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WHY YOU SHOULD SPIN Patrycia Rzechowka

FITNESS & BEER? Situation Brewing

#IAMYEGFIT Jesse Kupina






North of extraordinary With great technique, your fitness goals are just around the corner. With great Technik, an Audi gives you the perfect driving experience at Audi Edmonton North. The Audi Q5 achieves a class of its own. With its distinct profile, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission, the Audi Q5 has carved its place on Edmonton roads as the SUV that has it all. Sporty, progressive, spacious and functional. And fit. The Audi Q5 is the perfect fit for Edmonton streets. Visit Audi Edmonton North for the perfect Q5 experience that is truly north of extraordinary.

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contributors DANI PARKS

Dani Parks is an active yoga teacher for both adults and children. She has always been into all types of fitness including running. Dani found yoga has strengthened her mind-body connection as well as enhanced her ability to recognize muscle movement and body structure. She is passionate about helping people gain confidence in their own practice. Dani has a squad of children (four to be exact), is an accountant, soccer coach, and a huge advocate for anti-bullying. You can find her on the mat at Hive Fit Co, Lahari Yoga, and in schools.


Christal Sczebel is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner of Pure & Simple Nutrition located in Edmonton, Alberta. She is also an avid blogger at her little space on the web, Christal aims to help others discover their best health through nourishing and balanced eating, self-love, and developing sustainable habits that last!. She is passionate about getting her clients and readers off of the dieting rollercoaster and into a place of balance and true enjoyment of whole foods. Christal lives in Edmonton with her husband and two fur-babies. She loves to stay active, eat good food, travel, host dinner parties and blog about it all!

JENNIFER ETTINGER From bedridden with illness to bestselling author – Jennifer has merged her passions of pink, lifestyle, style, health and fitness into a company called “Fit Your Style”; a multi-platform brand in Studio, TV, Radio and Social Media. Jennifer can be seen delivering her message as a TV host and expert, hosting her own show “Fit Your Style”, as well as, FYS Social TV. She also provides red carpet correspondence - as seen on Insider, ET and Access Hollywood. She is part of the Twitteraritti, offering commentary through my views on body confidence, health and happiness. Jennifer can be seen on television offering education on fitness and lifestyle trends. She is also a proud announcer on TapCast and serving as a National brand Ambassador for several brands in Canada.

PATRYCIA RZECHOWKA Patrycia works in the Law Enforcement Oversight Branch of the Government of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. Patrycia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2012. She is one of an estimated 100,000 Canadians living with this autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system (brain and spinal cord) in many ways. Ever since her diagnosis, Patrycia chooses to fight MS by remaining active, volunteering and advocating for those with MS. The MS Bike Tour and has been a big part of her fight every year since diagnosis, first as a participant and now spokesperson for the Leduc to Camrose tour.





Participating in an ultra marathon is a daunting but incredible endeavour. It takes a huge commitment from every facet of your life and will test each of these throughout the training process and into race day. To successfully approach one of these events you need a PLAN. We suggest you consider all the topics below when planning for an ultra marathon of this caliber. TIME. A large time commitment is required, make sure you are prepared to make this a priority in your life. ALLIES. Create a strong support network to help you achieve your goal. Running an ultra can be a selfish activity but runners do not exist in isolation, they require support from their community of friends, family and running buddies. MOTIVATION. Make sure you know why you are taking on this challenge. You will need to rely on this during race day or when you want to skip a run. An ultra marathon will challenge your physical, physiological, emotional, mental and spiritual self to different degrees making authentic motivation paramount to success. EXPECTATIONS. Success is RELATIVE. Whether its getting as far as you can, finishing under the cut off, winning your age group or setting a course record, success is relative to you. TRAINING. Make a training program and follow it. Consult a professional or someone with experience to help. Most running injuries are caused by training errors. Working with a health professional that knows Ultras is a great fit as they can both create a training program and help you manage any past or new injuries.

LOGISTICS. Trip Accommodations? What’s the weather? What gear am I using? Who’s your support crew and what will they do for you? What will you bring on each leg? Expected leg finish times? How do you take care of your feet? What will you eat and drink and when? Etc etc etc. This step is time consuming but crucial, do not plan to “play it by ear” out there. Dehydration, hypothermia, stomach fatigue, blisters, and a missed rendezvous with your crew will end your day so make sure everything that you can control is under control so that the uncontrollable is manageable. Things will go wrong and that is ok, just be ready.

Photo By Raven Eye Photography


The Bridge by Sherwood Park Sports Physiotherapy is pleased to be teamed up with Sinister Sports providing runners with treatment throughout the race weekend. If you would like more information regarding the Sinister 7 Ultramarathon that occurs in Crowsnest Pass July 7th-9th, please visit their website:

HEALTH. You are only as good as you are healthy on race day. This means treat your body right to help prevent getting sick or injured. Your body will no doubt feel the fatigue of training for an ultra so if something is hurting or feels off get it check out sooner then later. You could be the fittest, fastest runner at the race but if your injured it does not matter.

James Greene

Athletic Therapist | Strength and Conditioning Specialist BPE CAT(C) CSCS

James is not only an Athletic Therapist but is a passionate Ultra Runner himself. He began trail running in 2011 and since then has completed 16 50km+ trail races and holds the course record at the Iron Legs 50 miler. This year he plans to run three 50km races in preparation for a soloist attempt at the Sinister 7 Ultra.

To contact James for more help with planning, training, or injuries please call 780.570.0225 or email


The Bridge is proud to introduce the first and only LightSpeed run apparatus system in Canada. By removing up to 35 lbs of weight from each stride, LightSpeed reduces impact, encourages better form and increases speed. Call to book your free trial today!

editor’s note F

itness is about far more than just looking good in a bathing suit or being able to run a sub one-hour 10k road race. It’s about setting personal goals and doing your best to achieve them. It’s about whole body health including your mind and spirit. It means finding what makes you happy and setting your mind to accomplishing great things for yourself. Over the past three years, YEG Fitness has been a supporter of events that promote healthy living and raising awareness of mental health issues. Whether it’s showcasing Eating Disorder Awareness Week or Bell Let’s Talk, we understand that to be truly fit, we need to focus on both our mental and physical health. We’ve all been touched by someone battling cancer. My father has skin cancer due to his years of tanning and not using any kind of sunscreen. My sister-in-law is currently kicking ass fighting breast cancer and trying to keep some normalcy in her home with my two amazing nephews. As the saying goes… F@ck Cancer….. That’s why we’ve chosen to make this edition of YEG Fitness focus on Bust A Move. We’ve been a media-partner for the past three years because of the great things the event helps achieve. This year’s event is happening on May 13, and you can join hundreds of movers and shakers for a six-hour fitness extravaganza to raise valuable funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of breast cancer research at the Cross Cancer Institute. So no matter what road-race or fun-run you’re planning to attend this summer, be mindful of each other. Share a laugh with some friends as you dive through a foam pit and your pants slide down around your ankles. Help encourage each other to just keep going for the last hundred meters before the finish line. Or just simply give a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen when they need someone to talk to. Take care of yourself and each other. Mind, body and spirit.

EDITOR TJ Sadler DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Chan Rin CREATIVE DIRECTOR Joel Verhagen ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jenise Kropp Cody Yano Kayla Roy Chris Liddle Carolyn Dickson PHOTOGRAPHER Jeff Kelly SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Patricia Doiron EDITORIAL INTERN Melissa Lilley

Printed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

CONNECT WITH US @yegfit /yegfitness @yegfitness For advertising inquiries, contact

No part of this publication may be copied or reprinted without the permission of YEG Fitness. The fitness and nutritional information in this publication are not intended to replace professional medical advice. Readers are encouraged to consult a health professional before beginning or changing in their fitness or nutritional activities. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the contributor and not those of YEG Fitness or its employees and associates. Advertising in this publication does not indicate an endorsement by YEG Fitness.




Join hundreds of women and men as they sweat, laugh, squat and lunge it out through six energizing fitness sessions while raising valuable funds for the Cross Cancer Institute.



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what's happening


5KM/10KM - Shake off those winter blues with MEC Edmonton's first Road Race of the season at Rundle Park. This run might be sloppy - but little known fact: mud and snow makes you run faster! Whether you are training to reach your goal, increasing your cardio or working on that mileage meter this race is for you! In addition to a professional chip time, a measured route and a real race atmosphere, participants will receive complimentary bananas and recovery snacks.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY TRAIL RUN – MARCH 12 - 5KM/10KM Come out and run a 5k or 10k run on St. Patrick's Day! This race has both timed 5k/10k run, or, 5k/10k walk options for people looking to take things a bit more casually.


5KM/10KM/15KM - The Hypothermic Half Marathon is part of a Canada wide series of races that happen early in the running season. If you like running in multiple layers of clothing and braving whatever elements the season decides to throw at you this is a race worth checking out!

SPRING INTO SPRINKLES – APRIL 22 - 5KM Help benefit Girls on the Run in Edmonton and enjoy a beautiful 5K run through Edmonton's Rundle Park. Then, celebrate your victory with fellow cupcake enthusiasts at our post-race buffet. Stuff your face with decadent sprinkle themed desserts and pose for photos with Sprinkles the Cupcake! All finishers will get a medal, goodie bag, and their own cupcake at the finish line!

TNP Fitness TNP Fitness is so excited to bring YEG more! March is our grand opening to our brand new location! Located in the West end, 17627-111th Avenue. New amenities include a 1,000 sq. ft. private group class room, 2,500 sq. ft. of personal training area, private golf specific training area, change rooms/showers and 2 massage rooms with therapists from Balance Massage. We are so pumped to take our game to the next level with all of you! Come out, sweat and have FUN with us!

RED DEER SPRING FEVER RUN – APRIL 22 - 5KM /10KM A perfect start to spring training! A CHIP TIMED race in support of the MS Society along the paved trails of Red Deer with low fees! Expect a well organized, affordable race for runners, joggers & families of all ages and abilities. Great race for beginners and those looking to PB with a flat course!

5 PEAKS NORTHERN ALBERTA RACE 1 – APRIL 29 This 5 Peaks event taking place in Terwillegar Park is the first event of the Northern Alberta race series. The trail race features a variety of distances including a roughly 6k sport course, and roughly 13k Enduro distance. The event also has a couple options for the kids with a 3k timed kid’s race and 1k children's challenge.

Balance Massage Balance Massage Edmonton is a local wellness centre providing a customized approach to each client. We are extremely excited to announce in March 2017 we will be teaming up with TNP Fitness at 17627 111 Ave. Balance Massage therapists plan to work closely with TNP trainers and their clients to improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus and shorten recovery time. All of our therapists have 2200 hours and are trained in deep tissue, therapeutic and Swedish massage. Come check out our new space or book a massage through our convenient online booking system.

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Embrace the Body You Have BY LOUISE GREEN Foreword by Jess WeinerIn Big Fit Girl, Louise Green describes how the fitness industry fails to meet the needs of plus-size women and thus prevents them from improving their health and fitness. By telling her own story of how she stopped dieting, got off the couch, and unleashed her inner athlete—as well as showcasing similar stories from other women—Green inspires other plus-size women to do the same. She also provides concrete advice about how to get started, how to establish a support team, how to choose an activity, how to set goals, what kind of clothing and gear work best for the plus-size athlete, and how to improve one’s relationship with food. PUBLICATION DATE: March 18, 2017 Hardcover • $22.95 CAN

Beyond Buoyancy Experience the warm, inviting environment of “floatation therapy”. Ninety minutes of tranquility dedicated to YOU. Complete sensory deprivation. Zero gravity. Ease yourself into 1200 lbs. of Epsom salt dissolved in skin temperature water (35C/94F). The removal of sound and light eliminates distractions and creates a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. You feel weightless – your mind and body feel as though they are unconnected, though every part of you is alert, conscious and present. Benefits are endless – stress management, pain management, relief from Fibromyalgia symptoms, anxiety, depression, improves sleep patterns, increases athletic performance and many more.

Glow Juicery - 124 Street Glow Juicery has now come to the heart of downtown Edmonton! It’s new location is on 10216 124 street inside of Plaza 124. Get a healthy dose of delicious with our fresh cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies, and plant based raw food options. Open seven days a week, Glow 124 is a convenient way to nourish your body, increase your energy, and add a little extra "Glow" to your day. See you soon!




YEGFit Street Team Once again, the YEGFit Street Team has been checking out great local fitness studios in and around Edmonton to help our readers #getYEGFit. Using our Fitset pass and fueled by Glow Juicery, we’re always on the look for cool activities to check out and share with our readers. If you’re new to spin, you need to check out Spinunity. With their new location in Windermere, it makes it even easier to pop by for a visit. Lifestyle Meditation has been on our list for a while now and boy are we happy that we gave it a try. A short thirty-minute class over the lunch hour was just what we needed to recharge for the afternoon back in the office. CrossFit can be tough and having a good trainer makes all the difference. A big thanks to Black Tusk Athletics who hosted us for a killer workout. In the words of our photographer Chan two days after the workout, “My shoulders are toast. It hurts to type haha”. Where will we be going next? Follow along on Instagram or Twitter at @yegfitstreet




12 Ways to Stop Work-Related Back Pain Do you work on a computer daily? Hunching over a computer is a leading reason why four in five Canadians end up with back pain at some point in their lives. But a few simple changes in the way you work can make your pain vanish. Here’s what to do ASAP. 1. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP Focus on aligning your head and neck right above your shoulders; avoid straining forward. 2. MOVE YOUR MOUSE CLOSE Ideally, it should be placed right next to your keyboard so you don’t overreach or twist your shoulder, arm, or wrist when clicking. 3. BE CHOOSY WITH YOUR CHAIR Pick one that allows your lower back to rest against a lumbar support. Then tilt the back of the chair so it’s very slightly reclined. 4. BREATHE FROM YOUR BELLY On each inhale, think about drawing your navel toward your spine; that engages the core muscles and supports the upper body. 5. SIT WITHIN REACH Your torso should be about an arm’s length away from the monitor, which should be 2 to 3 inches above eye level. 6. PLANT YOUR FEET Keep them flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart to quiet tension in your knees and ankles.

