Category Archives: Bootcamp

What is a diastasis recti?

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A lot of people ask me about my diastasis and some women come to me for help. I hope I’ve helped a bit but this article discusses an issue many people don’t understand. AB separation is seen as a cosmetic issue but it isn’t. My stomach looked exactly like the athlete in this picture. And like her I trained through it as best I could because reconstruction wasn’t a financial option. In Ontario it is considered an aesthetic option to bring your abdominal rectus muscles back to their original location in the body.

I can assure you it’s not cosmetics that send women to surgeons to fix severe diastasis. My doctors advised me to strengthen my core and be on my way. Accept the way my body looked. I always did accept the way my body looked. I birthed 3 kids, I had 3 c-sections and I trained hard to compete. I liked the way my body felt when I raced, I had no shame but I did struggle to keep up. My separation meant I couldn’t rotate through the water to swim. It meant I had no power in my run )sprinting for the finish wasn’t an option. And I had no power in the climbs riding my bike. So I took each movement and found core exercises that could help me compensate. Like the doctors said, I strengthened my core.

But here’s the catch the body adapts. It’s a beautiful thing really. We are adaptable so that we can push through. In my case that adaptation meant my body started to recruit other muscles. I didn’t realize it at the time but muscles in my body were becoming super muscles. Later my doctors would call them “monsters.” My psoas grew to more than 2.5 times its natural size – on both sides. It’s the muscle that lets you raise your leg, extend your leg and move your torso. It’s a trunk connector and deep inside your body. In my case it replaced my abdominal rectus muscles (your 6 pack muscles). It became the main abdominal muscle my body recruited.

Then on new year’s eve the femoral nerves in my legs stopped working. They stopped working with a fireworks show that put my quadriceps into spasms for 48 hours and unable to walk. Within 2 weeks I could walk and range of motion started to return but I lost 50% of the use/power/strength in each leg. It’s been like that since Dec 31, 2013. The worst part is doctors knew what the problem was but there is no data to prove, just an understanding of biomechanics.

It’s taken 2 .5 years since the nerves died in my legs, experimental procedures to prove the psoas can shrink and that it was recruited when my abs separated, 4 specialists, too many CT scans and MRI scans and more. 2 weeks ago my diastasis was repaired. I have to continue with experimental botox shots in my psoas while my abs heal and then I have a long road of physio to teach my abdominal rectus how to work again, the hope is I will race again better than ever before. But it’s been a journey, and it isn’t over yet.

I want one more stab at wearing that maple leaf on my chest. While I’m sitting out my competition is getting stronger and faster. They are lean and mean but my advantage is pain, pain became my best friend these past few years. Only a few people saw the nights my husband carried me up the stairs because I couldn’t take another step. Pain and I, we’re tight now. I can live with pain, a lot of pain, so when the doctors say go I’m charging. I’m going to fail. I’m going to fall and I’m going to get back up. I may not reach my goal but just like last time I’m going to climb that ladder one step at a time. And this time my body is whole!

If you’ve taken the time to read this I hope it creates an awareness that a diastasis isn’t a condition women should be encouraged to accept. That it isn’t a cosmetic issue. It’s a quality of life issue and we need to change how our government views this procedure. Please share.

You’re Only Limit is You.

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot these past few weeks. Sometimes we let the ghost of ourselves limit our future greatness. The images and ideas that we carry round with us talk to us when we push. They whisper in our ear reminding us that we can’t do something, that we’ve tried this and it didn’t work last time. How we dismally failed. That voice can sometimes be so loud we can’t hear anything else. But more often than not it is so quiet we barely register it but it’s there. The quiet whisper is the most dangerous, the most deadly because it speaks to our subconscious before we even realize it’s spoken but it’s just loud enough to make us stop. Maybe it stops you from signing up for that course or race you always wanted to try. Maybe it stops you from joining your friends on an amazing adventure. Maybe it stops you from walking through the gym door. Maybe it stops you from really digging deep during a workout. Maybe it stops you from getting out of bed. Whatever it is, it stops you from reaching your true potential because you’ve stopped before you’ve even realized you wanted to start.

