Friday, 18 November 2011

Bellyfit Instructor Spotlight

A few weeks ago Bellyfit headquarters informed me they;d chosen me for this instructor spotlight for this month!

Here's the link:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

My TEDx Talk is finally posted!!!!

TEDxBrasd'Or took place on August 20, 2011 in Membertou, Nova Scotia. It was the first-ever TEDx event on Cape Breton Island. This is the video of my TED Talk...

Is it so wrong to run like a girl?

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Silly Bass Player Tricks, or... why I'm not lead singer material

I have a sneaking suspicion this could become a series...

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the joke-stereotypes of 'dumb' people.  Basically blonde, Newfie/Irish and drummer jokes are all interchangeable. So in order to vindicate all of the above, including my own dear drummers of present and past, I present the following tale...

So the other night I was practicing with the girls-and-1-guy and working on Rod Stewart's "Rhythm of My Heart".  On the bridge The Lead Singer has a part that requires, as we say in musical terms, a bit of chutzpah.  On one particular run through, that didn't quite happen, so in my moment of directorial brilliance I, The Bass Player, said to The Lead Singer (and  I paraphrase at best because what follows was so bad I forgot how the first part actually went) "For the love of God woman!!!! The line is "I've got lightenin' in my brains" give it some chutzpah will ya!!!"

And I stood there quite completely stunned not having an honest clue what was so funny until The Guitarist explained to me that the line was "I've got lightenin' in my veins"... not "brains".

Whoops.  My bad.

All of this made only funnier because a week before, whilst playing the same song I loudly declared "ohhhhh, there's a D in that measure on the 4th chorus!!"... apparently said D had eluded yours truly up until that point.

In my own defense, I point out that this song has some of THE oddest lyrics ever!  Honestly, if the writers of the Muppet show had tried to come up with this as a sketch, they'd have not thought of it.  Only in real life, folks!

Where's Weird Al? Maybe he'll buy this off of me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

New Slippers

Just a little pic of the new slippers I made for myself a few weeks back.  They've turned out to be most excellent after dance and fitness classes for keeping my feet cozy and cuddled post-shower.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The video is coming... someday

Hello dear readers.  I'm just updating quickly to say the coordinator for TEDXBrasd'or is still working on getting our videos from the videography company that recorded the event.  Should be any day now.. we hope!

Monday, 29 August 2011

TEDx follow up

So last weekend I spoke at the TEDxBrasd'Or event in Cape Breton.  It was very well run and the venue was really nice.  this was the first time I'd been to the Membertou Convention Centre, really impressive.  If all goes according to pan the video footage of the talks should be ready to post in another week or two, and I'll be able to post the link so you can all finally see what I've been going on about for the past month or so.

One of the things I've noticed is that it's really tough to explain to people what my talks are about.  I generalize by saying I talk about women and fitness and the barriers some women face to becoming physically active.  That's a really generic explanation that doesn't really hit on it. Part of the reason I say that is because I don't want to show all my cards.  Why would you listen to the talk if I sum it all up before hand at the coffee table?  I would certainly lose some of my shock-value if I were to do that. 

But I do wonder if I shouldn't clarify a bit more.  When I say "women's barriers to fitness" people say oh, so you talk about the husband not looking after the kids while the woman goes to the gym, or can't afford fitness classes... stuff like that, right?

Erm... not quite.  When I clarify I'm talking about the social and psychological reasons I mostly get blank stares.  Sometimes they realize I'm talking about things like being made fun of for "running like a girl" as kid.  That's part of it.  But I never fully tell 'em because it's like letting the audience see my dance costume before a performance.  Just can't ruin it for them.

Plus, you know, I DO so enjoy the look of shock on people's faces when I start talking about how some women can't exercise without fear of being called a slut. THEN they're sitting up and paying attention! 

Hmmm... I wonder how much my hit count on this blog is going to go up just by people goggling the word slut?  Yeah, it's really that powerful.  But you'll have to wait for the video for the rest.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

TED Talking!

Just popping in - I'll do a proper blog soon - to say I've been too busy to blog because I'm working on a presentation for a TEDx event!  I'll be speaking at the TEDxBrasD'or event in Cape Breton on August 20th.  Very excited!

As per usual with my public speaking engagements, I'll be talking about the internal barriers to fitness so many women still face in this day and age.  It's a topic I'm really passionate about and have done quite a lot of work on since I got into my fitness career.  Not many people know this but I minored in Women's Studies when I did my BA degree in the 90's.  So women and fitness is a topic that, given my academic background, is really suited to me.

