Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheers to 2010!

The final day of 2010.
WOW. What a year it has been for ELM! I am sitting, thinking, reminicing and realizing a massive sense of gratitude. My heart swells with thanks for the opportunities I have been given, the adventures I have lived and the warm people I have been lucky to do it all with.

Raise a glass and give cheers to 2010! Here are my Top 10 ELM highlights from the year gone by...

Peru Trek. Of course, this year was all about Peru and the amazing team of trekkers that completed the challenging 7 day journey to Machu Picchu in September. There are a lifetime of memories in this highlight alone... Check out the short movie if you have not already done so...

Peru Fest. This celebration of all things Peru at the Riding Fool Hostel last month blew me away. I had so much fun reliving the trip, chatting with future adventurers and raising awareness about the needs of the remote Peruvian people. We raised $1500 in one night which will go a long way to support these children in the mountains of Peru. Thank you!

Adventure Running 2010! I think this was one of the best 24 weeks of Adventure Running we have ever had at ELM. The trails were steep, gnarly, flowy and rewarded us with breathtaking views. We discovered many new routes, trails and areas in our own backyard. Looking forward to next year!

ELM Members Events! Coastal Trek hike and feast up on Forbidden in February, Cycle and Sip to Beaufort Winery in the summer, discount shopping nights at Valhalla and more - it was a fun year playing with the ELM Members. Another highlight was welcoming Kathy Penner into the ELM family as our new Membership Co-Ordinator...thanks for all your amazing work Kathy!

Snow to Surf Relay: ELM Women Snag FIRST PLACE OVERALL in the womens category of this years S2S !! What a great race we had! The stars lined up and our superstar ELM team made it happen to take the gold medal in this years race. Way to go Team ELM!

Boston Bound! 3 amazing ELMers qualified for the Boston Marathon at this years Royal Victoria marathon in October. Congratulations to Korky, Karen and Diana who are all Boston bound this spring!

Fit & Free! After years of research, writing, editing, designing, and finally printing, I released my first book this fall. Yippee! What an amazing learning experience...and a huge relief to finish the book! Stay tuned for book promotions and events in 2011! Pick your copy up today!

Route of Fire: ELMer Jen Joliffe completes an amazing 7 day staged race across the country of Costa Rica! Learn about the route here and watch her do it all again in Feb 2011! Way to go Jen- you are amazing!

New Sponsors: I was stoked to bring on 3 new Sponsors as part of the ELM Membership program in 2010! Welcome to Valhalla Pure, Mountain City Cycle and Lotuswear! (PS Check out the membership page for a list of our current sponsors including our first 2011 addition:: Oh Spa!!)

Top Personal Trainer Award: I was shocked and stoked to win the Get Out There Magazine Peoples Choice Award for the Best Personal Trainer in Western Canada on New Years day last year. What an amazing way to start the year! Once again, thank you to who ever nomitated really did make my day, my month and my year:)

I hope you had a fantastic 2010 and that you lived, loved and laughed more than the year before...
Now...onto 2011!
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Season's Greetings!

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Look no further than 'Mr. Beary Fit'! The annual Boys & Girls Club Christmas Bear & Gingerbread House fundraiser is on now at Crown Isle and you have to go up and smell it for yourself! The room is filled with amazing gingerbread houses and holiday gift 'bear' packages that you can bid on in a silent auction. Pick up a christmas present and support your local boys & girls club at the same time! Check out ELM's Mr Beary Fit- 10 class punch card, Bootcamp T, ELM running cap, anti-burst exercise ball, twist tubing toner AND a Daily Fitness Logbook and copy of Fit & Free! WOWEEE!

One of the gingerbread house have to see it to believe it!

HO HO HO! The holiday season is upon us and I am heading south next week to celebrate with my family in the sun! Here is an update on what is happening at ELM this month!

NEW! Christmas Cheer Runs- Thursday nights, 5:30-6:30pm, casual, group runs. Join ELM for 3 fun, festive, runs through the Valley's best Christmas light neighbourhoods. These 'festive' runs start and finish at local pubs. Runs are by donation: please bring a non-perishable item or $$ for our Christmas Hamper!
Dec 16th Crown Isle Clubhouse
Dec 23 Billy D's Pub
Dec 30 Black Fin Pub

Holiday Bootcamp- Mon 5pm, Weds 6pm, Tues/Thurs 6:00am until December 23rd! Space is still available so be sure to drop in on us for some pre-holiday crosstraining at ELM's Outdoor Bootcamp this month! Check the online calendar for class locations, and join us for a great workout anytime.

