What Sarah learned from Jazz Musicians

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A big fat dinner party. Raising money for a good cause. Training with others to run a 13.1. Sitting back to listen to some great jazz musicians create amazing music. All of these have something in common... people working together...collaborating.

Collaboration is so where it's at! And yes, there’s goodness to be had in solitude, but working with other people to create an event, an experience, is truly a bad*ss, mojo, wonder-us, bit of magic. Because after all, wherever two or more are gathered together focused towards a common goal, well, the energy grows exponentially and amazingly beautiful things happen. That's the kind of groove I love to be a part of.

So it's no wonder that I’m totally geeked about the Women’s Movement Collaborative weekend. The WMC team is such a stunning collection of strong (physically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually) women.  Each has carved out a niche for themselves.

They’ve “struggled strong”, as WMCer Jamie Snow talks about (and Jamie truly knows the strength and vulnerability it takes to “struggle strong”) to claim their unique and oh so personal space in the world. Each woman on the WMC team has been inspired and believes in giving back by inspiring others to find their strength and their passion.

But it's not been all rainbows and unicorns for these women. Each of these women have had to make their way in the face of stereo-types and preconceived notions of what a woman is capable of and what a woman should be and should do. And they’ve all fallen on their asses but have refused to accept failure as an option. They get back up and find a way. Each of these women are ridiculously persistent with a“f*ck you if you think I’m gonna accept defeat” kind of attitude.

But they are also a fiercely playful band of women. They love to laugh. They love to joyfully express themselves through movement. They explore their limits intelligently, and yes, sometimes stupidly. I mean what sane person runs anything past a 13.1. Sarah Scozzaro (Drty Runner), 100km!? 100miles!? WTF!? But seriously Sarah, those friggin’ crazy distances are amazing. Can't wait to hear about the demons you had to wrestle and how you kicked their *sses to the curb to make it happen.

And then there’s the dynamic duo of “Strong Body & Strong Mind”, Julie Angel and MaryBeth Gangemi. Talk about two women who live movement and are passionate about making movement accessible to everyone. And by movement I’m not talking about simply taking a walk around the block or a few downward dogs. I'm talking about crazy *ss Parkour and MovNat moves. Teaching all kinds of people how to start small and explore movement to the fullness of their potential. To grow their potential (physical/mental/emotional/spiritual) through exploring movement. They are freakin’ Wonder Woman bad*sses who are curious and playful souls.

And can we talk Kristy Gosart? Sweet Jesus she can defy gravity. But what she loves better than being able to do all those fancy handstands and body weight moves is serving others in finding their own groove of defying gravity.

Then there’s Dani Almeyda. I gotta say my life has been blessed by knowing Dani and being able to witness her unfoldment as a positive force of nature in serving others by helping them reclaim their Original Strength. She is a damn strong woman, wildly creative, a lover of elevated rolls, with the heart of a warrior-goddess.

And last but not least, there's going to be a tribe of awesome women attending the WMC workshop. And each of these women is going to add their unique and special mojo magic to the party. The WMC weekend is going to be a big, fat, delicious weekend of collaboration and discovery. Hell, there may even be fireworks and a hallelujah chorus at some points. Because there's gonna be some mighty positive vibrational shifts of empowerment flowing as women come together creating spaciousness, for themselves and each other, in order to embrace more of their wondrous, bad*ss and beautiful potential.

So queue up Helen Reddy 'cuz we are women hear us roar!!

This blog was written by Sarah Young, who was recently featured as a #wcw and felt inspired to share her thoughts and words.  Thanks to Sarah for sharing!!!

 

WCW - Meet The Movement Maestro, Shante Cofield

Meet Shante. 

I've yet to meet her in person, but have been connected via the ever so powerful Instagram! You can check out her awesome insights and daily 'maestroisms' here.  

She is smart, and kind, and really freaking good at her job.  Not only that but she's funny, strong, and is an incredible teacher! We can't wait to connect to Shante in person and know that you are going to nerd out over her interview below and killer Instagram channel.  

Get to know Shante, aka. The Movement Maestro below!

Instagram and www.TheMovementMaestro.com

 

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What do you do?

Shante simply answered, 'Live the dream'... which pretty awesome itself!

 

What else do you do?

I'm a physical therapist by trade.

About 3 years ago I left the beaten path, took a job with RockTape, and never looked back. I travel the country teaching continuing education courses for RockTape, on subjects including kinesiology taping, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), but honestly...they're about MOVEMENT. All about movement.

I don’t fix, I facilitate.

I still treat, but my focus is on assessment and guidance. The majority of my patients come from social media, looking for a different approach to whatever it is that ails them. I typically see patients once every few weeks, with the emphasis being on THEM doing THEIR stuff and creating their own changes. I don't fix, I facilitate.

I also spend a hefty amount of time on social media, looking to provide free education to whoever is willing to listen, with my ultimate goal being to empower individuals not to be able to treat themselves, but to be able to recognize a good provider. If we want to fix the system, we gotta educate the consumer.

 

How do you define the word 'strength'?

The ability to face and overcome whatever challenges may face you.

Be that challenge gravity, social norms, insecurities, physical, mental, or emotional.

 

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

This question makes me think of one of my favorite quotes: "Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you will see farther."

I would say that I stumbled across my passion.

I took a traditionally PT job out of school and hated it. I almost left the profession but then discovered social media and an awesome dude name Perry Nickelston (@stopchasingpain) who would become my self-appointed mentor. I wound up taking a RockTape course simply because he was teaching it, totally fell in love with the content and their approach to movement.

I inquired about becoming an instructor, found myself in the right place at the right time, and fast forward about 2 years, I'm living the life I always wanted. I've always wanted to be an educator, and RockTape provide me with that platform. And honestly, this is just the beginning. Social media has absolutely played a HUGE role in this, allowing me to connect with providers and individuals around the world.

Each day things continue to unfold and reveal themselves to me. I've found myself receiving clinical inquires, but even more questions relating to creating new lifestyles and finding happiness. I continue to take it day by day, and the most incredible part is that after a few months, the view is completely new, and it's incredible.

 

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

Movement is EVERYTHING.

CrossFit has become a huge part of my life, and I go to the box about 5-6x a week if I'm not traveling for work. If I am traveling for work then I do my best to drop in to a local box, which is honestly one of the coolest parts about traveling.

If I'm at home and CrossFit isn't an option (or if I just need a break), then you can be certain I'm taking advantage of that SoCal weather, hiking, biking, or chilling at the beach. Movement is life, and I make certain to find a way to bring it in to my day-to-day, be it a CrossFit WOD or just some simple mobility work in my living room.

 

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

Mindfulness.

I think one of the biggest problems today is that people are so detached from themselves and their experiences that they can't every truly learn and grow from them.

Wearables and a fast-paced lifestyle seems to have everyone focusing on external feedback instead of truly experiencing and feeling whatever it is that their doing. Too much looking to 'gurus' or fads or trends.

The fact of the matter is, something works for everyone, but not everything will work for someone. Meaning, find what speaks to your nervous system, and do it.

I love CrossFit. CrossFit is not for everyone. I've got friends who swear by Animal Flow, or pilates, or yoga, or running...and that's great.

As long as you're moving, I'm happy. Find what speaks to you and go from there.

 

How do you define 'fitness'?

Gonna have to steal one from CrossFit for this answer: "There are 10 recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these 10 skills. A regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these 10 skills."

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Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I see the future of fitness moving towards a more well-rounded approach. No one modality is king.

People are finally starting to realize just how incredible the human body is, and the fact that experiencing these heights doesn't require you to beat yourself down day in and day out.

If you’re not healthy, you’re not fit. If you’re always injured, you’re not fit.

In fact, that mindset is actually the opposite of what you want to be doing. People are realizing and recognizing the value of recovery, the importance of nutrition, the necessity of movement virtuosity, and the fact that fitness is not determined by the presence of a 6-pack.

If you're not healthy, you're not fit. If you're always injured, you're not fit.

People are educating themselves, empowering themselves, and the future of fitness is one filled with individuals who are healthier, because they realize that that is the basis of true fitness.

 

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Absolutely. As I said before, movement is life.

An interesting study came out in 2012 by Brazilian researchers that found a direct correlation between movement and longevity. The study simply looked to see if folks could sit down on the ground and then stand back up without the use of their hands. They found that those who were unable to perform this task are 6.5x more likely to DIE within the next 6 years. DIE!

