to share my passion for water skiing and for my Lord with a professional skier was the highlight of the trip.  I took away many lessons from the trip both spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Since the 2013 Nationals have been completed now the 2014 water ski season has  officially started!  There are still plenty of tournaments this fall and I am excited to see where this year will  take me.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV