Same Path Traveled Different Journey Part 3: little times of inspirational influences

Waiting anxiously as we drove onto the ferry. As soon as the car came to a stop, my two other sisters and I, would race up the stairs for the outside point on the ferry. All bundled up with the sea breeze blowing our hair, we would be there for the entire ferry ride with the anticipation of our destination: The Hodgson Family!

 

Being the oldest of a family of five (two sisters, and two brothers), I always longed to have an older sister to look up to. Rachael Hodgson in my world was my older sister. She also is the oldest of a family of five and we share a kindred spirit. When our family would go visit the Hodgson across the Puget Sound, our time there would be spent her braiding our hair, painting our nails, and most importantly getting the newest fashionable hand-me-downs from the Hodgson Girls. She always made us feel like we were her little sisters.

 

When home in Spokane, my sisters would still put into practice all she taught us or at least we tried to. Many times we would be playing with our Barbies and think that the Barbie doll was designed after Rachael’s stunning beauty and only hoped we would be able to grow up to be somewhat like Rachael!

 

Our visits centered around Rachael’s sporting events, her graduation from high school and soon her wedding. No matter what special event she was about to embark on, she always made each one of girls feel like we had an important role to play in her life. Deep inside, I wanted to do the same someday! Make others’ feel like they have important role to play in life.

 

As I started to embark on my special events in life, Rachael was there always with full support believing in me knowing I had a special role to play in other’s life.

My senior year of High School, I felt like I was walking in her footsteps through my athletics and special events. Again Rachael was there in full support sending me her beautifully hand crafted cards of encouragement simply to be me. During my first couple of months in Seattle after graduating college, she was confident I would succeed in both my career and water skiing when others may have thought I was a little crazy with my wild ideas.

 

Rachael's view when right before I going to rip up the water !
Rachael’s view when I about to rip up the water

During my time in Seattle, I was able to share my love for water skiing to her and her adorable little girl Olivia (at that time she was about almost a year old). They came to the lake and were able to watch from the boat! I was beyond excited! It was more than just water skiing it was an opportunity to show Rachael how she believed in my dreams has helped to be who I am today.

 

Rachael Hodgson has empowered many people through her life through small inspiration acts of believing and seeing others to their full potential.

She is  still an inspiration as she is now fighting colon cancer.  She continues to shine with her confidence and positive, radiating smile through this difficult time teaching all of us the value of life.

Now it is my turn to return the favor and make a difference in Rachael’s life!  Help me return the gift of life ensuring Rachael knows her times of inspiration influences has impacted  in our lives forever.

Here is where you can make the difference and read more about her journey https://www.gofundme.com/rhodgson

Same Path Traveled Different Journey ~ Part 2: giving up your dreams

As you start reading this, I will be on the road again across the state from a weekend visiting my family in Spokane. I have made this trip uncountable times in my life. I started making this trip when I was in college traveling to the Big City. I was filled with excitement!!! Dreams flashed through my head as I passed each mile marker. Dreams of living in the city, becoming a personal trainer and water skiing!

The end of this October will mark 5 years of me living on the west side of the state with numerous trips back and forth to and from Spokane. Within these 5 years, I have learned so much through injuries, through relationships, and through my goals! But through these multiple trips in life I learned it is ok to give up on dreams.

The last blog post may have been a little surprising or devastating as you read it.

Lets just say this was a big obstacle to manage and still is! The news of your mother having a brain tumor is something no one wants to face. Yet this was my reality a year ago and we are still learning how to navigate post her surgery.

Throughout this year, I had an opportunity in Orlando, FL! The feeling of starting something fresh, a new beginning, warmth sunshine was so appealing to me. It took a long time for me to decide if I was going to take this chance or not. I wanted to forget the hardship and start with a clean slate working toward my goals as an athlete and professional career training.

After long talks with my mom about this opportunity, she reminded me this is the one and only life I get to live and encouraged me to make the jump and go for it! So at the end of April I was in Orlando!

As soon as I arrived there the opportunity had vanished! Devastated with this reality, I went to my “Never-Land” aka Coble Ski School. There I was able to of course ski but more importantly come to the conclusion I am a northwest girl!

After two wonderful months at Cobles, I was back to the Northwest! Don’t get me wrong I love being in the Northwest, it is my home and where my heart belongs. But it is not where I thought I would be. I thought I would be on a new adventure in a new city, making new friends and chasing new dreams.

Since my time here in Seattle, I started to give up on my dreams. Yes I gave up my dreams! CRAZY (I know)! As the doors were obviously closed in Orlando, I started to question my dreams and wondered how they would become a reality.

My gypsy spirit is starving for a new adventure yet my heart and soul is directing me to stay in Seattle.

Afflicted inside, I continue to trust my ultimate coach who is the one who directs my heart and soul. Not understanding how He is directing my compass to stay in the Northwest, my gypsy spirit grieves the path it thought it would be taking to achieve her dreams. Knowing how He give us dreams as a calling to do His work, I will believe He has a much bigger adventure waiting for me here in Seattle! I may not know the steps of my journey, but living the unknown is the greatest adventure.

