Meet Mckenna Brown: Professional Street Skier and Holistic Health Advocate

By Ablis CBD 

Mckenna Brown started snowboarding—yes, snowboarding, not skiing—when she was six. She didn’t put on a pair of skis until almost five years later, when she and her best friend decided to trade hobbies, just for fun. 

“When I was eleven, my best friend and I swapped one day,” said Mckenna. “Ever since then, I knew that skiing is what I’m supposed to be doing.” 

Her best friend’s dad rounded up an old pair of skis and boots from the back of their garage and taught Mckenna how to ski. Nine years later, the Bend, OR, native is twenty years old. She’s placed in several skiing competitions, and is now making waves (or should we say, tracks), in women’s street skiing. 

During her early teenage years, Mckenna was focused on training for competitions. She’d train at least four days a week. Ultimately, she was working toward the Olympics. Her training and dedication paid off, too—When she was 15, she placed second in both the rail jam and slopestyle competition at Nationals. 

Although she was undoubtedly skilled, after spending several years in the competition circuit, Mckenna found herself becoming undoubtedly spent. She came to the realization that it wasn’t really her goal to become an Olympic skier. She loved skiing—her “creative outlet”—but she didn’t like the intense pressure that came with the competitions. She wanted to do something…different. 

At age 16, Mckenna moved to Salt Lake City to live with a host family while attending her senior year of high school and training with the Park City Ski Team. In her spare time, she started skiing in the streets. 

“I started dibble dabbling in the streets, which is pretty wild, and I’d film it,” said Mckenna. “I realized that this was another realm within the ski industry. You film projects and sponsors love it, people love it. I love it. It’s much more creative and free flowing [than competitive skiing].” 

As Mckenna skied on home-made ramps and rails around town, she discovered that this type of skiing was much more her pace. She began spending more time street skiing, and now, several years later, focuses on skiing or filming projects. 

“There are only ten or so girls who are currently active in the street skiing industry,” said Mckenna. “I’m riding a very new train, and me and the other girls are trying to inspire more girls to get into it because it’s really fun.” 

When she was competitive skiing, Mckenna says, she didn’t work with many sponsors. In the street skiing space, however, she’s worked with several sponsor companies to film her street skiing talent. 

In 2020, she worked on an all-female film project in Quebec that highlighted the up-and-coming sport of women’s backcountry skiing, free skiing, and street skiing. The other female skiers featured in the project were all older than Mckenna by several years (the second youngest person was 26).

“It was a sponsored project with other girls who were all really experienced, which was awesome,” Mckenna said. “It’s great that we were all a part of [the project], and I felt so deeply connected with Canada. The energy was incredibly magical. It’s one of my favorite ski memories.” 

This is the first of many exciting skiing memories for Mckenna. Last year, she entered Level 1’s SUPERUNKNOWN contest (a video contest for unpaid skiers). The video that she sent in earned her a spot to participate in the next part of the contest: meeting up with 2020 winners at a resort, and filming content with Level 1 at the resort’s custom-build private park. Although the meet-up is currently on hold due to COVID-19, whoever stood out during the time at the resort would usually win a filming contract with Level 1 for a whole year. 

In 2020, Mckenna was also invited to a rail jam competition at Dew Tour. She didn’t place, but “getting invited was a big deal, to me at least, because people who are usually invited to [Dew Tour] are in the competition circuit and well known in the competition circuit,” she says. 

Even though she’s no longer competing regularly, Mckenna is looking forward to going back to Dew Tour again in the future. And, even if Dew Tour is the only “comp” she attends all year, there’s no doubt that Mckenna Brown is going to become a name to know in the female street skiing industry. 

“I’d really like to create movies that impact [women’s] skiing,” Mckenna said. “Women’s skiing is taken so seriously on the comp side of things. I want the younger generation of ski girls to know that there’s more out there than ‘become a professional competition skier or become nothing’.” 

Along with filming and skiing, Mckenna has also been studying holistic health and healing. She says that she’s dedicating some of her time to learning about these things so that she can one day create a business outside of skiing that’s focused on healthy living. 

“I’m very into energy healing and connecting the physical with the emotional,” said Mckenna. “Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about how focusing on an injury or stressing out about a pain in the body can send a stress response to that area and make it more inflamed.” 

This may be part of the reason why Mckenna is a fan of Ablis CBD tinctures, creams, and beverages: she says that she uses these things to calm her down when she’s anxious or stressed, and uses creams especially to ease menstrual pains or muscle inflammation after a day of street skiing. 

