Is Your “Team” Supporting You?

I have the most amazing “team” of people that surrounds me. Do you? Not only do they call me out on accountability, but I know that they are there to answer questions, provide quality feedback, and help me to move forward in the direction of my dreams and goals. 

Who is on my Dream Team?

You have all heard the saying “it takes a village.” Well in terms of our health, I agree!

It took me many years of rehab with not only my chiropractor and spine specialist looking after me, but also massage and physical therapy, along the way, to bring me back to a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle where I can enjoy all I choose to, with my family. Add to that nutrition and a regular fitness practice and you my life begins to fall into place. Each of these experts is crucial in keeping me mentally, physically and spiritually focused on what is most important to me – Living a life full of love, gratitude, giving back, and never looking back and saying “I wish I had…”.

Nutrition Health Coach: I have a coach friend who checks in with me a few times a month to ensure that I am still on track to achieve my health and nutrition goals. It is wonderful to have someone to bounce ideas off of and encourage you along the way.
Finding a coach who will work with you as an individual, without a cookie-cutter plan, is so important. This means they are looking out for YOU as an individual with bio-individual needs. 

Fitness Coach: I attend yoga classes (as well as teach them) but also have a fitness coach that writes a personal training plan for me. Yes, I write these for many of my athletes, but if I didn’t have someone else telling me what to do, I would cut a workout short or add an interval if I was feeling good! Having another to be accountable to, keeps me on track.
As fitness coaches, we are here to find what works for you, not give you a program that “should” work for all. A good coach will listen to you as an individual, and meet you where you are today, while guiding you to find a weekly plan that moves you closer to your goals. Exercise can be fun, and a good coach will help you find things YOU enjoy, not just what they like to do for fitness!

My great sport & spine specialist – been a part of my team for 9 years: Brian J. Krabak MD (Sports Medicine Physician & Olympic Doctor) with me!

Medical Doctor – Sport & Spine: My spine specialist is an amazing man and I am grateful that he had a cancellation on the day that I needed him most. At first he just confirmed my spine diagnosis and sent me to PT and massage. Later he became an adversary and important team member as I began to heal and want to increase my physical activity from walking to running, then cycling, etc. He himself is an Ironman, extreme sport athlete and overall great person. At first I was embarrassed to even walk in the door, seeing photos of his many high level athletes, hanging on the walls. Then I chose to become one. 😉

Find someone who will listen to you, what your needs are, and answer all your questions. Chronic pain and injury is scary and needs to be taken care of delicately. But I knew I was in good hands and trusted him along the way. He has also helped me through a shoulder injury, knee issues and more. As an athlete, knowing a great doctor can mean the difference between moving or not! Since I teach cycling, yoga and multisport for a living. I can’t work if I can’t move!

Physical Therapist: My DPT is not the person I like to complain to, as he will give me something to complain about 😉 (ie. new challenging exercises.) In all reality, I like him because he pushes me to be my best self. I told him from the beginning, what my goals are, and he won’t let me settle for feeling okay, when I need to feel great to live a healthy life with my family and continue to race multisport.
Choose an office and PT that ideally shares some of your fitness interests so they can better help you get moving again, when your body is challenging you. Don’t just see who your doctor tells you to see unless they are a good fit for you. Interview your PT like you would a Dr!

Chiropractor: My orthopedic Chiropractor was a life saver right after my debilitating spine injury from a car accident. He took me under my wing and kept me moving (slowly) while I regained strength, mobility and mental clarity.
For those who haven’t been, a chiropractor helps keep my spine and skeletal system in alignment, while I am rebuilding muscles to surround them. By strengthening the muscles around my bones (while they are in perfect alignment) I free myself of pain and increase mobility. Thus I see my chiropractor not only when experiencing challenges, but also as a preventative measure approx about every 4-6 weeks, to ensure I continue to be in alignment while training and every day living. Note, not all are created equal. After 20+ years of seeing one, I have tried a few (closer to my home) along the way, and found they did more damage than good. Like any doctor, make sure you interview them and ask for referrals. Find one that listens to you first and will help you create a long term plan, not quick fixes. That said, you shouldn’t HAVE to go them several times a month unless recovering from an injury. Tune ups are great and recommended but as I feel better, they are less frequent. 

Massage Therapist: Most of my massages are medically necessary/ therapeutic (not relaxation massages), so there is often focused breathing and me “trying” to relax during them. They are great for softening the stubborn muscles surrounding my challenged spine. Then as I increase strength, the tight muscles don’t pull on my joints and body in ways that can cause injury or increase pain.
Massage therapy goes hand in hand with not only healing our bodies, but also keeping them moving the way we want them to. I have worked with several types of  ‘body workers’ but find one who has/does live an active life, (similar to my own), that suits me best. Try different styles and types of massage, as they all bring something new and you might resonate with one over another.

Family & Friends: We can’t forget the most important people in our lives, and those we spend the most time with, our family and friends. Share your goals and intentions with them. Tell them how they can help, and help them in return. We need to be there for one another!!

So what does it means to be an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.
What I love about my job is I have the opportunity to help guide my clients in all facets of their lives. Not only a functional nutrition expert, but I am also a mindset and health coach. When you leave a doctors office overwhelmed with a new diagnosis, supplement routine, or in need of a dietary or fitness makeover, it can be quite overwhelming. I am there to help guide you in finding a way of life that will not only work for you, but increase your overall health and combat disease along the way.

It is so important to know how each facet of your life relates to one another on a holistic health basis. Our relationships, career, physical activity, spirituality & nutrition all play a role in how we feel, live and the enjoyment level we find within our lives!
For more information about IIN & HNL where I received much of my health & nutrition training? Click HERE!

How can having a “team” of experts, on your side, benefit you? 

Accountability: Don’t we all need someone to be a fly on the wall in our lives? If there was such a person, we would all make better daily decision, wouldn’t we? Having a good coach to share your specific goals and needs with, can give you the push you need to ensure you are continually moving towards your dream life.

Nutrition & Lifestyle Guidance: When you take a close look at all facets of your daily life, you are better able to see where your priorities lie and if that is truly where you want them. Do you need a nutrition overhaul or guidance to see where you can make upgrades within your day?

Personalized plan: Because my fitness coach knows my background and me personally, he is able to create a training schedule that pushes me, while keeping me healthy at the same time. Following a training plan that is made for someone who is training for a certain distance, in my case, wouldn’t work for me. Due to my spinal injury background and age, I need to have a calculated plan that takes my personal needs into consideration. You should too, no matter your age or current state of health!

Medical & Diagnostic Health: Along the way we might need have some diagnostic testing or seek medical advice. Knowing exactly who I will contact, at a moments notice, gives me the upper hand. If I didn’t already know someone to contact, it could take weeks to research. In case of an injury or other urgent need, I don’t have weeks to get into a specialist. I need to have them “on call” so to speak, so I can continue moving forward, even with challenges or during times of rehabilitation.

No matter your goals, dreams or aspirations, having a team of experts, at the ready, will keep you headed in the direction of your dreams. I am grateful for all the experts I call on, in my life, and that I have good health insurance for days I need it. I know some do not.

While it took me years to find the experts that I trust with my health and life, it is never too late to start compiling a list of referrals and begin building YOUR team. Don’t settle. Find those who listen first, and act second. Your intuition will guide you to those who will put your needs first!

Have questions about functional nutrition, health or fitness coaching? Reach out to me. You are not alone.  EVERYONE deserves to truly LIVE ALIVE FIT!



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