Are You a Risk Taker?

Are You a Risk Taker?

When was the last time you took a risk?

Did your palms get sweaty?  Did your heart race?


According to Doug Sundheim, and many other experts on the subject, risk is what makes us feel most alive.  Doug asked 100’s of people who were nearing the end of their lives:

“When in your life, did you feel most alive?”

There were 3 that Doug observed in his conversations:

1. Nearly every single person described a time when they’ve taken risks and pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone.
2. It was actually the process of taking the risks that individuals remember most fondly, not the actual outcome.
3. The story teller had the biggest smile on their face at the end of the story.

Full Article

Let’s first look at one definition of a risk – a situation involving exposure to danger.


Since we all define danger differently, risk taking is unique to every person.  I like to think of risk taking, as doing something outside of our comfort zone.  To know what is risky for you, you need to know what is inside your comfort zone.  It could be that skydiving is absolutely terrifyingly risky! Or perhaps you are a skydiving expert, and jumping out of a plane is a normal daily activity.  Perhaps for the skydiving expert, speaking in front of 10 people is terrifying.  Or perhaps it is being alone that makes your palms sweaty.



So why push the boundaries of your comfort zone?

Why Take Risks?

The Benefits of Getting Uncomfortable

To understand the benefits of taking risks, we need to understand that our comfort zones are created by our minds with the intention of survival.

A comfort zone is a mental and emotional state that causes a person to create and operate within certain boundaries; such boundaries create a sense of personal security within the individual…. A person who has established a comfort zone in a particular axis of his or her life, will tend to stay within that zone without, so often, making any attempt to step outside of it.  In order to step outside his or her comfort zone, a person must experiment with new and different behaviors, personalities and environments, and then experience the new and different responses that result from those new experiences. (Wikipedia)

We create our own comfort zones and naturally behave within those limitations, therefore to reshape or grow our comfort zone, we need to take risks.  The physical benefit of taking risks is the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter which is part of the brain’s reward system.

Here are some of the other benefits with risk taking:

  •  Developing a sense of exploration and adventure.
  • Observing the world with a fresh perspective rather than out of habit.
  • Developing perserverence and dedication in mastering new skills or behaviours.
  • Learning from our failures and our successes.
  • Growing what is possible for ourselves and for others.

How You Can Start Taking Risks


Comfort zone

 1. Get to know your comfort zone.

Observe yourself.  Draw a circle and write down everything in the circle that is in your comfort zone.  Use these questions to help.

  • Where are you comfortable?  With who? In what location?  At what times of the day?
  • What activities are easy for you?  What habits do you have?  What actions do you repeat often?
  • How do you know when you are in your comfort zone?  (physically, mentally, emotionally?)
  • How much of your day do you spend in your comfort zone?

2. Get to know your magic zone.

Draw a second circle outside of your comfort zone circle.  This is your magic circle.  Write down all the things you want to have, do or be in your magic zone.

  • Consider that in order to move your magic zone aspirations into your comfort zone, you will need to take new and different actions.
  • What are the new and different actions you need to take?  What do you need to stop doing?  What do you need to start doing?

3. Commit to act.

Taking action is the only way to grow your comfort zone.  Tools can help to understand what you need to do and why.  Then it is up to you to take the first steps.

Are you ready to start shifting your comfort zone to incorporate all the things you really want?  What are your first steps?

Just think, in a year from now you comfort zone could grow to include your magic zone.  Then you get to create a new magic zone!

Writing Powerful Fitness Goals

Writing Powerful Fitness Goals

What is possible for you in 2015?

Are you excited to set fitness goals for the New Year?



Remember to start a new fitness program and get results, you need to complete the 3 Steps to Fitness Success:

            I. Determine your fitness baseline (here)

           II. Write inspiring fitness goals

           III. Track your progress


Written goals before & not achieved them?  Check out the Goal Obstacles Analysis tool before continuing.


In this post we’ll explore:

II. Write inspiring fitness goals


Here are the formula & steps:


Smashing Fitness Goals = Vision + Goals + Power + Commitment + Support


1. Vision – Calibrate Your Compass


Start with the end in mind.


