Be Well-Rounded, with Sharp Edges: Cultivating the MovNat Experience, by Kellen Milad – MovNat Team Instructor
My role as MovNat team instructor continues to be an absolutely incredible experience. Each weekend, I get to escape reality and embark on a new adventure, see new places, meet new people, and explore the full spectrum of human movement. Awesome job, without a doubt, – but there are also some unique challenges that accompany each weekend workshop adventure.
Recently some of these challenges showed up with a vengeance. Halfway through my journey to Orlando, FL, my flight got sidelined in Memphis. Long story short, I made it to Orlando, but not until 1 am. Not enough sleep, and not enough time to explore the park prior to the start of the workshop. No excuses though: Adapt!
I rolled up to the park to find a few Vibram-ites eagerly waiting. Pretty soon, the group was whole, and as we went through introductions, the complications from the trip into Florida faded. Every person in the group had a specific reason to share, each one different, for why they had signed on for a MovNat workshop, and they were all equally clear about what had drawn them to MovNat in the first place. With so much thoughtfulness and awareness already in evidence, I knew this would be a great day.
‘One of the participants, Tony Federico, said something that particularly resonated with me, right off the jump. To paraphrase, he said: where we might otherwise have become limited by modern conventions, the MovNat perspective gives us permission to move as we are naturally meant to move.’
This is the exact reason I joined the MovNat team – to help others open their eyes to this possibility. Tony would go on to write a blog post about his experiences at the workshop. It was great to see how the MovNat system inspired him in some of the same ways it has inspired me. I wanted to address some of the key points in Tony’s post.
Tony highlights the point that Movnatters “inhabit a world different from the rest” or, at least, have a different view of the world.
‘MovNat has this way of changing you, enabling you to see the world in terms of opportunities to practice, adapt, and refine movement skills. In addition, with MovNat, we are not concerned with the minimal effective dose of fitness, but with making the most out of the opportunities you have to move naturally.’
I encouraged the workshop participants to keep this in mind in their daily lives, as well as during formalized training. We live in a world that strongly values the use of technology and innovations to improve quality of life. All too often these interventions are used without ever asking the question: was change needed in the first place? The face of modern fitness is a prime example. We have confined our movement experiences to artificial environments and “technological advances” that only distort our awareness and our capacity for free movement. But there are also a growing number of us who see the world as a playground of “possibility and exploration.”
‘Tony also has some keen insights on the potential downside to over-specialization. What happens when a situation demands more from us?’
From survival situations, to just being able to keep up with your kids, there are countless ways we will encounter the need to move. Developing a broad skill base ensures that you won’t be unprepared when unexpected circumstances arise. My primary intention for the workshop was to present a set of tools that each person could use to gain more confidence in their movement competence, no matter what the stakes.
‘With this, I always come back to my favorite “Erwanism” – Be well-rounded, with sharp edges. This has truly become my rallying message.’
And as we finished up in Orlando that day, I knew I could head home confident that these guys would continue building their respective MovNat practices with fluidity, power, and grace across the spectrum. Just another weekend adventure in the life of a MovNat Instructor! I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to meet remarkable people and share this powerful message with an ever-growing community. As another fitness visionary says, “Power to us!”
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