Thursday, March 24, 2011


Each day we are faced with how we want to see what is in front of us. We can wake up bummed that it is raining again, or we can be excited to go puddle jumping on the way to work.  We have the power to CHANGE the way we view life, and NOBODY can take that away.  This also goes hand in hand with how we view ourselves, our neighborhoods, and our lives.  WE OWN the ability to see our life in a full incredible light, with positive eyes and appreciation.  Make each day fresh, juicy, joyous and vibrant.  Be active, be healthy, eat fresh, get moving, have fun!!!  
  • Each day is NEW!   It holds a new opportunity to start fresh, make a change, talk kinder to yourself and those you love, and seize every opportunity that presents itself to live juicy.
  • When you want to do something this weekend but put it off because you're worried about cleaning the kitchen counter first...the counter can wait but playing with your spouse, kids, dogs or going for the run can't.  Go do it! 
  • When mapping out your weekend, add in some time for YOU to sit and breath in all the goodness around you  Seriously! When I take spinning, even though I am moving physically, I take 5 big breaths at the end and on some climbs keeping my eyes closed to breath in all that my own body can do and honor it. 
  • If you catch yourself saying "one more minute" to a child or spouse for the 20th time, ask yourself why is the current task so important. The minute will turn to 10, and it could be what couldn't wait from your loved one was actually a hug, laugh, giggle from a dumb joke that had bellies hurting so hard from laughing.  Don't miss out on those moments.
  • With your fuel for the weekend, visualize yourself getting all the food from your own farm and to be as fresh as possible.  Visit the Farmers' Markets, head to Dan's Produce or Alameda Market Place, use your own garden. Try to incorporate 2 new vegetable dishes this weekend. Click for some healthy recipes to make!
  • Make one day of your weekend car less as long as possible.  Use your bodies to move and take in all the new scents of Spring as you explore a new neighborhood in Alameda.  Run/walk/bike/hop/running man your way around and have fun! Burn calories!  Make new memories with family and friends!
Challenge the Power of YOU! ---Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey
Tips from an article by Coach Erin from March 2011

Words from Catrina Fabion- Power of YOU New Year NEW You Fitness Challenge 2011 Scholarship

Catrina, aka Cat, is the Women's Only Boot Camp Challenge winner.  She was nominated by her best friend, Estie, who has been attending Power Fitness PDX since September.  Estie wrote a heartfelt letter nominating Cat for the Challenge, knowing that she would partake in it with her whole heart, yet wouldn't give herself permission that it was ok to take care of herself when taking care of her family.  She has been avidly attending Power Fitness PDX, changing her unhealthy habits to healthy lifestyle habits, and finding ways to incorporate exercise throughout her day.  

Cat has been a joy in class, and is truly making the life changes that the Challenge is about.  Cat faced many hardships and struggles herself, but didn't let any of them deter her from moving forward and making each day the best.  She is the proud wife to Jared and Mom to Rowan.  Please take a minute to read her words, and pat her on the back next time you see her around Alameda.   

Cheers --- Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey

 Cat's Words

I am the girl who did not attend P.E.—yes, you read that right—during the majority of my school days I couldn’t even participate in P.E. because of my asthma. I also never played any sports and I am about as coordinated as a newborn baby. You may be asking yourself, how does someone like me end up in a physical fitness challenge?!?  The answer to that question is quite simple, I have fabulous friends.

Two of my best friends, Estie, and her identical twin sister Alexandra, have known for quite some time that I have not been happy with my physical appearance.  Over the course of our friendship I have continued to gain weight and my life has become increasingly sedentary.  With the birth of my son in 2009 I swore I was going to change my habits so that both my family and I would be healthier.  Unfortunately, as things go in life, many obstacles were thrown in my way.  As the obstacles grew, physical fitness once again was pushed to the back burner.  My friends, however, understood the importance of physical fitness and the problems I was facing.  So, they took it upon themselves to submit my name for a scholarship to participate in Erin Kreitz Shirey’s Power of YOU New Year NEW YOU Fitness Challenge.  And I won! It would not be too much to say that this was truly a life-altering event.

