Monday, July 30, 2007

Please Stay Tuned

Hi! Thanks, Catharine and Lisa and Cindy for your great comments... I am sorry I haven't had a chance to respond! I am dealing with a family emergency at the moment, but will be back on the air shortly. Keep your fingers crossed for us, and we'll post again soon.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Failure as a Diagnostic Tool

Liat and I were hiking the other day, and we were talking about our experiences as kids and why in the world we are both so competitive, and how that idea of competition, why we do it and what it means to us. Hiking is nice that way, it’s like an extended philosophy session.

I think that competition can be very healthy, but I think also that the desire to compete can have its roots in both unhealthy and healthy ideas. One of the challenges that we face as athletes, as coaches, as teachers is ferreting out how we (or our clients) feel about competition, and helping them to see that competition is nothing but an opportunity to turn failure into success. And I say this because any action we do can be improved, regardless of how we place in a competition.

The problem here is, how do you view that idea? Do you feel burdened by the fact that you could have done it better? Is it a failure that leaves you feeling less than you could be, frustrated, and upset? Or do you view the things you could do better as an opportunity to find things you can work on? The difference here can mean the difference in long-term love of your sport, happiness in competition, healthy attitudes in competition, and even your ability to successfully teach your sport! Are you unknowingly encouraging negative self-reflection in your students because you do it yourself?

When my husband was young, he joined the cross-country team at his high school. He had never run before, but he was lean, wiry and fast from playing soccer for years. His new team ran around the track for two days, and then went on a four-mile run. Tom was the slowest, having never run a distance like that before. When he got back, he was exhausted, and frustrated. The coach praised those who were fast and had finished first, and did not tell young Tom that with time, practice and technique, he would improve. He did not find anything in what Tom had done that was a success, no matter how small, leaving Tom to feel that he was not talented at this sport, and could never be a success at it. His failure was paramount. His failure defined his future in the sport. Over the course of his life, this singular experience informed the way he felt about himself, how he defined himself.

I think about this when I think about teaching skiing. The power of a coach or a teacher is immense, as is the responsibility. You have in that moment, the chance to change a person’s life forever. To help them redefine themselves, to believe in themselves in a way that they possibly never have before.

When I coach any of the sports that I teach in, I think about this as my first priority. Help the client to see himself or herself in a new light. And more importantly, turn their failures into a tool they can use to make new breakthroughs in their sport.

Take a look at tennis. Most people have a horrible backhand, and a favorite forehand shot. If you were to track the shots they made during a practice, you’d see them practicing that great down the line forehand, ripping the cover off the ball, sending it screaming down the line. This player would look intimidating, tough, and hard to beat. And sure enough, if you were to play them in a match, if you gave that guy a ball in the right place, when he had the opportunity to hit it down the line, he’d take a point off you every time.

But look at the rest of his game. He is most likely working around every ball, trying to turn each ball into his favorite, point-winning shot. He will run around his backhand and hit a bad forehand. He will, if you are patient, beat himself.

Now this guy, with this unbeatable down the line shot and no other tools in his arsenal can look at a match in two ways. It is a game to be won with his fearsome weapon that he has honed over time, or it is an opportunity to test where he is so he can develop a complete game and be a better player over all.

Here is the sticking point. What makes one client feel one way about competition, winning and failure, and another feel the opposite way? I think it has to do with early experiences like Tom’s with his cross-country coach. There are a lot of experiences that can mold the way we feel about ourselves, and what competition means to us, (for instance, kids who don’t get enough validation for their successes will see competition as an opportunity to win love or worth from parents who value “success” over experience).

I want to think for a moment about the coach’s ability to infuse the client with a NEW sense of purpose in competition, regardless of their early life experience.

Lets say that we managed to get our hands on Mr. Down The Line. What if we could spend a day with him, and watch him lose his match to an average player with an assortment of average shots and no winning weapon. Mr. Down the Line is down on himself. He has failed. He trained hard, and did not win. His feeling is one of loss, diminished sense of self, and sadness. He probably will go work out the next day and hone that fearsome weapon into something even faster, even closer to the net, even more backspin on it, until it seems unbeatable.

But if I could spend a couple of minutes with him, I would ask him to think about the fact that this match, which he wants so badly to win, is an opportunity simply to see where he is in his skill set. If he can see the match this way, he will perhaps notice that he could use a decent backhand, that his opponent is adept at getting to the net, so some sprint speed might help, that if he had a terrific lob, one of the toughest shots in tennis, (especially because it takes touch, and discipline) he would certainly have a better chance of winning.

In this way, using “failure” as a diagnostic tool, a client can see that perhaps they can leave their Forehand Down the Line shot for a few weeks, and concentrate instead on the skills that are lacking. I always tell my clients, lets find the thing that you are the WORST at. And then let’s drill it until it is your strength. In this way, you have a list of skills you are constantly eliminating as impediments to success, and turning them into strengths.

