Monday, December 23, 2013

Becoming a better fitness trainer

Sometimes we have bad experiences and it gives us a new perspective on things.  This happened to me as a trainer, more than once.  I'd like to share one of those stories.
Pool at one of my triathlons

Before I ever completed my first triathlon way back in the day, I looked for a swim coach for some training.  I had been a certified trainer for a few years already, really just needed some swim training.  

Anyway, I found a trainer who was also a swim coach and hired her specifically to work with me on swimming to prep for the triathlon.

She took me swimming a handful of times & gave me some tips & training.  I'll give her that.  But I got more.  Here's some highlights of what I received:

  • We went to a local university's pool to swim. I had expressed nerves about being there beforehand.  Instead of being sensitive to that she made fun of the EXACT thing I was nervous about.  In front of everyone.  Nice.
  • We didn't do much swimming.  Maybe that's good since she made fun...Mostly I ran with her, which was not what I hired her for nor was it something I needed help with.  
  • Did I mention when we ran, she would bring along her child, her dog & proceed to scream at the child throughout.
  • When she wasn't screaming at the child, she was non stop talking all about herself.  I mean constantly.  Ugh.
  • I met her run group for a weekend long run.  Once.  She promised me two things
    1) I wouldn't run more than 6 miles (for crying out loud, I was training for a 3 mile race)
    2) She would stay with me the entire time because I didn't know the route.
    10 minutes into it she ran ahead because I was too slow.  I had NO idea where I was.  I got lost.  I ran nearly 9 miles.
  • She chose a triathlon for my first one, specifically telling me this was a perfect first tri for anyone.  I didn't do this one first but I did it a couple of years later.  To this day that race was the hardest one I've done.  NOT a good beginner's tri.  This (among other things) tells me she was not in tune AT ALL with beginners.  
I'm not a sensitive person but this experience was really bad.  I was kinda traumatized by it.

Good things can come from negative experiences.  

  • This experience with her is the reason I started our Newbie Triathlon Program.  
  • This is one reason why OnTrack Fitness started working with beginners.  There's a special place in my heart for them.  I never EVER want anyone to have such a bad time like I did.  
  • I had the chance to take clients to that same pool.  We discussed what to expect beforehand, how to deal with nerves & HOPEFULLY I made it a better swim for them.  
  • We never leave people behind.  If I say I'll stay with you, I'll stay with you.  The workouts aren't about me.
Listen, I'm not saying I'm perfect.  Far from it.  I'm not saying she was a bad person either.  But I don't give credit to this trainer for teaching me to be better.  I give credit to God, who taught me how to be a better trainer through my experience.  Things work out in the end if we're open to learning.  
-- Written by Emily Collins Onwer & trainer of OnTrack Fitness

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Strive for health not perfection

Please understand that being healthy & fit does not mean perfection. There's no such thing as a perfect person so let's not make that our goal. There's no such thing as a perfect body. We don't need to have a perfect workout, or to eat as 'perfect' as we think we should. 

Being healthy isn't about that. 

Listen, there's nothing wrong w wanting to look our best. But if that's the only focus, life is gonna be miserable. 

Instead of punishing ourselves, striving for a perfect body or some beauty standard that has no meaning, let's strive for a healthy life. Let's be a STRONG, healthy role model for our kids. Let's work toward a wonderful, joyful life God intended for us! 

-- Written by Emily Collins OnTrack Fitness owner & trainer Honolulu HI

Monday, December 16, 2013

Healthy mommies!

This is my first update after week 1 of what I like to call, "Operation: FitMom." I have another name for it but, it's inappropriate ha! 

Before we get started on this journey, I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself and talk about OnTrack Fitness (OTF). My name is Davonni "Doni" Bullock, the newest and youngest trainer for OTF. I've been married for almost three years to my husband who is currently deployed. We have two fur kids
My 1st addition to my home gym!
and recently added our newest family member, our first daughter, Eleanor Bullock. I love to lead an active lifestyle and some of my hobbies include cooking, baking, and crafting. 

Our OTF family loves beginners. No judgment or intimidation here. Even if you don't know what a "burpee" is or the correct form for a push-up, we welcome you.  Even if you've never exercised or know nothing about healthy living, we're here to guide you.  And if you're more advanced in the fitness world, we welcome you too!  We have a passion for inspiring, encouraging, and teaching others how to lead a healthy lifestyle that will LAST. 

