Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FREE Fitness Meet Up Group!

I've started The Somers Primal Health Fitness Group on MeetUp! Click here to sign up (free) so you can get info and updates. This group is open for everyone that wants to take part!

Here's why I chose to start this group: I've noticed throughout my years of personal training is that there is a dearth of knowledge out there regarding foundational movements. Misconceptions abound about essential movements such as squats and pushups. MOST of my clients need to be re-trained, that is if anyone ever bothered to teach them in the first place at all! That's where I come in! biggrin

I believe that EVERYONE can and SHOULD learn these functional exercises in order to increase their quality of life. If you are thinking "but I can't do that because..." then email me before you decide for CERTAIN you can't do this! When I say everyone I mean it. Let me put it this way, learning to squat properly is ESSENTIAL in order to be able to use the toilet. If you can do that, then you can do this! Knee trouble, back trouble, shoulder trouble...everyone can do something. You just need to know HOW!

Okay, so instead you're thinking "but I'm healthy & fit and this group is too basic for me." Nope! I'll address your needs also! Let's make sure your basic forms are good and solid, strengthen your posterior chain, increase flexibility, tweak your diet: everyone can use some guidance. Heck, I rely on my own coach to make sure I'm constantly improving too! If you can do bodyweight exercises, let's change up the weight or speed.

Each MeetUp we will go over a different movement or topic. Come to each one, or pick and choose. These MeetUps are FREE to attend, so please bring a friend! You are always free to take part as much or as little as you feel comfortable.

  • I will always do warmup/cool down stretches and drills.
At "Clinics" we will specifically address:
  • the basics of a movement/ topic from a how-to
  • how to increase the difficulty of a movement (ie proper back squat techniques..there's more than one!)
  • how to incorporate it into your workout.
  • how to scale a movement based on your particular needs/concerns/injuries etc
Once you have the basics down, crazy things happen...don't worry, I'll title those "crazy workouts" as such so you know what to expect!

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to teach you how to increase the quality of your lives through increased quality of movement! I look forward to meeting you soon smile Thanks again!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

But It's GOOD Kool-Aid!

The first stage of recovery, they say, is denial. Denial that CrossFit is better than doing 3 sets of 10 on the leg extension & 90 minutes on the elliptical. Denial that I'd been practically wasting my good hard earned money on a gym membership that didn't get me all that much fitter than I'd already been. But I could elliptical like the DICKENS!

Then, they say, there is anger. Anger that I'd never been told about this before! Anger that this information was so hard to find! Anger that my personal trainer had not ever made me do this!

After the anger passes though there is grief. Grief over all the time I had wasted in the gym, bopping pseudo-aimlessly from machine to machine. Grief that all the "Flat Abs Move" newsletters had brought me nowhere memorable.

Then there's bargaining. "Okay, okay! At least I'm fit enough to START CrossFit now," utilizing the "fit enough to begin" excuse that all those that HAVE started know to be a silly mythical creature.

Finally, thankfully, there is acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that my journey home, long around as it may have been, was necessary. Acceptance of the fact that I had not wasted any time in the gym no matter how ineffective it may now seem. That portion of my life was an education, a necessary experience (or evil, both of which apply quite well) that set me up to succeed when I finally found CrossFit.

I can say with certainty that I am proud to wear that ridiculous and delirious "I can't believe I volunteer for this $hit" CrossFit grin most days of the week.

Now, I know that you may not get it...yet. But hey, why don't you come over tonight. I've got this new flavor of Kool-Aid.

Want a taste?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Give It Away

I was leaning on a railing at my globo where I do personal training, listening to my client tell me about a conversation she had with her friend. One thing had led to another and she ended up showing her friend how to squat, just as I'd shown her. My heart got this warm cuddly feeling then: my student had become a teacher!

To give of yourself is the greatest gift of all. When you are actively teaching something (lecturing, coaching, tutoring) you are giving of yourself; your time, your energy, your knowledge. In our lifetimes we've all had chances to actively teach ("let me show you how to...") and to passively teach (by example).  Have you ever thought about what giving really is and how it impacts the world? Teachers of life lessons come in all shapes and sizes and it is true that not all lessons are easy. It's a magical thing: we've all been given great teachers and in turn so we become.
 Seek to give
Whatever you desire for yourself, desire it for others as well. That will help to take you beyond the constraining influence of your ego.

There is nothing of any value to be gained by taking from others. For anything you take away
from someone else can just as easily be taken from you. Instead, choose to become the living embodiment of that which you wish to have. Give energy and focus and action to your dreams, and those dreams will come to life all around you.

The more people who benefit from your positive thoughts and efforts, the more quickly those efforts will bring valuable results. To experience great abundance be a channel through which that abundance can flow.

Make a positive difference that extends into the lives around you. Create value that goes beyond you. It is by giving that you make room to receive even more. Seek to give what you wish to have, and it will surely become real for you. -- Ralph Marston
A couple other quotes about teachers that I just couldn't resist including here are below. They've been sitting at the end of this draft for about a week and I've finally decided to just include them!

In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us. ~Flora Edwards

None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us. ~Thurgood Marshall

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goals Gone Wrong!

Have you ever heard of Vision Boards? The idea is to create a poster using a variety of media; magazine clippings, photos, bold phrases all reflecting the things and feelings we want in our lives. To quote Tristan Loo from
We attract into our lives anything that we give attention to, regardless whether it be positive or negative. From a psychological view, the law of attraction can be best explained by the information filtering system of the brain known as the reticular activating system (RAS). Vision boards serve the role of programming the RAS to tune into external stimuli that can help us move closer towards our intentions.
Click here to read the whole post.

Here's a quick exercise to show you how your thoughts can, and are, guiding your whole life. Ready?

