Badass Full Body Workout

Beware:

This is an effective home workout! No pink dumbbells. No fru fru.

I am producing weekly workout videos on my YouTube channel to bring you EFFECTIVE at home workouts that produce stability, strength and power in athletes.

No BS.

And, yes, even if you are currently holding the status of “Couch Potato” you ARE an athlete. Humans are created to MOVE, you just need to get started!

My passion is helping empower women to lift heavy, run faster, swim further, and simply just achieve those long held goals that have become buried deep for way too long.

I will post the video below but please do read through the breakdown first!

A breakdown of the workout:

Exercise 1: Frog Kicks

The exercise specifically targets the gluteus medius (side of your butt), the muscle responsible for moving the leg sideways away from your body (termed abduction).

A strong glute medius is essential for power and balance. Activating this muscle prepares your body for the explosive side-to-side movements that are common to most sports. The gluteus medius also improves hip stability, which is critical for maintaining balance for my riders, and preventing knee and ankle injuries.

Tip: If you have chronic knee or back pain I highly recommend working on your glute medius! Especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, and therefore tightening the hip flexors, it is essential to spend time on activation exercises for the glutes!

Exercise 2: Kettlebell Swings

This is one of my favourite exercises for athletes and as someone with a lot of experience, and training, with kettlebells I am very partial to their total body benefits for strength and stability.

The kettlebell swing is exceptionally efficient on improving your strength, endurance, power, and coordination in an extremely short amount of time.

Another great benefit is that the kettlebell swing is extremely useful for building explosive strength and can easily substitute for plyometric movements, for those that are looking for lower impact ways to improve power.

These are also exceptional at developing the posterior chain, creating shoulder stability as well as core strength.

This is the Queen of all exercises BUT you must use a weight too heavy to simply lift to your shoulders. It must require you to push with your glutes and hips. If you can simply lift the weight:

  1. You are at an increased risk of injury in the shoulders.
  2. You are missing all of the benefits and simply doing an awkward front raise.

A form tip: Make sure you are using your back to hold your shoulders back and down. At no point should your back be rounded or your shoulders hanging from your rotator cuff. Think of gripping the kettlebell then activating your lats (behind your arm pits) by rotating your shoulders back. Visualize trying to break the kettlebell in half.

Exercise 3: Curtsy Lunge

I like to incorporate a lot of single leg exercises in training for my athletes. This helps to target imbalances and balance.

I find curtsey lunges to be incredibly effective at targeting your glute medius (outside of glute) as well as your inner and outer thigh. It is essential to target the full leg, rather than simply the glute max. This is a great exercise for that!

Make sure you maintain good form as this is an easy one to have poor form in.

Training Tip: Pause at the bottom of your lunge to remove any momentum from the push up. If you do not feel this in your glute medius I recommend incorporating glute activation exercises as a regular part of your routine. You simply can’t work a muscle your brain does not know exists! And yes, the connection can become so weak that you have to spend time going through the “boring” activation exercises to remind your brain you have an a$$!

Use it or lose it sister!

Exercise 4: Plank Row

There are so many benefit of this exercise I will summarize in 3 points:

  • Effectively teaches core stabilization by strengthening the abdominal muscles’ ability to resist spinal extension.
  • Activates the Oblique muscles more than a regular Plank by forcing you to balance yourself while rotating.
  • Incorporates upper body rotation and improves total body balance.

To make this harder you can add a pushup between reps! I left the pushup out as many people are internally rotated at the shoulders (hunched forward) and need more pulling movements than pushing.

Form Tip: Squeeze your glutes. Make sure your hips are neither too low or too high. Stabilize your spine during the rotation.

Exercise 5: Thrusters

This is another great full body exercise that is incredibly challenging on the whole body! Thrusters help improve coordination, muscular endurance, and balance. Not only do heavy thrusters help to build overall strength, it can be a useful exercise to teach strength-speed and improve overall athleticism.

Go heavy on this one. Like the kettlebell swing the power comes from the glutes and legs. Use momentum from standing to power the weight up.

Form tip: Make sure to stay in your heels and not let the weight pull you forward. As you begin to stand up squeeze the glutes to use them as power to accelerate the weight up and over your head.

Exercise 6: Dolphin

The plank requires no introduction. It is one of the best core stability exercise and is my favourite since it does not require any bending of the spine. Our spines truly only have so many bends prior to having issues with bulging disks so I limit the amount of crunches for my athletes.

