No One Likes Homework...

Who likes homework? No one. We didn't like it in grade school and we sure don't like it now as adults. "Adult homework? What's that?" It's all the non-fun stuff we HAVE to do that allows us to do the fun stuff in life that we WANT to do; it's the unattractive tasks that are needed in order to make the sexy stuff possible.

We want to land a sought after position in our career, well we have to put in the effort, whether it's going to school or doing grunt work that will prove our worth. We want to go travelling or buy a nice swanky new car, well we have to put in the dues and earn money to make these purchases. We want to PR a snatch, well we have to work on mobility and strength so we can fight for the positioning that will allow us to support the additional weight over our head.

We want to lose weight, get shredded for the summer, or just tone up. That's right, you need to do your homework to achieve these goals.

If you follow along and have read our blogs posts for the last little while, you should know that we draw a lot of parallels from daily life and relate them to our training. Like most things in life, we often see accomplishments of others, whether it is career, family or fitness related and think, "wow, must be nice to be able to x,y,z"; what we frequently fail to take into account are the hours and effort they've put into their "homework" to be in the place they are now.

Doing your homework can feel like a chore because you have to actively choose to do these things in order to make your goals come to fruition. As we reach our goals and have tangible results from our hard work, it makes it all worthwhile.

Do yourself a favour and invest your time and effort into your homework. You won't regret it!

What's Your Why?

Julia shares her story...

We all find motivation in many forms. What keeps you going to the gym can be completely different from the person who works out next to you. Every person that walks through our doors has a different story; a different history, a different circumstance, a different relationship with themselves and their surroundings. We've said this before and we will say it again, the simple commonality amongst every person in our gym and community is that they want to give 100% of themselves to their "why" during the 60 minutes that they are with us and we are grateful for the 1 hour of their day that they choose to spend with us.

For the most part, we know each of our members' "why"; why did they choose exercise, why did they choose CrossFit, why did they choose Personal Training and why they chose us.  Every one of our member's stories stands out to us, but there is one in particular that we want to share today.

Julia has been coming to Black Tusk for over 1 year. She's done over 100 workouts  with us and even completed her very first competition this year. Does she do this for the pure glory of attempting to be the "Fittest on Earth" and make it to the CrossFit Games? Far from it. Here's her story:

 In the fall of 2010, Julia had just turned 25 and was on a little family getaway to the mountains for her birthday with her spouse and wee babe (who was only 6 weeks old at the time). In the blink of an eye, her, Marko and their baby girl went from being on a happy-go-lucky road trip to being airlifted off the highway with multiple severe injuries.

In the fall of 2010, Julia had just turned 25 and was on a little family getaway to the mountains for her birthday with her spouse and wee babe (who was only 6 weeks old at the time). In the blink of an eye, her, Marko and their baby girl went from being on a happy-go-lucky road trip to being airlifted off the highway with multiple severe injuries.

Julia was hospitalized with multiple fractures throughout her entire body, internal bleeding, nerve damage and lacerations. She was unable to walk or bear her own body weight for almost a month. During the first 8-9 months after the accident, Julia was mobile enough to live day to day life, with about 50% recovery. She tried going to a traditional gym to stay active after the accident. Then in 2012 Julia and Marko introduced their son to the world. At that point in time injuries and mobility issues started to creep up again but Julia managed them as best she could.

In 2013, CrossFit was on Julia's radar so she tried a few CrossFit classes. In 2015 she started to see an Olympic Weightlifting trainer and discovered a taste for lifting weights. It was at that time she decided to give CrossFit another try. She, again, tried a few different gyms in the city before finding the right fit for her.
 

 When we first met Julia over a year ago, she could not squat below parallel. With her dedication and perseverance she now has full range of motion and has set personal records that would make any coach proud!  For Julia, her why's for joining Black Tusk were that she wanted to start prioritizing herself again, she wanted to build strength, to cultivate a fun and challenging hobby and she wanted to be a part of a great community. 

When we first met Julia over a year ago, she could not squat below parallel. With her dedication and perseverance she now has full range of motion and has set personal records that would make any coach proud!

For Julia, her why's for joining Black Tusk were that she wanted to start prioritizing herself again, she wanted to build strength, to cultivate a fun and challenging hobby and she wanted to be a part of a great community. 

Your why's might not look like Julia's but that doesn't mean that they are any less important. We all have hardships, roadblocks and obstacles to face and to overcome but once you figure out your why, everything else will fall into place.

In case anyone was wondering, Julia and Marko's 6 week old babe in 2010 is almost 8 years old now!

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Overcoming Weakness

We tend to allow ourselves to avoid movements we hate. Why? Because we like being good at things. Being good at things is fun, so if we have an option of doing something we excel at versus something we struggle with, more often than not we will gravitate to the movements we are good at.

Everyone has weaknesses, that is what makes us human, that is what allows us to continue growing and striving to be better, regardless of whether the weakness is physical, intellectual or emotional. Allowing yourself to recognize what your personal weakness is and wanting to improve is a sign of your character. It's easy to do things we are good at, there is no challenge in that really. We cannot improve if we do not accept that there are aspects of our life, in training, at work, in relationships that are...less than ideal.

When it comes to training, there will always be moments when we reflect on our weaknesses and are then met with a crossroads: do I actively and intentionally set a strategic plan in motion to improve myself OR do I actively and intentionally avoid what's tough.

We are firm believers of "what you hate the most is likely what you need the most". This can often be the result of preexisting injuries, mobility limitations, limb lengths, strength discrepancies in your body. If we do not actively work on these weaknesses, they will never get better.

Group classes are great for general fitness, we touch on everything, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Trust in the process and the improvements will come. Personal Training on the other hand can encompass targeted training on improving those weaknesses through having S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals. Goals can range from having pain-free movement, shedding a few pounds, being able to extend your arms overhead without having to arch your back, reaching a full depth squat, or getting that elusive muscle up.

Take a step back and evaluate what is important to you. Enjoy your fitness, but don't avoid what you know needs work.

Vulnerability

Far too many times, we hear our newer athletes tell us that they aren't really competitive and that they are happy where they are, just getting a sweat in, pacing themselves through a work out or they going lighter on the weight. Whether we know it or not, this is a defense mechanism because everyone is innately competitive in a sense that we all have an ego, we all want to do well and excel. We are competitive. We are competitive with ourselves.

It's tough for us to embrace this inner drive. When our egos want us to give 100% of our efforts and do our very best, we fear that our best is not good enough; enter fear of failure, enter vulnerability. This is why we rather choose the path that will not lead us to failure. We want you to know and understand that it is more than okay to fail. It is okay to feel uncomfortable. Without discomfort and failure, you will never push yourself to your limits, to your fullest potential. Your coaches have all, on more than once occasion, said "get comfortable with being uncomfortable". Starting a new journey is scary. Walking into a group class where you know no one is scary. Giving it your true 100% is scary.

The fundamental commonality between everyone in each of our classes is that we want to better ourselves. Much like the way we coach your burpees, (you can hear us can't you? "it does not matter how slowly you go, just don't stop"), you just have to keep moving forward. Keep setting those goals, keep striving to be better, keep pushing yourself to your fullest capacity, because it's only a matter of time until your once fullest capacity becomes your warmup. As the old adage goes "if you are not progressing, then your are regressing".