Thursday Inspiration: Ashley Horner

Yes, originally I was biased toward posting about Ashley Horner because obviously her name is awesome (my last name is Horner, I haven’t met very many Horners), but she does the name proud! She is amazingly fit, inspirational, and a totally dedicated hardbody. I follow her Instagram feed, but you can check out her website here.

Not only does Ashley contribute to MMA Uncaged and Fit & FIrm, but she is busy building a brand that is as stellar as her body; she has training programs, nutrition programs, life coaching services, and cookbooks. What is even more impressive is that Ashley is a single mother of two boys. 

Every moment has a purpose. We are given 1,440 minutes in a day, these minutes can not be put in a savings account and they don’t roll over to the next day, once that moment has passed we cant take it back.

                           –Ashley Horner


I found this image online doing a Google search, it’s not mine, I didn’t take it and I will gladly give credit to the person who took it. I have not altered it in any way–she just looks that good! 🙂


Get Some Pep In Your Step with

I can’t do very much without music; I’ll admit that I’ve skipped workouts because my iPod died or I’ve left the gym because I forgot headphones–once I actually went out and bought headphones and then went back to the gym. 

I’ve found an app that helps provide me with some variety in the music department: 8tracksImage

What’s great about this app is that you can put in search terms like “workout”, “motivation”, and “upbeat” and get a bunch of user-created playlists. You can love songs, you can save playlists to your profile (so you can find them with ease), and if you’re an American user, you can create your own playlists for other users to enjoy. It’s an easy way to discover new music.

Being a Canadian user, sometimes I lament my inability to create a playlist, but let’s be real: my musical selections probably won’t be missed by anyone. The other downfall of this app is that you can’t playback songs, you must run through the entire playlist to hear that awesome song again; also, you can only skip a few songs before the app tells you that you’re not able to skip anymore in that playlist. These limitations are only about a 3 on an aggravation scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most aggravating–considering you get to check out cool tunes for free, I think the limits are acceptable.

You can also listen to 8tracks online, so if you want to use your phone for say…a phonecall…you can easily access the site if you can’t use your app.




Mojo Returns!

I’ve gotten my mojo back!

This past week, something has inspired me. I’ve read that champions are not made during the holiday season, and that may be true, but I’ve definitely felt more myself this week than I have in awhile.

Three major causes of the turnaround:

1. My partner is competing in a martial arts tournament at the end of January, so he is dropping 20lbs to compete in a different weight-class. I figure I have about 20lbs to drop to get to competition weight. What a happy coincidence.

2. Again, my partner is not just a supporter, but a great motivator: my Christmas gifts were one-month unlimited hot yoga; coaching sessions with a bikini pro (someone I admire very much and is regularly featured in the health/fitness/meathead magazines I read and subscribe to); and Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s biography. I can’t think of a more inspiring set of gifts!

3. I’ve offered to start training a friend of mine, pro bono, to help her prepare for a trip she’s taking in May. I’m so excited to help her get started on her health and fitness goals! I’m building her a program this week and then we’re getting together to discuss, tweak, and get-started. I’m very much a practice-what-you-preach person–so I’d better start adhering to my health and fitness philosophies, if I’m going to be coaching someone else.

My next post, I’m going to share the program I’m building for my friend–stay tuned!


Bad Gym Days

We all have them: those days where you feel like you aren’t strong enough, fast enough, or good enough. I had one of those yesterday. I completed every set, every rep, and even did a few extras to show-off. I challenged myself and pushed hard. The wheels started spinning during my last set–I couldn’t stand being in my own skin for another minute. I started thinking about all the little cheats that I’ve been allowing myself here and there…the near 15-year love-affair with cigarettes…the booze…the wasted hang-over days…the overall pollution to which I’ve subjected myself.

Yeah, it was a real bummer.

Instead of loving myself for making positive changes and being dedicated, I was beating myself up for the things in the past that I can’t possibly change. This was totally counter-productive; I know this innately, but hearing it from my partner, during a much-needed pep-talk, helped.

