<![CDATA[inner power training - ....That which has inspired me today...]]>Mon, 15 Feb 2016 14:35:49 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Never Give Ground]]>Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:00:43 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/never-give-ground"'Cause you never give up what you've already gained."  Lashaun Dale
I'm lucky enough to call Lashaun a mentor, guide, and friend over the past year I've been practicing and teaching at her yoga studio in beautiful Flathead Valley, MT, and it's always an empowering moment when, in the middle of a practice or challenge, her words always manage to give the perfect insight for what I need.

   In this particular case the idea of never giving ground came not from a struggle and battle it out perspective, but a gentler, supportive, self-growth perspective created while practicing on the yoga mat during one of her classes, an evening class where I felt as though I was really battling for every inch of my practice when her words caught my attention. She was referring to a flow we were working through.

   However, it struck me on a slightly deeper cord and has been a thought I've been playing with and started bringing to my clients. Never give ground. Where have I been giving ground and what does this mean?

   For me as a bodybuilder and working hard toward getting healthy it means making better choices everyday. Making sure to avoid the food which upsets my body, getting enough sleep pushing my weights hard, but also doing the fun things which help to renew my soul. Yoga. Poi spinning. Biking. Reading.

  What else does this mean?

   It means taking those positive changes you've made in your life, no matter how small, and guarding them fiercely. For instance, maybe today the best decision you made was not opening the second can of cola which you usually drink as an afternoon pick me up, that's ground gained. Maybe instead of flopping onto the couch you took the dog for a walk, that's ground gained. Maybe you just made a healthy swap at dinner, spoke to a personal trainer, wandered through the self-growth books, subscribed to SHAPE, or began putting money back to save for a gym membership. All those choices, any positive choice, is ground gained, and once you've gained ground, pushed yourself (no matter how hard or how easy it was) it's still ground gained and you never give up ground gained.

 I means if you managed to do a shoulder press in good form with a set of 20s (even if it was for only 3 reps) you keep the ground and drop set as needed while you build strength and work the strength curve. It means taking the initiative to carve out self-care, even for five minutes once a week, you guard it fiercely, keeping your commitment to yourself on a regular basis and mindfully watching and being prepared to step forward and gain more ground as needed, even if it's slightly uncomfortable.  

So, my question to you is, where have you been gaining then giving up ground? And if you find these areas, seize them again, but make the decision to hold them. You've earned them, possibly fought for them, now keep them by making those moments of growth insanely important in your ever day life until they are natural. 

To sum it up, basically, once you've thrown the 8lb medicine ball for reps, don't give ground, not matter how tired, bored, or empty you're feeling, hold your ground and dig for it, even though dropping to the 6lb medicine ball would be easier. Life happens, things happen, and the body changes with our emotional and mental state, but if we run back into our comfort zone, or refuse to hold what's been preciously gained, the growth and lessons we learned and battled for only manage to leave us slightly beat up and bruised without understanding why.

Never give ground.

<![CDATA[Relax into Greatness...well...or nap into Greatness.]]>Thu, 06 Mar 2014 03:20:52 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/relax-into-greatnesswellor-nap-into-greatnessPicture
Things which have inspired me lately have been bright and shiny and leave me feeling amazing.

   I have a trio of long-term friends from back home who I would gladly walk through fire for. This group of three men have been there for me through every moment of my life and last time I saw them sheer amount of love they presented too me just by being in the room nearly took me to my knees and left me in near tears of joy for three days after the encounter.  It was one of the moments in my life where I could really stand and take in how much I'm loved, but also feel how deeply I love them in return. They are a deep symbol to me about how love is, what family is to me, and that everything is going to be okay.
  Recently, in Kalispell, I've made friends with another trio of men. Two are married (and their wives are quickly becoming female friends I love and adore) and the third keeps life interesting. I'm a deep believer in symbols and intuition, and these three game together in a random sort of way to help me move into town this last weekend. Well, to help me move my bed into town and make an attempt at getting the box spring up the stairs, it didn't happen. As it was, at the end of the adventure they were outside strapping my box spring back to a pick up to return home and as I came through the snow and around the truck all three looked up from where they were standing at the curb, and for a moment I saw the original trio from Sheridan who took care of me,  guided, protected, and love me to the deepest depths of their hearts. It was in the way these three younger men where standing, their response to my approach, and the entire feel of the moment that made my entire soul take a big deep breath and then relax, because it suddenly felt like a great sign from the Universe letting me know everything really was going to be okay, and life was coming together. Between one moment and the next the friends I felt I was bonding with suddenly became much, much more to me, simply for being the amazing people they are...and for being their when I needed them. Beautiful moment which I've enjoyed replaying in my head the past few days.

