Saturday, December 7, 2013

Poetry at its best.



Poetry at its best. An expression of life, of change and of courage. May we all be able to face our demons, our hopes and our dreams with this conviction and courage.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

High Performance Pyramid - the corporate athlete

A few years ago the Harvard Business review (HBR) put out an article on The Making of a Corporate Athlete. I came across this article while I was creating a presentation on workplace resiliency. This presentation was to discuss  how I as an athlete work to keep a positive mindset when faced with challenges such as poor race performance or the difficulty of working through a high volume training cycle and then connect how my strategy is applicable to a corporate setting. Additionally the presentation was supposed to weave in the concept of resiliency. Luckily these are all linked, positive mindset, and physical activity are essential parts of what makes a person resilient. These same things make an elite athlete effective on the playing field. If you look at a high level athlete, physical fitness is obviously a critical to performance, yet nutrition, sleep, and positive mindset are equally as fundamental to their ability to preform, and to their ability to bounce back after stressful situations-including the physical and mental stress of training (American Psychological Association).
This started me thinking about a term I heard my aunt talking about last summer the corporate athlete. So in this day and age what do you do with a term you vaguely remember....Google it. One of the first things I came across was this article by the HBR, in it they had the High Performance Pyramid, this diagram perfectly sums up what makes a person resilient. I believe that resiliency boosts performance, whether you are an Olympic athlete or a CEO. The more resistant you are to stress, the more capacity you have to perform at ever increasing levels. The HBR makes an excellent point that both high performing athletes and CEO's need to sustain high performance in the face of constant pressure and rapidly changing environments. As a kayaker this may mean adapting to changing race conditions or training loads, as a corporate athlete it may mean adapting to rapidly changing business climates and product demands, either way there is an element of stress.
If you look at the pyramid you can quickly build a case for why its really a pyramid of the fundamentals of resiliency.
 Lets take a look at physical capacity. The benefits of physical activity, healthy nutrition, and proper sleep have been shown to help promote physical, and mental/brain health. It helps improve memory, and overall energy allowing a person to stay focused and get more things done with fewer errors. Each of these components fall under the umbrella of self care, which serve as the foundation for resilience. Building emotional capacity include such things as positive mindset, emotional intelligence, emotional awareness or mindfulness, self control and self esteem. A concrete way to help build emotional capacity is to create a positive social network( The Psychological Foundation of Canada, APA).  Mental capacity includes a persons ability to focus energy. Mental capacity can be developed through such practices as meditation, visualization, and creating a work-life balance or a balance between energy expenditure and recovery (Leohr & Shwartz, 2001). I think that in addition to these things a persons general competence in their area of work is their ability to set SMART goals then carry out a plan to achieve them. Spiritual capacity, while less defined, is shown to be an important component of resilience. Research has indicated that people with higher levels of spirituality tend to have higher scores on tests for resilience.
Overall I believe that resilience is part of the foundation for increased performance.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Exercise Science

Some interesting info on the latest sport science research on fasterskier including a brief mention of an article where scientists tested coaches stress response to competition. I think it would be really interesting to do some research looking at the relationship between coaches stress levels and those of the athletes. http://fasterskier.com/article/this-month-in-journals-managing-risks-from-sun-and-extreme-diets-more-inhaler-fights/

Friday, November 1, 2013

Robert Smith Reveals Struggle With Alcoholism

This is a great piece regarding mental health and alcoholism that was broadcast on ESPN. Broadcasting on this topic on a well known network can help take the stigma out of these issues and encourage people to seek help.
http://www.youtube.com/v/1nFl8D_iEFw?version=3&autohide=1&autohide=1&feature=share&showinfo=1&autoplay=1&attribution_tag=DvIK05LndEQecnyu2uJ8sA

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Belgium

The majority of the US women's team is currently training in Belgium. The conditions and location have been fantastic for training this week. Each day starts off nice and cool then warms up to the mid 70s maybe 80s and there has been little to no wind for most sessions on the water.
The training center is relatively rural and the only other team on the water is the Belgian team. This has been nice because we have been able to get a lot accomplished with out constant distractions from all sides.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ESPNW

