I bought a new thing. Splurged, same price as a lot of used things these days, and yes we had to travel to a different Province to buy it because of lack of supply. I bought a 2020, brand-new-out-of-the-box, KTM 390 Adventure. AND I LOVE IT.
It’s been a while since a blog, and a lot has happened in our lives. With all the upset in the world, we were forced to find a place to settle for the winter and rented an apartment in Kelowna, BC. Next week we move to Trail, BC to start a new chapter in our lives after, what I call the “winter of hell”. So, in the meantime, I bought that 390.
I’m not going to review the bike, there are a million YouTube reviews already, but I will say, having had the privilege of the gyms being open here in BC all winter has saved me a boatload of issues. While the 390 is a dual sport that is lower than most, I’m still only able to reach the ground on a tiptoe with the bike leaned over and one cheek hanging off the seat. I’m thankful for my strong core and legs. While the bike is only 390 lbs wet, I’m thankful I spent time this past winter not only maintaining the muscle and strength I had, but to work on other areas I had been neglecting like my shoulders and lower back. Having built strength in my low back was a game changer. My posture is great, my endurance in the seat on the moto is up, the next morning I don’t have a sore or tired lower back either. I am able to move my 390 around parking lots (I have to walk the bike to back in or out of a parking spot) with ease as well.
I get why people don’t spend a ton of time in the gym, but being a 5’2”, 125-pound woman makes throwing that bike around soooo much easier. I don’t have bulky, fatty legs to swing over the seat, I can grip the bike easily and longer with my knees and upper legs, and my endurance standing on the foot pegs is pretty much forever. We forget the physicality of riding a motorcycle and the strength and endurance it can take to do a lot of off-road riding. Even the weight of the bike can present a problem to a short, scrawny person such as myself, and I want to be successful and explore lots of places. So, I lift weights.
I’m not going to preach to people about the benefits of the gym or even losing the extra weight, that’s on you and no one can change your mind except you – but I’m closing in on the big 5-0 and being as fit as I am, makes a world of difference. I take no medication; I sleep like a baby and most days have loads of energy and some to spare. Even the extreme stress I have been under over the winter has started to dissipate and I credit a lot that to pushing myself to go to the gym, if even for 20 minutes. Physically, my body has been strong, although showing the uncomfortable physical signs of stress and depression that I have been battling for the past 6 or 7 months. I am starting to heal quickly in mind and body. The only constant I have had in my life for the past 8 months has been my access to the gym or some form of exercise and I thank the gym rats for helping me keep on track, so I didn’t lose my mind. Those brief friendships helped me through the darkest days of my life, and I am thankful to all those people.
While I’m not a saint in the gym, nor have I been eating like an Olympian, my time at the gym has been an outlet to keep me sane. Wherever you are living right now, and your ‘rona circumstances, I encourage everyone, no matter how hard it is to get in shape, eat super healthy at least 70% of the time and get some form of exercise other than a casual stroll through your neighbourhood. I know it’s hard to get motivated. Trust me, I have never experienced depression firsthand before and it sucks. If you have or do battle depression, I genuinely hope you are doing okay. Even the act of going to the gym and sitting on a workout bench and observing and talking to those around me has helped my state of mind.
The warm weather and sunshine and the greening of the outdoors is helping me a lot and the excitement of starting a new job and living in an unbelievably beautiful, out of the way area, in BC has me motivated to put a smile on my face and get out of bed every morning.
After we get settled in Trail, BC, I hope to be sharing our explorations of the mountains on our dual sports. We bought a backroad map of the Kootenays and it will be years of exploring before we even repeat a road, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Cheers and happy riding!
Should I spend my money on a coach or a group workshop? I ask myself that question a lot. I have taken several coaching sessions, both in a large group and one-on-one. In most cases, I am happier spending the extra money on a one-on-one session, I feel I get more bang for the buck. Groups are great too, but I find groups usually contain a variety of skill levels and it's not always possible to get the attention I need in a large group situation.
