“Sometimes fate seems to send a subtle message in ordinary observations. This time it came from a name and the resulting initials – Suzie Cooney, SC. Ed and I are in week 8 of our “Eddie Will Go on the Olukai Ho’olaule’a” race – comeback from extensive shoulder surgery. Week 8 is the best one yet. We are actually in Maui and are SUP surfing and doing sweet down-winders every day on our Naish 14? Glide GX. Last night we had dinner with our trainer-from-a-distance, Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui.
There’s nothing like a face-to-face conversation over ono burgers at the Fish Market Restaurant in Paia, especially after all the support we’ve gained from Suzie over the past months. How did two 63 year olds from Oregon come to be trained by Suzie Cooney on Maui? That’s quite a story.
We were casually playing at down-wind riding while on vacation in Maui in May 2011. Hearing that the Olukai Ho’olaule’a offered a “fun race” of just 4 miles we grabbed our rental surfboards and registered. The day of the race we were all butterflies and doubt. Ed was having shoulder surgery 4 days later and we were second-guessing everything. Then the announcer gathered us all for a pre-race warm-up, and we met Suzie.
With a warm smile and ultimate encouragement she talked and moved the nervous group through breathing, stretching and a warm-up. Surprisingly, by the time we were done the group had a relaxed and solidified feel. Then we were off for one of the most exhilarating fun-runs ever. We decided that when Ed was able to train after his surgery, just seven weeks ago, we would start training with Suzie. We set a goal to do the 8-mile run from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha. Suzie’s regimine has been just what Ed needed.
Meeting up with Suzie last night confirmed it, she has the absolute best initials for her spirit and talent:
1. SC – Sincere compassion: Ed is coming back from an injury and Suzie’s compassion for the struggle is obvious. It takes quite a bit of digging to gain the information that might attribute to that. Suzie is no stranger to injury, rehab, set-backs and the value of dedication and solid training. She has walked the talk, and then some.
2. SC – Social commitment: Much like Olukai, the sponsor of the Ho’olaule’a, Suzie has always had a strong commitment to her community and sharing her expertise and talent. We love that and it sets the same tone that we go for at Elder SUP
Stand up paddlers of all skill levels gathered on the serene grounds of Lumeria Maui on November 3rd for the SUP Pro Talk Workshop with Suzie Cooney. The educational (and fun!) land-based event touched on many important topics for paddlers, including the health benefits of SUP, water safety and ocean preparedness, SUP fitness techniques and training demos, and equipment reviews.
Clay Everline, M.D., co-author of the Surf Survival Health Hand Book, was on hand with a valuable lecture on First Aid, and pro paddler, Jeremy Riggs, heated the afternoon up with his tips on downwind paddling. Suzie Cooney, as charming as ever, kept the crowd entertained and engaged with her informative and “hands on” teaching style.
The big winner of the day was the organization Bring Change 2 Mind, as 90% of the event’s proceeds went to supporting the group’s fight to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness. The organization, founded by actress Glenn Close, provides educational material and a meeting place for a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.
“We were thrilled to sell out three months in advance. That really confirmed to me that people are eager to learn and support the sport. I’m a big advocate of those dealing with mental illness, so I wanted to spread the word about the organization I support, Bring Change 2 Mind.org.
Clay Everline, M.D. was very informative and entertaining, as was Jeremy Riggs, our local downwind pro who shared some of his helpful tips. The participants had great questions, which was helpful for the entire audience!
If you’ve not tried the Indo Board Balance Trainer’s full line of training gear, it is the most “functional” fun you’ll ever have. Whether it’s a gift for you or someone you know, no matter what level of fitness or goals in your training you may have, this gear will deliver!
I’ve written so many articles about the benefits training with the Indo Board Balance Training equipment on how anyone can build their total body strength, no matter what level of fitness. Here’s one on leg strength. My clients and pro athletes range in so many arenas and levels of performance to the person returning to fitness. This is also excellent for cross training for any athlete or sport.
Your legs, hips, abs, and even your upper body will benefit from all of the exercise you can perform on this training gear. You advance or progress accordingly to your currently level of strength and it’s so fun and easy. You can perform endless exercises and make your training program totally efficient. When you order your Indo Board Balance Training gear, it also comes with a helpful DVD.
