Monday, December 31, 2012

ELM Top 10 For 2012



 This is a pic of many of my favourite ELM peeps!  Who got together for a special surprise party for me in honour of ELMs 10th year birthday last year...BIG thank you to all of you for taking the time to celebrate with me...and for making me cry:)
The last day of 2012.

I love looking back on the year gone by.  It reminds me of all of the good laughs I have had, all of the great adventures I have enjoyed and all of the amazing people I have done it with.  I have been sorting through hundreds of inspiring images from ELMs many adventures this past year.  From Team ELM races to epic trail moments and supernatural vistas, we have had a pretty fantastic year.  I am so fortunate to have met so many amazing people though ELM over the years...thank you for bringing so much joy to my life!

My goal this morning was to choose 10 images for the ELM Top 10 for 2012...yeah...right.  As if I could choose just 10 lol!  So, instead, I have created 10 collages of my favourite images of my Top 10 ELM Adventures for 2012.  Here they are in no particular order...just piles of great memories that I hope you will enjoy:)

I am enjoying looking back...but at the same time, I can't wait to see what 2013 will bring!!

Cheers to a Happy and Healthy New Year my friends:)

PS...don't forget to make your 2013 Vision board...set your intention for the new year...


1. Team ELM and Team ELM Too in the Royal Lepage Snow to Surf Relay.  What an awesome day with 18 awesome women!

2.  Endless Sunrises with my Bootcamp recruits:)  Your hard work and determination inspires me at every workout!

3.  Team ELM kicks up some serious snow at the YETI!  The year will begin again with this fun event on January 26th...
4.  ELM & IPF 'Run-ilates' Lole Meet Up!  This was ELM's 3rd Meet Up in 2012 and we joined forces with IPF to offer a fun, fusion workout that was free for the community.  Looking forward to more in 2013:)

5. ELM 2012 Adventure Running Series!  We had miles of scenic trails, countless breath taking vistas, numerous mid-run dips in the lake and endless trail adventures this year.  Thank you for expanding your sense of adventure and always being up for a challenge:)  I am counting the days until the spring session kicks off in 2013!

6. Team ELM Glowbots rock the Squamish 50 mile relay!  What an awesome road trip with an awesome team of ELM friends:)  Squamish didn't know what hit them when these fluorescent costumed cats set up shop at the relay.  Good times and great memories!

7.  Perseverance 2012...what a ride!  This year we sold out days in advance of the race for the very first time.  300 racers, 50+ volunteers, 40+ donors and sponsors and one GIANT cheque in the amount of $4000 for the Cumberland Community Forest Society.  Thank you to everyone who donated time, resources, smiles and energy to make this event such a huge success.  And BIG hugs for my partner in crime, Lene Curts of Extreme Runners:)  Only 2 years until our 10 year anniversary...

8 Team ELM & the MOMAR!  We had a whole crew of teams sign on for this years MOMAR adventure races - in Burnaby and Cumberland.  Congratulations to all of the ELM Teams and MOMAR 101 graduates who tackled these challenging (but oh so fun) races this year.  We had a record number of teams with ELM racers toe the line in Cumberland...can't wait to see what force we can bring to the table for 2013:)

9.ELM River Run Off Road Half Marathon Challenge!  This year, ELM offered a new special half marathon event for our Off Road Half Marathon Clinic participants.  Rather than travelling out of town for a finale race, our participants got to stay in town, race on the same trails they trained on all summer and have their very own race, complete with chocolate medals and a family potluck picnic afterwards.  We enjoyed it so much that we are going to do it again this year!  Watch for the 2013 ELM River Run Half Marathon coming next August!  BIG thank you to Kim Senechal for coaching our half marathoners to success!

10. Miles of smiles with my ELM Fearless Leaders!  Arran, Kathy K, Lynn, Audrey, Diana, Gen, John, Rae, Kathy P, Kim, Alma, Darla, Nicole...I couldn't do it without you...and cannot thank you enough for your support!  We have enjoyed many adventures together...but what happens on the trail stays on the trail lol!  Thank you for your sense of adventure and for putting up with my sometimes hair brained plans:)  I am so lucky to know you all and to have you in my life.  ELM may have brought us together, but our memories and laughter will ensure we never come apart:)

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Challenge Story

I hope you are living loving and laughing up a storm with your friends and family during this special time of year;).  I know I am!  