Yoga is another way that Mckenna takes care of her body and her mind. Ultimately, she says, a healthy life starts with thinking positively, having positive self-talk, and being aware of your self image. It’s all about being in tune with your body. In her opinion, it’s incredibly important to be in alignment with your happiest self. 

“Whenever I’m in a negative mindset or have negative influences, it really blocks me from who I’m supposed to be,” said Mckenna. “I didn’t feel like I was worthy until I figured out what made me happy with skiing. Now that I know I want to put my energy into street skiing, I can really work towards a future with more of my passions.” 


About Us

Why Ablis Loves Living in Bend, Oregon

By Ablis CBD 

Jim Bendis and Max Bendis founded Ablis CBD in the city of Bend, OR: home to outdoor-loving, creative people like them. Jim settled down in Bend after graduating from University of Oregon in 1983. He says that this town is “an outdoor enthusiast’s nirvana”. His son, Max (who was born and raised here), agrees that Bend is “the hub of adventure culture in Oregon.” 

The Ablis CBD founders have a point—The city of Bend neighbors Deschutes National Forest, Willamette National Forest, and Mt. Hood National Forest. Here, there’s plenty of outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and river rafting. 

An outdoor enthusiast’s nirvana…without a doubt. 

Ablis CEO Cody Cloyd is also a Bend native. He briefly moved away to go to college at the University of Oregon, but was “drawn back [to Bend] by the people he grew up with and the never-ending list of things to do here all year” after he graduated.

The great events are just one of the many reasons why Ablis CBD loves Bend, Oregon. Read on for more reasons why they’re happy to call this town home as they share a few of their favorite things to do in Bend.

Cody’s Can’t-Miss Events in Bend, OR 

  • Bite of Bend — Food, drinks, music. What more could you ask for?  
  • Zwicklemania — This annual brewery event is going virtual for 2021.
  • Beerfest — If you love craft beer, you can’t miss this! 
  • Munch and Music — A Bend summertime tradition with food trucks and live music. 
  • Winterfest — Holiday fun with art installations, ice carving, live music + more. 

What makes this city unique, in your opinion? 

Max: “It is the land of craft. It’s hard to say what causes this, maybe it’s in the water! But it’s the craft products—from beer, kombucha, cider, spirits, wine, cbd and other cannabis goodies, all the way to handmade snowboards and other neat outdoor things. We breed craft and creativity here. That is my favorite part about Bend!” 

Read More from Ablis — Beer Guide: The Best of Bend, OR Breweries 

Cody: “You don’t have to go out of town to experience outdoor activities. The Deschutes River runs through the center of town, there are killer rock formations to climb on in town, and some of the city parks are big enough and feel like you’re out in the woods, without even leaving town.” 

City Parks in Bend, OR

Jim: “It’s a real community made up of fun-loving outdoor enthusiasts.” 

What is your favorite outdoor activity in Bend?

Max: “Mountain biking! There are a lot of great places for mountain biking around here.” 

A Few of Max’s Favorite Places to Bike in Bend (*During MTB Season)

Cody: “There’s too many to pick just one! Right now, it’s skiing and snowboarding since that’s what’s available during this season. I’m actually quite the beginner on the slopes. I only started last year! I’m still working on my bucket list of places to check out, but I have been frequenting Hoodoo and am loving it!” 

Jim: “I love running along the river and through the woods.”

If you had a friend visiting from out of town for a weekend, where would you take them? 

Max:I would try to hit as many of my local favorite outdoor spots, adventures, and—of course—restaurants and breweries! A few of my go-to’s would be The Bite, Los Jalapenos, Crux Fermentation Project, and The Podski (a local food truck park). It would be hard to sample all of Bend in just a weekend…but we could try!” 

Cody:Silver Moon Brewing for lunch and beers, and then Smith Rock for hiking or climbing if it is not too cold/snowy. If it’s dumping snow, then we check out Mt. Bachelor for some tubing, skiing, or snowboarding.”

Jim: “Mountains during the day. Downtown Bend at night.” 

Plain and simple, why do you love living in Bend, Oregon?

Max: “This is a tough one because there are so many reasons! A huge reason is being with my friends and family. A lot of us have grown up together here and have had so many good times in Bend. The outdoor activities and the delicious beer and food are a plus as well! 😉” 

Cody: “Bend has everything I need: awesome people, killer food, great views, and never a lack of active things to do.”

Jim: “It’s the lifestyle.” 

There’s no doubt about it: There’s no place like home. Want to learn more about the minds behind Ablis CBD? Meet the team. 