That quiet nay sayer in your head is what holds you back before you even realize you wanted to try in the first place. It’s the one that makes you feel panicked when you are running your best run and about to squash your last record and all of a sudden you feel tired, you can’t breathe … and you stop. That’s the quiet voice whispering in your ear. You feel great coming to class and say today is the day you step up your weight but when you go to grab the weights you grab your standard weight. The whisper spoke. You’re friends or colleagues are talking about a race they are doing and say, “hey, you run don’t you? You should race with us.” Before you even realize it, you say “no, you’re not a runner you could never run a 5k.” But in reality you’ve been running 2x a week. Whisper. Maybe you signed up for a class but never made it. Whisper. You bought new running shoes that sit in your closet. Whisper.  You bought the dvd’s because at home you know you will be successful but you never play them. Whisper.

The quiet whisper talks to all of us. The people who silence the whisper decide the limits in their lives are the ones they set. The ones their current self chooses. They let the self doubts of yesteryear fall on deaf ears. The negative comments old teachers or classmates or coworkers may have said are silenced. They shout from the rooftops that today is the day! So remember you’re only limit is you. Tell every whisper that sneaks in that you are better, you are stronger. That anything it can say to you will not break you. It will not stop you. That today is your day.

BE LIMITLESS!!

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I spent 3 years working to be in that moment and I wanted to stop. Everything in me wanted to stop, pushing through I found a new strength I never knew I possessed.

TriMom 2015

How can so much happen in one year? I’m sitting down at the kitchen island staring at the computer screen and all I can think is how can the year be over, didn’t it just start? We say time flies, take time to enjoy the moment but this year it did fly. It flew by in a blink of an eye because we lived this year!! Putting together our year I realize how much we packed into 365 days. We raced, we played, we tested our boundaries and discovered we are capable of so much. We climbed to new heights and scaled a few walls while we were at it. We found balance while gliding across new waters. We ran for chocolate and checked out the giraffes. Some of us raced the runway while others ran for Hope all laying down personal bests.

Three years ago I hosted a bootcamp to raise money to compete over seas, never in a million years could I envision I’d own my own studio, be offering 12 classes a week, a thriving running group that has fun and still brings home the bling, youth coaching and being able to share it with you. Each of you share with me your dreams, goals and together we celebrate your accomplishments but what you may not know is how much you enrich my life. TriMom, coined by my dear friend Lindsey, was about my journey to break through my own fears and deep insecurities. As I trained for my big day I wrote about my struggles. Triathlon became a metaphor for my struggles and overcoming them. As I wrote and started to offer the bootcamps I realized we all struggle, we are all afraid to fail. Failure is so utterly frightening. But as you shared your fears with me my focus shifted to you and working with you to overcome your struggles. I had my moment and I learned helping other women reach their potential is more rewarding than anything I did for myself. You let me into your life and in doing that you enrich mine. My heart grows a little bigger each and everyday.  You amaze me with your strength, resilience and kindness. Life is not measured by a scale or even a dress size. It’s measured by your impact on others. All of you started your own ripple when you walked through my studio doors that will continue to grow and inspire others. Your impact is immeasurable.

Enjoy the slideshow and celebrate you, you deserve it. I can’t wait to start documenting 2016. It’s going to be our best year yet!

 

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12 Days of Christmas Challenge

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It’s that time of year where we are rushed trying to get everything ready for the holidays. To help you stay on track this season I’ve put together the TriMom 12 Days of Christmas Challenge in partnership with Fit’s 4 You in beautiful downtown Burlington. Each day you complete the challenge you earn a ballot, on the 13th day we will draw the winner at Fit’s 4 You. The prize – a $50 gift certificate to Fit’s 4 You. What better reward to a hard challenge than a shopping spree!

The challenge starts today, December 10th, 2014. Follow the link to the video challenge. In the video I demonstrate one complete set, each day you will add a set so by the 12th day you will do 12 sets!!! I know it sounds daunting but you can do this!! I know you can. It is 4 exercises with 12 rounds. You can go into the holiday season feeling strong and fit, ready for the New Year!

Write in the comment section below each time you complete the challenge (ie. Day 1 done!) with your name to be entered into the draw.

