“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” Steve Jobs
Around 2010, after a foray into CrossFit, believe it or not, I began to really prioritize building a sustainable body. I was in my early 40’s then, and things ached. I had always been an exerciser, but had prioritized yoga as my main fitness activity for too long. I had been drawn to try CF because of it’s down to earth vibe, attention to skill building and it reminded me of my days as a personal trainer in the 80’s and 90’s. I was recovering from a car accident at the time, where my left collar bone tendons were strained. And after physical therapy had ended, I still wasn’t 100%. The strength building focus of my therapy had helped and I knew I needed more of that. At CrossFit, I liked the attention to detail in how we lifted heavy things and the encouragement towards reaching our personal record or “PR”. I stayed for over a year and healed my injury. Inspired by my own self healing, I dove back into my anatomy and physiology studies and started to add more strength building cues to the yoga I was teaching so I could be more of service to my students.
My CrossFit coach also introduced me to the work of Kelly Starrett, a physical therapist who had just launched a free, daily video “vlog” called The Mobility Project. It featuring ways “to take a crack at fixing yourself.” Kelly basically got tired of seeing the same, preventable aches & pains on his physical therapy table, day after day, and simply wanted to educate people about their bodies. I (and many other early CrossFitters) became a dedicated student of his work and did just as he said- I masking taped two lacrosse balls together and began to take my own soft tissue care into my own hands.
A few years later, in 2014, I saw the documentary Fed Up, which revealed how the current fitness industry isn’t solving the obesity crisis. The film points out, that fitness sells itself as the remedy to fatness, however, Americans are more overweight than ever. Sugar and its many forms, as the film exposes, is the real issue. We, as fitness consumers, are over-exercising and not getting real about our diets. In addition, injuries were too common in fitness and I saw these fitness consumers flocking to my yoga studio to balance themselves. In fact, this was one of the reasons I started practicing yoga years prior.
According to Gray Cook, co-creator of the Functional Movement Screen, “There are more doctor visits for musculoskeletal issues from exercisers than there are from non-exercisers. Exercise is now a risk factor – for health, not for fitness. We’ve put “fitness” on movement dysfunction when moving well, before moving often, should be the priority.” I repeat: Today, there are more musculoskeletal issues from exercisers than there are from non-exercisers. Crazy!
At my yoga studio, many people would come to classes believing that yoga, in general, was healing. Many, including myself, get great relief from practicing a variety of kinds of yoga – relief from physical, psychological and emotional pains – but the landscape of yoga has changed. There is too much expectation that yoga is a panacea. Students want it all from yoga – fitness, emotional release, enlightenment, a sense of community and healing from whatever ails them – be it their broken heart, or their injured shoulder – all in a 1-hour class. With its popularity growing, yoga related injuries are now too common and in an unregulated industry, who is to blame? The fitness industry again, which now includes yoga, or maybe us consumers of it. We’re all just trying to eliminate pain without, or with minimal use of drugs, wine or food. Isn’t too much yoga better than becoming an alcoholic or overfed? That’s for another blog.
Movement and exercise being considered medicine, or part of medicine, is not new. In fact, before mainstream Western medicine and healthcare became more focused on ‘‘sick care’’ at the beginning of the 20th century, a major part of a doctor’s duties focused on the preservation and promotion of health and the prevention of disease. In this context, doctors emphasized the importance of exercise and diet, or what became known as “regimen”. In fact, the Latin origin of the word Doctor is docere which means “to teach”.
Participating deeper and wiser in your own personal longevity is becoming the future of pain free living. The internet has become a great resource for us to learn about health, mobility and body “hacks”, but it can be very overwhelming and confusing. For example, how do you know if your “tight” hamstrings need stretching or do they actually maybe need strengthening? Your hamstrings hurt and you can tell that something’s not right, however you feel better after a workout or yoga class. But you sense lingering dysfunction. I can help you with that. I believe your body is your domain and you should try to solve these non-injury aches & pains prior to going to the doctor, but it makes sense to get more specific when the foam rolling isn’t helping nor is pure rest. I’ve helped many people rebalance their bodies dysfunction(s) and get well. We focus on getting you moving well and build you a personal self care toolbox that is specific to your needs and as a result, your workouts, yoga and recovery days will be more informed and then all of your movements will contribute more to helping you build a sustainable body.
Today, my tools include the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), teaching you about biomechanics and your body, self-myofascial release, corrective exercise, yoga’s best practices and more to help you determine where you need more stretching or more strength and how to work smart and specific. Working together, I’ll help you make sense of it all, improve your mobility, help you prevent injury, become more self confident so that you can live well, pain free.
Welcome to my blog entitled The Sustainable Body. Bookmark this page and use it as a resource to refine your self care.
Are you looking for more tools for your sustainable body toolbox? Are you currently managing some pain or suspect you need a movement check-up using the FMS? Contact us to develop or refine your self care practices.