Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Want to bang your own drum ... join this TRIBE!!!

Yesterday I was outraged following 2 encounters with the medical profession that totally eroded any faith I had that there was a part of the system that cared.

Firstly, having recently suffered a severe chest infection and resorting to antibiotics at the 3rd week, I took my 4 year old son to the doctor fearing he was in for the same.  He was complaining of sore head, sore throat and I was looking at green slime oozing from every facial orifice and listening to a bark that would make any smoker proud. 

So here's the conversation that caused my consternation .... following the introduction about my son's current condition and my concern ...

Doctor: "So, what is your preferred antibiotic?"

Me: "One that works"

Doctor: "Oh, it won't work"

Me: "So why give him a medication that won't work"

Doctor: "I see at least 30 people a day who want an antibiotic to make them better, even thought it may be a viral infection and an antibiotic is useless.  So I give them a prescription and it's up to them if they use it.  Otherwise they get sicker and blame it on us"

Me: (Silently to myself as I pick my jaw up off the floor) ... so 30 people a day who's immunity is already down and as a result are suffering a viral infection, are given useless drugs to put pressure on their internal organs to deliver no result just so the doctors don't get a bad wrap for telling it the way it is ... OMFG!!!!  And all this at taxpayers expense, as because it was Sunday I happened to be in the bulk billing clinic in the middle of town.

Doctor: "So, here is your prescription, and some information about viruses.  You can use it or not, it's up to you"

Me: (Silently to myself ... my jaw is again on the floor) OMFG!!!

... and I don't really use the "F" at all ....

Now, I'm a fitness trainer and every week watch people reduce their medication as they improve their health through dietary changes and moderate exercise.  I have massive success in helping people reduce their need for blood pressure medication and pain killers as they learn to appreciate the amazing body they live in and treat it a little better as a result.

The second encounter was through a client of mine, who after 5 weeks of a training program with me and a group of other amazing positive people, went to her doctor who promptly put her on the scales to remind her and reaffirm the fact that she was overweight, tell her that exercise was useless, that she had to have more tests and that he would then give her a pill to help her lose weight.  I'm going to say it again "OMFG"!!!!  She promptly rang me to cancel her training and tell me what a waste of time it all was.

The previous week this client had broken new ground mentally, physically and emotionally taking on challenges she would never have thought possible 6 months, and probably even 6 weeks ago.  How dare another individual, let alone someone from the medical profession, use their position to flatten her spirit with this kind of treatment.

Fortunately I belong to a tribe of amazing individuals who are each on their own journey to improve the QUALITY OF THEIR LIFE, not just the bank balance of the medical and pharmaceutical professions.  Within that tribe are people that will pick you up when you are down, laugh at you when you take yourself too seriously, and challenge you when you need to lift your game.  Within that group also are several medical professionals, who acknowledge the power and benefit of positive energy and healthy food and movement to improve the quality of both life and health.  They are doing it themselves.

The venting is complete and now I can move forward.  Health is a personal choice ... and you  don't have to give the power of that choice over to anyone, even if they are bulk billing!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Say it loud and say it often - "I am a healthy person"

This week the final 12 Week Challenge of the year has begun.  16 focused and energised people ready to commit to making small changes every day to deliver big changes in the long term.  The most often asked question so far this week - "what do I eat".

We will be having a full seminar on this next Saturday (24/9) at 1pm, so until then follow this simple advice.

Say it loud and say it often - tell your friends, but most of all just say it "I am a healthy person".

The choices about what to eat can be this simple.

When you identify yourself as a healthy person a few things will happen ...
1. You feel better about yourself and start to make better choices
2. You start to say no to unhealthy food choices - salty, fried, processed unhealthy foods
3. By saying it out loud you affirm it to yourself and by telling your friends they will help keep you accountable.

Find your role model for healthy - Mish Bridges is popular right now, Mike Le Roux is a local favourite, Matt O'Neill is a nutritionist who lives and breaths the message that he shares - all healthy people making healthy choices.

As a healthy person think like your healthy person role model and the rest of it becomes easy.

Say it loud and say it often - tell your friends, but most of all just say it


Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to break the 4 minute mile!

Anything is possible, but first you must believe.

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person in the history of the world to break the 4 minute mile. This was a barrier that sports and medical professionals believed was impossible and had universally decided that the human body was incapable of achieving.

One man disagreed and visualised himself running a quarter mile in under a minute and repeating the experience 4 times to achieve the ultimate 4 minute mile.

This is an excerpt from the newspaper of the day:

"The race was carefully planned and Bannister was aided by two pacemakers, Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway.  Brasher took the lead as the first pacemaker, Bannister slotted in behind, with Chataway in third place.  When Brasher began to feel the strain, Bannister signalled for Chataway to take over.

Just over 200 yards from the finish, Bannister took the lead with a final burst of energy. He sprinted to the line in record time and fell exhausted into the arms of a friend."

Bannisterʼs words upon completion of this immense task:

“ No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed."

With the impossibility of the task removed, within the year of Bannisters first ever 4 minute mile, 35 more people broke the barrier, the first of them within a month of Bannisterʼs amazing feat.

What does this mean for us? Believe in what you do and start running ....

So, how do you break the 4 minute mile - to be honest I haven't done it myself yet - I haven't trained, however I do believe it can be done.

Step 1 - Believe
Step 2 - Visualise
Step 3 - Train
Step 4 - Do

As with anything that you want to achieve in life, see the goal, make a plan, and get moving.

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle--when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."  (Abe Gubegan, an Ethiopian author and journalist)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

P is for ....

I was having a good read of a little article from Success Magazine this week and just wanted to share some of the positivity of it with you.