Why do I bring this up? Because as your movement arsenal grows, your resiliency grows with it. Knowing that you can lift something, scale something, get into a position, makes you feel that much more prepared for whatever life may throw at you, and thus that much more confident facing any and all obstacles.

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

Watching people push themselves and accomplish things they didn't think possible. Doesn't matter if it's a pro athlete or kid trying something for the first time.

Human physical achievement speaks to so much more than physical capacity and capability. It speaks to mindset, to dedication, to perseverance, to courage, to heart. It's a physical representation of that person's soul, and seeing that poured out and left on the battlefield motivates the crap out of me.

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Quality over quantity. Movement virtuosity.

As a young kid I was super athletic and just banked on that. I played tons of sports but never had any formal technique training or technique work. When I was 15 I tore my ACL/MCL/meniscus, and then about 2 years later a tore the lateral meniscus of of left knee.

I got surgery, never rehabbed as much as I should have, focused too much on just getting back to playing, and paid for it down the road. I've since focused a TON on my movement and feel the best that I have quite possibly ever felt in my life, but I didn't have to take the hard road to get there.

Work smarter, not harder. Listen to your body.

Treat and use your body with the understanding that you only get one.

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

Ask. Don't be afraid to ask for things. Asking for something changed my life.

It's a very male mentality to go into things and have zero problem asking for things...a raise, a promotion, a set on the bench that you're using.

I think that as women, we often believe that if we work hard, do what is asked of us, and give 110%, our efforts will be recognized and rewarded.

Lovely thought, but not always realistic. If you want it, work for it. But don't be afraid to ask for it. It just might change your life.

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Woman Crush Wednesday-Meet Mirna

 

Meet Mirna Valerio.

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You may have seen Mirna on the NBC news, or in a viral post on Facebook. Oh, wait, or maybe you saw her on the latest issue of Women's Running, or under the pen name, Fat Girl Running, or in this awesome Lane Bryant Campaign (which includes a 4 week program written by Mirna)!  

If you didn't catch on so far, Mirna is a runner, and not just any runner, she's one of those people that love to just run and run and run and run... she does the crazy long, ultra races.... kinda like former #wcw and WMC Project presenter, Sarah Scozzaro

We asked Mirna to be a #wcw a while back and wow is she blowing it up and being oh, so crushable!! Go Mirna!  

So awesome to see Mirna making such a solid impact on women all around the globe and we're over here crossing our fingers that we'll get to meet Mirna in person sometime soon! 

Alright, get ready to crush as we introduce you more to Mirna Valerio... aka. The Mirnavator! 

Oh, and you'll want to check these out:

 TWITTER   -  INSTAGRAM  

 fatgirlrunning-fatrunner.blogspot.com 

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What do you do?

I am an educator: Director of Equity and Inclusion/Spanish/Cross Country Coach

What else do you do?

I also blog at fatgirlrunning-fatrunner.blogspot.com; I am a contributing writer for Women's Runner Magazine, and am an author of the forthcoming book A Beautiful Work in Progress, due out October 1, 2017

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength is that which emanates from you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It counteracts all forces of life gravities and allows you to stand on your own two feet, and withstand that which attempts to knock you down.

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

I have always been a educator and writer, and since high-school a runner. I discovered running as a means of becoming a better field hockey and lacrosse athlete, and fell in love with the sport as well.

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

I'm always training for something: races, Tough Mudders, life and longevity....so it's a vital part of my day, that is scheduled in.

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

Schedule it in and really make it an essential part of your lifestyle.

You can’t wait for your body to be perfect.

Think of it as a way to help prevent disease and chronic illness, and most importantly as a way to make sure your body is functionally strong and able to do the things it was meant to do.

How do you define 'fitness'?

Fitness is the ability to move about freely and unencumbered most of the time, and at high intensities without persistent pain (soreness notwithstanding).

The ability to run, walk briskly, swim, exercise, without hurting yourself--the ability to do these things for long periods of time. The ability to recover fairly quickly from these activities.

The ability to depend on your strong body to be functionally healthy. This applies to differently abled bodies too.

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

Fitness will be for everyone, and it won't be limited to a certain aspirational body type.

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Absolutely. When movement is a constant in your daily routine, you constantly discover how physically and mentally strong you are. You are constantly confronted with your own humanity and this creates a connection with self that is unlike any other activity.

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

I am motivated by the possibilities of discovering how far, how fast, how long my body can go, move, be.

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Well, there really is no former self--isn't it the same self but on a different place in the life continuum? I have no regrets.

THANKS MIRNA! We are now changing this question to your 'younger' self! :) 

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

You are enough, and this has always been the truth whether you believe it or not.

 

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Support Mirna further and read more from her in her new book, Beautiful Work In Progress... Which already sounds awesome!

 

 

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday-Meet Barb

 

Meet Barb Hoogenboom. Aside from this killer last name, Barb is a professional who understands the true power of movement.... oh, and she's just an awesome human.

She's a respected professor of Physical Therapy, a certified Athletic Trainer, and a published author. You can find a number of research articles written by her! She's a leader in the field of movement and passionate about it, but incredibly humble, gracious, and kind.

We love that she approaches learning with a beginner's mindset and that she has fun.  It's obvious that Barb is committed to her own movement practice and motivated to add goodness to the world. She's totally a Woman Crush!!

Connect with Barb:    Facebook  -  Instagram  -  Twitter

And now let's learn some more about her!

What do you do?

Physical therapist, athletic trainer, professor/educator, journal editor

What else do you do?

Bits and pieces of writing, online marketing and research.

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Wisdom in action, the ability to help others

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

Got super lucky to find physical therapy.  I related to an accident my brother had and I watched his physical therapists make an amazing difference in his life.

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

Walking, hiking, strength training, yoga

Find something that “isn’t just ‘work’ but that gives you joy”.

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

 Start by exploring, find something you love to do! Find something that "isn't just 'work' but that gives you joy".

 

How do you define 'fitness'?

Working toward optimal health by choosing activity that allows for all being. Being active every day in some way!

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

Movement based, balanced activities with components of aerobic, strength, and flexibility tailored to each individual

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Improved posture, maintenance of balance abilities, positive self image, improved body image even as I age.

What motivates the crap out of you? 

MUSIC, working out with my daughter, overall desire to be healthy

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Don't work so much!

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

Live life joyfully. Love others. You only have one chance

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday-Meet Monserrat

Meet Monserrat Alvarez.

We were connected with Monserrat through one of our other #wcw crushes, Andrea Brooks. Monserrat has a bright and vibrant energy and a fighting spirit to make outdoor spaces more accessible for all people.

We are inspired by her passion to educate others and to be a role model to the next generation.  Monserrat is part of an awesome non-profit organization called CityWILD in Colorado who's mission is 'to provide low income, culturally diverse youth with outdoor and environmental service learning opportunities that promote developmental themes of personal empowerment, leadership and community participation'.

Connect with Mons on Instagram at @In_lak_ech.  

 

What do you do?

I Rock Climb.  

What else do you do?

White water rafting and backpacking.

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength is what you need to be resilient in the face of adversity and challenges.

Strength is what you need to be resilient in the face of adversity and challenges.

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

When I was in college I was introduced to rock climbing, however I did not feel like I belonged in those spaces. Once I moved to Colorado, I began to find my own space with other women who climb.

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

My work outdoors requires constant movement, from ice breakers to rock climbing.

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

I would say bouldering is a more accessible way to try out rock climbing, it doesn't require a lot of gear or a climbing partner.  

WMC Explanation: Bouldering is rock climbing stripped down to its raw essentials. Forget about the climbing gear, like ropes and harnesses, and grab a pair of climbing shoes, a safety mat (usually helpful), and some chalk for your hands.  You don't need a large, high route to climb, your challenge is to climb shorter, but tricky routes, which make you focus on balance, strength, technique,  and your mind (yes, you actually need to think and strategize). Here is an article that we found on some tips to start Bouldering.  Now go outside and find a rock to climb, or look up your local climbing gym. 

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Yes! Especially when I am surrounded by women who love and support each other in the sport.

 

 

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

When I am trad leading on a route and get nervous, I start singing! I sing "Make Me Proud" by Drake or any Selena songs!

You are enough. You don’t need to fit in with anyone’s standards of what it means to be a “climber”!

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

You are enough. You don't need to fit in with anyone's standards of what it means to be a "climber"!