Every time I write goals, I start with a vision of where I want to be. I modify my vision timeframe depending on the goals I am setting. I recommend a 2-year vision for setting fitness goals. You can achieve anything you want to in fitness in 2 years or less. Good news right?

The importance of writing a vision before goal setting is to create a compass pointing you in the direction you want to go. Create your goals from your vision, to most to effectively achieve your vision. Goals are like milestones along the path to achieving your vision.


2-Year Visioning Exercise (10 mins):

Find a quiet space to take yourself through the visioning exercise. Exploring each one thoroughly.

Capture your fitness vision in detail. You can use the Fitness Goal Setting Tool on the Resources Page to record it.

I recommend using the visioning exercise audio so you can close your eyes and stay in your vision throughout the questions.


2. + Goals – Set Milestones

Set Milestones Along the Path to Your Vision.


Start putting together three to five 2-year fitness goals. Use these questions to guide you:

  1. What would you need to achieve in 2 years just before reaching your vision?
  2. What would be a milestone on the path to vision?
  3. How would you know if you reached your 2–year goal?

Work backwards from your 2-year goals to create 1-year, 6-month, 3-month, and 2-week goals. Keep asking yourself the questions above. For example, with your 1-year goals ask yourself:

  1. What would you need to achieve in 1 year, before reaching your 2-year goals?
  2. What would be a milestone on the path to your 2-year goal?
  3. How would you know if you reached your 1-year goal?


3. + Power – Create Through Language


Language is not only the way we describe the world, it is how we create it.


Language is a powerful tool in creating an inspiring vision and goals. Review your vision and goals, to align your language to these:

  • Present Tense:  Vision and goals are most powerful when they are written in present tense. You want to attract exactly what you want, so write it like it is happening now. How does it feel?
  • Full Commitment:  Use language that requires full commitment. I am ___, I do ___ rather than words like I could, I might, I should or I can ___.
  • Positive Language:  Describe what you want, rather than what you don’t want. You want to harness the law of attraction with every word in your vision and goals.
  • Specific Language:  Can you be more specific with your language? “Get fit” or “Improve Health” are too general to measure. How ‘fit’? How ‘healthy’? And how would you know if you achieved your goal?
  • Inspiring, Creative Language:  Do your vision and goals speed up your heart rate and make you feel like you have had too much coffee? If not, why not? Can you modify them or your language to excite and inspire you?


4. + Commitment – Rate Your Motivation


One who waivers, achieves little.


Rate your commitment level on this scale for each of your 2-year goals in the worksheet.   Include the reasons for your commitment rating.

Consider these questions:

  1. What would move your commitment level to 10? (i.e. make the goal more inspiring, get clear on your obstacles and tackle them, take action sooner, etc.)
  2. The higher your commitment level, the more likely you are to achieve your goal. Are you willing to do what it takes to get your commitment level to an 8 or higher? If not, perhaps you don’t need to include the goal.


5. + Support – Share Your Vision & Goals


 Others are there to support you to achieve your goals, if you let them.


It is time to build your support network. Be willing to share your goals and commit to yourself and others. Who in your life can support you in achieving your goals? What resources useful resources do they have? Who is willing to hold you accountable? Friends? Family? Enroll your network to help you along the way, and do it now!

Fill in worksheet to become clear on who to enroll, how to enroll them and when to start.



You are ready to start goal smashing! Start small – look at your 2 week goals and take your first action!

Tip: I recommend keeping your goals simple and focusing on these 3 goals until they are complete. Do not add any more in! You’ll end up diluting your time and energy and it will take longer to achieve your goals. By focusing on 1-3 goals, you may complete them quicker than you thought possible!

Let me know if you have questions or would like to set up some 1:1 goal setting time with me. Contact me here.


10 Questions of Reflection Before Goal Setting for 2015

10 Questions of Reflection Before Goal Setting for 2015

Didn’t achieve your goals for 2014?

Are you scared to commit to new goals for 2015?


2014 is winding down, and it is the perfect time for reflecting on the year before you start 2015 refreshed and renewed. It will help you accept exactly where you are right now! Then you can write goals for 2015 from a present, clear space.

