My Fitness Staycation

 In Blog

My husband and I took a vacation week. Or rather, a Stay-cation. Our plans to do a lot of cycling up at a cottage didn’t work out because of the rain in the forecast and the poor air quality from the forest fires.

Nevertheless, a week without training clients meant that I could undertake some serious projects. I thought about housework, renovations, visiting long-lost relatives, going strawberry picking … but decided those can wait for weekend projects.

A week “off” turns into somewhat of a fitness boot camp for me! Here is a little update of how I filled my week.


First priority, SLEEP. I was able to get a good 8 – 9 hours of sleep every night. I am a little slow to join the trend, but I finally started wearing a fitness tracker. I probably figured, I’ve been fit all my life without the cloud and who-knows-what-else tracking my every whereabouts, so why should I start using one now? As true as that is, I am really interested in my sleep and heart rate results. I am making sleep a high priority.


Second, WORKOUT. I decided that it was time to take up running again to improve my cardio fitness. Running is a lot less weather-dependent and requires a shorter time commitment than cycling. My first run was a short 10 minutes and 1.6 km. Four runs later I am up to 3.0 km in 17 minutes. It is still a slow pace, but first we work stamina and volume, then we work speed and intensity.

Self-Myofascial Release

Third, RECOVERY. The consequence of running again is that my Tensor Fascia Lata and IT band got a little angry. I spent a bit of time researching exactly which muscle was giving me the problem and what to do about it. I found some very helpful videos from I learned a lot about determining whether any muscles were weak and if the TFL was overcompensating. I suspect my issue may have something to do with glutes and hamstrings on my left side which I have been rehabilitating for the past half year. Nevertheless, some self-myofascial release using a massage ball in the hip and rolling the IT band definitely helped. So I think my main issue was simply tightness from the new activity. The V-sit leg lifts in internal rotation were definitely a challenge though. That could indicate an area of weakness that I have to work on.

I have written more about self-care in this blog.

Then I got caught up on some other fitness workout / people that I follow:

Lebert Fitness

Lebert Fitness sells the Equalizer bars and Parallettes. They put on free monthly live workouts through zoom. I was catching up on a few of the recordings that I wanted to re-watch and make notes on. One of them was Donovan’s recent Mobility workout. He had great general mobility and dynamic warm up ideas, because we all need to maintain our mobility!

I was also quite interested in Summer’s calisthenics workout using the equalizer bars. She had a good general warm up, wrist warm up and great core ideas. I would love to work up to be able to hold an L-sit for 60 seconds!


It was so great to do a live workout with Summer, that I had to visit her website: . She has so much content on her website, with YouTube videos and workout plans, that it kept me busy for the rest of the day and evening! I am so inspired to improve my hollow body, arch holds, planks, and leg lifts. Perhaps toes to bar, handstands and V-sits will elude me. But who knows. I am happy that I can do pistol squats, push ups and pull ups. That is because I have been training them. If you want to do it, you have to work at it!

This falls more into my “hobby” category for personal fitness goals, rather than personal training for my clients.

Meghan Callaway

Meghan Callaway is a personal trainer from Vancouver, BC who shares endless interesting corrective and activation exercises on her blog through her weekly newsletter. She excels at doing pull ups and has recently mastered muscle ups. I get lots of ideas from her to share with my own clients to improve their strength and stability. I make notes of the exercises that I want to try out and then I spent an evening trying them!

Clean Health Fitness Institute

Finally, I also completed an on-line course in Personal Training from the Clean Health Fitness Institute. It was such a well-organized, to-the-point course with everything a personal trainer needs to do. Perhaps because of all my experience working with clients it makes so much sense to me now.

I have come away with even more ideas for my clients, such as:

  • I need to test the glute med strength on Client A to see if that is why her hip shifts when she comes up out a squat.
  • Maybe the reason Client B has rounding in his thoracic spine when he deadlifts is because his rhomboids are weak. We need to keep working on activation and strengthening of the upper back.
  • Perhaps the reason Client C takes a wide stance and turns his toes out when he squats because his biceps femoris and piriformis are tight. We need to spend extra time stretching them both before and after the workout.

Personal training is always a balance between giving clients what they want and what they need. It is always customized to each individual.

This is both my hobby (my passion) and my work. I want to be the best personal trainer I can be to help others.

Today was actually a beautiful day and I got in a 85 km ride. I’m still working my way up to 100 km. Cycling out in the countryside in Waterloo Region past all the beautiful farms, horses, cattle, sheep and wild turkeys, I realized, we don’t need to go to any cottage; we have all the beauty right here.

By the way, Happy 6th Birthday Vital Active Living!

I look forward to seeing all of my clients back next week!





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