Archives for February 2011

It’s Complicated

Have you SEEN this movie? I’m sure you have because it’s from 2009 and I’m always behind on movies, but I watched it last night on my death flight home from New Jersey and had to say it was the highlight of my weekend. I can’t even explain how great a cast this was. Meryl! Steve! Alec! John Krasinski! Home run for sure. If you haven’t seen it, Netflix that ish right now. I don’t even know why it took me so long to see it in the first place. Yes I do. I didn’t know what it was about because we don’t have cable and I never saw a trailer. Whose insane idea was it to not have cable again?! Mine. I’m an idiot.

It made me miss Santa Barbara terribly, but I’m thinking of heading back for a quick trip when I come back to Southern California at the end of March. Ah spring.
image via
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Summin’ It Up

So far this week I have:

* Said one thing while teaching cardio class while I did another (way too many times to count…)
*Washed and dried an entire load of laundry then realized I never put in detergent (fitness clothes so I can’t really let that slide. ew)
*Not returned several emails because I got them while driving and forgot to return them while I was at my computer at home.
*Let Tango outside and then completely forgot about him for an hour. In the rain. He hates the rain : (
*Had two cancelled flights and one delayed (that may still get cancelled, waiting for the email). Continental Airlines sucks.
*Gotten food poisoning. Brutal food poisoning. While traveling.
*Went the wrong way in NJ and accidently got on the bridge to Manhattan. The $8 toll, which I didn’t have (because I’d already paid out my cash to the 57 other toll booths) will now be billed and sent to my car rental place, which in turn will charge me $25 for. It’s happened before. Pumped.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. Now for the good stuff:
*Had a dinner date with hubs last Wednesday.
*Taught 2 amazing groups of instructors in my TRX certifications this weekend.
*Got to climb a couple routes on the climbing wall in the gym that hosted one of the TRX cert courses (before the brutal food poisoning).
*Saw my BFF in the Norfolk airport for 30 seconds (it’s better than nothing).
I can’t wait to spend the next 3 and half weeks on the ground, out of the sky, and at home with my family and friends.
And getting my head back on… Cheers, Ami.
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Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Wanna get better at something? Well then, you have to do it.
I do tons of stuff in my classes and sessions with personal training clients. Yes, we lift weights, but we also do a ton of balance work, jumping work (joint health permitting), throwing, and just about anything else I can come up with. Whenever I’m showing something new to people, they always give me the Crazy Face. The face that says, “you’re out of your DAMN mind. Occasionally I also get called a few names, followed by expletives. Then they try it. They usually are shaky first, but after a few tries, they’re ok. Then after a few sessions, they’re better. Then maybe after a month or so, they’ve mastered it.
The moral of the story? If you wanna get better at something, do it. Do it a lot. Do it until it’s no big deal anymore. You can get better at anything: running races, doing push-ups, standing on one leg, presenting in front of an audience, sex (no problem, right?)! Practice.
I’m going to leave you with this video of my good friend’s son riding a bike. He’s 2 years old. Booyah.
If only I’d started cooking when I was born….
Your body can do a lot of stuff, no matter what age you are. You just have to teach it. Have a good day, peeps!
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IDEA Personal Trainer Institute

Completely exhausted. Completely sore. Completely worth it.

This past weekend in Alexandria was crazy! So much was learned in this 3 day conference because some of the best trainers and presenters in North America were there. I had over 20 hours of learning so trust that I’m an even smarter trainer than I was last week! Booyah.

Peeps in the above photo:

Marc Coronel, me, Fraser Quelch, Sherri McMillan, and Jorge Ivan Maren
Google their names if you want to know how awesome they are. What you don’t trust me? Whatev.

I’ll be back to blogging regularly after this weekend, I swear! I have two trips in two different cities this weekend, starting Thursday so things are crazy, but my travel schedule mellows out once March hits! I miss you, blog world!
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A Slice of Humble Pie?

You can have 3 people tell you look nice in a day and feel on top of the world. Then you receive a package of gifts from the in-laws that includes a pair of your underwear that fell out of your bag on your last trip to their house. In a plastic baggie. Feels good.

Thank you, Universe, for keeping me humble. Sigh.
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Travel Thoughts – San Francisco