I may feel like I have given up on my dreams with “settling” being back in Seattle, the path has changed but my dream continue to live.

I have faith in the unknown Knowing the one who knows the Unknown.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

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

Power and Strength

While listening the Coach Glass’s Podcast (episode #43 Season Training Pt1) he posed a question “What are the power/strength requirements of your sport?” As he started to go into details of the importance of understanding this, I asked myself this question toward water skiing.  With water skiing being a very skilled sport I wondered, “Can I really answer this question to help develop the right off season training without getting out on the water?”  So I reached out to the water ski community to ask their thoughts with this question on Facebook.  Here are the main things people replied:

Core

Leg strength

Grip

Mental Awareness

Tension and Relaxation

Timing

Position

I have been told water skiing is similar to golf simply because it is such a mental sport.  With golf and water skiing being both more of a mental sports, I have found there are many other similarities. Even though I do not play golf as a movement coach I can see the similar movement patterns between both sports which are rotation and power.

Coach Jason Glass is one of the world’s top Golf Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and he uses the kettlebell swing for many of his golfer’s exercise programing.   Both golf and water ski are very skilled and technical sports demanding a lot of mental strength while at the same time can be very taxing physically (at least water skiing sorry golfers). Learning the kettlebell swing is a very technical skilled and strength exercise.  The basic movement of the kettlebell swing requires the same aspects of water skiing.

It is all about  improving your mental awareness, producing the right body position and finding the correct timing for tension and relaxation.

When I was first learning the proper way to swing a kettlebell, all three aspects I had to own.  The skill has to be learned in order to build strength from the swing. Training a skilled exercise like the Kettlebell swing can only produced a larger mental awareness to be able to own the skill of any sport. If we can’t learn how to develop mental awareness on land how are we suppose to develop this on water?

As I learned the (and still learn) the correct position to swing, I started to see and feel how position is key to produce the power from a swing.  Similar to water skiing, if not in the right position we will not be able to generate the power from the boat through our body to the ski (still learning the correct position for water skiing as well).  While at the same time the position of the swing requires different movement (bottom of the swing and top of the swing) and timing starts to take a major aspect to the skill.

Like April Coble has said water skiing is like a dance, it is rhythmic. Part the swing and water skiing is understanding the timing. When is the perfect time is to create the tension and relaxation?  How to manage both is key.  Whitney McClintock says “You don’t have to be the strongest person, you just need to have the right power at the right hand gate ball…” I enjoy the kettlebell swing simply because it forces me to create the right tension at the right time.  When you don’t the kettlebell is out of control doing it’s own dance.

From my experience when creating to much tension at the wrong time while water skiing, I have find myself in the water verses on top of the water.  I hope one day to be able to learn from Whitney how to create the right power at the right time.

For now I will continue to practice my swing this winter and listen to Coach Glass for more tips.  As Coach Glass would say Dream Big and Over Deliver and as I like to say live with passion!

 

Snatch test 16kg 100 in 5:22 http://www.coachseye.com/986J
Ist Snatch test 16kg 100 in 5:22 July 2013
http://www.coachseye.com/986J

There are many physical benefits from the Kettlebell Swing

Core Strength

Leg power and strength

Grip Strength and endurance

See my previous post Kettlebell Quickie for more benefits of the Kettlebell Swing!

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.

Skier’s Shoulder Mobility Warm Up

 

I know for myself I have developed many different shoulder problems and the more I talk to other skier many have suffered rotator-cuff surgeries and/or bicep tears. This sport demands us to have incredible range of motion and strong shoulders at the same time. The amount of torque that our bodies go through while holding not the most natural position.  We start to develop a lot of asymmetries and a lock up T-spine (mid-back). Resulting in a hypo-mobile lower back and causing chronic back pain.  Here are some exercises I have discovered from working with my Physical Therapist Christopher Johnson to help address these issues.

 

Most of these exercises are performed in a ½ kneeling position but all can be performed in full kneeling position (aka tall kneeling) standing or split stance. I recommend working from the ground up with ½ kneel or full kneel then to standing positions.  Click on the link below for the video.

