Snow Days

Snow Days

I grew up in Canada, but contrary to popular belief, not all Canadians love snow, or get “used” to the cold. It blows my mind that people assume that. I lived in Canada for 35 years. I got smart and moved south. Utah is even too cold, in the winter’s, sometimes. And don’t get me started on the snow.

This winter has been the coldest winter I’ve experienced, since moving here. I have been in the USA, coming on, 9 year now. Today Utah got up to 48″ of snow in the last 24 hours! It’s insane. My dog is over 75# and disappeared jumping in it, this morning! Freaked me and him out!

I’m just glad its not freezing out, on top of the snow, and the snow, is still coming down! I gave a German Shepherd/ Belgian Malinois K9. He loves the snow and would stay in it playing, all day if i let him.

Snow Snow Snow, it’s still falling. But I am ready for a beach and some sand. And a cabana boy to bring me cold drinks. HA!! Who’s with me?


Getting it in, whether you have a specific goal, or not.

Every January, for the last 8 years, I have had strict fitness goals and plans. January 1 us usually the starting point to extreme training and goals for me. Today, is February 9 and I don’t have a specific goal set, for this year.

Not that I don’t want to compete this year. I have a spinal cord injury, and my back is in a lot of pain. I had my third back surgery in September, last year, and my spine still hurts. It feels defeating. I want to have a “goal” and something to drive towards, right now.

Both of my SI joints are fused. Which limits the flexibility and range of motion . In fact, it reduces more than 50% of flexion, and axial rotation of the SI joint with minimal, less than 5% increase in range of motion in the lumbar spine. My lumbar spine is where my injury is. L4 L5 S1 and S2. Its so bad that i now have scoliosis of the lower spine.

I was told back in 2015 that I’d need a spinal fusion, eventually. That back then I was too young. I am now (cough) older and expected my surgeon to approve the spine fusion. But without a new MRI, he won’t approve it. But, the catch is…..I have a spinal stimulator implanted that is NOT MRI compatible. Which is frustrating. To swap out the non MRI charge port, the company who made it wants to charge me $22,000 to replace it!!!! That doesn’t include the surgeon’s time, anesthesia, medical hospital or anything! And I have a sternum, dermal piercing, I’d have to get removed. At which point I can have an MRI that may or may not show anything. Its so frustrating.

Every day, I choose to be positive and get in training and workouts, but they are not like before. The intensity isn’t the same and its hard not to be critical of myself. Even my push-up form is suffering cause my pelvis is fused and so my lower spine, where the injury still is, has to do most of the work and its painful.

This is a photo of me doing my push-ups and didn’t realize until after, that I had a cute photo bomber. Look at him! This is one of my favorite photos now.

I love this k9.


When you’re surviving, you can’t dream!

New year, usually means new goals, new start, new life! To many, New Years, is scary. A New Year, is scary. Many who deal with mental illness or excessive stress or even those who have suffered loss, whether it’s part of them, or a loved one, or in any respect.

New start means pushing beyond what you are mentally or physically capable of, whether that capability is what’s told to us or what we place on ourselves, I truly believe who you surround yourself with, is your greatest strength. I purposely pulled away from toxic situations and people the last 4 months.

It hasn’t been easy, but my soul feels free. Liberated and that, to me, has be huge! Sometimes we need to protect ourselves and push out all the negative energy that’s been placed in our lives, even if we, ourselves, unintentionally or unawaringly, allow these people in our lives. Has it been easy? Hell no. Has it been worth it? In a lot of ways, yes! But breaking years of habits that have let me allow certain people into my life, has been hard.

I find that when you are at the lowest places in life, you find out who your true tribe is. My last surgery put me into the worst CPTSD tail spin, to date. My “Tribe” wasn’t there for me. When I reached out to my “tribe” they turned away. I’m not saying they needed to “fix” it or “take it away”. CPTSD is my journey, God gave me.

It was a low point for me. To realize that some “friends” aren’t friends. They have you around for this reason or that reason. Now, I don’t wish any ill will on anyone. I just think it’s sad that I was raised to help everyone, no matter my station in life, and others can easily turn a blind eye, When its their opportunity to step up.

Human nature is to take care of number one. After all we cant help others, if we’re not okay, But, now and then, one of us will take our turns, not being okay, and I pray that people will reach out to me and let me know if I can help.

Life is to be shared, not to be alone. But sometimes being alone, alone, is so freeing.


World Record Bench Press

World Record Bench Press

In July 2021, I decided to broaden my fitness spectrum. I decided since I was still rebuilding muscle from breaking my pelvis, last August 2020, I might as well dip my toe in Powerlifting and focus on Bench Press.

Since I have a spinal cord injury, and obviously, restrictions to movements, Deadlifts, and Squats, are out. So I started working with a local coach and began from scratch, learning how to bench press, the official way. Which, I might add, isn’t easy.

I compare it to a bodybuilder training all year for a show, to only have to learn how to pose. If you cant put it all together, it looks horrible and you won’t be successful. Bodybuilders focus on, generally, one muscle group movement, for the most part. So, incorporating multiple muscle groups, to increase a bench press, drive, the proper way. Is actually, very hard.

For a legal bench press, while competing, you must. The lifter must lie on his/her back with shoulders and buttocks in contact with the flat bench. Both feet must be in contact with the floor and hands must grip the bar with thumbs around it. A specific distance apart, but you get the idea.

The lifter gets a lot of power from leg drive, but you must keep your bum on the bench while utilizing this drive. Not easy!

I felt as I did when I learned how to do pushups. Useless! It was so difficult.

I had a patient coach who began to teach me week by week.

October 23, 2021. I competed as an American in AAPL league, here in Utah, in the Law/Fire division in the 132# class. I weighed in at 127# and set 2 national records. Both in RAW classes, one in open and one in masters. I set a PR ar 121 #.

Considering just 3 months prior I had no clue what I was doing I was extremely happy.

2 National Records in RAW Law/Fire 132# class

Fast Forward to November 3, 2021. I flew to Phoenix to compete in WABDL worlds, to compete as a Canadian. I again competed at the 132# class, and weighed in, again, at 127#. I also competed in the RAW Law/Fire class. I set the world record there. I was so happy.

World Record for Canada in RAW Law/Fire

I was a trailblazer at both the National and World levels. No one in Law/Fire, my age, is as lean as me. I believe the Open, non Law/Fire class is set at 140# for my age and weight class. So I am not far off.

When I returned to Utah, the same Power Lifter who claimed I, as a bikini competitor, had no business to being a competitive Power Lifter, told me he wasn’t impressed and that I’d have to do better than one World record. So I took this negative energy and I put my head down and started training, harder. I wasn’t just out to push the limits on what people expect from a Bikini Competitor, but to destroy the idea, all together.

So, that’s what I did, I trained, a lot.