Naked Bike Riding: or other not-so-wild ways of getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing awesomeness.

It seems obvious to point out but we don’t often get out of our comfort zone because it’s rather, well, comfortable and safe; it yields a general feeling of knowing what to expect and well-being in a world where crazy things are happening all the time. So why would you want to leave the comfy place?!

Let’s start with you’re not happy with your job/body/family/relationship/boss/coworkers/friends, and/or the other things that you are always complaining about, but never doing anything about because it’s not comfortable, and you don’t know the outcome, and you’re plain scared BUT you really need something to change.

That is so normal! We’re wired that way, our brains work that way, and as part of our evolution it was necessary. Now though, it can be a real hindrance in this very different world. Think about it: back when we were hunter-gatherers it would be life-threatening to leave the tribe, do something outside of what was expected of you. Everybody had roles that needed to be fulfilled for the tribe to thrive, and there were also no laws if that ticked off the wrong tribe member either. Even a few hundred years ago if you stepped out of that zone, decided you didn’t want to take on the role that your father and your father’s father and your father’s father’s father had done it likely would have meant your being disowned or being shunned by your community. But not always, I mean we wouldn’t be here if some had failed to take the risk of coming to America. Surely a great risk when often people did not even survive the trip across the Atlantic. As we’ve evolved as a species the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone is more and more viable,  and now, not only is it an option, it’s necessary!

If you don’t step out of your comfort zone you will not get that dream job, you will not improve your relationship with your (fill in the blank), you will not get fit and healthy, you will not get rich, nor enlightened, or whatever it is you dream of. There is nothing comfortable about risking your reliable job to go out on your own. There is nothing safe feeling about telling your partner that you have a dream of hitchhiking across the continent/becoming a burlesque dancer/that you want to adopt 14 kids/(fill in the blank with your wildest desire), and there is nothing easy feeling about following those dreams. If it was that easy everyone would have it, you would have it, and it wouldn’t be a “dream” but your reality.

It’s pretty foreign realizing that if you lose weight, get fit, and feel fantastic every day you’ll not recognize yourself not only in the mirror, but in the way you live; your life and lifestyle will change. That you’ll have to be responsible for your health, and that you’ll want to be responsible for your health! That is scary, but it is so darn good to live in a way that is true to yourself, your heart (physically, but more metaphorically speaking here), and your vehicle (your body). Stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to have all the things you dream of, because you had the courage to go get them!

A few keys tips are to take small steps first. If you get overwhelmed when you look at the big picture you may lose belief in yourself and go back to square one. So start by building confidence with manageable steps. Believe in yourself: if you can’t believe it, you will never get to where you want to go. Start with a goal that you believe you can achieve. Make time everyday: if you don’t prioritize your goal it will never come to fruition. Making this time however will help you gain ground, and you’ll acquire more and more belief in how greatly you can achieve!

Often times, that task seems impossible. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to create your awesomeness, how to take the first step in getting the health and fitness (and energy!) you’ll need to go for the rest of those dreams consider booking a free consultation with CREATE Fitness to show you how we can work with you to get on your path to even greater awesomeness.

So what does naked bike riding have to do with it? Well I made record of it, I rode 84km through  the Namib Desert in little more than shoes, shades, and a fanny pack with a few emergency supplies (if you’re English-speaking from anywhere outside North America you can stop laughing at our terminology now!). And I’ll be darned if it didn’t take me full tilt out of my comfort zone to rip off my shorts and decide that I was going to ride like that all day through the desert on a foreign continent. Let’s face it, I had no idea what the punishment might be if I was seen by authorities, among other more obvious factors such as vulnerability to mockery, the desert sun, and other potential injury. But hey, I get to say I pioneered long-distance nude cycling, had a very unique and liberating experience, and did it in honour of an incredible friend who was herself a professional “vacater of comfort zones” in order to improve herself and embrace life (and of course, she was the one who came up with the wild idea for me to ride all day in the buff!).

In memory of Holly Beetham, cyclist extraordinaire, PR perfectionist, lover of all the planet’s creatures, and embracer of all life’s opportunities.

Click to request your absolutely free no obligation consultation now! Get out of your comfort zone and create your awesomeness!

Keep Growing, Keep Learning… and try not to split your pants!

So often we get stuck in these ruts of doing the same old thing. At our homes, with our families, and at our jobs. There comes monotony and stagnation. While routine is good, expanding and learning and growing with a routine is even better!

To ensure you get the best quality service, and fitness and wellness care, it is a priority to ensure that learning and growing are happening in the CREATE world all the time.

Last week many of you know I was at a fitness conference, where I did sessions learning new fitness techniques to introduce at the studio, but I also took a couple fitness business-based courses too. You’ll notice in the past few months some things have changed in terms of the customer experience. I am always looking for ways to keep you all well-served and loving the CREATE experience even if you have to be at the studio tired and early or exhausted after work.