I am sure you are also starting to wade into that end of the year reflection and look outward to the horizon for visions of the coming year.  I know I am:)

The world is your oyster.  Ya, you've heard that one before.  But simple as it may sound...the funny thing is true.  I don't have time to get all philosophical on you right now...wait for that in my New Years post lol:)  For now, I would like to share a story of success with you that I am sure will inspire you to push ahead on your own journey.  

This interview is with one of ELM's 'Full On Fitness & Nutrition Challenge' participants who completed the program with flying colours this past year.  This participant followed the 10-week program closely, worked hard and was rewarded with awesome results.  I asked him about the program and how he was able to find such success.  Big thank you to Jamie for sharing his experience for others to benefit from. Enjoy!

A Challenge Story

Your fitness improved significantly during the ELM Full on Fitness & Nutrition Challenge.  After only 10 weeks you lost 12 pounds, 4% body fat and 8 inches.  You also saw big changes in your fitness testing results with numbers like:  Increased VO2max by 11%, Push Ups by 32% and Core stability by 48%.  For someone that already had a moderately high level of fitness going into the Challenge, these are very big changes indeed!   Congratulations on your success!
How did the ELM Challenge help you achieve these results?
ELM helped me stay focused and on task for both the nutrition and fitness components. It re-established the fitness and nutrition knowledge I had but presented it in a use able and practical manner so I achieved results. The app on my phone ( was easy to use anywhere and ensured I tracked my calories and nutrition accurately and in a timely manner.  I tend to snack and eat without thinking so it kept me aware of my eating habits and even broke several if my bad habits.  There was no trying to remember what I had eaten all day and then adding up all the calories and nutrition at the end of the day; which would have been tedious and I likely would have slacked off after a few weeks.  I also got in the habit of putting my food on the plate and then adding up the calories before I ate. This ensured I took some time to reflect on the calories and nutrition and didn't wolf down my food without enjoying it (I tend to inhale food rather than savour it). 
The group classes were motivating and absolutely necessary for the fitness component. The Bootcamp-style workout days I had to complete alone was the hardest part.  I guess I need a group to stay motivated. The running was just good for the mind and body.  I was doubtful of being able to exercise as much as the program requested but was surprised to find that I was easily keeping up with my fitness workouts after the first two weeks of adjustment. 

What changes did you make to your nutrition during the 10 weeks?
I snacked much less but when I did it involved more fruit and veg.  I drank more water, read all labels and generally learned to be more aware of the quality of the fuel going into my body. It enabled me to make smarter choices by simply paying attention to foods. Tim hortons lost a mint in timbits but still sold me lots of tea.

How difficult were these changes?
I was surprised to find how easy every aspect of the program was. The results were so obvious and consistent it was very motivating. The nutrition, when presented in such a convenient manner of tracking intake and exercise, was easy.  Finding time to exercise with a family was hard.  Made for a few missed appointments and late arrivals.

What changes did you make to your fitness during the 10 weeks?
Fitness was an increase in consistency and volume due to tracking with the homework sheets, as much as i did curse doing them late sunday night. As I lost weight I found running became easier and i could run longer. I think the biggest difference in strength was by adding the 3rd bootcamp-style workout day.

How difficult was it to make these?
I achieved these changes through making time to exercise.  I made it a priority. 

What obstacles did you face during the Challenge and how did you over come them?
The only real obstacles were getting the time to keep up my fitness minutes and finding an adequate place to do the 3rd bootcamp-style workout day. I scheduled fitness into my day and updated my wife on my fitness schedule every day to ensure there was no conflict (or at least to minimize conflict).