For this exercise make sure you lift your hips using your lower abs. If you struggle with a mind to body connection with your lower abs start with dead bugs and work up from there.

Form tip: Make sure to push up into your shoulders. Your shoulder blades should not stick out of your back. This is called Winged Scapula and signifies no stability in the shoulders or back. To truly benefit from the plank you must activate your body from head to toe!

Exercise 6: Twisters

Similar to the plank this is creating stability through the spine, however we are adding in rotation. This is a great way to develop strong obliques and stability through the core.

Form tip: Make sure to keep the core engaged the whole time. At no point should there be “slack”. This is also a great way to engage the lower abs.

There you have it my friends!

Complete the routine for 3-4 sets. Limit rest in between exercises to 15-30 seconds. 1 minute rest between sets. If you go heavy on the weights, which you should you little badass you, you can increase the rest to 2 minutes between sets.

*Make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Ensure use of proper form and never work through pain.

Grab your kettlebell, dumbbells, water and lets go!

And, friends, if you have any videos you would LOVE to see let it be heard! I am talking on form, injuries, workouts, nutrition, mindset. The choice is yours. Let’s build this YouTube to be the MECCA of sound fitness and health advice. You in?

Good!

Just Say No…. To Pink Weights!

I don’t even know who Sean Flanagan is, but brother, you keep preaching!

Let me say it loud and clear for those in the back:

SAY NO TO PINK DUMBBELLS.

I would like to also say no to gloves but that is for another day.

There is little, within the realm of bogus fitness B.S, that gets my gears all twisted up more than pink dumbbells and “trainers” that encourage you to use them.

  1. It insinuates that women need to have pink girlie weights to workout. Poor Pam can’t go over and touch the heavy dumbbells or barbell with the boys.
  2. They fundamentally go against the VERY BASICS of science in regards to how you are able to gain muscle, or the popular term for women ” tone up”, which, spoiler alert is the act of building muscle then leaning out so you can see it.
  3. The reason is really grinds my gears? Lifting weight is ESSENTIAL, especially as we age, due to muscle loss and osteoporosis. Women, especially, need to lift weights to prevent muscle loss and osteoporosis. The trick to lifting weights is stressing the muscle and, sister, you CANNOT DO THAT if your weights weigh less than your purse!

Breaking it all down.

Issue 1: Leave the girls with the girlie weights

Oh sweet stars, I am not even going to touch form for women in fitness pictures.

Girl weights, girl pushups, girl section of the gym, girl boss….For the love of all things holy can we stop minimizing the absolute badassery of women?!

You don’t need girl weights. I am not even going to get into the science of why here. That is point 3. What I want to get into is the fact society has broken us up into categories that begin with “girl”.

“Oh, good for Pam she is a girl boss”. You don’t hear men described as men bosses. NO. They are just a boss.

“We better make girlie pink weights so Suzy feels comfortable lifting the weights and doesn’t gain muscle”. NO. Sister, you do not need different weights OR a different section of the gym. You walk your confident self over to the REAL weights and lift those suckers better than the boys.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than teaching someone how to barbell squat and they send me updates saying:

  1. They are lifting heavier than the guys at their gym.
  2. The guys are barely hitting paraell and they are going a$$ to grass.

You go girl!

Now we’re talking.

Not sure where to start or how to use them? I can help.

This is slightly off topic of point 1 but I do believe ties into the pink dumbbells and females having to be separated by “GIRL” titles:

I know in today’s society it is taboo to say “I want to win”. Now a days we just have to want to show up. I wasn’t raised that way. I want to win. It in in my blood and it is why I workout and train.

But you want to know something? When I competed in CrossFit I wanted to beat THE BOYS. When I train for triathlons and trail races I want to be competitive against the boys. I am blessed in riding we aren’t broken up by men and women, so there is no concern there.

I will NEVER forget the first time I was in a CrossFit gym. I had been working out at home, using Outlaw North programming, but decided to make it to regionals I had to actually go to a gym. I showed up in my baggy hoody. I kinda half assed the fun warm up we were put through, which was basically tag for adults. I am, and will always be, awkward in group activities like that.

Next was bench press. I was paired up with a male athlete and the trainer kept a close eye on me, being the new person. When it was my turn the client and trainer both said “Here, I will lighten the weights”.

I smirked and said “No need”, and dropped my hoody like some kind of badass in a boxing movie.

