Basic Movements for Daily Life


Beating the Brain


It’s been just over two years since I’ve written on this thing.

Apparently I didn’t have much to say.

On May 4th and 5th of this year (same day as the last blog post two years ago) I took an Agatsu Certification course.  It was with Kim Rossignol at Endorphin Fitness in Regina.

I’ve had two weeks to process what I went through.

This wasn’t the first Agatsu cert I took.  A lot has changed since that weekend.  I’ve moved, stopped training, started training, stopped, started..

It just over ten years ago when I did the cert the first time, hosted by Kim and Shawn Mozen in Calgary.  It was the single toughest weekend I’d ever been through.

Till two weeks ago.

I passed and earned my certificate again, but damn, it was tough.  I’m also ten years older.

I wasn’t worried about the movements.  I’ve done thousands and thousands of kettlebell swings, thousands of Turkish Get Ups, presses, and more.  Any I didn’t know or needed adjusting I would work on (I’m looking at you kettlebell jerk).

What worried me the most was my conditioning and endurance.  Simply put, it ain’t up to snuff.  Remember, I’m ten years older, and just about half of that time I was a bit lazier as I didn’t go to the gym or practice near as much as I used to before moving to Regina.

mighty 01

My brain, it turns out, was my biggest obstacle.  Sure, I was beat.  Sure, I stopped doing some movements on the final circuit (delightfully known as The Garden of Pain).  Sure, I was wondering why the hell I was putting myself through this, but I never put the bell down unless told to.

I’m not gonna lie, it was hard, damned hard. Remember, I’m ten years older.

Over the past two weeks I’ve given the experience a lot of thought.  I’ve concluded my practice for the next while will be on conditioning and endurance.  One does not want to be winded walking down the sidewalk or up the stairs.  And the biggest battle in all of it is my brain.  The damned thing works harder than all of your muscles telling you to stop and thing doesn’t even move, flex, extend, lift, or pump up.  Really, the thing is kind of lazy when it comes to fitness.

A special shout out to Kim at Endorphin.  As a coach, instructor, trainer, and all around bad-ass, she knew all the right things to say during our weekend to get us through some challenging experiences.

tim and kim

Incidentally, the meaning of Masakatsu Agatsu is what I’ve just been blabbing about: “Masakatsu Agatsu translates as “True victory is victory over oneself.” Agatsu refers to this idea of self mastery. This is “beginner’s mind” — maintaining humility, always learning and refining as a student.” – from the Agatsu website.

It’s amazing what can happen when we actually tell ourselves what can do….. or worse… what we can’t.



Society is funny.  We have become consumed with the outside and not so much the inside.

And I’m talking about ourselves.  Not other people.  Let’s be honest, most of us have some issue with how we appear to other people.  We dress up, we put on make up, we ensure our shoes are shined.  And we workout and train.

I’m sure there are a number of people, when asked, would say they workout and train to look good.  And really, there’s nothing wrong with that.  There are secondary benefits to that they may not be aware of.  Train to look good.  Awesome.

What about the inside?

Exercise does wonders for the inside.  The heart, lungs and the muscles under the skin we can’t see.  Awesome.

But what about the noggin’?  That weight on our shoulders held up by the neck.  What about the inside of that?  I think we tend to forget about that.

Mental health is an issue.  A BIG issue.  You can’t see it, you can’t hear it, but you sure as hell can feel it.  But nobody wants to talk about it.

It is getting better though.

A while ago I did a ‘float.’  It was a mighty interesting experience and I fully intend to go back.  I went to Serenity Float Spa in Regina.  You’re alone in a super quiet chamber full of salt water.  Amazing.

I’ve also been meditating everyday for damn near two years now.  There’s a lot of science put behind why we suffer with stress, anxiety, and depression.  There’s also a lot of resources to help deal with it.

I suggest you read Buddha’s Brain for the science behind it and some layman’s ways of dealing with it.  It really delves into Mindfulness Meditation and was full of light bulb moments for me.

If you struggle with meditation, there’s an app for that.  Insight Timer is awesome.  Guided meditations, podcasts, timers and all sorts of goodies.  And for the most part it’s free!

Bottom line, everything is connected in our body.  Ya, the brain seems a separate thing from our leg, but is it really?

So, ya, go ahead and work on the outside, but don’t forget the inside.

The Times Change

So long kettlebells.  It’s been nice knowing you.

Well, I’m bidding them farewell for now.  Since we moved to Regina I had been practicing in my basement until recently.  I decided I missed the social aspect of a gym so I joined one a few months ago.  Oh, I don’t talk to people in the gym.  I avoid them at all costs.  I’d rather not visit while I’m there, just get the job done and get out.  But there’s something about going to a room full of people who (hopefully) have the same basic goal as you might.