Pro SUP paddlers Kody Kerbox and Casper Steinfaith showing off their strong leg training
My background is working directly with orthopedic sports surgeons, the patients and then myself. I broke both legs several years ago and the Indo Board Balance Trainer Gigante Cushion coupled with the Kicktail board was my main source of rehab. Granted I check in with my doc, but wow I was back to surfing amazingly and SUP and windsurfing with new found strength.
You hear of the “core”. What is the true definition of the “core” ? It is everything in your body excluding your extremities. It’s not just your abs as many mistakenly thing. Your butt muscles, or “glutes” need to fire in addition your brain needs to send signals to the deep pelvic floor muscles and then to the main joint to stabilize the appendage you may be stressing. See this article on more on the core. Here I am with Indo Board’s founder and amazing surfer, Hunter Joslin:
Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney
Now THIS is core training:
I’m a believer in what is called “brain training” and this also allows you to incorporate the neuromuscular uses of all the finite muscles around the major joints, such as the hips, knees and ankles, to fire in the necessary pattern to help develop one’s sense of reaction to a platform that is always moving. This is also referred to as reaction training; the ultimate level of training that recruits the muscles that tend to be under-active to join in on the challenge.
Here Suzie is on the IndoBoard Gigante Flo Cushion and the Kicktail board
Bottom line, it’s SO fun you don’t even know you’re training. The sports that really notice the immediate cross-over affect are surfing, windsurfing, kiting and stand up paddling;- all sports that have the common element of water that is changing underneath you.
However, you do not need to do any of these sports to enjoy the benefits.
Hop aboard and order yours today! If you need help deciding on what you may need for your health and training needs or for someone else on your list, please feel free to contact me through this website. I’m happy to help.
By Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
It’s no doubt that Hunter Joslin, Indo Board Balance Trainer’s Founder and developer of the popular Gigante Flo Cushion, entertains and trains with me at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point. Hunter was wowing the crowd with some tricks this weekend as Chip Martoccia, VP of Operations and I cheered on.
Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney having Gigante fun at 2012 BOP, Dana Point
I’ve been a team rider and ambassador for Indo Board Balance Trainer for some time, and thoroughly enjoy my time with Hunter and crew. We never miss an opportunity to play around and challenge one another. He’s quite the surfer and in very good shape. We’ve shared a few waves together on Maui, and I can say he is just a little competitive!
Hunter asked if I’d do this photo shoot and share some new tricks I’ve been working on in my studio here at SUZIE TRAINS MAUI. Of course! Turns out he had never tried or seen any of these so I was stoked, but under the gun to give him my best.
These exercises are THE ultimate core challenge and require good form, good posture and good overall anatomical health. Remember the core is where all movement begins and is everything excluding your extremities.
This type of training, I also refer to as proprioception training to encourage cat-like reflexes for your lifestyle, prevent injury and to provide the opportunity for your brain to command each finite muscle, tendon and ligament that supports all joints.
UPDATE: Nov 2, 2012: Thank you everyone for helping me reach my goal of 3100 squats with 20lbs. I am continuing on with new found strength and am wondering why I took so long to do this. See, even trainers need a little help now and than. My legs are super strong AND my butt and legs got more toned!
I am writing this blog entry today, October 9th, 2012 with 900 squats completed in my own training log. Today was proof, with a high surf advisory here on the N. shore of Maui, my legs held me up and helped me stick 2 head high waves at Kanaha. It was closing out all the way across and at first, I simply could not get out, then finally a small lull. I felt confident and strong. YES!
Why in the world you may ask am I challenging myself to perform 100 squats a day with 10lb (20 total) dumbbells? Did you know that this is my LEAST favorite exercise to do? I absolutely with my heart and soul detest doing squats. You’d never bet that would you?
Well guess what, I need to be motivated and challenged too. As a trainer I tell my clients that if you make a commitment and goal to yourself, then tell someone publicly; your trainer, spouse, friend or whatever, you will more likely make that goal. Write it down, post it, let the world know. You don’t want to let them down do you?
Have you heard of the 21day rule? If you do something for 21 days in a row it becomes habit. I will admit I think things are not only taking shape but it’s shaping my thought and my brain.
