Scared of heights? DON’T Look at these pics…

This might be too much for you…

(Especially if you’re afraid of heights.)

Take a look at just a few pics of a climb I did last weekend:





































I did the Via Ferrata on Mount Norquay in Banff, AB. If you ever have a chance to get to this part of the world, I highly recommend it.

The climb is as hard as you want to make it.  You’re actually harnessed into guide wires. There are steps and clamps the entire way up to grab if you want. It’s VERY SAFE.

The challenge my climbing friend and I threw out to each other was that we weren’t allowed to touch anything other than the rocks.

That made the climb much more challenging and fun.

There were a few vertical passes that I just had to touch a step or grab a ‘pig tail’ (a handle drilled into the mountain), but I managed most of the climb just grabbing the rocks and I even walked over a few trestles and the swinging bridge hands free:

















Why am I telling you this?

Well, I’m not actually on the marketing team for Mt. Norquay even though I’d highly recommend it or something similar 😉

No, the reason I’m telling you this is because I want to encourage you to get out there and LIVE a little.

To me, living means adventure.

The fact that I can do a climb like this without a second thought or sore muscles is because I do a little to prepare my body each day to stay fit. And I’m not anything special.

It’s just a matter of maintaining a consistently healthy lifestyle day in and day out. This allows you to be able to DO ANYTHING you want.

Here’s a secret…

A climb like this takes a great deal of core strength.

You can’t do anything without a strong core.

I’ve mentioned my friends Tyler and Dr James program called 0-6 Pack Abs.

It’s a great program for OVERALL strength and stability.

And sadly, where core training is concerned, most people are ‘doing it wrong’….










If you want to ‘do it right’, improve your core, protect your back and be ready for pretty much anything life throws at you…

==>Look at 0 – 6 Pack Abs (and save big)

As for me, I’m still on a high from that climb, but it’s time to pack my bags, including my bikini, because surfing is the next adventure.

Stay tuned.



For All You Dad’s…

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there. Dad 80th bday

For me, I have many reasons to celebrate. Allow me to share and then I’d like to tell you about something called ‘Never Grow Old Fitness‘ – not necessarily for you! Read on…

As many of you know, my Dad suffered a stroke in January. He was in rough shape and we were all very concerned.

We weren’t sure if he’d ever be able to return to his ‘regular’ life of self sufficient living – especially when he was working on basics like swallowing.

The strange thing with strokes is that everyone experiences different deficits depending on how the stroke affects the brain. I have to hand it to my Dad for his consistent hard work with regard to his recovery.

Luckily for my Dad, he’s been able to make a great come back.

In the beginning, he was embarrassed with his inability to do simple things. He hated the silly foot work drills he had to do at a bar in occupational therapy. We’d sit and go through four syllable words and work on enunciation to help his speech. Eating was no fun to say the least – being spoon fed at first, then gradually moving from baby food to increasingly solid food was a long process.

The point is, he never gave up.

He got up and ‘did the work’ with only small increments of visible improvement daily even though he was (and still is) exhausted through it all.

He is a champion.

The good news is that he’s doing quite well now and is back on his own. He’s decided to move into a retirement home where he’ll have a little easier life. He won’t have to cook or clean for Dad retired HQ trophyhimself and he’ll have access to more community and fun activities than he did in his own house.

He’s pretty pumped for the move July 4th. I’ll get to be there to help get him settled.

<====As an aside, it’s funny how NO ONE expects to get old. This ‘trophy’ is in my Dad’s shop from when he ‘hung up’ his work boots and officially retired.

Elderly people (my Dad is 80) are surprised themselves that so much time has passed. I can totally relate; I can’t believe I’m over 50 myself. I’m sure I’ll be just as surprised at my age when I get over 60 or 70 or hopefully 80 too.

My Dad has been active all his life. This has been his saving grace and has increased his overall quality of life. It’s also helped with his recovery from this stroke.

Being active is key.

I had opportunity to speak at the Functional Aging Summit last weekend. It was an amazing event focused on helping an aging population. It was a big eye opener for me…

The fact is, people are living longer and they want more life in their years. And it’s NEVER too late to improve fitness and health.

As one of my readers, I’m sure that your own fitness and health is a priority, but maybe you know someone who could use a starting point?

Maybe it’s your dad…(or some other special someone).

Dr Dan Ritchie and Dr Cody Sipe created just the thing. They have a entry level fitness program that addresses ALL fitness parameters to improve and address healthy functional aging. I know because I’m their fitness model in the follow along videos.

If you have a loved one in your life that needs a little help, please share this program with them.

==>Never Grow Old – Functional Fitness Solution

dan r functional fit 3

I’ll be setting my Dad up with this program so that he can ‘train’ along side me in his new apartment. There are four levels to progress through the Never Grow Old Fitness program so he’ll be set for a bit.



I’m excited for this next chapter of my Dad’s life.