We are all striving to succeed in whatever we do and Success Mag did some research and managed to distill the following as the essential character traits of the most successful business people, athletes, politicians and celebrities of our time.

I've taken licence to paraphrase a little for brevity.

P is for People Centredness - that enables you to discover what people need and help them get it.
P is for Paradigm Breaking - the ability to present change as an improvement, not a burden.
P is for Prioritisation - the ability to carefully select what you say and what you do.
P is for Perfection - something we strive for in order to achieve our individual best.
P is for Partnership - enabling clear communication that can turn bad into good.
P is for Passion - not something you have, but something you are able to share.
P is for Persuasion - the ability to explain why an idea is great, not simply owning a great idea.
P is for Principled Action - which makes winning a whole life success in all areas, not just one.
And P is for the Power you have to create your life.

All pretty good stuff really!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Good vibrations!

Anything is possible ... but first you must believe!

What is vibration training, and more importantly does it work?

Today I began my quest to find the answer to this question.

A client posed a question to me recently - was there anything that I could do to help her paraplegic relative.  A daunting question to say the least, but what's life without a challenge? So I decided to look around ...

Well, seek and ye shall find ... your eyes might even pop, as mine did today!

Today I have had the most incredible feedback from people in the know that vibration training may in fact be able to deliver health and fitness benefits where other modes of training have failed.  I am like a kid with a new toy - I want to know everything about how this stuff works.  And here's why ...

In the research I have read so far a 74 year old wheelchair bound man was able to jump, walk on a treadmill and walk with a walker after 9 months of vibration treatment, with improvements continuing well beyond 16 months of treatment.

In another study 2 of 3 participants, all of whom had spinal paralysis of varying degrees, were able to walk independently using various walking aids following vibration training.

Scott Hopson has done some wonderful studies to find out just what can be achieved and to get a feel for what I'm talking about take a look at this.

When I first tried the Power Plate myself during a visit to Sydney earlier this year it felt like the missing link in my training.  Now I'm excited about finding out how it may be able to provide the missing link for those to whom training is barely even an option.  Here we may have a tool that improves muscle tone, metabolism, mobility, range of motion and movement, mental focus and attitude and sense of wellbeing.

In a world with so many challenges it's nice to imagine the possible positives of the Power Plate.

Stay tuned, this should be a fun ride.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Great new treatment for weight loss ... Anger Management!

I'm Simone and I have anger management issues.

I know this because whenever I get angry, I tend to go for chocolate.  Kind of like a valium only tastier, and with a completely contrary outcome to that which I desire.  Increased fat and caffeine in the system, which only serves to make me more cross, and less healthy.

Yesterday I met with an interesting little group of 4, with no particular agenda other than to get to know each other better, and discovered that I was not alone.  The stresses of the world right now seem to making us all a little bit angrier - be it that the financial downturn is having a direct affect on our lives, or that tourism is in fact a racist business, or that it just makes us cross when people aren't nice to each other, there's lots of little things out there making us angry.

As I speak to my clients I am learning a wide range of strategies for dealing with this ... most of which unfortunately involve food.

Get angry - eat.  BAD CHOICE.

Generally because we choose bad food at a time like this.

It's not rocket science to know that healthy food makes us feel better, delivers more energy and promotes a longer healthier life, but somehow it is beyond most of us to stop in a moment of anger and MABC (make a better choice).

Consider the outcome
1) eat chocolate, takeaway, cake, etc  = guilt and need for punishment;
2) eat salad = feel good and proud of decision, have more energy, relax mood, gain health

In a moment of anger your choice can equal either pleasure or pain.  This is your choice.

Today I challenge you to find a strategy that helps you MABC.

Mine is a mantra - I am privileged to be fit, healthy and strong, my body and my mind deserve the best.  Simply saying it removes the chocolate option.

Your choices give you power and make you the outstanding individual you are today.  In your moments of decision today, stay clear about what is best for you and make the best choice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lorna fires the Red Arrow!

Inspired by the superhuman efforts of the participants in Challenge Cairns I have recently returned to the beautiful Red Arrow bushwalk as part of my training regime.

This afternoon as I entered the Arrow I was hit by a message from another runner ... a singlet that simply said AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING.  The perfect summary of her experience, I thought to myself.

As I made my way around the Arrow (only twice today as I was on a time limit) I noticed something quite AMAZING.  I run the reverse to most starting my lap to the left rather than to the right, as my body seems to enjoy the gradient a little better, and a consequence of this is that I pass people's faces as they come towards me rather than the back of their heads as I pass them ... or as I trail behind them.

The faces of those coming towards me were often smiling today and what I noticed was that most were in a uniform.  Brightly coloured singlets with slogans.  It may have simply been the time of day, but a veritable army of energised women were walking, jogging, running and dragging themselves around the arrow, with the vast majority, I would guess around 80% sporting a slogan of support for themselves and for anyone, like myself, who happened to be coming the other way.

When struggling to get up the last flight of stairs I was met with a smile and the slogan "Make it happen" ... so I did.

On the down side when I felt like a run, I was hit with "Life is a game, PLAY IT", and another "I run like a girl" and "Running makes me happy".

How AMAZING.  It was like the thoughts in my head were being printed in front me as I ran. And in full stereo colour, which is something quite amazing in the mostly brown Australian bush.

So, today I pay tribute to Lorna Jane and the amazing message that she is delivering to women around the country as they take on their own individual fitness challenges.  Lorna Jane Activewear has found a way to let individuals express themselves and at the same time inspire others to achieve their best.