In the process of reflection, I want you to answer these questions with absolute love for yourself and zero judgment. Reflecting is most useful when you look at the past as a neutral series of events that happened. Remember that everything happens for a reason and the past is unchangeable.   Grab a journal and pen and make yourself comfortable. Take your time and explore each question fully. Write down everything that comes to mind.



10 Questions for Reflecting on 2014:


  1. What are you most grateful for?
  2. What were your biggest lessons?
  3. What were the biggest surprises?
  4. What were your biggest obstacles?
  5. What are you most proud of?
  6. Think of any events you are still resisting or feeling resentful for. How can you let these go?
  7. What brought you closer to your goals?
  8. What took your further away from your goals?
  9. What do you want more of in 2015?
  10. What do you want less of in 2015?

To complete this reflection exercise, take note of anything you learned that you did not already know. Take actions to get complete on anything that happened in 2014 that is taking energy away from you being present right here, right now. Let it all go, and create for 2015 from nothing.


“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” – Confucius


 Smashing Fitness Goals = Vision + Goals + Power + Commitment + Support


Determining Your Fitness Baseline

Determining Your Fitness Baseline

You are amped to get fit!

What is the first thing you need to do?

Determine your fitness baseline, then decide what you want to accomplish!


Starting a new fitness program is exciting!  You might want to jump straight in.  However, if you slow down and take time to do these 3 things, you will stay excited and committed to your fitness:

           I. Determine your fitness baseline

           II. Write inspiring fitness goals

           III. Track your progress


In this post we’ll explore:

I. Determining your fitness baseline (your current fitness level)

The more information you collect about your fitness baseline, the more powerful your fitness goals and progress tracking.  Use as many of these fitness baseline tests as possible!

Fitness Baseline Tests


For each fitness baseline test, I outline the reason, the measurements, the method, alternative methods, and resources for more information.


1. Body Composition – BI Analysis


Rationale: Body weight gives you an indication of how much weight your bones, joints and muscles are carrying around everyday.  It is easy and quick to track, and it is likely that you have a history of body weight measurements to compare your baseline to already.  Body composition is a more powerful measurement of fitness, since it takes into account that muscles are heavier than fat.  These measurements together are excellent to track because they tell you how your body is responding to your fitness program in small increments.

Measurements: Total Body Weight and Body Fat %

Method: Use a scale with biometrical impedance analysis, which uses electrical currents to determine your body fat percentage.  While these scales are not the most accurate way to measure body fat percentage, they are the simplest and easiest to replicate over time.  It is more important to measure weight and body fat percentage using the same method and conditions to compare results, than it is to get a more accurate reading once and not track your progress.  Use these 2 measurements together for goal setting as body weight alone does not directly correlate to fitness level.  See alternative methods, and chose this one or one that you can replicate monthly. 

Context: It can be helpful to have context about how your performance compares to others in your age group.  You can compare your results here, though remember progress over time is the main goal.  Do not judge yourself for where you are now, but think of where you want to be.  You may also want to use the charts and ratings to set your fitness goals.

Alternative Methods/ Tests: Skins calipers, anthropometric, hydrostatic weighing, DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) Scan, Whole Body Plethysmography, and comparison photos.




2. Muscular Endurance – Push Up Test (Upper Body)


Rationale:  This tests your upper body strength and endurance.  It is a great idea to test both your upper and lower body separately, because the results could be very different depending on your current activities.

Measurement: Maximum # push ups

Method: This test is really easy to do at home or in a gym.  Set yourself up on the floor with a mat and plenty of space.  For men, the correct push up technique is military style with only hand and toes on the floor. Complete as many push ups as possible, maintaining a flat back and touching chest to ground on each push up.  Your score is the total number of push ups you complete without stopping.  For women, you have the option to lower your knees to the ground and complete the push ups from this position.  Ensure that you maintain a flat back and complete as many push ups as possible.

Context: You can compare your scores here, taking into account whether you used the modified knee push up or the full push up.

Alternative Methods / Tests: 1 minute maximum push ups, cadence push up test, pull up test, arm hang test, 1 rep max bench press.