   Another great moment for me has been the use of my meditation series Relax into Greatness. This is similar to my savasana practice, but guided. Though, I've discovered, I enjoy the emptiness of Savasana and have been reluctant to give it up. Monday's and Saturday's is still my empty practice, no noise, just presence. However, both practices are incredibly hard with sleep deprivation going on. But
, still working from the place of creating more space I've come to the conclusion relaxing and being still, even if I sleep for a little bit, only helps the body and allows her to heal, unwind, and respond to everything going on.

B complex...this stuff is keeping me running strong all day and I love it.

Knee taping: I'm not sure why my knee decided t
o imitate a grapefruit this week,  but it did, and thanks to a great knee tape job by one of the physical therapists at the gym I work at I was able to move around this afternoon without pain and pull my deadlifts. I love deadlifting, and I pulled the 135 mark for the first time since surgery today. I feel like my deadlifts are coming back faster than my squats, but that's okay.

Raw Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls
ummy and healthy how do you not get inspired by these?



<![CDATA[Savasana practice...actual practice, full body lift.]]>Sun, 23 Feb 2014 04:54:02 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/savasana-practiceactual-practice-full-body-liftPicture
Yoga almost always inspires me, it's the nature of yoga, I believe, to inspire and move energy. It helps my dedication and intention of practice lately has been to creating space and holding space. But, there were a few points which really talked to me today.

  * Reclining hero's pose. Usually this pose is incredibly painful and one I try to stay away from because I don't believe I have the opening to get into it safely.  However, with LaShaun Dale's guidance and some support  not only did I settle into this pose, but felt really good in it. The best part, letting my hips and pelvis settle so I could actually find the pose. As an athlete I'm used to pushing into things, adjusting, and making something happen. There are poses where it just doesn't work to be incredibly active to hold the pose, but instead to let it open you, with a little activation.
     Which brings me into my second inspiration: Passive courage and letting things happen.
Supta Virasana is a perfect example, I can't force my pelvis to release, I had to find the alignment, take a deep breath, then give the body time to settle before I could make adjustments and find the pose. Any movement before the body was ready all I did was create frustration and confuse the body as to what should be let go. This has been a theme recently as I worked with my sankalpa, to relax, surrender, and let things settle into place. Pushing on the body or the world around you when in transition to change, especially toward the things you want doesn't assist or provide you the means to achieve, creating space and breathing does. As with Asana practice, devotion is your friend. Devote with passion, but sometimes the passion has to be by settling into the transition. 
   My savasana practice today was another source of inspiration. Inspiration led me to set my timer for 30 minutes versus the 20 minutes I usually practice. It didn't take me very long to settle, to my joy, the body came down and the mind followed. At one point I was startled out of the deep observation of the mind by a strange  noise, rather than lose the practice it only took a few moments (staying still the entire time) to reset, return to observation and settle back into my practice. With surrender came expansiveness, feeling my energetic body expand like a smooth blanket over top of me, seeing my body calm and still, my awareness watching what was really happening, but just observing.  When the timer went all I noted, "I'm not done" and stayed still, using the increased awareness to work on my Sankalpa. When I finally rolled to my side I was energized and ready for my day.  When practiced, I've discovered, and practiced actively  Savasana energizes me, when I miss the practice  I feel groggy and sleepy. At first it seemed like twenty minutes of uselessness, but now my ability to practice relaxing and now surrendering is something I'm learning to take off the mat and into the uncomfortable moments when an emotion, thought, or old belief is asking for attention. In those moments I can turn things loose and transition back into my own power, essentially coming back to myself.
   One of my final sources of inspiration: Fall Out Boy My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark. 
   This has been my go to song because it ignites in me the passion I want to live by...the fiery passion and drive of being a catalyst for positive change in the lives of those around me.