My message today, which I think won me a lot of smiles on my Red Arrow journey, also by Lorna Jane, is "LOVE is all we need".  It may not make me run faster, but it certainly makes me feel good and the feedback from oncoming traffic is fantastic.

Thankyou Lorna Jane for the inspiration ...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Straight from the horses mouth ...

Last Monday kicked off round 2 of the Fitness, Form & Function 12 Week Challenge.  This time I have 12 amazing ladies signed up for the program.

As a trainer this is enormously exciting.  All of the challengers are hungry for information, keen to follow the instructions and get results, and totally engaged in improving their own state of health.

I just wanted to share a little bit of their feedback from Week 1 just in case you're wondering why anyone would commit themselves to 12 Weeks of instruction from a personal trainer:

From Jill, a comment about her Body Balance experience on Friday morning:
"What a way to workout this morning with that stunning view on such a perfect day.  Pity you missed it Simone.  Need a mirror on the opposite wall".
(Being the trainer I am I put my back to the view so the team could enjoy it)

From Kel, a comment after her first workout on Tuesday morning:
"Great class this morning I really enjoyed myself, and that's saying something because I can't remember when I actually enjoyed exercising before."

From Louise, a comment after smashing 4 classes last week:
"First week of the fitness challenge!  Legs are killing me but loving every minute :-)"

And from Louise on FB today:
"2nd week of the fitness challenge.  Lost 1/2 a kilo last week.  Let's see what this week brings :-) feeling fabulous!"

There you have it, straight from the horses mouth.

Fitness is different for every individual so it is vital that you find a program that meets your individual needs.  12 Week Challenge may be for you too!

Jump on to our facebook page at or visit the website at to hear more.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Planking ... what the?

This week I feel like a piece of my brain is missing.  I just don't get the whole 'planking' thing and for the first time in my life I find myself agreeing with Tony Abbott.

Now I won't be voting for him anytime soon, but I do like his suggestion that if people have a need to prove themselves, then better to "get on the bike and ride faster or take their surfboard out on the patrolled beach".  Not just more sensible, but it has to be more FUN!

How ridiculous is planking?

In the gym everyone groans when the word plank is mentioned, as it conjures up visions of a very challenging static exercise designed to give you abs of steel, via the concentration required to keep the abdominal muscles lifted.  Even with my variations and modifications it's still hard to get 'planking' to raise a smile.

In the construction industry is a plank is a piece of wood.

Think about it people ... plank = dull!!

In Pirates of the Carribbean Johnny Depp walked the plank as Captain Jack Sparrow ... and that's probably about the only time 'planking' of any sort is going to rate with me, because he managed to make it look like fun ... and he kind of looks like fun too ;)

In two weeks time Cairns will host the amazing ultra marathon "Challenge Cairns" comprising a 42km; a 180km bike ride and a very long swim.  This event will challenge the elite athletes of the world and create a spectator event that inspires, motivates and delivers on the emotional needs of the general public who want and need heroes to aspire to and something to believe in.

Stop planking and start living.

If you want to have fun with social media and find some stuff that will get you moving well, feeling good and having fun, forget planking - get onto FB and try these:

USM Events
Lance Armstrong
TRX Training
and my personal favourite - Fitness, Form & Function!

If you still feel the need to plank, well, try and do it properly  Paul Chek has some ideas.  See the links and inject the fun back into life.

I still love this one for pure passion ... note, no planking!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Get Nana off her meds!!

Is it possible to eat, move and be healthy in this world without the use of synthetic drugs, pain killers, multivitamins, and the assortment of 'natural' tablets that are available to us?

Well, quite simply, YES.

My 70 year old formerly hypertensive client is testament to that.

It's a choice.  This is just my opinion, and I am in the fortunate position of never having had a major illness or disease.  I got bashed about by Glandular Fever when I was 16, and a bit of self inflicted smokers cough a few years back, but for the most part I am one of the lucky ones that live in a healthy body.

You can be too.

Over the past twelve months in my life as a Personal Trainer I have watched some amazing transformations in people who had been condemned to a life on pills, according to their well qualified doctor.  In amazement their doctor's have sat back and one by one reduced and eliminated doses of betablockers, painkillers and sedatives.  Is this amazing, or just the well deserved result that comes from taking responsibility for one's own health?

It is simply taking responsibility.

Life Success Coach Kurek Ashley says that responsibility means have the ability to respond to whatever life gives you.  Instead of shifting blame and finding excuses for things not being how we would like them to be, we have the ability to respond to events, circumstances and people and create the life that we each deserve.

Translate this to your own health.  Who ate the cheeseburger??  The golden arches may have made it but only YOU can facilitate the passage of that dose of poison to your stomach; and the subsequent transfer of fat to your hips, cholesterol to your blood and plaque to your arteries.  Each one of us is able to respond to the stimulants in our environment and make sensible, informed, educated choices that will result in a metabolically fit and healthy body that can thrive pain free without medication.

Add to that a little well considered movement on a regular basis.  Take responsibility and get active in a healthy and energetic way, preferably in a group with an instructor or individually with a personal trainer.  Now you have the formula for improved cardiovascular health, improved bone density and lean muscle mass, improved mental function and mental health, and an overall feeling of well being that helps you to make better choices and be even more responsible about the fuel that you use.  Net result - feel better, look better, live longer and save money on doctors bills, medication and bad food!!!

I want to share a great story that I heard last night from one half of a dynamic couple that I train.  He was in a serious car accident 9 years ago and has suffered chronic neck and back pain and headaches ever since, to the point that neurofen was standard issue with each meal.  Since taking responsibility for his own state of wellbeing at the start of this year and virtually eliminating alcohol and fried and processed food, she now does not need to buy neurofen at all.