Dad lazy boy chairSide note: we got him a new lazy boy recliner for Father’s Day, I know he won’t be sitting much in it and that’s just fine by me.

Ahoy Matey! Sailing and Your Fitness


sailing jun 2105‘Man the jib.’

‘Pinch to the mark.’

‘Time to tack.’

‘Launch the spinnaker.’

‘We’ve got dirty air’….




I could go on and on about this foreign sailing language that I’m trying to learn.

I have the good fortune of being BFF’s with an experienced sailor who’s invited me to be crew with her on a 21 foot sailboat.

We sail every Wednesday night. The BEST part is that it’s a RACE!

(To be honest, I’d be bored silly if we just went out on the reservoir and floated around. Yes, it’s be peaceful and relaxing, but after 15 minutes, I’d be ready to jump ship.)

Instead, there are about 15-20 boats that race several  pre-set courses. I’m on a winning team with super Skipper Colin and BFF, Rowena. Last week we came in first place overall and other weeks we’ve been in the top three.

How can I not love sailing when it’s a competition and we win too? barge race start

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about sailing that you can apply to your fitness journey…

For Sailing => I do as I’m told. – As a member of the crew, I have very specific jobs that need to be done in order for us to move ahead. I concentrate on these things and let other things go.

For You => In your fitness journey, you can get overwhelmed with trying to do a bit of this and a bit of that, sort of like a rudderless ship. Pick a plan and follow it, don’t let other things distract you.

For Sailing => A hand for me and one for the boat. When ever I’m moving on the boat, I’ve been instructed to keep a hand on the boat to keep my balance and I use the other hand to do my job.

For You => As for your fitness… if you don’t want to fall off the wagon (or overboard), get a hand from an expert and then follow through to do your part applying the knowledge.

For Sailing => Do the opposite but stay the course – At the end of the night, when all the races are done, we race to the dock to see who can get their boats out of the water (and to the watering hole!) first.

I get tasked with the tiller. I’ve been trusted with steering the boat in (both an exhilarating/terrifying experience). For this, I need to steer the tiller in the opposite direction of where I want to go in order to get to the dock.

For You => Where fat loss is concerned you need to just keep going even when the results aren’t coming as expected. For example, you may lose a pound but then gain it right back.

Just ‘stay the course’ even when results are the opposite of what you want. Often times this is just a temporary situation and if you keep at it, the results you desire will follow.

barge flagFor Sailing => Keep it balanced – On the first night, I nearly had heart failure the way the boat would keel to each side. I had to learn how to keep my balance (not to mention my cool). The boat has stability that I can trust and I just need to move with it.

For You => You need to develop core stability in order to move safely and keep your balance. Without a stable core, it’s like shooting a cannon from a row boat. You’re likely to ‘sink your ship’ with injuries and you’ll definitely not hit any targets.

If you want to enjoy cool new adventures like sailing (or slack lining – like I did last weekend) you need to have balance and that starts with a strong core.

Let me talk strictly fitness for just a bit…

Did you know that the first group of muscles to fire during ANY movement are your core muscles? And that if these muscles aren’t working properly, it doesn’t matter how many ab exercises you do because you’ll never have the strength you want or get the waist shrinking results you desire.

The problem is that most people don’t understand the role your ab muscles are supposed to play in ANY movement pattern.

The solution is to learn how to reactivate your core. By turning to simple but effective exercises that not only shrink your waist and build toned or even 6-pack abs, you can also help fix old injuries, improve your posture and make your daily life easier and more enjoyable.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to do the hardest ab move on the planet thinking that you’re strengthening your core. It’s really the basics that are needed.

Here’s a great resource (text page) and if you have time to watch a video: this is an interview with an experienced doctor of physical therapy.

Click here if you want to watch a SHORT video from Dr. James Vegher where he talks about:

  • How he discovered unique ab exercises
  • What NOT to do when training your abs
  • Why the “mainstream” advice about ab training is WRONG
  • The best exercises you need to do daily to shrink your waist
  • How baby’s hold the key to flat abs FAST
  • And a TON more…

This is actually a 3 part series (each segment is just over 5 minutes).

Take a look at this page or this video to discover new ways to strengthen your core and flatten your belly – and who doesn’t want to do that with summer upon us?

barge with Row 2Okay, back to me now 😉

Rowena and I were on the ‘barge’  last night. This is a small covered raft afloat in the middle of the reservoir.

This was a new experience for me. We were conducting the races, waving flags, blowing whistles, determining winners…man, it was so cool to see the races from this perspective.

As you can see, sailing isn’t a glamorous sport and it’s not always fair weather conditions. I did my best NOT to fall overboard in the freezing water….;)

No Impact? No Problem – A Challenge for Everyone

I often get asked why my whole workout series and blog is incorporates the word ‘CHALLENGE’.

