All gorgeous photos courtesy of the incredible Omar Foster. If you are in the Las Vegas area, check him out at Camp Fit Force. All photos of my gorgeous children courtesy of my phone.
How did this happen?
On a windy January day in Las Vegas, I found myself asking, “How did I get in this tree?”
It was one of those refocusing, defining moments. Me–the quintessential non-athlete–trying to activate muscles I never even knew existed and swing my leg onto an uneven tree branch. With total clarity and flow a la Csikzentmihalyi, I felt powerful. Nay, I was powerful. I’d transcended the limiting beliefs about my capabilities and was acting on my true nature. This was MovNat.
My love affair with MovNat began on Halloween day, 2010. I was at Robb Wolf’s Paleolithic Solution Seminar in Houston and Erwan Le Corre (MovNat founder) was visiting. His quiet and humble presence drew me in. I could feel his energy and I observed him the entire day. Simply striking.
We hardly spoke–an unfortunate mistake on my end since he was entirely approachable. He smiled for, cooed at, and doted on my 4-month-old baby who came in twice to nurse and make googly eyes at all the Fitness Hounds in the room. But since I’d never heard of him or MovNat, I didn’t recognize my opportunity. I could feel that he was doing something special, but didn’t know how to say: “Hey Mr. Erwan, I can read your energy and my intuition is telling me you are going to change the world and my life.” The more I learn about him and his mission though, the less embarrassed I would be to make that statement.
From that point forward, I pined for a MovNat seminar. I wanted it badly despite my vehement dislike for physical activity and conventional exercise. I have absolutely no confidence in my athletic capabilities and believed MovNat could be the key to helping me become more physically adept. I almost registered for the session right after the Ancestral Health Symposium, but working out with a bunch of Paleo fitness fanatics was too terrifying of a prospect. Fourteen months later, my intuition finally won me over and I registered for the Las Vegas workshop.
I almost didn’t go. Two days prior, my baby got sick. And goodness knows I was looking for an out. But she healed miraculously and I found myself working out at Legacy Park with seven men.
1. My body is strong and beautiful. Brian Tabor (MovNat instructor) moves like a cat-gazelle crossbreed. It’s glorious to watch and I found myself in awe when he would jump onto a trash can or leap through the air, landing in a diving roll. As we moved throughout the day, the bodies of the participants (including my own) transformed into something similar. Strong and beautiful, even if they were untrained or still building their physical fitness. Because they are human, they have the capacity to move naturally. There is an underlying strength that may have been forgotten, but it is present nonetheless. And that is beautiful.
MovNat Las Vegas. The strong and beautiful bodies.
2. It’s all in my head. The first person I saw was Paul. He is an enormous mass of muscle and was wearing a shirt that looked like something from the periodic table (It read “Ow: The Element for Pain“). I looked over at my husband and shook my head saying I couldn’t do this. I wouldn’t fit in here. I don’t like exercise, I am not strong, and I really really really hate pain. He let me blabber until I could pull myself out of the car. But there was nothing intimidating about these guys. There was an atmosphere of camaraderie (of which I attribute to Brian’s ability to build a safe culture in such a short amount of time) and my fears dissipated by the end of the breathing exercises. Any ability I thought I couldn’t develop was all in my head. I could do this. I was made to move.
Our true nature is to move
3. I am afraid of my body. I was born massively pigeon-toed and required special shoes to shape my hips. The shoes were removed early and my hips/coordination are still paying for it. Even more, I got glasses in second grade (bifocals in fourth) and my optometrist said my poor depth perception would prevent me from ever being able to play sports that involved hand-eye coordination (i.e. anything with a ball). These early experiences shaped the last 20+ years of body image and I never got to know my capabilities very well. The unknown is frightening, so my body was frightening. Even at the end of the workshop, I was still timid about catching a ball (thankfully Robert went easy on me).
My special shoes
4. My children are inheriting my fear. The biggest motivator to finally get to a workshop was watching my children. Because I parrot the safety mantra “Be careful. Don’t break that. That’s dangerous” all day long, my kids started to exhibit more fear and timidity. I was creating a very pseudo-dangerous world for them. At the park, I would have minor panic attacks when my son climbed the big rocks because I was afraid he would fall and crack his head open. I always envied my husband’s ability to just let our kids be kids. But because I didn’t know what my body could do, I didn’t know what my children were perfectly capable of either. Luckily, that’s starting to fade.
My 3yo son climbing those big scary rocks.
5. MovNat is for moms. And everyone else, yes, but I’m particularly interested in moms. I don’t know how to play with my children very well. I’m great on academics and great at loving them, but having pure, unadulterated fun is hard for me. MovNat showed me how to awaken my body, play with my kids, and create stronger bonds with my Littles. Eight hours well-spent. More on this next Tuesday.
Hiking Zion barefoot with the baby wrapped in a sling on my chest
6. I could stand to do a few more squats, lunges, and push-ups. Sigh. No surprise there. From a purely functional standpoint, it would be in my best interest if I gained a bit more strength. I was able to hold myself on the pole, but couldn’t shimmy my way up at all.
Paul on a pole in a totally non-Las Vegas kind of way
7. Exercise ain’t so bad. Please don’t tell. I have spent so long hating it, I am almost having an identity crisis.
The Best Part of MovNat
…was walking away a new woman. I found someone who was hiding deep inside of me, and I really like her. More confidence, more joy, more love.
And in case you’re wondering…When I finally managed to pull myself up onto that tree branch with the help of the mighty Brian Tabor, everyone cheered enthusiastically. I am so proud.
Big thanks to Brian, Robert, Tim, Phil, Phil, Omar, and Paul who all helped me find myself that day. And to think I almost didn’t get out of the car.