I think I am now in the business of freedom. That sounds like a grand sweeping statement and if you know me I’m pretty humble even by humble standards.
But coming home to Australia I have met with a lot of clients I’d trained before I’d left (tho I still see a lot of them too which I love!). One group still meets up and trains together using old (and new online) sessions we did, another has an in house fitness offering as standard. One guy now does world masters triathlons, another is bucket-listing travel she dreamed about in her forties, and a now retired couple are taking their kids and grandkids around the circuit they’ve set up around their farm home. I’m a pig in mud.
Because what started with freeing people up from their rib cages, helping them rediscover a posture other than the one their body is melding towards (the one that fits a chair) and my favorite, confidence building, helping people help themselves to their health, curiosity, exploration and potential longevity, truly is right now as I write this. I count these stories as some of the biggest things I have achieved. And they give me the warm and fuzzies for sure.
Because I think we should all begin working on the user manual to our own machinery. And I’m not saying that I have all the answers, cos you do. I’ve just helped some pretty cool people committed to exactly that find their own way there.
What I do offer I have fought against for a long time. I’ve dabbled. In so much. Gymnastics. Dance. Climbing competition and teaching. Fitness and personal training. Holistic life style coaching. Chek practitioning. Massage therapy. Yoga practice and teaching. Functional movement. Natural movement. Movement nutrition and biomechanics. Nutritional therapy. Mobility exploration and flow. And I say dabbled because I feel in the fitness industry especially we tend to specialize. But I never want to stop learning new things and broadening that offering. Of generalization. Because I am proudly a jack of all trades, master of none, which I feel makes perfect sense if we are talking about exercise and longevity.
In society, we admire the specialists who dedicate insane amounts of time and effort perfecting a practice but in the long run, it’s just not sustainable. After a period of time, the highly specialized body starts to suffer from extreme specialization, just as the sedentary body specializes in doing very little: they both get too good at that one thing and things begin to break.
A study from the University of Oxfordmeasured how white matter changes while someone learns a new motor skill like juggling. After 6 weeks, they found that white matter increased almost 6%. But what’s more interesting is that this increase is not strongly correlated with the performance but correlated with the amount of time spent training.
So I think it’s safe to say that learning new things and trying lots of things is a worthwhile endeavour, not just for your body but for your mind too. Yours and mine! Join me in taking your first steps into becoming your own teacher, beginning working on the user manual to your own machinery and move because you can, for as long as you.