Amazing ... or simply the result of taking responsibility?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Can we win it? YES WE CAN!!!!

It's a big call, but it's a good call.  Our Skytrans Cairns Taipans have absolutely everything going for them this afternoon as they go head to head with the New Zealand Breakers.  This is the only hurdle the team has yet to clear this season - beat the Breakers at home.

Cairns Taipans are a sensational unit working together right now towards a common goal.

The starting line up is strong; the bench is strong - there's no-one on that team right now that doesn't deserve the court time and everyone knows how to make it count.  Tait smashing 3 pointers, and Brebner's work under the hoop in the 2nd grand final is so confidence building; not to mention Dillon's defence, Ubaka's magic, Crosswhite's consistency, etc, etc, etc ad infinitum.  Oh, and did I mention Dorsey??? What about Dorsey!!!!  AMAZING.

This season has presented opportunity after opportunity for the team to dig deep and find out what they are really made of ... and the Perth Wildcats, the Adelaide 36rs and the Townsville Crocs all now know how it feels to get smashed at home.

Everyone that I have spoken to this week believes the Cairns boys can win and will win.

No pressure of course, we just know that YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Take the energy of last Sunday's home crowd with you when you hit the court today and ....

LET'S GO TAIPANS, LET'S GO.  Let's bring it home boys!

....royal wedding??? What royal wedding?  ONE HD is the only place to be, 5:30 tonight!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Make a better choice!

My good friend Tegan (schoolteacher) was telling me a story recently of a child who needed to 'make a better choice'.  Her words, and what a great phrase!!  She asked him to do just that, and he did, because it made sense, and order returned to the classroom.

Children are highly intelligent, intuitively guided, individuals to whom we should listen and from whom we can learn a lot.

Children are happiest when they are communicating, at play, learning, outdoors breathing fresh air and laughing.  Toddlers laugh on average about 3,000 times a day and adults would be lucky to laugh 300 times a day.

In life, we are confronted every day with opportunities to make a better choice, and yet in our adult lives and minds every day we poison our bodies and our minds with the garbage that spews forth from all manner of advertising and marketing material that bombard the environment at every turn.  We have become numb to the true sensations of life by believing all that we are told, rather than feeling all that we know.

My challenge to you today - make a better choice.

If you think you should smoke a cigarette ... Make A Better Choice (MABC)
If you think McDonalds is a good option for lunch ... MABC
If you are thinking of putting your kid in front of Dora or Ben 10 on TV ... MABC
If you want to nit pick with your spouse about the way things get done ... MABC
If you are planning to poison your liver with gallons of booze ... MABC

I will never point a finger at a problem unless I am willing to lend a hand with a solution, so here are some better choices ...

Smokers - Go for a walk - no cigarette
Maccas Junkies - Go to the local markets and meet the green grocers - try their fresh produce
TV addicts - Have a conversation with your kids - brainstorm fun things to do together
Naggers - Tell your partner 3 things you absolutely LOVE about them
Drinkers - try water

I am an ex-smoker of 13 years - everyone CAN change, you simply need to want it enough.

There is always an alternative and if you can't find it, I humbly suggest that you might be focusing on the wrong things.

Today, live the best day of your life and make a better choice.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"The fortune is in the follow through"

This is something I heard this week on some material I was listening to by a wonderful man named Kurek Ashley.

Kurek is a Peak Performance coach and as part of a commitment that I made to my networking group I chose to review his Life Success Club CDs.  Let me start by saying how LUCKY I am to have been given this task.

Sometimes in life it's easy to see what is needed to achieve the goals you have set for yourself, and yet at the same time it seems almost impossible to reach those goals.  Kurek Ashley actually gives you the tools to make a real difference and not only hit your goals, but totally blow them out of the water and achieve more than you ever thought was possible.

I know this is true because this morning, after working yesterday from 5am I woke to a clean house (yes I HAPPILY cleaned it myself), sleeping children, contented pets and having taken two big steps towards spending more quality time with my patient and loving partner Stuart ... and still I had enough energy to be able to teach two 'exhilirating' and 'wonderful' (quotes from participants) Body Balance classes this morning.  WOW!!!!  Right now I'm feeling pretty good.

There were two tiny snippets of the material that I listened to that made the difference to what I achieved yesterday and what I had failed to achieve in the four days before.

1) "The fortune is in the follow through" -

I always know what has to be done, and yet I am able to procrastinate better than anyone I know and come up with an unlimited list of excuses for doing so.  Last night I took the Nike approach - just do it!  In my head I told myself that "I have more than enough time to achieve all that I want to today" and it worked.  I also recognised that doing the stuff that needed to be done, following through, would deliver on the promise that life makes, and enable me today to spend time with my children, spend time on my business and spend time with my partner.  The fortune - both personal and material - is in the follow through.

2) At the completion of a task ask 3 questions - firstly, what was great about it? secondly what could I do better; thirdly, how much did I improve this time on the last time.

You can apply these questions to any aspect of your life and it will deliver instant improvement.  Consider this - a 3.3% improvement every day over a month, is a 100% improvement in that month.

To get a better result in every aspect of your life these simple questions help you to focus on the positive - what have you done right and how can you make it even better; and then add momentum by celebrating the improvement by acknowledging it in measurable terms.

If you have a dream, and preferably a grand vision dream, then try these two small pieces of advice from Kurek Ashley every day and see if it makes a difference.  In 24 hours I feel amazing ... and that's with an average of 5 hours sleep a night for the past week; 2 children under the age of 5 and running my own business.

