Monthly Archives: March 2012

Reaching Beyond Your “Threshold”

Much has been said and written (including by me) about getting past fitness training “plateaus”. The concept of the plateau assumes that at one time, you were actually moving in a positive direction and that you are now…….”stuck”. It is frustrating beyond belief if you are putting in a real effort.
But what about all those people that never hit a plateau because they never actually get moving! You won’t run out of gas if you never drive your car!……………you’ll also never see anything or enjoy your car either if you never drive it.
Health and fitness, along with diet and exercise, comes naturally to some and is very, very alien to others. If it all seems scary and unnerving to you to even make an attempt, then I would suggest that you have set your sights too high and you have passed your “threshold” for risk. Once you pass your threshold, you literally shut down and close yourself off even to the possibility that you can do something. Then the excuses and rationalizing start! Sound familiar?
I was a professional athlete and have remained in good health and have a high fitness level since retiring from football.  I am active with mountain biking, hockey, running, weight training etc…
In other words, I can do a lot!
BUT if you approached me with the idea of completing a marathon (which many of my friends have done), I would be overwhelmed and would shut down. Based on my lifestyle, previous injuries and my expectations, it is simply beyond my threshold. I wouldn’t do it. If you approached me with the idea of completing a mini run-bike- run duathlon….. I would create a plan and start moving. It is well within my physical and mental capacity to accept training and competing in a mini- duathlon. I would rock it and even try to win my age and weight category! It would be challenging enough, but, not outside of my threshold.
What could YOU accomplish if your mind and body were aligned to accept a challenge and you started to move in the direction of a dream-goal?
A race? A tournament? A hiking trip in the Rockies? A bathing suit on the beach? A new relationship?…..

Think about it. There is overwhelm and frustration and then there is challenge and success.
Ernie Schramayr–  Owner All Canadian Fitness

Less is More

If you followed my blog post of a few weeks ago, you read about how a life full of contact sports, aggressive hobbies and fitness training has left me in pain much of the time.  I wondered, out loud, if it were better to Burn Out… or Fade Away!  …as if these were the only two options!

Over the last few months, I have been coping with back pain that brings on intermittent sciatica as well as a pulled hamstring and a torn rotator cuff.  The more I seemed to do, the worse things got.  I made plans, worked hard, did “active” recovery, got accupuncture, physio, trained in the water, took anti- inflammatories etc….. etc…. etc…..

….and then I got a really bad cold!  It hurt to breathe and I was dizzy and…. and…. and…..

My first thought was, “How could I get a cold NOW when the rest of my body hurts so much?… What did I do to deserve THIS?…. Why Me?“….  basically I asked myself a bunch of questions like a loser would!  If you read the last blog on this page, you’ll know what I mean by “loser”.


I felt so shitty that I couldn’t do ANYTHING.  Except lie around.  And sleep.  And lie around.  And sleep.  …and then nap!

And then a funny thing happened.

I noticed that my back didn’t hurt so much.  I tested my hamstring (a tiny bit).  It didn’t hurt either.  And my shoulder felt a bit better.

…and then I noticed that my back didn’t really hurt at all any more.  …or my hamstring!  …my shoulder is still a bit sore from all of the sleeping and lying around, but, it IS torn after all (I’ll get to it later).


Wow.  Could it be that I really just needed to let my body rest and heal itself?  Maybe.  I don’t think that I have gone as much as 12 straight days without a workout since I was 13 years old, and I am 45.  That’s a lot of working out.  And pounding.

So… I am starting to come out of this nasty chest cold and just starting to feel better.  I’ve decided to give myself another 2 or 3 days before getting back on the training track.  (With the All Canadian Fitness Train the Trainer event coming up in less than a month, I need to get some conditioning back).

I am hopeful that with a plan, I’ll be able to move forward with renewed energy and enthusiasm and that I’ll be able to get back to feeling like myself in no time.

I guess that sometimes you have to listen to your body and realize that… “Less is actually MORE!”.

-Ernie Schramayr-  Owner All Canadian Fitness

The Question is Always the Answer

Several years ago, I studied the motivational speaker/ author Anthony Robbins.

To say that it was a life- changing event would be to put it mildly.  Although a couple of decades have past since I listened to his 30 day course (on cassette!) and read his two best sellers in paperback, I can confidently say that there has never been a day that has passed that I haven’t used SOMETHING that I learned from him.

The genius of Anthony Robbins is his ability to study successful human beings (Everyone from Ghandi to Michael Jackson to Michael Jordan to Bill Clinton) and then to recognize the common traits that they all have.  The thing that always stayed with me was his assertion that the ONLY thing that separates successful people from those who are less successful….  is the quality of the “Questions” that they ask.

Life is nothing more than a series of decisions.  “What time should I get up?”…. “What should I have for breakfast?”…. “What to wear?”… “Should I go to work?”… “….go to the gym AFTER work?”.

Losers ask themselves things like….. “Why do I always have to be so busy?”…  “How come bad things ALWAYS happen to me?“…  “Why don’t they give us more time for lunch at work?”… etc….

Winners ask things like “How could I POSSIBLY get in a workout this week when I have to work 12 hours a day?”…  “What could I pack to bring for lunch at work tomorrow that will help me to stay lean?”… “What can I do for 30 minutes after work to reduce my stress before heading home for the evening?”

Now….  asking BETTER questions is the first part of the equation.  Let your mind run wild and come up with as many answers to your great question as possible.  Some won’t make any sense, some will be easy to apply but inefficient and then the GREAT answers will move you in the direction that you want to go in.

When Oprah Winfrey committed to run a marathon, she was filming up to 15 hours a day.  She initially shrugged her shoulders and said…. Oh well… I guess I just don’t have the time to train for this.  Too bad.  Her trainer looked at her and asked her;  When could you POSSIBLY do your training if you are working from 5am to 8pm?  She answered (with great sarcasm)…  “I guess I could train at 4am and then again at 8pm!”

And that’s exactly what she did.

She trained at 4am and then again at 8pm.  And then she ran a marathon.

Better questions.  Better outcomes.

The QUESTIONS are always the answer.  (…you just might not LIKE the answer!).

Ernie Schramayr Owner All Canadian Fitness