  • I love San Francisco. Especially when it’s 45 degrees warmer than the Ville.
  • the BART is SOOOO much better than most subways in big cities. It’s warm, the seats are big, and it’s rarely packed.
  • That could have something to do with the fact that I’m on it at either midnight or 6 a.m. each time… but that’s neither here nor there.
  • TRX. 3 days, 8 or 9 hours each each day, I’m going to be sore.
  • I’ll also be a better presenter/trainer/person come Monday.
  • Come Monday, it’ll be alright, come Monday, I’ll be holding you tight…
  • I frickin’ love these other instructors. We’ve got a good crew here. They’re all SO much better presenters than me.
  • Task: Present to all these other presenters that have WAY more experience than me? Sure, no pressure.
  • I wish I would have paid more attention in my public speaking class in college. Maybe this wouldn’t feel so daunting.
  • Todd Durkin is speaking at our dinner tonight. Yesssss.
  • Don’t know Todd Durkin? Well, he’s trained a lot of people, including the past two Super Bowl MVPs. He’s pretty awesome. And motivating.
  • My list of books to read has just increased by 5.
  • Yep, definitely sore.
  • Team building Flag Football? Sure!
  • I’ve never seen an entire football game in my life. Or been to one. This should be fun.
  • “Ami! BLITZ!!!”
  • “Nick, OK! What does that MEAN?!!!!!!”
  • I’ll just run back and forth and look busy. Thank you, Fitness Anywhere for bringing kegs.
  • Day 3. Exhausted. Time change is kickin’ my ass.
  • Final day presenting challenge: Speak for 10 minutes on your life passion. Go.
  • This is gonna get heavy.
  • Tears, group hugs, we are now closer. And we’ve all got issues.
  • Why the F did I book a 7am flight? The BART doesn’t even run until 6am. Super Shuttle it is… for $17. And a pick up time at 4:55 a.m. Awesome.
  • YAWN. Super Shuttle 20 minutes late. I could have slept 20 more minutes. grrr.
  • Valentine’s Day = Free ‘adult’ beverage on Southwest Airlines. Yes please.
  • Oh I remember why I made my flight so early… I’ll get to spend a few hours with Conrad tonight for once. Yessss. Happy V-Day, peeps.
  • Pilots, do a good job.
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Stylish Blogger Award!

Thanks Sara, From Le Petit Village . Do you read her blog? Well you should because she cracks my ish up!
Woot Woot! It’s my blog’s first award! I feel like I should take photos or something, like when you document your kid’s first steps. Um, not sure what to take a photo of though… my computer with the blog page up? Anywho, I’m supposed to tell you 7 things about me. I’m not sure what types of things, but I’m going to tell you things you might not already know. Here goes:

1. I’m actually a blonde. “Gasp!” Maybe I’ll prove it to you with my childhood photos one day… maybe not though since I had a horribly large head, buck teeth, and you don’t even wanna know how long it took me to grow into these lips…
2. I’m a very clumsy person in tennis shoes. Doesn’t seem right, huh? Dancer that’s clumsy… But I walk better in 4 inch heels than I do in any type of athletic shoe. And given that I live my life barefoot or wearing Nikes, I trip a lot.
3. I hate running. I know as a fitness professional I should be running marathons and doing Ironman competitions like it’s my job (cause it kind of is) but I couldn’t think of anything more horrible that doing the same movement for 3+ hours. Ick. I get my 2-3 miles in and I’m out and on to the next thing. This doesn’t mean I look down on runners, it’s just not MY thing.
4. My favorites: Song: Over the Rainbow (all versions). Show: I Love Lucy. Movie: The Parent Trap (Haley Mills, original version). Geez, I should have lived in the 50s. Eep.
5. For two months, in San Diego, I used to have to climb a palm tree in order to get into an apartment building every night because I was living in my friend’s living room and couldn’t copy the door key.
6. I once worked for the Louisville Water Co. during the summer (my dad worked there and family members can work college co-ops during the summers) where I wore Dickies, steel-toed boots, and drove around crazy sweeper trucks and right-side-steering wheel Meter Reading Jeeps. It was fun.
7. When I was 19 years old, I dropped all my classes one semester to go to Athens, Greece by myself for 2 weeks. Don’t regret it. I still finished college on time. : )
So there you have it. I will now pass on this award to a few of my favorite bloggers because they are fab and I wish we could all hang out and grab coffee once a week:
Ahnika over at Living With Mr. Johnson
Tash from The Chirpy Bird
Bridget at Tales of Me and The Husband
Carrie of This Free Bird
Ashley from Run With Me
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Check Out Time: 9am

Do you ever have a day when you feel like you just need to check out for a few hours? Today was that day for me. I had a couple big things pop up that just completely overwhelmed me, and that I really didn’t feel like dealing with.
I trained my first couple of clients early then had my next couple cancel because of sickness. I came home at 9am to do some work, only to find that our internet still wasn’t working (after two days). I grabbed my purse, Tango, and hit the road. Drove 2 hours southeast to clear my mind and hang with these two lovely ladies for a couple hours:

Christy on the left, Jenn in the middle.
Photo 1: Them sticking their feet in my face because they know that feet gross me out more than anything in the world.
Photo 2: Me: being grossed out more than anything in the world. Them: utterly pleased with themselves.
Both photos taken in college, after a day in the park.
Thank you, friends, for a fabulous check-out day. Even though you suck at photo-taking-niceness, you rule at keeping me company and being awesome. Today helped.
I’ll be back to my normal, in-control self tomorrow. G’night.
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February Travel

All images via We Heart It.
Isn’t it weird that there’s an ‘r’ in the middle of February? I had a teacher in 6th grade that made sure not to leave it out. It sounded weird. Anyway, here’s my month ahead:

February 4-7: Snowshoe Mountain, WV for snowboarding. Image via

February 10-14: San Francisco – TRX Trainer’s Summit. Image via

February 17- 20: Arlington, VA / D.C. IDEA Personal Trainer Institute Conference. Image via

February 24-25: Richmond, VA to teach TRX. I want to go here. Image via

February 26-27: Closter, NJ to teach TRX again. In the same weekend. Image via

Kinda tired already… ; ) But excited as always! Will I be in your neck of the woods? Bring it on Feb-u-ary.
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Is your trainer the bomb or a dud?