5 Après Ski Cocktails to Enjoy Around A Fire

Everybody knows the best part of a successful day on the slopes is warming up around a fire with friends. Even better if you can throw some cocktails into the mix. 

We’ve teamed up with our friend, Anthony, over at Crater Lake Spirits to curate some recipes that will definitely have you and yours feeling festive.

Grab Your Shakers! 

To get started you’ll need a few different Ablis sparkling beverages, a few of Crater Lake Spirits’ killer liquors, all linked below, as well as some citrus, simple syrup, and vanilla syrup.

Rye Lemonade

First on the list is a bit of a classic around here — and for good reason. It’s like a whiskey ginger ale but better. Ablis’ sparkling Lemon Ginger (and all of our other beverages) comes with 50mg of CBD and the perfect amount of bubbles to make this cocktail an instant favorite. 

Add as much of the sparkling Lemon Ginger as you’d like. The Lemon Ginger brightens up Crater Lakes’ smokey whiskey for a cozy but refreshing drink. It will surely warm you up! 

Vodka Ablis

Our take on the classic cran-vodka is a fan-favorite.

With a combo of two of Ablis’ most popular flavors, this cocktail packs a major punch of flavor. Bright citrus notes with hints of ginger and tart cranberry mask a lot of the vodka taste (since Crater Lakes’ is oh so smooth), so enjoy this one with caution! 

Cranberry Gimlet

The perfect holiday drink. It’s bright and crisp with heavy notes of citrus, but earthy and tart with the cranberry and gin. With Crater Lakes’ classic gin and Ablis’ most beloved flavor, you honestly can’t go wrong. 

Shake gin, lime, simple syrup in a shaker with ice, strain into a martini glass, and top with cranberry blood orange. For a little extra holiday cheer, throw in a stick of cinnamon! 

Back Alley Cranberry

If you’re into a more adventurous cocktail, give this next one a try. This unlikely combination of flavors is a total rush to the taste buds. 

Shake vodka, lime, vanilla syrup in a shaker with ice, strain into a martini glass, and top with cranberry blood orange.

Spicy and sweet with a smooth vanilla finish. If you’re not sold on spicy vodka, hear us out. Crater Lake’s Hatch Green Chile Vodka is insanely good with just the right amount of heat. 

Lemon Berry Drop

Effervescent, light, and with just the right amount of sweetness; this final cocktail is sure to please just about anyone. 

Shake vodka, lemon, and simple syrup in a shaker with ice, strain into a sugar-rimmed martini glass, and top with sparkling lemon water.

Even avid non-vodka drinkers have succumbed to the deliciousness that is this cocktail. It’s a boozy, berry lemonade with a hint of CBD. Do we need to say more? 

Even if you’re not located in a ski haven, this list will help you and your friends forget the dumpster fire that was 2020, at least temporarily. 

Kidding! (Sort of).

Obviously, drink responsibly and if you over-serve yourself, pop open an Ablis beverage sans liquor and hydrate. 


Keep reading: Happy Little Accidents: The Birth of Our Most Popular Flavor


Top 10 Things To Do in Bend, Oregon

Ablis is lucky to call Bend home. 

Situated in the high desert of Oregon, on the Deschutes River, alongside the Cascade mountains, Bend has just about every microclimate within a two-hour drive. 

It’s a special, little town, unlike anywhere else.

Bend is about what we’re about, which is spending as much time outdoors as possible and staying active. So, it was pretty easy for us to come up with a list of our favorite activities here in town for tourists and locals alike. 

Go Bouldering at The Depot

This is not your run of the mill rock wall. First of all, you’re outside, and it’s an actual boulder in an actual forest. You can spot it hiking the Deschutes River trail. It’s located at a clearing, where you’ll spot the chalky palm prints speckling the cliff band.

When it’s cold, bouldering indoors at the newly opened Circuit Climbing Gym is a cool experience. They have every terrain you can possibly imagine. This place is an awesome way to spend an afternoon.  

Hike Tumalo Falls

You can access some of the best hiking trails in Central Oregon from Downtown Bend. Tumalo Falls is a local favorite in the Cascades that leads hikers to the most incredible ninety-seven-foot waterfall. 

There are several waterfalls along this particular trail, and they’re all worth the six and a half miles there and back. This is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. 

If you can’t make it to Tumalo Falls, there are many other hikes close to town, like Pilot Butte.

Related: 10 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon

Fly Fishing on the Deschutes River

Bend is known for fly fishing so this one is a must if you’re visiting during warmer months. The Deschutes River has many good spots to fish just outside of town. The Metolius River is another great spot, but there are plenty of lakes to fish in Bend — you really can’t go wrong.