<![CDATA[Sunshine. Isolation exercises. Positive Feedback]]>Thu, 20 Feb 2014 03:10:08 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/sunshine-isolation-exercises-positive-feedbackPicture
Today was bright and sunny in the valley and with melted roads, the very hint of spring coming, and a busy day (but complete with some much needed self-care for myself) I found a few great things to inspire me.

      * Sunshine. Anytime in February I can run to my truck in a light sweatshirt and not freeze my rear off, I'm inspired. Inspired to move, stretch, smile, wave at strangers.

     * Realizing pattern changes, or ones which need changing. I've recently discovered coffee doesn't sit well with me, so I attempted chi tea today, and mid-way through the thing (though it was delicious) I realized it really didn't serve me, I really didn't want it, and in no way did I need it. Montana Coffee Traders makes a delightful Chi Tea, I would encourage you to try it, but needless to say, it won't be in my menu in the near future.

                  *Positive feedback. I signed a new client today--I hope the day never comes when this isn't exciting--and not only was her enthusiasm a delight to encounter, but she'd heard of me as a trainer around the valley and was thrilled to inform me she'd heard nothing but good about training with me. What a gift to hear you're changing people's lives.

                * Naps. I had a delightful 90 minute nap today in front of a space heater and loved how refreshed and energized I was upon waking. How can that not inspire you?

                 * Isolation exercises. 
3 weeks post surgery most of my training is still body weight, TRX, and yoga based. I've been cleared for some pulling exercises as long as they're supported, but light weights. Doctor strongly encouraged 3-5lbs (what on earth am I going to do with 3lbs I wondered)  With my shoulders slightly behind the lifting focus was on isolation of the deltoids.  Needless, 3 pounds was about all I could handle in many of the exercises while focusing on a hard contract. How delightful for this extra time to really focus on making sure I'm hitting contraction, form, and isolating the correct muscles, along with re-setting some muscle memory and form as needed.

          * The top on my list of inspiration was the photo shoot I had with Flathead Living
, the quarterly magazine I write health and fitness articles for.  Greg came by today and we took pictures of the recommend golf exercises for my spring article, and it's always exciting to see how the layout will turnout in the end. I love writing and love fitness, what a great feeling to see the two merge.

  inspired you today and how will you take all the positive energy into tomorrow?

<![CDATA[Breath. Ask. Surrender. Create Space.]]>Sat, 15 Feb 2014 17:02:59 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/breath-ask-surrender-create-spaceIt seems like it has been a wild few weeks. Plenty has happened externally, but internally and energetically I feel like life is really changing. There is an uncomfortableness which happens when you start creating change in old patterns and digging up old belief systems.  The uncomfortableness happening during change is simply the Universe asking you how much you want to change. Is it more uncomfortable to change or to stay the same? Change rarely happens before it's time, and the first signal is it is incredibly uncomfortable to stay the same.

I don't feel it's coincidental the changes I've been rapidly experiencing happened two weeks after removing a relationship from my life which had incredibly deep roots and was damaging, nor do I find it coincidental it happened two hours after having a man I care about very deeply request space between us. Changes happens in one of two directions, in my experience, either the catalyst is internal and flows to external, or it starts external and flows internal. Now, I'm not saying it only happens one way
every time, because it doesn't. Change may start internal and flow external, then the external shifts and swing back to change the internal.  In my case the internal was a direct manifestation of external relationship wounds which needed addressing.

