Daring To…..

22 07 2009

….MOVE!

Lego evolutionGym Jane has been here for a little over two years now and it’s been an experience to say the least. A part of the growth on our personal journey’s to discovering our utmost potential as human beings and to connect with all of you, that we might do so together.

As part of that process, for the first time since we’ve started, I’ve come to that place where movement is the next natural step in my personal evolution. So I’ll be continuing, but over at my new blog:

Dare To Evolve

Come on over, check it out, feel free to subscribe and, of course, to continue sharing your thoughts, challenges, experiences and success’s. You’re a part of what has made this growth thrive.

See you on the flip side:),
Shane.

P.S. Gym Jane ain’t going nowhere. It’ll still be here. And if anything, at a time when Chris and I have some wacko idea to undertake together, we will most likely revisit these pages once again;).





RMAX 100 Day Challenge

18 04 2009

challenge-runnerBeen thinking about “starting up”  again? Wanting to set some goals, get some results? Looking to make a change?

I want to extend an invitation to all those that frequent Gym Jane to take part in Scott Sonnon’s “100 Day Challenge”,  launched on April 10th. It is about 100 days of working towards your fitness goals and implementing some key strategies that will help ensure success.  Thus far, those who have taken up the challenge, have set goals from losing weight to changing eating habits, preparing for specific events to instilling regular patterns for spiritual growth (to name a few).

For the details, check-out:

Who’s Your Fitness Advocate? Who’s Got Your Back?

What’s Your Fitness Process Goals? 100 Day Challenge

Whether you practice Circular Strength Training or not, it may just be the motivation to get yourself moving.  Set your goal(s) and state them in the comments below (there’s nothing like putting it up for the the world to see, for a little accountability:).

If you have no idea where to start or you’re interested in learning more about Circular Strength Training (CST), I highly recommend and encourage you to sign-up at the RMAX Forums. There’s loads of free info, covering a wide variety of subjects and CST’s approach to them. You have access  to RMAX Head Coaches, Coaches and Instructors, literally 24/7 as they are located around the world, to ask your questions and get you going in a productive direction with your training.  There is a section to log your personal training notes (and get feedback), which is an important factor in helping you stay on track and be effective. Not to mention for the next 100 (well, 92) days, you’ve got the critical mass and energy of a community full of individuals focused on the same process, supporting each other every step of the way.

Step up to the Challenge,
Dare to Evolve!

s.





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!

s.





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

s.





Crawling Into Baby-Flow

15 02 2009

copy-of-dscn3639Isn’t it great watching a baby, or young child, learn to move? It always seems to bring about such joy, laughter and amazement in those of us adults watching.

The other day, I was putting myself thru a session of training specific movements from Scott Sonnon’s Body-Flow: Freedom From Fear-Reactivity materials (for more info, see Body-Flow™ Package ).  This stuff is great! In a nutshell, overcoming our blockages due to fear of making mistakes or facing the unexpected, thru movement exploration. Most of these specific movements are also basic components for Prasara Yoga.

You might wonder how relevant doing some movement exercises are to emotional blockages. The next time you head out, go for a walk, to work,  shopping or social gathering, take a moment to be aware of how those around you are carrying themselves, physically. How they are standing, walking, reaching, sitting, standing. What you will most likely see is a wide array of variations. Then take a moment to reflect on the perceived state of mind those individuals are in. I know you can’t know for sure, this is just a little exercise. But you will most likely be able to infer quite a bit, just from the way people move. Even with friends and family, you can see the difference from day to day, depending on their mood. That’s because our body expresses physically our mental, emotional and  spiritual  states. Those states of being start to build habitual patterns of movement, which often develop into restrictive patterns of movement.  Then because we are limited in our movement and trigger pain when moving outside of that range (a positive survival mechanism from our body to help us identify what needs attending to), it starts to conversely affect our mental, emotional and spiritual states. Thus begins the cycle.copy-of-dsc_3594

So by going thru specific movements that challenge our range of motion and habituated movement patterns, in a space that is meant to allow for mistakes to be made and unexpected events to occur, we create a break in the cycle. Why start with movement? Take a moment to think about how many times you’ve said ” I’m going to change  (habit), now.”  Now think about how “easy” it was to start and follow thru. Or about the amazing, immediate “results” and “success”. Okay yes, I’m being cheeky. But really, it’s dang hard! We can all relate how often we go thru that, if not on a daily basis.

