By Coach KB
Hi everyone! If you’ve been in some of my classes recently I may have made you do something totally random, like crawl on the floor or walk with a weight on your head. This is all part of testing the waters for my newest pet project, the Movement-Minute. Many of you know that, while I was a devoted school teacher for 14 years, I spent the majority of my free time learning as much as I could about the human body - I took classes of all varieties and collected fitness certifications like they were baseball cards. I dreamed of one day opening my own gym where I could put into practice all of the best stuff I had learned. After meeting Melissa and having a mind-meld it was clear that we had to stop dreaming and start creating a place to put all the favorite things we had collected under one roof.
I love PDXFit and PDXT… I cannot imagine my life without the feeling of empowerment and accomplishment after a PDXFit class and every time I play soccer or run around with my nephews or hike over unpredictable terrain I am so thankful for PDXT classes. But I feel that my personal success in these classes is due to all the lessons I have learned from some brilliant people over the years in how the body works. Structurally, functionally, biomechanically, neurologically, proprioceptively, interoceptively, nutritionally… the human body is a freaking phenomenal thing and, through no real fault of our own, our bodies are degrading rapidly in the name of “progress.” Progress toward what? Well, that is a whole other blog post but suffice it to say that the whole reason gyms like POINT exist at all is because our dedication to “progress” takes up most of the rest of our time to move around so we allot ourselves an hour in the gym to make up for what our bodies actually crave all day, every day. Many people seek out the gym to undo what all this degradation is doing to their bodies in the form of back pain, weight gain, weak muscles, limited range of motion...
Enter the Movement-Minute. No one would join a gym if all we did was practice crawling and walking and, better yet, not moving at all. NO ONE. Everyone wants to feel like they get a lot of “bang” for their buck. There is little more rewarding than feeling like you worked hard, left it all on the table, and made some strides toward health. But what if I told you that slowing it down and doing some “weird stuff” sometimes could actually make all of that better? Don’t get me wrong - since most of the movement we do on a day-to-day basis is low-intensity movement I firmly believe that short bouts of high-intensity within your week is good. Really good! But imagine if we moved through life during those low-intensity moments with more ease, grace, and structural/functional integrity… What if just changing (or simply focusing on!) the way you move through life were able to relieve some pain and improve the way we feel?
The trouble is we are a culture obsessed with either moving fast or sitting still. Since these small shifts are usually slow or even static it is very hard to stay dedicated to practicing them regularly. This is why I am challenging all of you to the Movement-Minute. Each week I will write a blog post sharing a movement (probably on Mondays since I am a sucker for alliteration) that I challenge you to play with for at least a minute per day for that week. One minute. Minimum (alliteration again… I can’t help myself). Anything longer is extra credit. To continue the Minute-theme I will keep the post short - it will only take you a minute to read it. Just do it! Your body will thank you.
I encourage you to approach these movements playfully; don’t get all serious on me. Some of them you will probably want to do in the privacy of your own home or at the gym in class because there is safety in numbers and everyone can look ridiculous together. Others will be “safe” to do in public. Or, if you’re like me, anything in public is fair game and who cares if people look at you funny.
If any of you love this challenge and discover you are true body-nerds like I am, want to learn more about these movements, and have 45 extra minutes per week to listen to an awesome podcast, I will refer you to my inspiration for this project - the Liberated Body. The creator, Brooke Thomas, interviews a variety of “somatic” specialists (basically anyone involved in manual or movement therapy, from anatomists to massage therapists to personal trainers to yoga teachers to physiotherapists to Rolfers to surgeons… lots of really cool and super smart people!). At the end of each interview she offers some “home-play” for everyone listening (mostly fellow “body-nerds”). The Movement-Minute is based around the idea that, if everyone took a little time to play around with their movement patterns and was a little more mindful about their bodies, we all might end up a little happier… And that, my friends, is the POINT.
I’m excited to start our first (Monday) Movement-Minute (Minimum) Challenge on July 4th! Expect it to be a play-based movement you can do with any age at your family picnic! :)