 

Egyptian

  • Reach the same arm as leg that is down, palm up, back arm palm facing down
  • Looking at your palm, rotate and look at back while hand switching positions
  • If you were to think of doing the splits with your upper body this would be it
  • Repeat 5 “ish”reps and 1-2 sets

 

Benefits: Shoulder stretch,  and T-spine rotation, (increase your reach for the going around the buoys)

 

Halo

  • Using a small Kettlebell, grab on the horns (side handles) have it bottom up
  • Lift your left hand to the right side of your head, then to the back of your head so that the kettlebell is bottoms down. Let the right hand follow “naturally”
  • Allow the Kettlebell to trace a Halo around your head; trace it one direction then the opposite direction right after.
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set; one direction then the opposite equals one rep

 

Benefits: T-spine mobility, Core activation, corrects any asymmetries

 

Bottom Up Single Arm Rotation

  • Start with Kettlebell in the same hand as leg that is down. Make sure you have a good balance of the bell first
  • Rotate and reach as far as you can without loosing balance while opening up shoulder
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set

 

Benefits: T-spine rotation, Core activation, grip strength, shoulder mobility and strength 

 

 

Enjoy and let me know how it helps with your skiing

Ski you later

 

 

 

“Fish out of water” aka Injuried

Many of you as water skiers have dealt with some type of injury and understand how the pain impacts you physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I can relate. Two years ago I dealt with a back/rib injury. For my back and rib to heal, I was prescribed to take a week off of work and have no physical strain on the body.

Almost two years to the date, I was prescribed to take time off from work again (this time three weeks) for a condition called Osteitis Pubis. Devastated to be in the same situation again, mentally I had to tell myself it is for the best, but my body struggled. Being a personal trainer, I am constantly moving. My body started craving movement. The first week of sitting on my “ice diaper” at night I would have night mares of exercising.  These were night mares! For theses dream were failing the Kettlebell Snatch text, and falling every time I would water ski.  As you could see my mind was freaking out without being able to move. This is when I started to feel like a “fish out of water.”

Desperate to get back into my normal routine, I did everything I thought would help speed the recover process. I did Pulse Electric Magnetic Field (PEMF), Chiropractor, Physical Therapy, Rolfing massage and Shiatsu massage. Having difficulty walking without pain, I decided to only do one of these treatments at a time. I was able to go Healing Foundations in Post Falls, ID for the PEMF treatments. PEMF helps decrease the inflammation and help with the increase of cells growth. After a full week of these treatments, I was able to walk with less pain.

Excited to be making progress, I soon started Physical Therapy. After the first time working with Christopher Johnson, a Physical Therapist at Olympic PT in Bellevue, I wanted to skip out of the office I felt so good. Instead of focusing on the location of the pain, he focused on the possible cause.   He noticed how my ankles have limited range of motion (ROM) and my hips were compensating for it. Understanding the kinetic chain, I completely recognize if one joint does not have the right ROM then another joint will start compensating.

He has taught me how to use the VooDoo Floss Band to help increase my ankle mobility. With the focus being my ankles, I am happy to say the pain has decreased and I have been able to return to some form of exercises (oh and the night mares have also decreased).

Through this experience I realize it is my responsibility to recover being smart with my progressions.  Knowing it will be slow progression and but it will be a healthy progression. Even though it has been extremely difficult being out of work and lack of any physical outlet, I am excited what I have been learning about the human body through this injury, how it relates to water skiing.

Besides learning more about the human body, I have learned the importance of empathy towards one another. There are many of us who have dealt with pain some more visible than others.  With being a trainer I always try to show empathy toward my clients. Having experience with chronic pain, my hope is to help others just like Chris has helped me. I see the value of one’s health and the joy it brings to others.

If you are a water skier who has dealt with injury after injury, or someone who deals with chronic pain, I will be posting some of the simple movement patterns that have helped me to recover.

With it already it being “water ski season,” I had been talking to Chris about my sport and how to stay bullet proof. Stay tuned for more post about the importance of shoulders for water skiing. See the amazing mobility and strengthening exercises I have learned from Chris Johnson!

 

 

 

 

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

 

Coble Ski School

Many of you have ask me questions about what is like at Coble Ski School.  I was able to find this video made by one of the students from last summer.  It gives a great taste of ski school and a little insight of the facility and the family dynamic April and Chris are able to create.   Enjoy the video as I make my way across the country one more time this summer to go ski at Coble Ski School!!!

Boys of BOW Lake

Bow Lake Water Sports
Bow Lake Water Sports

Bow Lake was my practice site last year.  Spending as much time as I could up at the lake last summer,  I was stoked to make my return this last Friday for their first $5 Fridays.  This time I was able to bring up some of other Performance Coaches/Personal Trainers I work with at PRO Sport Club. Being surrounded by former footballs players has become the norm for me. I did not realize this till one of the skiers asked me who are my body guards?

Working with such strong guys, they are always encouraging and challenging me to new physical limits, but this time it was my turn to show them why I work so hard in the gym.  Having them ride in the boat and getting a perfect view of the intensity of water skiing, made them realize the intensity of  my workouts. Asking if they wanted to give it a try. They did not want to get into the water. Even though it was abnormally warm for Seattle area this time of year (high 70’s close to 80 degrees) the water temp was still about 50 degrees (I am still wearing my dry suit).  But they did get the bug because the next day they were asking when would be the next time to go up.  Even those who weren’t able to make it where asking too.  So until next time Bow Lake offer their $5 Fridays and the water warms up I will be bringing the boys to Bow for fun in the sun.