1223 Michigan Street

Ste. E.

Sandpoint, Idaho 83864


The Shed Blog

Our blog is intended to be an honest  and "real" discussion of topics that we share during our workouts or in daily life.


It's about real issues and feelings that people experience during their road to better health. I welcome your feedback and look forward to any ideas you may have for posts.

Vision Quest

Goals, goals, goals! I’m over it.  If you want to make lifelong change or achieve athletic greatness, goals alone will not get you there. I have seen it over and over again. People set goals only to achieve them but then within weeks the old habits return. Setting goals is a waste of time. Yes, I said it. I believe in order to truly change how you live your life or raise your game, you must set in place a VISION!

Through my work and own personal challenges I have experienced lasting change and achievements by having a vision. If you do not feel good about your energy level, body size, ask yourself, what does your healthy look like? And no, the body of the Athleta  model is not your vision. That is her vision. What does your body look like? If you are an athlete not playing at the level you desire, imagine, what does it feel like to compete at the level you expect? Really look at it, feel it. See yourself clearly.

Recently, at The Shed, I had two special clients see their vision become reality. It was simply awesome and I am so grateful to have witnessed firsthand their journeys.

Kate McAlister approached me about a year ago. She was disappointed with her health. She was tired most of the time, her back hurt, and she could no longer keep up with her adorable grandkids. This was not the Kate she wanted to be. Kate’s vision: to live pain free, to play with her grandkids, to feel good and live a healthy lifestyle. No, she doesn’t have a goal to lose 50 pounds, or be a size 6. Kate has a vision of her healthy life. This vision included working out each morning and changing her eating habits. In fact, actually eating.  She put together a support team comprised of her husband, workout buddy, a trainer (me) and a nutrition expert, Suzanne Kaplan. Her journey to health has been a process. There have been bumps along the road for sure. Her work is very time consuming. She is extremely active with several non profit groups, and spends time with those grandkids; yet Kate never lost focus. She maintained her vision. Recognized the distractions and moved forward. It’s been a year, living this new life she has set in place. She’s  lost 38”, follows a healthy nutrition plan, exercises 4 to 5 days a week. Kate no longer has severe back pain and most importantly to her, she has the energy to play and play and play with her grandkids. Vision becomes life!

Last week, the Sandpoint girls’ soccer team won the state championship, their vision for the year. I am fortunate to train several of the players. My Shed Heads worked very hard all year to become complete athletes. By complete I mean not only are their bodies prepared for their sport but they are also mentally strong to handle the stress of competition. They are always up for the challenge. I love working with young focused athletes. Some days, the girls come in just to check in. Share with me what is going on with their game or life in general. It’s an honor that they talk to me and ask for advice. I had an amazing coach as a child. Irene Matlock was her name. She took the time for me. Trained me as a complete athlete and from that, I have created much of what I do today. How I coach is a result of what I have learned from my life and competition. I am living my vision as a coach and trainer.

Winning the state championship was not easy for the Sandpoint girls but they went into the tournament physically prepared. They felt and looked like champions. They maintained focus and didn’t lose sight of their vision. It was not easy. For Corrine it was particularly challenging. Corrine is an amazing athlete and team leader. She is very strong inside and out. She has trained with me for over a year, needing to prepare her body for playing at the next level. Winning state championships is part of her vision as an athlete.

During the semi-final match, Corrine went up to head a ball and landed horribly on her ankle. Hurting herself so badly that she had to be carried off the field. I received word the following day of the injury. She and I talked throughout the morning before the championship game about how to handle what had happened. How she felt, etc. We talked about how she could view the injury.  Perhaps as a bump in the road or distraction?  I told her, it was up to her how she handled the emotions of the situation and what she would learn about herself through this life event. I asked her what she needed to do to get back on track. Corrine was grateful, she said she hadn’t thought of looking at it that way. It was only one text later that she was getting her focus back, and taking leadership of her team again. The rest is history.  I am very proud of her and the rest of my soccer girls.

The truth is, making your vision a reality takes time and focus. It really takes making a commitment to you. There will be challenges and distractions but remember your focus, your path and what you see your life being. Live your best life and make it happen.

January 14th and 15th, The Shed will be home to a weekend health retreat. The focus will be, getting “real” about your health. I would recommend this program for everyone, but especially anyone having difficulty finding a vision of health and needing honest support. It is guaranteed to change your life if you are open to it. Contact me for more information.

Jen Merwin, The Shed INC.