Are there any women or groups that motivate you that you'd like to see us connect with or interview?

Bethany Lebewitz, founder of Brown Girls Climb

 

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

I hope we continue to love and uplift each other in whatever sport or activity we participate in!

 

Woman Crush Wednesday-Meet Analisa

 

Meet Analisa Naldi.

When this strong and positive woman walks into a room, it instantly gets brighter. Analisa is kind, fun, funny, loves the color pink, secretly (or not so secretly at all) wants to be a mermaid, and is an amazing coach always up for an adventure.  

Just recently we cheered for Analisa as she completed the Strongfirst Iron Maiden Challenge and trained hard for it.  

She is amazing at connecting with others and lifting others up.  Trust us. She truly is a 'proliferator of good ass vibes' (which makes for a perfect collaborator) and a perfect #wcw. 

Connect with her on Facebook or  Instagram.

Okay, you've heard enough from us, let's let you get to know Analisa yourself! 

 

What do you do?

I am a strength and conditioning coach, cultivator of community, a forever student of movement and growth, and a proliferator of good ass vibes.

What else do you do?

Surf, Wakeboard, Paddleboard, Float, and Cook :) Anything that involves water, food, or surrounding myself with amazing people stokes my fire.

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength is taking action in a direction that brings both fear and excitement to your soul.

 

How did you discover your passion/work?

I was in rehab post tumor-removal in the facility that our college basketball team did our strength and conditioning training and the owner swung by to see me, asked if I was interested in expanding my love for community, getting stronger, and teaching into a summer job. I was stoked and honored. 

Ultimately it was the blend of a tumor, a kind man named Gary Riekes, and the opportunity to connect with people who wanted to move better that led me into my passion and career.  

Can you tell me more about your feelings on good ass vibes and how to other women can become proliferators too?

:) I grew up in a family environment with a message of surrounding yourself with the types of people you want to be like, the energy you exude is that which finds you, and everyday is an opportunity to BE better.  My parents swear that from the age of 2 I was a kiddo that was stoked on life, to the extent that at the age of 3, I took the liberty of walking in front of a crowd of people at my older sister’s kindergarten play and welcomed everybody, then proceeded to walk through the crowd and shake people’s hands. 

They laugh every time they tell the story and tell me that organic happiness and connection brings more happiness and that these good vibes can be passed along; all it takes is one person to believe.  

One of my core values as a person and a professional is for every encounter or experience that I have with a person leave a positive mark and with them feeling better than they did before; this is at the core of being a Proliferator of Good Ass Vibes. 


One of my core values as a person and a professional is for every encounter or experience that I have with a person leave a positive mark and with them feeling better than they did before; this is at the core of being a Proliferator of Good Ass Vibes.  A genuine care about BE-ing good, through consistent actions, words, and the energy that you exude to those around you.  The Golden Rule says it best I believe; do unto others as you’d have done unto you.  You’ve got this!  

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

I have my own strength practice first thing every morning, regardless of location or situation, which includes a pre/post movement meditation. I coach daily, teach resets regularly, and am fortunate to live in a place where walking to/from the places I need to run errands is up and down fabulous city hills :) (True San Francisco Treat!).

Honestly, growing up on a ranch, movement has always been an expected part of the day, from the most menial tasks to the challenging ones, that the intentional movement (my strength practice, yoga practice, surf/SUP/board activities) are more scheduled and the rest of my activity is automatic because it enables me to get to where I want to go, surround myself with like-minded active folks, and help teach, learn, and inspire those that might not embrace movement the way I have grown to know and love.

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

I believe that a healthy starting point for anybody is a brainstorm, followed by guided exploration. (see below) I would start with asking them what they're inspired by; what types of movements, activities, people are they drawn to?

Why?

Once they can brainstorm and identify (as clearly as possible) these things, then we can collectively search for common factors, threads, etc....are they strength based? Creative based? Dance? Exploratory? Etc......

Once they have identified and clarified a more specific list of activities that they are drawn to (either directly or based on factors above), then we usually start with one habit/movement, short regimen, or system (individual dependent) that we aim to implement for one week at a time.

We collectively set the intention (e.g. number of days, hours, minutes) and check in daily to accomplish. I am a huge fan, student, teacher, and advocate for the Original Strength System, Ground Force Method, and MovNat as options for those that aren't super sure of what they want to do, how to get there, or what movement even means :)

 

Can you tell people more about your mermaid loving adventures and how they might get started in a water sport?  

I believe everybody should know how to swim; not only because I feel that the water is restorative, brings life, and happiness, but also because it can save your life or the life of somebody you love.  So, let’s start there. 

If you don’t know how to swim, I encourage you to find an instructor you trust and learn.  And if you don’t know one, reach out and through our strong network of awesome people we will help you find one! Either way, get yourself into the water!  

Now that we’ve covered that  …. On to the fun stuff! If you’re comfortable in the water or find it calming and restorative, I’d recommend starting on a Stand Up Paddleboard because you can make it as challenging or chill as you like; flat water, rushing river water, or even ocean water…it is all amazing! And it can be physically demanding (conditions dependent) or not (again, those flat water restorative SUP adventures are beneficial for those looking to slow down from our fast lives); which is what makes time in the water so special.  


If you’re more of an adventure seeker, love the feel of the water on your skin, your face, and being IN it, then I would definitely suggest taking a surf lesson (or SUP surf if you’re familiar on a SUP) and getting into the waves. 

Few things that provide the type of feeling (in my opinion) as catching a wave and riding alongside the ocean, the sunshine, and being both humbled and invigorated by this huge body of water. 

If you’re intrigued as to WHY water has this beautiful power over us, one of my favorite reads is “Blue Mind” by Wallace J Nichols.  This provides excellent detailed insight as to how and why the water not only provides so many of us with restoration, happiness, and a feeling of connectedness, but he shares both stories and research in support of those concepts.
 

How do you define 'fitness'?

In my perspective, fitness is the alignment of the body and minds' ability to withstand, recover, or react positively to the demands of daily living as well as challenging conditions.

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I see the future of fitness continuing to grow in importance, becoming a balance of in-person education complimented with technology (remote options in order for us to extend our reach further, adding autonomy and strengthening relationships through keeping in touch regardless of distance), and hopefully bringing back more activity for our youth as this is where the message of movement as an everyday element of living begins.

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Movement fuels my self-confidence because it allows me to explore, test, suck at, and figure out how to grow. It brings my mind, body, and emotional strength onto the same team and requires them to work together in order to acquire skills, gain strength, improve movement patterns, or quite simply, feel better! :)

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

Anybody who sets their personal bar high, steps outside of their comfort zones and takes action in the direction of being better, learning, and becoming a positive force in their own life.

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Fidati Del Processo

The same advice I give myself daily: Fidati Del Processo, which means 'Trust the Process' in Italian.

This trust will carry you through challenges and victories, conflict and resolution, questions and answers, and help you maintain a passionate level of humility that will enable you to remain a lifelong student, therefore becoming the greatest teacher you can be.

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

One of my favorites from Eleiko: Set Your Bar High, Be Kind, and Do More of What Makes You Stronger! This is one of my favorites.

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday-Meet Zofia

Meet Zofia Reych.  She hails from Poland, but traveling the world as a climbing anthropologist and a digital nomad making a living on writing, research and marketing.  She already sounds interesting right?!

Zof hops around Europe pulling hard, watching closely, and writing thoughtfully. Captivating and mysterious, she's equally at home discussing sociology of sport and feminist studies as she is cranking on granite crimps and limestone pockets.  

Check out her adventures on Instagram and Twitter and connect. You'll soon see her passion and zest popping through and also see why she is today's #wcw.  Oh, and make sure to check her blog out at www.upthatrock.com.

photo by @kiellgram | Bulgaria | June 2017

photo by @kiellgram | Bulgaria | June 2017

 

What do you do?

I try to boulder, which means climbing low rocks over protective pads.

What else do you do?

Bits and pieces of writing, online marketing and research.

How do you define the word 'strength'?

I guess it's the ability to face challenges with a smile.

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

My mother took me scrambling since I was three and from then I somehow progressed to rock climbing. I have a deep love for the mountains but I now mostly climb very small rocks.

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

If all is going well, training for climbing can take me up to 30 hours a week but so far I managed to train like that only once in my life. It was last year before a trip to Switzerland and the progress was insane.