Imagine the feeling this client could have suddenly looking at competition as a way to determine his weaknesses, training for three weeks to remove them or turn them into strengths, and looking forward to the next competition to see if he had trained them hard enough, if he needs more work on them, or if he has a new weakness that needs work. Eventually, he will be a total athlete, well rounded, with a toolbag full of skills, some always better than others, PLUS his wicked down the line shot.

If we could get this guy to change his attitude toward competition to view it, and any “failures” within it as diagnostic tools, and to be excited to uncover new weaknesses and change them instead into strengths, over time he will learn to love competition because it is a tool that helps him truly excel at the sport that he loves. You have done this guy a big favor. He doesn’t compete to win anymore, winning is a byproduct of using competition and training wisely. He doesn’t strive for self worth through his medal collection, his worth is defined internally now through his new work ethic, or (even better) his worth is no longer tied to his performance in sports, leaving him emotionally free to try hard, the fear of failure is gone, because failure is something he loves now. Failure is the pointer that shows him what he gets to work on next.

When I apply this theory to my skiing, it can get a bit overwhelming. My list of weaknesses is long. But rather than letting it overwhelm me and give me a sense that I can never accomplish it, I shuffle my weaknesses in order of their super-suckiness. What do I suck the most at? Skiing on Ice. No, scratch that, I am even worse at skiing on frozen coral reef. Refrozen spring snow. I cannot ski at all on that.

Oh, this is exciting! How formidable would I be as a competitor, how much of a fantastic teacher will I be if I can conquer frozen coral reef? Good lord, can you imagine being able to Josh Foster your way down the steepest, gnarliest, least forgiving frozen fingers of death? Lets make THAT a strength!

How do we do that? Read everything we can get our hands on about skiing in icy conditions (Oh, MAN am I excited about the movement Matrix for this reason!), watch video of people doing it. Try it on frozen groomers. Graduate to frozen crud, that’s not so steep. Get up early before the sun warms it up in the spring and put in the time on the worst stuff you can find. Get frustrated. Reward yourself for skiing in stuff you hate, for challenging yourself to try anyway, by skiing something easy and ego boosting after the sun comes out. Just one or two quickies that make you feel like the king of the world (This would be 10 minutes of practicing that down the line shot in a 90 minute workout). Keep doing it until you suck less.

Then do it until you own it. Then test yourself and realize that you now suck at powder skiing, tree skiing, chutes, steeps, bootpacking, whatever, and make it your strength.

Failure is an athlete’s greatest ally. The way we measure where we are and what skills we need to move forward in our sport without fear. In turning failure from a self-defining, worth breaking harridan into our favorite best friend, we free ourselves from fear of failure. Imagine what you could try if you were not only not AFRAID of failure, but excited about it? And then, imagine the scope of your possibilities for success.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Donation Love...

We are going to think of this as a challenge, rather than a crisis.

Anyone want to babysit? My mom was going to come to watch the kids whilst I nipped off to D Team Tryout Training Camp, however, my favorite Aunt, (my mom's sister) is gravely ill, and my mom will be in Arizona caring for her in a hospice situation.

I am thinking that perhaps we can patch together a day of volunteer babysitting one day at a time... I know this sounds insane, but I'd like to give it a crack and see if anyone is up to the challenge.

I want to go to this clinic specifically, because I will then have four years to practice all the things that we do in the simulated try out, and, of course, we won't have this opportunity again until the next tryout cycle, in four years.

I have someone to drive with, I've raised almost half the money, and I'm in shape to go (well, we'll see...) but...

So it can be enormously beneficial to my training to go... however, I don't have the $150 bucks a day it takes to hire someone to watch the kids, and I want to be sure that this is fun and exciting for them, like when my mom comes to visit, and not horrible and traumatic for both them and my husband.

Well, here's where we see what happens when motherhood and training collide!

Let me know if you are up for watching the little hellions for a day, and lets try to fill in the calendar.

Race Camp:
(I'd love to go, but it is not essential)
Babysitting needed:
7:30 am to 5:15 pm
August 7,8,9

D-Team Tryout Training Camp
7:30 am to 5:15 pm
August 10

And on the weekend just to hang with Tom and make it easier and more fun for him (not as crucial)
10:00am to whenever
August 11, 12

And then again on Monday for the last day of D-Team Training Tryout Camp:
7:30am to 5:15pm
August 13

And on Tuesday while I drive home:
7:30am until I get home
August 14

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weigh In: July 21

Weigh In: 153 lbs, 24.5 % body fat. Patience, Patience... its a long slow road...

The breakdown:
I have lost 3.5 lbs fat AND I have lost 4 lbs of muscle. This is not a good thing. Liat and I are working hard to keep adding muscle, and I am working hard to make sure I am eating what I need to in order to maintain and gain muscle and loose fat. Hang in there....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Training Log: Its a big day!