If cameras had been on me it would have shifted to slow mo as I drop the hoody and walk over to the bench. The next words, and truthfully I can’t remember if they came from the trainer or client, were “Holy crap you are jacked…”. Now, I find Crossfit to be a bit more progressive in the recognition of women badassery but there was still that misconception that because I was a girl I would need lighter weights.

And for those saying: You were imposing those beliefs, they could have just done so because you were new. Throughout the whole first day it was mentioned multiple times how I was “Keeping up with the boys”.

I show up to show how friggin badass and tough women are. That we don’t need special divisions, weights, areas of the gym, special titles to show a girl made it to being a boss.

I show up to prove women don’t just “Keep up with the boys”.

So sister, put down those damn pink weights and show off how badass you are. They aren’t doing a damn thing for you anyway.

JUST SAY NO TO PINK DUMBBELLS.

Issue 2: They don’t do a damn thing

My eyes bleed seeing people promoting pink dumbbells. Well, maybe not bleed yet but tears do fall.

You are being MISLED. MISLEAD and money is being made off your back for it!

Sister, do me a favour. GO weigh your purse, bag or back pack right now. I will wait. Just humour me.

I will just drop this here for some hold music while you do this.

Back?

Fab. Now, friend, if your purse weighs more than your weights you are doing it wrong. If you have a baby, and carry your baby around, and your BABY weighs more than your weights. You are doing it wrong.

To see results you must have progressive overload on the body. The progressive overload principle basically states: In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.

Or, to put it another way, your body will not change or improve unless you force it to.

No matter how perfect your workout is, muscle will not be built, strength will not be gained, and performance will not improve unless you show your body that these are things that absolutely NEED to happen in order for it to survive.

Read that again.

You know how you get rid of that turkey neck arm? WEIGHTS. Heavy a$$ weights. You need to provide muscle to give the arm some actual SHAPE. Pink weights won’t do it.

You know how you grow a booty? WEIGHTS and heavy ones!

Long term results require lifting within a 5-8 rep range to FORCE your body to change. Popular home workouts are great to get started or use during “Shreds” for high rep circuit work however to see real change and muscle growth there must also be heavy lifting within properly structured programs.

Issue 3: Bad Health Advice

Ok, so fine. A trainer wants to target women that are petrified they will look like the Hulk if they touch real weights.

Real weights won’t cause you to become huge!

So, why is it my business if “trainers” want to sell the business of pink weights and fru fru workouts?

Because they are not only misleading women but they are causing long term health problems.

My mother in law has osteoporosis. When doctors, myself and her son, begged her to start lifting weights she got pink dumbbells.

Ok, in fairness I think they are blue but either way they are under 5 pounds.

You want to know what has NOT improved? Her osteoporosis or strength. In fact, she is recovering from a broken bone as I write and struggles to use crutches due to lack of strength.

Here are some cold hard facts for you sister:

Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade.

Now, I couldn’t find a study that specifically speaks of women. I am sure they are out there I am just so riled up right now that I need to keep writing. Never the less.

Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes. This number is higher for women.

Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures. A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.

Shit, you may be thinking, I am over 30! What can I do to combat this!?

LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS IN A PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD PROGRAM.

Yes, this means if you workout at home you need heavy dumbbells and a barbell, as you progress. Yes, this means you will likely need to get a membership to a gym.

No, this does not mean you are alone if you have no idea what to do or where to start. I am developing a YouTube channel with workouts here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3QQdWscURZYByuNLHF5f-g?

And I am also creating a membership website for those that can’t afford the 1:1 training.

I do not want any woman to be left behind due to funds.

But, let’s get back to research.

Women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis over men. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

This CANNOT BE DONE WITH PINK WEIGHTS.

To wrap up…

At best trainers that promote light weights and no progressive overload are misleading you. At worst they are directly contributing to long term ill effects on your health.

10 years ago I was that woman too afraid of judgement and “Doing it wrong” to dare go into the “mens” section of the gym. Too afraid to lift heavy. I now have my own business as a coach to help empower other women to realize how truly badass they are.

You are a badass. Not a girl badass. Just a badass.

xo

Ashley

There is no risk greater than refusing to risk at all

While in my masters of social work I took a HUGE risk: I left to travel.

I had just taken out the loan to pay for tuition. 2 weeks after I paid tuition (and it isn’t cheap!) the guy I was casually dating asked if I wanted to go to Australia with him. He was going for his masters for teaching.

Now, I feel it pertinent to add that I didn’t hop on a plane with a random guy I met at the bar the week before. We had gone to high school together and I knew him quite well.

But, it was still a risk to drop my life and move across the world!