Best of luck and see you Day 13!!

Spring is finally here!

I never thought I would be so happy to see +1 on the weather forecast. This winter has definitely been a long, deep cold winter and most of us are desperate for any hint that spring is around the corner. It’s hard to stay motivated when you are staring at the treadmill t.v. screen again because it’s -21C outside and no matter how committed you are, -21C is just cold. Too many of the triMom runs turned into core workouts because the roads or weather were horrible.

Ready for -19C temps. I never run with a scarf but tonight it's a necessity. It kept freezing from my breath hitting the cold.

Ready for -19C temps. I never run with a scarf but tonight it’s a necessity. It kept freezing from my breath hitting the cold.

But as I type I can hear the wind blowing in warmer air and the rain is washing away the last of the snow mounds. When you lift your face to the sky you can actually feel the sun warm your face – yes, I really am vitamin D deficient I think and ready for a new season. This spring I am introducing a number of new clinics for families and individuals that are near and dear to my heart. For me, exercise is always something that I share with my family. My husband and I go for long bike rides instead of date nights. We share are enthusiasm for the sport and for pushing our limits each time we go riding. My kids are getting bigger (too big, too quickly) and now go running with me or jump in on a workout; whether, it’s doing a few push ups, burpees, planks or just hanging out and talking to me while I finish off my last set. The point is it isn’t something that tears me away from my family but is something that bonds us together. Gives us something to do together, to share, to make time for each other. I can’t wait to hear about my daughter’s day on our run. She’s guaranteed uninterrupted mummy time, something she is always looking for.

My daughter completing her first triathlon.

Whenever we hear ads about gyms or making the time to workout, or the latest Pinterest post about fitness, the slogan is always about making time for yourself. Hey, don’t get me wrong I think we all need some time to ourselves but exercising shouldn’t necessarily be yet another thing that pulls us away from our family, making our schedules that much more compressed and stressed. There are more than enough things going on in our lives to stress us out. And the sad thing is our kids are getting less and less active too.

On one of our runs my daughter had a brilliant idea. She asked me if she could start a running group with her friends, just like my triMom running group. She said she wanted her friends to see how much fun it can be to go running with your mom or dad. She was 7. So starting April 27th, she and I will be running a Family Run Clinic for 9 weeks. We are going to teach everyone some key running drills, technique, how to pace yourself and most of all …. how much fun you can have running together, being together. Participating in an activity with our kids versus watching them and spending quality time together.

I also want to start right at the beginning, the same way I started. Give moms a chance to get outside, meet other moms while exercising with their babies. It really does start at birth. The more active we are as parents, the more active our kids will be. Now triMom offers a Stroller Fit class and when the weather isn’t cooperating a Mom and Baby class. It is one of the best hours in my week. A room full of adorable babies and motivated, beautiful women.

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We do only have so many hours in a day. Or more importantly so many seconds – 86,400 seconds in fact. Each day we are blessed with another 86,400 seconds. How do you want to spend those seconds?
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Are you ready to start?

Fitness Inspiration #6
The New Year is in full swing and I am sure many of you are looking at how to achieve your new year’s resolutions. Many of you have already begun, working steadily with me week after week and the work is most definitely paying off. Some of you are thinking about starting and maybe aren’t sure if triMom bootcamp and/or running is the right route for you. I understand how hard it is to start, how daunting the task is. I still remember my first trip upstairs at the local YMCA. I had never been to a gym. I had absolutely no idea how anything worked. I literally followed my friend from machine to machine – stalking her. I copied what she did and hoped nobody noticed. We have all been there.

What I like most about the current triMom classes is the intimate setting. There is usually 4 people to a class with room to fit up to 6. It is a comfortable group of women that encourage and help each other. Each has their own story, own reason for being there and they celebrate each others successes. I think we let our own insecurities hold us back and in my own personal journey, can project those insecurities onto other people; causing me to worry about what other people may say or think. I found going up those stairs at the Y was intimidating and deterring. After enough visits I became comfortable and looked forward to working out and meeting other people.