Sooo sleepy! Hiked Kirk Hill to Leverich canyon, worked out chest, shoulders and tris at the gym, did hard owie hanging abs, then did Yoga. Whew! Then we went SHOPPING! YAY! New cute shorts for summer! High Heeled Espedrilles! Wheee! (Sorry, I don't get to shop much, but today and tomorrow are the Crazy Days here in Bozeman, so Liat and I hit the Root, where they sell SUCH cute clothes!)

Er, hem. Sorry, back to training...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gear I Use: CamelBak: HYDRATE OR DIE!

So, I love this bottle. And its not just because it has the world's greatest motto on it, "Hydrate or Die!", but it is easy for me to drink a gallon of water a day.

A couple of years ago, Tom and I took the WFR, which was an amazing experience in and of itself, but one of the biggest things i took away from it is how many maladies are just directly related to poor hydration.

Unless your pee is CLEAR, ODORLESS and COPIOUS, you are dehydrated! Holy CRAP! Thats 90% of us. Headaches, clumsiness, heat stroke, malaise, poor performance, depression (yes, really, actual clinical DEPRESSION is affected by how much water you drink!) and on and on... My beautiful little nurse friend, Virginia, put it this way:

Imagine your vascular system is a set of pipes that can constrict. Now, dehydrate your blood a bit, so it is like sludge. To keep pressure in the system to push the sludge, the pipes have to constrict, because sludge doesn't flow as well. Now, you have a headache. So you drink some caffeine, which is a vaso dilator. Now you feel better, but in about a half an hour, you feel jittery and woozy. That's because there isn't enough pressure in the system. So your pipes constrict, or you go lay down. And then drink more caffeine. Are you sensing a pattern here?

One of the BIGGEST issues is with winter athletes, because we don't recognize that we are loosing and using fluids when we are cold. But you have to drink just as much!! This year, I am going to buy a Camelbak Sno Angel
to go under my instructor jacket. I wish I had a picture, but I wore my Isis pack on the outside of my jacket for the first month or so before Kurt had to pull me aside and tell me "you know, Kate, this isn't really... uniform." I argued it with him. It matches. It is Bridger Bowls' Colors! No dice.

So anyway, I use this great bottle, I actually have five of them, (so my kids each have their own, and I have two with me, one always has SOMETHING in it.) I fill it with ice, it has a straw, so I can sip without opening it or spilling it. I am sad to find out that the plastic has been discovered to leach into the water, which can be very dangerous! I hope that CamelBak comes up with a stainless Steel bottle, because there are few brands I am super loyal to, but CamelBak is one of them.

My Isis is an amazing thing, it is a women's fit backpack that has a 100ml capacity, and straps down tight, so I can carry enough stuff for a 26 mile hike, (rain jacket, emergency blanket, first aid kit, water filter, map, food for two days, sun screen, bug spray... hat, sunglasses, athletic tape, my wildflower book... yeah, its a lot!) and then I can strap it down tight and actually RUN with it. It's the best CamelBak I've ever had, and I've had several.

Is Sigg Safe? Goodbye CamelBak?

Oh, here we go again. We have decided in our family to replace all the plastic that we use for food with glass or stainless steel! I'm excited about this, I think it is a very healthy choice for our family, and something that isn't too hard to do. I already have a bunch of vintage Pyrex Bake and Save glass dishes, and now we are working on replacing our Camelbak bottles (which I love, but which leach (summed up the following way:)

"Polycarbonate plastic, on the other hand, is made from epoxy of bisphenol-A [BPA], a known hormone disruptor (endocrine disruptor--the endocrine system regulates hormones in the body). Scientists not working for the petrochemical plastics industry have compiled dozens of studies linking phthalates and BPA to birth defects, cancer, abnormal genital development, and autoimmune disorders, and other problems in animals and in humans."

I am sad about loosing the Camelbak bottle, as it is SO easy to use, because it has a straw and a bite valve, but I think the heath risks are just too big. So I found Sigg. But its Aluminum outside and a "Special, crack-resistant, taste-neutral bottle liner, tested safe for 0.00% leaching."

But how do we know this is true? We thought for years that Nalgene was leach proof, as well.

"Hundreds of studies have identified all aluminum salts as increasing the risk of dementia and possibly Alzheimer's disease in animals and possibly humans. This is why most companies are dropping aluminum and going with stainless steel."

So. Does anyone know about Sigg's liner?

There is a Stainless Steel alternative, which so far seems safe... but of course, its not as cute. Hmmm... Cute bottle, or brain damage? Tough choice...

Fund Raising with Eagle Mount

Alright. I think it will take about $1200 to get to Race Camp and D Team Training camp. We are figuring $275 for gas, $350 for each camp, $45/night for a bunk, and then there's food. I am going to have to go in my old boots because I still don't have Alpine boots. That's next.

I am raising money several different ways, through my Ebay Store, teaching rock climbing at Spire here in Bozeman, ($40/hr for a private lesson with me), and donations through Paypal and First Giving.

The First Giving thing is neat, because 20% of what I raise through them will go to Eagle Mount here in Bozeman, an incredible organization that does therapeutic recreation. The skiing program is truly outstanding.