AUGUST 5, 2017 Registration Open NOW!

7. TAKE BREAKS Getting up at least once an hour—to go to the bathroom or just do some shoulder rolls—reduces pressure on spinal disks and boosts circulation. Payoff: you’ll be more limber and less stressed. 8. FIND THE RIGHT ANGLE Position your knees at 90 degrees, directly over your ankles; this will keep your spine comfortably upright. 9. STRETCH YOUR SHOULDERS Roll them back and down, and square them over your hips. Imagine that you’re balancing a plate on your head, and you don’t want it to fall off. 10. QUIT SQUINTING AND STRAINING This is especially common when you use a laptop as your primary computer—you need to lean forward to reach keys or see the screen. One way to solve the problem: attach a separate monitor and keyboard. 11. DON'T CROSS YOUR LEGS Sitting cross-legged makes it difficult to keep your spine straight and shoulders squared, and you risk overstretching the muscles around the pelvis, upping your risk of varicose veins by interrupting blood flow. So uncross and relax. 12. NO MORE PHONE CRADLING Pinning the phone between your shoulder and ear while you multitask is an instinctive move—and it’s murder on your neck. Use a headset or speakerphone for any conversation that lasts more than five minutes.

THE CANADIAN DEATH RACE The 125 km course begins and ends on a 4200 foot plateau, passes over 3 mountain summits, includes 17,000 feet of elevation change, and a river crossing at Hell's Gate canyon. Extreme athletes can take on this race as soloists, in teams of up to five, or can enter our new marathon category. Push yourself to the limit against the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. Finishing is the prize. And the bragging rights are priceless... YEGFITNESS



Reader Stories WAYS TO BE #YEGFIT

MARIE DEAN My partner and I both keep each other motivated throughout the week. I began this program called BBG or Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines in January 2017 and have since recruited a number of my friends and family and even clients to start this program too. I stayed motivated to complete this 12-week (three times per week, 28 minutes per day) program by submitting my progress picture (via text) after the workout to my two best friends in Germany, who were also doing the program. This kept us all motivated and accountable. Now each time I share this program with a friend I ask them to make a commitment to send me their progress photo after each workout. It has been working great for everyone! I have since completed three rounds of BBG since January and am on my 4th round now. I also keep motivated by running stairs the Glenora stairs every Tuesday. I have invited anyone who wishes to join us to come out too. It doesn't matter how warm or cold it is in YEG, we just show up! Our goal each week is to complete a minimum of 10 sets My partner and I also aim to go to YEG Cycle once per week. Generally Wednesday evenings at 7:45 pm. This place is amazing and the motivators just make the whole workout fun! The music is always the best! I also make sure to go for at least one run per week. So far, it's been outside, since it hasn't been too unbearable with the weather and it definitely makes me feel like a tough Canadian. But when I don't feel like getting cold, I put my tablet on my treadmill, put on an episode of Narcos and either walk briskly or run for the duration of the episode, killing two birds with one stone. JODY BREEN I've never been a person to go to the gym or work out at home. After I had my son I wasn't happy with my body, I decided to give pole fitness a try. I take classes Embrace Pole Art & Fitness, (I'm there four to five times a week) it has helped me love the way I look again! This studio is truly amazing. Not only the way it looks but the instructors are positive, enthusiastic, and push you just the right amount. I look forward to every class with every instructor, they are more excited than I am when I finally get something I've been struggling with! I cannot recommend this studio enough. If anyone is looking to try something different this would be the place to go!




TYLER GAMBLIN I have three main motivations, apart from just being healthy, for staying fit: 1. My first motivation is motivating others! I like to create opportunities where others can be involved. If it is for charity then that is a bonus. I like to challenge friends, peers and family to join me in my endeavours. Whether it be my MS Bike Ride Team (#teamrehab) who raised over $41,000 on last years rookie ride with over 50 individuals, or creating teams for Fun runs or trail races. These things push me to stay healthy, socialize and help others at the same time! 2. My second motivation and another reason I stay fit is motivation from others. Although I like to create opportunities for others, I also like to jump on board fitness trains. Yegfitness is the perfect example. My closest and favourite group are the Edmonton Trail Runners. Pop-up fitness is also a great opportunity to meet new people and connect. 3. My last motivation is my pup! She has to stay fit too! TRACIE FARRELL I get fit by joining November Project Canada every  Monday,  Wednesday, and  Friday, as well as running around our beautiful city and hitting the gym a few times a week. I do this because just a couple of years ago I was morbidly obese and chose to change my lifestyle so I could actually live life. I started out small, just walking, and eventually became a fitness addict! MEGHAN KISS My favourite way to get fit is simple. Running on trails for a really long time. My story begins three years ago when I was in school for physical therapy and on placement for six weeks up in Grande Cache.    It was my first time there and it wasn’t long before I was engulfed by the Canadian Death Race culture.    While there I volunteered for the 125 kilometer race. Despite witnessing many Death Racer” being unsuccessful at keeping food down, black or missing toenails,  heatstroke, muscle cramping, missing time cut-offs, and the list goes on, I couldn’t help but get excited and think it seemed like great fun. I decided I would attempt to do it solo the next year.   It was then that I learned that knowing you will have to run 125 kilometers with over 17,000 feet of elevation change in under 24 hours is a great motivator for making sure you keep your fitness on track. I registered in two 50 kilometer trail runs prior to Death Race to get my trail leg ready and fine-tune my nutrition. By the day of the big race, I felt ready and excited. I was smiling at 8:00 am when I started the race and all the way through until I finished at 4:30 pm. It was then that I fell in love not only with ultramarathons and trail running, but the thrill of pushing my body to the limit and then somehow finding a way to make my own two legs go further.   This year I am challenging myself with Sinister 7, my first 100-mile race.

1. IT'S SUNDAY MORNING. WHAT ARE YOU HAVING FOR BREAKFAST?  Smashed Avocado gluten free toast topped with fresh tomato, poached egg, sea salt + ground pepper. Pairs very nicely with a Mimosa, or two.   2. WHEN YOU'RE HEADED TO THE GYM, WHAT'S ON YOUR MUSIC PLAYLIST?  Backstreet Boys, JT, Bruno Mars + Dr. Dre   3. IF YOU COULD ATTEND ONE SPORTS EVENT THIS YEAR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?  Edmonton Oilers, Game 7, Stanley Cup Final.   4. WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT THE FITNESS SCENE IN YEG?  The quantity and quality of so many great, locally owned fitness facilities. This is such an awesome reflection of both the entrepreneurial and fitness spirit in YEG.   5. IF WE WERE BUYING, WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?  Pint of cold beer.  

6. WEIRDEST FITNESS ACTIVITY OR TREND YOU'VE EVER TRIED? One of those electric ab belts, the fad of the early 2000’s.   7. WHAT'S ON THE TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?  To touch my toes!   8. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO ON YOUR NEXT SUMMER VACATION?  California, for the whole summer     9. WHAT'S IN YOUR GYM BAG RIGHT NOW?  Headphones, gym shoes, heart rate monitor, lacrosse ball, lock and baby wipes.   10. WHAT WORDS DO YOU LIVE BY?  Follow your passion.





You Really LOVEPIZZA And GET Fit When we started to think about what we enjoy about pizza during the LOVEPIZZA planning phase, we realized that there were three integral parts to our products: freshness, simple ingredients and real ingredients. That combination makes way for our pizza to be a lighter, healthier option for pizza lovers. To start with, our dough is made in house every day with very simple recipes. Our whole wheat option is 100 per cent organic and direct from the Gold Forest Grain farms in Sturgeon County. The blend of flour is made especially for us with a combination of Red Fife and Park Wheat varieties. For those wanting to stray from the traditional dough made with Caputo 00 flour, this is a great option. If you require a gluten-free or gluten-friendly diet we also offer a gluten free crust, which has been a big hit with the gluten free community in Edmonton. Our sauces are all made from scratch in our kitchen daily and therefore are preservative free. Our cheeses are all fresh, high quality cheeses and not processed. Our meats are carefully chosen to reflect the rest of our ingredient line up. We are very proud to bring in Irvings farm-fresh bacon every week which we cook in house. In our minds this is the best bacon around and we love that it is local, family run farm. Our sausage comes from Spolumbos in Calgary, again a long-standing family run business with exceptional




products. Our chicken is all fresh, Albertan chicken that is also cooked in our kitchen. We have a love for pizza and always have, but when we started LOVEPIZZA we wanted to create a menu and a line up of ingredients that reflected our lifestyle. We are both former competitive athletes and continue to make the gym workouts and a healthy lifestyle a priority, while still enjoying the food we love. We often get comments that our pizza isn’t “heavy” or “greasy”. This is music to our ears. With the ingredients we have sourced we truly believe we can create a pizza that fits into an active lifestyle. Everybody needs a little LOVEPIZZA in their lives.   Here are a couple of options you can build to curb those pizza cravings!   Healthy Eating Pizza (Meat option): Gold Forest Grains, 100 per cent organic, whole wheat crust with roasted garlic spread, fior di latte, pesto-pulled Chicken, corn, roasted mushrooms, pecorino cheese, basil and honey drizzle.   Healthy Eating Pizza II (Veggie option): Gold forest grains, 100 per cent organic whole wheat crust, tangy tomato Sauce, fior de latte, roasted mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, roasted red pepper, fresh tomato, basil and balsamic reduction drizzle. BY BRAEDE HARRIS – LOVE PIZZA


FRUIT-FILLED PROTEIN-PACKED OVERNIGHT QUINOA & OATS If there ever was a breakfast that checked every nutritional box, this is it. The all-encompassing delicious, nutritious, filling, super easy Fruit-Filled Protein Packed Overnight Quinoa & Oats! This delightful breakfast bowl is a source of so many nutrients and is such a great way to start the day. Not to mention, it’s a huge time-saver because you simply prepare it the night before, then in the morning, sprinkle on the garnishes and you’re done! So what will you find in these overnight oats? Protein Fiber Healthy Omega Rich Fats  Vitamins A, C, and B Minerals like Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese  Antioxidants Love Oh yeah, I put love in all of my food... it’s kind of mandatory in the Kitch. I love how a simple mixture of whole food ingredients can create such a delicious plethora of nutrient goodness. These overnight oats are also unique because I’ve added in quinoa, natural plant-based protein powder, and almonds. These foods in particular bring in extra plant proteins and awesome minerals including calcium. I’ve always been keen on getting ample calcium to strengthen my bones as I’ve come to realize we may have a genetic disposition to bone density issues in my family. Just because I love overnight oats and think you should too, give these combinations a try by swapping out the fruit mix in this recipe for other combinations like… Apple & Cinnamon  for a little “apple pie” action.  Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Pie Spice for a little “pumpkin pie” maybe? Cocoa Powder & Banana to make it “chunky monkey” style and top with peanut butter. Mango & Coconut for some tropical flavors..yes please!  Carrot Puree, Raisins, Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Pineapple  to make it  just like good old carrot cake. Or,  Strawberries & Rhubarb  for  a sweet summer combo.

INSTRUCTIONS INGREDIENTS ¼ cup large flaked gluten free rolled oats ¼ cup cooked quinoa 2 tablespoons natural vanilla vegan protein powder (or you can use grass-fed whey if you prefer, but this is not dairy-free) ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk A few drops of liquid stevia or 1 tsp pure honey, maple syrup, or agave) ¼ banana, mashed 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed ¼ cup raspberries

In a medium bowl combine oats, quinoa, protein powder,

ground flax, cinnamon, and stevia and stir to combine. Add in mashed banana, berries, and peaches. Pour in almond milk, and mix ingredients together. Place in the fridge and leave overnight. In the morning, remove from the fridge, heat on the stove top or in the microwave, or enjoy cold! If you find the mixture is too thick in the morning just add in some extra almond milk! Get creative with toppings... add nut butter, nuts, seeds, more fruit, coconut, etc!

¼ cup blueberries ¼ cup diced peaches 1 tsp cinnamon

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Calories: 290 kcal Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 41g Sugar: 11g Fiber: 11g Protein: 19g

Optional Toppings: toasted coconut, almond butter, almonds, seeds, dried fruits, fresh fruits, etc.

Christal Sczebel is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner of Pure & Simple Nutrition located in Edmonton, Alberta. She is also an avid blogger at her little space on the web:




move like a

spartan trail running. mountain climbing. jumping. crawling. heavy pushing. heavy pulling. mud. blood. sweat. the best elements of fitness.

pushing your mental and physical limits. an amazingly fun and inclusive community. all wrapped up into one event. the obstacle course race (ocr) season is just around the corner and we want you to be ready. more than just avoiding injury, you want to prepare to crush those races!

most people will start their training with the common mobility activities: stretch out the hamstrings, some sort of shoulder stretch and maybe a quick calf stretch if they arrive to training early. the demand of an ocr is much higher than just a few muscles, if you want to really destroy the course you’ll have to put in some work on the less common muscle groups as well. check out our smash and stretch recommendations for 3 areas that are often overlooked. 780-455-5068


whether it’s carrying buckets of water up a hill, ripping up incline monkey bars or busting up a rope, gripping challenges are a big part any ocr and you want your forearms to be prepared. use a lacrosse ball to smash up both sides of your forearm and stretch out your wrists in each direction with your elbow straight.


traversing hills on trails is going to do a number on your glutes and hip flexors (amongst other things). using a lacrosse ball or a softball to smash it up and then the “couch stretch” and “pigeon stretch” to keep those tissues gliding nicely.

uneven ground the soles of your feet and the front of your shins can get very wound up when training and competing on uneven ground. so of course, you guessed it: lacrosse ball smash and give it a stretch!

these mobilizations are just the tip of the iceberg and if you are having any other specific problems contact us at optimize physiotherapy. happy racing!

mobilize • stabilize • optimize




Traditionally, in the beginning months of a new year, we set out to create and manifest our intentions, goals, hopes and dreams, to guide us on our journey.