I like that in a one-on-one situation I feel free to ask a myriad of questions, whether ridiculous or not. One-on-one allows me to fail without thinking my other ‘classmates’ are watching or judging. I can also practice one thing without having to move on to the next skill before I'm ready.
On the flip side, groups can be fun too, it could give the affordability to train with some pretty cool coaches. You also get feedback from other people and will probably make new friends. In addition to learning strictly from the coach, you can engage with and learn from others’ experiences.
So, ask yourself the question, “should I spend my money on a coach or a group workshop?” Decide for yourself which situation is right for you. My personal preference is one-on-one learning, whether I’m the coach or student.
The nice thing about FitRiders, is there are opportunities for learning from our community members, or you can opt into our one-one-one coaching program. Whether you need that additional accountability of having a one-on-one mentor, or if you just need to bounce some ideas off a supportive community, FitRiders has programs to suit your needs.
To join our group free for 60 days, visit www.fitriders.com. If you would prefer one-one-one coaching, try our FitRider Plus program. You get all of the community support of our FitRider Pro program, with the added bonus of having a coach work with you to reach your specific goals. What are you waiting for!
FitRiders wants to hear from you with your comments and suggestions on how we can better serve you! Please leave your comments below.
For most of us, if we are not essential workers, we have been home for a long time. Many of us can feel overwhelmed, particularly if we are spending a lot of time on social media. Either we feel anxiety about getting this disease, or we believe we are being lazy if we haven’t taken the time to declutter the house or learn a new language. The reality is, many of us are stressed out just trying to keep ourselves and our families healthy. Add in the challenge of trying to work from home while homeschooling youngsters, and you may find yourself saying “what free time!”
There is hope and opportunity that can come out of this situation. There are many things we can do now during this time to help our wellness that don’t involve a lot of extra time.
Homeschooling in traditional subjects aren’t the only things our children will learn during this pandemic. COVID-19 and germs have come to the forefront; now is a great time to teach children some habits around cleanliness. Most of them understand why they are at home and can’t socialize with their friends. This may be the only time they will listen to you when you tell them to wash their hands before dinner. Try it, it just might work.
Food and Nutrition
North American self isolation seems to revolve around a lack of toilet paper, flour and canned goods. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere with an abundance of food, and are able to shop or order groceries in, now is a good time to take advantage of the fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables available. If some of your favourites are not available, the opportunity exists for the adventurous eater to try something new. If you can’t find beef, try lamb. If you can’t find apples, try mangoes. I just bought a case of mangoes at the grocery store for $8! While it seems crazy, you just may end up eating healthier than you did before.
The abundance of food in North America can also lend the opportunity to explore new types of cuisine. Spices also seem to be plentiful, so try a new ethnic cuisine that you always wanted to try but were afraid to make. Now’s the time to break out either the Instapot or slow cooker, or both. Even though the Instapot and slow cooker cook food differently, using one of these appliances means that you don’t have to spend time in front of the stove. The machine does most of the work, and there is only one pot to clean afterwards.
This is a great time to take care of your bike. Many trails are still closed in some areas due to either weather conditions or self isolation measures. Now is the time to do that maintenance you have been putting off. Some things can be easily done at home, some things may require some skill or the watching of YouTube videos. If you find yourself mechanically inclined, go for it! If not, some bike shops are still open for service (always call ahead first) and would probably be thankful for the business.
With the quarantine, fitness at home programs are booming. Gyms are closed, and community recreation programs have ended. If you are missing your regular gym, fitness class or sport, why not give FitRiders a try. Our program takes only 20 minutes a day and uses no equipment. So, there is no need to rush out an buy any expensive equipment. The program is designed to get you into adventure riding shape when the riding season begins. Right now it feels like it will never come, but it will.