Most of the time I can't afford to spend this much time training but if you add it all together I probably move for about 20h a week anyway.

It's just that only half of it would be serious training and the rest just more mellow stuff like gentle yoga or jogging with my dog (who still can't understand how not to get the leash tangled between my ankles).

photo by @dylanasena | Rocklands | July 2017 | 'Tea Garden Arch' 7B

photo by @dylanasena | Rocklands | July 2017 | 'Tea Garden Arch' 7B

 

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

Build a strong foundation of overall body fitness before you proceed to pushing yourself.  

How do you define 'fitness'?

Maintaining all the agility that we are born with and not compromising it through an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle.

Fitness is: Maintaining all the agility that we are born with and not compromising it through an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle.

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I think it will be seen as less of a fad and more of a healthy lifestyle staple. At least that's my hope.

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Self-confidence isn't something I think of, so I can't really say. I know many people struggle with it and I'm sure that having a strong and agile body and a good relationship with your own body is something that can be helpful.

What motivates the crap out of you? 

The feeling of moving my body is usually enough.

I read somewhere in an academic article (that I now can't remember) that some people were genetically hardwired to conserve energy and some to actively seek out food. I'm not a massive believer in evolutionary determinism but maybe there's something to it.

I just love to move.

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Be more decisive and less full of yourself.

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

Enjoying a strong, healthy body and having the opportunity to push its limits is a privilege, so appreciate it and make sure you don't miss out on it.

 

 

 

How to train less, enjoy more, and move well.

I'm going to tell you a secret. I do not train for 3 hours every day. Some times I do not train much more than 3 hours a week.

I love training but I have a full time non-fitness job. I also want to spend time coaching, making cool shit, hanging out with my friends, going for long hikes and taking my kittens to the emergency vet when they get in a fight with a bee. Ok, I don't love the emergency vet but I have a lot of things that I want to do with my time as well as training.

So how do I fit it all in? There's skill training, strength training, flexibility work, flow, rehab, prehab... It's exhausting just writing all that out. But I can do it all in less than an hour a day (on average). 

 

Here are my top 3 tips:

  1. Do the minimum amount that you need to in order to be able to do the things that I want to do. Through practice and experimentation I have found that I get the best results when I do strength and skill work 4 times a week for between 60 and 90 minutes. I do not need to do more. In fact when I do train more I tend to get worse results. 
  2. Don't try and learn everything at once. Focus on the things that are the most important to you. Would I like to be able to do a full split in my handstand. Hell yes! Do I need to? Not at all. What is your number 1 goal? Focus on that. I usually have 2 skills that I am focusing on and one flexibility goal.
  3. Stack your workout. I do rehab, prehab and flexibility exercises during my rest periods on my strength exercises. For example I'll do a superset of handstand push-ups and cossack squats with one of my shoulder rehab exercises during the rest period.

 

I am not saying you shouldn't train more. If you have the time and the ability to recovery, then go for it. I trained 30 hours a week when I was a teenager and I loved it so much. What I am saying is that you don't need to. It's about prioritizing what is important to you, smart programming and working with your lifestyle.

I thought it might be helpful to share how I organize my workout so I can both kick ass in my training and actually have time to work and enjoy the summer. Check out this video that I made of my workout:

If you are not interested in watching a 5 minute video here are the main takeaways:

  • Warm-up: Keep it short and warm-up the things that you are going to use in that workout.
  • Skill Work: I set aside a maximum of 30 minutes to work on skills but often spend less time.
  • Skill Work: Stack your skill work so that you are doing a flexibility or rehab exercise during your rest period.
  • Skill Work: If a skill is not working move on. Don't get frustrated.
  • Conditioning: I include strength, active flexibility and exercises that are keeping my joints healthy and put them into circuits so that I can fit as much in as possible.
  • Conditioning: I use smart programming and focus on the exercises that I need and not every possible exercise that I can do.
  • Finisher: Short and intense endurance work at the end of my workout. It is important to do this at the end so that I am not exhausted for the rest of my workout.
You don’t need to spend hours a day in the gym to be able to move well, build strength and learn some skills.
— Kirsty Grosart

So in total I spend 5-10 minutes warming up, 15-30 minutes on skill work, 20-30 minutes on conditioning and then 10 minutes on my finisher. I do sessions such as this 4 times a week.

You don't need to spend hours a day in the gym to be able to move well, build strength and learn some skills.

 

Have fun and enjoy your workouts!

Woman Crush Wednesday- Meet Sarah

Meet Sarah Young.  

She is a one of the most intelligent and passionate people you will meet.  Sarah is all about movement... and supporting and connecting with others.  And of course the Women's Movement Collaborative would be crushin' hard on a strong and wise woman with a huge soft spot for movement and a true understanding of collaboration.  Sarah is a massage therapist, coach, and professional 'learner' and it's our pleasure to introduce you to her.  

Connect with Sarah at the upcoming Women's Movement Collaborative Project in North Carolina this Fall, and on Twitter and Facebook

Okay, and now onto the good stuff... let's hear what Sarah has to say!

 

What do you do?

That's a good question :)

Simple answer: My goal is to serve others in moving thru the world more fluidly with more joy, more strength, and more power. In order to keep moving from good to better to best in that goal I strive to keep on learning.

I am an Original Strength Instructor and I love OS because I've been blessed to witness it positively impact people's lives over and over again. The OS Family believes in lifting others up + in hope thru movement. It just doesn't get much better or more powerful than that. I'm also currently in a Hanna Somatics Clinical training program. Both OS and HS are powerful, mojo, magic sh*t, for awesome transformation. I'm also a massage therapist.

 

What else do you do?

I'm currently in a gin + tonic phase (The Botanist + Q tonic + lime. Learning to appreciate Monkey 47.) I enjoy an eclectic selection of music. Mavis Staples is full on inspirational!! Just caught Rhiannon Giddens live... amazing!!

I love to connect with and watch others connect to create positive change. Working on my 'play nice + be kind' muscles. I enjoy riding the 'Happy Bus' :)

 

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength is a quality of body/mind/spirit. Developing that trifecta is what leads to wholeness. And strength in its purest expression is about lifting others up.

 

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

Wow. That's a really long meandering story. I'll just draw on a quote I heard many years ago, "My past has brought me brilliantly to here." (-unknown)

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

My intention is to enjoy more and more playful movement exploration.

Love me some Original Strength Resets. I vestibulate. I crawl. I walk. I ruck. Sometimes I play with kettlebells. I run. I swim. I like walking on parking blocks like there are hungry alligators on each side (don't want to feed the gators ;).

My intention is to enjoy more and more playful movement exploration. I pandiculate with Hanna Somatics.

 

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

Check out Original Strength. Because OS has helped me recover from a whole lot of stupid over the years. I just turned 56 and I'm feeling better and moving better than I did 20+ years ago.  And I keep finding more strength and resilience in my body that wants to come out and play. I'd also suggest checking out Hanna Somatics.

How do you define 'fitness'?

To quote Dr. Phil Maffetone from an article he wrote for endurance athletes, "We may be fit but are we healthy?" I think that's the real question.

“We may be fit but are we healthy?”

 

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's on a trajectory away from external cues, (I.e. how much, how heavy, how fast, how far, what the Fitbit says, what the scale says, how a person looks) and heading towards a more healthy and playful paradigm.

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

It does now. In the past, it kinda sorta but not really did.

My perspective and experience of movement has shifted. Once upon a time it was about exercise & fitness. And that was ok. It was where I was at. But it wasn't always healthy.

Now my focus is about feeling good and being healthy. And self-confidence can't help but flow from that. I'm guessing it's a Zen, parasympathetic relationship kind of thing.

What motivates the crap out of you?

"The fullness in your life is only right where your body is. Not an inch away. Everything you need, everything that supports you to wake up is always here. There's never an ingredient missing in any given moment for you to be fully awake, fully alive, and fully human." -Abbess Kiki Christina Lehnherr And hearing a little AC/DC always puts a smile on my face :)

 

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

It gets better.

 

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

I'm so geeked about the Women's Movement Collaborative weekend!!!

 

Also, in every event I've ever attended with Sarah she finds someone to connect with and work on and help.  This lady truly loves what she does. Oh, and she's great to grab a drink with too!

Also, in every event I've ever attended with Sarah she finds someone to connect with and work on and help.  This lady truly loves what she does. Oh, and she's great to grab a drink with too!