Anne (L) & Cat R) learning AT HOME exercises
Erin has helped to make it a life-bettering event for me.  Erin truly believes that everyone is capable of creating and maintaining lifelong healthy habits. As a not so healthy gal, I can tell you that it was tough for me to swallow Erin’s philosophy at first.  Since beginning the challenge in February, my experience has proven that Erin is 100% correct. If nothing else, my ability to compete in the Challenge has demonstrated that truly anyone can compete. I went from huffing and puffing with an inhaler when I walked up a steep hill to running miles at a time! Admittedly, I don’t run very fast, I still have to puff on the inhaler and sometimes my shins hurt like heck, but I can do it!!! And, what is more important is that I will continue to do it. I make a daily choice to be a healthier happier me.   

With the help of Erin, my fellow TEAM of bootcampers and the support of my friends and family, I look forward to continuing my challenge far into the future.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Saturday, March 12th, was a special day for the Power of YOU New Year New YOU Fitness Challenge. The ladies took time out on their Saturday afternoon to learn how to exercise at home, workout in the park on the play-gym, and have fun playing plank tag.  It may seam like no big deal, but on a busy Saturday afternoon with events occupying the time, many of the women gave up time at family events or events out to take time for themselves and their training.  Two months ago, that may not have been the case.  They are MAKING THEMSELVES A PRIORITY!  That is key and instrumental in weight loss, making strides in health and fitness, and living an active lifestyle.  Guess what- everyone was laughing the entire time (well maybe a little cursing and sweating too!).

The At Home workout portion put together a few 10 minute circuits that everyone can do at home.  The circuits were split to working the back, the front, cardio and core working the floor.  Cat was kind enough to host class at her house, and she allowed me to create a gym within her home.  Guaranteed the women don't look at their homes the same way. Following are the Circuits:
Push Ups
Bicep Curls - Hammer Curls

Window Ledge Lat Squats
Tricep Kick Backs
Narrow Grip Push Ups
Donkey Kicks on the Chair
Reverse Fly
Doorway Calf Raises
Cat Cow
Plank- Downward Dog

Core on the Floor:
Side Plank-both sides
Up down- plank ups
Spider Mans
Side Plank Elbow Kisses - both sides

Cardio Blasts:
High Knees
False Starts
Speed Skaters

Core on the Floor:
*grab two towels and put under both hands*
Plank Forward Slides
Plank External Rotation
Opposite Arm Wax On-Wax Off
Push Up Side Slides
Standing Side Leg Slides (get both legs)

We went from Cat's house to Lincoln Park and had a blast! First the entire group went through the Class for YOU to DO and worked a sweat. We followed it with Plank Tag and Jordana proved to be a mean "tagger" while Karen was an intense planker.  Mary emailed following class that "I really like plank tag. No really I LIKED IT!". But the fun began at the play park!


Swing Planks- hold feet at a slight angle behind you.  Elbows are off the swing , while your forearms are on the swing and hands in front.  Stay in this position until you can't hold it and shake anymore! Aim for 30-45 seconds! 

RLP (Railing Lats Pulldown) & Squats - Hold onto a bar/playground climbing post/railing. Keep hands(and feet) greater than shoulder width apart on a bar about chest height.  Grasp bar and pull back, allowing yourself to squat, hold retracting scapula down towards spine, stay in squat position for 5 counts, return to starting. After 20 reps, do 10 reps standing on each leg individually.

Monkey Bar Swings- Just like it sounds. Swing across the monkey bars rung to rung like you did at age 5.  Go back and forth 5x. Do 30 Jumping Jacks and repeat swinging.  Make sure to reach your arm to fully open and grasp the next Monkey bar/ring. While swinging, bring your belly button towards your spine and engage your core.

Knee Hangs- Hold onto two Monkey bars/rings.  Maintain a straight line without trying not to swing with momentum. Slowly bring both knees to form a 110 degree angle, curling your pelvis under. Feel as if you are squeezing a golf ball in your belly button. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 15-20X.  