Christmas Hamper- we are continuing to collect donations to fill our 2 hampers and support two local families in need this Christmas. The families we are sponsoring this year are quite large and we know that our donations will make a big difference in their lives.

We are looking for specific non-perishable items as well as gifts for the family members and cash to complete the fresh Christmas dinner shopping.

Typical hamper items include staples such as rice, flour, tea, coffee, peanut butter and toiletries as well as holiday foods such as cranberry sauce and stuffing. below and bring what you can to your next ELM class. You can also drop off your donations at Extreme Runners, before December 16th.
Family 1: 2 adults & 2 sets of twins! Boy & Girl age 10 and Boy & Girl age 6
Family 2: 2 adults & 3 daughters ages 5, 13 and 18.

Thank you for helping us help these families during this time of giving and need.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season! Cheers to 2011!
Sarah & Team ELM

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Superset Ski Fit Circuit

Ready Set Snow!

Wondering what we get up to at Sunrise Bootcamp? Well, here is what we were doing just this morning - a superset ski workout!

Warm up 15 minutes general and specific/dynamic range of motion

Round 1
Complete 2 sets of 20 of the following with a 1 minute sprint or stair run between each exercise:
  • 180 snowboard jump turns (squat position, jump and land 180)
  • Classic ski jumps (lunge position, jump and switch feet in the air) (20 each leg)
  • Mogul Twist Jumps (tight squat position, jump and twist lower body, squat land) (20 each side)

Round 2
Complete 2 sets of 1 minute of the following with a 1 minute sprint or stair run between each exercise:
  • Slalom snowboard course (hold squat, shift weight forward, back, heel, toe, jumps)
  • Telemark lunges (backwards walking lunges, knee to floor)
  • Slalom ski course (hold tight squat, shift forward back, turn to sides, jumps, tricks)

Round 3
Upper body superset. Complete 5 sets of 10 reps of the following back to back no rest:
  • Power Push ups (incline, push off railing/floor)
  • Pull Ups (alternate overhand, underhand and switch grips)
  • Incline Tricep Extensions (hands close, elbows tuck down to floor, lower head to railing)
Round 4
Core superset. Complete 5 sets of 10 reps of the following back to back no rest:
  • In Out Abs (lower and upper body lifts)
  • Scissor Kicks (10 each side)
  • Sky Reach (legs in the air, reach to opposite foot) 10 each side.

Stretch! Drink! Rest! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Peru Fest a Huge Success!

Thank you Thank you Thank you! Yet again, I am so amazed at the generosity of this community in supporting local fundraising events.

Peru Fest was a success! 80 people joined us for Peru Fest last night in Cumberland at the Riding Fool Hostel! With the help of a big team of amazing volunteers (Janet, Lorna, Nancy, Al, Sally, Sherry, Jane, Nicole, Kathy...and everyone I missed!) we put on a great party to celebrate all things Peruvian while raising funds for the children in 2 remote villages in Peru.

After all was said and done and expenses were paid the donations from last nights fundraiser came to $1200!! That $ will go a long way to provide much needed school supplies and materials for maintaining the schools in Peru.

The $ could not have been raised if it weren't for the support of our local business sponsors - who donated some absolutely amazing gifts for the silent auction! Big thanks to:

•Oh Spa - Hydrotherapy

•Valhalla Outdoors Gift Pack
•McKinnon Photography- Portrait sitting
•Extreme Runners & ELM - Runners gift pack
•Island Pilates - Fitness gifts
•Lotuswear- Fitness gear
•Salsa Beat - Dance Lessons for 2
•Paradise Boutique - Swimwear
•Arbonne - Health & Beauty gift pack

Barbara Foreman- Energy Healing Session

Andy ponders his bidding options...

Anxiously awaiting the slideshow while sipping drinks and munching on appies:)

Post slideshow Q&A with the Peru Trekkers!

Muchas Gracias for helping me put on such a fun night! It was a great party filled with good people, good stories, good food and drink! I will post a short video from the slideshow soon...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Canfit Pro Vancouver


Good times in the big city at this weekends annual Canfit Pro Fitness Conference downtown Vancouver. This year ELM instructors Rae & Cathy, myself and Leanne from Island Pilates & Fitness made the trek over to the mainland to play at the conference.