So, the main reason for me sharing this on Facebook the month of October 2012, is that I need your help. You see, after busting my legs in April of 2009 (Maui Weekly Story) that 3 month wheelchair stint did a number on me. I mean, my legs turned to mush in two weeks. My lower half atrophied in ways I’ve never ever experienced and even with all the training they are not quite the same legs they used to be and yes, I do run like a girl!-
That freak accident changed my life in so many amazing ways and here I am professing and confessing to you my weakest link! Three years later I’m still trying. My left ankle is bigger than the left but you won’t notice at first, my strength is ( to me ) about 75% and I really want to be extra strong for surfing, stand up paddling, and long distance crossings.
I still have to wear a compression stalking on the left leg once in a while and it still swells up once in a while. It feels great and maybe I’ll start a new trend!
Now I am accountable to you. I don’t want to let you down and simply by posting this blog, I have assigned accountability. That is one of the many reasons people hire me is to hold them accountable and help them reach their goals. I get it. But did you know that even trainers come to me to get motivated, get a jump start and ask me to hold them accountable? It is true.
I know that some of you are doing it with me and I really appreciate that. It helps more than you can know. I will occasionally jump in here or on FB to keep you updated and please feel free to do the same.
I want to thank straight away Tracy Lynn Penny and son from Sunset Beach, Hawaii , sales person for freesurfmagazine. Way to go Tracy! Also to Jennifer Gladwin, Jacqueline Tan-Barclay, Amie Engerbreston, Jenny Ryan, Suzi Tucker, Joel Edwards, Brian Coppedge, John Smalley, Carlita T., Marty Melum, Salma Ansari, Elder SUP, Brianna Castillo, Mary Lynn Hershey, Nick De Meyer, Kimberly Sutton, Casey Gotcher, Blen Hinton, Jeffrey Zerkle, and many more.
One of the many rewards of helping people with their stand up paddling stroke/fitness/technique is getting emails, photos and updates of their stoke and even better, wins in their local events. Makes a coach proud!
I had the chance to catch up with Scott Boyles at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point where I could see from the fire in his eyes, discipline and strength in his body that this was only the beginning for him.
Suzie & Scott2012 BOP Dana Point, CA.
Scott came to Maui with his wife Cheryl last year and took a lesson with me to improve his stroke. He was incredibly technical which I enjoyed all the more. He got it and he got it fast. As a student, he was a quick study and understood the finer nuances that take most people a little more time to grasp. With his anatomical knowledge and practice, I knew he’d have big breakthroughs too.
As he was already in excellent shape, it didn’t take him long to find his true core power ( about 5 minutes! ). He was able to understand how to use and transfer that power directly to the board and water. Impressive.
“I had paddled[only twice in my life. My wife Cheryl and I went to Maui, called Suzie Cooney. She invited us on a community downwinder from Paia Bay to Kanaha. Could barely stay on the board! Then I took a personal paddle lesson from her, and she demonstrated the great ability to coach technique, but more importantly communicate in an effective way. She was also so laid back as was the community she introduced us to, it really made it a awesome experience.
Went home, bought a board and set the goal to complete the 22 miler across Tahoe race (supported by a lovely wife who knows I need a "focus" on a physical activity). [I] achieved that in 2011. Did a number of other races, many sponsored by South Lake Tahoe Stand Up Paddle. Trained more, paddled lots, coached more by Tracy Day, bought another board a Flatwater Paddle, a fricking rocket. Then won the 18-55 age group in the 12′ 6″ class in the 2012, 22 miler. By the way, all at age 50!
Suzie is definitely a high ranking ambassador of SUP awesomeness, along with many others.”
So when I saw Scott again, as a trainer, of course, I noticed his ripped abs and asked if he’d share his training secret. He makes it look so easy!
Scott Boyle defying gravity in plank pose on his SUP
“For my abs: I do crunches once every couple months or so, up to 5 reps maybe 3 sets max. They are hard on the back and really unnecessary! (I learned a lot about true core strength following my second lower back surgery.) Ab strength is totally built on exercises that are based on core and balance as the primary foundation.”
Scott also came in 3rd in age group and 8th overall in the famous Tahoe Nalu long distance race.
