How are you feeling out there?  I ask because, this year has a been tough one to say the least. You may be feeling battered, bruised and not quite yourself.  If so, you are not alone.  But, as always, in difficult times, we have an opportunity to grow stronger.  To see out this year on the most solid note we can,  we will look at building fortitude by self care measures in Athletics for the next 8 weeks  (November 16-January 4, 2021).   We are in a period of uncertainty and extra structure and focus can help us better navigate it.     The goal is to promote self-care by working to control the “controllables” to the best of our ability.  This means putting our attention on how we eat, sleep, move, think and relate.   It is not known exactly how this Winter will unfold, but the fact is many people are not well and a new round of lockdowns looms.  Anxieties are high. Our old, taken for granted ways, are a thing of the past.   I miss yesteryear but nothing is gained from lamenting for too long.  A more productive approach, right now, is to ask the question, “How do I best embrace my current way of life”?  Answering this question involves identifying what I have control over and placing my energies there and not letting it leak out wastefully with non-serving behaviours and thoughts.

Fueling yourself well can be a challenge when you’re under stress and a dark, rainy night calls for comfort food and drink and a blanket.  But, as I have found time and again, giving in to the lure provides a temporary salve.  Self-disclosure, my brakes have been off since Thanksgiving and I’m feeling the consequences. A few others have expressed similar frustrations.  To turn this tide, we will focus each week on an act that has the potential to get us ahead in some aspect of our health.  This week we will purge our kitchens of junk such as candy, cookies, and chips and aim to keep it that way through to the New Year.  We will strive for a whole food diet. That could mean a commitment to a Christmas without a Gingerbread Man or chocolate.  A tall ask!  “Why?” you may question.  The answer is, “To experiment, to build extra strength and to see what the holidays are like without the usual suspects.”  Will it make a difference?  Don’t know until we try.

How to get started? A quick tip is to focus just on the time in front of you, make it through one hour, or one section of day at a time, i.e., tell yourself, “I am just going to focus on not eating candy at 3pm today”.  Tackle that.  Don’t worry about Christmas Day. When you get there you’ll deal, fortified by the prep that has come before.  Also, try not to get too hungry.  Keep a mug of tea or jug of water at hand at all times.  Hot water is not a bad drink! Also, importantly, stop and breathe deeply with your eyes closed.  It can help re-set your nervous system which might be looking for a treat to settle itself, but really just needs some quiet time.

A movement goal in conjunction to solid nutrition is key to keeping our strength up. Commit to a minimum of 4 workouts a week throughout this period, whether in the gym, at home, in the neighbourhood, or on a mountain. All count and will make for a hardier you!

Want to do something different this holiday season? Join us! Use this week to set a goal you want to see through till the end of the year.  It can be a dietary change, a consistent workout plan,  a daily meditation practice or any other such goal that draws you. Drop me a line ([email protected]) letting me know your plans or let’s chat (604-809-5805) if you are not sure where to start, but want to make a change.

Next week’s self-care topic is:  Stress Reduction: How to Stay in Your Own Lane.

Upcoming Athletics Workout

6pm November 18, 2020

Kelly Brown Tribute WOD

Kelly Brown was a CrossFit Kids Seminar staff member and affiliate owner (2007).  She died after a five year battle with Ovarian Cancer on September 15, 2020 leaving behind her husband and a 14 year old son and 11 year old daughter.  This workout was crafted by CrossFit HQ to honour her life and work.

5 Rounds for Time*

*warm up below

440 meter row

10 Box jumps (24/30)

10 Deadlifts (185/275)

10 Wall balls (20/30lbs)

Box jump height is prescribed as higher than standard and the weight of the deadlift and wall ball is also heavier than “normal”. For us, this loading suggestion means we want to pick weights and a box jump that challenges us given what we have available. Aim for unbroken reps and a box jump modification you can complete at a steady pace.  We want a workout that is doable and safe but not a walk in the park.

If you only have light weights available and 10 reps is simple increase rep count to 20 per round.  If only one object to lift complete a sumo deadlift.  Substitute for wall balls is a goblet thruster.  Row can be changed to a 500 m run or 2:30 cardio effort such as running in place, jumping jacks, mountain climbers

No equipment Kelly Brown:

500 meter run or 2:30 mins cardio effort of running in place, jumping jacks, mountain climbers

10 – 20 broad jumps or tuck jumps

1 min superman hold  (aim to work posterior chain)

10 – 20 jump squats


1 minute per movement:

Full body rocks to sky reach

Cross Crawl Air Squats

Scapular Push-Ups

Broomstick Good Mornings

Broomstick Romanian Deadlifts

Wall Sit


Broomstick Jump-Overs


Lying Hamstring Stretch

Shoulder Pull-Overs

Belly Breathing :60 minutes

High-Five Self