Be sure you know the rules and etiquette, have proper licensing, and remain respectful to wildlife and natural habitats. 

Visit the Tasting Rooms at Crater Lake Spirits 

Our sister company, Crater Lakes has been around since 1996 when our founder put the abundance of juniper in the area to good use. The Distillery, located in Tumalo Oregon, sits on a twenty-four-acre farm that you can visit seven days a week.

The Tumalo tasting room and Downtown Bend tasting room both offer Crater Lakes’ liquors, and the Tumalo location has free samples! The Downtown location is a swanky place to enjoy some mini cocktails and tasters and buy a bottle or two. This spot just opened up near some of the best restaurants in town, so stop in for a cocktail after dinner! 

Go Kart Racing at KS1 Speed

This indoor go-kart experience can be experienced year-round. Whether you want to go alone or with a group, you’re going to have a great time. They offer several difficulty-levels at their state-of-the-art track. Plus, their karts are all 100% electric, so the place doesn’t stink like gasoline and fumes (and we like that they’re planet-friendly). Don’t worry, the electric go-karts have just as much pep as the gas-powered karts and they’re quiet, so you won’t have to yell at your friends.

Pig Out at the Food Carts

Bend has a pretty serious food cart culture, and it’s only getting better and better. Plan your own self-guided food cart tour, you won’t regret it. 

There’s a place called The Lot where a ton of carts will park and prepare, as well as On Tap. Both locations offer a variety of cuisines and beer on tap. Their sites will give you updated lists of which carts will be where and when or you can hunt down your favorite carts via their social media, as not all of them will be at these two locations. A lot of carts in Bend float around town, so you may have to do some detective work if you’re looking for a specific cart!

Go Mountain Biking at Phil’s Trailhead

You can hike it and you can run it, but we love it for mountain biking. Bend has some of the best tracks for mountain bikers in the Pacific Northwest, and Phil’s Trailhead is a prime example. 

This scenic, forest trail comes in at 12.4 miles out and back and is a favorite amongst mountain bikers. The difficulty varies, but there’s something for everyone on this exciting ride. Phil’s absolutely made it to this list, and you’ll see why when you get there!

Related: The Best Mountain Biking Trails Near Bend, Oregon

Take a Dip at McMenamin’s Soaking Pool 

Located at the old St. Francis School, McMenamin’s Soaking Pool is truly a hidden gem of Bend. The soaking pool features the most incredible turquoise tile and an open ceiling that allows you to experience the elements while you soak. 

After your soak, you can even enjoy a glass of wine from the bar. Call ahead for reservations.

Throw Axes at Unofficial Logging

Do we really need to sell you on this? Unofficial Logging has set up the coolest space to eat, drink, and throw axes in the old Boomtown Records building. The food is off the charts good and the atmosphere has the historic, hometown-feel you can typically expect from Bend. 

You don’t even have to throw axes (but why wouldn’t you?!) and can just play spectator at the bar. The food is good enough to justify this behavior, we guess. They also offer mobile ax throwing for parties and events or if you’re just having a really tough week. 

Shop for Local Art

The First Friday Art Walk in the Old Mill District is a free monthly event and gives you the very best of Bend all in one place. 

Stroll through the Old Mill District and enjoy the best craft breweries, wines, and eats Bend has to offer while supporting the local artisans. Shops and restaurants in the area stay open late and local musicians perform late into the evening. 

It’s basically Bend’s monthly party to remind us all why we love it here! 

Sadly, the Art Walk has been postponed most of 2020, but we are so excited to be able to get out and celebrate with the community again in the future.

A lot of these locations and businesses have been impacted due to the pandemic, so they need our support now more than ever. 

Some of the items on our list are still safe options that allow for social distancing, but it’s always a smart bet to check websites for safety information beforehand! 

Keep Reading: The Birth of Our Most Popular Flavor


Meet Pro Athlete and Record-Breaking Runner Renee Metivier

I’ve been running for a long time, but I originally started out in soccer and gymnastics. Through a series of injuries, I found running in high school, and it captured me from the beginning.

I ended up winning state my senior year of high school and getting a full-ride scholarship to Georgia Tech. But there, I experienced my first running-related injury.

After my first surgery, I transferred to the University of Colorado at Boulder, built myself back up, and ended up winning 11-time NCAA D1 All-American, 2005 NCAA Indoor 3000m National Champion, 2-Time NCAA XC Runner-up, 2001 and 2004.  