GAIAM WATER BOTTLE 500 ML/ 17 OZ – Silver Wave and Purple Peacock Printed The Gaiam Water Bottle is cold for 24 hours, hot for 12 hours, double-walled, stainless steel with an easy-grip design. Non-toxic, BPA-free with a no-leak and vacuum seal this water bottle will keep all of your products dry with it’s non-sweat exterior.

The “beauty” of a yogi is the innate understanding of self care. It is about small changes, those small steps that guide us on a path of health & sustainability. Gaiam has carefully curated a collection of lifestyle accessories to embrace a life of overall well being to get you started on your new year journey. The Gaiam Yoga Duffle Bag ($34.99) is the perfect bag to take you from mat to street. This roomy bag offers an exterior pocket for easy immediate access, two built in water bottle pouches with a signature side pocket to secure your mat (holds up to a 5mm yoga mat). The inside mesh pocket provides a clear view to your valuables. Water is the foundation of health. Gaiam offers a beautiful, yet functional way to stay hydrated, with their peacock printed water bottle ($22.99). Made of stainless steel, this stylish bottle will keep your liquids cold for up to 24 hours or hot liquids for 12 hours.

GAIAM 4MM CLASSIC 2-COLOUR SOLID YOGA MATS Pink / Grey, Navy / Pink, Ocean / Sky, Open Sea, Green Storm and Black Citron Choose the color you’re in the mood for with these 2-Colour Yoga Mats. These mats have a stable non-slip surface, keeping you in place in any pose, and 3mm of cushioning to keep you comfortable. With a different color on either side, these mats are reversible, so you can choose which your in the mood for. Manufactured free of latex and the top six most harmful phthalates.

“Free spirits" love to travel, so why not consider the Gaiam mini travel muscle roller ($19.99) - small in size, yet big on relief. This compact roller is perfect for “on the go.” It offers a deep massage, along with long term durability. Companion exercise guide included. Continue to be “limitless” in your movement, as you commute to your favourite yoga class with the “Easy – Cinch” Yoga Mat Sling ($14.99). Designed to keep your “hands free” and made of durable Nylon, along with dual D-rings to keep your mat secure. Available in bright colours to coordinate with your yoga wear. Downward dog in comfort with this Classic 2-Colour 4mm cushioned yoga mat ($21.99). It is a perfect choice for one who has environmental sensitivities, such as latex. The “sticky” surface allows for a non slip performance. Includes a yoga practice download.

MINI MUSCLE ROLLER The firm, wavy texture of the Gaiam Restore Mini Muscle Roller provides the ultimate muscle stimulation and deep tissue relief. The versatile design of the roller allows for use on multiple areas of the body. Its small size makes it great for on-the-go use and the hard inner core helps it maintain shape for long-term durability. Guide included.

My intention is that this list of yoga essentials provides you tools for ease and affordability, in your daily practice of movement, mindfulness and meditation. NAMASTE. Products available at

GAIAM DUFFLE BAG – HEATHER GREY / LIME GREEN Whether you're traveling to the studio or taking your practice on the road, Gaiam's Duffle Bag will be your new companion that fits it all. This compact bag features eight pockets, two water bottle pouches, a spacious main compartment with two inner pockets and a secure yoga mat holder in the front.

GAIAM EASY-CINCH YOGA MAT SLINGS Purple and Blue Constructed from durable polyester-fabric with metal D-ring sliders, the sling slips over the rolled ends of the mat, holding it snug and secure. Ideal for the “yoga commuter.” Dimensions: 1.25"W x 72"L (3.18cm x 183cm). Materials: 100% polyester. Care: Hand wash, dry flat.




1. 6. 4. // GEAR

The No-Fuss Guide to Looking Great at the Gym



11 Easy Workout Items That No Guy Should Be Without. We’re a few months into the new year and for a lot of guys, that means getting back into the groove and falling into a workout routine. Here's your foolproof guide to looking your best when you're blasting your core. Or just going for a jog. Either way, we've got you covered. 1. A GOOD HOODIE Call us old fashioned, but you don't necessarily need a technical warm-up jacket to go to the gym. In fact, this classic pullover hoodie suits us just fine. It looks great and lasts forever. 2. A STYLISH T-SHIRT This T-shirt is the perfect intersection of function and style. Sure, you could wear that ratty old college tee. But why not go with something that keeps you both feeling and looking cool? 3. A FITNESS TRACKER Measuring your heart rate and keeping track of calories burned is a lot easier when someone—or something—else is doing it for you, which is exactly why some smart people invented the FitBit in the first place. Go for sleek, understated, black. 4. VERSATILE SHORTS Sure some people might prefer ultra-light mesh shorts, but to us, the rugged nylon construction, multiple mesh pockets, and water repellant treatment on these Myles shorts are unmatched. And, they come in both 8" and 10" versions so you can decide how much leg to show when you're doing squats. 5. MERINO WOOL WORKOUT SOCKS Merino wool is actually the perfect year-round workout material. At its lightest, it's as soft and cool as cotton while naturally absorbing moisture. It also resists odor, and shields your feet from blisters. Perfect. 6. TECHNICAL SHOES Unless you're hitting city streets or pounding the track, you don't need a running shoe to work out in. In fact, a woven, technical basketball shoe will be lighter, more sophisticated and provide superior support for lifting weights and hitting the exercise bike. As a stylish bonus, these Nike KD9 iDs are customizable.

2. 8.

7. A LONG-SLEEVE T-SHIRT Sometimes you need a little extra coverage (especially in the colder months). Invest in an updated classic with this heather gray, V-neck longsleeve tee.

5. 9.

8. TAILORED SWEATS Right now, tailored track pants are as important on men's runways as they are in the weight room. Spruce up your workout style with these slim sweats from cult athletic brand Outdoor Voices. And feel free to wear them for your non-athletic weekend adventures as well. 9. SHOWER SHOES Public showers call for shower slides, and these classics from Adidas look so good you might want to wear them home with socks after working out.





PRICE $150- INCLUDES TWO SESSIONS. 30 MINUTE CONSULTATION : Your coach will gather baseline information about your lifestyle, personality, and preferences.

1 HOUR NUTRITION MEAL PLAN & EDUCATION SESSION: Receive a tailored nutrition plan, and learn how to navigate nutrition labels.

Follow up sessions are determined by you & your coach. Each additional session is $50.



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n June of 2015 my employer offered to send me to the World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver. The opportunity of a lifetime for this Mohs histotechnologist and single parent of four boys. I had to work Friday morning and be back at work the following Monday, with my colleagues arriving Wednesday. It was a total of 10 days, five solo and five with co-workers. Time to maximize opportunities! I left work Friday at noon with an audiobook, coffee and a 12-hour drive. I arrived around midnight, jacked up on caffeine and knowing that I had to be on-site for the Spartan Sprint to volunteer at 6 am before racing with my seasons pass. I spent most of the morning shouting out instructions on how to apply tattoo race numbers (this apparently stops being intuitive after elementary school). By the time I ran, it was insanely hot for a mountaintop (Vancouver was in a heat wave and had one of its longest periods without precipitation while I was there). The course was full of rocky terrain and typical Spartan elements: mud crawls, rope climbs and burpees galore. After my race I helped to disassemble the staging area and eventually drove out to UBC, exhausted. The next morning, I rose early for a MEC 10 kilometer race in Richmond. I was there for the view, and it delivered. The sea-level trail was stunning and appreciated after running atop a mountain the day prior. I used the ocean to ice bath my calves after stretching on the beach, changed and came across the massive Steveston farmer’s market a few blocks away. I discovered the famous Pajo’s Fish and Chips on the wharf, bought some organic fruit and perused almost every shop! Monday morning came quickly. I grabbed a coffee, hopped on a bus from UBC and made it to the convention. I went to sessions on Botox applications, dermatopathology, a Brazilian charitable kids dermatology camp, allergens, and so much more. Between lectures were trips to the exhibit hall, samples, new lasers and demos! My brain was happy. I walked daily to the edge of downtown before hopping on my bus, once accidentally meandering onto the set of the X-Files! As a former X-Phile, this was exciting! I ran nightly from Jericho Beac, and spent my sunsets reading a book in the sand. My body and soul were happy too! 20



Once my co-workers arrived I moved to a hotel downtown and running was now done in the morning before lectures. A Vancouver visit isn’t complete without running the Stanley Park seawall. I got a little lost, but it allowed the discovery of the interior trails where wild raspberries provided an in-run nutrition boost! A coworker and I opted for a kayak rental Saturday and paddled False Creek. What luck! It was Boat for Hope day, for the children’s charity Variety! Boatloads of special needs pirate children and their adult buccaneers were armed with water guns that would pass us and take aim. Their giggles melted our hearts! As we perused Granville Island afterwards, we were further surprised by the Naked Bike Ride! Aiming to bring notice to human-powered transportation, safe street and positive body image movements, hundreds of cyclists rode past as we took notice of their bare backsides. Sunday morning came quickly. My kayaking co-worker and I nervously made our way to Ambleside Park in North Vancouver. Two days prior we had been on a catamaran cruise sipping champagne and looking up at the mountain we were about to conquer with 4100 feet of constant elevation gain. A fellow runner started chatting with us and gasped when we said we’d never done the Grind before. Pre-race jitters increased tenfold, and rightly so: this run was hard. “16 kilometres of bragging rights and a challenge guaranteed to leave you breathless”, the website had honestly proclaimed. Starting on the beach, we wound up along the Capilano Pacific Trail for 10 kilometers to the base of the Grouse Grind, up the almost 3000 steps of nature’s stairmaster, then another 3 kilometres up to Grouse Mountain’s peak and finish line. The heat was intense, and muscle cramps started after I emerged from the Grind and continued the ascent to the peak. The stunning panoramas and cause (this was a breast cancer research fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation) carried me forward. Once finished, I took the gondola down, raced to my hotel for a quick shower and checked out. Then the real craziness began! With another 12-hour drive ahead, I used my tennis ball to work my quads and hamstrings as I drove. It was uncomfortable, but I made it. The real lesson of those 10 days: there is always something to explore and discover. Just look, go out and do it!

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MAY 13 & 14 2017



Put Your Weight To Work Though often underrated, some of the best exercises are performed using nothing more than our own bodyweight. Many of you reading this may not have access to a full commercial gym. Or if you do you might just struggle to find the time in your busy life to make it there on a regular basis. This is no reason to prevent you from getting in a solid workout within your time and equipment constraints. We want to take you through an entire workout focused on taking advantage of the one piece of equipment you will never be without – your own body! Below we go over six different exercises including a progression and a regression for each. These variations are designed to increase and decrease the difficulty of the movements, respectively.


Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Press through your heels and extend your hips. Holding this position, straighten one leg and hold for one count. Return to the start and repeat on opposite side. This exercise primarily targets and strengthens the glutes, with a secondary effect on our core muscles and hamstrings. An easier version would keep both feet planted while raising the hips up and down (removing the “marching” movement), making sure you squeeze your glutes each rep. A more challenging version would require you to elevate your back on a bench or performing it using only one leg at a time. Perform 8 to 12 repetitions on each side.

If you are just starting out we encourage you to try performing each exercise on its own, resting one to two minutes in-between each set before advancing to the next exercise (try doing 3 sets of each). If you want to make this more challenging and really ramp up your heart rate, try combining these exercises into a circuit by performing one after another until you complete all six exercises before resting for two minutes. This circuit can be done as many times through as you want, but we suggest aiming for three to four rounds.


Push-ups are often forgotten about but they will always remain one of the most effective bodyweight exercises for your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Think about making the shape of an arrow instead of the shape of a T with your arms to keep your shoulders healthy. This can be made easier by doing fewer repetitions, doing them on an incline or from your knees. Increase the difficulty by increasing your repetitions or adding pauses in the bottom position.


Start in the quadruped position (on your hands and knees) and extend your opposite arm and leg. Hold this position for one to two seconds (or until you become motionless), and return to the starting position.

Perform 12 to 15 repetitions.

Strengthening our core and waking up our glutes from their coma can not only improve low back pain. It can improve posture, reduce chance of injury and benefit almost every movement we perform in and out of the gym. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions per side. BY LANDON POBURAN L2 FITNESS – PHOTOS BY JEFF KELLY





The inchworm or walkout is going to target your shoulders and upper back muscles. Start in a standing position, reach for the floor (bending your knees if you have to) and walk your hands out until you are in a plank position. From there walk your hands back in towards your feet and stand up to the start position. Perform this movement from your knees for an easier variation, or try adding in a push-up from the plank position to make it more difficult. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions.


Split squats are an amazing way to target your lower body. We will primarily feel this in our quads as well as our glutes. Stagger your feet and focus on lowering your back knee towards the floor. When you are in the lunge position both knees should be bent at about 90 degrees. If they are not, you might need to lengthen or shorten your stride. You can alternate legs to make this easier, or elevate your back (or front) leg to make it more challenging. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions per side.