We had a blast of course and picked up some new ideas, new moves and new inspiration for our programs and classes. Always fun to get together and brainstorm while moving our bodies! Those workshops can be intense...imagine 300 fitness professionals in one building, working out and trying new exercises & equipment...your worst nightmare perhaps! But loads of fun for us.

Here are some shots from our trip to the Big City...can't wait until next year girls!


Thursday, November 11, 2010


ELM PERU FEST! MARK THE DATE: November 26th 7-9pm and plan to join me for a fun night celebrating all things Peru!!

Sarah Seads, owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management (ELM) recently coached 12 local women on an amazing trekking journey in the Andes mountains of Peru. After months of training and preparation, the women successfully completed 7 days of trekking the Salkantay and Inca Trails before arriving at the ancient city of Machu Picchu on foot.

On November 26th, from 7-9pm, Sarah Seads will be presenting a slide show chronicling this journey through the mountains of Peru at 'ELM Peru Fest', a fundraiser for the people of Peru.

The group was amazed not only by the beauty of the country but also by that of the local villagers they encountered, living in remote highlands and against extreme conditions. Sarah Seads and her trekking crew have donated clothing, equipment and school supplies to these villagers but they would like to do more to help these remote people in need.

ELM Peru Fest will be an evening of Peruvian culture, stories, food, drink and music. The goal of the evening is to raise awareness and funds for the school children and porters the trekkers met on their journey in the mountains of Peru. All proceeds will be used to purchase additional school supplies and warm clothing for these remote villagers.

Tickets cost $10 and include the slide show presentation, door prizes, Peruvian appetizers, music and a unique Peruvian fundraising auction. Auction items include beautiful photography and desirable gift baskets filled with Peruvian goodies. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online at . Visit the ELM website for more information.

RSVP on the ELM FB page today!
Hasta Luego,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Minute Workout

Short on time but longing for a good hard workout?

Try a 30 minute XT circuit similar to the one we did this morning at Sunrise Bootcamp and you will find what you are looking for. Mix and match the exercises but be sure to include upper, lower, core and cardio sets in the mix.

XT Circuit
Warm up for a minimum of 10 minutes first and finish with a cooldown stretch at the end...
Perform as many rounds of the following within 30 minutes:
  • 20 Jack Squats- jump into a wide deep squat, then jump back to the middle for a narrow squat (that counts as one). *Easier, step rather than jump.
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 20 Split Squat Jumps- Start in a deep lunge position then jump and switch legs to lunge on the other side (20 on each leg). *Easier, step rather than jump.
  • 20 Bench Dips
  • 20 Scissor Kicks on back- switch legs quickly like a flutter kick while maintaining neutral spine. *Easier, larger kick or bent knees.
  • 20 Pull Ups, Assisted Pull Ups or Tubing Pull Downs
  • 200 Jump Ropes
  • Repeat!

There are a million varieties to this style of workout. Mix it up, have fun, work hard but never compromise form!!! Perfect posture first...

Have fun!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Perseverance Pics Online Now!

I laughed out loud (and nearly peed my pants) looking at the pics from this years Perseverance Trail Run check them out online!

Big thanks to Aimee Asselin for capturing the moment at this years race!
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Perseverance Post Race Report!

Fastest women of the day on the 10k course, 1stp place female Kathy Rung (right) and 2nd place Mary Bridges.

Fastest 2 people on the 10k course! Miguel Laroche-first place (left) and James Rolfe in second.


Mother Nature was kind to the 214 trail racers who tackled the Perseverance Trail Run this past Sunday, October 31st. The sun was shining in a blue sky and the trails held freshly filled puddles from recent rains making the perfect conditions for a fall trail race! The race was a huge success with all proceeds going directly to the Cumberland Community Forest Society to assist them in working towards their goal of purchasing and protecting additional forest lands in the Cumberland area.

The competition on the 10k course was fierce with 154 racers and many competitive runners toeing the start line. Racers came from all over Vancouver Island for this years event and there were some great battles on the challenging 10.7k mountain run.

Top overall results in the 10k mountain run:
50:44 Miguel Laroche
54:34 James Rolfe
54:42 James Powsey

1:03:36 Kathy Rung
1:04:11 Mary Bridges
1:07:05 Genevieve Burdett

60 racers, young and old, tackled the 3k cross-country run through the Cumberland Community Forest. This years race included more hill climbing than previous years but that didn't slow down the racers!