Then, I signed on to go pro and have been pro ever since. 

I’ve had a lot happen, and as a result, have learned a lot throughout my career. Just because you’re a great athlete, doesn’t mean you have a complete understanding of the body and how to prevent injuries. 

You could be a genetic freak and still get it wrong sometimes.

The sad truth is that a lot of injuries are preventable. Accidents happen, but it’s how we react to them that matters. That’s why I immersed myself in physical therapy, rehab, and strength training.

All the little things that you take for granted when you’re young, like how quickly your body could bounce back from a tough workout, start to add up.

Sometimes, I look back and wish I knew what I know now, but if that had been the case, I wouldn’t be here now. 

The Injury That Landed Me in The Olympic Training Center

I had a big, near-career-ending injury in 2011 that required surgery on my Achilles. 

That led to me recovering at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for six months and working with the best physiologists, doctors, coaches, trainers, and PTs in the business.

During that recovery, I learned that it’s not just about working harder — it’s about working smarter.

I hadn’t been making recovery a part of my training when in reality, it should have been my priority. I wanted more than anything to share that knowledge with other athletes that maybe didn’t have access to the resources. 

Since then, I’ve come back from numerous setbacks even better because I’ve truly rebuilt. 

I gained so much knowledge from my time at the Olympic Training Center, and I was dumbfounded at how little was widely known about their rehab and recovery methods.

I had another surgery in 2012 on my left shin and entire calf. Then, I broke my leg in 2016. 

After two more leg surgeries, rehabbing, and a total leg reconstruction (my ankle, lower leg, and fibula), I had done my fair share of damage to my body. 

They were pretty intense injuries, and I think most people didn’t expect me to ever bounce back from them fully, but I have continued to prove them wrong with the knowledge I gained at the OTC. 

After a serious physical setback, I think a lot of people start to believe that they’re done running or doing whatever is it they love. But, at the end of the day, it’s about not giving up. 

Personally, I think we owe it to ourselves to try absolutely every avenue to keep doing the things we love. 

Related: How To Relieve Sore Muscles: Advice from a Pro Athlete

Records and Titles

I’ve set some records and won a few titles including:

  • 2010 World XC bronze medalists 5-time USA National Champion from 3000m to Marathon (first to have titles in track, road, and trail)
  • 2010 USATF Indoor Track 3000m Champion
  • 2012 USATF Road 20k National Champion
  • 2012 Marathon Debut at Chicago in 2:27:17, 1st American, 6th Overall
  • 2016 USATF Trail 1/2 Marathon National Champion
  • 2017 USATF Trail Marathon National Champion
  • 2017 Sub-Ultra Trail Runner of the Year

Sometimes, injuries and setbacks can knock you onto the path that you never expected and end up being the correct one for you.

I came back to run in the Olympic trials in February and got third at the Honolulu Marathon last December. I broke three world records this summer on the treadmill at age 38. It was live-streamed!

This longevity is all thanks to an extensive recovery routine as a crucial element of my training. That is also the inspiration behind my facility here in Bend.

Finding Myself in Bend, Oregon

After living at the Olympic Training Center for six months and recovering from my Achilles surgery in 2012, I moved to Bend.

I had been to the area several times for events when I was sponsored by Nike, and something about it just felt like home to me. 

Bend is a very health-centric town that is open to new methods and ways of thinking about fitness and wellness. It felt like the perfect place to fulfill my life-long dream of opening an integrated healthcare and fitness center; Recharge Sport.

That’s why we have such a variety of resources at Recharge. I’m really proud of it!

You can use the services individually or as a full-service facility. We have acupuncture, chiropractic services, nutrition analysis, sports massage, physical therapy, personal training… the works! Right now, we are offering some online workouts on our site and socially-distanced coaching.

There are a lot of knowledgeable people out there, it’s just about finding them. Bend has more resources than most. We’re a very active town because we have access to so many incredible outdoor activities.

We have skiing, mountain biking, running on the trails, or doing that epic hike up South Sister. 

One of my clients just did it for the first time at age 55! 

That is the type of thing that is super exciting to me. How people in Bend prioritize wellness. That’s why I’m here, and I love it.

Related: Can CBD get you high: How I Stay Active With CBD?

My Experience with Ablis CBD

Jim and Max had just started Ablis when Max was strength training with me at my facility in town.

I’ve known Jim for a long time, and they had already given me some samples that I loved. I love how the Ablis topicals smell, that they’re non-tacky, don’t leave any residue, and that they pack 500 mg of CBD in each bottle.