Over Under Hangs- Just like Fitness Testing in PE Class, you have to hold your head above the bar like the top of a pull up position, with both hands hanging and your head held up by your body weight and strength. Hang for as long as your body allows. Once you drop, take a breath and pop up to repeat holding hands in the opposite direction. Either facing you at first with underhand grip, or away from you with overhand grip second time.

At the end of the afternoon, the Power Fitness PDX Challenge ladies(minus a few) were standing proud and strong!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cheers- the story behind the smiles for some

When in Power Fitness PDX class, the topic of Postpartum Depression has popped into discussions. In every day life, many women don't discuss it.  It can feel embarrassing, humiliating, and heartbreaking since as a Mom all you want to do is be the best for your kids. But, sometimes that isn't possible and not in your control.  The following is a blog I wrote in December 2008, when living in Portland and owning Baby Boot Camp. It feels so far away, but when reading it I can visualize and feel the tingly nerves again. Take a read, share with a friend, know that as Moms we are all in this together and forever stronger for supporting one another.

"Cheers" -the story behind the smiles in 2008
I am a cheerful person by nature. I try to find the positives in challenging situations, I have attempted to see what is to be learned out of horrible events and I always attempt to feel the "cheer" I love to feel during the holiday season.

This season marks a special holiday for me- I made it through what was an incredible but very challenging year. We started off 2008 welcoming our little Emerson McCafferty Shirey into the world. And what an incredible mark she made- charming everyone whom she encounters. While I was worried how I could love two kiddos as much as I loved my Makenzie, I quickly learned how "ginormous" one's love is. Emerson opened my heart to feel even more love and joy than I realized, and also taught me how strong I was and had to become.

After Emerson was horribly sick in the hospital for 2 weeks in March, I realized my cheerful mentality was actually getting worn thin. I was trying to care for my sweet baby who was unable to breath on her own and had additional health concerns, my energetic 4 year old, two businesses and my Baby Boot Camp Leadership role. All attempting to do so maintaining my positive demeanor. Through it all realized I wasn't feeling like "myself". I didn't have the cheer I normally felt, but was feeling more anxious and worried about getting everything done. The levels of stress I felt when leaving my escape- teaching class- were bigger than I could conquer on my own.

I have always been a referral source for Moms with postpartum depression. I have been one to help those in need and those who needed the extra support, comfort and care when they were trying to take care of themselves and their little babies. What I realized in July was I was one of those Moms I had always helped. I wanted to truly feel the energy, joy and exuberance I normally felt for life and those around me. I didn't want to cry over nerves relating to not getting everything done and feeling I was letting everyone down. I wanted to feel complete and happy at the end of the day and allow myself to be in the moment with my girls.

I worked hard at finding ways to take care of my family and myself, working with my doctor. I sought out the services I referred many of my Baby Boot Campers to. My OB-GYN said that with my own pneumonia, Emerson's RSV-pneumonia-pertusis, 2 businesses and being type- A, he was actually not surprised. What he shared with me and I feel honored to share with you is that those who one would think are least likely to experience postpartum concerns are the most likely to experience them.

It has been 5 months since I started my path to true recovery and I feel "cheer" again. I have done so on my own pace and privately, out of hope to not disappoint any of my students who look up to me for energy and enthusiasm. But I would actually be letting you down if you didn't realize I am a REAL MOM like everyone else.

Postpartum depression doesn't discriminate and doesn't play favorites. Selfishly I wish that were not true, but I also feel fortunate to know I can genuinely relate and understand where many of you are coming from. Through the last year I feel my experience has only made me a better teacher because I know I LOVE teaching so much. I know how Baby Boot Camp is genuinely integral in so many womens lives; to be active, social, supported and around genuine "cheer" helps.

I carve out additional time for myself to take care of my own needs in addition to those required and requested of me. Now many people may be surprised that I had/have PPD, but that is the reason I am letting you know. You have no idea if you might not feel the cheer you are used to, and please don't ignore any signs or symptoms. It is nothing to be embarrassed about, but something we can all help one another when healing. I am fortunate, my symptoms were not as severe as others, but they have been challenging none the less.

