In June 2019, my husband Luc Mehl, our friend Josh Mumm, and I set off on a three-week traverse across the Western third of Alaska's Brooks Range. Luc and I had traversed the two other thirds of the Brooks Range in previous summer trips, and were curious to see what we'd find on this final and most remote section.
We started on the Ambler River, on a drainage we'd floated past on a previous trip and had wanted to check out at the time. Then it was raining, cold, and the Ambler was a flooded muddy brown color, so even though we were tempted to stop we didn't. This time it was pretty different!
Luc & I had done some walking along the Noatak River a few years back in the worst tussocks we'd ever seen, so we were mentally prepared for slow and tricky travel. Incredibly we found the opposite -- lots of nice hard, flat-ish ground, and much brush.
But the best part was that the further west we traveled the more caribou trails we ran into. By the...
Pregnant ladies, this one's for you~
Finding the right kinds of movement for your body as it adjust throughout pregnancy can be a moving target. That's why I recommend that all of my pregnant clients develop a daily mobility routine that feels good in their body and can act as a bit of a barometer to check-in with yourself. How are my hips today? Can I connect to my pelvic floor? Any new aches or pains? What's feeling good?
Notes about pelvic floor work: pregnancy is a beautiful opportunity to learn to contract & relax your pelvic floor muscles, though I'm a firm believer that there are huge benefits for everyone, especially women, in connecting with their pelvic floor. Pelvic floor work can help with anxiety (when we relax it, we send a relaxation signals through the whole nervous system), trauma recovery, insomnia, and digestive health, among other things.
Now that you're building a baby, though, it's extra important that you start solidifying your...
Hip soreness during and after a long day backpacking can be a real bummer! It's a very normal occurrence, though, due to the stress we put our hips under when carrying our camping gear & food weight around in our backpacks, all while hiking around the mountains.
With a heavy pack, the weight's got to go somewhere... and in the process of trying to save our shoulders, we might be passing on the problem to our hips. The good thing is that our hips, more than our shoulders, are designed to carry weight. But sometimes after long days of this kind of thing, the hips also get tired, achy, and sore.
I've been personally having problems with sore hips after long backpacking days, and when I mentioned the issue to my friend & Physical Therapist Shasta Hood, he said to try thinking about it as an IT band issue. When we tighten our backpack's hip belt, we're also pressing at the area that the IT band moves through, in effect shortening the IT band.
This video is based on the super-common things I hear from people that send little red flags up in my brain every time. I'd love for you to check it out and let me know if you've been guilty of any of them!
Summer Strong is one of the ways to nip all of the issues in the above video, in one fell swoop... and since we're starting up tomorrow I'm here to remind you one last time that it's awesome and I'd love to have you in the group.
I was on the heels of a bad breakup with a man I thought I was going to spend my life with, and my sense of self had crumbled. I moved out of Skagway, AK (pop 800) to Valdez, AK (pop 4000) to get some space, begin the healing process, and rebuild my identity. The move to Valdez was spurred by the offer of an exciting job running the town's one gym, and I jumped right in.
Winter in Valdez, Alaska
At the same time, I was working on my master’s degree in Social Work -- thank goodness for distance learning! The final requirement of that degree was a 500-hour practicum, which I began at Providence Valdez Counseling Center.
I’d be working with Personal Training clients on their fitness, and with just a bit of...
If you have tight hips, sore knees, stiff ankles, or an aching back, especially in the mornings, this video is for you! This is an easy sequence you can do to get the blood flowing, increase mobility, and let go of some of that morning stiffness that we so often start the day with.
Best part? You don't even have to get out of bed to do it. Start your day by taking care of your knees, ankles, hips, and back... before you've even gotten out of bed. It's the gentlest, coziest self-care around.
There are a lot of reasons why people might be having trouble getting good sleep these days: the craziness in our world, light in the Alaskan summer, beginning of school anxiety, etc... the reasons are many.
I like to encourage both awareness and action to address difficulties in our lives, so if you're having trouble sleeping these days, take note, and take action! There are lots of ways to improve your sleep hygiene: darkening your room, disconnecting from electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime, keeping a cool bedroom, journaling before bed, and more.
Here I share two "moves" that may help with difficulty sleeping. They are yoga-inspired, but not traditional yoga poses. Position yourself close to a wall, and try them out!
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