So tell your friends, pass this link along to anyone you think might be interested in donating, and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Training Log: Catch Up!

Well, sorry I've been spotty in my posting, but using this week's Quote That Helps (see the sidebar), I'm gonna do the best I can and not be hard on myself about it!

The catch up is: at the gym, we've been going to Yoga which is lovely. I have so so so missed that practice! Tom and I have managed to get in one lunchtime climmb (today actually) and I am so excited to be so much stronger! My core still needs a lot of work, so Bosu ball, here I come!

I did manage to break a toe the other day, kicking a chair while barefoot and running through the kitchen. Ow. Second time I've broken this one. Great. It's taped, and we are moving on with our lives.

And... I am going to the D Team Tryouts Training Camp! YAY! It's official! I was worried because I don't ski at that level yet, but they are letting me come anyway, so WEE HOO!

There is a Race camp for a few days before that, so i think I am going to go early and just ski ski ski for about a week. IN AUGUST! How lucky am I?

I have $570 in my training fund from donations and sales on Ebay, I need $900 to get to camp, so visit my Ebay store or send a friend! Thanks for helping me reach my goal!

A Trainwreck Epidemic, and a CHALLENGE

I just got the following comment on one of the posts I wrote, and it echoed SO many sentiments that I have gotten via email, that I thought I MUST post it.

From Lisa:
Today I had to comment because I know exactly what you mean about the vitamins- I am so bad as to be derailed almost daily because I read both that vitamins should be taken with a meal and that dairy products impede absorption. Therefore I feel like I can never take my supplements if I've had a meal with even a trace of dairy- and this includes almost every meal since I'm also vegetarian and have limited sources of protein. Anyway, keep up the good fight. I've been greatly enjoying reading. (Only wish I could comment at pithily as Catherine).


First, Lisa, thanks for the comment, and second, you should know you are not alone!

And herein lies the problem. We educate ourselves so that we can do the best job possible taking care of our bodies. That is our job not only as athletes, but as humans! I mean, I want a strong, healthy body so that when I am a grandma, I can ski with my grandkids! And for that to happen, i have to take care of it NOW.

But there are so many things you can do, and so many things you can do wrong, that when we get totally tied to HAVING to do it right, sometimes we can't do it at all. And that just doesn't make any sense!

So here is my challenge to all of you out there (including myself):

When you find yourself NOT doing something, because you can't do it perfectly, challenge yourself to do it anyway, and do it to the best of your ability with the tools and information you have now.

So, Lisa: Dairy? Take em anyway! Kate: Missing one? Take what you have! Beth: No time to commit to a real workout schedule? Park further away and walk, take the stairs, and go around the block once a week.

But all of us: try to look at all we are doing that is POSITIVE and live there. Good for you for doing the reading and knowing about how your body uses the vitamins. Good job! Take that win. Then let yourself be human, and do the best you can with the tools and time you have avalible.

Oh, and by the way: we all wish we could comment as pithily as Catharine. But don't let it get you down! Instead, visit her blog for a good laugh at the Catharine Chronicles.

Happy Birthday Liat!

Thanks for sticking with me and pushing me hard. I love you!

Training Log: July 15: Hyalite Peak and Liat's Birthday!

For liat's 25th Birthday (OH MY GOD, she's 25!) we decided to hike Hyalite Peak. I haven't hiked this since last year, and I had forgotten what a SPECTACULARLY beautiful hike this is. 11 waterfalls on the way up, high Alpine meadows with plentiful wildflowers still! Then a hard 2 mile push up a gnarly scree path to the top for the most amazing views the Bozeman area has to offer. Seriously. You can see into Yellowstone, and all the way to Paradise Valley.

This is one of my favorite falls, it looks like a giant water slide, and Liat an I always wish we could just sit on the bridge and eat lunch, but its a pretty popular spot, so we never have it to ourselves for long.

Up in the high meadow, we found this bizarre spider on the path, and we are trying to figure out if that is an egg sac on his abdomen, or if he just has a beautiful turquoise bottom! He was big, and FAST, and really beautiful. I like this picture because you can see all his eyes! EEEE heeby-jeebies! We are going to email the pic to MSU and see if we can find out what kind of spider it really is.

The meadows are just spectacular, I can't wait until the kids are old enough to hike up here, it would be a great spot to backpack up into and play. There is a small little alpine lake up here, as well.

And this, of course, is what you look like when you turn 25. Okay, that's totally unfair. This is what you look like when you are LIAT and you turn 25! GO GIRL!! All in all, a great hike. It took us 6 1/2 hours, 4 up and 2 1/2 down, although we dawdled quite a bit on the way up, taking pictures, stopping to snack and so on.

Liat is going to babysit next weekend so I can take Tom up here, he's never seen it!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Because I can't do it perfectly, I can't do it at all

I am just full of deep thoughts lately. And I haven't even had my first head shrinking session yet! (It's Tuesday).

But I had a funny thought, that I thought I might share with the rest of the perfectionists out there.