Super stoked about getting featured in an ESPNW article! check it out http://w.espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-life/summer-of-w/article/9585050/espnw-kayaking-suits-kaitlyn-mcelroy

Monday, April 29, 2013

Gnrly Vibes Brand
A friend of mine from from  Gnarly Vibes Brand made this picture look completely bad ass. Go check him out on facebook. 
A shout out to both Julbo (sunglasses) and Bomber Gear (Solar 50 Long Sleeve Rash Guard) for letting me race in their awesome products!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

USACK Team Trials

Super excited to have gone 3 for 3 this week at team trials! Times were slow and conditions tuff but the racing was still great. Looking forward to a long international season this year. Maggie and I will  head off to the 1st and 2nd world cups soon.  In the mean time looking forward to finishing up school and then graduation (even though I cant be there)!

Friday, April 26, 2013

USACK Team Trials

The first day of USACK team trials went really well. I was super nervous to race since it was the first race of the year. We have done lots of time trials which has helped however nothing can replace that first sprint race of the year, and  it can be nerve racking! The heat went well, stayed relaxed in the start gate and brought it off the line quickly then was able to settle into a nice comfortable pace. I did not want to slow it down to much because of the blustery side wind. I find that going slower in a side wind causes me to be blown around a lot more then just powering through it. I ended up winning the heat which helped me regain some of my confidence. The final was in the afternoon which is a significantly more pleasant time of day for me as I am not a morning person. The side wind was still blowing but not nearly as bad as it had been earlier. I got off to a good start and was able to hold it throughout the race. Part way through I did run into a stick which momentarily stock on my rudder bring me to what felt like a screeching halt,  but it ended up popping out so I quickly regained my boat speed and was able to fend off a late charge by my awesome K2 partner to claim the win!
 The K2 was the next race and it was a lot of fun we felt connected in the boat and were able to have a strong controlled race and put another win in the books!
Tomorrow is the 200m races which will be lots of fun.
One thing I realized was that I really need to work on my confidence throughout the year and not just the day before a race lol. But one thing that helped me out as I was fretting the night before the race  was this episode of a kids cartoon called Kong fu Panda and the secrets of the furious five http://youtu.be/950xNU2O6Uc . I know it sounds silly but it was really great, plus it made me smile.
As always the boathouse district put on an awesome race!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Commercial

I got to take part in a local Subaru commercial a few weeks ago check it out below! Nothing special but kinda of cool non the less!
BobMoore Subaru

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Looking for volunteers for the USACK sprint team trials, sign up below!
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090E48AFAC22AA8-uscanoe

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bomber Gear

My new bomber gear is going to be arriving in a few days! I am super excited to get a chance to try everything out and even race in it before the main start of our season!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Indoor erg event

video
Thanks Mike for taking video! This was taken at the Bart and Nadia sports and health festival during the kayak erg race. My technique was fairly poor during this piece but it doesnt matter because this event was all about showing people a little bit of what we do every day. It was a lot of fun to watch the kids from our junior programs race and have the chance to have a home crowd cheering them on!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Canoe/Kayak Conference

The 2013 coaching and leadership conference is coming into town this weekend. I am super excited for people to start arriving. While I wont necessarily be able to attend many of the meetings and presentations it will be fun to see friends from all walks of the sport and its also a great opportunity to meet new people.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

I finally shamed myself into cooking so that I can start eating healthier...... so I decided to make chicken pot pie! the fact that it was non microwavable made it a healthier option in my mind.

1 can cream of mushroom soup with garlic
2 gloves of garlic minced
2c rotisserie chicken
1/bag frozen mixed veggies
1c mushrooms sliced
1 package pie crust
3tbs milk

Directions
Heat stove to 350
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Lightly butter a pie dish and lay out bottom pie crust fill with mixture form the bowl cover with second pie crust. push down edges of crust so they stick together. Make a few slits in top of pie, bake for 45min.

Friday, February 8, 2013

BomberGear

Super excited to be joining the BomberGear family this season! Check them out at bombergear.com