I also learned a few more interesting lessons: if you wear track pants with no stretch you may split your pants as you split your squat. You can replace said pants with really bright colourful ones, and if “own” the look you get compliments, if you’re sheepish about your bright “out there” pants you’ll get pointed and laughed at. Be brave and be unique: own your awesomeness! I learned restraint can be gratifying. There are no new toys for the studio from the trade show this year (a first!). Buying gimmicks, cheap “stuff”, or things that won’t get used for the sake of buying is not “saving” just because it’s on sale. It also takes up valuable space and create more stuff to dust, no benefit to you or CREATE (ok I knew this one, it’s harder to remember with the equivalent of a “big kid’s toy store sale!”). So you see it’s not only the sessions that offer the lessons.

Every year I also endeavour to take on this conference (which is the biggest in N. America), and also to advance my knowledge and growth within the fitness and wellness realm in some other manner.

This past year’s endeavour was HUGE, so it’s going to take almost a year and a half, but I want to take the time to learn and absorb all of the fantastic knowledge that’s being conveyed to me. I will have my 200RYT at the end, that is, I will have a whole lot of yoga training and practice under my belt and not just be recognized as certified as I am now, but registered with the Yoga Alliance.

I want not only to teach you fitness, but to inspire you to grow and learn in all aspects of your life as wellness of the body and mind are linked. Yoga doesn’t just say so, there are numerous studies about it! I’m sharing it to A) set an example for you to carry on learning in a realm you enjoy or to try something new, and B) let you know that I do always continue to learn so that you are always getting the best, the newest information, and if it proves safe and worthy, perhaps the newest trend or gimmick too!

So how have you challenged yourself to learn and grow lately? (Aside from the fitness, unless that’s your newest thing to master!) Learning and mastering new things is always hard, but once you’re getting it the rewards are usually far beyond your new skill or realm of knowledge and have grown you in other ways.

So stop putting off that course you wanted to sign up for, that class you’ve been meaning to take, or joining that club. Chanting: Do it! Do it! Do it!

Click to Learn and Grow more Awesomeness in your life and registeri for your complimentary Fitness Consultation today!

Grandma’s got it going on!

Well, I’m always pleased to share a success story and while I wish I could take credit this story is older than me, but my first and most lasting inspiration to do what I do. This is the story of my Grandma Dot who turned 86 yesterday. You’d never know it. I say that not solely because I’m biased, but because she is truly an inspiringly healthy, fit, and beautiful older lady by any standard. I’ve included a picture from yesterday to prove it!

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Grandma Dot looking fabulous as usual!


Dot always worked in the beauty industry and was very successful at what she did. She pioneered the first full service hair and beauty salon in Toronto, she did it in an upscale area, and she was a woman, and she was in her fifties! This after having great success selling cosmetics and being a makeup artist too.


So she rocked at what she did for a living. She also rocked at baking. Her love of baked goods and tasty treats caught up with her, and she was told she was pre-diabetic. While Dot is mostly a go-all-the-way kind of lady, with that she wasn’t so interested in taking it to the next level. So she decided to turn her health around and take diet and exercise to the next level instead. In the ‘70s when essentially nobody else was on a diet for their health or anything else she was brown bagging her lunches and asking for modifications in restaurants. She took up jogging, she might have tried spin or Zumba, but this was the ‘70s and there was jogging or jogging at that time. You might be saying “so what?” well if you were around during this time this was newsworthy. Actually. Her lifestyle change and what she was up to made the paper (the paper is this thing we used to subscribe to and read to get the news before the days of internet and blogs).


By the time I rolled out in the early ‘80s Grandma Dot was superfit; I’ve never known her any other way. When I was sick and had poor immunity as a kid she had me in to see her naturopath who put me on my first “get healthy” diet (this by the way is excellent in retrospect, but at 5 years old I was less impressed about not having cake, pop, chocolate, and cookies like everyone else. It took me a while to appreciate this gesture).


A couple of times she let me go with her on her jogs. Clearly I slowed her down, I remember all too well her frustration as I dawdled with a skipping rope and couldn’t keep pace. It did however bring that “regular exercise routine” influence into my life. When I would sleep over at her condo she would always take me swimming and a couple of times she let me try a few things in the gym even though children weren’t allowed. Bad Grandma!


This is not to say that I didn’t have other great influences, and I have been very fortunate that way, but my Grandmother still can’t get through a conversation without mentioning the word “healthy”, no matter the context she finds a way! And with that always top of mind when I was around her, it rubbed off. The health and fitness, as well as the entrepreneurial bug too.


