Expected and Accepted – My MovNat Experience: Guest Post by Adam PoltrackPosted | 1 comment
My MovNat education started inauspiciously, on a soggy Sunday in Central Park, on very little sleep and even less breakfast. After wandering around Central Park until 10 minutes early became 10 minutes late, I found my fellow trainees at a picnic table, just north of the great lawn. I shook instructor Clifton Harski’s hand and plopped – already exhausted – onto a vacant bit of bench.
By that time it was looking like rain, and by the time we circled up, it was feeling like it. I took a moment to scan the circle, which was full of fellow personal trainers. It didn’t take a MovNat expert to see that our postures were in various states of disarray, slumped shoulders, one-legged leans, and crossed arms pervaded. Clifton regaled our group with jokes about all the things we could do and would do wrong in the next 7 hours. He was authoritative, yet casual and encouraging.
The rain took a few hours to transition from drizzle to deluge; just enough time for climbing and balancing drills. For the former, we took turns on the bar. I swelled with pride as I pulled off some of the more difficult moves, but deflated slightly every time Clifton re-mounted the bar.
As I watched him, I realized that it wasn’t what he was doing that was so impressive, but rather, the ease with which he was doing it; and that’s when I had my “Ah Ha!” moment.
Throughout the next 7 hours I did my best to rewind, I re-learned how to jump, run, walk, crawl, and then breathe, but it wasn’t the techniques being taught that were difficult, it was making them natural.
If you train long enough and hard enough, you can do almost anything physically, but even the movements of the best athletes in the world are often riddled with inefficiencies. Correcting those requires a re-wiring of reflexes, a re-training of the brain to counteract years of disuse and misuse.
MovNat teaches movements that should be natural, but no longer are, in environments that should be natural and no longer are.
Among the definitions of the word natural is, “something expected or accepted.” Stay inside long enough and the outdoors are no longer expected or accepted, nature is no longer natural.
Our group was often reminded that “romantic fans” have it wrong when they think working out al fresco will solve all of their problems. Movnatting – like anything in life – is what you make it. Commit to it, practice it, learn it, and you just may “rediscover your true nature” and be a happier person for it. But if you want a magic bullet, you’ll end up like you always do – disappointed.
That being said, MovNat really does stand apart from the litany of fitness trends. It doesn’t preach grueling, torturous, or even obligatory workouts. This philosophy is all about re-awakening a dormant side of you, one which will run and climb and play voluntarily, and make you healthier and happier in the process.
As a Personal Trainer, it made me re-think, not just my own workout, but the method I preach to clients, friends, and relations.
For months I’ve been bugging my girlfriend, trying to get her to join me in my workout regimen, with limited success. About halfway into the workshop, I realized I’d been taking the wrong approach. Both of us love to get outdoors, to hike and bike, to go barefoot, and move naturally. Instead of dragging her to a gym, where working out feels like a chore, maybe we could have fun and stay fit together.
Around hour number five of the workshop, when we started playing tag, it really hit home for me. As a kid, no one has to force you to play tag, or even ask you for that matter. We’d chase each other around until it was too dark to see, and then we’d play with flashlights. It was fun and what’s more, it’s a much better workout than running in place for a half an hour. By the time this segment ended, I was sold.
We closed the book on our soggy Sunday with a group photo underneath a bridge; dusty and battered, grass stained and soaked, right as the skies started to truly open up.
If not for MovNat, I would have never made it outside that day. I wouldn’t have crawled, climbed, jumped, or slapped five or let my nose get numb from the cold. I wouldn’t have taken what ended up feeling like the best shower ever, and I would have slept more like a pebble and less like a rock.
In the end, my MovNat experience was more validation than revelation. It was something expected and accepted, something natural, something I’d forgotten. But maturity doesn’t mean suppressing your instincts, it means controlling them. So if you catch me crawling, rolling, climbing, crocodile breathing, balancing, or bear-walking, just know that I’m doing something else that makes all of that ok – movnatting.
Adam Poltrack is a 25-year-old freelance writer and personal trainer, based out of Yorktown, NY. He has written for websites such as abovelive.com and 247 wallst.com and co-authored work that appeared on Yahoo, MSNBC, and the Huffington Post. An avid athlete and competitor, Adam enjoys all forms of mental and physical exercise. He is currently working on creating his own travel blog.
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