St. Patrick’s Day Rocked our World

It rocked everybody’s.

Canada flipped the table, BC and Ontario proceeded to dance on it anyways and Alberta added more cowbell.

What a showing. The bars were empty and nobody showed up to the gym for the pre-bar pump. Not because they didn’t want to but because they weren’t invited. In fact, they were respectfully kicked out.

Not by the big burly dude that is a stereotype to each place but by a tiny mutant.

A mutant who infamously will live on for a long time. It will last in the history books and be googled as #11 when one searches for “how many Pandemics have there been?“. This one showed up uninvited and has certainly trashed the house.

All jokes and creative writing aside we are deeply saddened that we have had to close our own place of business, along with so many others, until further notice. But we had to.

It’s a challenge, but at least we can take comfort in knowing that we truly are not alone and we tried our very best to do all the right things first.

We will persist!

We are all strong and resilient and once we stop feeling like the sky is falling after a good night’s sleep we will figure it out.

We will rise, we will rise, we will rise; like the Phoenix from the ashes once again we will rise.

You see Mr Mutant, we have been through this before (one way or another). The unexpected and uninvited has been here once before in our lifetime and while the landscape is not as murky and though we cannot see you, we will rise.

Until then, we will adjust. We will take stock and regain focus.

To our community, we thank you.
We thank you so much for all the kind words, the encouragement and the support you are expressing through this.

While it is fresh and we have no clear idea what is in store for anyone, we ask that you keep supporting us, keep connected, stay involved and say hello virtually as much as possible.

Stay Healthy.

Owner & Head Coach
Also chief cry baby at this time 😀

“Is it bad?”

DualShock 4

I’ve been coaching our junior weightlifting program at The Hub in a variety of formats for almost two years.  At the beginning of one of our programs, a junior weightlifter came in with limited body awareness, strength, and mobility. He was upfront about how he had spent the last two-ish years of his teenage life: playing video games, sitting around with friends, casually riding his bike around town… Basically, he had been sedentary.  He knew it, that was why he joined weightlifting, and he could feel it when he got started.

He was getting especially down on himself a couple weeks in because he was having a lot of difficulty doing exercises he knew.  We would occasionally do auxiliary exercises similar to those he had done in a previous youth fitness class and he could really feel where he had lost mobility and strength. 

BUT, we kept focusing on the fact that he was in there, that he was taking steps to be active, and that he wanted to get back what he lost. It became a game of getting back to where he was and beyond

person about to lift the barbel

Then one session we came upon an exercise that he couldn’t do safely: segment pause deadlifts. When he moved down into his start position he had to disengage and round his back in order to reach the barbell on the ground. Since we’re in the business of finding solutions and working from where people are at, I grabbed some short jerk boxes and we set the barbell on them instead of the ground.  From there he could safely perform the exercise with an engaged and neutral back. It was perfect. We would work on improving his mobility in other exercises while still building posterior strength with this exercise. 

But his eyes caught mine. He looked at the barbell sitting on top of the jerk boxes, then looked back at me.  Appearing disenchanted, he said,

“Is it bad?”

This was the time to encourage him. Say the wrong thing, and it could have a seriously negative impact.

So I paused.  I collected my thoughts and responded, “It is NOT bad. It’s just where you are.  We all come into new sports with different abilities and with different limitations.  Some limitations are physical, some are mental. Right now your limitation is getting into a start position.  For others it’s shoulder mobility or catching overhead. For others it’s core strength. For others still it’s not believing they are strong enough.  But I promise it’s not bad. It’s just where you are. And we will work together to get you where you need to be.” He looked up and determinedly carried on.

So this is for anyone else who needs to hear it: 

It’s not bad.  It’s just where you are.  We just have to work together to get where you need to be.

(And wouldn’t you know it, within 5 weeks of training 2x per week and doing some mobility work at home, he was able to get into his start position with an engaged back – a safe and stable position. It’s amazing how far we can come when the drive and the effort are there.)

Keep it clean.

Honestly, it saddens us that we need to say this publicly. Or, truly, that we are compelled to feel there is a need to say this buuuut…

In the light of the knowledge that there are growing cases of the COVID-19 virus in Alberta, a handful of which that are in Calgary, close to home and a place many of our neighbors travel to daily for work, we feel it’s important to remind our gym goers that we take great lengths to keep The Hub clean.