How did you stay motivated during the Challenge?
I truly enjoyed almost every aspect if it and learned a great deal about my potential.  I found most of it effortless if not fun ... It felt very natural. Having all your pants too loose and punching holes in your belts is a good motivator. I also found some of my long lost abs. 
 And yes, I look great naked;)

What advice do you have for others who are looking to make changes to their fitness?  Any tips or tricks that helped you?
 I could only suggest the get the support and understanding of family before starting due to the time commitment or there may be some resentment. Include the kids in the runs (they bike) and workouts so they learn the importance of fitness and you are also spending time together. Do not try to do too much at once or you'll get frustrated and discouraged however. For example, running with both kids and the dog can be catastrophic if things don't go perfectly. My other suggestion is use the iPhone apps for the nutrition component. The other trick was adding up the calories prior to starting the meal, that made me slow down and think about the food. I'm no longer a food inhaler.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience?
I want a shirt damn it! "ELM Overachiever!" across the chest, stats on the back. (just kidding).

You are one of the busiest people I know- father of two, medical professional, running an extremely busy company that involves long days and long commutes.  'Not enough time' is one of the biggest excuses I hear for not exercising more often.  How did YOU manage to overcome this obstacle?
I had the cooperation and understanding of my wife. I scheduled my exercise mostly in the AM before others were up or discussed my workout intentions with barb ahead of time so we could schedule it into the day without screwing up our family plans. Work took a bit of a hit and I had to make up for some work that was pushed to the side. Lots of scheduling and juggling! Also, once you are into the second week, the energy and serenity that comes from an elevated fitness regime made you want to keep going.

Thanks for being my health enabler.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Final 12 Days of Christmas Workout...

Hello and Happy Friday!

OK here is the 3rd and final holiday inspired 12-Days of Christmas workout from ELM for 2012.  I know that my Sunrise recruits are happy to say goodbye until next year:)  If you run out of time and can't get to your usual class, gym, program etc then make some room in your living room and get 'er done with this workout.  You will need a stop watch or interval timer (I LOVE the gymboss ap) to keep you honest and stop you from taking too much rest:)  Don't be afraid to crank your favourite playlist cuz it will probably help you keep pushing until the end.  Can't do one of the exercises due to injury, lack of equipment, space etc?  No problem, just substitute another of your LEAST favourite exercises in and keep on going.

For this workout you will complete each of the 12 exercises once, starting with #1 and working your way down to #12.  NO rest between exercises.  Just move right on over to the next one and see how quickly you can get this workout done.  It should take you about an hour:)  Don't have an hour?  No problem.  Just get through as many exercises as you can in the time you have and come back to it at your next workout.  Done.  Now go warm up and then go hard so you can create a caloric deficit before the insanity to come...

Merry Christmas!
12 Days of Christmas Timed Intervals
  1. *10 hill sprints
  2. * 40 sec power push ups with 20 sec rest between
  3. *60 sec skip 30sec power jacks (bend your knees and squat wide)
  4. * 30 sec jump ups with 10sec rest
  5. *10 sec plank foot hops with 5 sec hold plank rest
  6. *20 sec in out abs with 10 sec rest
  7. *20 sec split squat jumps with 10 sec rest
  8. *20 sec dips with 10 sec rest
  9. *10sec upright row with 5 sec res
  10. *10 sec around the world (travelling wide squat with floor touch) 5 each direction
  11. *10 sec pull ups with 10 sec rest
  12. * burpee push ups to finish!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gifts to Inspire Anyone & Everyone

Hello Friends of ELM!

Christmas is just around the corner (in case you hadn't noticed:) and I thought you might like a little help with your last minute shopping... If you need a unique gift that will inspire someone you love then look no further than ELM's little online store!  At ELM we have something for everyone on your list and for any budget.  Give the gift of health. Shop local if you can.  Win-Win:)  Oh, and receive a complimentary super rad ELM t-shirt (see the super rad design below) when you spend $200 or more this December:)  Happy shopping!


Under $10
ELM E-books!  NRG Foods that will move you and Fit & Free are both available as e-books in the ELM store:)

Skipping rope!  Great stocking stuffer! Email to have one delivered to your door.

SCORE video downloads!  Help a friend overcome fitness obstacles by having a workout video delivered directly to their computer.

