The resurrection of the Blog and how motivation can affect your fitness.

Why hello there,

 It has been a while hasn't it.  Well I blog for a couple of reasons.  One of them is too keep myself motivated.  I have had an un-motivating fall.  I really needed something to pick up my spirits.  That call was from Sportchek and 2XU(pronounced Two times you).  I love to enter into contests and rather than say "I never win or I am so unlucky", it is more rewarding to put the positive vibes out there that tell the Universe "I will win".  I saw this advertisement to win an incredible athletic/olympian experience in Toronto, Ontario through joint sponsorships with 2XU, Sportchek and the Canadian Sports Institute of Canada. You had to tag yourself on instagram with the hashtag #2xucamp. I only put in one entry and was chosen to represent the military and the sport of triathlon at the camp.  I was introduced to 2XU from a friend when complaining of DOMS and muscle soreness after races and circuit training.  He suggested I buy a pair of 2XU recovery tights to increase blood flow and awareness.  I wear my tights all the time and really love them.  They are high quality equipment that is actually an inexpensive way to speed up recovery which is so important in the sport of triathlon.  So I was contacted asked to fill out a wavier in 24 hours. At first, I thought it was a joke. Boy was I wrong.

 I asked my employer to attend and they were extremely supportive of this once in a lifetime opportunity.  I flew into Toronto on a Tuesday, 15 Nov 16 where I was picked up at the airport with the National Director holding a sign with my name on it. I felt like Burt Reynolds. We were chauffeured back to the hotel where our rooms had been set up an amazing assortment of 2XU athletic apparel.  We quickly toured the facility which Canada is really blessed to have a sports institute and was one of the main facilities for the Toronto Pan Am games. The building was $200M building with barrier free/paraplegic functional for the top athletes in Canada. For a infrastructure nerd like me, it was so cool.  Even the water fountains and water bottle filling station were barrier free.




We met up with all other camp coaches and contestant winners and got started right away with a Functional Movement Screen.  This is basically a review and score of functional movement patterns which are key to athletic success and preventing injury before the injury happens. I have had one done before which I scored 13/21 and was the reason I stopped Cross fitting and became a triathlete.  This time I scored an 11(Coaches were hard on us) and I was on bands and body weight for the rest of the week.  No weights until I can improve my range of motion. After the tests, we went out for sushi and was worked on by Func Monk to ensure that previous injuries before the camp could be instantly fixed to maximize the workouts over the next few days.  For the first time in my life, a physio was not interested my annual insurance allotment of physio coverage. They were looking at functional movement and unlocking limitations and exploiting unchartered ground of pain and then flexibility/movement.  They also really enjoyed seeing patients in pain,  which I kind of liked.  The entire team had a great message and were extreme professionals while working with us.  Most of the time they worked until after midnight ensuring the athletes were in best shape for the next morning.  If you live in Toronto and require any physio/chiro related help, definitely check these guys out. Pretty sure they work out of Edge fitness, High Octane and Habitual fitness.

The next day, the coaches ran us through a mobility warm up and foam rolling session that I have watch the Toronto blue jays do.  We had the Strength and Conditioning coach Chris Joyner from the Blue Jays organization as well as Krisjon Vargas from Canada Basketball and Raptors affiliation.  Both of the coaches who really just met had incredible leadership ability and it seemed like they hd been friends for years.  The Func Monk team was constantly watching us to coach to get deeper into the stretch and our constant mirror to ensure they were doing the movement properly and efficiently.  I had incredible trust for these guys and gal, mainly because of their knowledge and trusting demeanour.   I mean if you cannot trust your therapist, you need to find a new one. After cycling through some warm ups, we did an awesome workout aimed to improve some of our functional movements based on our FMS score.



