The RKC-I Experience from the Heart

I cry fairly easy. In fact, I cry at every certification event, no matter what role I play because of the intensity of the experience.

The candidates put a great amount of time and effort into preparing ... and when they arrive an emotional and unpredictable journey begins.

We recently had the privilege of hosting our first RKC-I event at our gym, MoveStrong Kettlebells, and I was reminded of the tumultuous emotions that weave in and out of the 3-day event. This is a group of people who are striving together toward a very specific goal that is tough to achieve: to be RKC.

Men and women of different ages, fitness levels and backgrounds come together to refine their hardstyle kettlebell technique in their own bodies,. They test their metal with 100 snatches in 5 minutes. They teach kettlebell skills to each other and also to people from the community we invite in to give them a real-life experience.

Read Neal's perspective (one of the RKC candidates) in his Dragon Door blog post here.

They learn a lot about their bodies and how to mobilize them with different stretching and movement techniques throughout the weekend to complement the presentations, workouts, kettlebell skill practice and of course, coaching each other.

RKC candidates can spend many months, even years, with an eye toward the RKC.

Their understanding of RKC principles is facilitated by watching and cueing each other with instructor presentations and continuous hands-on practice. They become more comfortable and confident with each other and with themselves as the weekend unfolds.

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. we are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
— Wilma Rudolph

The kettlebell facilitates this experience of learning how the body moves and then how to move the body better. Developing ballistic power and patience for grinds is not necessarily intuitive. It is developed with mindful practice and an understanding of power production from the hips, managing relaxation and tension combined with the proper preparation in terms of strength and conditioning. 

The RKC-I is filled with striving and growing, excitement and exhaustion, and to some degree, a stepping out into the unknown of what the body and mind can do when safely challenged like it has not been challenged before.

The RKC experience reveals something new to each candidate; it may awaken, change, disturb, surprise, invigorate or distress. Or maybe all of these, and more, over the course of the weekend. It is an experience they will never forget. It may even change the direction of their careers, and therefore, their lives.

The body and mind might tire, but the marvelous display of the human spirit marches on. The candidates relish each other's improvements and accomplishments as if they were their own -- because the group eventually begins working together as one. 

Challenge is the pathway to engagement and progress in our lives. But not all challenges are created equal. Some challenges make us feel alive, engaged, connected, and fulfilled. Others simply overwhelm us. Knowing the difference as you set bigger and bolder challenges for yourself is critical to your sanity, success, and satisfaction.
— Brendon Buchard

Some will have a few skills yet to refine after the RKC weekend concludes, but it does not diminish the experience. Instead, it presents yet another growth opportunity for these teachers-of-strength.

As with any skill, the learning process continues on, and joyfully so.

Great friendships are forged, fond memories are made and then it's home to infuse their lives with the power and energy of the RKC.

Our RKC sisters and brothers span the globe. With these skills we can touch people in gyms, schools, teams, community centers, churches, military, law enforcement, social groups, families and more.

While we are physically moving iron, we know that it is truly not about the iron, but rather how we can impact people with strength that leads to healthy, happy lives. We can't ask for much more. ~Lori Crock, RKC Team Leader 

Become a Better Time Manager

It's simple. Start a regular exercise program, with a coach to keep you accountable, and you will begin to manage your time better.

There is no way to commit to an exercise program without managing your time well.

                           A recent Saturday morning group for class.

                           A recent Saturday morning group for class.

Our best-attended class is at 5:45 a.m. and those MoveStrong Kettlebells gym members are at the gym at that time because it’s the only time it fits with their work schedule.

But that means getting to bed early enough to be able to get up and function well in class and function well for the entire day.

They become good sleep managers.

They eat breakfast after training early, and they have a plan in place for lunch, dinner and snacks for the day so they can recover from training and come back the next day.

They become good food managers.

Gym members who come to the evening classes have to get out of work on time, or early, to make it in. Getting their work done, and knowing what can wait until the next day, makes evening exercise possible. 

They become good work managers.

For many who have desk jobs, exercise is an important outlet to keep their energy up all day. Studies show that exercise helps us manage stress better

They become good stress managers.

For those who live farther away from the gym, or those are driving to the gym at a busy time traffic-wise, some extra time and planning may be needed to get to class.

They become good logistics managers.

And for those who have flexible schedules, it can be easy to skip a day, but they don’t, because they see how this makes them even better for the rest of their life.