To finish off our workout we are going to get our heart rate elevated a little! Bring on the bear burpees. They aren’t easy but many actually like them better than traditional burpees. They have the added bonus of core and quad work! Place both hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, and jump or walk both feet back into a plank position with knees bent just underneath your hips (as opposed to straight out from your body in a regular plank position). For an added challenge, perform two  shoulders taps (opposite hand to shoulder) without moving or swaying your hips, keeping your glutes and shoulders in one straight table top position. Then, jump or walk both feet back in towards your hands, and perform a jump, reaching your hands to the ceiling to finish the burpee. Repeat. These can be done more easily by performing a traditional burpee which don’t tax the quads as much, or by performing a jumping jack instead. Another way to modify this exercise is to walk the feet in and out as outlined above. Do you really want to make your burpees more difficult? Perform 10 to 12 repetitions.

April 27-30, 2017

Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, BC.

Sparkling Hill Spring Renewal Retreat with Geha Gonthier, BA, ERYT-500, RAc

Recharge body, mind, and soul in a place where luxurious elegance marries the raw beauty of nature. Price includes: • morning yoga session • afternoon wellness session • daily European style breakfast buffet • daily 2-course dinner at PeakFine Restaurant • access to 7 unique steams & saunas • $50 KurSpa credit per person

Single Occupancy $990 per person early bird price (before March 1st) $1090 per person (as of March 1st) Double Occupancy $800 per person early bird price (before March 1st) $900 per person (as of March 1st) A $100 non-refundable deposit is required to register before April 1st. After April 1st full payment will be required to register.




KINSMEN TRIATHLON CLUB (KTC) There are two training components included in the Kinsmen Triathlon Club Membership: Dryland Training: Bike and run. Registered participants are welcome to attend any of the early morning and evening dryland training sessions during the registration period. Swim Training: There will be a dedicated swim training session for the KTC on Mondays from 8-9pm. This session is open to all participants registered in the morning and evening sessions. Additional drop-in swim training classes are available. Equipment: Participants are required to bring their own bicycle. Helmets are mandatory for outdoor riding. Bike trainers are provided for indoor riding. Bicycles can be stored at users' own risk in the KTC cage. Meeting points: Indoor training meets at the KTC cage in the Kinsmen Fieldhouse. Outdoor training, as weather permits, meets on the stairs of the Kinsmen main entrance. Perks: Registration includes access to all available training sessions plus an ‘All Facility’ membership which provides access to drop in programs and admission to all recreation and leisure centres.

To learn more about the Kinsmen Triathlon Training Club, visit

The sport of triathlon has often been considered a bizarre form of self-torture engaged in by endurance junkies who have gone over the bend. Today the sport is becoming more mainstream where each year, thousands of everyday men and women – and even boys and girls – participate in their first triathlon in search of fitness and a rewarding challenge. Nevertheless, the sport remains rather intimidating for beginners. It is complex, and the learning curve is steep for first-timers. We sat down with a group of local triathletes to see what they think about the sport and how their training differs from that of athletes in other sports with the hope of providing a boost along this curve for those of you considering your first triathlon.

Erwan Chizat Saint-Lager (The Vet) During my youth, I was quite active. I used to run from time to time and ride my bike up the hills around my house back in France. I moved to Edmonton three years ago and started riding and running in the beautiful River Valley. In November 2014, I had a spontaneous hemopneumothorax that reminded me that we have to live every second of our life to the best. So I thought I was ready for a new challenge. To me, triathlon always seemed an inaccessible sport. My two coaches (Kris and Annett) and the other members in the program made it possible for me by being very welcoming, and by pushing me even though my lungs felt like they never worked out!

Our swim coach took the time to get to know what my abilities were (or lack of) and how to push me to become a better swimmer. His workouts were for everyone, but as he was aware of what I was able to do (or not do), he tailored them to my ability. If I was not able to do a workout, he just had me do the best that I could, as he did this for all his swimmers. His personal attentiveness made me a better swimmer. As I became a better swimmer, my endurance grew and my confidence in my swimming ability increased. With his support and that of my fellow swimmers, I entered my first triathlon – the Coronation Triathlon - in the pool that I fell in love with! Doing a triathlon is hard but anyone can do it. Like anything new, it takes practice and the end result is very rewarding. You don't need all the fancy stuff to do it. I did my first triathlon with my mountain bike. If you have ever wanted to do a triathlon, just do it! Don't feel intimidated. It doesn't matter what shape or size you are, if you have the desire to do it, you can.

Annett Kamenz (The Coach) Most triathletes train to actually get ready for a race and to do so, their training needs to be periodized, starting with some base work, and moving from there into more and more race-specific efforts. That is no different than many other sports where athletes have a performance goal. The difference is that triathletes have to prepare for three different sports: swimming, biking and running.

I generally train six or seven days per week. I start Monday evenings with a one-hour swim class with the Kinsmen Triathlon Program where we combine techniques, drills and distance workouts. Tuesday nights are usually bike oriented training. Typically it’s one and one-half hours spinning on the bike trainers (in the winter) or riding in the River Valley parks and hills (in the summer) and the last half hour is mainly core exercises. On Wednesdays, I usually do weights and core by myself. Then Thursday is a run focus and core exercise for the last half hour.

Newcomers often have experience in at least one of the three sports, so some athletic background is common with new triathletes. But, even if one never swam, biked or ran before, anyone really with a desire to do so can get into the sport. Beginners should start slowly in terms of their training volume and intensity and gradually build up in both areas. One common guideline is that training volume shouldn't increase more than 10% from one week to another. Rest and recovery periods for the body to adjust are definitely required for any triathlete.

For my weekend training, I usually start Saturdays mornings with a long swim or bike (alternating short biking and running workouts for two hours) with the group. And finally on Sunday I will either go for a long slow run or a long bike ride.

When starting, it is probably best to focus on the disciplines that need the most work. For example: if a swimmer enters the sport and has limited time to train, he or she could dial back swimming and focus on biking and running. Having variety in training in terms of which energy system to tackle is key—you can't always go out hard, and always going at a comfortable pace won't make you faster either. It is always a good idea to consult with or find a coach to help with your first race preparations.

Urmela Scarlett (The Rookie) Nine years ago, I had just had my second child. While I was pregnant, I gained a lot of weight and developed gestational diabetes (I weighed over 230 lbs). Because I was still quite overweight (weighing about 200 lbs) after I had him, I didn't like the way I looked or felt (I was constantly tired). I knew I had to lose weight to make myself feel better. I went to my local City of Edmonton facility where I saw a swim group being coached by this man with a very dynamic personality. I asked a lifeguard about the swimmers and he told me that it was a drop-in swim training group that offered free coaching. Most of the swimmers were athletic looking - fit and lean, and here I was... an overweight and out-of-shape non-swimmer. I can tell you that I was feeling pretty scared! There were nights after I finished, that I could barely lift my arms. It was so exhausting and difficult! But, I always felt good so I continued to go to the classes.

The City's triathlon program is open to athletes aged 16 and older and welcomes all abilities and experience levels. The coaches are experienced, former or current elite-level racers, and certified triathlon coaches. The group environment is very encouraging, and spring is a great time to start as nobody gets left behind indoors. During the summer, we ensure to keep everyone together, while at the same time making sure all athletes get a workout according to their level. The group is very social and often times connect outside of our regular training times to meet up for another workout or a social get together. Another big advantage is that participants of the Kinsmen Triathlon Club receive an all-facility membership to the City's recreation centres when they register for the program.

Are you itching to get back in the saddle this spring? Before you do, make sure your bike  is safe to take back out on the road. If your wheels had an easy winter, you might be able to get away with an at-home bike check instead of taking it in for a tune-up at the bike shop. If your bike’s not in bad shape, roll up your sleeves. The team from Revolution Cycle walked us through the basic bike maintenance checkpoints for tires, brakes, and chains.

BASIC BIKE MAINTENANCE CHECKPOINTS 1. TIRES Look to see if your tires are worn down or bald, indicating that they have no treads left. Make sure the sides of your tires are not fraying, and that there are no slits or holes in them. Replace your tires if you see these problems. Assess the air. Squeeze the tires; they should feel fully inflated. If they’re squishy, use a pump and a gauge to inflate tires to their recommended pressure (the number that you see next to “PSI” on the side of the tire). DO NOT EXCEED RECOMMENDED PSI. 2. BRAKES Brake Pads: For V-Brakes, spin both wheels forward and make sure your tire rims don’t rub on the brake pads. Squeeze the brake levers and check that the brake pads make full contact with the rim. When you release the lever, if one side of the brake rubs against the rim, your brakes need to be adjusted. Pads shouldn’t touch the tire or dive into the spokes. When brake pads have less than a quarter-inch of rubber left, replace them.

For Disc Brakes, spin both wheels and listen for an audible rubbing of the brake pads against the brake rotor. If there is a significant amount of rubbing, your wheel may not be centered in the drop outs, or the caliper has been misaligned. If you need help re-aligning, do not hesitate to bring it into Revolution’s service center. Brake Levers: Squeeze each brake lever—there should be more than an inch of space between the brake lever and the handlebar when you squeeze. If your brake levers touch your grips, your brakes need to be adjusted. When you release the levers, both sides of the brake should return equally. 3. CHAIN Check the chain to see if it’s loose/sagging, has noticeable amounts of rust, and/or has stiff links throughout. If any of these issues are evident, hit the bike shop and they will be able to tell you if it’s an easy fix, or if you need a new chain and cassette. Lubricate the chain once every 150 km or every five to ten bike rides. How to do it: Clean the chain with a rag, and then apply a lube that contains Teflon. Don’t use WD-40—it’s not made for bikes. Make sure to remove excess lube by grasping the chain with a clean rag as you move the chain through your fingers/rag. Need to dive deeper with your bike maintenance? Sign up for the Bicycle Maintenance Course at Revolution Cycle running every second Saturday. The course will go over all the fundamentals of doing a Minor Tune up on your bike. After the seminar, you will have the confidence to do most of the work that your bike will ever require. Details and schedule are on their website.

NEW TO REVOLUTION CYCLE Our customer lounge area will include a coffee bar, billiards games (pool, foosball, darts, snooker, and ping pong), as well as a "bicycle museum." Spin classes are open to the public on Thursday evenings from 6-8, and on Saturday mornings from 9-11 with a full schedule coming this spring.






I feel like I ask myself "why?" every time I walk into a spin class. But by the time I walk out, I always know why. I’ve heard absolutely every reason for why people don’t spin or don’t like to spin. Getting to a spin class is sometimes as much pushing yourself out of your comfort zone as the actual class is. I have been to every kind of spin class you can think of. In gyms, city recreation centers, and all different boutique spin studios. The thing about spin, is you absolutely have to find what you like. You can go to a class at one location and hate it, but try another and totally love it. You can also go to two classes at the same location with two different instructors and have a completely different experience. Almost anyone can spin, the trick is finding what you love. Some people just want to ride, others like the idea of incorporating full body components. Whether it’s for a few songs or half the class. With all the different types of classes out there, there is definitely something for everyone. During the summer months it is easy to understand that people who love to ride would prefer to be outside, but not so much in the winter months. Which let’s be honest, is most of the year in this city. Not everyone is brave enough to continue to play outdoors, which means if you still want to ride you have to head indoors. Indoors means either you park your bike on a trainer or go to spin. If you are anything like me, I need someone or something inspiring me to really push my ride. Outside it’s the destination, but inside with no destination in sight, I need a different way to inspire my escape. Although no two studios, gyms and rec centers are the same, you can bet that you will find an instructor/leader/ motivator, whatever you want to call them in front of you. The right person in front of you can absolutely change your ride. There will also be music and other people around you. It’s trying out all the different spin classes that will let you find your groove. I don’t know about you, but I get very excited when my favourite song comes on the radio and there is no better feeling than when you are dying on a bike and that same song comes on! You can instantly go from struggling, to dancing on the bike as soon as you hear that first familiar beat. When you go to spin, it is first and foremost your workout, but the room is full of other people riding with you. You ride together but it’s up to you how hard you work. Its whether you turn it up when the instructor says or just pretend to. No one is judging you! No one knows but you. Whatever the day you had, if you push yourself, you can be sure you will leave everything on the bike. Whether angry, sad or happy, the bike can take the wrath, sweat can mask tears, and positivity will never be lost in the room. You can easily get lost in the music, get lost in the energy of the person leading you and the people around you. Spin can create a whirlwind of emotions in you, but luckily the pedals are there to keep you grounded. Spin will challenge your body and your mind. It is your choice whether you back down or not. It is your choice to keep your legs moving and keep breathing, even when your mind is screaming at you that you can’t do it any longer. Spin is as easy or as hard as you make it, but there is no better feeling than walking out of a spin class knowing that you gave it everything you had.