And Dot’s not just had it all easy since the ‘70s. Despite her good health choices she’s had a couple of injuries that could have stopped her from maintaining that exercise. She’s broken a few bones and had to have some surgery, but she’s not been stopped for any longer than her casts have forced her (and even then she was tricky to keep still). I might point out that her healthy lifestyle has her pumping out more energy than most anyone you’ve ever met, save for perhaps a young child on a sugar high.

She’s also tried new things since jogging: line dancing, aerobics, and other group exercise, resistance training, cycling, kayaking, cross-country skiing are some I can think of off the top of my head. Her “things” now are tai-chi and walking. She walks along this path near her place and there’s a hill off the path that she climbs a few times during her walk, then tells me her glutes are really strong and makes me poke her behind: Grandma’s got buns of steel!

Yoga, Drunken Fishermen and Bikinis: Life Lessons from the Dock

The dock at my cottage has often been a place of reflection and inspiration for me. I have likely spent more hours here than anywhere else on or around the property, although in the lake is likely a close second. It is from the dock that this week’s newsletter is being created.

This morning I did some yoga on the dock too (as I often do), and unfortunately I had forgotten that my cottage yoga clothes were in the clean laundry pile I forgot at home. No excuses, I decided I would do double duty this morning: daily vitamin D intake cottage-style (in other words low SPF sunscreen and a bikini), and yoga combined. This somewhat risqué approach to yoga-wear I knew might attract some attention. However, I didn’t foresee the judgment it attracted would reinforce valuable lessons to share.

9:00 am

I sat reading on the dock at first and 2 men were trolling by in a boat furthering their beer bellies and fishing. With their engine running they couldn’t hear each other well, however I could hear their conversation as if they were next to me with the way the sound carries over the water. They swore profusely, spoke very poorly of their wives, and defended to each other their right to be “smashed until I leave” and how they should be able to drink and drive home because their wives don’t understand that drinking and fishing is the best talk time men have and it should last right ‘til the end of the weekend. I judged them harshly in my mind and thought how grateful I am to be a woman and have what I deem to be better conversations than the one I just overheard.

10:00 am

I am doing yoga now, the same 2 men troll by. This time I hear them talking about me. They are saying “look at her doing that in her bikini”, “desperate for attention”, and “thinks she’s so hot, her ass is eating those bottoms”.

Now I wasn’t hurt by what they said, I knew I had reason and logic for doing what I was doing, and yes “my ass is eating those bottoms” it’s a Brazilian bikini bottom, they simply don’t cover as much bum (they are all the rage in Portugal, as my sister and I discovered on our recent trip. We were the ONLY women not wearing them, but we fixed that. Now apparently, we’re the only ones wearing them here, but now how can I revert to a lesser tan?). But really, I just don’t care what most people think.



That’s Lesson 1: the only opinion about you that really matters is your own. If you take personally everyone’s 2 cents you won’t be left with any self-esteem nor anything you could do with your life that everyone would approve (career-wise, hobby-wise, spiritually, or otherwise). There will always be opinions, favourable and unfavourable (you know the saying about everyone having an opinion). If you can use the favourable ones as support or a boost that’s fantastic! But remember you may also get boosts and support from others even if you’re not living in a way that supports a positive opinion of yourself and thus, at the end of the day check-in with your opinion of you. Keep in mind also sometimes even your own can be very harsh; you may want to reflect on whether you’re being fair to yourself when you find yourself in a position of being overly self-critical. Ask yourself if you’d berate a friend the way you are doing to yourself.

Lesson 2: you never know who can hear you, or is listening. Don’t say things you wouldn’t want others to know about you unless you are in real and true private. Don’t say things about others you wouldn’t want to get back to them. I mean for all these guys know if I can hear them clearly, so may their wives.

Lesson 3: Rather than judge others, save your judgments and use other’s less favourable behaviour to clarify who you want to be. Use the energy to better yourself rather than lessen another. After judging those men, only to be judged by them an hour later really hit home this point. I think they were wrong about me, but maybe there’s something I misunderstood. Also, maybe I was wrong about them. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter, what does is getting an even better grasp of where I’m going and adjusting my course. We’re often so busy telling others they’re going the wrong way we forget to check our own compass. Remember, only your going the right direction, and being on course is what matters.

1:38 pm As I close writing this piece someone from their dock just spoke to them from across the lake. And now they know everyone has heard their conversations for the last 4.5 hours. They are now discussing how they must chat more quietly. And everyone on the lake can still hear this conversation. I’m grateful I got to take home some lessons today, each of us in our own time I suppose.


We won’t judge you if you’re not ready for a free consultation, but if you’re ready to take charge of your fitness and health we have answers for your fitness, health and wellness needs. Call 416-994-6267 to request your free consultation or click to fill out a webform request.