I also love their sparkling beverages. Max actually delivered some to me in a snowstorm after I broke my leg!

Ablis has been making beverages for 25 years and they use the highest-quality ingredients. That’s why I trust them and their products. I’m excited to try whatever they come up with next!

Keep Reading: The Best Hikes Near Bend


The Last Blockbuster On Earth Lives in Bend

by Jim Bendis

I think it is such a special thing for Bend, Oregon to have the last surviving Blockbuster.

In the late ’80s, video stores started opening like Starbucks do today, with practically one on every corner. It was a major cultural shift.

Then, in the 2000s, with the birth of new rental options like Redbox and Netflix, those stores all closed their doors what seemed like overnight. However, one lone Blockbuster franchise has survived, and I’ve been friends with the owner, Ken Tisher, for 30-some years.

I used to do his marketing and advertising way back when he had a different video store called Pacific Video.

In 2000, he and his family bought their Blockbuster franchise store. The other video store went the way of the norm and closed, but the Blockbuster has held on.

After the corporate Blockbuster sold in 2010, franchises started closing their doors until the last few finally called it quits in 2019, just leaving Ken’s today.

It may have seemed like an odd choice at first, but Ken clearly had a vision, and he held out long enough to be the last store standing.

Surviving Streaming

The funny thing is we would go to lunch all the time, back before streaming, and we were starting to see the technology evolve, and we’d say,

“Ken, someday they’re going to figure out how to do this all from the telephone, without leaving the house. What are you going to do then?”

One of the writings on the wall moments was when Redbox started popping up absolutely everywhere.

Now you could just go to your grocery store and grab a movie with your popcorn on your way home. It completely negated the need to go rent a movie at a video store.

But, streaming services are obviously what put the nail in the coffin.

The last Blockbuster has survived by changing up their marketing. Renting movies isn’t their biggest draw anymore, so now they’re selling nostalgia; a simpler time.

They sell merch with the classic Blockbuster logo, and the store is ultimately untouched, down to the cash registers. It’s a novelty on its own now, existing as a time capsule back when going to the video store was an event.

For a short window in September, they even offered overnight AirBnB stays inside the store, complete with a pull-out sofa and VHS player. A total nineties experience.

Ken said the three local couples that participated had a great experience!

Not to mention, there’s a pizza place right next door, so I can imagine that has been a symbiotic relationship over the years, keeping that movie night experience alive and well.

You can even get Ablis products there to really top off your movie night!

I always knew Ken to be extremely intelligent, and to see now that he’s the only one who survived just shows his resilience and wherewithal to hang in there and create something truly unique.

He ended up making a monument to the video-store era. 

Figuring out a way to stay with the times even though you’re doing something so old school is pretty innovative.

Ken attributes his success to the people he surrounds himself with.

When asked what is the secret to the longevity of this store, Ken simply stated,

“Everything you do in life is by and through people. I have been very lucky to have the best employees and GMs I could have ever hoped for.”

The employees at this store all stick around for years and have created an atmosphere of family.

From Not Cool to Vintage

It’s like some cars; when it’s 10 years old, it’s just an old car that’s falling apart, but after 20-30 years — it’s a classic.

That’s how long it takes for people to realize it’s cool again. Then, it’s vintage and it gets a whole new life, with a new appreciation.

Ken’s store has survived the not-so-cool years and now it’s a unicorn.

Ever heard of the Ford Pinto? Here was the dumbest, cheapest car ever made, but if you had the only one left right now, it would have a total cult following.

We’re pretty lucky to have this last Blockbuster in Bend. And others clearly agree because there is even a documentary about the store that released this year.

The documentary was made by two locals and focuses a lot on the GM, Sandy Harding, who Ken refers to as the “Blockbuster mother.”

Related: What We’ve Learned From COVID-19 – Ablis CBD

Only in Bend

Bend has such a culture of uniqueness that of course, the last Blockbuster is in Bend, Oregon.

Ken agrees that this is not something that could probably survive anywhere else!

We had the first distillery in Bend, the first craft distillery making gin and vodka in the whole country was in Bend. The first CBD beverages in the whole world came out of Bend.

Craft brewing has a huge presence in Bend. Humm Kombucha came out of Bend, as well as Deschutes Brewery.

All of these very unique items have come out of this little community!

The average person has a hard time making a living in a cool, small town. Most of the jobs are in the service industry and the ski industry. So, people have to get creative so they can make it in a small town.

The average Joe has to go to a big city where there’s a lot of people, and based on numbers alone, they’re going to have more luck.