Even with children and spouses trying to get your attention, you can still carve out 20 minutes for yourself. You owe it to yourself. If you’re a morning person, and the family isn’t, try morning workouts. If you’re a night owl, try it after you put the kids to bed. Better yet, get the whole family to join in! They’re missing their recreation programs too! It’s free for 60 days. You have nothing to lose, except maybe a few inches around the waist.
It happens to most everyone as we get older. We have kids, we get busy with our careers. And before we know it, we start telling our friends we could lose 30 pounds, but we don’t. What health implications do those 30 extra pounds have? You may tell yourself your blood pressure is fine, you feel ok, but it starts to add up as we get older.
How we look changes too. A lot of people look older when they are overweight: Skin starts to look unhealthy, a bit grey, maybe some acne, bags under our eyes. Our clothes probably fit a bit too tight.
And then our activities take a hit. Sometimes I notice the overweight people at a staging area, sweating bullets and out of breath as they unload their bikes. I see them back at their vehicle after a single-track ride, red faces, soaked with sweat, out of breath and ready for a nap. Those 30 extra pounds take a bite out of your seat time. If you could lose that extra weight, you would have more energy to spend on the trail. You would have more muscle mass to throw that bike around and you certainly would not have to take a rest after unloading your bike.
On May 1, 2019, I weighed in at 145 pounds at 5’2” tall. While not obese, I felt it was time to lose a few pounds. I wanted to be able to go for longer rides without becoming tired. I enlisted the help of a professional and with his guidance, eating plans and workout schedule (I added 2 more workouts to my weekly schedule) I lost 22 pounds in 5 months and gained 4 pounds of muscle. It was hard, very hard! I went monthly to my nutritionist for weigh-ins and to make sure I wasn't losing any muscle mass and to discuss my progress and, yes, my slip-ups. Beer and sushi were my vices oh, and the daily Oreo cookies. March 2020, I weigh 125 pounds. I feel great, I have no aches and pains, a resting heart rate of 52, low cholesterol, I am stronger and fitter than I was a year ago, I look great and my riding has improved exponentially.
We can all do it despite our age and gender. I'm 48 years old and no way do I look or act like I'm 48, I look more like a 30-something and I act like I'm 12 most days.
Sometimes we have the willpower but not the knowledge. Sometimes we all just need someone on our side to give us a pat on the rear to get us motivated. I remember in my 30s I weighed close to 200 pounds. My doctor kept telling me to lose weight, but she never told me how. I figured it out for the most part but did end up working with a nutritionist. Best money I ever spent on myself.
We should take care of ourselves, no one else will and we only get one body, so why not look after it! Check out Fitriders’ nutritional programs. Do something amazing for yourself.
Yes, I do want to ride a dirt bike this summer. Now what?
Well, it's winter and unless you live where it doesn't snow, then your training starts in the gym. This step will set you up for success before the season even begins. Why wouldn't anyone want to start the season, stronger, faster, and possibly, a few pounds lighter?
Gyms can be intimidating, especially for women. All those machines, dumbbells, big muscular guys in ripped t-shirts grunting and staring at themselves in mirrors. Who wouldn't be intimidated? Visit many gyms and choose a gym you like. There will always be the muscular dudes, but I have found that no one has ever bothered me at the gym, and no one is paying attention to you, and anyway, who cares?
Have a staff person show you around and ask questions about how to use the machines properly. Personally, I don't like using the machines because I'm too short and they tend to strain my joints. I prefer free weights; they work the muscles more efficiently and engage more muscles other than the ones targeted on the machines. If you still feel intimidated but are interested in our programs, drop us a line. Most of our programs can be done at home, without the need for gym equipment. One of us may even be in your area to give you a hands-on personal training session to get you started and feel more comfortable. It's okay to feel uncomfortable, it's a new experience. Learning new skills is uncomfortable and challenging.
So, sign up for a FitRiders program. We can teach you some easy, fun workouts, with or without weights. The free weights aren't as intimidating as you think and are a lot of fun once you start using them.
Karl Tettmann, Co-Founder. Avid health and fitness coach who just loves to ride.