Allow us to introduce you to Bob McMillan who is 80 years young, and one of the original MovNatters who attended one of the very first MovNat retreats held in West Virginia in 2009. Bob says, “MovNat changed my entire attitude about Health and Fitness and what being fit really means. I will always have a warm place in my heart for Erwan and MovNat. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to work directly with him.”
Today, you’ll learn why Bob has a very different view of aging than most folks and how he’s managed to stay active and capable into his eighties through Natural Movement. Enjoy!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Washington, DC and raised in Arlington, Virginia. I rowed on my High School National Championship 8-Oared crew team in 1957 and rowed at the University of Wisconsin.
I was a U.S. Marine Corps Officer and pilot, and flew helicopters in Vietnam. After that, I was a civilian helicopter instructor for the Army under contract with Southern Airways of Texas. I left to join the corporate world and disliked it. I formed my own Aviation Marketing company and I remained in marketing and sales in various industries until I retired. I produced seminars and was active in public speaking.
Today, I am a blogger, speaker and occasional workshop leader on the subject of Health, Fitness and Personal Energy for Seniors. I live with my wife and teenage grandson in Reston, Virginia. I turn 81 on April Fools Day, 2021.
What was life like for you before you found MovNat and participated in the retreat with Erwan Le Corre?
I was always active, but I had let myself get overweight and ate and drank too much during the early 2000s. An old friend from my rowing days talked me into rowing again, and I began to realize the value of fitness for Seniors while in my 60s. But I reverted. By the time I found MovNat, I was still in decent shape, but was overweight, and ate and drank too much. I was going to a conventional gym for exercise, and I could hang in there with most of the younger participants. But I let myself gain weight, overindulged in food and drink, and generally let myself go downhill.
How did you find out about MovNat and why did you decide to get into it?
I read an article about MovNat in Men’s Health Magazine. I was in my late 60s at the time. The entire concept of Natural Movement and what Erwan was doing with it appealed to me. I remember thinking that if he ever came to a location near me in the United States, I would sign up. I went to the website, watched the video, and got on the mailing list.
When Erwan announced that he was bringing the program to nearby West Virginia, I jumped at the chance. After a number of emails back and forth with Erwan, he convinced me that the program was scaled in a way that anyone could participate. So, I was off to West Virginia in September 2009 to participate in the first “MovNat Re-Awakening” program held in the United States. He had held a program for more advanced participants a week or so earlier.
Tell us about your experience at the MovNat Retreat.
The entire experience was both exhilarating and eye-opening. MovNat completely changed both my attitude and my approach to Health and Fitness. But it’s hard to pick out any one thing about the experience that stood out other than Erwan and his approach. It is a unique program that focuses on fitness differently than any other program that I have seen. I wrote a guest post for the MovNat Website a year or so after my actual time in the program detailing my experience.
I will say that I was energized by the experience and the way it was presented and carried out. As I said, it changed my own approach to Fitness. I enjoyed being outside, sleeping in a tent, eating outside at a “camp table” and informal “lectures” around a campfire in the evenings. I don’t know if you still do all that at the more recent retreats, but it was a very positive part of the West Virginia MovNat experience.
Note from MovNat: At our most recent Reconnect Retreat in Colombia earlier this month, participants enjoyed sharing meals, games, bonfires, live music, ample down time, and even Thai massage lessons on top of the actual training sessions. We believe these types of activities are crucial elements of the overall experience, and each retreat we host has a unique flavor of them.
What is life like now that you’ve spent a number of years practicing MovNat?
As a result of the MovNat retreat, I was inspired to get my life in order and get involved in Senior Fitness. I lost 40 pounds, changed my eating habits, cut out alcohol completely, and got back into great physical condition. I changed my exercise routine to include most of the MovNat movements and continue to do many of them today. I got a Personal Trainer Certification through NASM, along with a designation as a Senior Fitness Specialist; I must confess that I never used it.
I started a blog about Health, Fitness and Personal Energy shortly after returning from the MovNat retreat, and I have continued to speak and write about Health, Fitness and Personal Energy, ever since. I believe seniors are stronger than they think they are and can do much more than we think we can. It’s never too late to try something new.
Note: I am starting to do workshops again and will be starting to include videos as part of an expanding web presence for Senior Fitness. Here’s one video I filmed of a challenge I gave myself to do one of the most difficult core exercises, the Dragon Flag; made popular by the late Bruce Lee.
If you had to share any piece of advice with other people who want to make positive changes in their life, what would you tell them?
The very best advice I can give to others is to MOVE YOUR BODY. Your age and current physical condition don’t matter. If you have physical challenges, check with your doctor first, but the best thing you can do is MOVE, MOVE, MOVE! Move the way nature intended you to move. That will give you the physical energy you need to do all the things you want to do, with some energy left over.
I tell people that physical movement will help keep your old body young, your mind sharp, your attitude positive and you will discover the Fountain of Youth within you. You will Come Alive with Energy and Enthusiasm for life.
When we were in West Virginia and walking down a trail as a group, carrying a large log on our collective shoulders, a hiker shouted, “what are you training for?” A young woman who traveled all the way from London to attend with us shouted back, “We’re training for life!” That’s what it’s all about.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
All in all, I got an enormous amount of benefit from my experience in 2009. The program has advanced a great deal from where it was, but I still do low crawls under obstacles, crab walks, various get-ups (very important as a senior) and various other MovNat moves. I still go to a playground and climb over things and crawl under things. I continue to go to a regular gym, but the natural movements of MovNat are forever with me as part of my exercise routine.
I will always be grateful for having the MovNat experience as part of my life.
Bob McMillan is the founder of The Come Alive Project, LLC, www.thecomealiveproject.com , dedicated to helping active seniors remain active and energized through Attitude, Exercise and Movement, and the proper fuel.
Note: here’s an older video of Bob practicing MovNat shortly after he attended the MovNat Re-Awakening Retreat.
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Bob McMillan, took a “leap of faith” and signed up for a 5 day MovNat retreat when he was 69 years old. Today, at almost 81 years old, he is still using what he learned twelve years ago to move naturally and enjoy his everyday life to the fullest. Will you be next?
The MovNat Level 1 Certification is your entry point into the world’s official Natural Movement Fitness program. It equips you with the knowledge, skills, and methods you need to transform your movement & fitness and build real world capability from the ground up. You’ll learn not only the movements in the official MovNat curriculum, but also the methods to apply those movements to your unique needs, goals, and circumstances.
Over the last twelve years, MovNat has helped thousands of people from all walks of life restore their natural abilities and lay a foundation for a deeper, lifelong movement practice. We are the original, official, and only Natural Movement® Fitness certification, with thousands of certified professionals and dozens of MovNat Licensed Facilities all around the world.
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