Kayla’s Summer As a Strength & Conditioning Intern

Well summer holidays are over and that means back to school for many. Including Kayla, one of our summer interns.

Kayla was a great addition to the Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. team this summer. And even though she’s back at school for her final semester she still found some time to check in with all of all us.

With Mike Boyle in Long Beach, CA


Below is a summary of Kayla’s Summer As a Strength & Conditioning Intern.

At one point this summer, one of my favorite clients informed me I had some more learning to do as I did not have a quick, witty answer to an off-topic question.  I took this to heart, and think it’s in my best interest to finish off my last semester of my undergrad degree.  Sadly, this is my farewell for now blog to all of you amazing people that I have had the privilege to work with throughout the past four months. 

 When Chris first asked me to work as a summer intern, I was excited at the opportunity but really had no idea what to expect.  My background in training and as strength and conditioning coach was quite limited.  However, I knew this was an opportunity that I could not pass up. Chris is, in my mind, and most likely a lot of your minds, the elite strength coach of Kelowna and beyond.  His knowledge and expertise in strength training is beyond exceptional. 

Four years ago, at the beginning of my undergrad degree, Chris trained me for my rookie season in CIS level soccer.  Honestly, at the time, the majority of cues and knowledge Chris “tried” to share with me went right over my head.  I guess you could say I was a typical athlete, and wanted the results and did not care so much as to why pulling my “toes to my shins” would activate my glutes and hamstrings; or what the difference between an anterior and posterior pelvic tilt was.  This was my chance to relearn, or rather actually understand what exactly Chris was explaining to me. 


This internship began with a conference in Seattle, in which both Chris and I had the opportunity to go to.  We spent the day listening to those who had really “made it” in their area of expertise and those who, well to put it nicely, were trying.  The standouts of that conference were Charlie Weingroff and Susan Kleiner; respectively are the most influential leaders of strength training and nutrition.  Charlie emphasized the importance of breathing, bracing, and fat abs – a personal favourite! Susan coached me out of my fear of eating whole eggs because I believed they were extremely high in cholesterol and the yolk was not beneficial for you.  Choline, which is in eggs, is an essential nutrient which to put it simply, forms channels in our brain which allows nutrients to pass through to supply our brain with the much needed nutrients it needs.  Leaving this conference, I was overwhelmed with a lot more knowledge than I have just talked about and also the true realization as to why there is a large amount of obesity within the States.  Our lunch at this performance and nutritional conference consisted of donuts, pop, sandwiches on white bread and chips.  I was confused to say the least.

Returning from the conference, Chris mentored me in various aspects of strength training, and we reviewed the information given to us at this conference.  This is where I learned all the cues the majority of you repeatedly heard me saying, I apologize if you ever got sick of hearing my voice, hopefully you didn’t.  Chris has established Okanagan Peak Performance into an elite strength and conditioning company due to enforcing proper form and technique throughout various lifts and their full range of motion.  If you want results, you need the basics to build upon.  No one wants to go into battle with broken armor full of holes!  I guess I have learned well, I just used an analogy and did not even realize it.  I am sure Chris will be thrilled, as we all know he is the King of analogies!!

Throughout the course of the summer, I was well versed with various aspects of training; whether it was group fitness, youth fitness camps, hockey training, semi-private and even my own training.  The 6 am group fitness was the greatest start to the day I could ask for.  Besides waking up at the wee hours of the morning and hearing the grinding of the prowler on the pavement, the hard work of all of you was extremely rewarding and exciting to witness.  One of my joys in life is getting to work with kids, and I was extremely excited to be able to work once in a while with the youth fitness.  From the start to finish of the summer, the improvement in technique, basic movement patterns and overall fitness of all these hard working kids was a lot of fun to be a part of.  With all those I worked with in hockey and the semi-private training, thank you for all your hard work! There were a lot of laughs during these sessions, and I think the majority of jokes were aimed at me!

This summer consisted of a great deal of learning, trial and error, a bit of frustration but followed with excessive excitement due to the arrival of the extremely late equipment.  I even learned some skills I NEVER dreamt I would be doing throughout my life.  If you ever need moldy carpet ripped out, bright green and red walls painted, or even how to make friends with all our “friends” out the back door, I may just be your “go to” girl! Jokes aside, I have come to a sad realization that this summer is already over. It has flown by a lot faster than I ever expected it to.