But, that is what I did. I quite literally dropped everything and got on a plane.

I am STILL paying off my student loans 11 years later but it was worth every second. I left a piece of my heart in Australia. It was everything I could have expected and more.

Home
Dream come true.

Now, had I been afraid to take that risk I would never have had that experience. And, while one may argue that you don’t know what you don’t know, meaning I wouldn’t have known what I was missing, Australia had been on my vision board since I was 5 and my vision board was ripped out pieces of magazines and the board was my wall.

The point is this: When you are 90 in your rocking chair looking back at your life the biggest regrets will be the risks you DIDN’T TAKE. And I am not making things up. There has been actual research about this.

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives, came forward with the top 5 regrets people had in the last 12 weeks of their life:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Bonnie stated people realized how many dreams they left unfulfilled and how health, and “time”, had been taken for granted in their younger years.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Bronnie says: “Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” Bronnie

Now, if that doesn’t light a fire in you I don’t know what will!

A lot of people think my mission in life is surrounding fitness. It isn’t.

My mission is to help YOU live life to the fullest. Enjoy each day. Live the healthiest you can. Be happier. Laugh more. Run the marathon you always wanted to run. Buy the horse you always wanted to buy. Move to the other side of the world on a whim because your heart is telling you to.

Fitness is just a tool I use, and a VERY powerful tool at that.

My tip to help you start taking control of your life?

Take your favourite complaint and turn that baby inside out!

For example: ” I can’t afford to buy that horse” becomes ” Money loves me so much it throws itself at me!”. Yes, corny, but powerful. I did this when I was finally tired of my old excuses on why I couldn’t afford a Blazing Colours baby. The point is NOT that you say this and then money rains down from the heavens as if some drug lords house blew up a kilometer down the road. Although, maybe that could happen!

No, the point is you start to search for the possibilities, the opportunities. You see the positive, not the lack of dollar signs in your account. You start to get into a success mindset and get ready to make shit happen. When I started this affirmation I started problem solving and applied to a ton of jobs! The one that allowed me to afford the baby hired me. And I was wildly unqualified!

Future eventer extraordinaire

Another negative to a positive? “I hate my job” becomes “I am grateful to my job for supporting me and for being my stepping stone on my way to awesome badassery and for teaching me so very much about patience and perseverance.” I think every entrepreneur can relate to this one! I use it daily as my business grows and it has completely transformed my life and how I approach each day.

The point is I want you to write down whatever crappy self limiting belief is holding you back then flip it. Post it around your house. Write it on your mirror with lipstick. Stick it to your dashboard. Make it the background of your phone. Bloody well needle point it into a pillow if you need to.

Then, say it every time you catch yourself about to launch into the same old boring complaint.

And here is the thing many people don’t tell you:

Transforming your life is uncomfortable.

Changing your mindset is hard. You must commit to being uncomfortable day after day. Befriend the unfamiliar, the risky, the “I don’t wanna” and do it anyway.

The discomfort means you are almost there.

xo

Ashley

Why a raccoon can teach you life lessons.

Today I was asked if I could be any wild animal which would I choose.

To many peoples surprise I picked a raccoon. You may be thinking “WHAT!? Of all the animals you choose a raccoon?!”

Yes. And you know why?

Raccoons are adaptive. Spent millions developing raccoon proof garbage bins? Give the raccoon a few hours to figure out how to outsmart the road block. Build a subdivision in her habitat? She will figure out how to use your structures to thrive.

There is no obstacle too great and no invention too advanced to outsmart the determined, persistent and intelligent raccoon.

Raccoons are like the toddlers and youth of the human world. A toddler falls COUNTLESS times learning to walk but they don’t throw up their arms and give up because there are too many obstacles in their path. They keep trying until victory is theirs.

When learning to speak toddlers and children don’t stop learning. They intently watch the world around them and soak up information like a sponge, learning words from their environment (whether ideal words or not).

Youth unapologetically pick up figure skating or gymnastics and fall to their knees. Over. And over. But they get back up and try again. As a youth I crashed to the ground on my skates, trying new complicated spins and jumps, more times than I can count.

But I kept going. I knew my goal and I forged forward without blinking an eye.

Be a raccoon. Find the inner child that NEVER GAVE UP.

As adults we seem to become so wrapped up in the opinions of others, and fear of failure, that we would rather be miserable than try to reach new goals and dreams.

“You want to dump $10,000 into starting a new business?!” you can just FEEL the judgemental comments from friends and family.

