Winter Ready!

With winter knocking at the door, this is a great time to get your body ready for all the g-forces, bobbing and turning you will put your body through this season.

Let’s be honest…most of us are weekend warriors and surf a desk or some sort of seat in our regular time. So let’s get those limbs and core strong so the weekends are a little more fun and the weekdays are a little less sore! 

 This not so Olympian workout that can be done at home or at your local gym and it will get you better prepared for what’s to come in the winter season. 

Warm Up

Warm up is very important for the body and mind to prepare for the exercises; it should take about 5-7mins and include exercises like skipping or jumping jacks and stretching.

Here is a great warm up routine that activates all areas of the body

Snowboard Workout

Before doing any exercise routine make sure you’re healthy and have been cleared by a doctor to exercise. If you have never lifted weights or performed workout style exercises I strongly suggest you consult a certified personal trainer to make sure your positioning and movements are correct.

I like to pair exercise together to keep it interesting and to keep moving. When exercises are paired together I find I do not need to rest as much as single exercises.

How to: Each pair of exercises has 10 repetitions (reps) to be performed for 3 sets or rounds, alternating the exercises.  So, perform exercise A for 10 reps and immediately perform exercise B for 10 reps and then rest, that is one set or round. 

Box Jumps + Weighted Twist

Box Jumps: Height is not always the goal; sometimes it’s just to jump. Choose something you know you can jump onto, one step in a staircase, or even a board on the floor. Some gyms will have stackable boxes that are ideal. Start by facing the box or platform in a knees bent and ready position, when you’re ready, with both feet/legs, bend down and jump on to the obstacle, landing in a squat/bent position and stand up tall to complete the movement. Step down and do it again. Challenge yourself by adding more height to the box, start further away from the box or add reps. This is for your mind just as much as your body. Start small and work your way up. This exercise will get your ready for when you have to jump over those fence lines or be limber to dodge a body in the lift line. 

Weighted Twist: Find something that’s heavy for you and sit on the floor with your feet in front. Holding your weight straight out in front, try to lean back a little. Rotate your core so your hands and the weight come all the way to one side, and even behind you, it’s ok to bend your arms and the end of the rotation, a full range of movement is the focus. Rotate to the other side, going to both sides is 1 rep. Challenge yourself by leaning back more or adding weight. 

Step-out Lunges + Plank

Step-out Lunges: From a standing position, step out with one leg far enough to lower your body to let your back knee bend to touch the floor while keeping your front knee over your front foot and toward your little toe. Without your hands to help, push off the floor with your front foot to return to the standing position. Complete 10 reps on one side before switching to the other. Challenge yourself by holding weights, closing your eyes, or adding reps.

Plank: Starting in a push up position, bend your arms so you are supporting your upper body weight on your elbows. This is the plank position. Try pulling the bottom of your spine in towards your chin to maintain proper positioning. Hold this position for at least 20s-30s. Challenge yourself by holding the plank longer or by adding weight to your back

Sumo Squats + Leg Raises                  

Sumo Squats: Standing, spread your feet so they are wider than your shoulders, if it’s more comfortable, you can turn your feet outwards like a duck stance. Keep your back straight and bend your knees to lower yourself towards the floor as far as you can. To come back up think of squeezing your inner thighs to help you ascend. A straight back is the key to good body positioning. Challenge yourself by holding weights and adding reps.

Leg Raises: Start by lying your back on the floor, with your arms either by your side or laid out in a “t”. Thinking about only using your core, raise your legs off the ground until they are in a “L” or perpendicular to the floor, at the top squeeze your core to slightly lift your hips off the ground, and slowly lower your legs back to the floor. This is one rep. Challenge yourself by slowing the movement, adding weight to your ankles, or adding reps.   

I swear by these movements and exercises and implement them or variations of them into my workouts on a weekly basis. But I don’t just train for my sport, I train for life…so bring it!

Family Matters

Have you ever worked with your family? My family’s lively hood is based on working together and it makes for an interesting dynamic.  I swear that we could get our own TV show from all the shenanigans. 

The past few days have especially been exciting.  The gym I work out at in Toronto is no more and Gary, my dad, found this most advantageous.  Through special circumstances all the equipment in the closed gym was purchased and had to be moved to the new space in G&G Installation’s building. 

It all started on Monday, I went into former ATP for a workout and was met there by the whole gang, Mom, Dad, and Brother.  They were working the deal and taking inventory, which seemingly was irrelevant because they took everything, and I was there to do the last workout in that gym.  The deal was done and in the middle of my set and I noticed my Bro and dad were already ripping out the special flooring in the other room.  Before I was finished six helpers were loading dumb bells into a van.  I got into the packing action too, adding to the workout I just had. 

A prior commitment kept me busy for that night but the next afternoon I met the crew in the new space.  I was surprised to see the mirrors and floor already installed and a lot of equipment to be set up.  Apparently I arrived just in time to start unloading what remained in; 2 vans, 2 suburbans, a cube van, and a full size closed trailer. Everyone was in full swing. 