The innovators? They go to places like Bend.

The Community and Blockbuster

Ken says that the community has been “incredibly supportive over the years,” and that’s visibly noticeable.

It really has become a destination in Bend. You’ll see people taking pictures outside the store all the time.

The store carries lots of local products, so the support goes both ways.

Bend loves this Blockbuster, and I think the community will try to keep it around as long as possible.

Stop in for a blast from the past the next time you’re in town. You’ll be so glad you did!

Keep Reading: My CBD Journey


How To Relieve Sore Muscles: Advice from a Pro Athlete

by Renee Metivier

Muscle soreness can put a massive damper on your training as an athlete, and poor recovery can ultimately lead to injury.

The older I get the more I realize how crucial recovery is to not only healthy training but longevity.

I’ve been running for a long time.

I started running in high school and at the University of Colorado where I won the NCAA title in 2005 and then went pro. Since then I’ve won:

  • 2010 USA Track & Field (USATF) Indoor 3000m National Champion
  • 2012 USATF 20k Road National Champion
  • 2016 USATF 1/2 Marathon Trail National Champion
  • 2017 USATF Marathon Trail National Champion
  • 2020 3-Time Treadmill World Record Holder

I have had multiple injuries that resulted in major surgeries and intensive recovery.

An injury to my Achilles in 2011 led me to the Olympic Training Center In Colorado Springs, where I had access to the best doctors, physiologists, physical therapists, and trainers. The works!

I realized many people, including elite athletes to the average person, don’t have access to these resources,   so I wanted to create a facility that offered the best therapists and coaches along with the latest research that was affordable to the public.

With my journey, it became really important to me to help rebuild people stronger and more resilient.

So, I founded Recharge Sport here in Bend where I’m the owner, head coach, and personal trainer with a focus on biomechanics and correctional exercise.

As a coach as well as an athlete, preventing and relieving muscle soreness is on my mind a lot.

The Myth About Muscle Soreness

When your muscles get that tightness the day after an intense workout, it’s actually not lactic acid that’s the culprit. That’s a big misnomer.

It’s delayed onset muscle soreness – a result of microscopic muscle tears.

Typically, you will clear all the lactic acid out of your muscles fairly quickly, but the delayed muscle soreness (DOMS) is what happens when your muscles are overstressed. DOMS is completely normal and should only last 24-48 hours as your body recovers – this is the adaptation phase where recovery should be prioritized.

Don’t ice after a really hard workout unless you have noticeable inflammation and pain, because icing will prevent the necessary blood flow for full adaptation and muscle repair.

Research recommends going from hot to cold to hot multiple times so that you get that pump-through vasoconstriction in the cold and vasodilation in the hot to help push inflammation out but also keep new healing blood flowing through the tissues.

I like to finish in the hot last to keep that blood flow moving. I drink some Ablis CBD sparkling water as well to hydrate and increase vasodilation.

Related: Myth Busting: Is Sparkling Water Bad or Good For You?

It’s All Maintenance

It’s most important to get that vascularity, get your blood vessels moving, and flush out those toxins.

With blood flow, you’re not only flushing out toxins, the new blood being pushed in is bringing growth factors and platelet-rich plasma to your tissues as well.

That’s what speeds up the healing.

A lot of people focus on that lactic acid, but your heart works really hard when you work out to pump blood to your tissues.

When you’re tired after a workout, your heart is slower in pumping it out. So, anything to increase that vascularity and get that blood pumping is good!

Your muscle tissues actually get micro-damaged after a hard workout. Your body has to repair in the adaptation phase, and that’s when your body overcompensates and how you get stronger.

That’s why you need to incorporate progressive, systematic stress to your body that’s not too much that you can’t recover from. Stress can be good when you have an adequate recovery to adapt!

You need those recovery periods, but anyway you can speed up the process and increase that blood flow, the shorter those periods become which leads to better adaptation and fewer injury risks

Make Recovery Part of Your Nightly Routine

The best is to avoid injury from the beginning and take care of your body as early as you can.

Recovery and healing in that adaptation period are just as important as working hard in training, if not more so.

Longer sessions in the infrared sauna or hot/cold tubs are fantastic, but even 5 mins each evening can be a game-changer. I keep everything I need for my muscle relief routine next to my bed and set an alarm for myself every night as a reminder.

I  massage the tinctures straight onto my ankle then stretch before I go to bed using my stretch rope.

I’ve got it down where it doesn’t have to take forever.  I do some longer, full-body sessions in the week, but I’m always doing at least five to 15 minutes of something specific every day. For me, it is my “diva” ankle and also my hips that are my constant focus.