“You are trying a NEW diet?!” you can predict the harsh tones as you try one more time at reaching your weight loss goals.

“I knew she would fail”, wait, that one is coming from your inner mean girl BEFORE you even start!

Now, let me say this loud and clear for the people in the back:

WHO CARES.

First, people don’t care as much as your ego has led you to believe.

Second, others opinions of you and what you do are none of your business.

If you fail? News flash. Whatever your goal is you WILL fail. Over and over. Get over it now.

If Sally from Facebook doesn’t like what you are doing with your life? Who cares. It isn’t her life.

If you fall? Great, you will learn what does and doesn’t work, just like the young girl does trying a new jump on the balance beam.

Dream big.

Stop caring so much about failure and what others think….

And start caring more about the quality of your short life.

Stop caring what you inner mean girl says and get out there and

Start proving her WRONG.

A raccoon doesn’t apologize for out thinking the special garbage bin you bought in under an hour.

A child doesn’t apologize for trying 100 times to get their first step.

The 10 year old doesn’t care what you think when she falls off the balance beam after trying for the 20th time to land a new flip.

Friend, STOP APOLOGIZING. To yourself and others. Just go out there and start living.

Xo,

Ashley

Equestrian Problems

I overheard someone complaining about their cats $50 per month medication.

$50. Per month.

Now, I am not saying anything bad about cats. If my husband wasn’t so allergic I would be the crazy cat lady!

But this got me wondering how absolutely out of touch riders are with reality! So, from my beautiful unicorn, I wrote my top 5 equestrian problems!

1) I have horses scattered across Ontario. When was the last time you lived 2 hours from one of your baby cats and 45 minutes from your large retired fat cat and small mini cat.

Well, photo angle makes the mini look like a maxi.

Cuteness beats logic every time!

Prior to baby I had visited Niagara Falls about as many times as I can count on one hand, in my 33 years, and I limit visits to family due to kilometers and “wear and tear” on my car. Baby Loki is 3 weeks old and I have made the 2 hour drive 3 times.

Sorry not sorry. Cars can be replaced.

2) I basically pay a mortgage payment to two different barns to keep the horses. That doesn’t include feet, vet, chiropractic, massage, nothing! Oh ya, and because Monty (fat retired cat) has back arthritis he is currently wearing $700 worth of blankets.

$700.

MY jacket isn’t even worth that much. And my husband went 2 winters WITHOUT a winter jacket so Monty could get more Back on Track blankets for his sore back!

Oh, and the $50 meds? How about $160 in Omeprazole for 30 days for your sensitive Sally’s belly. And that isn’t even the brand name Omeprazole. I don’t want to be the cause of heart problems, from shock, in my non horse friends so let’s continue on!

Monty living his best life.

3) I quit my job as an equine vet tech and got a job in a busy call centre to afford my horses.

Will this work?

And the “greatest” part about horses is that they will just keep filling the new budgets. It is never ending.

Got a higher paying job? Awesome, because your horse put its leg through a fence and needs stitches (true story from Christmas Day at 4:30pm 2017).

Opened a savings account? Stop kidding yourself and skip the sad truth of putting the money in just to take it back out. Just send the money straight to the tack store for the new custom saddle.

Bonus? Better call the chiropractor for the horse and someone to clip your Yak of a pony.

It. Never. Ends.

Now my savings account sits at $0.02.

But my recent promotion means they have new space to expand into!

4) Not one of my horses have a job. I have 3 horses and I am not able to ride one!

Monty was my eventer but was retired at 8 after years of on and off soundness issues. Turns out my future superstar has severe osteoarthritis in his spine. My mini, Oreo, was bought as his companion for shows and now is living his best life as a feral retired pony!

And my new born dream foal is living his best life in baby heaven!

Hopefully one day baby Loki will be my eventing super star otherwise I am collecting “broken” horses!

5) Vacations? Weekends away?

Old vacationing pics will have to do!

Vacations are unknown words to the Equestrian! Equestrians are too broke for vacations and weekends are for horse shows!

My poor husband and I have a cottage we rarely use because he can’t drag me away from the horses long enough!

Why go out of town when you can go to horse shows?

Regardless….

For all the stress, money and time horses cost.

For the ascinine vet bills that build up on your secret credit card.

The heartbreak over an 8 year old with so much potential having to be retired.

The constant worry over temperature and if your horse is too hot or too cold.

Wondering if you are doing all the things right and helping your horse live their best life.

Wearing clothes with holes in them so you can put the money into board at the best facility you can find (and the sleepless nights finding it).