Picture an "old person" whatever that means to you, of your own gender.

Now, what does "old" look like to you? White hair? Frail? Dowager's hump? Wearing a muu muu & big white velcro-lace sneakers? Unfortunately if this is the case, this is where you are headed. If you believe that image is what old is, that is what your brain is trying daily to achieve! So how can you become a better athlete if every day your brain is thinking, "Uh oh. I'm older today, I can't do this workout well because that will steer me off course! I need to be one step closer to being frail." Scary right?

Go to your local CrossFit and watch the Masters group. Google CrossFit Games Masters and spend time watching what these phenomenal athletes can do. Not "for their age" but period! Scrap your antiquated image of elderly. Create a new future and you will create a new today.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Elbows High" A Pain?

You are so not alone if you KNOW that as soon as you lift the bar off the rack you will hear your coach yell, "get those elbows up!" Tight lats (aka Latissimus dorsi) could be your primary culprit in causing you to lose that nice rack position as you squat quickly (oh say, during thrusters). Keeping your elbows up on these movements isn't just to look pretty in pictures though, you can really hurt yourself if you let your elbow go slamming into your thigh! A little stretching is all it takes to help you avoid a broken wrist or worse, constant harassment from your coaches!

First, place a standard bar on a rack at shoulder height. Stand at arms distance resting your wrists on the bar  at shoulder width, thumbs up.  

Now start to sit down. Keep your arms straight and be conscious of the sensation through your armpits, shoulders and along the sides of your rib cage. *It's true my arms don't look straight, but that's what my arms look like at this angle.

You may notice that I am standing feet together instead of in squat stance: this is a hold over from yoga. In Chair pose you stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart. When you then start to sit down into Chair, you press your knees and thighs together to maintain posture and balance.

Be aware of how the stretch feels of where you feel it most. I will sometimes find that I'm nice and loose and so I need to step a little closer so that I can squat down more to get a deeper stretch. Other times I need to really focus on pointing my tail bone up to increase that lower back sway which in turns increases the stretch.

I'd recommend adding this to your everyday pre-workout stretch/warm-up routine. Experiment a little bit to address your particular needs! Enjoy :-)!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


There was once a time I didn't really feel I was very special or remarkable in any way. I felt like my body was too pudgy to be attractive and I felt that I wasn't particularly pretty or charming. I wasn't very healthy let alone being any kind of strong. Now, I look back on that image I once held of myself and laugh. I laugh because it isn't even close to true. It wasn't true then and it isn't true now, nor will it ever BE true. I laugh at the astonishing ignorance of all of those statements yet how they have guided the course of my life. But for all the sadness I inflicted upon myself with those self-sabotaging beliefs, the scars help form the woman I am today. I am transformed.

I was finishing up my senior year of college at the University of Maine when everything changed. I remember walking across campus to get to class when suddenly I choked up and began to sob uncontrollably. Right there on the quad in front of the library. Huge tears and choking sobs I couldn't contain came rolling out and at the time I swear to you I had NO idea why. This would happen almost every day and I came close to missing an entire month of classes before I sought help. Together with my therapist's help, I began to deal with all the sadness and confusion of my youth (daughter of an alcoholic father) that was literally crying to get out and dealt with. Years of turmoil, both repressed and suppressed, were fighting their way to the surface of my consciousness. Most days I had a very hard time sitting still for any length of time; I was always antsy and agitated from a mind gone wild.

So one day I went for a run.

Mind you, I had NEVER gone for a run. I got about fifty feet that first time I think. Then I walked for a while. My body started to relax now that it had an outlet for the pent up energy and my mind started to feel on track. Then I ran again, then walked. So on and so on. I can still recall the first time I ran the entire one mile stretch of the road I lived on. I had been so lost in thought that I hadn't realized I ran the whole way. I started jumping up and down and cheering out loud for myself: it was a complete rush like I'd never experience before! Soon after that I began running more, doing 5k races and even joining a gym. Thus my new "fit" life was born.

So when was it that I was transformed? Was it the moment that I first stepped out the door to go for a run? Or maybe it was when I had my first session with a personal trainer and thought, "holy shit this is the job for me!" I like to think it was every time I made a healthy choice. Every time I chose to go for a run in the woods with the sole purpose of getting emotions out (I'd run so hard I couldn't suppress anything anymore and I'd end up bawling). Every time I chose to eat a healthy meal. Every time I chose to throw away any negative self talk I transformed a little more.

Nowadays I'm a completely changed woman. But I don't look that different then I did back then, I'm still recognizable as myself. It's been ten years of progress and this whole time I've been slowly changing. My metamorphosis wasn't literally me turning INTO a different person. A butterfly isn't born overnight, it is through a long series of smaller changes that this amazing little critter eventually changes from an egg into a butterfly. Instead little by little, it was the relationship between my body and my mind that changed.

I am no longer that same scared little self-saboteur I once was. I no longer bully my own self just because the world feels out of control. I have learned that all of it, all of the power, is within me. All I have to do is be me, accept me and let the phenomenal symbiosis of mind and body crush any trouble that gets in my way! Of course sometimes I still get scared but now I use that fear as a motivator. When I feel fear I know it's a road sign telling me I'm getting close to the edge of my comfort zone. And that edge is EXACTLY where I need to be so that I can do the most good for myself and for the world.

So every time I chose to go for a run, every time I chose to deal with my problems, every time I chose to run a little faster a little longer, every time I choose not to put the barbell down, and every single time I choose not to give up I am giving myself bigger and brighter wings.

I would LOVE to hear your stories of transformation! I will be compiling them and putting together a series of motivational stories! Please please email them to me at!

Much love,