Summer slips away and for us (as personal trainers) things fall…pardon the pun…back into a bit more of a routine. Because much of our Canadian year is cool to downright cold, summer is the one time when body covering is minimal. We all face a more honest view of how our bodies are or aren’t doing with regards to fat and lean muscle. Additionally, with more opportunity to be out and physical, summer brings with it the facing of effects of aging and reminds us of our limitations. If we choose to challenge ourselves we may discover some useful insights. We take the summer to enjoy activities namely obstacle course races, charity runs and general outdoor enjoyment.
In the end the real fun is finding out more about our physiology, our strengths/weakness and what could use a bit more attention in the gym over the winter.T learned that she has naturally high levels of cardiovascular endurance and cardiopulmonary power. As her run distances increased her pace did as well and never faltered.
On the con side macro nutrient ratio’s continue to be tough to nail down as hormone levels keep obfuscating responses to alterations in diet. In the pro column a change in weight lifting pace which reduced frequency and increased reliance on big barbell moves saw a nice bump in upper body strength.
On the ‘Badass’ obstacle course she completed her first full hanging monkey swing cross and on all courses her rope wall climbs became a breeze. ‘A’ did more running than he had in years and discovered, because of weather conditions this year (wet, late spring) he may have exercise induced asthma. This would explain always favouring strength type activities even though he has an endurance type body frame. In fact, allergies were so nasty this season he put off contest dieting until the fall competition season.
On the plus it was nice to see leg strength at an all time high especially during wind sprints and obstacle climbs. As well, through obstacle challenges a nagging shoulder issue appeared to be easier to decipher and training adjustments have cleared up the worst of it.
One thing becomes more obvious every passing summer and that is how our individual somatic (body) types rule. When challenged, especially by a wide variety of obstacles, it fast becomes clear what body type you are…which is why we enjoy the so-called ‘mudder’ race courses so much. It’s a fun way to take real self stock and makes for an interesting deadline based goal, encouraging decent nutrition and exercise habits.
Our summer also brought with it an emotional challenger having to put to sleep one of our beloved dogs. The worst part was he was young and in very good physical health. His spirit and energy were always a great motivator to live life full on and it has been a huge personal loss. It is a loss which has tested our adherence to a healthy lifestyle right down to its core, we had the wind kicked right out of us. It is a rude reminder that health can and does change in a flash. It is also a reminder how negative emotions can derail your eating, exercising and rest.
A nice little highlight of the summer was seeing the new Ottawa Redblacks stadium and watching some great athleticism at work, back in our nations capital. We saw some good shows and great concerts this summer (special shout out to The Winery Dogs ;n) but experiencing the birth of the new football fire in O-town was inspiring and a big ol breath of fresh air and life. Fall football is going to be a real treat this year.
We also want to thank one of our good friends Leslie (whose name you will often see on our FB posts). She’s been a great supporter and provided us with tons of delicious fresh cucumbers and tomatoes right from her garden. With the addition of low cal, low price turkey sausage or turkey burgers plus some spices we have had many a great BBQ on warm nights.
Looking forward we welcome fall where cooler temps and colours relax us and the best type of hiking is done.
‘A’ looks to hit the competition stage shredded by the end of November and T is entertaining entering a du-athalon. We as always encourage everyone to get out and about in the fall especially with a really cold winter being predicted.
Terry Fox…anyone remember him? Both our mothers are cancer survivors and we are registered to run the Ottawa Terry Fox Memorial 10km Sept 14th. You can donate in our name (Team WeFit) or better still join in! ‘A’ lost his father too early to cancer and it is top of our list for reasons to stay fit. There are amazing advances in treatment these days but prevention through a strong immune system is still key.
We hope your summer season contained plenty of life and living and that if you went well off a healthy routine you are circling back so to speak. Our position is it is all about personal care and introspection. You are strongly encouraged to set up a challenge like a charity run or crazy course mudder run. Perhaps you could try a new sport or maybe a one-off class in say indoor climbing or ‘tree topping’ excursion. Basically any new action endeavour to put your body…your physicality on the line a bit. This really goes a long way to fuelling healthy motivation.
Small goals and new experiences will remind you that you shouldn’t take your body for granted. Life is for living and passes way too fast, lets keep the quality high by being strong and enduring. Push yourself to try things and let it remind you there is a lot more you can do and enjoy through fitness.
There really is nothing like overcoming a tough obstacle to boost your moral and boost up your self-esteem and self-image. Challenge any complacency and break your ‘safe status quo’. Don’t be reluctant to see how you measure up, make it the tailoring ‘fit-up’ for this grand get together we call life.
Until next time, be well…be strong.