Working with a young hockey player


I want to firstly say a huge thank you to all of you that I have had the privilege to work for.  Your cooperation, patience, humor and challenging questions have helped push me to strive to learn more so I can be more of a help to you, and make sure you are all getting the most knowledgeable training you need to be the best you can.  I have formed some great friendships with a lot of you and will miss you all tremendously!  You can think of me when you are running those sand dunes, or my favorite, having bridge wars at 6 am!

Jordy and Megan, thank you for all the workouts, laughs and injuries that went along with both of those combined! Chris might have to think about workers compensation after having the three of us work for him! I will miss all the experimenting with equipment, pushing Jordy around in the tire, cursing our way up the sand dune in the mid heat of the day, and running conditioning sets with all the hockey players.  Megan, you may be well on your way to breaking a world record for most workouts ever?!? I will miss you both a lot! Ohana, always.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Chris, for allowing me to work as a summer intern.  The knowledge and experience base which I have gained this summer has been invaluable.  Thank you for pushing me to learn more, and strive to be the best I can through all aspects of this job.  You may be well on your way to winning “horrible boss” of the year for making me the guinea pig for the majority of things you wished to try this summer.  

I need to get back to finishing my excessive amount of reading and homework, but hope to see or hear from you all soon! Thanks again for all the laughs, hard work and cooperation over the summer.  Good luck with the half marathon training, I will be doing my part down here as well!


Thanks Kayla. That really sums up the summer of 2011. In particular we’ll remember you for:

* Always being on time. This shows a huge amount of respect to your clients and to your ‘horrible boss’ for being at work early every day last summer.

* For being a great example for our young athletes. You were such a great example to some of the young male athletes that they would often stay around for 30-45 minutes after their training sessions to hang out with you.

* For doing everything asked of you. From all the renos, to helping market our training programs, to being a ‘willing’ guinea pig for new training methods you didn’t say no to anything.

* For taking the position as seriously as you did. Not only were all the sessions, programs and workouts carried out with the highest level of professionalism but you also made it four days of conferences in Seattle and Long Beach, CA during the summer.

 I could on and tell you all about her great sense of humour, her intense efforts in training and how well she bonded with her coworkers and all of you.

But I’ll just summarize it as this.

When I hired Kayla on I thought I was getting a very gifted and talented athlete that would be able to learn our systems and gradually take on more responsibilty.

What I realized is that her work ethic and athleticism are secondary to the quality of her character and her maturity. And I wasn’t alone in realizing this as the physio where we referred Kayla recognized it as well and was working on convincing her to switch to a career in rehab.

Keep doing what you’re doing Kayla. It’s working for you. You’ve got your priorities in order. And all of your hard work will lead to an exciting future and many opportunities. Know that you’ll always have one with Okanagan Peak Performance.

Thanks again Kayla and best of luck,

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                     okanaganpeakperformance.com

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8 Responses to Kayla’s Summer As a Strength & Conditioning Intern

  1. Linda says:

    Thought some of your members who are Vegetarians might be interested in some other sources of Choline.
    •Beef liver – pan-fried – 100 grams (about 3.5 oz) – 418 mg
    •Whole large egg – 112 mg choline
    •Beef (ground) 80% lean/20% fat – 3.5 oz patty – 81 mg
    •Cauliflower – 3/4 C cooked (1″ pieces) – 62 mg
    •Navy beans – 1/2 C cooked – 48 mg
    •Tofu – 100 grams (about 3.5 oz) – 28 mg
    •Almonds – sliced – 1/2 cup – 26 mg
    •Peanut butter – 2 T – 20 mg

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Linda: Some great suggestions there for sure. Obviously meat eaters would eat foods with the best sources of choline with eggs and beef. Vegans and vegetarians need to be aware of the extra calories they will get if opting for nuts as their source of choline.


  2. Gretchen says:

    Best wishes Kayla. You were a great intern and we had lots of fun during the work outs! You, Megan and Jordie are the best! Oh and your ‘horrible boss’ is too.

  3. Kayla says:

    Thanks gretchen! I miss working out with all of you! See you in november at the half :)

  4. Russell says:

    Its true… Chris is the King of analogies

    • Chris says:

      Russell: Thanks for the comment. For me, it’s how I make sense of things. And hopefully it helps others to understand as well.


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