If you're not familiar with TED yet, I highly recommend checking them out at

Loads of amazing speeches on that site,  lots to inspire us!  No guarantee my talk will end up there, but I'm hopeful!  *knocks on wood*

Monday, 20 June 2011

Happy Birthday John Taylor

Long, round-about story cut short, John Taylor is a large part of the reason I became a bass player.  Today's his birthday, so in his honour I'm gonna chill out this evening with my Duran Duran DVDs... although, admittedly, I should be practicing my own bass riffs for tomorrow night's band practice. But m'eh, I'll take listening to his over playing mine!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Presenting at the MADD National Victim's Weekend

I am still catching up on unpacking and laundry, but want to say a word or two about my weekend.

This is the second time I have attended the annual MADD National Victim's Weekend  & Memorial service.  last year I attended, with the kindness of my Halifax Chapter and our local supporters, as a victim of a crash caused by an impaired driver.  For the first time since I was hit, I finally met other people who understood what it was like to survive a crash and live with the issues it caused.  At that point I was nearing the 20th anniversary of the night I was hit.  In the 2 decades that had passed I had gone from no help for my injuries or emotional needs to having a diagnosis of fibromyalgia to coming out the other side and becoming a fitness instructor.

For the first time in my life a total stranger, having heard me tell what had happened to me in an earlier session, walked up to me and said "You inspire me".

Talk about having goose-bumps!

So this year it was my turn to give back to MADD for what they've given me in the past year, and to tell others how I managed to get where I am.  I'll save you the power-point, but as you can guess by now, fitness and alternative health & wellness has had a lot to do with it.  I was a bit of a nervous wreck in the days leading up to it - this was more "speechy" than my normal teaching style - but I was fine once I got started.

I presented my story, demonstrated some quick exercise tips and then gave real, live feedback on questions from the participants on Saturday morning.  Almost all of the people who attended mentioned they too had fibromyalgia.  When I was diagnosed with it in 1997 (7 years after I was hit) this disease was unheard of.  Now it's becoming more common all the time.

I had a small turn-out, only 8 people.  But as Margaret, our national past-president,  pointed out to me, 8 is actually a really good number because there's not that many people present who are living victims.  That's both a comforting and a sad statement.  It made me feel better about the small turn-out, but she was right... not that many people survive their injuries to tell the tale.  I'm just glad at this point to be able to help with the knowledge I have from my own experience and my fitness career.

I haven't gotten the official feedback yet, but I'm thinking it was pretty good.  I had lots of awesome questions from the participants, and the chatting went on right into our supper break, so that's a good sign! 

All-in-all a great weekend with some truly amazing people.  It has been my honour to speak to and with them. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

quick mention - Bellyfit

Just want to mention that one of the fitness programs I teach is a women-only fitness class called Bellyfit.  It's great fun, and if you are a lady who loves world-beat, this is the workout for you!

Here's the home page:

And here's a recent review of the Bellyfit: Earth home workout DVD:

Monday, 7 March 2011

What's the most important piece of equipment in the gym?

There's two things I always tell people in the gym and fitness classes.  1) Everything you really need to know about fitness you learned in grade 11 Physics. 2) The MP3 Player is the most important piece of fitness equipment you'll ever own.

One of the most key elements to an effective workout (and this goes for cardio & weights) is what you're listening to.  Folks who don't listen to music in the gym are never nearly as consistent as those who do.  Seriously, it just makes your exercising better.

And musicians, you guys and gals are a trainer's favourite clients!! You're so easy for us to train because you already know how to count. Well, not the drummers. KIDDING, just kidding!!   We love having you in the gym!

The key to music and weight training is understanding the timing of what we call the positive and the negative of an exercise.  So, for example, if I you to do a bicep curl you'd have the positive - bringing the weight up towards your shoulder, contracting the bicep and extending the tricep - and the negative in which you return to the starting position of the exercise. Far too often I see people really hauling a weight up too fast and just sort of flopping out on the return.  Those folks are relying more on momentum than actual muscle contraction.  The right music, for those who will listen, can make all the difference in the timing. In a 4/4 time, a simple 2 beats to go up and 2 to come down works for starters.  From there you can vary it all kinds of way. 

When it comes to cardio, you want to get up around the 126 bpm mark or higher.  Music for aerobics classes starts at this speed for warming up and then goes up from there, depending on the class type. Yes, that's why your old favs get re-mixed for aerobics classes.  They have to be the right speed and mixed into blocks of 32 beats so we instructors know when to change to the next block of moves.  Sorry.  We know musically it's not usually very good.

Music & Health Blog

Hello dear friends,
So the plan here is for this to be an "ask the trainer" type of blog.  So go head, fire away with the questions.  I can't promise how quickly I'll get to them all, but at some point I will get to them.  

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


My name is Terri.  I'm a professional fitness leader, dancer and dance instructor.  I'm also a very amateur musician.  My aim on this blog is to offer fitness advice specifically to dancers and musicians to help us become more fit and more effective in what we do.