Top overall results for the 3k cross-country run were as follows:
14:05 Berend Henckel
14:30 Austin Long
15:40 Tim McGrady

15:07 Emily Keyes
16:52Seqoia Bridges
17:00 Patricia Johnson

Extreme Runners and Equilibrium Lifestyle Management (ELM) co-organized the fundraising event but it could not have happened without the fantastic support from Comox Valley volunteers and sponsors. A huge thank you goes out to over 50 wonderful and enthusiastic volunteers who donated their time and energy before and during this years race. Special thanks to Terry Lewis and John Wall for setting up and managing the race courses, to Arran Kerrigan for co-ordinating race registration for all 215 racers and to David Kassekoff for travelling up island to take care of timing and results. A huge thank you also goes to the Comox Valley Search and Rescue and St. John Ambulance teams who spent the day watching over each and every racer on the course.

This years race, held on Halloween, brought out great costumes from a herd of cows to batman and a 'running tree'. Dozens of fantastic draw prizes were awarded including fresh baked apple pies for the best costumes. With close to 40 draw prizes from local business' and hundreds of free give-a-ways from Brooks, many racers left with big smiles. A very big thank you to this years prize sponsors: Valhalla Pure, Riding Fool Hostel, Darkside Chocolates, Seeds Grocery, Zen Zero, Island Pilates, Lotuswear, Comox Valley Acupuncture, Ascent Physiotherapy, Active Comox Valley, HiTech, Norwex, Jim Smiley of Remax, Extreme Runners and ELM.

The following community sponsors generously supported the race and helped to make this years event a great success: Thrifty Foods, Tim Hortons, Mudsharks Coffee, FiestaQuest, ABC Printing, Hi Tech, nrichmedia, Odlum Brown, Robhannah and the Comox Valley Record. Landowners including the Village of Cumberland & Recreation, CCFS, Timberwest and Hancock.

A few Perseverance Race T-Shirts are still available at a discounted rate of $10 for the next 10 days with all proceeds going to the CCFS. Be sure to head down to Extreme Runners on 5th st to pick one up before they are gone!

A complete list of results as well as race day photos are posted at . Overall the race was a huge success so mark your calendars for next year October 30th 2011!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Perseverance Pics!

WOOHOO! It was an amazing day for a fall trail run and 215 racers came out to Persevere at the 2010 race in Cumberland BC!

Full race report, photos and results to come on the website...soon! Here are some great pics to tide you over...

Mooooooooooover people! These cows were udderly ridiculous and actually quite fast on the 10k course! These heffers took the prize in the costume contest - a fresh baked apple pie...cowpie!

215 racers, fans and volunteers head down to the race start from No. 6 Mine Park...sunshine!

10k racers getting ready to rock the 10.7k mountain run...

Runnaway bride Lisa, looks beautiful on her wedding a drop of mud on her dress after the race!

Lo Lanning, sweeper and equipment volunteer superstar, actually ran the entire course dressed up like a tree. She made quite a statement (and probably got chaffed in the process)...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting Ready to Persevere!

ONE MORE SLEEP until the 2010 Perseverance Trail Run in Cumberland!

This just in: 186 pre-registered racers! That is a record by far! Woweeeeeeeeeee!

It has been a busy week and an even busier 24 hours with all things Perseverance. I finally had a chance to pre-run the finalized 10k course last night and it WAS AWESOME! I had so much fun and I think our racers are going to love it. New technical sections and a demanding finish will have you loving it! It will be a challenge but the feeling at the finish line will be well worth it!

See you there! 9am-10:15 registration, 11am race start, No 6 Mine Park, Cumberland!!

Prize boxes are filled to the top from our amazing sponsors...

Admin bins are ready to go...

Courses are marked and triple marked...

Mark from Valhalla Pure hands over a generous box of loot for our racers...

Hi Tech hands over the 2010 Perseverance Race T-s in festive 'cranberry'...

Happy Trails!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Perseverance Trail Run October 31st!

The annual Perseverance Trail Run is coming to Cumberland this Sunday, October 31st! The race starts at 11:00am with registration taking place between 9:00 and 10:15am at No 6 Mine Park in Cumberland. This fundraiser is a great way to support the Cumberland Community Forest Society in their efforts to protect valuable forest land now and in the future. If you are a trail user in Cumberland then you don't want to miss this opportunity to support those who protect this beautiful forest area.