I take vitamins every day (or I try). Its hard to do, because there are a lot of them, and I have to take them three times a day. I have been working doing some things that make it easier, I got some little baggies and Liat marked them with Am, Noon and PM for me (and she wrote some cute little inspiring things on them like Go Kate!), and I was pre-filling them with my vitamins, so I can grab three, throw them in my purse, and get on with my life.

I ran out of one of them, a mineral supplement that I am supposed to take three times a day.

So, because I am dedicated to getting the whole thing back on track, I hied my self down to the Co-op to get a new bottle. Unfortunately, they had to special order it. So the logical thing to do would be to just fill the baggies with the rest of what i have, take the supplements I do have until the one I am missing comes in, and then add it to the mix, right?

WRONGO! Guess what I did? I left the project on the table and walked away from it with a sense of, "Well, I can't do this until I get that, so the project is stalled, and i'll do it when the other supplement comes in."

Because if I can't do it perfectly, I am not going to do it at all.

Now, we have learned this lesson! Right? Haven't I been posting about the fact that you do the best you can with the time and resources that you have, and whatever you can do is better than nothing?? Hello? Kate? Are you listening?

So I thought I would point out that it pops up every once in a while, this silly sabotaging perfection, and I caught it red handed. Now, i am on the look out for it, I want to exterminate it from my thought process. I bet I will get a lot more done, and won't be so GRRR about the stuff I can't do. Ahhhhhh... tranquility again...

You Were Saying?

Push, Push, Push. This used to be my mantra. There HAS to be a way to get it done. And that can be true, you can force things through. But I think, too, that there have to be days when you say, "Wow, things are just HARD today." and take that subtle hint from the universe and back off.

Today was supposed to be another glorious day:

6:00am meditation with Tom
6:30am breakfast and coffee with Tom
7:30am Tom goes to work, I clean the house
8:45am Abs class
9:00am Back workout
9:50am Yoga
11:00am home

This is what really happened:
Slept in, did not do meditation, breakfast or Abs. Got the kids to the Ridge at 9:30, where Liat had been waiting for me all morning. Got my act together, just in time for the world's crappiest, shortest yoga class.

Spent some time talking with Liat, the time talking superseded our ability to get in the back workout we wanted, and thus we ended up talking about THAT rather than working out.

Went back to the Ridge kids to pick up Ethan and Bodhi, only to find out that Bodhi had had an accident (???) up in the big climbing structure, and had just sliced his foot open and was laying on the floor screaming and wouldn't let anyone help him.

Right. Like I said, I guess it comes and it goes, and we are going to BREATHE and let it go, and be okay, and try again tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How to Make It Work

I have been thinking about the differences between training now, at 36, with a family and a mortgage, vs. training when I was 18, single and at a training center. When I was younger, I lived at the Ice Castles International Training center for a while, pursuing Ice Skating. While I was there, my life was prescribed for me in a very concrete way.

Our schedules were given to us, and they looked something like this:

5:00 am Patch Practice
6:30 am Stroking
7:15 am Breakfast
8:30 am Morning Freestyle
11:30 am Karate
12:30 pm lunch
1:30 pm Ballet
3:00 pm Afternoon Freestyle
6:30 pm dinner
7:30 pm Weight Training
9:00 pm Cardio
10:30 pm lights out

Our meals were designed for us according to what our trainers agreed we needed to do, loose fat and build muscle, mostly. We kept detailed diaries of what we ate, and our cardio was adjusted accordingly.

It was kind of a no-brainer situation. Show up, eat what was put in front of you, no more, no less, do your work, get your rest. We did this six days a week, and took Sundays off. (During which time we usually did lift practice in the pool).

We all lived on campus together, my "class" included Chen Lu, Michelle and her sister Karen Kwan, Surya Bonaly, and a bunch of other great skaters. (Michelle was 13 at the time.) Because of this, when we ran into each other on the way up or down from the rink, as we stopped to chat, we'd do calf raises on the stairs. There was never a moment when we weren't training, and it wasn't hard to live in that mentality.

Today, life is a bit different for me. I assumed going into this, that I would have the work ethic, tools, and sheer will power to make a massive training effort easy for me. Alas, those tools, while very helpful, are not the things that will make or break me here in my desire to be healthy, have great balance, strength and stamina.

Today, my life doesn't have a schedule that stay constant for more than two days. I have to think hard about what I eat, how often I eat it, and of course, i have to prepare it myself, while feeding my kids as well. Yes, I know, everyone has to do this. But it has been interesting to try and figure out just exactly how many calories i am burning on a given day, so I can make sure that my calorie deficit (while I am still in the fat-loss stage of my program) is not more than 500 calories a day. More importantly, that the meals I eat are maximised to carry enough Protein to build the muscle I am demanding, that I get as many vitamins and minerals directly from food sources as possible, so they are efficient, and easy to metabolize and therefore build strong connective tissues, minimizing the chance of injury and maximizing my ability to heal should I hurt myself.

