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

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.


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

and it begins . . . .2013 Water Ski Season

We had the lake all to ourselves
We had the lake all to ourselves

This past month I have been busy with water skiing and getting excited for the 2013 season.  Seattle has been having amazing weather and I have been taking full advantage of it by getting out on the water as much as possible.

April 3rd was my first day out on the water and we had the entire lake to our selves.  To start the season off I was able to have my first water ski set on Lake Sammamish. It was great to have the open water and not to worry about the buoys.  Like Marcus Brown, I value the importance of free skiing and getting to back to the basic of the sport which we all know is to have some fun.

Since then I have been able to ski up at Hilltop, a man made lake, practicing the course.  Since it is early in the season I have only been doing back to backs.  This means I start at 30 mph and instead of going up to the next speed I repeat 30 mph.  So a good practice set look like 30 mph, 30 mph, 32 mph, 32 mph, 34 mph, 34 mph (women’s max speed).  By doing back to back s, it give a skier time to focus on form and technique verses the buoy count. As a skier it is important to allow your self time to ease back into ski-shape by doing back to backs and mixing in a couple of free skiing sets.

As I prepare myself for this season, I made sure I started this preparation during the winter months. Some skiers enjoy skiing in the cold and I have to admitted I missed water skiing during the winter, but there is a reason why they call winter the off-season.  It took me a very serous back injury to learn my lesson  balancing this sport with strength training during the off season.

Instead of skiing during the winter I focused on Kettlebell workouts and giving myself plenty of time for regeneration before and after workouts.  Regeneration (regen) is  foam rolling and dynamic stretching.  With hard workouts , there is a need to rest.  My rest day usually consist of foam rolling or some form of yoga and icing.  As I start to water ski more and decrease my time in the gym, I know regen will be even more important to maintain.  Water skiing is one sport that puts a lot of torque on the body resulting in a very tense muscles. It is important to keep the body stretched and relaxed to help prevent injuries during the season. Even as I am typing this I am rolling out my feet with a trigger point ball.

Stoked for the 2013 season I am reminding myself not to be kid in the candy store and am learning the importance of slowing easing myself back into water skiing shape.