3. Muscular Endurance – Wall Sit Test (Lower Body)


Rationale:  This tests your lower body strength and endurance, especially in your quadriceps.  By testing your upper and lower body separately, you can measure your progress for both groups of muscles.  This test also allows you to compare your left and right leg strength to see if there are any imbalances.

Measurement: # of seconds hold for each leg

Method: You need a smooth wall, a stopwatch and a mirror if possible.  Stand with your feet hip width apart and your back on the wall. Slide down the wall until your hip and knees are at a 90 degree angle.  Lift one leg off the ground, start your stopwatch and time how many seconds you can keep your leg off the ground for.  Rest, then repeat for the other side.

Context:  Here is a chart to compare your results to norms for this test.

Alternative Methods / Tests: Squat test, 1 Leg Squat test, Box jumps.




4. Cardiovascular Fitness – Cooper 12 minute Run Test


Rationale:  Cardiovascular fitness measures the efficiency of your heart and lungs in supplying your muscles with oxygen and the effectiveness of your muscles converting the oxygen into energy.  It is a fundamental part of your health!  The Cooper 12 Minute Run Test is simple, scalable and widely used internationally.

Measurement: Distance (meters) run or walked in 12 minutes

Method: Head to your nearest outdoor track, or pre-measure distances for your run with markers.  Use a stopwatch to time 12 minutes and run (or walk) as far as you can in 12 minutes.  Record your distance in meters.

Context: Compare your results here, and remember that the aim is to improve over time regardless of your starting point.

Alternative Methods / Tests:  1km Run, 2.4km Run, Queen’s College Step Test, Beep Test.




5. Flexibility – V-Sit Reach Test


Rationale: Flexibility is an important part of fitness, since low flexibility can inhibit correct alignment and increase risk of injury in exercises. The V-Sit Reach Test is a variation of the widely used Sit and Reach Test, and only required a measuring tape and tape marker.  This test specifically measures hamstring and lower back flexibility, which is where most people are tight.  See Additional Methods / Tests for shoulder flexibility tests, if you want to measure your shoulder flexibility as well.

Measurement: Length in cm from the baseline to where your hands reach

Method: Use an existing straight line on the floor, or mark 1m of straight line to use as your baseline.  Then draw a line perpendicular to your baseline, marking every 1/2 cm to 20 cm’s on both sides of your baseline.  Take your shoes off and sit with both feet directly behind the baseline.  With one hand on top of the other, palms facing down, slow reach forward to see how far you can reach towards your feet.  Repeat this reach a couple of times to warm up.   Now, repeat the same action, and take record your measurement.  Your baseline represents a zero (0) score, and the measurements closest to you are negative measurement scores, while the measurements on the other side of the baseline are positive measurement scores.  Make sure you complete the test slowly and hold the reach for 3 seconds so you are not using momentum to gain length.

Context: Compare your own results over time for this test.  The test results  depend on arm and leg length, so comparing to other people’s results is not  useful.

Alternative Methods / Tests: Sit and Reach Test, Modified Sit and Reach Test, Back Scratch Test.




6. Core Strength – 7 Stage Sit Up Test


Rationale:  A strong core is fundamental to all exercises and protecting your lower back.  The 7 Stage Sit Up Test is widely used and simple to test.

Measurement: Level completed (1-7)

Method:  To complete this test you will need a mat to lay on, a 2.5kg plate, and a 5kg plate.  Place your back on your mat, knees bent, feet at hip width, and arms extended towards your knees.  For a stage to be complete, you need to keep your feet on the ground for the entire sit up.  You may attempt the stage a second time if you do not complete it on the first attempt.

Stage 1: Complete a sit up so your wrists slide up your legs and move past your knees.

Stage 2: Complete a sit up so your elbows move past your knees.

Stage 3: Place your arms across your abdominals, sit up and touch your chest to your thighs.

Stage 4: Place your hands on opposite shoulders with your arms across your chest, sit up and touch your forearms to thighs.

Stage 5: Place your hands behind your head, and sit up touching chest to thighs.

Stage 6: Hold a 2.5kg weight behind your head, complete a sit up, touch your chest to thighs.

Stage 7: Hold a 5kg weight behind you head, complete a sit up, touch your chest to thighs.

