Running With the Pack

11 03 2009

lone-wolfYou know that feeling we get when we’re on the brink of a major change in our life? We’ve been positive, worked hard, open to the experiences and opportunities thrown our way and the learning that comes from going through them. Everything seems to fall into place, allowing movement forward without great difficulty. Then we come to that edge, the place  that dictates we must make a choice. Step through a door to continue forward or content ourselves to stand  and “hang out” until we are ready to  do so. The hard part: we need to confront old patterns and habits that no longer serve us (or never served us to begin with)  in order to attain the key that will unlock it.

I came to such a place when I attended the Circular Strength Training Instructor Certification a couple weeks ago. Going into the weekend, I felt it was going to be (outside of whatever material was to be presented) one of those significant transitional points. I just had no idea what form it would manifest itself or in what direction it would take me.  It wasn’t until the closing remarks that I got the first hint. We’d just had an amazing weekend, everyone worked really hard and the positive energy around what we’d snarling-wolfaccomplished and were embarking on was high. Then, as part of our send off, we were told, upon receiving confirmation  of our certification, what we could and could not do.  Reminded what our certification meant and to what extent we could operate within it. The hackles on the back of my neck started standing on end. I could feel a wee spark  ignite. All of a sudden I wasn’t feeling so excited or “high” anymore.

Yet my reaction was totally unfounded. They were simply stating what the certification gave us license to teach. Just because one takes a basic first aid course doesn’t mean they can now go and perform surgery. It is a standard of excellence, with a built in system for optimal progression as instructors, so the quality of what RMAX International has to offer doesn’t become diluted before reaching others. I respect that immensley. And yet I was reacting as though it were something negative.

It wasn’t until the next day I realized my initial reaction was “they’re putting limits on me”.  “They’re  stopping me from doing everything I can to get the benefits of this system (which I really see the value of) to others.” Say what?! Why would they do that?  Well, they wouldn’t. I wasn’t reacting to what the CST Head Coaches were saying. I was reacting to the idea of a group, or “pack” if you will, telling me I “can’t” do something, placing “limits” on how much I can do to realize my full potential. An idea that had been a major reality for me growing up.

Due to that reality, it developed a very strong sense of self-reliance and independence.  I don’t try to be a “lone wolf”. That aspect of me just is,  having come out of necessity in order to survive.  But over the years, through key observations by those closest to me, I became aware of it and have been taking steps to move beyond. For although independence is a valuable quality, it can only take us so far. wolf-pack

Let’s use an unfolding theme here: the analogy of the wolf. On it’s own, it can become stronger, fiercer and individually more capable than if it were part of a pack. Yet by itself it can only do so much, being relegated to eating small game and scavenging.  But as part of a pack, together, their strength, fierceness and ability are multiplied exponentially. Together they can achieve amazing feats, such as taking down immensely larger animals than themselves, like Bison or Moose.

It is that interdependence, which I have been working towards. We need independence, so as not to “lose” ourselves to the pack. We need it in order to be a contributing member rather then a drain or impediment. But to then “let it go”, to be able to defer to the pack for the mutual benefit of all, to depend on one another, to assist each other in achieving more, reaching for ever greater heights, this is the natural evolution to fulfilling our utmost potential.

So I stand at the threshold, looking through a door, on the other side of which awaits a wolf pack.  Daunting? Yes.  But considering the alternative……..I’m going running with the pack!



Going Circular With Strength Training

1 03 2009

ifAs  some of you know, for the past year I’ve been training predominantly with a system called Circular Srength Training. I was introduced to it and it’s creator Scott Sonnon thru my kettlebell training and certifications.  It became the diet of my physical training, as its “Health-First Fitness” approach provided the path and tools that have helped me return from a pretty serious back injury. And that journey took me the better part of a year. It was just this January that I was able to say to myself that it no longer hindered me from moving forward with the physical endeavors  I want to pursue. It was the first time in years that I felt “balanced” on both sides.

This process also helped lay a solid foundation and “hardwire” the “uploading” of tools to my “spine” that will assist not only myself, but those I train, to attain and maintain optimal results in their Health and Well-Being, for the long haul. And back in the summer (after about 4 months of working with the materials)  I knew I would be working towards  certifying as a Circular Strength Training Instructor.

The last 6 months, that has been my focus. Continuing to work out theprasara1 issues with my back and gaining the skills and knowledge needed to meet the requirements to becoming an instructor. Last weekend, I attended the certification seminar. You can check out my review (and those of many others for a fuller picture) of the weekend on Scott Sonnon’s Blog.

I was originally going to throw up my review here, but thought, it was only part of the whole. I wanted, rather, to take this opportunity to introduce you more to the system as a whole, as I feel there is far more value in that, than just  my thoughts on a seminar (though they too speak to the system;) .

Those who have been with us for awhile know that anything I speak about, I speak from a place of passion. If I don’t believe in it or see any value, I don’t throw it up just for the heck of it. And I have once again come to the point where I feel that a system, in its approach to physical fitness and well-being in the balancing of the “whole”, makes the most sense, gives you the biggest bang for your buck and the greatest value for the time you invest.  One day, perhaps, I’ll find something else. I don’t rule out the possibility.  It is the natural evolution when constantly striving to fulfill ones greatest potentsonnon-clubbellial capacity…..

……but whatever system that may be, it is going to be pretty hard-pressed to succeed:). Because one of the qualities that shines the brightest from Scott Sonnon, his Head Coaching Staff and RMAX International (CST’s flagship organization),  is the constant striving to fulfill their greatest potential capacity, anchored by CST’s foundational principles, which have a depth and applicability, to the widest range of diverse peoples, unlike any system of physical culture I have ever been in contact with.

This is in no way a knock on anything else out there. There are many great approaches and many great systems that work for all sorts.  This is about taking pause to consider loosening your grip on great, to open yourself to greater.

But don’t take my word for it, because in the end only you have the final say:

Circular Strength Training