Dad was directing, Mom designing the space, my Bro literally throwing things out of the vehicles.  Me, I was the floater, helping where ever they needed me; washing windows, carrying stuff, sweeping ,etc.  As easy it as it sounds on paper it’s never that smooth in reality.  There were really three bosses instructing associates who were slaving away to create this gym.  Some yelling happened, miscommunications, and a lot of confusion.  Never the less, we did it and within 48 hours we fully tore apart a whole gym and reassembled it to make a beautiful place.  Surprisingly only few sustained an injury. 
 I had my first workout there today, it felt great to be in the new GYT Fit private gym.  Thanks to all who helped put it all together :)

It was a great reminder that when it needs to happen I have a family who can be counted on even when things are on the line and last minute.  I can’t forget about all of the other awesome people who are always there for us too, yes Jenna, Derek, and Dan that’s for you, sorry if I missed anyone.  When the bat light goes out these people really step up to the plate. 

Although working with family has it challenges the benefits are worth it.  I guess it helps when your family has been doing it for over 60 years!


Above the Clouds

Seems like life always has more curve balls than expected, thus far my time in BC has been a bit frustrating.  Festivals, weather and other miscellaneous happenings are interfering with my plans.  As I have said before, during these days it is important to see the positive side.  

Yes, those are people!
Where's the Pipe?
I have been home for two weeks and due to weather, contests and photo shoots I have not ridden a solid day in the pipe.  Most of the time the pipe looks like this.
 That’s not to say that I haven’t been getting work done, just not the work I planned to do.  I came here to work on two specific tricks, but end up riding jumps, rails and the natural features of the mountain.  The positive part is that I still work on the essence and fundamentals of the tricks on these other features, and I must admit that I do have a lot of fun working new components. 

This makes me think about my seminar on passion and how a good work ethic supports my following of snowboarding.  Sometimes I don’t want to try new things because I know I will be awkward at them, let’s face it…no one wants to look uncoordinated and sloppy.  But in the end I trust my coach and am determined so I am willing to put myself out there; at this time of the year it means getting soaked too!  I know it will all contribute to the successes of my goals in the future. 

For today, it’s getting some house and computer work done.  I have the privilege of Rope for Hope, a thirty story repel in June for Make-A-Wish Foundation, so, I will be looking for sponsors.  Check out all the action HERE

For tomorrow, it will be waking up and looking to get the most out of my day.  My fingers are crossed for the sun to be out!!!    

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Between Contests

The last couple of days in Toronto were good ones.  I met with my web manager and spoke about changes to be made on my website.  I visited my favorite hot spot in Toronto, Iyashi.  I found a new love with Chef Alex Burgess at recently opened resto-lounge Bloke and 4th, and spent valuable time with family.

If you arrived at the blog through then be sure to return there soon as some changes are going to be made.  It was exciting to meet with my web manager as we shot the new intro video for my homepage and discussed changes that will occur over the next month.  I always have fun being on camera which makes it easy to shoot these things, and I am proud to say we captured what we needed in only a few takes.  Maybe in the future the next chapter of my life will include more on camera opportunities as I seem to have a knack

I was lucky to get into Iyashi Bedrock Spa  for treatments.  Torontonians are finally catching on to this unique spot, therefore spots are quickly filled.  One treatment was a traditional style where I enjoyed just laying on the heated black silica rock soaking in the healing properties of the rock’s emissions.  The second treatment was hot yoga where I benefited by the lengthening of my muscles getting them mountain ready.  Both gave me time to relax my body and mind and left me rejuvenated and ready the upcoming events.  To me this place is a little piece of magic!

If you are in the Torontoarea you have to check out Bloke and 4th at 401 King St W.  This new resto-lounge is the talk of the town providing beautiful food and drink in a catchy atmosphere.  I am fortunate to have Executive Chef Alex Burgess as one of my longest known friends and he provided hand picked selections off his menu.  My favourite was the scallops and risotto main, but everything I ate made my taste buds and optic nerves buzz with excitement.  Not only was the food delicious but so were the drinks.  Drink specialist Jeremy made it seem as though Dr. Suess stepped behind that bar and started maxing drinks, every sip was delectable.  Here is their write up in Toronto Life, take a read and get hungry. 

I was especially thrilled to spend time with family.  I took my nieces for an afternoon, one when to gymnastics and the other was entertained with Rock Band.  My eldest niece is excelling in gymnastics, among the other sports she participates in, and the changes in her personality are noticeable.  Sport has given her more focus and a needed outlet for her inherent abundant energy.  It can be seen that sport will play a big role in her life as it has in all my family member’s lives. 

I also had a couple good meals with my parents, who are always up for giving me the pep talk.  In those pep talks my Dad always references Rocky by saying “what does Rocky do when he’s knocked down? He gets right back up”.  This is always followed by the singing of the Rocky’s theme song.  Priceless. 

As you can tell it was a busy two days in my hometown but it was a great time.  Work, rest, play and family were what filled my time.  To me, these past days have been about balance.  I have preached this before and I will continue to in the future, but balance is huge in any career.  It realigns my concentration and boosts my focus.  Now I am ready for the next step of the Mammoth Grand Prix and for the ultimate goal of excellence.