Woman Crush Wednesday- Meet Leah

Meet Leah Gitterman.

Leah’s achievements in Powerlifting show one side of how strong and badass she is....and fun too! I mean... check out her answer to the 'what else do you do' question!   

Then a whole other side, that we admire so much, is the way she approaches her coaching. When we watch her she is 100% with her students. She knows when they need the space to focus, when they need to be pushed a little bit and when they need to just chill out and enjoy themselves.

Leah is strong, smart, and a co-founder and senior coach at Quantum Crossfit in the Toronto area. She is a world record holder in the 52kg weight class and pound-for-pound one of the top lifters in the country. Not bad for a former marathon runner (she's run 5 marathons) who didn't start lifting until her 30's!

Anyways, now it's time to meet Leah and see what she's all about! 

Connect on Twitter @LeahGitterman  

 

Q: What do you do?

A: Coach, mentor, powerlifter, gym owner, hospital patient safety/quality and organizational change work

Q: What else do you do?

A: A pretty amazing running man (think 1990’s dance moves)

Q: How do you define the word 'strength'?

A: I would define strength as confidence, trust and a strong sense of self. Developing physical strength helped me to develop a confidence that I can draw on in many aspects of my life (something that I lacked growing up)

Q: How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

A: Growing up I was always active but never a part of organized sports. I never had much confidence and stuck to individual activities like running. I happened to walk by a Crossfit gym one day and was amazed and intrigued by what I saw. Something about the community, the raw and unpretentious feel drew me in and a few years later I found myself working as coach and eventually owning a gym. Powerlifting seemed like a natural progression. As I got more comfortable using weights I became motivated to see how strong I could get. With a supportive community behind me and a fantastic coach I pursued that sport and continue to do so as both an athlete and coach. 

Q: How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

A: One of the simplest things I do is walk. Between owning a gym and working another job I don’t always have time for a gym workout but walking each and every day helps clear my mind, energize and organize my thoughts.  On my training days I spend my time squatting, benching and deadlifting. I always add in an element of fun and variety by challenging myself with bodyweight movements and more recently playing around with strong(wo)man equipment (yoke carries are fun!!) 

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Q: Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

A: A lot of my training involves using weights so I always recommend that people new to lifting find a coach to get started. Have someone review the movements with you to make sure you are moving safely and develop a level of comfort with the technique and weights. A good coach will assess your movement patterns, make adjustments and help determine how to best progress in the lifts. Grab a friend, find a gym and try it out! It's hard to describe how rewarding strength training can be.

Q: How do you define 'fitness'?

A: Fitness to me is challenging both body and mind. It is building a readiness and resilience to tackle and adapt to all that life has to offer with confidence, energy and enthusiasm

Q: Where do you see the future of the fitness?

A: There will always be a new fad in fitness but I hope that we see a continued movement towards simplicity, natural functional movement and fun. Focus on long term health and wellness: get outside, lift heavy things, walk, run, play.

Q: Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

A: Movement has had a huge impact on my confidence. I have pushed through so many barriers (mental and physical) in the gym and that has direct impact on my day to day.

Q: What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

A: Music is a huge motivator. If there is a 90’s hip hop mix in the gym, I’ll be dancing (poorly, but I’ll be dancing). Janis Joplin, Pearl Jam, Missy Elliott are always on the playlist

Q: What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

A: In the words of Janis Joplin "you can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow."

 

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Woman Crush Wednesday- Meet Patti

Meet Peiting (Patti) Lien.  

Patti is one of those women you meet and you feel like  you instantly get smarter just when you hear her speak... but not the kind that makes you feel kinda dumb... she's a great teacher and has a way of explaining things.  She is seriously intelligent you guys... and she is passionate about the power of movement. Not just for herself, but with her patients.  Patti is a physical therapist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.  

Always up for learning something new, which is how she got herself into racing an Olympic Distance Triathlon, makes her adventurous and humble (a great combo, we think!).  Random facts, Patti was born in Taiwan and also lived in New Zealand before moving to the United States. Working at Hopkins also had her flying back and forth to the UAE for a few years to care of high ranking officials, which is pretty awesome. 

You can connect with Patti on Facebook! Alrighty, now let's get to know Patti a little bit and see why she is this week's #WCW.

 

Q: What do you do?

A: Physical Therapist that specializes in working with neurologic conditions as well as adolescent scoliosis.

Q: What else do you do?

A: Come up ways to challenge myself outdoors- from whitewater kayaking, doing triathlons, backpacking and dream up of more adventures.

Q: How do you define the word 'strength'?

A: "Strength" is having the ability to do life in ways you're called to live it - from ability to trim hedges to changing lightbulbs to hauling dog food and bags of groceries in all at the same time.

Q: How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

A: I was inspired with the privilege to work with people where their life has changed dramatically due to a neurologic condition - be it stroke, brain tumor, traumatic brain injury or a long term degenerative condition. It gives me the greatest joy to be able to see them get back to doing what they have loved before their diagnosis.

This can be as simple as sitting to standing and to walk from A to B without falling or run after their child to cross the road safely to hiking with their family again or travel the world. All these movements are often taken for granted and it takes a lot of tenacity to regain these activities with efficiency. These patients are have to work just as hard as an athlete, actually harder, in many ways and it's inspiring and emotionally moving. 

Personally I love learning how to move - from learning to kayak to swim and to run or bike with more efficiency and how we learn to move is also what fascinates me.

Q: How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

A: I have a dog named Jobi that I walk on a daily basis. I analyze movements at work by watching people move and then figure out how to make that movement more fluid - often using principles of OS - so when my patients are rolling, crawling or marching, i'm also joining them as much as possible. I train for triathlons so there's usually a swim, bike or run workout waiting for me after work.

Q: Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

A: Simple answers are:

  1. Get a dog or a walking buddy and start walking around the neighborhood!
  2. Aim to walk 5-10 minutes with rest breaks as needed and then build.
Trying new things reminds me of how amazing our body really is and how fascinating it is to explore and even overcome some fear and uncertainties about the task or activity.

Not everyone can just run out and get a dog (actually you can volunteer at a local shelter realistically) so it's good to keep an open mind to trying all sorts of new things.

Trying new things makes me appreciate the reality of some barriers to why some patient don't want to go to try something harder. Trying new things reminds me of how amazing our body really is and how fascinating it is to explore and even overcome some fear and uncertainties about the task or activity.

I know learning to swim and whitewater kayaking was all of that. It made me realize how hard it can be to learn a new movement sometimes.

Q: How do you recommend people get into trying something new?

Be adventurous.... yet gracious to ourselves of the outcome.  You have to embrace whatever it may be, and understand that often it probably won't look that pretty or fluid-- but just keep trying!

Oh, and keep having fun. The best part is to find others to join you in the activity. A lot of times the experience is more special because of the people that you experienced it with! 

The best part is to find others to join you in the activity. A lot of times the experience is more special because of the people that you experienced it with!

Q: How do you define 'fitness'?

A: Fitness to me is the ability to do the daily tasks of life when demanded without getting injured - like shoveling snow, putting a kayak on a roof rack or carrying groceries up steps.

 I hope the future of fitness shows 'fitness = living life to its fullest'

Q: Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

A: I think it isn't just movement itself but perhaps the ability to learn the movement and be changed by that new found ability to move that empowers me.  This then increases my confidence.

There's nothing like overcoming the fear of drowning whether it is open water swim or whitewater kayaking, but practicing the techniques build that confidence in knowing my ability to not drown!

Who you become while you are waiting is as important as what you are waiting for”
— Louie Giglio

Q: What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

A: "Who you become while you are waiting is as important as what you are waiting for" - Louie Giglio

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self and anyone out there?

A: Enjoy and trust the process -there's more of you inside than you think there is.  

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday- Meet Brittany

 

Meet Brittany Lillegard.  

Brittany has been traveling the world like a wild woman sharing some amazing adventures and we absolutely loved her responses to our #wcw interview (and you will too).  Brittany started Wild Woman Strong, which is getting kicked into gear (she just launched with an awesome 5-day Journaling Workshop)  and we are super pumped to see more!  

She's a lover of journaling, captures some seriously incredible images, is originally from Chi-town, although she currently lives a nomadic lifestyle, and is passionate about connecting with other women, helping them discover and cultivate a life of self-care and an unapologetic self-love. 

This woman is pretty awesome in our book and we can't wait to collaborate with her.

Connect with Brittany and follow along with her adventures here!