To start with movement; a physical, tangible practice that doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking, just a get down on the floor and start doing it, start playing, provides an opportunity to successfully release blockage, with tangible results. And although the movements may appear simple at first (and don’t make any mistake, they are), you will probably be very surprised at how bound up, tense and hesitant (read: afraid) you are to allow yourself to  perform them. There’s that fear thing. You’ve now just stepped out of merely performing physical exercise and stepped into the arena of unhinging, unblocking, unbinding….everything.

copy-of-dscn3655So there I was, doing my Body-Flow practice, with my sons Olee (3 yrs) and Will (6.5 mths) taking part. Olee immitating me and spontaneously creating his own movements, rolling all over the place. Will, army crawling around at surprising speeds, and learning to move forward once he’s gotten up on hands and knees, followed by subsequent face plants. And both are doing it with the biggest smiles on their faces. It reminds me this is supposed to be fun. It reflects that we are all in a similar stage of physical discovery. Wait a sec…..that means for me it’s re-discovery. I’ve had this already. And therein lies the difference. They are just going with the flow, allowing it to lead them thru the process of unlocking their innate gifts. I’m actually a step behind, as I’m having to first learn to get out of my own way, to remove the walls and obstacles damming up my natural gifts and abilities to just go for it.

“Body-Flow is not something to be acquired, but rather something you will learn to avoid interrupting.” -Scott Sonnon-

Go for it, start the crawl, get out of your own way. You may be surprised to find what has already been there all along.

s.





Mobility Up A Mountain

21 11 2008

copy-of-dscn3409Over the last year, I’ve been using an approach to health and fitness composed by the creator of Circular Strength Training™, Scott Sonnon. It is an approach that has the greatest degree of balance, moving thru many degree’s, that I’ve come across to date. It employs Joint Mobility, Prasara Yoga and Clubbells; to keep it simple. And Sonnon’s outlook truly takes in all aspects, not just the physical. In truth, this system goes to such depths that, as far as I can tell thus far, there is something in it for anyone, no matter where they’re at.To shed a little more light on the extent and effectiveness of this program, I’d like to share a story with my own experience using it.

As anyone that’s been following us here at Gym Jane can tell you, Chris and I hike out in the local mountains quite a bit. A little less in the last year, but 6 months prior to starting the blog and 6 months in to it, we were getting out just about every weekend. The hikes varied from 1hr (straight up) to 9 hrs. Up steep faces, thru the snow, in the rain, in the fog, in the hot sun, over rivers and sometimes a combination of all of these in a single hike. And during the first 6 months of Gym Jane, we were training pretty intensely, 4 days a week, working up to completing the “300” test created by Gym Jones. And we trained very much in a style that encapsulated Gym Jones/CrossFit/Kettlebell Lifting. So to say the least, we were in pretty damn good shape.copy-of-dscn3406

Now something we’ve been doing every summer for the last 3 years is going for a hike up to Crown Mountain with our father-in-law Richard. Hike takes about 6 hours all together (usually because we hike most of it over snow). This summer was no exception. And this time we also brought Chris’s younger brother Kevin (14yrs) along with us.

This summer however, Chris and I didn’t have the benefit of the training we’d had the previous summer. Due to our schedules, we haven’t been able to train together. And for myself, I’ve been dealing and working thru a major back injury. It is actually what brought me to finding RMAX and delving into CST. As part of my rehabilitation, I’d been doing Intu-Flow, CST’s Joint Mobility system. Actually, because of the severity of my back injury, that was basically all I could do. Every day. Twice a day for the first 3 months (both sessions combined for no longer than 25 min). So by the time we got up on the mountain, I’d been doing it for about 5 months, with a bit of a few other things, but nothing that would come close to constituting “getting fit”. And Chris and I hadn’t been out for a hike in a while.