I’ve decided that I need to be proactive when it comes to combatting a negative outlook during this journey to competition day, here are a few strategies I’m going to employ:

1. Yoga. I find yoga makes me feel connected in mind and body and I am able to shut out nearly every thought that doesn’t have to do with my immediate physical situation. Karma classes at Moksha are in order.

2. Organization. I’m feeling cluttered on a lot of levels right now. I’m going to pare down my worldly possessions and find a home for all of them. Keeping my stuff in order will maybe help me feel more prepared to compete.

3. Present-mindedness. A conscious effort needs to be made to stop planning for the future, quit reflecting on the past, and just stay in the moment. This applies to all areas of my life.

4. More fun. Why so serious? It’s time to do a few pelvic thrusts in life’s general direction, get the lead out,  and shake the cobwebs out from betwixt my ears. I have a trip to Montreal happening this week, I think it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Today was a better gym day; I kept picturing myself on stage and imagining the feeling of accomplishment that will wash over me when I win first-place.

Motivation and Moral Support

Okay, so this blog is usually not very personal, but let’s do something a little unorthodox today; I’m going to talk about my everyday life.

Since deciding to do the OPA event on October 20th, friends and family have shown me their true colours: I’m surrounded by people who want me to do well and people who want me to succeed. So far, I have not come across a single nay-sayer. Even co-workers and regulars are pumped for me to compete!

It can be especially difficult to work toward a goal and to achieve that goal when you surround yourself with people who have “I can’t…” as a staple in their vocabulary. Not only do they think that they can’t, but they will tell you that you can’t, either; I’m not sure, but I think that sometimes people will poo-poo the goals of their loved ones because they want to spare them disappointment, or maybe to spare themselves some work (if your partner is improving their life, maybe they’ll ask you to do the same). I think sometimes people are worried that if their partner has goals, their own goals will go by the wayside.

I’m seeing someone now who is an incredible motivator; when I’m too tired or too sore to bounce out of bed in the morning, he’s there with coffee and an inspirational speech, video, or song to get me pumped; the last 500 metres of our morning run, he gives me a literal push to keep me going; when I was debating the cost of a trainer and a coach, he was the one who told me to invest the money in my own success and the pursuit of my own goals. Even something as simple as grocery shopping–if I’m not eating it, he’s not buying it. It helps that I’m seeing someone who understands and appreciates competition and hardwork in sport, as well. He has his own goals of competing in and winning jiu jitsu and mma tournements…so his assistance and support with and for my training, will also benefit his training. Having goals that so closely align with my partner has never been so important and so rewarding.

HIs support has also made me aware that I must reciprocate and ensure it’s not the Rachel Show 24/7; he has made himself available to me in a very important way–I need him to know that I am equally as excited, supportive, and confident about his pursuits. It’s more of a team effort than an individual endeavour; there is a degree of accountability when someone makes personal sacrifices to contribute to your success. When you have someone who is equally invested in your pursuits, there is no need to be selfish because the importance of your endeavour is apparent to them–so there’s no need to elbow your way to the front of the line.

My family has also given me the green light to pursue the competition to the nth degree; normally, they can be very uptight about my finances and the way in which I choose to spend my time and money. However, when I revealed the cost of training and coaching for the next 10 weeks, they were full of ideas to help me make the financial end of this endeavour work; they asked me to start an on-going grocery list so they can provide assistance and support via nutrition and keeping a clean, well-stocked arsenalt of foods for me; they are also lovingly ignoring the fact that there is always a light sprinkling of whey powder coating their kitchen counter, the stink of gym clothes and shoes in the hallways, and tolerating my impromptu power naps that tend to take place in the middle of the day–in the middle of the living room.

I am so grateful for the opportunity and for the support; I’m going to remember this journey and the outcome forever, so we’re doing it right. Nothing worth having was ever easy to come by–I’m just glad my friends and family understand this and are on the bandwagon. Here we go!