Instagram  -  Facebook  -  www.wildwomanstrong.com

 

 

What do you do?

I am a nomadic strength coach + yoga instructor and founder + creator at Wild Woman Strong, where I share resources and tools for fostering a life filled with self-care and adventure.

What else do you do?

Coffee + Pizza, Barefoot + Adventures, anything that gets me outside of my comfort zone!

 

How do you define the word 'strength'?

I strongly believe that strength and resiliency are intimately connected and that strength isn't just a physical trait, but also a characteristic of one's mental and emotional being and that all three interplay with each other.

The strongest people I know are those that are able to continue moving forward in the face of adversity or in challenging situations.

 

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

My passion for helping women cultivate stronger and more effective self-care routines has come directly out of my experiences healing from a very low period of depression that was brought on by a lack of respect for myself and lack of methods and resources for taking care of more than just my physical health.

Also from my experiences working with women in the gym, most of my clients were coming to me with weight loss goals, but it became very clear to me early on in my career that in order for my clients to see sustainable and long-term results that there were also changes that needed to take place outside of the gym. More often than not it was more than a case of just "eating too much" that had caused weight gain in the first place, and things like lack of self-confidence, putting others first far too often, or lacking the resources or knowledge for creating effective self-care routines were bigger culprits.

Since my end goal is to give my clients sustainable and long-term results I wanted to create a space where I could provide them with a more holistic experience and more than just an exercise program.

 

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

I have been nomadic for the past two years, meaning I don't always have access to the same spaces, equipment or types of workouts.

In the past, I used to follow very structured kettlebell and mobility programming and rarely strayed from that method of training. However, once I started traveling full time I had to get more creative with my movement routine and following a strict program became challenging. Now, my focus is more on incorporating movement that allows me to best explore the area that I'm in and focusing more on the needs of my body in the moment.

Walking has become a far more valuable movement to me because its my favorite way to explore new cities or areas, and since I tend to travel to a lot of places specifically to enjoy nature, activities such as hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing have become a more integral part of my lifestyle.

Since I don't have consistent access to a gym anymore and don't follow any specific programming, when I am in the gym it forces me to be more in tune with what kind of movements my body has been craving. And of course the lack of consistent gym access has made my own body more valuable to me as a workout "tool", and I have really enjoyed getting more creative with how I use my body to create resistance or play with movement flows.

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

As a grade A perfectionist and overly organized soul, learning how to just play with movement rather than having a structured program has been huge for me and has brought so much more enjoyment into the process, not to mention my body just feels happier too.

I highly recommend that people try ditching the programming and equipment for a week and just play.

I highly recommend that people try ditching the programming and equipment for a week and just play. See how many squat, lunge, or push-up variations you can come up with and note how different they feel for you and note how your body actually feels during the movements.

If it feels good, do more of it. If it feels like crap, ditch it.

Try getting upside down and play with some handstands or cartwheels or move your workouts to the playground and climb around a little bit.

 

How do you define 'fitness'?

For me, fitness is anything that allows one to do what they want to do in their lives.

I have so many clients that come to me with the goal of weight loss, when in reality their real goal is to be able to keep up with their children and play on the floor or run through the park, carry their groceries with more ease or just participate in every day life without feeling restricted and fitness is having the ability to do those things with ease.

 

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I hope that more and more people realize that there is no one size fits all approach to fitness. Movement comes in so many beautiful forms, none being better or more right than the others, and I hope that more people start to approach fitness with an explorative and open mind.

 

Exploring different movement styles has been such an amazing way for me to explore my own physicality and mental strength and I am continually amazed by what my body can be capable of.

Does movement increase your self-confidence? 

Hell yes! Exploring different movement styles has been such an amazing way for me to explore my own physicality and mental strength and I am continually amazed by what my body can be capable of.

Not to mention, it just makes me feel good, both mentally and physically, and feeling good and healthy makes it easier to respect and love yourself for what you're capable of.

 

 

What motivates the crap out of you? 

So many things! Coaching is probably my number one motivator - I am so fortunate that I get to continually work with people who are regularly getting outside their comfort zones and making positive changes in their lives.

Seeing my clients overcome challenges and accomplish things they may have never thought possible before is such an amazing experience to be a part of and I get to witness these types of experiences regularly.

Also, anytime I'm feeling in a funk or need motivation or inspiration, choosing to get outside of my comfort zone does wonders for helping me get inspired and motivated.

 

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What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

That I'm not broken and never will be.

I spent so much time trying to fix myself when the reality is that there was nothing to fix. Learning to love myself and appreciate my uniqueness has been a game changer for me.

 

 

 

 

 

#wcw -Meet Andrea B.

 

Meet Andrea Brooks.  

I (Dani) had the pleasure of playing with Andrea a little more than a year or so ago at an impromptu 'get out and play' sort of thing out here in North Carolina along with fellow WMC Project presenters, Julie Angel and MaryBeth Gangemi.  I had a blast hanging out with her and learning from her, and learned that just a few weeks later, she'd be moving to Dubai to coach Parkour.  I'm not going to lie, this made her instantly even more interesting to me.  

I've been keeping up with Andrea on social media and love to see her play and see her handstands all over the world.  You should also know that this strong woman tore her achilles tendon this past year and has been recovering after surgery.  Throughout her entire time of recovery, she was finding ways to explore and play and move, and that's freaking awesome.

Andrea is a playful mover with a wise and kinda soul, and a huge heart. AND she truly wants to collaborate and connect with you, so hit her up and get to know her! 

Facebook - Instagram - Email Andrea

 

Q: What do you do?

A: I'm a Head Coach at Parkour DXB in Dubai, UAE... If you aren't familiar with Parkour, check this out. 

Q: What else do you do?

A: I am happy to be a See & Do team member.  I am a creative soul and dreamer. I write, sing/rap in my car, travel, study many languages, dance, listen to old school hip hop, do handstands a lot, eat delicious food and act like a kid.

Q: How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength is love in physical form.

A: Strength is a measure of how much control you have over the amount of power you possess. Strength is how much further you came from where you started. Strength is doing something for your own good despite all your doubts. Strength is in restraint. It is a deep acknowledgement and understanding of being human and having agency over your actions. Strength is love in physical form.

Q: How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

A: Movement has always been in my blood. It is natural like speaking a language but my road to parkour was another story. What led me to knowingly practice parkour has to do with one brave step towards my authenticity that had a domino effect.

I ended a relationship that I knew in my heart wasn't for me. The break up led me to wanting to relocate within the US and leave my job as a gym manager at a gymnastics facility. Equipped with my new bravery of taking leaps of faith, I approached my boss to ask for a raise because I had plans to leave. In the negotiation, he offered me the opportunity to get certified in parkour coaching. I was very excited with the opportunity for knowledge far more than I could have been about monetary compensation. My first big parkour event I attended is when I knew that parkour would absolutely change my life and help me take control of the life I wanted.

Q: How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

A: Movement is my profession so many times I am not doing it for myself. I have to actively carve out time to move for me. I am lucky to have a space to move and I simply start out with light stretching and then will go wherever my imagination leads me. Sometimes I book an appointment in my calendar with myself or with a friend to make sure I am prioritizing it.

Q: Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

A: Research where you live. Find like minded people. When you find people you like that do what you want to do, just the thought of seeing their faces will make you want to go. Find the energy in tribes of good vibes. hehe. Oh, and then show up! Just show up. Don't think, just show up. Did I mention show up?

Q: How do you define 'fitness'?

A: Fitness to me is having the tools to balance your life mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. Being "fit" means being equipped with knowledge and having the self awareness to execute WHAT you need when you need it.

People confuse fitness as being merely physical, but to me, it is the tip of the iceberg. There is no point in doing anything physical if there is no deeper meaning to it.

Q: Where do you see the future of the fitness?

A: I am a firm believer in what was once old will be new again. I am HOPING with fitness that 'less' will be 'more'. That fitness will be seen as being able to explore a city for a day, play with your kids or nieces or nephews, to be able to take control of one's mental health openly without stigma.

The physical and solely aesthetics nature of fitness is so overly saturated that I hope people start to crave for something more. It won't have to be "workouts" and "clean eating"; it will be finding joy in living and well, just eating.

Q: Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

A: Oh yes! Movement makes me feel accomplished. It makes me feel like if I set my mind to something physical and do it, then the sky's the limit. I always feel way more empowered in motion than standing in front of a mirror. And so, I keep moving!