Under $15
NRG Foods that will move you!  2nd edition will be hot off the presses by Weds December 19th!  Pre-order your copy today by emailing

Under $20
 Fit & Free: Seven Steps to Achieving Fitness for Life.  Who doesn't need a little motivation to overcome inertia or keep on moving?  This step by step book will help anyone with a goal of living a more active and vital life.
Mini Bands (set of 4) or Stalastix Tubing.  Have gym will travel!  This is the least expensive way to start your own home gym.  Don't be fooled by flashy marketing infomercials- you don't need fancy gym equipment to get a great workout.  Bands and Tubing are an awesome way to get fit at home, outdoors or while you are on the road. Email to have bands delivered right to your door!

Learn To Run! Online Training Plan   Share ELM's tried and true Learn to Run program that has successfully coached hundreds of runners from the couch to running 20 minutes on a regular basis:)  Starting slowly and building gradually are two important keys to success when learning to run.  Give the gift of running to a friend!

Under $40
ELM Annual Membership!  This is the gift that keeps on giving all year long!  Discounts on all of ELMs classes, at our local sponsoring businesses and seasonal Members Only low or no-cost events throughout the year!

Online Triathlon Training Plans!  Do you have a friend who has always dreamed of doing a triathlon?  Or perhaps they have gotten their toes wet and are ready to dive in the deep end and improve their results?  This fun gift will be sent directly to their computer so they can begin training right away!

Under $60
Yoga...for Athletes!  Looking for the perfect gift for the already active person on your list?  Look no further!  Runners, bikers, skiers, hikers all tend to have one thing in problem...they don't spend enough time on their flexibility!  This 6-week program will help them release tight muscles and take a deep breathe in their busy schedules.

Under $70
Run Tech Workshop This specialized workshop with Kinesiologist, Sarah Seads, is the perfect gift for any runner on your list.  Video analysis, corrective exercise and drills and skills to improve running form.  This 2.5 hour workshop will give them a lifelong set of tools to improve their running!


Under $80
Need for Speed! Do you know a runner who would like to be faster?  Who doesn't?!  Give them a priceless gift of 6-weeks of coached speed training sessions with Sarah Seads.  Weekly coaching, education, training sessions and homework to take their running to the next level this year.  The tools in this clinic will last a lifetime.

Under $100
Full On Fitness & Nutrition 10 Week Challenge.  This 10-week Challenge may be just what you or a friend needs to reach your goals this year.  Add this Challenge package onto any ELM Fitness Adventure and watch the results soar.  Before and after fitness testing/ body composition assessments, personalized training plan, grocery store tour, weekly fitness & nutrition coaching, weekly nutrition tracking, training manual and t-shirt!


OK there are some ideas to get you started...and that is just the beginning:)  Give us a shout if you have any questions!

12 Days of Christmas Workout Part Deux

 Look.  I didn't say it was going to be easy.

Here is another holiday inspired workout.  Inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas and the Hedgehogs on your desk.  Yup, I can see them from here.  Chuck those hogs and get your body movin' with this workout asap!  And... I double dog dare you to do it in less than 45 minutes...

Warm Up 5mins
Complete each exercise for number of rounds based on where it falls in the 12 Days of Christmas. Don't do everything all over again each time for this one (unlike the song).  Just do 1 then 2 then 3 etc until you (finally) reach the 12th day. Think of this as 12 wonderful presents that I am giving you.  Enjoy!
  1. * 10 hill sprints
  2. * 10 wide & 10 narrow push ups
  3. * 90 skips 30jacks
  4. * 10 jump ups alternating with 10 jump downs
  5. * 10 plank hops with 5 sec hold rest
  6. * 10 sky reaches alternating each side
  7. * 30 step sprints with 15 step rest (count one leg)
  8. * 5 power dips with 10 sec rest (push hard off the bench-try to lift off!)
  9. * burpee push ups
  10. * 5 pistol squats each leg
  11. * 3 pull ups with 10 sec rest between each (jump up if you have to!) OR decline push ups
  12. * 8 jump lunges or walking lunges (yes, each leg)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is Change as Good as a Rest?

Is change as good as a rest?  

Well...I don't know about that.  Apples and oranges if you ask me.  Rest is a powerful creature- too little rest and chaos follows...too much rest and the weight of inertia settles in.  