What I am pleased to share is that I feel the genuine "cheer", support and confidence this Holiday Season. I have an excitement and gratefulness for not only my incredible family, but for the talented and gifted Moms I am surrounded by every day. This holiday season, when I say "cheers" know it is with deep warmth and joy to have a great holiday. Enjoy it, and celebrate how far you too have come this past year.

Cheers to you and your family this Holiday Season ---Erin Shirey
December 1, 2008

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Perfect 10

What is the Perfect 10?  Do we really compare ourselves to Bo Derek running down the beach with her braids and swimsuit?  Are we, as women, comparing ourselves to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models?  I hope not!  I see every women as a Perfect 10 in their own right, it is accepting your own strengths and differences that make you magical.  It is holding your head high when trying something new and being comfortable in your imperfections, embracing your body you were born with, and using it with pizazz!  It takes a sense of confidence to see your own Perfect 10, a sense of ownership in adoring the one life you have and the body you have been given.  A Perfect 10 is not letting the little things you think are imperfections define you, but you define them and own them! 

When doing gymnastics two weeks ago, I felt we were all perfect tens.  It was ladies fun night out for Power Fitness PDX and we decided to have fun at gymnastics. Words can't describe how much fun it was!  We walked in and could have been Moms to the other participants of Open Gym. But we didn't care! We sought out Ian, the teacher for the night, and asked him for some pointers and advice for fun "moves".  Mind you, the moves we were talking about we hoped wouldn't have our strong, but not gymnastics trained, bodies injured at night's end.  We all were eager to hop on the balance beam, climb the rope net, jump on the trampoline, try the rings, do back walkovers and LAUGH!!! 

Through the training in Power Fitness PDX has evolved a greater sense of confidence in trying new things...amongst everyone.  We laughed, we performed and we embraced our bodies for what they can do!  For some it was trying a jump on the balance beam, a feat that wouldn't have been conquered before.  But now, knowing that each body is unique and can do incredible things, the feats were tried and tried again.  We tried trampoline routines, sweat as we did back bends,  and flexed our quads when pointing on the beam.  We were and are all PERFECT 10's!  It is our own inner score card that we must believe in.  Not a judge holding up numbers, but our own inner score card of "10".

Own yourself and who you are. Own your strengths and walk proud.  Be it big chested or flat chested, apple or pear shaped, short or tall...own YOU!  You are a Perfect 10 and have one body that can do incredible things.  Challenge it daily, appreciate it hourly, love it every moment.   Now, gymnastics hands back and stand in Perfect 10 pose!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Words from Caprice Carter- Power of YOU New Year NEW You Fitness Challenge Recipient

When it came time to pick who was deserving of the Power of YOU New Year NEW YOU Fitness Challenge, it was very hard.  Many women wrote with incredible stories that would inspire anyone. They were all deserving.  In the end, I picked two Challenge Winners.  One attending the 50+ Boot Camp and one attending the Women's Only Boot Camp.  The women have come to class, been pushing themselves and will be blogging about their journey.  Caprice Carter won the 50+ Boot Camp category, and over $1450 in services throughout the 3 month challenge.  Read on to hear about Caprice and how incredible she is....Coach Erin

Caprice's words....

March 1, 2011

Erin has asked me to write something for her blog about my experiences so far with the Power Fitness PDX Challenge… I’m not much of a writer but I will do my best.

First of all I would like to say that so far, it’s been ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!

I was one of the winners of the scholarships for the challenge which I am incredibly thankful for.  I had been thinking for a long time that what I needed was a personal trainer or something for me to get my butt in gear and do what I needed to do for myself.  For me. I could never find the time or the money or the organization to follow through on getting back in shape so when I saw the poster and read about the scholarship, I immediately went home and wrote up my story and sent it in. I was so, so surprised and thrilled to learn I had won! Whoo Hoo!

I felt that to honor this opportunity I would need to fully commit myself to the challenge and I have to say that I’m so inspired now, that I think this will be a life changing experience.

As for my story, well… I’ll try to be brief.