Feeding Young Bodies And Their Minds BY JESSY NERVAL,

Co-Founder & Director, Seva Food Truck


itness is about more than physique. Fitness entails good physical, mental, social, and spiritual health. That’s what Seva Food Truck is all about. Seva Food Truck (SFT) started out in February of 2014 as a meal program for Spruce Avenue School in Edmonton’s inner city. The goal was to supplement an existing meal program funded by E4C, which had undergone cutbacks, reducing the school’s capacity to feed their children. Instead of serving breakfast and lunch daily, the school could now only serve breakfast daily, which left many children from low-income backgrounds hungry past noon. Obviously, a child cannot do well in school on an empty stomach. The SFT Team considered this a great opportunity to mobilize, and after a few consultation meetings with the school faculty and MLA David Eggen, the program was put in place. On the first day of the program, the team delivered a fresh pizza lunch to approximately 250 children. It was a very positive, heartwarming occasion, that both the students and the volunteers enjoyed quite dearly. But the team felt that this wasn’t enough. They felt that their impact was lacking depth. They were providing food but what more did they have to offer? After some deliberation, the team decided to break down the barriers. At the next lunch, instead of simply serving food, the team set up approximately 30 tables in the gym, at which seven to eight children plus one to two volunteers would sit to share meals. This brought forth a much higher sense of community. Conversations were had,

friendships were made, they played sports, and it was at this point that the team felt they were onto something truly valuable. In the next year, the program went from monthly to weekly, all thanks to the support of the greater community. And in the following year, the program expanded to Calder School and John D Bracco School. The team ran a weekly rotation of the three schools. Things were going phenomenally well, but, once again, the team took a step back and considered opportunities to further improve the impact of the program. It was at this point that SFT went from a lunch program to a free-of-charge, extracurricular program for the children. The team now spends more time with the children (two hours instead of 30 minutes), and they make the most out of this extra time by not only sharing in a meal with the kids but by also facilitating carefully planned workshops, focused on community, expression, fitness and love. The workshops include painting, poetry, martial arts, dance, baking and sports, and are lead by some of Edmonton’s most talented individuals. Seva Food Truck is a completely volunteer-based initiative and is powered by the goodwill of the greater community. All funding goes directly to the program and related activities. Seva Food Truck is a registered charity. To learn more about the initiative, you can visit us online at

Program Step-by-Step Goals 1. Players will complete pre and post assessments (fitness and movement)

Comprehensive Off-Season Strength & Conditioning Training for Hockey Today’s young hockey players play more hockey than they ever have. As a result, these young players are not getting the same level of athletic exposure necessary to maximize their physical and cognitive development. It is crucial for single sport athletes to broaden their movement pattern exposure with targeted emphasis on underused muscles and neuromuscular pathways. The objective of our Comprehensive Off-Season Strength & Conditioning Training program is to increase movement quality, coordination, and symmetry in the young hockey player. This is an important foundation to build in order to decrease injury and maximize their sport performance level in both the short and long term. Today’s young hockey players play more hockey than they ever have. As a result, these young players are not getting the same level of athletic exposure necessary to maximize their physical and cognitive development. It is crucial for single sport athletes to broaden their movement pattern exposure with targeted emphasis on underused muscles and neuromuscular pathways. The objective of our Comprehensive Off-Season Strength & Conditioning Training program is to increase movement quality, coordination, and symmetry in the young hockey player. This is an important foundation to build in order to decrease injury and maximize their sport performance level in both the short and long term.




2. Assessment reports with summaries will be provided to the players. 3. Improve Range of Motion necessary for increasing movement quality and coordination. 4. Increase Static Mobility and Stability using Body Weight. 5. Increase Dynamic Mobility and Stability using Body Weight. 6. Increase Strength and Power through body weight movements. 7. Increase Strength and Power through the addition of load bearing movements. 8. Increase rate of force development (power – the critical component of speed) through properly progressed plyometric training.

16 week, 8 week options and one, two and four day/week training options available TO REGISTER VISIT:

One of the most attractive qualities about OCR is that it takes part in the great outdoors amongst the fresh air and sunshine (most days). There are no walls or boundaries, and with that in mind there should be none when you train either. Meaning, you should train outside! So how do I get ready for an OCR event? After a few Google searches and YouTube videos, it's pretty straight forward on what you can expect to run in to on the course. OCR has a few fundamental movements you can focus on. These moves consist of lifting heavy objects, carrying said objects from point A to point B. Climbing on, under and over structures such as walls and cargo nets, grip strength for using your upper body and of course running on trails, through water and up and down hills. Hopefully watching those videos won’t psych you out from considering an OCR event. 


Remove The Walls of Your Gym


bstacle Course Racing (OCR) has been around for more than five years now. It is considered the fastest growing sport in modern age. If you're debating on signing up and taking on an event that in some instances is marketed as the toughest challenge out there, you may be wondering where to start or how to train for it. The answer to these questions are simple and can be found outside your back door. All the tools you need to prepare for an OCR are built within nature and within your city's trails, river valley, parks, and suburbs.

With those fundamental moves in mind, you can look at the great outdoors  in an entirely different perspective. Put your creative juices in to action and  began exploring the city; transform the great outdoors in to your great big gym. Think of it as the adult version of your favourite schoolyard  playground. Picture this  on a walk along the trails behind your home, you find a fallen log or boulder. These objects instantly transform in to tools to build functional strength and endurance. They could be used for carrying up hills, or weighted hikes. They could become your new  dumbbells for building strength in your back, arms, shoulders and legs. You decide to ditch the heavy weight and continue up the trail a little further. At some point you may come across a retaining wall, a fence or a strong tree. This may seem awkward or silly at first, but these are the perfect tools for building your climbing abilities, calling on

all types of functional strength in your legs, back, arms and hands. Since you live within the city you likely will pass by a playground or two on your journey. Jackpot! You just found the right avenue to work on grip strength and test your ability to get through tough obstacles like monkey bars, the slippery wall (think running up a slide) and simply running through mud or sand. When it’s all said and done, keeping these fundamentals in mind will turn a pleasant run or walk along the city’s trails into a full-body workout that plays off your strengths and teaches you your weaknesses. This will prepare you for the the starting line of your next OCR. What you’ll find over time as you prepare for an OCR event is that the health benefits don’t come when you reach the goal of fighting your way through the mud and obstacles and across the finish line, but during your training journey. The benefit comes from the hours upon hours of going on adventures through the city’s vast trails. Taking in the sunshine and fresh air as you climb up hills and over miles of gravel paths. The moment when stones and trees that were once scenery have now became your tools to build strength and confidence. And at the end of the day it is the community of friends turned family you’ve met along the way who you passed on the trails weeknights after a stressful day at work, or the hand that gave you a boost over the eight foot wall you never imagined climbing over when you were muddy, wet and tired on course. The idea got you started and the journey is what helped you finish. So what if I'm not training towards an obstacle race? That's ok! The tools found in nature can be utilized to help you achieve any goal you set your mind to. Regardless of whether you're goals are to earn the summer body you've always fantasizes about having, trying to beat your own personal records, or improve upon your athletic performance, taking your workout outdoors is the answer. Here’s a secret that not many people talk about. When you're outside time has no meaning and you often don’t feel tired or exhausted. Your mind wanders and your focus shifts from how long do I need to work out to where will this adventure take me, and what can I do out here? YEGFITNESS




TO BUST A MOVE Rose Mueller, Kate Gallagher and Denis Dubord share their stories. PHOTOS BY VIVID RIBBON PHOTOGRAPHY


arch 20th, 2015, is a date that will never forget. I was at an out of town hockey tournament with my youngest son, Tyler. We had to be up very early so were off to bed early. He crashed pretty quickly while I watched TV for a bit then decided to go to sleep. As I lay back in bed, I put my left hand on my chest, not sure why, it’s not how I typically sleep but that’s when I first felt the lump on my right breast. After discovering this lump, a million things started running through my head.Needless to say, I had a hard time falling asleep. The next day, for obvious reasons, my mind was on overdrive. I was so very thankful I had a busy day with hockey to help occupy my mind. However, after that last game later that day, I had to travel back to Edmonton alone. My son was staying with his team and would be travelling home the next day with his dad. As I drove home I had a




million things on my mind and was completely terrified. I did my best to keep my calm and not let my mind wonder too much. On my hourlong drive home I felt the need to completely ex1plore my breasts as much as possible. Hopefully other drivers on the highway that day didn’t notice For the life of me I was not able to ever recall a time when I couldn’t wait for Monday to arrive. However, in this case, Monday could not come fast enough. As I sat in the doctor’s office I tried my best to keep my spirits up and be positive. It wasn’t easy. After my examination it was decided that I will need to undergo further testing. My heart and stomach sank. That was March 23rd, 2015. Now the wait for the scheduled appointments. On March 31st, 2015, I underwent a mammogram and an ultrasound. I don’t know why or how but it was

at that moment I knew that I had breast cancer. There was a deep, deep uneasy feeling in my stomach. I got home later that day and had to pack because my kids and I were going to Cuba in the morning for a good friend’s wedding. But I was terrified and distracted the whole time. My doctor called that evening as I was packing and we talked for a while and she said that this was probably a good distraction as the results will take about a week. She mentioned to take this time, enjoy my boys, our friends and have a great holiday. We would deal with things when I got back. Well, the trip was amazing, my boys and I had a great time and it was an excellent distraction. The next morning after dropping my boys off at school I checked my messages. I had an appointment for a biopsy. I felt like I was punched in the stomach and just wanted to cry. I was scared for my boys. I was also ter-

rified because my step mother had just passed of cancer six months prior to all of this happening. She was our rock, my boys’ grandma and in my mind, she was my mom in every way possible. Once again, I had to remind myself that there’s a chance that this can come back negative. On April 15th, I was at a dinner meeting in Fort McMurray and received a call from my doctor. I had asked her to call me at any time once she had confirmation. Much to my dismay, my suspicions were correct and I was diagnosed with cancer.My world sank and all I could think about was my boys and our lives. I’m a single mom and my relationship with their father isn’t the best. As I went back to the dinner table, I was somewhat happy it was a big group, lots of conversation and alcohol. Needless to say, by the time I got back to the condo, I was extremely grateful that one of my oldest and dearest friends was still

in Fort McMurray. I called her and she was there in a minute to pick me up. I stayed with her for a couple of days. Going home would have meant being alone as this week my boys were with their dad. That Friday, I went back to work and in my office I spoke to a nurse for over an hour about what would happen. I had so many questions. Once I was back in Edmonton I went straight to my doctor’s office. From there, it was appointment after appointment with Breast Surgery class. More doctor appointments and then meetings with the surgeon to talk about what type of surgery I would undergo. I was completely overwhelmed with information. Even though the nurse tried to prepare me there was no way of knowing until being in the situation and with the knowledge that this is all happening to me. In May I had my surgery, a lumpectomy. I was terrified that morning and I cried a lot.I was also very humbled that I had so much support from my dear friends with me that day. Then, on July 20th, 2015, I started chemotherapy, a treatment I would not wish on anyone. I was very fortunate and had a number of friends that were with me from day one of this process. I found it extremely helpful to try and be as active as possible while going through treatment. All through chemo and radiation, I continued to run and do the stairs in the river valley. I considered the river valley my temporary office. On November 30th, I finished my last day of radiation and was finally able to ring that bell. Once again, some amazing friends were with me and after I rang that bell, we all cried. It was a beautiful moment. I was in awe. I was done!

Meet Your New Chief-Bust-a-Mover! KATE GALLAGHER – Owner of KMG Events

Throughout my journey, I was very fortunate that my boys were so supportive. This was a hard process for them as well. I was grateful that we had hockey to keep us busy while I was going through treatment. My work was also amazing and supportive but it was hard for me to sit at home day after day. In December of 2015, I was finally able to return to work. I was so happy to return to the real world. While attending the many sessions and classes that are available through the Red Cross, I enrolled in a couple of studies mostly surrounding cancer patients and physical exercise. They were very interesting and allowed me to have a better idea of where I was physically. I also signed up to be a part of the Breast Friends Dragon Boat racing team, although I wasn’t able to compete due to my work schedule but I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet some amazing women. Today, I’ve been for my one-year check-up and am grateful that I’m healthy. I struggle with the tamoxifen and the other meds that I’m on because of the side effects: weight gain, hot flashes, dry mouth, and having short hair, but am super happy that I have my health back and have learned so much through this process. I’m very open about my journey and just ask that women pay attention to their bodies. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family as far as I know. And I’m a fairly healthy person, I work out and eat healthy but somehow I found myself with this terrible disease. However, I made it through. I am cancer free and am super happy to see my hair growing back!

Six years ago when Bust a Move was introduced to Edmonton, I knew this was an event that I wanted to get involved with to show my continued support of the battle against breast cancer. My girls (step-daughters) lost their mother to breast cancer at a very young age. The first year I was a participant, not really knowing what I was getting myself in to but I knew it was going to be a challenge. I convinced two of my closest friends to join me. six hours later I felt powerful and so honoured to be in that crowd of amazing people all working towards the same goal. In the second year, my daughters joined me. I know they were a little hesitant as six hours of exercise seems a little daunting to teenage girls. To make matters worse I made them wear grass skirts and lei’s for our “Hawaiian Theme” costume. I wanted my girls to feel the incredible support and energy that this event offers to breast cancer survivors and those touched by breast cancer. I wanted them to know that they weren’t alone in their loss and for them to see the amazing efforts the Alberta Cancer Foundation puts forth to create a future where five and seven year old girls don't have to lose their mother to this horrible disease. Being in the marketing and event industry for over twenty years, I was extremely impressed with the Bust a Move event and thought it would be such a privilege to work with BAM. In 2014 the Alberta Cancer Foundation brought on KMG Events to assist with the event logistics and management. Although

my role in this event changed from participant to event manager and I traded my grass skirt and lei for a headset and pink tool belt, my daughters and the rest of my Buxom Buddies kept the team going. I recall watching the crowd, my daughters and my Buxom Buddies team members towards the end of the event during the black light Zumba session thinking, “this moment, right now, all of the angels who lost their battle with breast cancer are looking down on us, not only making fun of us for pretending that we can Zumba but also cheering. They were saying, “now this is the way we want to be remembered, this is the way we want to continue the fight that we weren’t able to finish”. After the fifth annual BAM in 2016 the Alberta Cancer Foundation approached me and asked if KMG Events wanted to completely take over all of the event management aspects of Bust a Move. It is a big event and KMG Events does over twenty fundraising events a year. I was somewhat reluctant at first but just as I was about to make my decision, I got a call from Mom saying she was just diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer. This was the sign that I needed to make my decision. The sixth year of Bust A Move will be the best year yet! Each year the event gets bigger and bustier with new exciting sessions and partners as well as the continued support of incredible participants. My goal this year will be to have that moment again where those angels will say “You go girls (and guys), make us proud and make us laugh!