Q: What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

A: Some days my mind is moving well before my body. When I listen to music, I picture all types of movements and it inspires me to do something.

Music gets me going for sure and sparks all types of ideas and possibilities. I transport myself to another place and imagine becoming who I want to be.

Q: What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

A: To try more of what sparked my interest and to care less about others' opinions.

I spent way too long thinking about others. I thought that my story needed to revolve around being with someone. I thought my happiness was conditional to my circumstances. I am my own hero, my own story and I embrace all of the new chapters. I wish I had fallen in love sooner with getting to know myself.

Q: Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

A: Everyone wants to put in their two cents and tell women "this" and tell women "that". "This" is the new "that." "Flaunt yourself" "Cover that up".

I believe that self empowerment doesn't live snugly into a well crafted slogan. It is YOUR life. Your outfits and actions owe no explanations.

Blaze trails by being authentic. Being authentically you makes room for us all, now and the next generations, to do the same. Dig deep and listen to that lil dreamer inside of you. Make her proud. Oh, and I am here if anyone ever needs to talk! Truly!

 

 

#wcw -Meet Kelly

 

Meet Kelly Manzone.  

Kelly moves absolutely beautifully...she is full of power and grace.  Her strength is ridiculous and when you see her move... I swear it's just like whoa...  Kelly has been diving deeper into the Kettlebell Sport world and is helping shed light on some unconventional methods of movement and mobility like StickMobility, Mace skills, and also Original Strength.  Oh, and she even does some vintage strength goodness which just sounds pretty sweet...right?

Kelly gets creative with her movement and always seems to be mixing it up and keeping an open mind... Kelly truly soaks up a good flow and brings warmth to her area of Connecticut.  She is a true people connector and embodies so much of what we want to see grow from the Women's Movement Collaborative.  She is always exploring and moving, playing and connecting with others, and being just downright awesome. 

We just know you are going to love her! Make sure you take a second to check out her killer Instagram channel (@kellsbells88).  Or if you want to connect a little deeper with Kelly, consider reaching out to her at kelly@kmmoves.com.

 

Q: What do you do?

A: Personal trainer, Kettlebell instructor, barre instructor, GSplanet Vintage Strength coach

Q: What else do you do?

A: I recently started competing in kettlebell sport double long cycle (5 competitions in 7months - about 9 months of training) I also compete in Mace competitions with Vintage Strength... I have a passion for mobility training and bodyweight flows (used to dance and was a yoga instructor for a few years) I'll be a stick mobility certified coach soon...I love unconventional training and traditional strength training methods...this girl loves to move and I keep an open mind... many benefits to incorporating various training methods

 

Q: How do you define the word 'strength'?

A: Oh my ... that can be a long answer - keeping it sort , I believe true strength comes from within - being resilient , being persistent, being patient ... strength is a state of mind - that can translate into physical "strength" ... our mental strength and our physical strength are intertwined - when balanced - it's equates to optimal health ...there's peeks & valleys, but a "strong" person thrives

Q: How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

A: I've always been a mover & shaker... always an athlete - years of dance and gymnastics in my youth - swim & track , softball team in high school , "traditional" strength training / cardio of the college days.

I found my niche in my early 20's when I was working out at a gym & would often get approached by members thinking I was a trainer... I realized at that time, I was actually one of the only women in the weight room! With this realization, I decided to pursue my passion and become a personal trainer.

15 years in and I would say I really found my niche when I touched my first kettlebell in 2008.  From then on, I continued the explore unconventional methods ... though I train "inside" the box, I like move & think myself more outside the box.

 

Q: How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

A post shared by Kelly Manzone (@kellsbells88) on

A: First thing I do in the morning when I wake up is get on my mat (may it even be at 4:30am) and I foam roll, stick mobility, do some yoga or just general movements very similar to Original Strength (OS) resets...

I stand for work and I'm constantly manipulating my body as I instruct and teach ... I have days where I strength train or sport train - days where I'll get on the step mill or rower - I'll pick up my kettlebells, mace and clubs and train. Some days it's a gentle walk or a outdoor park workout.

 Oh, and I park far away when shopping!  When I get a chance, I walk to school to pick up my son and I always take the stairs when possible.  These little things add up nicely. :) 

 

Q: Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

A: The starting point would be evaluating general movement .. mobility, strength, stability, flexibility....

Find what your comfort zone is, along with a general health assessment and goals.  Using progressions that are safe, easy to learn & incorporate is key!!

A few simple & basic starting points to build a solid structural foundation whether it be a kettlebell, sandbag, battling rope, etc . Also complimenting that training with systems like iflows and OS resets.

 

Q: How do you define 'fitness'?

Fitness is a state of mind — acceptance of others and enjoying the connections that you can forge through actives... fitness doesn’t need to occur in a gym - it’s everywhere - the possibilities are boundless.

A: My definition of fitness or what it means to fit is not what we see advertised in main stream fitness... being fit isn't about being a size '0', booty #gains or strictly aesthetics ... it's about being capable, moving well, making progress, sustainability, longevity... it's also about the journey (being able to reflect and see how far you've come).

Fitness is a state of mind -- acceptance of others and enjoying the connections that you can forge through actives... fitness doesn't need to occur in a gym - it's everywhere - the possibilities are boundless.

 

Q: Where do you see the future of the fitness?

A: It's always going to evolve - there will also be new fads (some good/some not so good) ... What I would like to see is more of a collaboration - taking various concepts from a variety of modalities and bringing them together...

I think there will be a return to the fundamentals - I already see that happening --- you can't HITT train and Crossfit for ever... people are going to start focusing more on longevity -- and you can perform at a higher level for a longer duration of time with the right tools.

 

Q: Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

A: Sure is does! When you feel strong and look strong it helps with feeling confident...

I long had issues with anxiety in my late teen and early 20's - movement is my medicine - I've always said exercise is just as emotional as it is physical. I use Movement as a way to process life's day to day trails / tribulations and celebrations.

I also feel much more confident and comfortable as a woman as I've gotten older ... I turn 38 this year and I feel like I'm just getting started - I think we just get better!

 

Q: What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

A: Music and a good training session... I love music , always have - it's a powerful motivator - it gets you in zone... my favorite thing to do is blast some tunes in my home training spot and move!

 

Q: What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

I would tell my younger self - “stay the course”.

A: Oh boy - well, that could be a long one too lol 😂... my upbringing was anything but conventional - I reflect and realize that the struggles of my childhood shaped me into the strong woman I am today and equipped me with tools to survive and thrive.

I would tell my younger self - "stay the course".

I kept at it and I never gave up... there are just some of life's values that you can't put a price on.

 

Q: Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

A: I'd like to bring the natural back --- I'm so grateful that I grew up in era that I did - before social media.

Sadly, women are exposed to so many photos shopped & filtered photos - along with the pressures of surgical enhancements (to each his own) & society's standards that I think it's impacting their health and appreciation for their bodies.

I personally prefer seeing strong , straight forward women over the age of 35 staying strong while rocking it naturally... there's too much focus on aesthetics and not on quality of living...

Honestly , we are living in some crazy and scary times - our focus should be on more important issues than our appearance...right?

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Woman Crush Wednesday - Meet Sarah S.

Meet Sarah Scozzaro!

Sarah is kicking off the our #wcw as the first woman to be featured on our blog.  Since we first conducted her interview, Sarah has now been added to the list of presenters at the first ever Women's Movement Collaborative Project this Fall.  

She resides in North Dakota with her husband and her 2 adorable cats.  You'll find her running all over the US taking pictures of her outdoor running adventures.  Sarah roots for the Cincinnati Bengals, is a Vegetarian, enjoys cooking, and has a list of races she's participating in on her website, www.drtyrunner.com.

We wanted to make sure to we introduced as many people as possible to Sarah because she is seriously awesome.  She is one tough lady and has miles, and miles, and miles under her belt...literally.  

Not only is Sarah an inspiring mover, but Sarah is also a smart, kind hearted, positive, uplifting person to be around.  She is definitely someone you ought to follow on social media (seriously, she does a killer job on taking pics too!) and connect with.  

Instagram    -    Facebook    -    Twitter

I'll let Sarah get into the details below, but please give her a shout out and see what Sarah is all about! 

Happy Wednesday!

Dani

 

 

Q: What do you do?