About six years ago my twin nieces ended up in foster care in Oregon. Since we were out of state, it took us a year to get them down here through a very lengthy and stressful, emotional and exhausting process. We had to become a licensed foster family, taking classes, having our personal lives exposed and turned inside out and then having to license our home by having to legalize part of our home that was added in the 1940’s (when people just didn’t pull permits for such things), etc… In the end it all worked out and they came to live with us but it took a toll on us. That’s when the real work began. It’s been an incredibly challenging journey and odyssey for us, and for them, for which I can happily say that we are now a family. After a year we were able to adopt them and through working with a family therapist have worked on adapting to our new family life.

That said, as the years were going by, I began to feel that I was giving everything I had out and there was nothing left fore me. No personal time to take care of myself, my body and my spirit. It had been about 13 years (since my daughter was born) that I had worked out consistently. I tried to get back into exercising with bicycle riding here and there, walking and hiking, yoga, etc. but found that it just isn’t the same as an actual work out and it seemed that every free moment I had went to the kids. 

Now my dream has come true. I am so inspired by Erin’s complete and total commitment to what she is doing and her enthusiasm is not only inspirational but contagious! She makes you feel like you can do anything by starting with tiny little steps and on to bigger and bigger steps. The support of all the other women who are also doing the challenge is not only FUN but very inspirational as well. Everyone has their story and they are all here to work on making their lives better together.

I’ll never forget the first morning, all nervous about going out in the early morning dark, and the surprising beauty of watching the sun rise over the still bay with the crystal clear crisp sky. Absolutely Amazing!

I look forward to every work out (and every sunrise) now… Caprice
Caprice on right working with Tammy on left. 1st Workout of the Challenge- 2.8.2011


Hello ... Just posted on the Power Fitness PDX Blog about voting and Alameda Magazine. Today is the last day to vote, so please take a few minutes and vote! If you sweat, have been inspired, need inspiration, did push ups and are challenged to do more take a few minutes to vote!  Thank you so much!!  Below is a copy of the Blog:

** Click here- won't link below**


Thanks so much In advance for your few minutes! In light of last week's Fitness Magazine contest, I forgot I was in the running for Best Fitness Classes/Program in Alameda and Most Inspirational Trainer!  I got reminded when teaching and someone said they voted for me..triggered me to remember votes are are one time, due today Friday, March 4th, and very appreciated.  It would be awesome to have the recognition in Alameda, less than one year after re-started my business again after relocating from Portland.  It has grown and evolved and I truly realize how much I love what I do!  The dynamic group I train is incredible and honestly helped me get through the Fall when we were at the hospital with Makenzie.  When I couldn't teach, the women continued to go to class to train together with emailed workouts and workouts from the Power Fitness PDX blog. And now classes are full again- this is a GREAT team of athletes!! They are truly a gift to wake up and train in the morning....and be done by 8:00 am so I can play with the girls in the day. Incredibly lucky am I for having such a wonderful clientele.

Thanks much, I appreciate your time in doing this. 

To vote click:

A few of you I used to train and/or may not live in Alameda.  The Magazine does ask for you to vote for other businesses when voting.  A little shout out for some of the Boot Campers who have their own businesses too.  They are:

Tucker's Ice Cream- best dessert- Kate Pryor
Shay's Cafe- sandwiches/lunch/soup-Wendy Shay
Herbs & Spices Catering- Wendy Shay
Ignition Architecture-Veronica Hinkley Renk
Dasies- boutique/cards/linens- Barbara Mooney
Monkey Bars-Kids Boutique-Heather Reed
Lilac Dress Boutique-BEST dresses and shopkeeper-Pilar Burlingham

Again, thank you SO MUCH! I hope you have an incredible day!  And yeah, it's March 3rd...Spring is almost here!!  Meaning, days are longer and Summer is just around the corner so we can all play and train outside all day long!

Cheers, hugs and laughs-

Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey
BS Kinesiology
ACE, NASM, Fit to Deliver and Stott Pilates
c- 503.703.1269   a- po box 1077, alameda, ca 94501  e-  

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