The PCL Chesticles


My personal journey with Bust a Move began in fall of 2008 when my wife, Brenda, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The initial shock of this news was overwhelming. When she told me, my mind raced as I tried to process the information. I started thinking of all the logistics involved with getting her the proper treatment and what changes we needed to make to ensure she could get it: we were living in Fort McMurray at the time and Brenda was taking care of her aging father. How would we get her the treatment she needed? How long would the treatment cycle be? What would the outcome of the treatments be? And who would look after her father during her absence? Calmly, Brenda explained to me that she had a plan. She had thought about all these things I mentioned and how it would all work out. Thankfully, she was right and it did. While she was undergoing treatments at the Cross Cancer Institute, Brenda lived in Edmonton and I stayed in Fort McMurray. We commuted back and forth on the weekends to be together and when she had completed her treatments, we resumed our lives in Fort McMurray. I’m so happy to say that to this date, she remains cancer free. Fast forward to 2012, the inaugural Bust a Move year, and the formation of the PCL Chesticles. A co-worker of mine, Betty Samson, was the driving force behind our first team. Her daughter was working as a nurse at the Cross Cancer Institute at the time, and as soon as Betty started spreading the word about the event, we started forming our first team.

Five Off The Wall Ideas for Family Fitness In YEG The new year is well underway and the kids are staring to get a little restless being trapped indoors. There are tons of traditional activities for the kids to burn off some of that pent up energy, but what if your kids are looking for something different? Here are our top five off the wall ideas for fitness fun this spring. WALL CLIMBING We often joke that the kids make us climb up the walls. It’s only fair for them to get a chance to climb the walls too! A course that teaches the basics is just the ticket. Rock Jungle Fitness offers programs for five to seventeen-year-olds in their Cubs, Jaguars and Tigers classes. The Cubs program designed for five to eight-year-olds builds fundamental climbing skills through fun games and activities. Jaguars is the introductory program and runs once a week for nine




to eighteen-year-olds focusing on the basics of climbing. Tigers is the developmental program and runs twice a week. Athletes in the Tigers program will refine the skills learned in the Jaguars and Cubs program and start to learn and practice athletic training principles.   CITY RECREATION PROGRAMS The City of Edmonton offers a wide variety of programs for children under one year to twelve-years-old. All Children’s programs are trendy, theme-related and safe, but what matters most is if your kids enjoy them. So, most importantly, these classes are a ton of fun! Conveniently, all the fun takes place at their amazing sports centres, which offer a variety of exciting amenities for your child(ren) to enjoy and be entertained. Whether your child loves to move and be active or enjoys being more creative, or prefers a mix of both, the City has something that fits your child’s interests. JUNIOR ROLLER DERBY You don’t have to be a skater to join

The first year only five PCL employees were on the team, and we signed up only one month before the event. Betty was our captain and it was an all-out race to raise as much money as we could. All five of us had our own special reasons for participating and that’s what pushed us to do as much as we could in the limited time that we had. In addition to that Richard Simmons, was brought in to help raise awareness of the event, and the top fundraising team got to spend the lunch break with him. Now, who wouldn’t want to attend a lunch that King Richard was attending? So we tried our hardest and ended up raising the most money and getting to meet Richard Simmons. From there our story is simple. Our PCL team has been involved in each subsequent year and it has continued to grow in size. I’m very proud to say that for the 2017 event, we are currently at 32 participants! PCL is an employee-owned company and big supporter of the communities in which we live and work. Corporately we have supported the event each year as a sponsor and understand the importance giving back. Since the proceeds raised from this event remain in the Alberta capital region and help fund world-class breast cancer research, it is easy to get engaged and stay engaged in this event. Initially I got involved with Bust a Move to give back to the Cross Cancer Institute for the wonderful treatment and support my wife received during her procedures and treatments. Now we both give back to support all women and families that are going through the same experiences that we encountered with the hope that one day this disease will be cured.

the Greater Edmonton Junior Roller Derby  league. Beginners are invited to check out the co-ed league with light and full contact teams. Their mission is to empower youth and build their confidence so they can embrace their individualism in a fun, safe and respectful environment. Skaters need a mouth guard, helmet, good knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, and or course, roller skates. PARKOUR My son heads to the park in the summer and immediately goes to work climbing things, jumping over obstacles and doing things that would scare the crap out of any mother. What if you could get your kid doing some safe but cool parkour moves instead of sitting around passively watching YouTube videos about it? FlyFree Movement operates out of three locations in the capital region offering classes based on age, eight to ten, 11-15 and 16 years or older.  Classes are designed to ensure that students are safely challenged to try new things!

The only gear required is a good pair of indoor shoes and appropriate workout SURFING YEG may be a long way from the beach, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the benefits of riding the waves! Check out the Tsunami Club  on the Flow Rider indoor surf machine  at the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall. The park has drop-in hours on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Riders under 18 need parental permission and have to be 107 centimeters tall to bodyboard, and 122 centimeters to flowride. Prefer to stay dry while you get a board workout? Why not give the kid friendly classes at The Surf Studio a try? Kids of all ages are welcome to participate with their parents in the specially designated “kid-friendly” classes as they work on balance, core strength and building lean muscle mass. Come in comfortable workout wear, and be ready to feel muscles you didn’t know you had.

TRUE LIFE FITNESS True Apparel For Real Life True Life Fitness really started as a passion project. I went shopping for a pair of new leggings to a well-known store and came out completely disappointed with the selection and prices. I couldn’t get over that I was going to sweat in something that cost that much. I have always been a fitness fanatic, growing up playing sports through high school and college, entering different running races, bike trips and skiing as much as I could in the winter, so I practically lived in leggings and sweat shirts; but recently it seemed like the fitness industry was making clothing more for running errands on a Saturday instead of my early morning spin class. So, I just thought I attempt to make my own. How hard could it be to make cute, quality fitness apparel that you could still run in and didn’t have to cost a fortune?

I think a lot of business started exactly like this, with an idea in their head. Entrepreneurs are great at seeing a gap in the market and building a business to fulfill that need, but I wasn’t an entrepreneur. I wasn’t a clothing designer or an expert in fashion. I had a great full time job in medical sales, I was just completing my MBA and life was busy enough, so it really wasn’t the best time to start a business, but for some reason, I did any way. I started with sending patterns and fabric combinations to my designer, they would make me a sample in my size and I would wear it to a workout class and see how they held up. I remember wearing one of my first pairs to a barre class and one of the other girls at the studio commented on my leggings and asked where she could get them. I thought that was pretty cool but when

it started to happen every time I wore a pair, I started to think maybe I’m not the only one who is looking for something different. As I started making new pieces, I thought it might be unique to name them after inspirational women in my life and share their story on my site. Turns out, everyone else thought it was a pretty awesome idea too. Customers are always asking me about the “real” Blaire that is named after the Blaire leggings and I think it really allows a personal connection between the customer and the brand. I am so lucky to have so many amazing women in my life that I don’t think I will ever run out of names for my products!




When it came to creating a brand, I really wanted to create something that reflected some of my own values and beliefs but that could also resonate with other people. Since playing sports was a huge part of my childhood where I developed long lasting friendships and support that really helped me to gain the confidence and strength I needed growing up, I wanted other young girls to have that experience as well. I decided I would support an organization called Women Win which helps young women get involved in sports and fitness all around the world. We donate $2 from every purchase in a small effort to help create these positive experiences for girls who would not normally get that chance. I think my donations so far have been the best and most rewarding part of my small business. True Life Fitness will be celebrating their one-year anniversary this May and it’s exciting to see how much the business has grown in that time. I’ve been so lucky to have so much support locally as well as around the globe. It always seems surreal when I receive an order from Switzerland or Sydney, Australia because you never think your little brand is going to reach so many people. The best is when I see people wearing my clothing at the gym, I really try to hold in my excitement and not seem like the small business owner I am, but honestly, it’s such a great feeling and although I don’t exactly know what the future will bring for True Life; I do know that it will be constantly changing and full of all kinds of struggles and challenges that you never expected. But, so far it’s been an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next. BY JESSICA CLARKE



The Fit Brain BY ROBERT SCHWABENBAUER Co-Founder - Mental Rescue Society

Exercise may be the most effective way to deal with depression. It’s 9 a.m. on a cold Sunday morning in February 2016. My wife, Carrie, and I are heading out for our long run as we prepare for the Mammoth Lakes Half Marathon in California, that following June. Not only does it land on my 40th birthday but this particular year, the run happens to be on Father’s Day. Carrie and I decide to dedicate this run to our fathers, whom we both lost, and to a new chapter in my life. I have long understood the effects of exercise and my mood since I began running in my early 30s. I would hear running groups mentioning things like, “You can outrun your negative energy,” and, “when you cross the finish line you’ll be a new and happy person.” As I started to train for more and more races, I

FITNESS CAN BEGIN AT HOME BY MARY-HELEN CLARK Before starting at the University of Alberta, Qasim Ali was determined to make a lifestyle change. The engineering student had been overweight, but had dreams of modelling and someday starting a clothing line. He wanted to get into his best shape but felt too insecure to go to the gym. “To me, the gym was a place that all of the healthy and fit people went, and to be associated with people like that was something I could only dream of,” Ali says. Ali isn’t alone in this feeling. Many people often say that the idea of joining a gym when they are already overweight is intimidating. Sometimes, so intimidating that they give up on getting healthy all together. Ali opted to work out at home with DVDs he purchased from a bargain 42



realized it was true. With each day of training, my mood was slowly improving and I started to feel better as a person. I became more confident, positive, energetic, and just generally happier. Even when faced with challenges, I was able to tackle them with a clearer and more concise mind. There are countless books, papers, and articles written that prove exercise may be the safest, easiest, and cheapest way to treat depression. For myself though, I turn to personal experience. My father suffered from manic depression for nearly his entire life. He was on a cocktail of drugs to help treat his depression. Pumped full of lithium, through weekly psychiatry visits and countless blood tests, I watched his moods shift from take-on-the-world-happy to never-leave-thebedroom-depressed. There was one thing though, that always lifted his mood: a good walk in

the river valley. He would breathe in the fresh air, deeply. By the end of the walk his happiness seemed real, not drug induced. When Paul Semeniuk and I formed Mental Rescue Society a few years ago, we struggled with which direction to take when it comes to raising money for mental health awareness and initiatives. Both being active, we naturally started running races, climbing stairs for 24 hours, and riding bikes to raise funds. What we found is that being more active as a community has a positive impact on mental health and exercising with a group brings everyone together. Those who exercise as a group were generally happier. I would encourage anyone who suffers from any form of depression to get outside and walk, join a gym, swim, bike, lift weights, or do yoga. If you’re really ambitious, train for a half or full marathon, join a walking or running group, or take part in the

rack. After several months, Ali chose to take the step to use the University of Alberta’s gym facilities, where he now visits several times a week.

machines, and no rushing to the gym to find out that your hot yoga class is full. You are in complete control of your fitness routine.

“I had forgotten that fitness is battle within you, and once I realized that, I stopped comparing my beginning with someone else’s middle and gained the courage to go to the gym. It’s been the best awakening of my life.” Ali says.

For Johanna Vandermey, a registered Practical Nurse and single Mom, the gym wasn’t an option. Between caring for her young son on her own and attending nursing school, and working nights at a karaoke bar there was no time and no money for a gym membership. But Vandermey wants to be a role model for her son, and inspire others, so she thought outside of the box. Using yoga and aerobics videos she found on YouTube, and trading child minding services for free passes at a yoga studio, Vandermey was able to lose weight and build her confidence without spending money.

While the gym is a great place to get fit, build a support system, and meet your goals it can be an unattainable goal. From lack of child care, to financial hardships, or the intimidation that Ali and may others may feel, some people just cannot go to the gym. Luckily, healthy living isn’t exclusive to a gym. There are many ways to stay in shape at home. From workout DVDs, home gyms, and even workout apps like DDP Yoga Now, working out at home and around a busy schedule is sometimes the best option. If the only time you have is midnight, you have the luxury of popping in a DVD and getting your sweat on or going to your garage and lifting some weights in your home gym. There’s no membership fees, no waits for

“I chose home workouts because I was a broke student parent, overly busy lady,” Vandermey says. “I wanted to get healthy for my son, but I couldn’t afford a membership anywhere. Thanks to my new career, I can afford a membership at a gym now, but I still keep up my home workouts because some-

many great events this city has to offer. It’s not just for those suffering or dealing with a mental illness either. Physical fitness is a big part of emotional well-being, and it doesn’t take much. Even starting with a short walk can have a big impact. You can log onto our website at and volunteer or join one of the events we host every year. Stay fit, stay healthy, stay happy! All the best in 2017!

times classes just don’t fit my work schedule.” In addition to working out from home, Vandermey created a Facebook group called The Squatties for friends to help them remain accountable. The group now has over 200 members from all over Canada. Through this group, Vandermey shares fitness videos and tricks to help members stay motivated, regardless of financial situation or schedule. “I started the group so six friends could get through a 30-day-squat challenge because I learned that having a solid support system will increase your success. I wanted to build a community of people who wanted to make a difference, and use social media for a positive purpose,” Vandermey says. There are so many amazing ways to get fit. If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of a gym, why not follow Ali’s example and try some home workouts to build your confidence before taking that step? However, if you’re never ready, that’s okay. Maybe when it comes to your fitness needs, there’s no place like home.