Context:  Your result is the stage that you completed.  Compare your results here.

Alternative Methods / Tests: 1 Minute Maximum Sit Ups, Eurofit Sit Up Test, Plank Test,




Record all your results including the date and time completed.  The next time you test yourself, you will want to keep the conditions as similar as possible as the first test so that any changes to your results, is from your exercise program.  Use your fitness baseline results to create specific fitness goals for yourself.  I will take a detailed look into how to do this in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned!







12 Adventuring Lessons

12 Adventuring Lessons

I’ve had the fortune of seeing Cas & Jonesy’s documented trip to Antarctica at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and hear them speak at the lululemon athletica leadership conference last year.  Their stories, courage and friendship will take your breath away and inspire you on your adventure called life.

Check out 12 lessons they learned from adventuring, and if you want to read more about them or watch their adventures go to

Cas and Jonesy – 12 lessons




Planning for Success II

Planning for Success II

Great, you have a goal and you’ve started planning for success by:

  1. Making yourself a schedule & sticking to it!
  2. Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  3. Staying focused on your goal.
  4. Tracking your progress & giving yourself milestones; adjusting when necessary.
What about on game day? What kind of preparation can you do for the day you need to perform?
Basically, you want to set yourself for maximum performance and nothing less! You want to execute your Performance Prep Routine perfectly!  A Performance Prep Routine includes everything you need to set yourself up for maximum performance: including your hours of sleep, your nutrition & hydration, your arrival time, and your warm up.  So, how do you do this? Perfect Practice!
In the months leading up to your performance day, play around with all the variables so you can figure out what works best for you!
  • What is your ideal amount of sleep and time to wake up?
  • What should you eat the night before and how much of it? What about the morning of your performance day?
  • How much water do you need to drink in the week leading up to your performance? What about on the day? Do you drink sports drinks as well as water?
  • How do you warm up your muscles? What about your mind? How do you get psyched up: music? talking to yourself? talking to a coach or mentor?
The more you can practice your Performance Prep Routine, the better you will get at it & the more smoothly things will go on your performance day.
On your performance, you don’t want any surprises, you want to know exactly what needs to happen and when so you can focus on maximum performance!
Planning for Success I

Planning for Success I

One of the best ways to be successful in athletic performance or  fitness goals is to Plan for Success!

Ok, so you have a goal – maybe its to run a marathon, maybe complete an ironman,  practice yoga everyday or lose 10 pounds…

life coach

Whatever the goal is, you need to plan for success.  If you don’t actively plan to succeed, you are actually planning for failure.  Without planning, you are giving yourself excuses not to be successful.

Have you ever said this?

“I can’t make it to a session tonight because I haven’t organised food/rides/babysitters.”


“I can’t go swimming/running/yoga/surfing, because I didn’t get enough sleep.”

So, how can you plan for success leading up to your goal?

  1. Make yourself a schedule & stick to it! Take the ‘choice’ out of showing up for a session…Just Go!
  2. Take care of yourself: not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Make sure to eat & sleep well.
  3. Stay focused on your goal.  Remind yourself why you are aiming to achieve your goal & what it will feel like when you achieve it!
  4. Track your progress throughout the journey to your goal & give yourself milestones.  This lets you assess how you are going & enables you to make changes as you go.
Don’t let yourself down just because you haven’t planned to succeed leading up to your goal!
Jump In! It’s Time to Act!

Jump In! It’s Time to Act!

There is no time like the present! (Proverb)

This blog post is about taking action, And taking action NOW!

Life Coaching is based on an underlying assumption that ALL clients know WHAT they want & HOW to get it – if they are given the right time & space to explore it.  This is a very powerful assumption and one that I believe 100%.

Though people can feel stuck, unmotivated, disillusioned, distracted, or unsure on their way to getting what they want, they still know what it is that they want.

So, what do you want? I mean, what do you REALLY want?

  • to finish your first triathlon or ironman? to win your next race?
  • to be healthy and fit your entire life?
  • to be the best parent you can?
  • to own your house?
  • to excel at your job or business?

Are you well and truly on your way to getting there? Are you taking the most direct path to get there? Are you getting there as soon as you can?