As you follow me on this journey I'd like for you to keep in mind, I'm a trainer yes, but I'm also human and struggle with my own fitness challenges just like everyone else. Here it is- what I've been up to the first week after receiving the O.K. from my doctor to start exercising. 

This week's challenges: With my husband gone and family far away, my workouts get interrupted a lot by the baby. I would get frustrated (not at the baby just at our situation) and then get down on myself for losing composure.

Some workouts that would take me 30 minutes now run a little longer because well- I'm out of shape. I wasn't expecting to be at the level I was before deciding to have a baby, but I didn't know I would be this far behind. I'm sore and tired and with breast feeding thrown into working out, I'm literally hungry ALL day long....but the funny thing is I FEEL GREAT.  I missed the soreness, I missed the sweat, and I missed how relieved I felt after a good workout. 

On the bright side, I'm not as far behind as I was anticipating! I can still hold plank position for over a minute and I still have great stamina and endurance. Muscle memory is my best friend. Your body doesn't forget, you just have to remind it at times. After my first workout, I knew not to expect to wake up with abs the next morning, or rock solid thighs- I know to stay REALISTIC as in- results take time. 

Whenever I feel down about my performance or how I struggle with exercises that used to be so easy for me, I remember: at least I'm getting off the couch and getting active. I'm putting forth my best effort and that alone will get me to my goals. In retrospect- when getting back into a regiment don't worry about what you use to be able to do-you have to let go to start new. This is your time to start with a clean slate.

So here's my question to you.  Are you ready to start with a clean slate?  You CAN get healthy, no matter what life throws your way.  YOU can do this!  I'm here to help, and all of us at OnTrack Fitness are here to help guide & encourage you - even when times get tough!  And it doesn't matter where you live, we're here for you if you need training (we train all over the country) or just an encouraging word to keep going. We got your back & we're here to help! -- Written by Doni Bullock, OnTrack Fitness trainer San Diego

Get more tips & encouragement on our Facebook & Instagram pages!

Monday, December 9, 2013

My first marathon

The Honolulu Marathon.  My first marathon has been ran & wow, what an experience!  This was a big deal for me.  Almost one year I trained for this race.  I have to say that it was
Right after crossing the finish line
worth every minute.  

I had four goals for this event. They were to:

  • Finish
  • Go slow & steady
  • Have fun
  • Leave everything on the course 
That's exactly what I did & it felt great!  

I won't lie, it was really hard.  From what I saw everyone suffers during the marathon.  I suffered.  After a certain point my body ached all over and I felt like it would never, ever ever end.  But I knew there was an end to it and there was!  My body, though it ached, carried me across the finish line.  Not just that but it even responded when I asked it to push past the pain to sprint through the finish.  Totally amazing what we can do when we want it enough!

The entire experience changes you, and as time goes on I'm sure I'll learn more about this.  For now, these are my thoughts...

  • Reaching such a goal transfers to the rest of your life.  You learn patience.  You learn to endurance & not just physical.  Dedication.  Pushing past pain, both physical & mental.  Delayed gratification.  The list goes on...
  • You're not alone.  When you do something like a marathon, everyone - everyone around you is working toward the same goal.  Everyone is suffering.  There's a raw, human realness there.  You're all experiencing the same thing & that makes you see people in a little different way.  It's nice.
  • There's a plan for you that you might not understand.  Stay true & it'll be worth it.  I wanted my first marathon to be the Space Coast in FL (a doable drive from where we lived).  Didn't happen.  Then I choose San Diego, close to where we moved.  Didn't happen.  I was so sad.  But God had planned for my first marathon to be in paradise.  What a gift! 
  • This brings out the greatness in people.  Wheelchairs, disabilities, people with crooked spines, the elderly.  There were all kinds of people with less than perfect health running a freaking marathon...but it's not just the runners.  I ran past hundreds of caring, encouraging, self sacrificing people that spent half a weekend day just to encourage me to keep running!  WOW!  I didn't know people could be so kind.  
I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  You may never run a marathon, and that's perfectly fine.  You don't have to.  Everyone has their own, so to speak, marathon in life.  Maybe for you it's a 5k, breaking the 'diet-fail' cycle or becoming a healthy role model for your kids.  