Both my little sister and I are certified Nutrition Technitons through Intrafitt, a program that was built for body builders and endurance athletes to treat their food as highly efficient fuel. But times and research have changed, and Liat and I (okay, mostly Liat) are finding ourselves slogging through books and articles to constantly update and refine what we believe about food, and how to make it most beneficial to our training. It was easier to show up at the cafeteria and pick up the tray marked "Kate".

So I have this mental image of what a great training program looks like, and what I would do with my day if I could, if I got paid to train, and it would look like this:

5-10 mile hike or 3 mile swim
"Epic" cardio once a week (26 miles or more)
Weight Training
Balance Work
Six meals a day (complete, no bars or red bull!)
A gallon of water a day
Vitamins 3x/daily
Film viewing/technical reading

Clinics and Camps monthly until Bridger opens.

Obviously, to pull this off, I'd need to be single, independently wealthy and 18!

So the question became, how do I do this? How do I balance my desire to do it to the very best of my ability with the real life situation? I want to be with my kids, take them to their swimming lessons, hang out with them, teach them, hike with them, spend time with my husband, work on my blog (s!), make my art, clean my house, pay my bills...

And the answer, I think, has evolved over the last three months. It used to be that when I "blew it" (ala Trainwrecks)I would get really down on myself. "Come on, Kate, you know how to do this. If you can't commit now, how will you ever make it?" "How bad do you want this? Obviously not enough to get your shit together to get to the gym at 5am every day."

And what has evolved here is the fact that life will happen. And it helps to have a (very) flexible training partner who is just as dedicated as you are (THANKS, LIAT!), and it helps to just keep trying.

There is this old Evian ad that I think I wrote about once before: Every day is a new chance to do something healthy. So I decided that part of my training mantra needs to be that if it doesn't happen today, I'll do everything I can to make it happen tomorrow. Meanwhile (and this is key, here...) I am going to enjoy the curveball that life has thrown me today.

In this last five weeks, this has meant letting it be okay if I go four or five days with NOTHING as far as training, but sticking with what I can and not getting discouraged (This was a MUCH bigger feat than I thought it would be). Cooking good meals anyway, taking vitamins anyway, not letting the lack of exercise snowball into other areas where I was doing well.

This also means allowing myself to eat ice cream occasionally!

This is definitely a work in progress, but it has become interesting as in the last two weeks, suddenly, things have come into balance, time with family, time in training, and I have really learned that everything comes and goes, my ability to make the kinds of food I should be eating, my ability to bring all my vitamins with me, my ability to get on the balnace board twice a day, my ability to get to the gym every day, my ability to remember to stand on one foot while i am doing the dishes, my ability to let go and focus on what is happening now, my dedication to my meditation practice...

and its okay that these things come and go. The trick seems to be KEEPING them coming and going, and in the big picture, it balances out to time in training and time with family. The last two weeks have been a spectacular success in this vein, less time with babysitters, more time in training... lets see if we can keep it up!

And if we can't, lets be patient, and loving and wait for the time when we can start again.

Training Log: July 11: Hike with Tom

So this is only the SECOND hike I've done just Tom and me, which is bizarre, because I feel like I have walked all over South West Montana... odd that we haven't done it together. But that's been the problem, always the problem, it costs $10 an hour for a babysitter, so a five hour hike is $50 plus travel time... so Tom stays home so we can afford for me to work out.

BUT, we do try and get a date in about once or twice a month, and since its been so light, we decided to hike! So Tom did Kirk Hill to Leverich Canyon with me (we figured out that its seven miles) and it was great. What a lovely experience to have three hours just to walk and talk. Ahhhh... (We actually did also have a nice high five that we've been together 10 years and still have stuff to talk about...) We went into town to get sushi after, but hey, 9:45 pm in Bozeman on a Wednesday night... yeah, everything is closed. We went grocery shopping together instead.

We also decided to try and get early morning dates in, (good luck with this one...) the theory being that if the kids don't wake up a hundred times during the night that we could then get up at six, do a little Vipassana sitting, and then have breakfast together before he goes to work.

It was a great theory, but Ethan woke up about five times last night, so not only didn't we get our meditation session in, I actually cancelled a workout! Didn't get Yoga or to do back at the gym today, but, in my new "gentle, loving" mind frame, I am just gonna roll with it, and get back on track tomorrow. Honestly, I think I need a day off anyway. Laying in the hammock with the kids for a bit, and then I think we are oging to hit up Music on Main. Lovely!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Team Grows

I've started therapy! So excited! I have procured the services of Dr. Marvin Backer, PhD, PA, Hypnotherapist, Psychologist... this should be interesting! I thought and thought about weather to share this stuff on my blog or not, and I decided that whilst my peers read this site, many others do as well, and I'd like to present an honest picture of what it takes to try and break into the elite in a sport.

I had an obstacle to my success, a tendency to sabotage myself when I am close to success, and I want to make sure that I do every thing I can to remove obstacles in my path.