After all, it’s not that inviting is it? Maybe I should have challenge workoutscalled it ‘EASY workouts’ or something easier to swallow…

Instead, I like the whole idea of ‘challenge’ because to me it means that you can constantly be competing with YOURSELF to better your fitness. You don’t necessarily have to compete with anyone else, you can just continually push your own boundaries no matter what fitness level you may be at.

In addition for me, through working out, I’ve found a direct transfer of physical strength to mental toughness and emotional strength.

Being physically strong empowers me to be stronger in all areas of life.

I don’t see an end to my love for challenging workouts any time soon. There will always be those stronger, faster, tougher than me. I don’t care. It’s not a competition with anybody else. I compete with me to challenge myself to push past previous barriers, both physically and mentally.

To me, this is what life is all about. (You can read more about how my love affair with challenge workouts here.)

What’s your story? Why do you do what you do? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section 😉

no jumpNow, if you want a challenge, but you have some physical limitations, it’s NOT a problem. We can work around pretty much anything 😉




For example, if impact is an issue for you, I’ve got you covered. My publishing partner, Lisa Bullock and I created a video full of options for you here:

The point is, I don’t want you to use the excuse like ‘I can’t jump around’ to avoid training….I can always provide a ‘work around’ for you. If you want me right in your living room, why not train with me?

Follow along videos are the immediate answer to learning great ways to intensify or modify any exercise so that you train safely. In my video workouts, I’ll give you all that instruction as we go so there’s no need to avoid training or go research safe exercises for yourself.

I’ve got 21 days of ‘done for you’ workouts that I know you’re going to LOVE.

We’ll work together to challenge you AT YOUR LEVEL – no matter what that level is. In these workouts, I incorporate the ‘challenge idea’ whether you’re rocking out pull ups or doing every exercise in a modified fashion. The cool thing is, before you know it, you’ll have increased your workout intensity and improved on each individual exercise in no time. I’ll show you the progressions of each move so you can safely go from ‘beginner’ to ‘advanced’.

Okay, so here’s a workout for you:

This is a challenging workout that includes:
–>one legged burpee
–>ab roller or plank reach
–>hanging oblique leg lifts
–>sit out or mountain climber
–>shoe touch

Do each exercise for 40 seconds with a 7 second transition to switch.

This is a great way to burn fat and focus on abdominal strength.

If you’re looking for a challenge and want to make it YOURS, check out the new 21 Day Fat Loss Challenge. Let’s train together to work around any limitations you may have. 21DFL_followalongvideos

Life is Better When You’re Strong

Are you recovering from an exciting weekend?

I hope so, but I hope the excitement was all about doing cool things (versus ‘drinking cool’ things).

Shawna balance

For me,  I tried ‘slack lining’  for the first time this weekend ====>


Good fun, but I definitely need to have more practice before I run away and join the circus =)

My point in sharing this picture is not to notify ‘circus head hunters’ on my reader list, but to remind you that by training regularly, you can be more confident in your abilities to do fun things like this.

It’s ‘unlikely’ that Cirque du Soleil will come knocking at my door, but, man we had fun fooling around on this slack line. I was happy to be playing instead of watching (like some others were doing).

Part of being functionally fit is simply being STRONG.

I know this sounds easy enough, but it takes work, daily dedication in fact, to keep your strength up (especially as we age).

A side benefit of strength is it makes it easy to build muscle and lose fat too…So you’re not only just ‘strong’, but you look awesome as well =)

So what’s one of the best ways to get stronger?

I’ve recently met a fella who’s shared the DUP Method with me.

His name is Jason Maxwell and he’s a trained rocket scientist turned fitness professional (no joke). He’s a science geek to say the least…

He studied training methods of Eastern Europeans in the 1950’s-80’s because they were, by far, the best weightlifters in the world. They used the same lifts 3-6 times a week and got SUPER strong quickly.

The DUP Method he developed is a systemized approach to this high frequency training. Jason took what worked and threw out what didn’t.

Check out==> the DUP Method here.

This is really only for those of you that are seasoned gym rats, like me. Part of the protocol is that you’d train a lift 3 times a week, once for strength, once for power and once for functional hypertrophy.

For example, take the bench press (one of may favorite lifts), here’s a sample schedule:

  • Day 1 (Strength) – 4 sets of 4
  • Day 2 (Power) – 5 sets of 3
  • Day 3 (Functional Hypertrophy) – 4 sets of 8

The reason this works is because you’re training three different strength qualities which simple lead to more strength and more muscle. This works even better than linear training (such as the 5×5 protocol I’ve shared with you).







So if you’re interested in becoming stronger, have lots of training background and have access to traditional gym equipment, you’ll want to check this DUP Method out.

You’ll get $70 off and a bonus the ‘Bigger Bench Press’ Check List free today (Monday, June 8th).

The check list includes things like how gear and execution will immediately bump up your bench – cool and easy tips to max your bench. Sign me up! – I know I’m not the typical girl when this is something that I get excited about!

Read about the DUP Method here.

And if the DUP Method isn’t up your alley, maybe some circus training like slack lining is 😉