My grand vision goal this month ... to 'exhilirate' and energise 100 people in my Body Balance class ... when it feels this good, it's too good not to share.

The fortune is in the follow through - keep moving forward!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Power of the People!

So I've been pretty busy this past two weeks, having moved house and survived and extended period without internet and phone service in the office ... grrrrr!!!  And now, I am back.

The halt of technology did not halt the great march forward of the Twelve Week Challenge Team.  At the end of week 4 (last week), everyone had significant changes to weight, girth and body composition and with only one third of the program complete this creates a great vision of what can be achieved in the 8 weeks to come.

If you're wondering why a person would commit to 8 weeks of being advised on what to eat, how to think and how to exercise, let me share some of the feedback from the current team that might make it clear:

"My lazy 'ass' is killing me ... thank u I luv the feeling!" (Karen)
"Awesome wished we did one of those (boxing classes) every week" (Richard)
"Thanks for all your time and effort so far.  I am enjoying myself and starting to feel better which is really good" (Kerrie)
"I have fun at every workout!  I might turn up grumpy and not wanting to be there but always leave with a smile on my dial" (Liz)
"My chiropractor wants your card - he says whatever you're doing, keep doing it because it's working" (Greg)
"I had the best time with Simone today boxing" (Kerrie)
"I feel great after ViPR, I have so much energy" (Leigh)
"Your workouts rock!" (Stu)
"I can stay for boxing - yeehaa" (Rod)
"It feels good (to bench press 20kg) (Mark)
"That was heaps of fun.  I've had a great workout, and I'll definitely be here on Friday" (Trent)
"I feel really good, much clearer and more energy (Nyari)

There are so many reasons to take a 12 Week Challenge.  Only one of them is weight loss.  Each of the individuals on the current challenge has an individual reason for committing to the workouts, the food plans and the mental training.

For some it is to help focus them in their business; for some it is to make time for themselves; for some it is to improve a health condition - high blood pressure, hypothyroidism; or a physical challenge - scoliosis, patella femoral syndrome, sciatica, a permanently damaged bicep muscle; and for some it is to become stronger - physically, mentally and emotionally.

This challenge, now in it's fifth week is so much more than an exercise program to help you lose weight.  As the trainer leading the team, I too am on a journey, learning something new every day, every step of the way.

Stay tuned as we embark on Week 6 - I have a special celebration planned for the half way point, and am hopeful of being able to share some pictures of this with you.  In the meantime, check out the team at work, boxing it up at last Friday arvo's playout - if you look very closely ... they are smiling .... YEEEEHAAA!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trained or untrained ... there is no try!

Today's facebook question from the Cairns Taipans - "OK folks, what's your theory on our road demons?"

Well for me facebook doesn't give me quite enough room, so here's my response.

Let me start by saying that my 2.6yr old son is the biggest Taipans supporter in Cairns and lives, breathes, eats and sleeps Taipans and basketball.  At 2ft nothing he has the hoop set at 6ft and gets it in on average about 90% of the time.  (WOW!!!)  I am the second biggest fan and cannot shoot a hoop to save myself.  A few weeks ago I tried and achieved 5/50 from the free throw - woeful, to say the least.

What's the difference - my son practices with his basketball everyday in the morning and the afternoon, and he continues to practice, celebrating his success everytime the ball goes through the hoop, reinforcing that he can do it.  POSITIVITY PLUS!

Back to the Taipans, our local heros ....

People fulfil expectations, good or bad - it's a subconscious thing.  At home the team and the crowd expect a win, and usually we get it.  New Zealand Breakers are the exception - once -  ... but that' a whole other blog.

The public, Australia wide, have watched Taipans fail on the road for the past several years, and so now have an expectation of this, regardless of recent home game form.  Negative thought is a powerful tool.

And yet, Taipans SMASHED the Wildcats early in the season in Perth.

The public expectation for Taipans to fail on the road is currently higher than the Taipans expectation of themselves to succeed.  It's up to the players and the coaches to position themselves in the positive with the knowledge that so far this season they have beaten every team, with the exception of New Zealand.  The Breakers have some interesting tactics ... but like I've said already - that's a whole other blog.

I am a fitness trainer and this morning I have seen the power of the positive at work in the (extra)ordinary individuals that I trained. A 52 year old client could not do 4 reps of a chest press with 25kg; he came back to me about 4 minutes later and said, right let's try that again, I'm feeling strong.  He smashed out 8 solid reps with 35kg.  I knew he was trained to do it, he just need to remind himself of that and focus on the task at hand.

The greats have said it ...
"Can or cannot - there is no try" - Yoda in Empire Strikes Back
"Trained or untrained - there is no try" - Denzel Washington in Man on Fire

Taipans need to simply answer these questions before each game and focus on their goal - put the ball in the hoop.

Can you win - YES - you have defeated 90% of the teams in the league
Are you trained - YES - you are hardworking professionals that practice your craft
Do you believe you can do it .....?

I have my tickets for Friday night and am looking forward to another home court victory.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finding your motivation

This week I was searching for some motivational material to help me with a presentation I was making to 40 business leaders on Wednesday morning.   I had a great time searching and found some amazing clips on YouTube that really fit the bill.  There were two that hit me like a sledgehammer, so much so I want to share them with you.

Meet Ruth Frith.  At the age of 100 she is breaking records - what an inspiration!

And meet Nick Vujicec - there are no words for what watching this clip will do to you.  I finally understand the power of a positive paradigm.

Our lives are filled with highs and lows; challenges and rewards; and inevitably times of frustration, relief and celebration.

Our motivation comes from within.  All the talking in the world could not have got these two amazing individuals to do what they do nor achieve what they have, if they did not have the internal motivation to do so.