A working lunch in the kitchen facility where athletes can learn how to prepare healthy food in the learning kitchen.  We learned all about 2XU, its heritage and why its products are the best in the world. It all comes down to technology.  I won't go into the details but equipment is super technical and you cannot say that about all apparel companies. It was really cool learning about the products because I was asked a lot of questions about the apparel when I returned from my trip.  Nikki Beals said it best, you have no problem shelling out $100 for shoes because it is running equipment, so should recovery and work out apparel if you want two times the human performance. We also did some speed work, ladder drills and running patter drills to retrain the mind about how to run properly. We went out for some awesome Italian food and then right back to physio therapy.  I went to bed tired from the day but I couldn't sleep based one excitement and the fact that we had only finished day 1.

The next day followed a similar pattern except we did more mobility using bands to increase the stretch and foam rolled a little more.  The CSIO allowed me before the day began to swim in one of the fastest 50m pools in Canada. It was my first time in a 50 m pool but I really enjoyed it.  With the Pan Am games Upper Canada Striations in the background of the dive board, it was a super surreal experience.  I didn't want to piss off the coaches who planned another day of working out so I took it easy and only did about 1400 m focusing on engaging my core while I swam. Can you guess what happened, my Arni legs moved up the the surface and I did not feel like I was drag gin gym legs behind me which was an awesome experience.


 For lunch we did a nutrition lunch and learn while the CSIO nutritionist went through some great details on portion sizes and the importance of snacking.  If you eat something every 3-4 hours, you can control blood sugar and alertness while actually eating proper portion sizes.  I never made it more than a week while trying to watch my portion sizes.  I was missing a key factor, morning, afternoon and evening snacks.  Key is to have protein and carbs together every time you eat to keep you feeling fuller longer.  I have been on a French course this fall so that has taken the place of my training while trying to balance work and family life.  However, just following the snack rules, I am down 10 lbs in two weeks and I have barely had time to train.  I am excited to continue this methodology now that I am done my courses and get down to race weight of 200 lbs.



After lunch, we had our body fat percentage taken, used some battle ropes and did some functional range conditioning attempt to re-wire our brains into more flexibility.  In a very safe environment, we led through a series of pushing and pulling exercises where we flooded the brain with using the entire body and muscle flexing.  Through constant pushing and pulling we all found new range in the stretch which has lasted for weeks now.  Very cool trust exercise.  I can now sit cross legged and have a lot more core work to do.

Body Fat percentage, well as I started, I mentioned since a good friend was killed cycling, I have only been riding my bike on the trainer, which means I am missing half of my bike rides.  Also while being on French course, I did not have time to train which meant I wasn't in the best shape when I showed up at camp. That led to me being 28% body fat around my midsection. My goal is to get that down to 20% for race season next year. I have limited my sugar use and snacking is helping. If I combine my normal training schedule with it, I know I can get there.  What new years resolutions are you working on for your races next year?

We went out for our last supper together at moxie's and sadly that was the end of the camp.
I had my last session with Func Monk and then I was getting up early to beat the Toronto commuters to the airport to fly back to Halifax.

Everyday Booster Juice protein smoothies and Starbucks coffees were bought for us from 2XU. I cannot thank the sponsors enough and I was so happy to have met such wonderful people who work their tails off for their companies.  I wish I could convince all of the them to join the military and teach perspective and motivation to our soldiers, sailors and air men and women of Canadian Armed Forces.


I totally was treated like an olympic athlete and never would have had that opportunity in my lifetime if I was not a contest winner.  I want to extend my thanks to everyone who made my week one of most incredible experiences of my life.

The team of contestants also made the experience incredible, there were two Obstacle Course Racer/ Cross fitters, One female body builder competitive model, a basket ball player, one marathoner and two Sportchek Social Media athletes.  They really made the team concept come alive for all of the workouts. I am doing my best follow them on their on social journeys through their respective sports and I am so luck that Syd ( marathoner)  from the West Coast is going to guest blog next week on running and training tips for the time crunched triathlete.  Check out her running blog linked on her name.  Below was our first try Manequin challenge video. or check it out on my instagram handle @A_Beaver_can_tri.  I also have other videos of my works outs from the competition.  I cannot wait for all the professional photographs and videos to come out.

Thanks again to Nikki and Natasha from 2XU, Laura from CSIO, Sportchek and Krisjon and Chris for an amazing experience. Good luck to all the contestants for next years' #2XUcamp2017.








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