The facility I go to has a few KBs, the heaviest is 18kg so I started lugging in my own 24kg for fun.  I like the facility. Clean, brightly lit and a TON of gear.  I mean a TON!  Stuff I’ve never seen before and squat racks for miles.

This got me yearning for the use of barbells again.  All I’ve really used for the last half dozen years or so were kettlebells.

So last night I revisited some old logs I had and rediscovered “The New Rules of Lifting.”  It’s a great read with a ton of workout plans.  Monday I restart with it.  I’m going to tackle “Fat Loss I.”  I need it.  I did a quick body comp this morning.  The numbers weren’t pleasant.

So, for now, my kettlebells will gather a bit of dust while I travel a path I haven’t in a while.

I’m Back – Or Something

Since the move from Central Alberta to Regina a year and a half ago my practice sessions have been, uh, less than stellar.  Hit and miss, you might say.

I don’t believe I’ve really gained any weight, but my shape has changed.  Either that or my clothes shrank.

Well today I’ve restarted.  I joined a gym.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind the convenience of heading to the basement to do some kettlebell work.  It did have it’s limitations, though.  The ceiling is too low for overhead work, so presses, snatches and Turkish Get Ups were out of the question.  Unless my landlord was cool with kettlebell sized holes in it.

Plus, I miss the atmosphere of a gym with all the equipment giving one the potential to be living the healthiest life they’ve ever lived.  There’s just something about getting up and keeping that appointment to go somewhere to train.  At least for me.  If that’s not your bag, that’s cool, too.

Not only will it give me the freedom to do overhead work, but it should help alleviate stress and anxiety.  Two things I’ve struggled with for a very long time.  I’m now combining physical exercise with mental exercise (mindfulness meditation) to help with those two annoyances.

So, I’m back at it… slowly.  Today’s practice wasn’t spectacular, but at least it was done.

Thank Goodness Breathing Is An Involuntary Thing

This is from Wikipedia (so it must be true):

Breathing is one of the few bodily functions which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously.”

Think about it.. if you want to hold your breath, you can.  That is an especially good thing if you like to swim.  If you go to sleep, you keep on breathing.  It just happens.  You don’t need to think about.  This is an especially good thing if you wish to wake up in the morning.

As my meditation journey continues I’ve had some successes and some, um.. unsuccesses?  Is that word?  I don’t want to say failures because they are not.

As complicated as meditation is made out to be, it’s not.  But, it’s not easy, either.  The task is simple; sit and breath.  But be aware of the breathing.. focus on the breathing.  As your mind wanders, go back to focusing on the breathing. When things wander into your brain, acknowledge them, let them go and don’t judge them. They’re there and gone, that’s it.

Sounds easy.

Sometimes I’ve found myself dwelling on things and then realize I need to focus on the breathing.  Some would say the dwelling is the unsuccessful part.  Maybe it is. But each time I recognize I’m not focused on the breathing it becomes a success and I refocus on my breath.

Sometimes I’m meditating for twenty minutes.  Tonight, not so lucky.  I made it just shy of eight.  To me, both were successes.

That’s when it hit me the other morning, thank goodness breathing is an involuntary thing, cause when you need to concentrate on it all the time it’s hard.

It will get easier though.  I’ve been at this meditation thing now for about four weeks or so.  I feel I’ve noted a change in me.

Some believe you need to hit ten thousand hours of deliberate practice to become world class in any field.

I’ve a ways to go.

Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as Practice makes perfect.” – Periander

I’ve Let My Mind (and Body) Go

Hi, there, how are ya?  It’s been a long time.. in the words of the Eagles.

A quick refresher.  My name is Tim Day.  Radio dude (program director and afternoon guy at Big Dog 92.7 in Regina) and a kettlebell practicioner.

I’ve let a few things go.. my body (it’s been a while since I’ve picked up a kettlebell and I’ve added a few pounds over the last few months) and my mind.  The two are completely connected in my humble opinion. I’ve long been a believer that exercise will reduce stress and anxiety.  But I’ve also discovered if you struggle with stress and anxiety it’s a challenge to pick up that weight or run that 5k.

Over the past few months I’ve hardly touched a bell for a number of reasons, but I’m working on getting back to that.  One of the paths I’m taking is a scientifically proven method that takes as little as ten minutes a day. That’s it… ten minutes.


I think for a long time people kind of poo-pooed it as hippy and a guy or gal sitting cross-legged on a mountain top in a silk robe.  Not the case.

By the way, it’s not easy.  It LOOKS easy, but it’s not easy.  In the video below it’s mentioned that meditation is like reps in a bicep curl.  And while you try to get the eighteen inch guns, it doesn’t happen overnight.  Neither does exercising the brain.  It takes a lot of work, after all, I’ve let my brain go on it’s own for nearly fifty years… it ain’t gonna happen overnight.