For me, I'd been nursing a health issue all summer and believed I'd pulled it under control, only to find my
self floored two hours later and on the phone calling for help. 24 hours later surgery removed a rather large and invasive cyst along with my right ovary.  As a long time believer in energy/body connection, and how our experiences in life are reflected in our body and vice versa, I was not (in retrospect) surprised cutting out one painful and unresolved relationship--which was out of my hands to take care of--caused an internal shift in my body resulting in the removal of an unresolved health issue.

d at this point, in pulling up the roots of beliefs which no longer serve me and doing my best to balance internal space with the longing of the heart and the demands of the mind trying to push you into old patterns, I found inspiration from the network of beautiful souls around me. The words of wisdom handed to me to apply have been invaluable tools, and I hope to share them with you.

"Nothing bad every came from creating more space." -- Kelly Flannigan
    Read the blog here.

"Ask for Support. Surrender. Get Curious." -- LaShaun Dale

I Need a Miracle -- Third Day

         Applied with work from Byron Katie's The Work and Rod Stryker's The Four Desires I truly feel like I've been given some strong tools to refocus the mind and allow the tangled web we so often create internally to untangle it's self.  Change doesn't necessarily mean rushing headlong away from whatever has you uncomfortable and into something new and unknown, for that creates it's own set of issues. But, often it's just a deeper breath, a moment to sit and wait, to just wonder..."How can this be different? What is life going to show me now?" Then taking the new colors on your palate and painting an entirely different out look.

      With the opening of my body and being put into a situation requiring me to directly deal with the pattern repeating itself in my life I feel like I've had the opportunity to come back to myself and heal stronger than ever, as opposed to declaring myself strong enough to move through anything thrown my way and simply training harder. 

<![CDATA[FIRST TEN DAYS]]>Mon, 07 Oct 2013 02:40:23 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/first-ten-daysWell, I've stumbled through the first ten days of FLO Living, and it included some food experiments and learning to step back and pull out of the go, go, go ideas of my life.

The first food experiments where breakfast oriented, feeling out which foods make you feel good and which ones don't. Basically, what I  discovered was I can't handle carbs early in the morning in heavy doses. And oatmeal isn't my friend any more. Still love my eggs, which I knew and recognized from the get go. Can handle a few sweet potato fries with them and some Ezekial bread, although I've noticed bread texture makes me crave more.

I started looking back at other foods and possible triggers, foods which trigger cravings and/or binge eating. What I discovered was nuts and nut butters really trigger me into a binge, I can't seem to stay out of the suckers. I can have a full blown cheat night and not have an issue leaving a pack of oreos on the shelf until next time. However, when it comes to nuts or nut butter I can't seem to stay out of them without a serious struggle, thus, they have to come off the diet...completely.

I've also discovered three days of carbs makes my skin breakout, so, they have to go back once every three days.

My other little bit of research is when a woman creates a massive calorie deficit then he can lose her cycle, thus, I've added in pushing up my calories to try and let the body level out. My weight training has been reduced to 4 days a week, my running to 3 days, boxing at 5, and gymnastics 2 days.

I was going to run for another show, but am seriously thinking about an off season right now, getting 6 months to balance things out, learn my triggers, and learn how to manipulate and balance my body. If I can do it once I can do it again, keeping my body safe while we push my body fat down.

I'm also looking at a massive lifestyle change, but that's okay. I made some great big changes when I went to bodybuilding, I can make these ones also. Discipline is learned and, just like patience, is a practice.

<![CDATA[PCOS, Flo Living, and Finding Balance: The Journey ]]>Wed, 25 Sep 2013 18:59:17 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/pcos-flo-living-and-finding-balance-the-journey
Recently what I thought was a rather small health issue has cropped itself into a very large health issue, and somewhere in the middle of dealing with it I realized I wasn't utilizing my blog on a level which could be helpful to those around me.  So, as I begin this journey to change my body, I hope you'll find the notes and expressions of myself I include in these posts as helpful and encouraging. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

For a little back story: In July per a hospital visit due to a ruptured cyst I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), to which western medicine cures with birth control. I was in birth control from the time I was 17 until 27 and when I went off it I discovered the hormonal ups and downs, my PMS, the neediness, and anxiety I struggled with (and my boyfriends had to tolerate) went away and about a year later I leveled out mentally.
   Keep in mind, during this year I also took up bodybuilding and began to clean up my diet on the road toward Fitness competition.