At triMom I eliminate that initial awkwardness by providing a friendly, intimate environment for you to start your path to a new, healthier you. To be yourself, let your guard down and enjoy yourself. And before you know it, you will be revelling in the fact that you can now do a full push up, or “X” about of jump squats, or how much more energy you have. Most importantly you made the change happen. You and only you. There is something incredibly powerful in the knowledge that you created this positive change in your life. That you chose to walk down this path and to stick to it.

If your goal this year is to be more physically active or to try something new, let me help you reach that goal. To work with you, to build a new healthy life. I offer classes Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:30pm-7:30pm and 7:30-8:30pm. I also offer a core class Wednesday nights at 7:30pm-8:15pm. One-on-one personal training is available. There is also the triMom Runners. A running group that meets 2x a week for a social run, providing an opportunity for like-minded people to start or improve their running. The underlying theme is the mutual support you receive from me and the triMom team.

Let this year truly be a new year! To join triMom you can email Amy: amy@trimom.ca or leave a message on this page.
will you?

The Next Chapter

Go Canada!

Go Canada!

It has been almost 2 months since I raced in London and I know I am long overdue in writing my follow up post. I kept putting it off because I didn’t want to close the door on this experience, this dream, this moment. These past 2 years were a journey of self-discovery, rewarding relationships and a deepening relationship with my husband. I didn’t start this goal alone and I didn’t finish it alone. My husband was there every step of the way. Cheering, encouraging, screaming …lots of screaming when I wanted to give up or doubted myself. Whether I wanted to admit it at the time or not, I needed all of it. We both had to sacrifice a lot in order for me to realize my dream; from time together, vacations as a family, putting off purchases in order to replace tired equipment and his own aspirations. The last few months before the race were very selfish months on my part and he let me. We both have come to understand how our own growth strengthens each other.

Peter and I in London

I also learned that family is more than blood, although I am truly blessed with a loving supportive family. My father flew half way round the world – literally, from Hong Kong. My brother flew out to cheer me on in London. My mother goes to my races, worrying herself to death until I emerge out of the water. My Aunt and cousin have helped with each fundraiser and always gave me the encouragement I needed at the right time. But my family is small and scattered across the globe. These 2 years have shown me how large my family really is. How my friends have become more than friends. They shared my highs and lows, they kicked my butt when I needed it and they loved me for who I am. Best friend doesn’t come close to describing my relationship with my dearest friend. She is literally a second mother to my children, she is my balance and the only person who can put me in my place outside of my husband. And I needed all of them to succeed. It’s when you face challenges that you discover who your friends are, in my case I discovered who my extended family are.

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I think the biggest surprise is what I have learned about myself. Every challenge I faced, every fear and every moment of self doubt presented me with a choice. Do I turn away or do I face it? It’s a simple question but it’s a hard answer. We surround ourselves with walls thinking we are protecting ourselves but really we are hurting ourselves. We are hiding from our true potential. I realized that if you don’t try you never fail, but if you never fail you will never win. Instead, you sit on the sidelines of your own life never succeeding but never failing either. And if it’s easy where is the reward. Strive to fail and you will win! I knew 2 years ago I was a long shot and I really doubted whether I would succeed. Every step I climbed towards my goal I fought for and I came to terms with my self doubts. Two simple words can change your life: I CAN. We all need to believe in ourselves a bit more and we all need to start trying. It’s ok to fail, it’s ok to fall because with each step back you will take two forward.

Fitness Inspiration #2

Now I am ready for the next chapter. While my body heals and I take a break from gruelling training I want to help people realize how much they can do. I am teaching more at the YMCA, I am starting a running group and I am expanding my bootcamps. The most rewarding experience is seeing someone do something they never thought was possible. And THEY did it. Getting to be part of their journey is an amazing experience. I’ll continue to balance training and racing with my family life as my children grow and explore their passions. I am adding a new dimension as I go back to work as a personal trainer. I hope you will continue to follow my adventures. The next big goal will be to see if I can qualify for the 2015 World Championship Team this summer. Wish me luck!

2013 Fall Bootcamp

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It has been a fantastic summer training outside. I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has made it out to the summer classes. You pushed through even on the smouldering hot days! This Wednesday, August 28, 2013 is the last class of the summer session. We will be meeting at Rockcliffe Park from 7:00-8:00pm. There will be NO babysitting this week.