Why not?  What is stopping or slowing you down?   Maybe you given yourself excuses or reasons not to act?    Maybe you are scared of changing, trying or failing?   Maybe you don’t believe you deserve to be happy, healthy or the best?

This post is to tell you, you DO deserve it and you CAN do it! And you can do it RIGHT NOW!  

Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, bend your knees and JUMP IN!

Life Coaching for Athletes – What are the benefits?

Life Coaching for Athletes – What are the benefits?

Ever wonder why some individuals perform better under pressure than others? Or peak at the right time? Or perform more consistently?


Training is part of it, but that is not the whole story!

What is often overlooked in sports, is that we are individuals, not training machines!  We have thoughts, feelings, moods, fears, experiences and values that we bring with us to every game, race, and event.

This is where life coaching can help you perform better and achieve more!

Here are some benefits that clients feedback to me after their coaching sessions:

  • Increased focus of and enthusiasm for their athletic goals
  • Clearer understanding of what is driving their performance
  • Awareness of their internal road blocks & how to remove them
  • Greater understanding and self awareness of who they are and who they want to be
  • Strength and consistency in values both as an athlete and as an individual
  • Increased performance and increases happiness with performance
  • Better time mangement & balance of training, personal and professional lives

Visit my services page for more information about life coaching for athletes!



Vibram FiveFingers – Info & Transitioning

Vibram FiveFingers – Info & Transitioning

Thinking of getting Vibram FiveFingers? Or have Vibram FiveFingers and not sure how or when to use them?

You’ve probably already done a heap of research on the benefits and advantages of these shoes, so I’m not going to get into that.  Instead, I’m going to discuss how and when to transition to Vibram FiveFingers. (If you need general info, here’s Vibram’s website:

I recently bought my Vibram FiveFingers in Lake Placid, NY since they are cheaper here than in Perth, Australia.  They felt pretty weird to first put on, but I got the hang of it after a while.  My mom told me they were the weirdest shoes she’d ever seen!

From my research, I knew that I should transition slowly..but how slowly?  I started by walking in the shoes in the evenings with my parents.

Lucky for me, while visiting some friends in Montreal, I told them about my new Vibram FiveFingers…


“WAIT!” said John, “Can you please let me write you a transition program?”

I replied, “A transition program? Really, I need a transition program?”

“Absolutely,” said John.


So, John is a fantastic chiropractor with his own practice in Montreal ( ) and has seen quite a few clients that have hurt themselves by jumping into their new Vibram’s and running 10km.  Not the best idea!

I typically run 4 times a week up to about 5km. John urged me to not simply throw out my running shoes, but to continue to keep running with my runners while I transitioned to the Vibram FiveFingers.  This meant that I wouldn’t get impatient and rush the transition and I could still maintain my fitness.

Here is the program that John gave me to follow.  The idea is to begin the transition by hill running in Vibrams because we typically run in correct forefoot technique when we run hills.  Then, maintain the hill forefoot feeling while running on flat ground.  Transitioning into these shoes properly is very important! While my program will give you some ideas, I urge you to do some more research and speak to your chiro or a fitness expert. And if you are in Montreal, look John up!  He can assess you and give you a more focused program to suit your needs.


Month 1
Weeks 1 & 2 3 & 4
Workout regular runs+ 1 x
4/6 x 30 sec hill sprints @ 50 – 60 % of max
regular runs+ 1 x
4/6 x 30 sec hill sprints @ 50 – 60 % of max
5-10 min flat ground jog
Month 2
Week 1 & 2 3 & 4
Workout regular runs+ 1 x
6/8 x 30 sec hill sprints @ 60 – 75 % of max
10 min flat ground jog
regular runs+ 2 x
6/8 x 30 sec hill sprints @ 60 – 75 % of max
15 min flat ground jog
Month 3
Week 1 & 2 3 & 4
Workout regular runs+ 2 x
8/10 x 30 sec hill sprints @ 80 – 100 % of max
15 min flat ground jog
regular runs+ 2 x
8/10 x 30 sec hill sprints @ 80 – 100 % of max
20 min flat ground jog


Here are my new Vibram FiveFingers!