Plato, Aristotle, and Your Fitness

What a title, right? 

Before you turn your nose up at a dry, academic, metaphysical interpretation of wellness in modern society, give me a chance to break this one down.

… And use it at your next dinner party, you’ll sound super smart.

Aristotle and Plato were two brilliant men who came to two very different interpretations on the nature of things.
Plato, with a heavy affinity for idealism, came to understand things as innate, free-floating ideas from which all variations were derived.
Aristotle with a passion for logic and metaphysics, came to understand the opposite -that the idea of things was composed of our embodied experiences with all of the things we categorize as “similar to”.

Modern Wellness Culture, as it stands, walks a fine line between these two approaches. If I were to ask you which of these philosophers’ ideas of “thingness” you agreed with, most of you would probably agree with Aristotle.

Where I think we start to trip up, and where I find my clients often get confused, is when we talk about wellness. How often have you heard the phrase, “this is supposed to be super good for you,” or  its million variants?  It is an incredibly platonic phrase. It assumes that there is some sort of innate wellness smoothie floating in the sky from which we can derive wellness upon consumption.

Do you see the problem?

Here’s an example from my life:
My little brother and I have great fights about what’s healthy and our conversation looks like this…

Him: “Tell me something healthy I can have for dinner.” <-Plato
Me: “I dunno, what did you do/eat today?” <-Aristotle
Him: “Just tell me what to eat, K?” <- Stubborn little brother who is sick of Aristotle

Just because something makes sense for me, doesn’t mean it automatically makes sense for you. Somehow, even though we agree with Aristotle, we talk about wellness as though we were more aligned with Plato. Next time you catch yourself talking about something’s healthfulness, ask yourself, are you Plato? Or are you Aristotle?

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Shampoo and Conditioner… On the go

I’ve had more bottles of shampoo and conditioner explode in my bag than I care to count… and I don’t know about you guys but, I’m just not adult enough to deal with it.

This summer I decided to take a stand against packing my toiletries four layers deep in secondary small bottles, ziploc containers, plastic bags, and even a toiletry bag, trying to appear pulled together.

For all my efforts leading up to this summer, I’ve had to clean or throw out bags due to countless failed attempts to secure a tidy, mess-free, means of showering away from home.

And then I met Lush Cosmetics’ Shampoo and Conditioner Bars.
To be clear, I have no affiliation with Lush, aside from being a regular patron; they aren’t paying me to say nice things. I’m just amped about having a product that has basically zero chance of exploding in my bag. 

I actually haven’t quite found the conditioner that’s right for me (in bar form), but, BUT, I can now shower at any of the facilities I train out of, with no stress about traveling with toiletries.

So, fellow humans, as I continue my search for the perfect to-go conditioner: What do you use to wash-up on the go? Any suggestions?

 

Photo Cred: Lush.ca

No shower? No time? No Problem.

We’ve all been there.
That last minute decision to work out, crunched for time, sometimes in a facility without showers, with zero time for dilly dallying from your workout to your next appointment and we’ve had to make the call… Is it really worth fitting this into my schedule?

If the answer is no… then don’t worry about it! Take that time for something that makes you a happier, more efficient person. If the workout isn’t worth your time… it isn’t worth your time.

But-
But, if it is worth it but, you feel like a giant smelly/oily jerk as you carry on with your day and THAT’S what’s making you wary of your “unshowerable workouts,” (I just made that term up) I’m about to help you out a whole bunch.

If you’re down to do that lunch hour work out, that pre-work session or that between appointment piece, make it happen. There is gear out there to support you.

For the sweat: Pick up some body wipes. Find a brand that suites your skin and ethical needs (you can find organic, biodegradable wipes- awesome, right?). Try Sephora, the Bay, or even your local drug mart. While you’re getting changed, grab one of those bad boys and quickly wipe everything down. Your body, and your co-workers, will thank you.

*If you’re prone to dry skin, you can purchase body wipes with built in moisturizer, that way, you can get your washing and moisturizing done in one fell swoop*

For the oil: if you haven’t met dry shampoo yet, I’m super sorry. Dry shampoo is the bee’s knees. I’m personally a fan of: Pret-A-Powder to deal with all the oil and sweat and Surf Spray to hide the fact that I haven’t had time to brush my hair. I just spritz it in, muss and go.

If you’re a regular make-up user or have sensitive skin, I would suggest buying special wipes for your face, according to what you need. Again, it is possible to find ones with moisturizer built in.
-I’m a bit of a snob here, but, since I live in a super dry city, I just carry facial moisturizer around with me… We’ve all got a thing. –

Super basic, super fast fixes that eradicate your ability to skip that lunch hour class, you’re welcome.

What do you do to deal with “unshowerable workouts?”

My Body Couture and Model Intentions

Guys, it’s Facebook official, Model Intentions and My Body Couture are tying the knot.

Janis and I are each others’ fitness yin and yang, and after years of banter and working together, we’ve decided to “get serious” and move in together.

Model Intentions will continue to be my brand, blog, newsletter, and calendar for all rowing, modeling, and group fitness events. So, please, continue to follow along!