But while hiking, I found myself full of energy. I wasn’t out of breath, my legs weren’t burning, nor did I feel tired. If anything, I actually felt like I was “bounding up the mountain”. I kept feeling like taking off in a dead run…..up. But I held myself back, as I didn’t want to rub in, to my compatriots, that they were sort of struggling along and I felt like breaking out into a song and dance;). And I was feeling just as good, if not better, than the summer before, when I was in some wicked shape. As I kept going, I realized what was giving me all this energy, what had contributed to it. It wasn’t too hard, as Intu-Flow was really the only thing I’d been doing. And it wasn’t just the hike. My recovery was FAST! The next day, I felt it a little in the thighs. But then I also road my bike for an hour and a half. By the day after that, it was as if I’d never gone up.copy-of-dscn3420

We’re not talking about some “new, crazy, top performance” training program here. We’re talking about a 10-15 min a day joint mobility program that releases tension and helps you reclaim your full range of motion. The foundation of CST. And that’s just scratching the surface. So if all you’ve got is 10-15 mins a day to spare, no energy or chutzpah to get yourself going on a fitness program…..check it out.

You may find yourself up a mountain before too long.

s.

P.S. My 3 com padres all now practice a little joint mobility program themselves;)





Incrementally to the Depths 2

13 09 2008

I had the opportunity and privilege to train one-on-one with Scott in May. To train with Scott, you don’t come away with merely having had a workout or learning a few techniques to throw in your program. You come away having had a full on education and a myriad gems gained. He had assisted me with issues I was having with my back (which actually lead me to CST). I had made some great progress and could probably have started making some headway with the Kettlebells, but knew, truthfully, that I still needed to spend time with this one.

So I let the bells go completely for now and focused on continuing to “wipe the slate clean”. By fully letting go and committing to what I needed to do, I think it was the actual step thru the door which had been previously unlocked by Scott. And now I was meeting him on the other side of it. I-Caramba! It’s funny (only in retrospect;), because as I was driving down I was thinking what I wanted to go over and ask him about. One of those was “when you and the other coaches talk about “going deep into your practice”, what EXACTLY do you mean by that”? To clarify, I never even got to ask, but boy did I come out understanding.

We worked on a number of yoga poses for me to continue addressing the imbalances that caused my back problems. Very challenging, very effective, very safe and very hard work. As we were coming to a close, going over a final pose, Mike Locke, one of Scott’s CST Head Coaches came passing by. Scott asked Mike if he wouldn’t mind taking a look and adding any thoughts he might have. Well after a minute or so of throwing some idea’s back and forth, Mike identified an area and pose, the ½ Spinal Twist, that may help. Scott smiled, a devilish little smile, and said “that’s why he’s one of my Head Coaches”.

Into the half spinal twist I went, Mike looking on with focused precision, calling out the cues, Scott assisting me physically with the pose and attaining that deepening into the movement. Further and further we went. Further than I’d ever been before. The little “voices”, which tend not to be one of my battles, starting to yell out “STOP”! I asked when we should be stopping and Mike said “you tell us”. A part of me wanted to, but I noted that it was not because I was in pain (at no time did I feel any nor would I have allowed myself to go there). There was some distress, some discomfort, some tension, but no real reason to stop. Yet I was breathing high and fast, the little voices were going a mile minute, I was sweating and I found myself on the verge of tears. I can’t remember a time when, thru all the various physical training I’ve done and extremely high levels of intensity, that I felt honestly, humbly ready to be brought to tears.

Side Note: I want to make sure it is understood and clear that Scott and Mike conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism. They were coaching me thru this every step of the way, at no point pushing me into a place beyond what I was ready or willing to go to.

With their coaching, I brought the breath under control and relaxed, releasing this insane amount of tension bound up deep in my hip. After it was all over, I unwound slowly and lay there, trying to take in what had just happened. My entire concept, of practice and to what depths, if willing to do so, you can go, had just been deepened, evolved, even altered. All of a sudden the deep well of potential with where I could take my training, any training (including those Kettlebells), was blown wide open before me. And no amount of books or DVD’s, radio or podcast’s, youtube or internet could have shown me.

Depth is what I was looking for and depth is what I got (and will continue to get). Starting way back at the very start, one step at a time, incrementally, sequentially. We may think it’s slow, even a bit tedious and dull. Compared to the frenetic pace everything else around us moves, maybe yes. But in reality, it’s not in the least. Start off nice and slow and before you know it, you’ll find yourself speeding along the strong and powerful currents of life……and smack dab in the middle of a Sonnon/Locke jam session, which is far from dull!

s.