My routine helps me sleep better too. I’m deep breathing, drinking my CBD, massaging with the muscle rub,  foam rolling, and stretching for 15 minutes and I usually sleep more soundly after. And better sleep is one of the most important things you can do for increased overall health and wellness.

Consciously make it a part of your nightly routine until it becomes a habit and easy to stick with!

Recovery Time is Key

One of my favorite quotes from Deena Kastor, the American marathon record holder, is “It’s not about over-training, it’s about under-recovery.”

Under recovering is what creates over-training and what leads to injury and burnout.

Everyone is different when it comes to their recovery time.

The quicker you recover, the better you can adapt and also minimize injury risk, but it still depends on the individual and how well you’ve been training.

As I get older, I need two to three days between really hard efforts.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, if your heart rate isn’t coming down between intervals or it’s staying too high, that’s a good indication of needing more recovery time.

Sleep is still number one and it’s a factor in your training.

Your legs are a good indicator as well. Are they feeling like lead or are they pretty bouncy? That seems pretty simple, but it’s a very tangible way to listen to your body’s needs.

Also, pay attention to stiffness in the mornings.

I train six days a week, but I only go hard running-wise on two of those days and I have one day that I run at about medium.

I lift heavy weights twice a week and balance lifting with my hard running days.

But if I need an extra day because I don’t feel recovered, I’ll take it. And I am always making sure to do functional mobility, prehab, and self-care regularly.

I think that’s the biggest problem. People don’t put enough emphasis on recovery in their training.

You’re only as good as how much you can recover from, especially in the long-term.

You may be able to get away with it in the short term, but it could lead to injury or poor performance down the road.

Injury is Preventable

None of us are rational with ourselves. Not even me. I need a coach too!

We don’t typically and regularly check-in and say, “Oh, my hamstrings are extra tight on the warmup. What’s going on there?”

“Are there any spots that I’ve started to neglect that are basically screaming at me but I’m ignoring?”

Knowing when to push and when not to push is a skill, it’s hard to do.

Having someone on the outside that is knowledgeable can see those better.

Listen to your body.

Your body gives you signs, and it’s very important to have optimal recovery so that you can reap the benefits from your hard work.

My college coach was really, really big on that. I thank him every day for really teaching us to listen to sensory data.

When I run, I’m not big on checking my heart rate because I can feel it. But that can be a good tool to use when you are learning to listen to your body.

I check in with my breathing, check in with my heart, see how my ankles land on the ground, feel for any tension in my jaw, and relax my shoulders.

I call it my dashboard. 

I think everyone should create their own mental dashboard.

Checking in helps you to stay in the moment, stay present, and listen to what’s going on with your body. The mental side is not talked about enough and it is a big proponent.

The number one performance enhancement is getting enough sleep. I don’t think I can say that enough!

A lot of people think it’s a badge of honor to be able to function on low sleep, but it really shouldn’t be. You’re actually lowering your health by depriving your body of rest.

It can make all the difference in your workouts, but also your overall cognitive function.

Stretching is Critical

I like to use Ablis’ tinctures and muscle rub while I’m doing mobility and stretching.

I stretch my muscles, but more importantly, I focus on the full range of motion of my joints including my ankles. I need increased dorsiflexion and to make sure my talus is shifting smoothly inside the ankle joint. I spend about five minutes on my ankles specifically every day since that is my “Achilles heel.”

I’m always going to have to spend extra time on the areas I’ve injured, so I make it my first priority.

Then, I’ll go into my full body stretches.

The performance of my ankles and Achilles, which can get stiff, feels — and performs — ten times better after stretching and my injury risk goes down.

I also get a full-body massage once or twice a week with MCT oil.

Related: MCT Oil with CBD: Best Uses and Recipes

Don’t Underestimate Proper Hydration

Hydration is an important factor in recovery because it aids in getting that new blood with the platelet-rich plasma and growth factors through the body.

I’m really bad about it, so I love Ablis’s sparkling water because I get CBD while I’m hydrating, and it tastes great! I drink it multiple times a week and sometimes multiple times a day – especially after hard training days or while recovering and relaxing in the infrared sauna.

I use all of Ablis’s products in conjunction, to be honest. It depends on what’s going on and what my needs are at the time. From helping me hydrate and flush my system post-workout to actually turning off and get fully relaxed, Ablis has become a big part of my post-workout routine. 

Keep Reading: The Best Mountain Biking Trails Near Bend, Oregon

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