If you have a dream, be inspired by these people to find your own internal motivation.  If you have a challenge or a problem to solve that seems so big, be inspired by these people.

Borrow their words and make them your own ...

Just Try .... say "I love living life, I am happy" ... and finish strong, in everything that you do!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The power of goal setting!

If your goal is clear, the path to it will also be clear.  The more vivid the image you have of the achievement of your goal, the clearer that path becomes.

Can you remember a time when you absolutely, completely, totally had to have something?  There was no other option.  It might have been your first car.  It might have been a must have piece of jewellery or clothing.  It might have been the new release of your favourite rock band or a mint condition copy of a favourite collectors item comic book, or perhaps your first ever skiing holiday - there was no way I was giving that one up!!

The "NOs" from those around you were silenced by your absolute knowledge (yes, knowledge - not just belief) that you would achieve this thing.

Whatever it was, you knew what it looked like, what it cost, how it would feel to have it and hold it, and whenever you thought of it, you got excited; you felt energised and alive.  Do you know what I'm talking about?

Well, that was the experience of having a clear goal and focusing all your energies on achieving it.  Not having it was NEVER an option.

I am privileged to have two little people that I live with who remind me on a daily basis that if you are determined and you want something, then failure is not an option.

Goals in life, in love and in fitness are the same.  You must eliminate the options you don't like and get clear about what it is that you really want.  When the vision is clear it doesn't matter what obstacles come up, your brain will find ways to work over it, under it, around it, and most likely through it, to keep you on track to your vision.

Our brains are amazing.  They work in the positive.  Once you start wishing and hoping you bring in uncertainty and the brain gets confused.  Know that the hard work you do today and the efforts you make today move you closer to your clearly defined goal.  When your picture of your future is so clear it's easy to work out what fits and what doesn't.

The clarity of your envisioned goal will lead you forward.

See your future, believe in it and step steadfastly forward knowing that success is your only option.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The glass is still half full!

In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Yasi that decimated the east australian coastline between Cairns and McKay, I find myself sitting blissfully amidst my family and friends and reminding myself of how lucky I am.  

Life is extraordinary and these past few days have been a perfect example of how everyday we can be ordinary people living extraordinary lives.

Remember JB's 5 tips for extraordinary living ...
1. Experiencing daily joy
2. Feeling comfort and contentment
3. Expressing hopefulness and optimism
4. Repeating professional and personal success
5. Manifesting energy and vitality'

TC Yasi gave us all of these.

1. Everyone has experienced the joy of survival.  Doom threatened and yet we have survived.  A net gain in life from a natural disaster, due to the delivery of three babies during the cyclone, is an amazing outcome and has been the cause of much joy in a time that could be filled with despair.  Extra-ordinary!

2. The comfort and contentment of friends and family in the most difficult of times is truly joyful.  Everyone becomes a friend and neighbour at these times, and the human spirit is at its best as we all turn to each other to help and support wherever it is possible.  Extra-ordinary!

3. With their houses, and farms lying destroyed, and with torrential rains pouring around them the people of Tully, Mission Beach, Innisfail, Cardwell and along the far northern coast of Queensland have again shown their hopefulness and optimism by simply moving forward and cleaning up.  Optimistic that the sun will shine and hopeful that after the clean up things won't look quite so bad, the fighting spirit of the far north is truly ordinary people at their extraordinary best.  Extra-ordinary!

4. The repeat of professional and personal success is seen in every minute of these days as we see the reduction in personal injury and loss of life due to better preparedness, and the speed with which infrastructure and services are being restored, having learnt from the past.   Extra-ordinary!

5. The people of the far north are nothing if not energetic and vital.  There is no other way to deal with a situation like this.    Lethargy and despair achieve nothing, and as I look down my street tonight I see the neatly packed piles of green waste ready for collection, lights on in every house and as I speak to my friends and neighbours many are talking of their task tomorrow to travel south and assist where they can be useful. Energy and vitality abounds.  Extra-ordinary!

So, despite the carnage of TC Yasi, I feel gratitude and a desire to contribute where I can.  Natural disasters such as these are unpredictable and completely beyond our control.  A reminder that we cannot change what happens to us but we can certainly consider how we react and let it mean something positive in our lives.

Farewell Yasi -  despite your best efforts my glass is still half full - extra-ordinary!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How much is too much?

The 12 week challenge is filling up fast, and one of the most common questions I am hearing from clients old and new is 'how much is too much'.

With so much on offer and so much motivation it's important to work a program that is going to deliver what your body needs.  That's why you need a trainer.

Our bodies can, and will, do anything we ask, provided that they are conditioned to do it.  It's a hard lesson to learn, especially when the attainment of the goal is so desirable and patience is not the first given of human virtues.

To work out how much is too much, and more importantly how much is 'just right' for you, get a professional assessment before you start.  Important physical measures of your current state of health and fitness include cardiovascular/aerobic condition, also called VO2Max, strength, endurance, flexibility and core strength.  Then it's important to consider also lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep, eating habits, medications and toxins.  All of these factors will play a role in determining your individual prescription for optimum health and fitness.

Finally, consider whether changes you are making to your lifestyle and your fitness regime are changes that you could maintain for the long term, i.e. the rest of your life.  If your program has you doing things that could not possibly be sustained for the rest of your life, then chances are very high that you are doing too much.

Goals drive motivation.  It's perfect to have a goal, such as a race, a big game, a reunion or a party, that motivates you to achieve your short term goal.  It's even better to know that you can keep going once you reach that goal and raise the bar each time.

