On The Edge
There is a magical point in life where we have stepped out of our comfort zone and reach the edge. For most of us who live in Western society, our day to day lives rarely if ever give us the opportunity to do this, and a lot of us choose actively to avoid stepping out of our familiar routines.
Being in the comfort zone is a psychological state in which a person feels familiar, at ease, in control and experiences low anxiety and stress. In the zone a steady level of performance is possible. This state represents a view of the world that seeks to determine and control all aspects of existence. Merely feeling in control isn’t the same as being in control of our lives and any objective look at existence would highlight the fact that at any moment life can change and it is beyond our ability to stop it. Illness, accident, death, change hover over us at all times, often it is only when we are touched by these do we feel the fleeting and fragile nature of our existence, then brush it off to continue on as if we are immortal and have all the time in the world to do the things we really want to do.
‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’ is a Facebook meme that I see posted on peoples walls and succinctly sums up why we need to move beyond our comfort zone in order to achieve and conquer ourselves. Life can be seen as a process of creation, as something we co-create and not something that is imposed upon us as we passively go about our everyday lives.
To move into uncertainty where there are no guarantees requires cultivation of self-belief, courage and determination. Better the devil you know goes the phrase, but can we truly grow and progress when we are not challenging ourselves to see where our true potential lies?
How can we know what we are capable of achieving if we never move in to the unknown?
Our limits are only stretched once we step outside into what is known as the edge. I found it curious that this place is a psychological one as well as a physical one.
‘The edge effect is an ecological concept that describes how there is a greater diversity of life in the region where the edges two adjacent ecosystems overlap, such as land/water, or forest/grassland. At the edge of two overlapping ecosystems, you can find species from both of these ecosystems, as well as unique species that aren’t found in either ecosystem but are specially adapted to the conditions of the transition zone between the two edges.’
I was struck by the parallel in nature to our own psychology; that the edge is where the most things happen and where more things grow. Movement is the best way I have found to access this place, although the place is still unfamiliar to me so I am often scared when I am there. I keep telling myself that the more I go to the edge, the landscape will be familiar to me and the rewards I get from it far outweigh the fear of stepping outside my comfort zone.
As time moves on and more research is done on the subject it becomes increasingly clear that sitting at a desk all day isn't good for us, in either body or mind. The modern office based lifestyle is very different from the lifestyle of our prehistoric hunter gatherer ancestors, and yet our bodies aren't all that different at all, and this is the crux of the problem, our bodies just aren't equipped to deal with long periods of being still, if we were, we would be a tree, perfectly designed to sit in one place of years upon years.
We spend a large chunk of our lives lugging around inherited beliefs and assumptions without ever stopping to take stock of whether we believe them or if they serve us; we’re the product of our environment, the caregivers who shaped us, instilled their values into us. Now we’re all grown up, we reflect it back out into the world and these stories we tell ourselves shape our internal model of reality.
Here at Movementum, we’re wishing you a very happy Christmas and New Year!
Enjoy a few alternative Christmas songs we’ve selected; the perfect accompaniment to a mulled wine and mince pie.
Who among you has sworn off coffee because it doesn’t fit into your clean living regime?
Coffee is one of the first things to be sacrificed on the altar of health and giving it up is a sign you’ve committed to the task of upgrading yourself.
For a lot of people, this marks their off-season of outdoor training, either retreating to the indoor gym or the sanctuary of the sofa. Wind, rain, cold and frost can be seen as signals to bed-in and hibernate because, as humans, we are naturally drawn to comfort and seek it every chance we get.
If we are more stable with a wide base of support, then it follows we are less stable when it is narrow; imagine how you would feel if your own contact with the ground was the size of an ice skate. No doubt with an ice skate sized base of support, your postural setup would be sub-optimal and this adaptation echoes all the way up the body because the foot isn’t languishing alone in the wilderness; it’s connected to everything.
Over-training in its broadest sense is the imbalance between training and recovery; if sufficient rest is not included in a training program then regeneration cannot occur and performance plateaus. The most common symptom is fatigue as well as becoming moody, depressed, losing enthusiasm for training and disrupted sleep patterns.
We decided to create a journal where we’ll share our blogs and videos about the concepts around natural movement and lifestyle, the AiM philosophy around pain & injury as well as some behind the scenes of us when we’re performing and choreographing.
MovNat is a physical education & fitness system based on the full range of natural human movement abilities. These include the locomotive skills of walking, running, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing & swimming. In addition we practice the manipulative skills of lifting, carrying, throwing & catching. How we move is how we train.
To develop physical courage first we need to start with the mind; there are so many obstacles to overcome and many of them are self-created. I think of it sometimes as a form of psychological warfare I engage myself with. Fear is the root of them all and they manifest in so many forms - fear of injury, fear of people watching, fear of judgement, fear of failure.
How can we know what we are capable of achieving if we never move in to the unknown? Our limits are only stretched once we step outside into what is known as the edge. I found it curious that this place is a psychological one as well as a physical one.
Handstands have taught me that to achieve anything requires patience, persistence and determination. Even once upside down, to find that point of balance isn't finding the static point but mastering dynamic equilibrium.
In practice Parkour focuses on developing the fundamental attributes required for such movement, which include functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision.
Greater specialisation is necessary to succeed professionally and we pay the price by becoming adapted to narrow and frequent use patterns.
Often people either assume natural movement training is either too east or too difficult for them; the reality is it's for everyone, no matter if your goal is to climb a tree with your kids or compete in the CrossFit Games; you can start at any age, ability, or fitness level.
Hope you enjoy this showreel I made from my time in Leicester. We've got a Gimbal and plan on getting a drone and a mirrorless camera so the quality is going to go up significantly!