Clean Sweep! Do We Really Need To Cleanse? BY JANE DURST PULKYS BSC RNCP, Clinical and Holistic Nutritionist


he modern 5 food groups, let's call them the Filthy Five—fast, frozen, fried, junk, processed—are making us dirty; from the inside out. They are full of chemicals, flavour enhancers, trans-fats, and the list goes on. We wouldn't put the wrong fuel in our cars, so why are we so cavalier about the fuel we pour into our bodies? A cleanse is a great way to start fresh, give our bodies a break and a chance to recover from all the damage we, and our environments, do to it. When folks try a cleanse for the first time they often express how awful they feel during it. This is typical, because most embark on a serious cleanse without preparing the body for what's ahead. Here are some steps to help prepare you for any cleanse you may want to go on.   TUMMY TAMING Start in the bowel. Did you know that seven and a half pounds of bacteria inhabit your digestive tract, from stem to stern? This is good stuff, and vital to the proper and efficient digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients, and it likes a clean healthy environment in which to do its work.   Drink more water. Okay, but how much more? Take your body weight, divide it in half and then drink that many ounces of water every day. Remember, for every, coffee, tea, pop or alcoholic drink you have you need to replace it with eight ounces of water.   Once your water intake is up, add one heaping tablespoon of ground flaxseeds to your daily food intake. Stir it into a glass of water, a smoothie or into yogurt. Ground flax absorbs eight times their weight, and pulls toxins out from the bowel.   Then there is the 2-minute rule. You should be in and out of the bathroom in 2 minutes. End of story. If not, then your gut needs some fine-tuning.   Eating five servings of fruits and seven servings of vegetables a day is a sure way to ensure that your body is receiving most of your basic nutrients. Especially soluble and insoluble fiber. Juicing your fruit and veggies is a wonderful way to begin the cleansing process. Get yourself a juicer, or take a daily stroll to a juice bar and drink 8 ounces of lemon, carrots, celery, parsley and apples daily.   LOVE YOUR LIVER Think of the liver as your bodies' filter. Substances­—fats, proteins, nutrients— are passing through, and the toxins need to be removed. Sometimes, because we bombard our bodies with the Filthy Five, the liver can't keep up and it becomes more of a warehouse for toxins than a clearinghouse. Four foods that help clean and bolster the liver include broccoli, cauliflower, dill and brussels sprouts. Eat lots of these delicious veggies.   Once you've made these changes, then it's time to work with a Nutritionist on finding a cleanse that works for you.   CLEAN BODY, CLEAN MIND. Another fabulous way to cleanse is through sweating. Sweating plays an essential role in daily detoxification; it is an essential mechanism for getting healthy. Perspiring helps detoxify your body by removing the accumulation of toxins. Increased perspiration through exercise such as hot yoga, saunas, and steam baths. These activities not only purify, cleanse and flush the skin, leaving it soft, healthy and glowing but are also beneficial to weight loss. These results will make you will want to put better foods in your body.   Emotional cleansing is probably the most challenging aspect for people. My rule of thumb is grow or go! If friends cannot help me celebrate my highs and be there for my lows, then they have to go. There are only 24 hours in a day and our time is precious. Spend it wisely. Everything in life can have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on us. These effects can get stored in the body. Making it awfully crowded in there! Find ways to cleanse your emotions and release negative energy to help bring your mind and body back to the way it was the day you were born.

Now in our 7th year, we are once again aiming to bring together athletes of all ages and all abilities into an event that shows that having fun and contributing to a great cause can go hand in hand. Thank you to the thousands of runners, walkers and volunteers for helping our small business charity event make a big difference in the community. Thank you to all those who support our vision of a community that looks after its children and its seniors. Your strides are making an immediate impact. We look forward to running wild with you May 7, 2017 for 2 amazing charities.

Half Marathon * 10K * 5K






ating is a quintessential human experience. We must feed and hydrate our bodies several times a day to maintain balanced health. It makes sense that what we fuel our bodies with becomes us. Eating a highly plant based diet provides nutrients in our food that regenerate our cells, strengthen and support our immune systems. Eating an 80/20 or highly plant based diet provides a myriad of heath benefits. What you eat makes a big difference in how you feel physically and emotionally. Getting an ample selection of fresh vegetables and fruits will nourish you by providing a supply of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. A wide selection of colors in your fruits and vegetable is an important factor in getting a variety of nutrients, each color is significant of different nutrients. Soups, smoothies and raw salads can be an integral part of daily nutrition, they are quick and easy to prepare and consume. Load up with a rainbow of vegetables by tossing them into a pot, the oven or even a smoothie with some bananas and seasonal fruit. Sometimes, however, we need a meal that is a little more grounding and comforting. A traditional sit down meal is usually comprised of meat, a carbohydrate and a vegetable and/or a salad. A plant based plate might look more like 60 per cent vegetables, 20 per cent protein, 10 per cent grain or carbohydrate or 80 per cent vegetable and 20 per cent protein. We can get almost everything we need from a meatless, wheatless meal. Not only can we meet our dietary requirements we can exceed them and feel amazing and energized as opposed to tired and dull. Speaking of protein, most people’s primary concern when moving towards a plant based diet is where do I get my protein? It’s a great question! Our daily protein requirements depend on our size, age and how much exercise we are doing. One way to work out our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply our body weight in kilograms by 0.8. This calculation will tell us how much protein we need daily. Our body can only break down and use five to nine grams of protein per hour and if we are consuming more then that our body will convert it to fat. At first glance, eating only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds might appear to be a “protein deficient” diet. Truth is, almost every food we eat has some protein. This includes all fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. FRUIT Many fruits contain between four to eight per cent protein and as a significant part of your diet, they provide a significant amount of complete protein. That’s right, fruit is a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids! On an average day, a vegan can get 18-22 grams of protein from fruit. Non-sweet fruit like tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers also have protein.

LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES Leafy green vegetables are a good source of protein. Two cups of kale has four grams while dandelion greens will have three grams. A head of leaf lettuce will provide about 5 grams. Two large bunches of dark leafy greens each day will supply anywhere from 14 to 20 grams of protein. Eat them as a salad or add them to your smoothies and soups. VEGETABLES Vegetables are a great source of complete protein on plantbased diet. You can’t meet your daily protein requirements with just vegetables, but along with fruit, leafy greens and a small amount of nuts and seeds and vegetables like carrots and celery help supply protein to meet your needs. NUTS AND SEEDS Nuts and seeds are packed with protein. Just once ounce of cashews provides 5 grams while the same amount of chia seeds add 4.4 grams. One-fourth cup of sunflower seeds provide 7.3 grams and a tablespoon of ground flax seed in your smoothie adds almost two grams. OTHER PLANT BASED PROTEIN SOURCES Mushrooms (crimini, shiitaki, portobello) are a great source of protein as are, sprouted beans (mung beans, garbanzo), sprouted lentils, sprouted grains (quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice) and Spirulina (blue-green algae). One teaspoon of Spirulina is equal to an ounce of beef in terms of protein. FERMENTS Live ferments are a high-quality live bacteria, an amazing source of bioavailable protein. The bulk of this protein is digested by microbial proteases and peptidases. The resulting peptides and amino acids are taken up by microbes and used in several ways, including microbial protein synthesis. SUPPLEMENTATION Some days it is not possible to get everything our body needs to function optimally on a plant based or regular standard diet. The season, our lifestyle and budget can sometimes dictate our nutrition. Supplementation is a preventative measure to ensure your body is provided with the nourishment it needs to sustain energy, support the immune system and maintain the body natural form during these times. A plant-based diet is not just good for you and your family; it’s also good science. Science has proven that a plant-based diet enhances the entire immune system by re building the microbiome. Inflammatory diseases, behavioural disorders and even diabetes and cancer can be reversed with a plantbased organic, non-gmo diet free of gluten, casein and soy. For more information on plant based foods, substitutions and supplementation please contact





CRISPY BAKED AVOCADO TACOS WITH CITRUS SLAW INGREDIENTS: 30 tortillas 5 ripe avocados Pit, peel and slice each half of the avocado into 3 or 4 bite-size pieces 1/2 cup almond milk 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 cup ground g/f corn flakes or panko bread crumbs 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup flour of choice

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Preheat the oven to 450’ 2. Whisk the almond milk and coconut oil together in a small bowl. 3. Combine the bread crumbs, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir well. 4. Take a slice of avocado and roll each one in the flour. 5. Dip each avocado piece into the almond milk and oil mixture, then roll it in the breadcrumb mixture. 6. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. 7. Bake for 10 minutes, the turn the pan inside the oven. 8. Bake for an additional 10 – 12 minutes 9. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, on a sandwich, or atop a salad.

CITRUS SLAW INGREDIENTS: 1 head of cabbage 3 large carrots, julienned 3 green onions, chopped 1 jalapeño, julienned 1 1/8 cup of chopped fresh cilantro or basil 1 orange, zest & juice 1 lime, zest & juice 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Shred the cabbage. 2. Place cabbage, carrots, green onions, and jalapeno and remaining cilantro in a large salad bowl. 3. Add the orange, lime zest and juice and salt and toss together.


(prepare fresh or purchase at the deli counter) INGREDIENTS: 4 ripe Avocados 1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped ¼ cup finely diced onion Juice of 1 lime Sea salt 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Peel and pit the avocado and place the meat in a mixing bowl. 2. Add all of the remaining ingredients. 3. Mash with a fork or potato masher until combined.

TO SERVE TACOS: Place tortillas on a baking sheet in the oven for 3 - 7 minutes. Place a piece of baked avocado on top of each tortilla and top it with citrus slaw and guacamole. Option to add fresh sliced jalapeno and chopped sweet white onion.






oga and running go hand-in-hand. Like two peas in a pod. From a personal aspect, I notice the benefits of yoga when running. Yoga packs a huge punch for runners. Keeping you healthy while protecting your body from injuries and overuse. Here are some reasons yoga helps runners: Flexibility: Yoga stretches those muscles that are tight because of running. This will increase range of motion while decreasing stiffness, aches and pains. Strength: Runners generally have strong legs from the hips down, but the upper body is used less therefore weaker. Strengthening the upper body will improve efficiency and overall posture and form while running. Yoga helps build core strength which will alleviate back pain that runners can get. Overuse of some muscles will cause an imbalance in the body, thus leading to injuries. Endurance: Yoga can help build mental endurance during those long runs. Holding a posture for long periods of time (three minutes) may seem like an eternity. Training your brain to be quiet and still can be extremely difficult for some. Taking this off the mat on into those runners will help you get to those longer distances. Turning off that mind chatter, telling you to walk or turn around and go home. Breathing: Yoga will give you the ability to create an even breathing pattern. More oxygen is able to circulate in your system with a greater lung capacity. Yoga breathing involves slow, deep inhales and exhales, using the entire lung (upper, middle, and lower). The first time I noticed the real benefits of my yoga breathing, was after I broke my ribs, I started breathing into my upper lungs when running. After about two kilometers I started getting major shoulder cramps and pinching. 48



Here are some of my favourite yoga poses for runners. DOWNWARD DOG Alignment: Press palms into mat, spreading fingers wide. Arms shoulder width apart. Take a slight bend into the knees and send the hip bones high, pressing the chest towards the thighs. Benefits: Stretches hamstrings and calves, strengthens arms and shoulders. LOW LUNGE Alignment: From Downward dog, place your foot between your hands. Lower the back knee. The front knee should be stacked on top of the front foot. Hands can be placed on the front thigh, or reaching up to the sky for a deeper stretch. Benefits: Stretches the hips and psoas, gluteus and quadriceps, while also improving balance. PIGEON Alignment: From Downward dog, bring knee towards same wrist and ankle towards opposite wrist. Back leg stretches out straight behind body. Line up hips and melt front body forward. Benefits: Opens hips, lengthens the psoas muscle. This posture also stretches the inner thighs and outer hips.

UPWARD DOG Alignment: Rooting into the palms of your hands, straighten arms. Shoulders line up on top of elbows and wrists. Legs run long lifting hips and thighs off the mat, pressing into the mat with the tops of your feet. Pulling chest through and up towards the ceiling. Benefits: Front body stretch, opens hip flexors, shoulders and chest. HEAD TO KNEE POSE Alignment: From a seated posture straighten one leg and bend the other placing the foot on the inside of the thigh. Hinging from the hips, fold over straightened leg. Benefits: Stretch for the back of the leg and a great hip opener. Releases tension from the entire back body. COBBLER Alignment: Lying on back, connect the souls of your feet together, knees fall out to the sides of your mat. Bring your heels as close as you can to your body. Benefits: Opens up the hips and inner thighs, also releases tight adductors and tension in the muscles. Gravity will work here by gradually letting the knees fall closer to the ground without and added pressure. Don’t be afraid of going into your first yoga class. It can be intimidating, all those bendy people. It’s not about that. Take this as an opportunity to focus on yourself. Plus if you are nervous-close your eyes that way no one can see you. What is truly amazing about yoga is that it is suitable for all ages, fitness levels and body types. On the mat you develop strength and flexibility, this will allow you to run more efficiently and stay injury free.