Here are my golden rules for training.  (Thanks to the awesome Ian O'Dwyer from ODOM)


2. IF YOU CAN'T MOVE IT, YOU CAN'T LOAD IT  (i.e. if your knees won't bend, don't pick up dumbells and try to lunge!!)


So, how much is too much?  Well, you know you have it right when you feel good, you look good, you're excited about your workouts and your energy is up.  The opposite of this ... that's too much!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The 12 Week Challenge

The 12 Week Challenge WILL focus you.
The 12 Week Challenge WILL deliver results.
The 12 Week Challenge WILL change your life!

Over the 12 weeks you will become an expert at:

  • Goal setting
  • Achieving goals
  • Focusing your energies
  • Daily training
  • Eating right for your body
  • Filtering out negativity
  • Feeling, thinking and looking your best!

The program is $75/week paid up front.  You can commit to 3 x 4 week block payments of $300 or commit to the full payment up front.

Your weekly training program includes daily group sessions; a personalised program just for you; education on nutrition and exercise; plus an insight into 6 more areas that impact your overall sense of feeling great; a minimum of 1 personal training session a week with me; plus online and peer support.

Your progress will be guided and recorded by your individual Success Journal.

You can have the life of your dreams - you just need to tools to create it.  The 12 Week Challenge will give you those tools.

"Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself." - George Bernard Shaw

To get started call me on 0411 027 883 or email

Change your MIND; Change your BODY; Change your LIFE

Make the changes you need to and live the life of your dreams.

Next week my Personalised Coaching Business - Fitness, Form & Function - will be starting a 12 week challenge for the first time.  I've already found several eager recruits and this afternoon I've had a wonderful time pulling together the best of the swag of resources available to me to create a Success Journal for the "Transformers"!

Over 12 weeks the participants will build a journal that will not only help them through their journey on a daily basis, but once complete, will serve as a wonderful reminder of where they have come from and how much they have achieved.

The 12 week challenge is about learning to exercise mind, muscle and emotions to create the life that you desire and that you deserve.  Once you have a compelling vision of your future and are equipped with the resources and support to help you take action and maintain momentum, the only option is success.

I am so excited by the Success Journal and its contents, I want to do the challenge myself!

Feel free to call me if you are excited too - 0411 027 883.

Friday, January 21, 2011

An apple a day ...

Do you have enough energy to do all the things you WANT to do in a day?

A small consistent effort on a daily basis will make the world of difference to your health and fitness over a period of time, and give you the energy to achieve more.

And guess what - YOU DESERVE IT!!!

Yes, you deserve to be fit and healthy, and have a reservoir of energy that lets you see opportunity for enjoyment everywhere you go.

A few very wise people have said that if you can't make time for fitness, you will have to make time for illness, because without a consistent effort towards health in your body, you will inevitably end up with the opposite of fitness.  Try "an apple a day"  - eat healthy foods and move your body in ways that are fun - and see what a big difference a small daily effort can produce in your life.

The following is an affirmation from Louise Hay's book - You Can Heal Your Life.  This really works.  Keep it somewhere handy to read every day and remind yourself of how important you really are:

"In the infinity of life where I am,
all is perfect, whole and complete.
I accept health as the natural state of my being.
I now consciously release any mental patterns within me
that could express as dis-ease in any way.
I love and approve of myself.
I love and approve of my body.
I feed it nourishing foods and beverages.
I exercise it in ways that are fun.
I recognise my body as a wondrous and magnificent machine,
and I feel privileged to live in it.
I love lots of energy.
All is well in my world."

Get out there and move it baby!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Eat, Move & Be Healthy

If you're wondering how to eat, move and be healthy - here's Paul Chek - he wrote the book!  Enjoy :D

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


In a few weeks I'll be starting a 12 week transformation program with as many people as want to come along for the journey.

I have developed the program drawing inspiration from others around the world who have gone before.  My resources include Bill Phillips - author of Body For Life; Pamela Peeke - author of Body For Life For Women; Tony Robbins - Success Coach and author; Louise Hay - Life Coach and author; and I have drawn on my personal experience and training in the fitness industry, in business and in life.

The program is focused on effecting positive change - physically, mentally and emotionally.  There's a lot available to those people that want to participate and you can cherry pick what you need and want to use.

Today, I invite you to start to the process of positive change with a very simple, yet potentially very challenging and ultimately rewarding exercise.  10 consecutive days where you do not dwell on negative thoughts.  10 consecutive days of positive, energised thinking, acting and being.

Crystal Andres says that our reality is exactly as we expect it to be.  With this in mind, it is important to position ourselves in the positive.  Expect good.  It is easy to get drawn away into negative thinking - someone pulls in front in traffic when you're in a hurry; a child throws their food on the floor; you drop your mobile phone and it smashes - little things, and of course big things, can lead us into negative thinking.  The challenge is to be able to bring ourselves back to the positive.

A simple tip to help is to find a positive quote that works for you.  For me it is from Bill Phillips book -


I find this empowering and uplifting and when I fall into a negative thought, I know that I have the power to change.  I can't change what has happened but I can change how I react to it and what it means.

Take on the challenge.  Find your positive mantra - stick it up on your wall or carry it with you on a card, and use it to change your mind whenever you need to.

Stay positive - START NOW!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Advice for the Newbie

Today I watched vast numbers of people pour through the gym doors.  Something BIG has happened, and I suspect it's new years resolutions.  

This is fantastic and I am always happy to see more people on the move.  I support you and applaud your choice!

The statistics show that many people, starting their fitness regime as part of their new year plan, will fail to follow through, and usually within the first 6 weeks.

There's a number of reasons for this.  One of the main reasons is that reality and expectation are generally miles apart.  