For the missed vacations, weekends in the barn instead of on a beach and the partners that wonder wtf they got themselves into.

For all the craziness….

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Owning a horse is expensive. More expensive than your cat or dog. Or 10 cats and dogs. And sometimes they don’t pay attention to you ( I guess sort of like a big cat)….

Eff off lady, I only love my mom.

But is it ever worth it.

Once you are horse girl you will die a horse girl.

It is like a virus that pumps through your veins.

And you will lay down your last penny, your last breath, for your horse.

I would legitimately do sketchy things to make sure my horses only had the best. Selling organs in Mexico is a viable option, right?

So while we may be a bit crazy, and insanity ensues on the reg, it is worth every second and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Xo

Ashley

Take Control of Your Life

You.

YES, you!

You are powerful beyond measure.

It is ok if you have been lost before. If you let fear rule your life. If opinions of others kept you from stepping into your greatness.

But it is time to wake up.

Today is a new day, and if you CHOOSE also a new life.

You get to decide right now who you want to be. Not Monday, not next month.

Ask yourself: How would the best version of you live this day? What would you do? Say? Wear? Eat?

It all begins with believing you are worth it.

Believing that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.

Stop using the excuse that you don’t have time. You have time you are just CHOOSING to spend the time doing other things.

Wake up an hour earlier. Go to bed an hour later.

Success is choosing between what you want right now and what you want most. Do not let those temporary pleasures derail you from your dreams.

Imagine your dreams in detail. Write it down. Make a vision board. Your personal vision will keep you in the game when things become difficult.

Challenge yourself to dream big and recognize the greatness within yourself.

Start taking care of your mind, body and soul.

Make yourself a priority.

If you can’t take care of yourself you have a 0% chance of success in other areas of your life. You must always come first.

Work out, fuel your body properly, smile, tell yourself how damn badass you are. If you have to put sticky notes around your house reminding yourself that

you’ve got this.

Remember, you are creating your reality right now. This very moment.

You are the only person in charge of what happens next. You, and only you hold the key to the next chapter.

You MUST stop procrastinating.

You must take action right now and create a vision that fires you up and propels you to the future life you want. The life you deserve. The life you dream of.

You need to own what you do, or what you don’t do.

Take ownership of your actions then go out and create the destiny you want, not the one you default on.

Remember that life is never happening to you, it is happening for you, but it is up to YOU to take action.

IF you cannot be the person you want to be right now, in this second, you don’t have a why that is strong enough.

And if you don’t have a why that is strong enough right now you won’t have a strong enough why on Monday. Or next month.

There is no bolt of lighting. No magic moment.

There is just this moment. The now.

Do not leave todays version of you to random chance. Choose who you want to be.

Choose your destiny.

Then, start living your life according to THAT version of you.

And, if you worry about how far you have to go remember that every great tree started as a seed. Stop waiting to plant your seed.

xoxo

Ashley Eve- Health&Mindset Coach

Posture for the rider

Instructors, here is the truth about yelling “Shoulders back” at your riders. It doesn’t work. And it isn’t that it doesn’t work because the rider is ignoring you or isn’t trying. It doesn’t work because tightness in the riders body is CAUSING the shoulders to be internally rotated and weakness in the abs is further building on this problem.

This is not something that can be fixed in the saddle.

What causes a hunched position

Clients come from a variety of backgrounds BUT the one thing many have in common is the fact that they do either a lot of time sitting at a desk (student, office worker) OR they do a lot of time driving. Both of these positions cause tightness in the front of the shoulder and chest, also known as the internal rotators.

The more someone sits with their shoulders rounded forward the tighter the internal rotators get, however this isn’t the end of the problem! This position also causes the back muscles to weaken and lengthen. The very muscles that would maintain a tall position and shoulders back.

This position further impacts the rider with a weak core, tight hip flexors and weak glutes. For the purpose of today we are focusing on shoulders.

Here is a graphic for the problems hunched shoulders create:

What does this mean for the horse?

When you have hunched shoulders your core is weak, forcing you to sit on the back of your pelvis. Sitting in your chair right now sit up tall with a strong core then allow your shoulders to hump forward and stop any contraction in your core. Do you notice how you go from sitting evenly on your pelvis to the back of your pelvis? Your body literally folds forward from pelvis to shoulders.