I’m combining my mediation with some hip therapy exercises and Young Living Essential Oils from Health Happens.  It’s all helping.

Watch this clip.  It’s six and half minutes and worth it.

Enjoy… meditate…

My Two Point Epiphany

It seems as though it’s been some time since I’ve posted.. Lazy.. ha… not really, just felt I haven’t had much to write.

I realized two things today.  I felt young and I’m moving.

I was standing looking out my office window and I felt young.  Like early twenties young.  Physically and mentally.  I just felt young.  It was weird.  I’m sure we all get that feeling once in a while, but today it really stuck with me.  It must come with age.

I also realize I’m able to move.  I have the ability to move.  We all do.  Some do it well.  Some don’t.  I played volleyball tonight and I’ll be honest, I was probably close to if not twice as old as most of the people on my team.  To me, not a big deal.  I was able to keep up (I think).  But after I got home I realized I can still move.  I’m closer to fifty than I am to forty and I know some people that can’t do that at my age or even half my age.

I feel most of it I owe to discovering a healthy lifestyle.  It’s been about a dozen years since I’ve started a ‘healthier’ lifestyle and moved from about 30% body-fat to less than half that and whatever I’m at now.  Kettlebells are a big part (ask anyone who knows me), other fitness tools and somewhat diet (I don’t really watch what I eat – I should).  At times I have great dreams of getting an SFG or RKC certification, but I have some little issues I need to deal with first.

I want to point out I am by no means an athlete.  At this point in my life I’m training to be able feel young and to move.

It seems to be working. For an old guy.



…is some of the stuff I have in my basement…








…is more of the stuff I have in my basement…








…stuff looks at me each time I make my way down  the stairs to the basement…

Kettlebell Night August 22 2013 014







…stuff can be used damned near anywhere…

…stuff keeps me in reasonable shape…











…stuff takes up a small amount (relatively speaking) of space…

…stuff can kick your ass…

…stuff can be used in a space easily about the size of two or three yoga mats placed beside each other…

…stuff will show you how strong you are, how strong you can be…

kbs ice cream










…stuff will reveal your weakness and show you areas you need to improve upon…

…stuff helps me release stress and tension of a trying day…

…stuff will make you sweat…

…stuff can be used by young and old…

…stuff will make you strong…


Hey, It’s Been A While

How’ve you been?  Well, I hope.

It’s been ages, eh?  Seems it’s been months since I’ve scribbled (typed) anything on here.  Well, let’s end that slump now, shall we.

It’s been a very, very busy number of months.  We’ve moved from Central Alberta to Regina and I’ve dusted off some kettlebells, taken out the club bells and plan on seeing what I can do with my rope (turns out there’s no room in the basement for the ropes).

During the Lazy Time, I’ve gained some weight, gotten a tad ‘softer‘ and have found myself a bit winded a times.  Diet has been hit and miss and certainly not as diligent as it used to be.  But, I’m working on that.

I’m now facing a few challenges with training space.  I have a good sized room in a basement, but not a lot of ceiling height. What this has forced me to do is focus on things that are kneeling when it comes to overhead work.  Kneeling presses.. plus more of a focus on kettlebell cleans.  An interesting challenge, but one I’m gonna work around.

I’m figuring some things out.

I’ve resorted to Half Turkish Get Ups – hips down and sometimes hips up.  I’ve started doing more cleans, kneeling presses, pushups, arm bars, swings (two handed and one handed), lunges and more.  Amazing what you can figure out when you limit your space.  I makes you step out of your comfort zone or revisit some other things  you may have forgotten about.

Scientists or some other notable folk have determined it’s within this part of January resolutions have gone by the wayside.  I say prove ’em wrong, no matter what your limitations might have.  Figure out a way.

There’s always a way.

I Miss My Veggies

Boy oh boy.. anyone who tells you that diet is only a small fraction of the make up of how you feel should live the way I’ve been living the last few weeks.

If you’ve been following along my wife, son and I have moved from Central Alberta to Regina.  That was turmoil enough, but combine a wonky schedule at recentley and you get a whole mess of issues.

I can make a million excuses as to why my diet has been crappy for at least six weeks, but honestly, there really is no TRUE excuse.  As a matter of convenience and laziness we have been eating out far too much.  We are now somewhat settled, but not completely moved and things are starting to get a bit more stable, but there are still some moving issues to take care of.

On top of that, I haven’t been to a gym in ages.  My kettlebells are in storage somewhere (I think) and I haven’t gotten my butt motivated enough to head any sort of gym.  Part of that is trying to get the lay of the land in our new home.  Again, an excuse.  They’re easy to make up and fall into.

I miss my kettlebells (or anyone else’s for that matter) and I miss my veggies.


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