My friend Doug posted this video on Facebook this morning and it made me laugh out loud… a couple of times.

Now the sad part: I’ve seen people like this. Not a ton, but people who think like this and actually HAVE clients. I just hope their clients are getting results, not injuries. Soooo it prompted me to write a quick post on personal trainers and whether they’re good for you and know what they’re doing, or not. Here are some things to look for in a trainer you’re thinking of hiring:
  • Are they certified?
I’m not saying that you need a certification to know what you’re talking about, but would you let a surgeon operate on you without having passed their board exams? Seriously? This is your body we’re talking about. It shouldn’t be in the hands of somebody that hasn’t passed a test. It’s not expensive, it’s not that hard if you’ve learned your ish, and it’s not a big deal, if you have a professional attitude and are serious about becoming a trainer. If they haven’t taken the time to study and take the certification tests, will they take the time to make a good program/workout for you? I’ve met trainers who haven’t taken their exams because they already know everything… but if they know everything already, what’s keeping them from a taking a test that should be easy?
  • Do they have a degree in a related field?
Same as above. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to have a degree in Physiology to get certified as a personal trainer, however, the people that do have degrees in the field tend to have a greater understanding of how everything works and are a bit more well-rounded in area. They also tend to get hired at higher positions. It’s not imperative, but it helps.
  • Do they listen to your goals?
You want somebody who is going to give you the best plan for YOU and what you want to achieve. Not what they gave to every other client that day. It’s called PERSONAL training and every person’s different. If you already have a steady workout regimen and just want somebody to give you some new ideas, are they talking you into training 3 days a week? Because you probably don’t need that much. You want somebody that’s going to listen to you and not just try to sell you packages/sessions.
  • Do they make corrections to your form?
I’ve seen trainers just chat away with somebody else while their client is doing lunges the most AWFUL way possible and not say a word to them. Out of all my clients, I have about 2 that don’t need many technique corrections, but still, they’re not perfect and I end up fixing them at least a couple times per session. No offense, but you’re probably not perfect at things and if you go through an entire session without so much as a peep from you trainer about form, they’re not paying attention. They should be telling/showing you how exercises are supposed to look, feel, etc. And how it’s not supposed to feel.
  • Do they advise you on what to do in the meantime?
You may need additional cardio time/ stretching time as well with your program so if they haven’t given you any ‘homework’ to do without them and you feel like you’re not making progress, ask them!
If you’re trying to lose weight or are a competitive athlete, you will need nutrition advice as well as workout advice. Your trainer can give you some guidelines to follow on your off time if you need it. Having said this, in most states, it’s illegal for a trainer to give out a written diet plan unless they’re also a dietician/certified nutritionist. They can give you suggestions, but should really be pointing you to somebody that’s in that field. They shouldn’t be writing out meal plans for you unless it’s in their scope of practice.
The same goes for injuries. They can probably point out some things that you might do to help an injury, but we’re not all physical therapists/doctors, so if you’ve got a serious injury, take it to your doctor, not your trainer.
  • Do they push you or kill you?
Every trainer pushes you, that’s how we get you to try harder and be stronger. But if your trainer is giving you the hardest exercises in the world or not listening when you tell them something hurts, they’re going to be doing you more harm than good. You’ll be sore after your sessions but you shouldn’t be debilitated for a few days after every session (excluding your first week… first week’s always the worst. But you shouldn’t be HURT hurt). If you’re doing an exercise and you have joint pain and you tell your trainer, they should fix your form first. If it still hurts, they should give you a different exercise. If they tell you just to keep going, suck it up, you might want to look for a new trainer.
  • Do they attend continuing education courses/conferences?
Sure they might have been a great trainer 20 years ago, but things have changed since 1990. Scientists and physiologists are discovering new things all the time and re-creating guidelines constantly. If your trainer hasn’t attended a continuing education course or trainer conference in the last few years (or ever) that could be a bad sign. We are required, in order to keep our certifications current, to attend courses to get credits every year, just like doctors, nurses, dentists, etc. It keeps us up to date on contraindications and safe techniques, as well as cutting-edge training protocols. If we don’t, our certs expire and we have to re-take our certification test. Make sure whoever is training you is somewhat current in their cert. Then you’ll know if they’re up to date… or if they’re a hot mess, like the one in the video up there.
Hope this helps! And I hope if you’re working with a trainer now, you’ve got a great one that’s taking good care of you!
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