They become good lifestyle managers.

It’s funny ... you might not realize the relationship between exercise and time management, but I see it every day and I greatly appreciate the effort that it takes for people to make it in for class consistently. 

Keep up the good work and thank you for your herculean effort it takes to manage your time well to fit in exercise!

Competitive or Collaborative?

I was interviewed by a news reporter recently for an article in The Columbus Dispatch about competitiveness in the gym. Read the story here.

I felt like I had a split personality as I was talking to the reporter ... because while I consider myself a collaborative person, when I am really honest with myself, I see that my true nature is, well, competitive.

So what does this mean in terms of daily fitness training?

I think it means that we should accept our true nature, but I also think that most people can benefit from a mix of competition and collaboration in fitness.

IMG_6489-200x300.jpg

MovNat is collaborative, but in a MovNat team-building event recently, after working collaboratively, we created some friendly competition by splitting into teams for a little tug-o-war. The group was hungry for it.

Here are some questions to ponder if you consider yourself a competitive person and struggle with that a bit (like me).

1. What is your true nature?

Don't fight your true nature; work with it. But definitely fine-tune it appropriately for the people you are with and for the situation. In terms of competing with my husband, I do that at times where it makes sense -- when it's just the two of us training and with appropriate fitness tools. We don't compete in areas that would be unsafe or there is a ridiculously large difference in our skill levels.

2. How do you use competitiveness for good?

Keep it in perspective. Be safe and progress appropriately. Listen to your body. Have fun and keep a light spirit -- a good challenge can keep you progressing, but don't let it get out of control or someone could get hurt -- when form falls apart, the competition is over.

3. When is collaborative and/or competitive appropriate?

I think collaborative and competitive work together on and off all the time. Helping each other, correcting form, reminding the other to hydrate, stretch, spot a lift ... that's collaborative. Wanna see how many Kettlebell swings we can do in a minute? That's competitive, but in the case of hubby and me, we are competing with ourselves and each is using Kettlebell weights appropriate for our individual skill level.

lori-rock-gatlinburg-225x300.jpg

4. Can you achieve good results without competition?

For sure. We do it all the time. Working together toward a goal is fun. Shouldering a log together ... one day we ran up a hill side-by-side carrying heavy rocks -- fun and challenging -- we told ourselves "this is not competitive," and it felt great to laugh and move fast. Although, I have to admit  ... I was racing him ... as I always do  ... and I can promise you ... he was racing me too.

Do you tune in to your true nature and use it for good?

A Taste of Fitness Freedom

Saturday was pretty cool so I have to write and tell you about it. First, we had a MovNat and Paleo Meetup where this week we taught and practiced Efficient Running, Crawling and Throwing (rocks) outdoors.

Second, my daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Slade came in for their first session with me indoors.

Third, one of our bridal clients and her fiance came in from out of state to train with us.

What the three have in common is this ...

They all experienced Fitness Freedom.

The Meetup folks learned to run efficiently and naturally, the MovNat way ... and this is totally counter-cultural to our heavily-padded tennis shoe world of running.

We practiced excellent form barefoot, or in socks, to get the feel of the forefoot landing with an emphasis on posture, leg pull and the landing. Based on their feedback, it was a positive change in running form -- one that was quite eye-opening; it gave them something new to take with them and explore further in their daily lives.

Sarah and Slade experienced an indoor movement session with a mix of MovNat (climbing, crawling), TRX and Kettlebells. It especially resonated with Slade -- as an engineer whose job includes plenty of time working at a computer. I believe the physical fitness will be a nice addition to his life as he seeks to increase strength and have fun doing it.

Finally, Anthony and Valessa enjoyed exploring the Waterfall park with me through the practice of MovNat. The weather was perfect and the fallen logs allowed us to practice the deadlift, clean-and-jerks, crawling, balancing and climbing and jumping.

Their minds were open to all of it, and to experience it together, both indoors and in nature, was really special.

Here Valessa's testimonial about how she enjoyed training in nature and learning MovNat with us over the last month or so.

I can’t describe how much fun it is to teach these incredible people to explore their environment through simple, safe, efficient movement and to watch them learn, grow and unfold in new ways as their view of fitness changes.

On days like this, fitness coaching feels like the best job in the world because I get to help people have fun, appreciate their bodies, learn to move well in new ways, reconnect with nature -- and with each other.

Want to experience Fitness Freedom too? Contact us to get started.