A: I am an ultra runner (so I like to run really, really far!) Movement lover, Running Coach, Personal Trainer, Restorative Exercise Specialist and Original Strength Level 2 Coach

Q: What else do you do?

A:   I love photography, laughter, reading, cooking and - Yes - eating! I love challenging my body and mind in new ways. And I am always happiest when I in the mountains or near running water, and with a tribe of amazing, uplifting and inspiring people.

Q: How do you define the world 'strength'? 

A: Being able to push yourself through and experience challenges, which sometimes can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but these experiences shape us into the best version of ourselves. To never, ever get give; to continue in the face of adversity. To know that deep within you, there is a wellspring of tenacity that will help you overcome whatever you may face. Staying positive and relentless when it comes to your goals.

Q: How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

A: I have always been a runner, but it wasn't until I began running again after a bad injury that I got serious about trail running. I love being out in nature, and I love running...so combining the too was a natural evolution for me. It allows me to play every time I head outside, to be one with nature, and to allow myself to experience childlike joy and curiosity with each and every run. This in turn, made me want to encourage others to experience this same joy! And as an athlete myself, and one who has experienced debilitating injury, I love working with those who love to push themselves (no matter their sport) and help them stay strong, healthy and sport ready. I like to say what I do is find the sweet spot where Motivation and Performance meet!

Q: How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

A: Running, Original Strength Resets, stretching, walking, strength training...I like to keep my movements as varied and fun throughout the day as I can. So every opportunity I can find to move and play, I take it!

Q: Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

A: Don't be afraid to reach out to people who are doing what you are interested in, and ask for feedback, advice or guidance. Never let the fear of looking silly or stupid stop you for trying something new. Get out and play! Your body is meant to move, so have fun experiencing all the ways that it can.

Interested in getting started with trail or ultra running? The first thing I recommend is going to a specialty running store and getting assessed and fit for an appropriate trail shoe for YOU.

Even if you want to run in minimal shoes, you'll want to work into that, and strengthen and prepare your feet, muscles and joints before you make that leap. Also, a good supportive sports bra will be your BFF.

After that? Well, that's easy! Find a local area of nature that inspires you (hopefully with dirt trails or roads) grab an adventurous friend if you can (dogs count!) and explore. If you aren't already a runner, ease into things with a run/walk combo (run 1-5 mins, walk 1-5 mins etc) and work up to longer bouts of running.

Enjoy the varied terrain (you will go slower than if you were running on the roads) but chances are you'll have a LOT more fun, and you'll be working all sorts of muscles as you move through the environment. Hiking hills, hopping over logs, crossing streams, balancing over rocks; you don't have this kind of fun road running!

If you'll be in an area that is remote always let someone know where you're going, and I recommend that you carry water and a phone.

Most importantly, leave pace expectations behind (esp when you first start) and just enjoy getting out with nature! Take in the beauty around you that you'll never find with on a treadmill. I bet before you know it, you'll soon lose track of time and realize this "getting out in nature" thing is pretty rad!

Q: How do you define 'fitness'?

A: Oh man! This is a tough one. I'd say being able to live your life to the fullest and most movement-full way possible. Finding an activity that gets you out and moving and contributes to your physical and mental well being.

Q: Where do you see the future of the fitness? 

A: I'd like to see it being less about traditional gym training (although that is fine, too) but also more about getting out, moving in a variety of ways, and making fitness more about movement and fun.

Q: Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

A: Heck yeah! Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment after a tough run or training session. I feel sweaty, strong and giddy with a sense of empowerment!

Q: What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sports, etc.)

A: Seeing other strong people accomplish their goals and surrounding myself with positive individuals who dream BIG. And I have always loved this quote: "I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened." Wilma Rudolph

Q: What advice do you wish you could have given your formal self?

A: Please don't let the fear of looking silly or a feeling like you don't know what you are doing stop you from trying. If you never try, you will never know! Go out and be your amazing, silly, strong and unique self. Never change who you are and never make yourself small to please others. And oh yeah...eat the cookie.

Q: Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

A: Go out...try the new thing that's been calling to you and that wake you up at night with butterflies. Follow that dream. Work really hard for your goals and never give up. We all have so much more strength and potential than we give ourselves credit for.

 

Meet the Women Behind the WMC

The very first Women's Movement Collaborative event is kicking off Sept 2017 with a handful of women taking the fitness industry by storm with different movement practices that get you moving outside of the “box.”  These women are the leading voices in their respectful movement practices and we are honored to have them present at the WMC and teach you how to reconnect to your feminine bodies that are strong, graceful, capable, and beautiful.

These women are some of the best women in the movement world who each have a unique message to share but collectively they have one thing in common… to help women embody self-confidence through movements that will forge a strong mental fortitude, create a capable body that can adapt to different complex environments, and expands the boundaries of movement through creativity and exploration.

We are proud to offer the following movement practices and inspirational presenters at the inaugural WMC project this fall in Portland, OR.

 

 

 

Dani Almeyda – I am a co-owner of Original Strength and OS Institute, which gives me a unique perspective and lens on all things movement.  I am always looking to simplify and stick to as natural movements as possible  At Original Strength we teach people that they were created to be strong and resilient, and to not feel broken.  We teach people that anyone can regain their 'original strength' by pressing reset.   We press reset with movements based off of the developmental patterns we learned as babies.  

My mission is to help introduce women to embracing simplicity, going back to the basics, and to regaining their original strength, through pressing reset.

Read more about Dani here.

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Julie Angel- I create work I like, for, or about, people and companies that I like. I spend a lot of time documenting the current ‘age of athletisiscm ‘ – Parkour, MovNat, buildering and much more. Films, photography, action promos, research, writing and presentations. Anything but drama. Filming and understanding what people do so I can share their vision and stories to inspire others. I’m an anthropologist at heart and my current projects are See&Do and the release of my first published book Breaking the Jump, the secret story of Parkour’s high-flying rebellion. Click HERE to view some previous screenings, presentations and events I have attended.

 

Read more about Julie here.

 

Abby Clark- I am currently the only female Team Instructor for MovNat, the world's leading natural movement fitness system teaching people and fitness/health professionals how to relearn movements that they were born to do efficiently and effectively. Natural Movement consists of ground movements (rocking, rolling, crawling, kneeling, seating, squatting, get ups), walking, running, climbing, lifting, carrying, throwing, swimming, jumping, vaulting, self-defense and more.  We are unspecialized creatures and that is a powerful quality to have as a species.

My mission is to reconnect women to their true nature through natural movement and to transcend the current fitness norms, especially for women.

 

Read more about Abby here.  

 

Kirsty Groart- I am the only female lead trainer at GMB Fitness. At first glance, what I teach is handstands and gymnastics inspired movements. At a deeper level, its not simply about learning new tricks or getting stronger; its about increasing your awareness of yourself and to learning to control your own body. And through this process gaining confidence and freedom in the wa you move. 

 

Read more about Kirsty here

A Letter from the Founders

Dear sisters,

After following each other's work on social media for months one long phone call confirmed that we were destined to be friends and that we were going to create some big magic together.

With an extensive background in the fitness industry we know first hand that it prescribes a very specialized approach towards movement which doesn't really optimize our true potential as women. We are ready to move outside of that prescribed box that poorly defines what being “fit” or what being “in shape” is for women and into the endless world of possibilities of movement with no boundaries. 

Women are more than their bodies (a heck of a lot more!) but our bodies are these super powerful, capable, and strong vessels that house our divine feminine souls and carry us through life. We want to optimize your life and how you move in it because we believe that  being fit isn’t just about looking good or hitting a PR, it’s about being the best version of yourself and unlocking your potential so you can go out into the world and create your magic. 

How could we empower women to reclaim their own feminine powers? 

That is when the Women's Movement Collaborative was born. 

We knew we couldn't do this alone.  We reached out to a few other women who are also going against the grain in the fitness world to see if they'd want to work with us and they immediately said, “YES!”  Clearly this is something women are craving.  

With a shared vision of connecting women from all over the world who want to think and move outside of box we are exictedly announcing the launch of our very first WMC project in Portland, OR in the fall of 2017 and we want you to join us.  If you are ready to tap into your full potential, optimize your movement abilities, connect with other out of the box thinking women, and challenge yourself mentally and physically…this is for you.

 

Let’s MOVE! Let’s celebrate our feminine bodies that are both fierce and graceful.

 

XOXO,

Abby and Dani

Founders of Women’s Movement Collaborative