When I first started this endeavor back in March, Shannon and I wrote up a list that looked like this:

Game Plan to the D Team:
1. Define Obstacles and Impediments

(and then we listed them all, for me they were things like: health, age, injury, etc)

2. Remove each obstacle or impediment to clear the path to success.

So as new impediments come to light, my job is to figure out how to remove them, making my path to success easier and easier. In this way, the one or two impediments that I can't remove become less of a factor, as I am stronger in every other sense. For instance, I can't help the fact that I am 36. But I can help how lean, strong, fit, happy, healthy I am. And this reduces the age issue by a significant amount (we hope!!)

So we arrive at the fact that I am tripping myself up, currently using food as a sabotaging element, but sometimes doing other things. I don't want to get close and have this negative behavior stand in my way. Enter Dr. Marvin Backer, PhD.

We are going to begin excavating Kate to figure out why I do the things that don't help. I am so excited!

I asked Michael what he wanted me to come back with in the fall, and he said first and foremost he wanted me healthy.

Healthy, Great Balance, Strong, In Shape. In that order. Healthy has to be in the head, too, so Dr. Backer, welcome to the team, and GOOD LUCK!

Wherein Tranquility Descends

It has been an interesting couple of days. But I have to say that the few days since the fourth of July have been really, just... nice.

We decided not to fight with the kids at night. Getting them to bed is an ordeal of epic proportions, even though we have an established routine. We decided that, hey, its summer. As long as they are behaving, we are going to let them stay up until they fall asleep in the kiddie pool.

Its been great! Liat and I are trying to work out during the day so that I can be home at night, and the night before last, we hung out on the patio, laying in our hammocks, Tom with Bodhi, and me with Ethan, eating popcorn, reading books, staining our chins with cherry juice. Bodhi fell asleep in the hammock with Tom, naked from the pool and covered with a towel. Sigh.

Eating outside, light until 10 pm... its great. Today has been a dream day, which is not how I usually feel when I don't have a babysitter, but we figured it out. The gym I work out at, the Ridge Athletic in Bozeman has a place called Ridge kids, and they have this AMAZING climbing structure there. Unfortunately, every time I have taken my kids there, they have gotten punched, bitten, kicked, or sick. One time, one of the instructors was by herself with 17 kids! So we stopped going.

I had a chat with the general manager of the Ridge about a month ago, and I thought we'd give it a try again and see if anything had changed. Well, there were only 4 kids there, and 2 instructors, so great! The kids had a blast, and I got to go to... wait for it... YOGA!!

YAY FOR THE YOGA!! When I lived in Pasadena, I had a very dedicated yoga practice, at this amazing place called Yoga House and it is one thing I have sorely missed since moving here. I am NOT a fan of Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Competative Yoga... I think that Yoga is a very personal experience, all about balance of mind and body and spirit... I think there should be breath involved, and mindfulness, and that your yoga practice is just for you, wherever you are.

That said, its hard to find a place that isn't like "feel the burn!" This morning I was SO excited to have a class taught by this amazing woman with a great understanding of the roots of Yoga, she has a company called Yoga Motion, and has started teaching at the Ridge a couple of days a week. SO happy!

After Yoga, Liat and I did chest (although I am still sore from climbing with Tom yesterday, and almost crippled from our awesome leg workout that evening), I wore my spiffy new kicks to work out, and felt like a superstar.

All finished up by 10:45 in the morning! I was like "Yeah, rockstar mom!" and we all bundled into the car, had a snack, and headed to swimming lessons, where I got to watch Ethan swim across the deep end of the pool for the very first time. (By the way, last night he asked me when it was going to snow, and we got into this discussion about the fact that we'd go skiing in October when it snowed, but Bridger wouldn't open until Christmas, and he was SO sad! He said, "Well, when does Snowbird open?" I couldn't even believe he remembered the name of that place... looks like I've created a monster... COOL!)

The kids earn stars, which they can redeem for things like books and transformers, etc, so it was book week, and we went off to the bookstore, where we had lunch and read for about an hour and a half. Right now, we are waiting for Tom to come home, and our amazing Manny Clay will show up about the same time, and Tom and I will go hike Kirk Hill to Leverich Canyon, and then hopefully go find a place that makes great fish for dinner.

I am sitting here wondering if this is really what life is like. Maybe in some alternate, independently wealthy, totally indulgent universe? No. In my universe. Cool. My message to myself here: keep reaching for balance, Kate!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why We Shop at Schnee's

Alright, so the horror of Kate's feet got truly traumatizing on our last hike. Virginia and I were heading up to Heather Lake when I realized that I could feel the top of my tibia where it bears the weight of my body. Uh...

And that I could probably describe the shape of the top of the bone... and I thought, you know, i have been hiking in these shoes about 4 months too long...

So I sucked it up and went to Schnees here in Bozeman where I buy all my shoes, and picked out a new pair. I wasn't planning on getting Solomons again, but they just felt the best. I took them up to the counter, and the girl that was helping me looked up my account. She told me that I had bought my old Solomon's less than a year ago, and would I like to use my warranty on them? You mean, I can just bring in the pair I have beat to hell and they will replace them? For free?