  Now, almost three years later a high intensity prep for a Jr. National show left me wondering what the hell happened where my body would not respond to the training, and I'd begun to wonder what I wasn't doing right...or if I was just lazy and thought I was working hard when I wasn't. Then the cysts and internal bleeding started...and with some time on bed rest the research started.

For quite a few months I came at the issue from Adrenal Fatigue, which, from anyone who has interacted with the western medicine community realizes this isn't recognized by the medical community, even though my natural path was already working with me on it.  I was informed I was carbohydrate intolerant and needed to go pure Paleo, then informed after I was still too carbohydrate intolerant and had to cut veggies.

I continued to do research and eat clean, training for the next show.
Then the cyst ruptured again in September, this time taking me into shock and leaving me short 2.5 units of blood floating around in my belly. It had become abundantly clear my body had given up with being subtle, it was demanding change...quite loudly and insistently.

Through a friend I was introduced to FLO Living, a program designed to balance a woman's hormonal systems through the use of diet. At the time I was introduced I was once again on a low calorie, no carb diet trying to force the body to respond to my training. At 4 weeks from show, I should've been cut and stacked from the work I was putting in, but my body had refused to budge weight wise, stubbornly holding onto my body fat.

It was through research I discovered a lot of women deal with PCOS or menstrual problems, and, while weighing my options one afternoon (to do birth control or not was the question) it became abundantly clear FLO Living was the option I needed to take, because, even though I knew birth control was only a band-aid, it still left me dependent on something else to keep me healthy, even supplementation with progesterone to balance the estrogen left me dependent on something. My entire training philosophy is based around one thing: EMPOWERMENT for my clients concerning their bodies, and sometimes to empower others you have to lead by example. Flo Living would help me learn to control and manipulate my body into balance and take away the scare factor of food.

Fitness has always been about asking of my body and having it respond with "yes" currently it was responding in more of a  "maybe" tone. Body control suddenly has become less about how well I can move through space, with is a practice I love to employ and learn about, but now about controlling all the internal factors.

I plan to share the information and progress here on my blog over the next few months. While preparing for my next show, to see how the body responds.

The most exciting thing: When a client approaches me who is doing all the right things but not getting results...I'll have some place to start instead of not knowing what to do. I'm thankful my body is giving me the opportunity to learn how to train smart and efficiently, while learning how to actually bring fitness and health in to my competition prep.

Stay tuned. Post questions. Comments. Feedback is always well received.

<![CDATA[TRAIN: How bad do you want it?]]>Mon, 05 Aug 2013 02:49:02 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/train-how-bad-do-you-want-itHow bad do you want it?

It seems like I ask myself this questions all day long, especially days when I'm not in the gym. Those are the hardest, when I feel like I'm just not getting it done and feel like a massive fraud in the whole training area, as though I've never spent a moment in the gym. Even though I do. A lot. Probably more than I need to be.

How bad do you want it?

I think it's the perspective on this phrasing which hangs us up as growing humans. When the phrase is tossed out to people it's often with the assumed follow up of "are you willing to work harder?" at whatever it may be you're trying to decide if you want. It's an implication quietly accusing you of not doing your very best, even though you're standing there, shoulders hanging, breathing heavy, sweat dripping, muscles shaking, dumbbells stacked at your feet from numerous drop sets. Yet the little voice asks, "How bad do you want it? " And you considering do another set...even though your coach only asked for 4.

For me, putting in the work has never been an issue. I'll put the work in. Prefer it, because the time you're driving toward a goal keeps the mind busy, and when the mind is focused it can't wander, the emotions can't rise to bring doubt or challenges. You just move forward. And forward progression is important in any goal.  However, forward progression of falling on your face isn't necessarily the best way to move forward.

