I was born and raised in Seattle. Both sides of my family have lived here for over one hundred years, so it certainly feels like home. While I love the finer things that this city provides (most notably coffee and beer. And food), I love it most for its beautiful setting and proximity to some of the best natural environments around.
I dabbled in many activities throughout childhood, and played a few sports (soccer, tennis, golf). Traditional structures of organization have never really suited me. I did not enjoy taking classes or going to camps. I mostly preferred to teach myself things. Though the process more difficult, filled with more mistakes and undoubtedly much slower, I have always gained a greater understanding because of the meaningful application, to me. (Care gives purpose).
Though my high school soccer experience was less than inspiring, I somehow managed to walk-on (unknowingly) to a highly competitive D-II collegiate program my freshman year, (which was a fantastic experience, despite the climate in Miami, FL). Senior year I made the difficult decision to 'retire' and not continue playing, which meant exploring a life not structured around soccer for the first time. This gave me the opportunity to seek fitness (and life) on my own terms, and I never looked back. I graduated with a BS in Exercise Science and the intention of transitioning into Physical Therapy, but found that personal training could best serve the missing crossroads between health, medicine, and fitness.
BS - Exercise Science
Time is spent here
to enhance the experience of
My Personal practice
It is less about the practicing or repetition of an element and more about the progressing of a bigger picture objective. A practice develops a sense of direction, which guides toward a greater understanding and navigation of self. More often than not, I will think of the work I do in a day's training session as a way of 'paying it forward', to make things easier for tomorrow's self. By not doing so, the greater objective gets pushed further away.
Reflection is a practice of self care. It views training as a living thing; 'living' implying a natural right to change, which is often a troubling concept. If we are not careful in how we objectify our practices, it can become a lifeless one, disconnected and not a reflection of self that one should hope to see.
looks like this
My philosophy and practice must agree on values, as this provides a purpose to work for and a base from which to direct training goals. Over the years it developed into a universal process- one that applies to a single session, as well as the course of a lifetime. A daily objective is much easier to follow and accomplish than a highly specified training program or protocol. An objective acts as a guiding principle- mine, based on posture which I consider the core as it is the 'keeper' of structure. I work on resting positions and transitions between them to continuously make them more efficient. I then expand the capacity of my resting positions into ones that would not traditionally appear as restful. The idea is to expand the 'safety bubble' by refining foundational patterns and then adding complexity as able. Personally, I would rather have a slow build of progression over a lifetime than burn out chasing goals that don't contribute toward the future body I want, which is a highly capable one that doesn't hurt.
The development of (my) practice
- Increasing quality of life/longevity of activities/expand ability
- Expanding the safety bubble/efficiency
- Connecting the body together into a loadable system, posture = core
1 - connect and build posture
2 - load posture
3 - reconnect and rebuild posture
refine patterns -> efficiency
expand patterns -> ability
from the ground, up
through the pelvis
Pelvis lead, ribcage support
- Coordination, limbs
Ribcage lead, pelvis support
MY practice Currently
I use this to assess the effectiveness of my current practice (regarding the development of all the qualities I need to feel comfortable doing it- strength, technique, mobility, etc). My primary focus is always core (posture), and I make sure to use it as the foundation for every movement I do in order to maintain structural integrity, no matter how small the base of support for it is. Most of my climbing consists of bouldering for feedback on strength and technique, as well as traversing/circuits for feedback on conditioning and efficiency. I should also note that my greatest training effect from climbing is stress management as I am very fearful of 99% of it.
I utilize movement skills based in gymnastics to provide a general direction for my straight arm and bent arm work (planche/lever/muscle-up/HSPU). I incorporate few and simple exercises to supplement my objectives, using mostly bodyweight, rings, dumbbells and barbell.
As of recent my staples include various dips, false-grip and various pulls, shoulder rotation, back squat and occasional deadlift. My current foundational patterns are extension and rotation based.
I have days spent using just the floor, which I use to connect and engage the body in a different way but for the same daily objective. I use the hard floor to create more softness in the body, especially when feeling disconnected or a little crusty from too much other training/no training. Floor work includes various gaits/locomotive patterns, fluid/soft movement patterns and hand balancing.
Typical Time Breakdown.
Climbing, 2-4 days per week
Strength Work, 2-3 days per week
Walking, most days, 4 miles at least
Rest (most important).
1-2 days per week & a 4-5 day span off per month
Summer Season - I take off from pursuing any training goals and I get outside as much as possible. It is a practice in 'letting go', which has become the most important part of my training philosophy over the years, a time for reflection and relaxation of the mind. A freer mind has the ability to learn new things...
When in the gym, it's more for maintenance and working on whatever comes up as needed/desired.
Short Term Direction.
Long Term Direction.
One Arm Pull-Up/Planche/Back Squat
* Note - it hardly ever looks like this for more than a month or two at a time. Life happens.
This was right after I scored my first collegiate goal.
It was not the result of time spent in a gym strength training, but it sure was the result of a lot of time spent practicing. I hadn't stepped foot into a gym until college. The sports teams utilized a conventional strength and conditioning program and the only thing I remember about it was my first bench press experience- I couldn't bench the bar. Good times.
At this time of my life, I didn't really understand the point of warming up, strength training or anything other than just practicing skills and strategies for soccer. Fitness at this time meant being able to run enough and fast enough to beat opponents. The strength and conditioning we did had no visible application toward what I valued. But, it did make me realize how much weaker I was than everyone else and set me off on a lifetime journey of figuring out what strength meant.
Fast forward a decade and I have finally begun to develop an understanding. The warm-up has become my everything and strength training has purpose, enhancing my enjoyment of life and all the activities I participate in. I deeply love movement and learning all that it has to offer, but it is not because I should or that I'm supposed to for this reason or that. I am just grateful to the body that allows me the life I want and I take care of it in hopes that it will continue to provide me those allowances (which are not bound by the physical. I love doing nothing as much as I love doing something). I do not identify as a movement person, an athlete, a fitness freak or anything of the sort. Movement is not an identity, rather it is an expression of care and responsibility.
I am just a variation of a normal person that can now successfully bench press the bar.