Yes, that's exactly what they mean. So now, I have these, and happy feet, and I still have that $100 in my training fund to get to Mt. Hood in August! Thanks, Schnees!!

Training Log: Climbin' with Tom

I neglected to post some training log items: The week before last, Tom and I managed to climb together at lunch again, and again YESTERDAY, so now we have climbed alone together three times!

Its amazing, I really had thought I hated climbing, that I was just so sososososo SO done with it. But it turns out that was because an evil man had stolen our gym from us, and that I was just too heavy and out of shape to climb. And incredibly enough, with all the bosu balance work I've been doing for skiing, my core has gotten stronger than it has ever been, and now I am climbing well!

This is Tom at the Happy Boulders in Bishop, CA, the last time we climbed hard before the gym went nuts and I got pregnant. We had just been on the most amazing trip to Thailand, climbing, swimming, laying in the sun, and dreaming about one day having kids and taking them there.

SO. WE'RE GOIN' BACK! Yes. Yes we are, Tom and I are determined to get back to Thailand with the kids and climb our little hearts out in Railay. I don't think it will happen this year, but 2008-2009 season, we are saving for it.

Guess what? Dreams come TRUE in Montana!!

Okay, other training log items catch up: Last week, Liat and I were in the gym only twice, and we did a hard chest day and a hard back day. We generally don't hit the gym on the weekend, because we are doing some epic hike or bike or whatever.

Today was leg day, and it was PUNISHING! Doing glute exercises always makes me feel like I am going to puke. But hey, my ass is getting hard, so that's what counts, right? ha ha.

We have plans for a 22 miler this weekend for Liat's Birthday, and to try and start swimming the reservoir at the end of the week.

We have to re-tool the slackline in our yard because the forces are too strong, but look for some training to begin on that next week.

That's it for the training log update! Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Training Log: Good Bye, Virginia

There is this incredible woman I love. Her name is Virginia. She lived with us in California, cared for our kids (to this day when I want to pull my hair out, I still think..."What would Virginia do?". She is this rather luminescent little spark plug, who can chug along at about 4 1/2 miles an hour on a stout hike after a night on the floor at the hospital (she's a nurse who works the night shift).

She moved here to Montana after visiting at Christmas, and lived here for a year, trying to make it work. Alas, the evil reality of student loans loomed large, and she is gone... she drove back to San Francisco yesterday, and Bozeman is a poorer place without her.

This was our final hike together, (Unfortunately, we didn't make it all the way up to heather lake, or even Emerald lake, because I have been a titch crippled lately... more on that later), but we had a good hike.

I'll miss her!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

What did you do on the 4th?

This guy went skiing!

Andy Doggen and some friends hiked up Sac on the 4th of July, equipped with skis, boots, poles, shorts, and a bar-b-q grill!

Longtime tradition apparently states (and we'd heard this before, but didn't really believe it) That people haul kegs up there on the 4th, watch the Bozeman fireworks, and ski the Great One with headlamps.

I dunno about that last part, the Great One is a rather gnarly no-fall ski with high walls and a wicked pitch. Its long, it empties onto a talus field, and the hike in is brutal.

On the other hand, that kinda sounds like fun!

We met these guys on the way down, and I gotta say, I hope they made it! If we weren't busy getting ready to do this:


We would've hung around just to see them hike the first 20 feet DOWN into the chute to where the snow starts and just watch them try and put thier skis on!!

Andy... if you read this... for god's sake, man, send us some pictures!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Training Log: July 4: Sacajawea Peak

We haven't done this since last year, and it was a blast. Fourth of July morning, Liat and I headed up (kinda late, because we were up playing all night the night before), and trotted up it in the heat.
There were tons of families out, lots and LOTS of kids, the youngest we saw who walked up on his own was FOUR and a HALF! Incredible! What a burly little kid.

A huge mountain goat leaped in front of us while we had our snack on the top (amidst the giant horseflies of doooom), and Alaska, Liat's lovely but VERY dumb 70 lb pit bull decided it was a big white dog and wanted to play, so she chased it about a mile along the rocky ridge where the trail is NOT. We stood there, just completely astounded, hoping the goat would get away, hoping the dog wouldn't fall to her death, not realizing another option was that she'd could be gored.

It all worked out okay, it was a beautiful day, the goat was fine, the dog came back, and we got to scope out the Great One, which I SILL have yet to ski!

All in all, I love this hike, its a beautiful trip, a great distance, you hike through the forest and out into this rocky exposed area with all these amazing little wildflowers, clinging to the dirt between the rocks, with little pats of snow melting away... and up onto the ridge where you get just breathtaking views of Bozeman and, really, everywhere else. It's a busy hike, lots of hello, and excuse me, but its great. Not a hike for seclusion, more a social hike with a great steep push to the summit.