For you, this move in means two things:
-an increase in super cool offerings and access to more practicioners
– expedited results (in one location with only one set of paper work! Yaaaaas)

So, follow along at:
https://www.facebook.com/mybodycouture/
https://twitter.com/MyBodyCouture
and Insta, we promise, will be up and running soon.

Xo
Danika

Water Wonderland

In YYC a special, magical event occurs on May 1st every year.

The Glenmore Reservoir opens and all of us prairie-bound water junkies rejoice.

It’s water season.

If you’re looking for a fun, comprehensive workout, a great community, and some fabulous sunshine, Calgary Rowing Club is a great place to go.

Through out the summer the Calgary Rowing Club (CRC) offers Learn To Rows for the uninitiated, Novice (read: Newbie) rows, youth camps, recreational/competitive programs for all age groups, private lessons, AND a kick butt para-program. The Calgary Rowing Club is equipped to handle us all.

Rowing can be a highly demanding sport; the rowing stroke requires the use of 84% of the body’s muscle mass and high cardio-vascular output… but, it also requires technique and patience.

Sitting in a rowing shell as the sunrises and hearing the woosh of your blades moving through the water as you make your way up to the starting line is by far my favourite way to start the morning. Plus, workouts can cost your body upwards of 1000 calories -my giant follow up breakfast is my second favourite part of my morning.

Row-mantic imagery or giant breakfasts peak your interest?

Should you sign up for a Learn to Row, here’s what to expect:

  • All forms of weather. Rain or shine it’s time to get in that rowing shell and party! Bring a hat in either instance; you’ll thank me later.
  • People from all walks of life. As I touched on earlier, the programming at the CRC is built to handle us all. Don’t be shy! Come on down and give it a whirl.
  • We’re all awful at the beginning. Nothing is natural about sitting in the boat backwards, holding a stick in your hands and propelling it by moving your legs. Don’t worry about it.
  • A fun work out. Being new at something typically means that our bodies are super inefficient at it, which means we get a good workout just for trying something new!

 

See you on the water!

Spring Spirits

It’s the time of year in which I begin anxiously eying up my tulip bed. 
Don’t sprout too early, you gorgeous things, the prairies are a dastardly place in the spring. 

Speaking of gorgeous spring things, here’s my spring update:

For summer athletes, spring means things are about to get crazy!
On top of jumping back on the water as soon as possible, here are some shifts and some continuities for my spring schedule:

Indoor Cycling: 

My indoor cycling services are currently being offered out of the Cochrane Health and Fitness Centre on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. If the current times don’t work for you and you’d like to attend, give me a shout! I’m always happy to consider adding to or changing up my weekly schedule.

Private and Group Rowing Lessons:

Want to get back on the water, or even get on the water for the first time?
I’m happy to announce that the Calgary Rowing Club and I have partnered up again to provide private, in-depth and flexible instruction to help you get where you want to be on the water. The club reopens with a bang on May 1st so, make sure you contact the club manager in advance for bookings!

Indoor Rowing:

Interested in the toning and health properties of rowing but not so interested in the rain, water or boats? Well, lucky for you, I’ve taken on a position instructing classes at Canada’s first and only dedicated indoor rowing studio, Row 17! You can access all my knowledge and expertise on how to row without stepping foot in a boat.
The studio opens Saturday, April 2nd at 9:30am. Come on down and check us out!

Change of Studio:

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in my training career is my partnership with Janis Isaman of My Body Couture. The website, in part because of my joining the team, is currently under construction so, stay tuned for the re-release of the website and, of course, my offerings in the studio. The studio is located in the historic Devenish building on 17th Ave, SW, in downtown Calgary. It’s conveniently right across the street from Row 17 and only slightly east of one of the main vegetarian restaurants in the city (score!).
For me, personally, there are fashion weeks and photoshoots on the horizon, new certifications to obtain and even an acting opportunity to pursue.

Spring is always so much fun.

See you soon!

xx
DK

Coping with Chronic/Debilitating Injuries and Health

Dealing with chronic and debilitating injuries and health is one of the most demoralizing things a person can experience. 

Being able to walk up the stairs, push in the clutch, hold a cup or lift up a basket of laundry can become nearly insurmountable tasks and the ubiquitous presence of the tasks in daily routine makes it so that we can’t ignore our injuries. We feel broken and for some of us, we might even begin to be defined by our peers as broken. Our identity shifts.

For some of us, as soon as we’re robbed of our freedom to move, our freedom to do, we knowledge seek and work away at the problem with painstaking determination.

But, some of us don’t even have a place to start.
It’s not about laziness or a lack of motivation; it’s about not knowing.

Knowing that we can do something about our health and having enough knowledge to seek out answers as to what it is exactly that we can do is a tremendous blessing.
Regardless of who you are: don’t be afraid to take on knowledge from different spheres. Try it on, discard what doesn’t work for you and search out new sources of data.

You are, of course, welcome to accept your limitations and your body as it is.
But, if any of you rejects the limitations that you’re facing, don’t be afraid to reach out.

We’re all here, wanting to help you be the you that you want to be.