For newbies in the gym, or embarking on a fitness regime of any kind, it's vital to assess the starting point and then work upwards from there.  

Alan Warwick is a wise man, and coincidentally a client of mine (an endorsement of his wisdom).  We recently made a little video about his fitness experience so far.  I have extracted some of it to share with you here.  Alan's advice and encouragement to newcomers to fitness and gym is excellent.

The proof is in the results he has achieved:
- Sustained fitness regime for past 4+ months
- Substantial weight loss of 19kg over 4 months
- Significant improvement in liver and kidney function
- Reduced from extremely hypertensive with daily medication to normal blood pressure and medicating every 4th day
- Improved mobility
- Reduced joint pain

Share this with the Newbies ... 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Power of the People

Last night 4,317 enthused Cairns Taipans (basketball) fans packed into the convention centre to watch our boys bring it home against the Gold Coast Blaze 86 - 82.  Sensational result.

Prior to this I spent a day with my two sons aged 2 and 4 playing 'hoops' in the back yard.  "Arms Up" everytime a shot went up and "Whooshka" everytime a shot went in.  These are the traditions at the Taipans games and my boys know it well.  (My bicep muscles are pumped today!!)  We also practiced a few chants - Ubaka!!! - the name of the key point guard for the team; and Let's go Taipans, let's GO!

The end result was another extraordinary instalment in my ordinary life and a big reminder that life is what we make it.

A few years ago the Taipans were almost dead in the water, but thanks to a tenacious driving force from within the club and unparalelled community support the team now sits second on the national basketball ladder and is the only team in the league unbeaten at home.  To say Cairns is excited is a masterpiece of understatement.  We are now seriously contenders for the finals and the fans, the coaches and the team itself expect nothing less.

In life, we get what we expect and our reality today is exactly as we planned it.  I'm expecting a home game final for our Cairns Taipans, and planning for a win.

Let's go Taipans, Let's GO!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Simple 6

Here they are.  Jay Blahnik's (JB) simple 6 suggestions to help we ordinary folk towards an extraordinary life.

Number 1: Get REAL.  
- We live on a funky planet with lots of funky people - very true and very cool!  
- Things are never as bad as they seem to be - the passage of time will help with perspective.  
- Your issues are rarely unique, so get real and recognise that people before you and people after you have dealt and will deal with your issues and survived and even thrived.  
- There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.  Your success requires a bit of hard work, and that's what makes it satisfying and rewarding.  
- JB also suggests that God is fair, that there is a karmic balance or whatever you like to call it, and that the higher power whatever it is has a way of keeping things in order.  This is a good one because if you want to focus on what's important in your own life, sometimes you have to trust the higher power to take care of the balance.

Number 2: Get BUSY.

Time is the most precious commodity in the universe and you cannot bend it, no matter how hard you try.  So, get busy and get going, and get comfortable with 'good enough'.  Perfection is great to strive for but to move forward and get momentum in life we sometimes have to be happy with 'good enough'.  (This blog is a perfect example - last year I looked for the creation of perfection and as a result did nothing.  This year I am following JB's advice, and look, here it is, blog number 2 already!!)

Number 3: Get OVER IT

We have all been hurt.  Holding on to the hurt or the guilt holds you back.  As Dory says to Marlin inside the belly of a whale ... 'it's time to let it go'.  Only then can you move forward freely.  If you have done the damage - AMEND.  If you have been damaged - FORGIVE.  When this is done LAUGH.

Number 4: Be YOURSELF

Gold likes variety - how cool is that - we are all different and that's what makes this a funky planet full of funky people.  There is NOBODY ELSE LIKE YOU.  You have a part to play and that's why you are here, and if you don't step up and play your part, nobody will!  (This gives a great new perspective, don't you think?)

Number 5: Be BRAVE

Feel the fear and do it anyway.  Last year I jumped out of a perfectly good aircraft with a tandem parachuter and the parachute on her back and a whole lot of faith in my front pocket.  Some would call it stupid ... for me it was brave (I have a shocking fear of heights).  It was the most exhilirating 60 seconds of my entire life, falling from 14,000 feet.  It took me a year to work up the courage to do it and 60 seconds to realise how stupid I had been to wait so long.  If there is something that you want to do, step up and try it.  Do something that scares you at least once a year and be a little bit brave every day.

Number 6: Be GENEROUS

JB recommends generosity fromt he 5Ts.

Be generous with

The guidelines are simple and the results are amazing.

I made an action plan after listening to this amazing presentation last year - it was so simple. More Hugs.  Relax More.  So far it's working ....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making this your best year yet!

A big lesson for me in 2010 was the value of sharing the information.  This simple act can powerfully transform the lives of both the giver and the receiver.

As a fitness trainer I had the privilege of attending Filex in April last year and listening to many very wise and great people in our industry.  One of them was Jay Blahnik who gave a key note address on Extraordinary Living for Ordinary People.  The information he generously shared helped me shift my paradigm, creating real change in my life and those around me.

Here's a little of what he had to say, and I'm pretty sure he'd be happy to share it...

Firstly 'what is extraordinary living?

Jay has 5 criteria:
1. Experiencing daily joy
2. Feeling comfort and contentment
3. Expressing hopefulness and optimism
4. Repeating professional and personal success
5. Manifesting energy and vitality'

Note that the accumulation of material wealth and a buff, toned and model thin body do not make the list!  It is highly possible that these things may come as a bonus bi-product of creating an extraordinary life according the criteria above, but these things along will not deliver and extraordinary life.

And then he has a Simple 6 - six simple tips to help us along the way

Stay tuned ....