Now, sit up tall again, core tight. Force your shoulders back by pushing your chest forward. If you have naturally tight internal rotators right now your chest will naturally pop forward to accommodate the shoulders being forced back. Notice how your lower back arches and you shift to the FRONT of your pelvis? THIS is what happens when you tell a client “Shoulders back” and they force them back with tight internal rotators.

Here is a graphic to illustrate what I just described:

We require a neutral seat to not only have a strong and balanced position but to also properly influence the horse with clear aids. Imagine how FRUSTRATED your horse is when you are giving unclear aids and they are trying to interpret what you want!

Riders, and coaches, if the shoulders are being forced back, causing an exaggerated arch in the lower back this is the position you are in:

Forcing the shoulders back, despite the tight chest and weak core is causing extreme rounding of the lower back. Notice how this position is also forcing the legs forward and the rider is unable to properly get the heels down, so the toes point out. Without fixing the root cause you are only causing issues downstream of the “issue” you have fixed.

Further, notice how the horse has dropped his back and lacks impulsion. This is the immediate effect of sitting on the front of your pelvis. Your horse will drop their back and be unable to push from behind. You will lack impulsion and the ability to give clear aids from this position.

By correcting the body tightness and weakness you see an immediate improvement in the rider and horse:

Where to go from here

To start you must stretch the tight tissue and strengthen the weak tissue. I highly recommend beginning with yoga, particularly Yin Yoga. The long holds of 1-2 minutes not only properly release the muscles but also the connective tissue.

Next you need to identify your weak areas are strengthen them. Make sure to do 2 back exercises for every 1 pushing (push up for example) exercise.

I offer a fantastic 80 day program to my riding clients that helps to address postural imbalances and weakness. This program is an essential base to have for a balanced and strong position.

It is no longer acceptable to say “This is just how I am!”. The horse depends on us treating ourselves as the athletes we are. Postural imbalances in us can also lead to lameness issues in our horses.

For more information on the programs I offer to riders please feel free to fill out the form below:

Happy Wednesday friends!

Ashley

I choose to be powerful beyond measure

I would like you to take a moment for reflection. What are the main thoughts that are on repeat in your mind throughout the day. What stories do you tell yourself, and how are those stories limiting your true potential.

Starting today I want you to make the conscious effort to eliminate the following low vibe phrases from your vocabulary:

I want.
I should.
I wish.
I can’t.
I’m trying.
I don’t know.

These words take the power AWAY from you, when you are actually powerful beyond measure. These thoughts, and words, will stop you from taking risks on the things you really want in life. And, the worst part is none of them are true.

Now that you have eliminated those words from your vocabulary I need you to make the conscious effort to fill your vocabulary with the following high vibe phrases today:

🗝️I choose.
🗝️I can.
🗝️I enjoy.
🗝️I create.
🗝️I love.
🗝️I am a badass.
🗝️The answers are on their way.

What you may not yet realize is that what comes out of your mouth comes into your life, so choose your words, and thoughts, wisely.

At this point I often hear “but I am so unhappy in my job, I can’t be positive” or “I can’t lose the weight no matter what I do…”.

These are all your perceptions of reality. Made up stories you tell yourself.

Even if you HATE your full time job and it brings tears to your eyes, and your soul wilts, at the thought of even going in CHOOSE power words. Take your power back.

I CHOOSE to go into work because it funds my personal business I am building.

I LOVE that (employer) is the main financial supporter of my business.

It is also your CHOICE to hate your situation and do nothing about it, whether it is your job, weight, relationship, etc. The reality is NOT that you cannot be successful. The reality is not that you cannot lose the weight.

The reality IS you are choosing not to do the behaviours that will lead to success.

You are CHOOSING to stay miserable or you are CHOOSING to be happy.

Whether you believe it or not you ALWAYS have a choice.

I want nothing more than to leave an impact on this world by creating badass women that realize they have no limits and truly go for it.

Xo

Ashley

Fear No More


I used to be really good at running from fear. From picking up and moving, starting a new job, heck (true story), I even changed my name at one point and went by my middle name!

My going to Australia, while one of the best decisions of my life, was brought on by fear of failing in my Masters of Social Work. I didn’t believe I “deserved” to be there. That I somehow was a fraud. I truly believed in my heart that I couldn’t succeed. So, when the opportunity came up to travel, I didn’t think twice…. Even with a full year of tuition already paid for!

The problem is, if you run from your fears they will follow you. You will never get stronger, tougher or grow. And you give yourself a false illusion that you have control over the future. By running you prove yourself right, you couldn’t do it.