The fall schedule! Many people are asking what the fall will look like so here it is:

Starting September 3, 2013 Bootcamp Schedule:

Tuesday 6:30-7:30pm Rockcliffe Park
Thursday 6:30-7:30pm Rockcliffe Park

Starting September 18, 2013 Running Group Schedule:

Wednesday 6:30-7:15pm Brown Dog Cafe
Saturday 9:00-10:00am Christie Lake

We will continue to meet at Rockcliffe for Bootcamp as long as there is daylight and the weather cooperates. It’s a beautiful park with tons of space. We will eventually be moving inside but for now we will enjoy the fresh air. I am introducing a card system for the classes going forward. I am still offering 6 classes for $75 but you choose what classes and how many times you attend. You purchase a card for $75 and every time you attend a class I will mark it off, when your card is full you simply buy a new card. This allows for more flexibility and allows for life’s hiccups when you can’t make it to class. Bootcamp starts the first week of September. No breaks and straight to work! ;o)

The running group! Several people have inquired about running and incorporating it into their fitness routine so I have decided to start a running group. The cost is a flat fee of $20 a month. You can choose to attend as many runs as you like. Wednesday nights we will be meeting at the Brown Dog Cafe and will run for just over 30 minutes. To get everyone on the same page we will be running 8:2’s which means running 8 mins and walking 2 mins. Overtime we will switch to 10:1’s and then a continuous run but all in do time. The idea is to add a cardio element to your existing workout in a fun, social environment. The Saturday run will have the same pacing but on the beautiful trails of Christie Lake finishing off with a 20 minute core workout. A great way to start your weekend, refreshed and energized for the day!

Since the running group doesn’t start until September 18th when I return from London, it will have an introductory rate of $10 for September.

To register you can either purchase a Bootcamp Card at this Wednesday’s class or via email transfer. You can also sign up for the running group at this weeks class or via email transfer. Please contact me by email for the email transfers.

I look forward to starting this next chapter with you! Please feel free to share with your friends and encourage people to come and check us out. The more people, the more fun.

TriMom Bootcamps

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I am so excited to announce that I will be teaching several bootcamps this summer starting the second week of July. The dates can be found on my events calendar on this site. The details are below. Come join me for a work out and don’t worry about the kids – we have babysitting! Contact me by email amy@trimom.ca to reserve your spot.

Summer Schedule:

I will be offering 3 bootcamps this summer for 6 weeks. Babysitting will be available based on demand. Pre-registration will provide us with an idea for babysitting and allow me to reserve the church so that we have a rain date location.

Tuesday 9:30am-10:30am Sports Conditioning Bootcamp
Focus on agility, coordination and endurance

Wednesday 7:30pm – 8:30pm Bootcamp
Focus on strength and endurance (continuation of our current Thursday night class.

Thursday 9:30am – 10:30am Bootcamp
Focus on strength and endurance (continuation of our current Thursday night class.

Pricing For Bootcamp: Pricing for Babysitting:
1 Bootcamp 6 week Session $ 75 1 child $15, 2 or more $25 for 6 weeks
2 Bootcamp 6 week Session $140 1 child $30, 2 or more $50 for 6 weeks
Unlimited access to all 3 $200 1 child $45, 2 or more $75 for 6 weeks

The sessions will run from July 8 th – August 29th, excluding the first and second week of August as the church is unavailable.

Check Out The New Year, New You Bootcamp 2013

Thank you to everyone who came out to my bootcamp on January 26th. It was a huge success with 36 people turning out for a fun, challenging workout. A big thank you to Angela for not only donating the Chef’s Table for Two at Cascata but for also demonstrating exercises with me. Also to Rabethge Jewellers Ltd. for donating a beautiful pendant, Preferred Nutrition for providing the Sample Bar and Alpha Audio Visual for providing the rockin’ sound system. And of course last but not least Ms. Lindsey Ryder, my official photographer.
Thank you most of all for the donations. Every bit helps and I am now over half way to my fundraising goal. From both my family and myself THANK YOU!! Please enjoy the photos courtesy of Ryder Photography.
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