Why I Rercertified in MovNat and What I Learned the Second Time Around
By Dr. Jenny Ploss, PT, DPT, Level 2 MovNat Certified Trainer
I came across MovNat through my physical therapy practice. I am a physical therapist at Langford Sports & Physical Therapy, a small clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. One of my colleagues, Dr. Jimmy Minner, PT, DPT, SCS, was introduced to MovNat by pro MMA fighter, Carlos Condit, and he brought it back to our clinic, teaching us some of the movements for use with our patients.
After trying some of these movements, I chose to attend a certification for two reasons. First, I saw obvious use for these movements in my PT practice. I wrote more about this in a previous blog, which you can read here: Why Natural Movement Is Therapy. Second, it was a personal challenge. I am a rock climber, cyclist, and runner. I paid my way through college at UC Davis on a soccer scholarship. I have always competed, but am more drawn to personal achievement these days instead of competition against others. MovNat certification provided a way to challenge myself in new ways, and I was instantly drawn to it.
During my level I certification, I was impressed with many of my abilities. Not to be conceited, but I learned I have a pretty good movement base. I was good at balance and a lot of the ground movements, and I can jump with confidence for small distances and to larger landings. I’m a rock climber, and was surprisingly good at the climbing components of MovNat. The big thing I ran into was efficiency. I could do these things, but I didn’t make them look as easy and effortless as the Instructor, Danny Clark, did. I learned regressions which I could practice to improve my efficiency, and I use these regularly on my own and with my PT clients and MovNat class participants. I ended up passing my MovNat tests and felt that I had learned some great ways to use these movements for my own practice as well as with my patients.
By the third day, I was starting to get pretty sore, despite how in shape I thought I was. And then we started the level II certification. Here, my confidence was seriously challenged. I could jump, yes. But I couldn’t land on a smaller surface in a precision landing. I could balance, but I wasn’t comfortable doing so very high above the ground, and I’d never worked on lateral balance before. And vaulting. It was one of those things I simply had written off as impossible for me. I recently gave an interview for the Moving to Live podcast, by Ben Reuter, PhD, CSCS,*D, ATC (http://www.moving2live.com/), in which I mentioned that my dad used to vault over chain-link fences to get our stray soccer balls. It was easy and effortless for him–and impossible for me. But during my level II certification, I was taught how to progress toward effective vaulting. As I practiced over those two days, I became more capable, more efficient, and more confident. I was hooked. If I could learn how to vault with confidence, I could teach others to master the movements they found challenging or “impossible”.
I didn’t pass all of my movement tests for my level II certification. I had to work toward efficiency with some of these movements, and I had to learn to roll effectively. I eventually did pass, by working consistently on my own and while teaching MovNat classes at our training space, MoveTru at Langford. I continue to practice these movements today, and truly believe that they are the main reason I can continue to climb, run, and cycle with fewer injuries and more confidence than ever before.
When the recertification program started, I signed up right away. I thought I was re-certifying because I wanted to demonstrate to myself that I still had the ability to perform the level II movements effectively and efficiently. I thought I wanted to re-certify to integrate some more cues, regressions, and teaching habits from Danny Clark. I thought I was going to validate my level II certification to myself. And I got to do all of that–to an extent I couldn’t even imagine. I felt pretty darn awesome (and very sore), and I had met all those goals I thought I had prior to helping out with a level II certification.
What I didn’t realize was how much I MISSED in my initial level II certification course, and how much MORE I got out of it by being an integral part of it a second time. I love that I got to re-certify by helping teach a course—being there, getting to practice my teaching skills, and getting to try the primary instructor’s cues and regressions and progressions is so amazingly helpful. I thought I had really assimilated things in my first certification, but I really hadn’t. Yes, I had gotten the basics–I remembered the skills, and I was able to give good modifications to help people work toward effectively and efficiently completing those skills. But I missed the nuances. And to be honest, I completely forgot a few movements or regressions. I mean, they felt familiar, but I had not revisited them since the first weeks after my initial certification.
What else I didn’t realize was what a motivator re-certifying was for me. I wanted to be able to teach, demonstrate, and learn to the best of my ability, and so I practiced—a LOT. I practiced when teaching classes, and I integrated what I knew I needed to work on (teaching-wise and performance-wise) in my warm-ups and combos. My goal to be able to teach and perform the level II skills efficiently was a huge motivator and reminder of my Natural Movement practice.
What’s next for me? I will continue to refine and practice my own natural movement skills, and I will continue to help others by teaching classes at our training facility, MoveTru at Langford. And I will continue to re-certify by helping with courses whenever I can, as well as by levelling up to level III when I have the time to do so. I obviously often miscalculate what I will get out of a certification–you really can’t know what you’ll get out of it until you’ve done it, and maybe not even until you’ve re-certified and practiced for a few years afterward. But I think I would like to do level III for my own body and movement confidence. I want the challenge. I want the variety. And I want the camaraderie. I have met amazing people through MovNat certifications and practice, and I’d like to continue to do so.
About the Author
Dr. Jenny Ploss, PT, DPT is a Level 2 MovNat Certified Trainer and a specialist in Bone Health, Climbing-Specific Strength, and Injury Prevention. Jenny is also a physical therapist at Langford Sports & Physical Therapy in Albuqurque, NM and has a passion for “prehab”–helping people with injury prevention rather than just post-injury treatment. She is an accomplished rock climber who hosts regular injury-prevention clinics at Langford and who trains some of Albuquerque’s strongest climbers, with an emphasis on form and longevity. She approaches her own training with determination and variety and brings that same attitude to her classes and clients.
Photos are courtesy of Jenny Ploss, PT, from MoveTru at Langford