Shattered. But Not Destroyed. BY VANESSA ROGERS


n the evening of August 28th , 1999 my life changed forever. It was the Saturday before my final year of high school would commence. I was a 16-year-old girl with my entire life ahead of me. I was a gifted athlete, talented pianist, and an avid student. I was excited for a year filled with memories of friends, playing my favourite team sports and graduation. I had plans to attend university and play on the basketball team. That Saturday evening, I was in a horrific car crash. I was driving my car home on an unfamiliar road, when the paved road suddenly changed to gravel and the car swerved out of control. The car flipped, rolling heavily on the driver’s side roof, before landing upright. The roof was forced into my skull, compressing, and finally, crushing the vertebrae in my neck. I would soon learn from doctors that my spinal column had been damaged beyond repair. I would never walk again; I would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. As classes commenced at my high school, I was undergoing multiple surgeries to attempt to repair my destroyed vertebrae and spinal column. My C1 and C2 vertebrae were broken and my C6 and C7 had been crushed and shattered. The C6 and C7 had ripped through my spinal column sheath and rendered me a complete quadriplegic. According to specialists, with the most intense physio therapy, I might be able to relearn how to feed myself. Life can change in a moment. I had gone from an independent young woman with a future full of potential to a 16year-old newborn baby. I was in diapers, I had to be changed, I couldn’t feed myself, I couldn't even scratch my nose or move a hair off of my face! When I look back, I remember the feelings of hopelessness. My mother would hold me as I wept. I couldn’t even hug her back. I wondered who would want me like this? Who could love me like this? Would I ever get married? I imagined a wedding where my dress got stuck in the wheels of my wheelchair. 50



I was still alive but, I wondered what kind of life I could have. It was a very dark time for my family and I. While I was attempting to come to terms with my diagnosis, something miraculous took place. I started to feel, and move, my fingers and toes! Somehow the nerves in my spine had found pathways around my shredded spinal cord. Let me be clear, there was a less than 1 per cent chance of this ever happening. While it was amazing and brought so much hope and light it also meant that there was so much hard work to do. I had to do intensive physical therapy. I am talking tears streaming down my face as I dug deep and pushed myself as far as I could. It was so hard. But it taught me that I could harness my determination and stubbornness. That I had a stellar work ethic and could get through the toughest circumstances and come out the other side. I learned that I may have to try harder, work harder and work longer but, I could accomplish something I was told was impossible. At the time I had no idea how beneficial these lessons would prove to be in the future.

With constant, intense physio therapy, I was able to relearn how to walk and rejoined my high school class at the semester break and went on to graduate with my class in June of 2000. After graduation, I bought my own house and built up my own business. I lived independently, in a non-modified home. I speak publicly to high school students via the PARTY (Preventing Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) program in Edmonton. While my injuries were not sustained due to impaired driving, I speak to students about the risks and injuries that can be sustained in a serious car accident. I go into very specific details about what it was like to have spinal cord injuries at their age, with the hope that these students will make good decisions and drive carefully, and never impaired. Around age 30, I noticed that some extra weight had started to creep onto my body. I knew a trainer and asked for a program to help me shed the weight and feel better. Once I had gotten to a place where I was more comfortable with my body my trainer told me that I had the natural shape to compete in the figure class in bodybuilding. In June 2013 I decided to go for it! I didn’t know what to expect but I knew it would be an accomplishment to get up on stage with able bodied girls. Again, the lessons I had learned during my rehabilitation after my accident helped me. I dug really deep and worked as hard as I could and I met my goals. I went on to compete in October 2013. I remember slowly making my way across the stage at the Winspear Centre. The entire auditorium fell silent and then broke out into cheering and applause! It was so exciting. People were crying as my story was told. I realized my story, which now had a public platform, had the potential to inspire others. I placed at that first show. Within a year, I made it to the National stage and placed ninth out of 26 women. Because of the lack of mobility in my legs, I have to work way harder—way longer—using a super intense lower body program, to be able to attain even a quarter of the leg muscle definition and growth that my able bodies female co-competitors have. Additionally, I don’t have the ability to flex my muscles for posing at shows.

In November 2015, Lou Ferrigno shared a story about me on Facebook. In May 2016, he came to Edmonton to participate in a motivational speaking seminar. I was pulled backstage to meet him and he became very adamant that I compete at his October 2016 Lou Ferrigno Legacy show. When Big Lou invites you to do something, you do it! On October 30, 2016 I went to Palm Springs to compete in the Ferrigno Legacy show. I not only competed but, I won Gold for my class (Figure C) and competed in the Overall portion of the show! Lou rushed backstage to congratulate me! It was amazing! I posted the following to Facebook about the experience: “The moment… time stood still… I don’t think I took a breath I kept waiting for my number to be called I kept waiting until there was only one number left to call I was mentally preparing for my heart to sink yet again And then… 188… … Still gives me shivers We did it @freakmaker1 We did it” My coach’s response: “Ok now I’m tearing up! What an incredible moment! I remember jumping and yelling at the top of my lungs right in the middle of Disneyland when I got your text Vanessa! One of my proudest coaching moments ever! Thank you for your courage and determination Vanessa! You are one of a kind!” In order to compete in the October 2016 show, my coach and I intensified my lower body workout. I took out a rest day to do an additional leg day. I do three leg days a week in order to maintain the muscle I have and hopefully increase it. All of my cardio includes strenuous leg exercises. I use the stair or tread climber every day. I always modify my cardio to work my legs as intensely as I can. For example, if I use a treadmill, I set it to the highest possible incline and do walking lunges. Throughout this process my goal was to simply make it onto the stage. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to compete against able bodied girls in the IFBB. YEGFITNESS



I always assumed I would have to wait for an adapted or disabled division to ever come close to winning. I meet a lot of people who ask why I do this? Why do I push my body so hard? Well, why not? I want to live life to its fullest. I have an obligation to do so! Statistically, I should be in a wheelchair. I would never squander the gift of mobility that I have. And what good would it do to feel sorry for myself? I plan on continuing to live independently and to travel! I have climbed mountains in Hawaii. I have completed the Spartan race, immediately after competing at Nationals! I can’t change what happened to me, so I do what I can do and I push myself every day. I work around my disabilities. Just like the nerves in my spinal column worked around the damage. My “transformation” was not quick or easy. It was the result of setting a goal and then working towards it, every day. Making choices everyday regarding my activity and food. All of those little choices add up to big changes! I am a super positive person with a “what can I do” mindset. I don’t focus on what I can’t do but what I can do. I view myself as a victor and not a victim. I want to inspire people and encourage them. Everybody has challenges and obstacles in their way. I know that better than most! Neither of my “transformations” happened quickly or easily. My body regaining the possibility of mobility was a medical miracle. But regaining the ability to walk

with assistance took daily work. It was literally baby step after baby step. We started small and worked each and every day seeing tiny improvements. Sometimes my progress wasn’t noticeable. Even I doubted it was happening. But, I kept going and working toward the goal of being able to walk again. With my fitness transformation: the same lessons and principles were utilized. I made small choices every day that added up to big changes and helped me to meet my goals. I stuck to the foods that would help me to meet my physical goals. Every day, I made the choice to go to the gym, or work out at home. That’s my message. Make the choices that get you to your goals. It’s not “go big or go home”. Take those baby steps. Break your goal down into small, doable portions. Your daily choices, your daily habits will add up to meeting your goals! It takes time but you can and will get there! Never listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do something. You can! I really hope you find inspiration and encouragement in my story. Always remember that you have the power to make choices on a daily basis to meet your personal goals. Not just in fitness but, in every aspect of life! Photos: David Ford + Ferrigno Legacy 2016










KICK ASS WORKOUT WITH ANNA MORRIS My clients sometimes ask me why I’m so obsessed with butts. Whether or not you care that well-formed booties are the latest fashion accessory, there are many more pressing reasons why glute training should be included in your routine. WHY WE NEED TO TRAIN GLUTES The glutes are actually made up of three muscles: the Gluteus Maximus, Medieus and Minimus. These muscles function together to extend and abduct the thigh, and allow internal and external rotation of the hip joint. The glutes stabilize the pelvis and help keep the hips and spine in alignment, playing a critical role in posture.

Pro Tip: The three band placement options can be used as progression steps. Start with the band at your knees and progress as tolerated to the feet. The greatest gluteus muscle activation occurs when the band is most distal (the most challenging position is at foot height, followed by knee, then ankle height), which will make the exercise more difficult to perform.


in front of you. Get under the bar so it sits at the base of your neck/top of traps, and back up into a tall kneeling position with knees hip width apart. Looking forward, sit back through your hips so your butt touches your calves. Return to starting position by squeezing your glutes and extending through your hips. Pro Tip: When you sit back with your butt, make sure you are never actually resting your weight on your legs. You should just barely make contact and then reverse the motion forward.

Many jobs require hours of sitting. Sitting for long periods tightens hip flexors, and weakens glutes as the muscles become chronically inactive and compressed. Interestingly enough, butt implants have the same effect on glutes as sitting over time. Weak glutes can lead to postural issues, pelvic instability, as well as back and knee pain.

Who Should Train Glutes?

Strong glutes aren’t just for fitness models. Everyone can benefit from adding glute activation to their fitness regime. The glutes’ role in stabilizing the pelvis and supporting posture is especially critical for athletes (sprinting, jumping, quick lateral motions), new and expecting moms, and anyone with back or knee problems.


How to Train Glutes:

A common misconception is the only way to get rocking glutes is to squat for days. Although compound movements like squats and deadlifts are important to lower body strength programs, there are other exercises like hip thrusts and reverse hyperextensions which have been shown to elicit much greater activation of the gluteal muscles specifically. Don’t stop squatting and deadlifting, but for optimal booty burn, give this workout a try KICK ASS WORKOUT Frequency: 2-3 times/week Intensity: It’s not necessary to go super heavy on these exercises. Focus on perfect technique and really trying to get the glutes to fire up.

2. BARBELL HIP THRUSTS Three sets, 10-12 reps The Drill: Begin seated on the ground with your barbell in front you and a well- secured bench directly behind you. Roll the barbell up over your legs to your hips and bend your knees. Lean back with your shoulder blades against the bench. Initiate the motion by pushing through your heels and driving your hips to full extension. Hold for two seconds at the top before lowering.

The Drill: lay face down over a stability ball on a bench so that your hips, pelvis and stomach are in contact with the ball. Hold onto the bench in front of you. Keeping your chest up, lift legs off the ground to a straight line behind you. Hold for two seconds at the top and lower slowly until your feet almost touch the ground. Pro Tip: Perform reps slowly and focus on really feeling the glutes contract to lift the legs. If your low back is fatiguing, decrease reps and focus on quality.

Pro Tip: Use a thick pad around or under the bar to protect your pubic bone from bruising.

5. FROGGY BRIDGES Three sets of high burn out reps of 15 seconds or more (as tolerated with good form) The Drill: Lay on your back on a mat. Bend your knees and press the soles of your feet together, letting your knees open out to sides. Squeeze glutes and come up into a bridge position. Hold 2 seconds before lowering. Pro Tip: If it feels dorky, you’re doing it right!

1. LATERAL BAND WALKS Three sets, 20 reps for each leg The Drill: Place resistance band around knees, ankles or forefeet. Get into an athletic stance with feet hip width apart. Pushing off the back leg, take 20 steps laterally to the right and then 20 to the left without breaking form.

3. KNEELING BARBELL SQUATS Three sets, 10-12 reps The Drill: Kneel on a mat or foam pad at squat rack. Set up the bar at clavicle height on the rack

Anna Morris is a Personal Trainer at Custom Fit. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and is a certified pre and post-natal exercise specialist. Anna is a natural bikini fitness competitor and 2016 INBF Bronze medalist in Bikini/Fitness Model at the National Naturals.




Fitness and Beer? BY WAYNE SHERIDAN Situation Brewing Co. The first time I discussed beer and fitness outside the all too often I-cant-afford-the-calories dismissal, it was purely in jest. My friend, while slugging down a pint before heading the gym, was playfully proclaiming the virtues of beer as the perfect workout fuel: liquid carbs, it’s ability to warm the body up, and of course, hydration. While this was probably just his way of starting a debate that would necessitate a second pint, it did get me thinking about what sort of relationship a fitness-minded individual could have with beer. If they should find themselves to be a beer lover. For those of us who do love beer, there is little that can match the satisfaction of putting malt to mouth while still revelling in a post-exercise glow. QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY Let’s face it. Beer is a delicious and calorie-dense beverage. Unless one is truly in a position where they must completely forgo it, it is generally taken as an indulgence. As such, the point is really enjoyment with an understanding of the impact. So what’s the truth about calories and beer? Is lighter better? Here are a couple examples: Generic domestic lager 5.0% ABV (per 355mL): 145-155 kcal Gateway Wheat Ale 5.0% ABV (per 355ml): 160 kcal Pageturner IPA 6.5% ABV (per 355ml): 220 kcal




Speaking of quantity, watch out for variable serving sizes. A full 20 ounce pint will have 67 per cent more volume and calories than a standard 12 oz can or bottle of beer. IT REALLY IS WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS In the examples above there is a significant variation in calories. Without getting into too many details about beer making there are 2 main aspects of the brew that contribute to the calorie count. Alcohol percentage and residual or unfermented sugars. To complicate things a bit further, each of these variables also contribute to the flavour profile. Hops don’t contribute any significant calories but do change the flavour profile significantly. Interesting compromises have recently been popularized and dubbed session ales. Their objective being to achieve lower ABV (alcohol by volume) while maintaining the richest flavour possible to facilitate a “drinking session” without subjecting the participant to the effects of too much alcohol. DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE My personal conclusion was that it really wasn’t worth the effort of tracking calories when considering what kind of beer to order. The worst case would have been to order a beer I didn’t particularly enjoy and subsequently consume a similar number of calories, and perhaps still not feel satisfied and actually order another on that basis. The number and size of pours really being the more meaningful consideration. Your best option is to pop in for a beer after your next workout and plan on walking or running home so you can sell yourself on just one more!


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YEGFITNESS - March/Apr 2017

YEGFITNESS - March/Apr 2017