This years event, co-sponsored by Extreme Runners and Equilibrium Lifestyle Management (ELM) will feature a 3k cross-country course and a 10k mountain run with all proceeds donated to the Cumberland Community Forest Society. All racers will be entered to win one of many fantastic draw prizes from our generous local sponsors and post race food will be provided by Thrifty Foods, Tim Hortons and Mudsharks Coffee! This year there will be a special prize for the best costume so don't be afraid to get into the spirit of Halloween on race day!

Register by Friday October 29th to save on late registration fees! Pick up registration forms at Extreme Runners, 436 5th st, or go to to download the brochure and entry form.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The rest...

After the ELM trip was over and the ladies had left Peru for home, Brad arrived in Cusco and we began our own South American adventure. As per my previous blog posts we visited the following areas: Cusco and Sacred Valley part 2, Lake Titicaca (highest lake in the world and home to the famous 'reed' islands), Amazon Jungle and then up to Ecuador, Quito and the Galapagos Islands.

Here are some pics to give you a taste of the rest of our journey together...

Lake Titicaca and the sweet people of Ccotos. Off the beaten track is an understatement. We stayed with a host family who shared a glimpse of their rural, and so beautiful, life with us. This tiny farming village on the edge of the highest lake in the world (3700metres) was the 'simple life' in it's purest form. The time we spent with this family will be one of the most memorable experiences of our lives...
Our young 'guide' at the top of the Mirador-lookout- above her home on lake Titicaca. We also visited the island in the background where a very tiny community of 30 people exists. Apparently they wanted to get away from the 'busy life' of the lakes edge...kinda like Cortez...but WAY more.
The famous reed islanders. What began as a hideout for slaves during the fuedal days of the Spanish conquest, has become the Disneyland of lake Titicaca. Yes, these people do still live on floating reed islands and make all of their boats, homes and furniture from the reeds, but I am not sure the song and dance and flourescent clothing is exactly from the 'old days'.
Sad but reality, these islands are an example of the impact that mega-tourism can have on micro-cultures once the word gets out. Fun to see but next time we would just google it and avoid the crowds.
Chinchero, Sacred Valley. This is one of our highlights from the entire trip. A womens' traditional weaving association where patterns and techniques are passed from generation to generation. These women gather weekly to weave, set prices and send their work to market. They have created a future for themselves and for their children.
These designs are pre-Inca extremely labour intensive. Each pattern is created using a series of 'string counts' and steps- and all of the instructions are passed on orally- nothing is written down. We were awed not only by the skill of these women, but by their strong will, independance and sense of self. In a land of male domination and machismo, the autonomy of this small group of rural women was a rare and inspiring sight.

AND some of the wildlife...if you like animals you have to go to the Galapagos and the Amazon:)
Galapagos Iguana eating a cactus- who else would eat them?

The famous Blue Footed Booby! Giving us a rare glipse of the nest...

Sealions everywhere in the Galapagos and they aren't moving for anything! They have the right of way, like all animals on the islands, and you have to walk around them if you want by.

Marine iguana's crawling out of the ocean and onto the a scene from a horror movie! They are harmless (I think) and rediculous actually...they move in slow motion...

Awe....more sealions...

A real flamingo on the wild!! That's right, we visited Isla Isabella for a few days of R&R on the beach and lucked out when we came across a small flock of flamingos feeding in a lagoon. Do you know why they are pink? After seeing the pink coloured lagoons they feed in now we know why!

Turtles turtles turtles. They are old, huge and everywhere on the Galapagos. This is Lonesome George...heard of him? He is about 90 years old and has been in a protected area for the past 40 ... because... he is the last of his species. When George goes, so does his kind. Sad, but I real reminder of why these special islands need the protection they are finally getting.

Tarantulas, scorpions and snakes were on the list of jungle critters that we had the pleasure of seeing on our Amazon trip. YIKES! The first night we got to the jungle we went on a guided night walk...pants tucked into socks!

This is the biggest moth I have ever seen in my life. It was as big has Brad's hand!

Sunset on Lake Sandoval in the Amazon Basin of Peru. If you can imagine the sounds filling the evening sky...parrots sqawking, bugs screeching (yup, big ones) and howler monkeys roaring at unbelievable volumes. The jungle is anything but quiet!

I will post some more pics on the elm facebook page and you can look forward to a slideshow in the future...I have plenty of videos to share as well so keep checking back!
Now, back to reality!