Whatever it is, put your heart & soul into it & get it done.  Keep going past the pain of change. And don't let anyone - ever, ever tell you that you can't do it or make you feel bad.  It's worth the effort in the end!  Let me know if I can help. -- Written by Emily Collins, OnTrack Fitness owner & trainer Honolulu HI  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A journey to weight loss and healthy living

We've had the privilege of providing fitness classes for one of our employee wellness clients in Indiana for several years.  One of our class participants has been working diligently toward change.  She's done so well that we asked her to share her story.  
Clark's Zumba class.  Can you tell they have fun getting fit?

Here's what Nancy, teacher at Clark Pleasant Community School Corporation, says about her journey.  She shares some wisdom that's quite inspiring!  

"My journey started when my doctor told me that the results of my annual A1C blood test to monitor my diabetes showed that I was beginning to show signs of kidney damage.  I've known people on dialysis and on transplant lists and definitely didn't want to go down that road.  I want to grow old with my husband Roger  and watch my sons Brett, Jared and Evan start families of their own. I asked him could I reverse the damage and he said yes with weight loss and exercise.  So it took this scare to get my "butt in gear." 

My biggest change I think is my commitment to exercise.    If you told me a few years ago that I would exercise on a routine basis I would of told you that you're nuts.  Of course like many people I know what I should and shouldn't be eating but didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it.  To this day my downfall is Pepsi's and bread (I'm an animal if you put a basket of yeast rolls in front of me) and I still have these things but in moderation.     I think moderation and consistency are the two main factors that have played in my success.         

My motivation during tough times is the fact I don't want to go back to my 2x and 3x size clothes (actually I've given most of these to Goodwill).  I keep myself motivated by treating myself when I reach a weight loss goal.  When I lost 10 lbs. I treated myself to acrylic nails, when I lost 20 lbs. I bought myself something and just kind of keep treating myself when I achieve a goal.   I am currently suffering a minor setback because at age 54 I have started the menopause cycle and my weight loss has stalled.  I'm trying to think of things to jump start the weight loss again because my goals is to drop 25-30 lbs. more and to get off all of my medications for my diabetes.    

Another motivation has been to incorporate different types of exercise routines.  I started my journey on the treadmill, moved to Zumba dvds and then moved to Zumba classes that you offer.  I've also begun doing the step aerobics and circuit classes that are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays and believe the variety helps keep me interested and motivated.  

My support system consists of my husband (who I got to start exercising on Saturday mornings when he saw I was getting up and doing my Zumba dvds), my sons (who try and make me accountable for when I skip a night and don't exercise or whenever I sit at a restaurant and eat too many yeast rolls) and my coworkers.   My coworkers are always complementing me on my success and telling me I'm their inspiration and some of them are actually my "exercise buddies" for the classes you offer.  

The benefits I have noticed are of course the weight loss and the fact I can actually fit into smaller clothes but most of all I've noticed my energy levels increase.  I used to go home after work and sit myself on the couch until it was time to fix dinner.  I now leave work, attend a class, go home fix dinner and not really sit down on the couch too much because I have the energy to do a little more at home each evening, i.e. vacuum, work in the yard, etc.  One thing that really got me excited was the fact that when I had to buy some clothes for work because of my weight loss that I got to go to a totally different section of the store.  It might seem like a small thing but it was uplifting to me.

I would tell anyone starting the journey or struggling to "not count yourself out".  It's a process and won't happen overnight.  I encourage everyone to reward themselves with each small milestone they achieve and don't deprive yourself,  just don't "over indulge".    Again, the key word is moderation.

If I can do it anyone can and never give up on yourself, even if you have a setback and gain a little of your weight back.    Just pick yourself up, realize where you slipped up, correct it and continue your journey."

Nancy, we are so proud of you for taking control of your life!

If you're ready to take control of your life & need some help, let us know.  That's what we're here for!  It doesn't matter where you live, we work with people all over the country.  Email us  

You CAN make the change.  Start today! -- by Emily Collins, Owner of OnTrack Fitness