However, as I took my rest day today and at 6:30pm found myself restless and agitated by everything around me I started asking myself again, "How bad do you want it?" How bad do I really want to change my body? To change my life? Enough to put in the work, enough to run myself into the ground, the recent medical issues have already proven those limits have been pushed through. However, if I changed the perspective: How bad do I want it? Do I want it enough to back off? I saw this in a few other places today when I started to look. I have a tendency to be a bit aggressive toward most situations, having a deep belief if I just put my head down I can muscle my through most evens and experiences. Most the time I can, however, it may not always be the best way to handle the situations or experiences, and in the last few months as I've studied on my own self growth, I'm discovering emotionally ripping myself to shreds in order to push through is a bit detrimental to my forward progression.

I've defined success. (Check out my last post for more there) But do I want it enough to back off and let my body rest? Do I my internal peace and stability enough to practice patience and step back long enough to allowing the timing to flow forth? What if, instead of relentless driving ourselves toward the goals we simple asked more gently, "How bad do you want it? Enough to stop for two minutes and focus on your breath?

Enough to look at the little voice driving you on and saying, "You're a liar. I can. I am. And yielding to the moment and where you are doesn't mean surrender and it doesn't mean giving up."

How bad do I want it? Enough to let the cumulative effects of hard work and dedication build up and begin to show without pushing so far as to sabotage? I guess we'll see in the next few weeks, because there is going to be more than one opportunity to change my perspective. 

You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period.
                                 Pursuit of Happiness
<![CDATA[Developing Definition]]>Mon, 08 Jul 2013 03:31:47 GMThttp://www.innerpowertraining.com/that-which-has-inspired-me-today/developing-definitionIn school we're taught the definitions of words in order to communicate with others, but as I moved through my own experiences and challenges these last few years I've come to the decision...at some point you need to clarify your own definition of whatever you may be looking for or currently experiencing in your life.

Let me explain. You've learned how to communicate on some level with those around you, but, as Tony Robbins stated in one of his audio programs, "The quality of your life is a direct result of the quality of your communication....with yourself." And it's in the communication with our self where our own suffering, anxiety, or even delight and joy is created. How you can know if you've become a success if you don't know what the definition of success to you is? How about love and a relationship? How can you know if your in the relationship you're looking for if you have defined the boundaries of what you want to share, who you are, and what you're bringing to the table.

It's the same with fitness. If you come to me and want to improve your y health and fitness, but don't know exactly what that means to you, it's pretty vague, and though gives us parameters to work in, it doesn't necessarily give us the exact direction we need to move you toward. Set a definition, know what it is, and realise it can change and adjust as you grow.

For me, fitness, means being able to ask of my body, and having the confidence and ability for my body to follow through. Whether it's doing a powerful routine on stage, going kayaking, or deciding to spontaneously run the San Diego Convention Center stairs for kicks and giggles as fast as I can...my body can do what I ask of it. That's fitness, in my world. Knowing that, it helps keep my training on track so I have measurable results and directions, even small goals, to work toward.

If you've been work toward something, or continually struggling with an idea or though, or even if those goals just seem to keep slipping out of your fingers, then perhaps you need to sit down and look at exactly how you define what's happening, if it serves you to define it in such away, and what the resulting self-talk is concerning your definitions. The self-talk will help create direct results, so pay attention to your definitions and how your self talk responds.

Ready to change your life? Then prepare for some self inquiry. Whatever the issue maybe, bring it forward in your mind and body, let it sit there. Feel it. Then ask:

What does this idea/event/goal mean to me?
What have I done to move toward it at this point? Were the results what I wanted?
Am I clear on exactly what accomplishing this means and the next step? (If not, sit with this questions awhile?)
The definition I have, is it mine or someone else's? Does it serve me?

Definitions are integral, but not set in stone. Just the the tides they will ebb and flow, just pay attention, do your best to become to attached to them, but know how changing and being aware of them will keep you moving in the right direction.

And as always:
     TRAIN: Lead with the heart; the body will follow.