I didn’t learn this until I had literally no choice but to face my fears. I left a position as an Equine Assisted Therapy coach in a Neuroplasticity program on really bad terms. My mental health was declining, due to the work environment, and I just could not watch what was going on anymore. When I resigned my boss turned on us and we were kicked out of the house we lived in, illegally might I add, and had nowhere to go (We lived on property). I will leave it at that because I truly want to leave that experience in the past.

After I left I was audited by Canada Revenue Agency and was found to have been an employee, NOT a sub contractor. This meant that I owed back taxes on TWO YEARS of employment, and every penny of it since none of my claims against taxes were now applicable.

To keep a very long story short this led to two years of my old boss battling the decision with CRA, and dragging me along for the ride. I DID think about how I could run from this problem. “What if CRA changes their mind, I face penalties for this…. And more back payments…”. But the greatest gift that woman ever gave me was putting me through this experience because man did I grow.

I had no choice but to stand tall, tell my story and face each fear, each audit, each question head on. I had no choice but to be strong. And, in the beginning I wasn’t. It nearly broke me. But with each appeal, and with the letter that came stating she was taking me and the government to the Tax Court of Canada, I grew stronger. And I realized I WOULD SURVIVE by facing this head on.

A couple days before we were due in tax court I was lying in bed and pulled my journal out from my night stand. Nervous, but happy to get this over with after 2 years of appeals, I wrote “Good always wins. The Truth is always revealed”. I tucked my journal back into my night stand and went to sleep. The next day I received notice that she withdrew and the nightmare was over.

I grew SO MUCH from the experience and I realized that if you run straight at your fears they get the hell out of your way. By facing down your fears you grow as a person. You get stronger. You gain more confidence in you and your capabilities (Which, are endless by the way).

By facing your fears they seem so silly and insignificant. You will one day ask “How did I ever wonder how I would get through that?”. You will amaze yourself at how much you will grow.

Fears and obstacles are to be taken head on. Stop running. It doesn’t fix anything.

Have an amazing, blessed, Friday friends.

xo

Ashley

Unf*ck Your Life


Coming Summer 2019: Unf*ck Your Life

You are a badass. You have limitless potential. You have the ability to build the sanctuary of your dreams, to build a six figure business or finally start your couch to 5k…

But first you need to get out of your own way and unf*ck yourself.

Ask yourself:

How long have you allowed your thoughts to stop you from taking action on your dreams and goals?

How long have you wanted to do something but failed to take action? Unless you count continuing the scroll through Instagram in a desperate bid to AVOID the action you really need to take!

And I have to ask:

Are you tired of the positivity movement and feel MORE down on yourself for not being able to maintain positive thoughts 24/7? That shit just makes you feel like a failure because very few people are hardwired to be pissing rainbows of positivity 24/7. I am certainly not one of them!

Reality Check:

Do you think Ghandi, Rosa Parks or Steve Jobs were never gripped with uncertainty? That they never woke up to self doubt, or the doubt of others? That they didn’t have sleepless nights? That their genius was just one day bestowed upon them to share with us!

Hell no!

They were gripped by the same fears, self limiting beliefs and self doubt that any of us are but they took action anyway. They pushed aside the obstacles in their way and continued to strive into the unknown.

They took action DESPITE their doubts or mindset on any given day.

People can have perfect rainbow and butterfly positivity thoughts, 24/7, and accomplish absolutely nothing in life. Going through life spouting out positive affirmation after positive affirmation without taking ACTION.

And there are people, despite bad backgrounds and a mind that wanders, that put aside their self doubt, take action and accomplish their goals DESPITE their mindset.

Positive thinking is not a predictor of accomplishment any more than a negative mindset predicts failure.

STOP WAITING!

I am tired of people thinking they have to wait for a new mindset to change their life.

You have to learn how to act independently of your thoughts. To stop focusing on your thoughts and focus on ACTION! And, you already know how to do it! You drag yourself to a job you hate, pay taxes and pay bills despite really not wanting to do it! We simply need to focus this ability on actions that move you forward in life!

Also, you must learn how to be relentless in the pursuit of your goals!

In this 3 month mastermind course you will follow through a proven system to master your mindset, take action and unlock your true potential.

It is not about getting everything just right. About waiting for lightning to strike you in the a$$. Just get up and take action. Messy inspired action. The more you flex the get up and go muscle the easier it becomes!

So let’s set big goals, take action and live the life you have wanted for far too long!

In this course you will learn how to change your life by changing your ACTIONS!

To be added to the waiting list please fill out the form below!