That said, we are continuing our measures to ensure all users wipe down all equipment and that our staff does the same as a double safe measure. This includes the barbells, handles of dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls. Anyone feeling the slightest bit ill is encouraged to stay home and make an informed decision on calling 811 or not.

In the meantime, if any of our current gym users want an at home program they can follow, we can provide it.

If you need someone to lead and watch you online as your accountability buddy, we can arrange that. Heck, we will even go as far as filming the classes in house as best as possible so that you can “join the class” and challenge yourself with what you have available to you.

We do also offer online/satellite coaching to anyone interested by way of our program design option. This means that you cannot use the current pandemic to simply hoard your toilet paper and skip out on workouts. Those Costco bails of toilet paper weigh around 13.2 lbs; we weighed one; so that means you can get in a decent workout using them as your resistance.

You’re welcome 😉

When this mayhem resolves we will continue to clean like the freaks we are, ensuring the space is clean, germ free and comfortable for all to come to for the community, the social support and stay for the workout.

Remember, isolation is not healthy for the brain. It leads to depression and actually weakens our immune system so take advantage of the OCD clean freak that we are and come say “hi”…. as long as you don’t feel any symptoms and have been cleared by 811.

If you feel any concern or worries please call 811 immediately so that you can get tested in your home and then help stop the spread of this virus.

We also thank you at this time for not stealing our toilet paper.
Our greatest fear right now is running out. Not that we are inadequate.

Cleaning Supply image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Inspired by our Youth

Working with youth in sport has become an invaluable part of my life.  I get paid to coach, but I also volunteer to share my sport at schools. And I can not say enough positive things about that time that I spend with kids.  

To prove my point, recently I had an incredible volunteer experience that I thought was going to be a disaster for me.  

I had been down in the dumps for quite a while, like a black hole of negativity.  I was critical and defensive. I could not do anything right, and no one else could do anything right.  In training, I was extremely hard on myself and was not taking coaching very well. It was to the point where I was convincing myself to NOT just quit and walk away.  For anyone who has been competing in a sport for long enough, they can understand that this happens sometimes, but for me it was worse than I had experienced previously.

Luckily I had finally seen in myself what was going on and was taking steps to clear my head and figure out how to climb out of the hole.  

Not yet my usual positive self, I had an event with 100+ teenage girls about sport empowerment.

You can imagine how difficult this was to wrap my mind around. Here I was, struggling with a sport I love, finding nothing good about it, criticizing myself constantly, ready to quit, being a crappy person to my coach, and I had to go demonstrate and talk about Olympic weightlifting and sport empowerment to this room full of girls. I saw nothing good coming out of me attending.

Not a bone in my body or thought in my mind wanted to go that day.  I forced myself to go because I could see past myself by this point and I knew I had to do it for the girls, and I knew it would do me good.

So I went.  

It was the BEST thing I could have done…

The girls were so excited to try weightlifting!  With contagious smiles on their faces and an amazing willingness to learn, I taught and demonstrated for two hours that day and truly enjoyed teaching them the lifts.

But the most amazing turn-around in my mindset came during a question and answer session with the girls and all of the other amazing sport representatives that were there. We got asked questions like…

Why did you start your sport?

What inspires you to keep going?

What do you struggle with the most in your sport?

I gotta tell ya, when you are struggling with your mindset in a deep hole of despair and you’re in front of 100+ girls with a microphone to answer these questions, you dig deep to find those meaningful answers that you know are buried in you somewhere.  Those answers that somehow got covered up with cynicism and resentment.  

Well, I found those deep and meaningful answers for those girls, and for myself it turns out.  I spoke about and reminded myself how much I love my sport, how inspired I am by my coach and teammates, and why I compete in and coach this sport.  I’m not sure I’d be as far out of my black hole as I am now if it wasn’t for that event that every part of me was resisting.  

There is nothing quite like talking to, teaching/coaching, and watching kids in your sport to have them pull out your truth and help you (re-)find your inspiration. I walked away feeling some light ahead of me. 

I highly encourage anyone involved in sport as an adult to make time for working with or volunteering with youth sport. It is so good for the soul: You will find a deeper connection with your sport; you will be constantly reminded why you choose the sport that you do; you will renew your passion and love for the sport. 

And you will keep the sport alive with the next generation. Who doesn’t love that idea?