Change is an entirely different animal all together.  It can occur slowly, organically and seemingly without detection over time.  Or, it can happen with wicked speed and force, ripping away life as we know it and revealing an unknown world.  (Oh ok, there maybe some shades of grey in between but a little drama never hurts;)

Everyone approaches change with a different perspective.  Many of us hide from it.  Avoid it.  Pretend we don't see it:)  Some of us are actually drawn to it.  Embrace it.  Seek it.  Even need it.  Regardless of where you are on the scale, I think you will agree that change is...well...uncomfortable.  Moving from that which we know to that which we do not know is always a little uncomfortable.  Rough, twitchy, shaky, awkward, rigid, messy, clumsy...I am not sure of the right word here...but it is anything but smooth or flowing.

So why on earth would we ever step over the edge into change if it is so uncomfortable?  

Change stretches our perspective.  It not only expands our physical world but also our mental image of our outer limits.  Our personal edge gets bumped out a bit further.  The sky lifts a little higher.  Our horizon moves outwards and we create space to grow into.  Change expands our capacity for living as human beings.

Change does not have to be massive to have impact on our lives.  Small changes can result in powerful shifts in our physical, mental and emotional selves.  Small changes can also light a spark that moves forward igniting more and more small day...boom!  You are in an entirely new world.  

Routine is wonderful, don't get me wrong.  There is true comfort in the routines of our life.  In contrast to 'rest', too much change can create chaos.  And too little change can also bring the weight of inertia with it.

Ready to feel a little uncomfortable?  

Are you ready to step over the edge and expand your horizon?  When is the last time you did something new?  Something you weren't good at?  Something you didn't know how to do?  The older we get, the less we try new things it seems.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons that children have such endless imaginations...the universe is their limit...they are expanding their horizons each and everyday with new challenges and concepts of reality.  

This month I have been stepping over my edge and trying a few new things.  (This is where this blog post grew from if you are wondering;).  What started as a strategy to distract myself from the dark days of winter, has turned into a fun personal adventure;)  

Last week I went to my first dance class.  EVER.  Yup.  Hip Hop at Triple Heat baby.  Who can't benefit from a few new moves?  How was it?  Fun, of course!  What surprised me was how much my head hurt, however.  Stretching your brain is a great workout for it! And hip hop is better than cross-words (and more fun) I say!  The week before it was a new yoga studio and class at the Asana Room.  I thoroughly enjoyed the instruction of a new teacher and the energy of a new space.  And last Friday I spent an hour with Cross-Fit coach, Mark, at Titanium to get an intro to the Olympic Lifts.  Clean and Jerk anyone?  That hurt my brain just as much as hip hop lol!  Trying to lay new patterns in a strong mind-body can be just as challenging as starting from the beginning...if not more?  I am looking forward to trying a few more new things this winter.  Not only is it great for personal growth but it is also a great way to meet new people and explore what the Valley has to offer.

And now... I have a challenge for you!  
I challenge you to try something novel this month.  We are having a December Challenge over at ELM...come on over and check it out and then I encourage you to post your Challenge.  What will it be?


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And the Winners Are...

Don't you just love winning free stuff?  

I love giving it away ALMOST as much as I love winning it:)  You have to enter to win and we had 60 people enter the ELM 11 Year Birthday Give Away!  Now it is time to announce the names of 8 lucky winners!!

Thank you for entering the draw and sharing your thoughts about where you would like to see ELM grow in the future:)  Your feedback is so important to me and it helps us shape our programs and plans.  We exist to help you reach your health and fitness goals so THANK YOU!

And the winners are...
  • $100 ELM Fitness Adventure Dollars!! ... Kerri Brownie!  GRAND PRIZE WOOHOO!
  • 1 pair of Ryders Sunglasses ... Arran Kerrigan!
  • 1 copy of Fit & Free by Sarah Seads ... Murray Galloway!
  • Salomon Buff ... May Reimer!
  • Salomon Buff ... Karen Langhans!
  • Salomon Buff ...Anne Leung!
  • Salomon Buff ...Crystal Mather!
  • Salomon Buff ...Ed Houlihan

Congratulations!  I will have your prizes with me at the ELM & Extreme Runners Customer Appreciation party tomorrow night!  Let me know if you cannot attend and we can arrange for an alternate pick up.