I’m so grateful of the kindness and feedback that every so often comes my way, as it is the greatest reward. My clients inspire me everyday with their dedication to their water sports and health. As a trainer who specializes in water sports performance and windsurfer myself, it’s pretty awesome to get emails like the one below written by my client, Mike Abrams of Pukalani, Maui. Mahalo Mike!
“To all those water sports men and women it may concern,
After my sailing sessions yesterday and today, I simply felt compelled to write this endorsement about Suzie’s training methods, that I have been blessed with for almost 5 years. I am the luckiest windsurfer on the planet to have found Suzie as my personal trainer. Every day, I find that I am performing moves and controlling my board and sail better than ever before. I am a very humble person, with I hope a low ego and no expectations of how I am going to sail with each session.
However, I can honestly let my fellow sailors know that I have improved, and sail with much more confidence and balance skills than ever before, no matter what the conditions seem to be. Like today, I sailed an hour and a half and never missed one jibe and yesterday sailed in overpowering conditions, and performed jibes on the outside (while most folks fell into the over choppy and gusty blown water) with total control.
I directly attribute these increased balance skills to Suzie’s training which includes not only balance training, but core strength training too, along with regular weight lifting. I can actually feel my legs lifting up from a squatted position (because of having to keep the board on the water in over powered conditions around the turns) towards windward to help keep my balance. Also, I can now jibe in light winds with much greater confidence because of Continue reading Balance and Strength Training Pays Off for Maui Windsurfer
We’ve all heard the saying that we need eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. The truth is that while there is not a generalized recommendation for everyone, we probably do need about eight glasses of water a day or more.
In fact, the Institute of Medicine estimated that the average, healthy man needs about 13 cups of water per day while the average, healthy woman needs about 9 cups of water per day.
And the 6 foods are: Listen Here:
The Importance of Keeping of Food Journal and the Benefits:
How you can be successful in weight loss with the help of a food journal. It’s a fact that people lose 50% more weight when they truthfully record their daily intake for 30 days. I like MyFoodDiary.com
They hurt and can prevent you from training: Shin Splints: What are Shin Splints and How to Treat Them
How to Beat the Obstacles That Prevent You From Exercising:
Why do we procrastinate? Are we lazy? YES!! And we avoid what is hard and what may be uncomfortable.
Beating the Obstacles JUST DO IT
NO excuses…JUST DO IT…….
If you’d like to hire Suzie Cooney, CPT as your private fitness specialist you can contact her here.
I’d like to introduce to you what I use for a turbo session on the water and for the long endurance paddling runs down Maliko Gulch. I squeeze my PocketFuel into my mouth and get ready to feel the energy I need to perform and play.
Smart athletes and weekend warriors plan, prepare and properly fuel. The worst thing you can do is head out for a session and not have healthy, sustaining energy that you need to be at your best. Besides crashing on a wave having your energy crash is just as bad. I’m totally guilty for getting to the beach, all pumped up and heading out with only maybe a banana and cup of coffee. For me that is a disaster and the sign of a short, lame session and poor performance.
Twist, squish squeeze and enjoy! There are 5 crazy, delicious flavors and my favorite is called Chocolate Haze. Other flavors include Crunchy Banana Blueberry, Chunky Coconut Cherry, Chocolate Espresso and Chia Goji & Honey. All are organic, gluten-free, vegan and packed with whole food ingredients; primarily almond.
The appropriate combinations of protein, carbs, healthy fats, potassium, magnesium, chloride, sodium nicely balance your electrolyte needs while you perform. Remember, proper training requires you to plan ahead and plan after your session. Restoring your energy resources in your body will help you recover faster, repair the muscles you just broke down and allow you to charge again the next day.
Everything you need is just a squirt away. Sometimes a whole 3 0z. packet will last me a full 10 mile Maliko downwinder. I purposely have in my truck a packet and eat half along with good hydration about 3o minutes before I head down. What’s totally cool, is that since the package itself can easily fit into my hydration pack, if I need to sit and ingest more, it’s so easy and not messy and can stay dry even in big swells! They also come in convenient 1.8 ounce sizes too, perfect to put in your surf shorts.
My body accepts all the ingredients very well and I can digest easily. Some other products that are designed to do the same thing cause my blood sugars to spike too high and then the worst thing happens, I crash and lose steam. Not cool.