My workout was different today. With every jump, crawl or climbing move I did, I all came back: base of support, points of support, your friend gravity, unconscious competence, timing and sequence. As an explorer and rewilding lifestyle coach, I move a lot. I do so in a natural environment whenever possible, and I motivate others to do so as well. The gains for body and mind are countless: better sleep, a cleared mind, less stress, and a fitter body, to name a few. Sadly, because of our sedentary lifestyle we forgot many of the movements once obvious and natural to us. Being able to learn from the best is a gift. Taking the MovNat Certification Course in Madrid (January 13 – 17) made me a better mover, and even more important, a better rewilding coach.
The Workout The World Forgot
For many years, I have been checking out youtube, looking for ways to train and workout more outdoors while preparing for adventures and expeditions. I was blown away with Erwan Le Corre’s video ‘The Workout The World Forgot”. I had been trying out some of this stuff in an intuitive way on my own, but seeing Erwan mastering balance, gravity, speed, power and most of all elegant accuracy was just incredible. In 2010 I went to Glasgow for a MovNat workshop with him to learn the basics of moving in a natural way. We kept in contact ever since, and a couple of months ago, he convinced me in his own friendly less-is-more style to go for the Level 1 certification. So I did. I enrolled for the workshop in Madrid in January.
MovNat is a fitness and physical education system based on the full range of natural human movement skills. The Movnat system trains physical competence for practical performance, and aims at effectiveness, efficiency, and adaptability. MovNat defines fitness as a physical competence in response to demands placed upon you by the environment and the situation. Environmental and situational demands together constitute the context in which practical physical performance will take place.
Arriving at CrossFit GranVia was a little chaotic and intimidating. I wondered why so many people were queuing up. Later I found out that these young guys were battling for a place in the Spanish version of the Ninja Warrior program. CrossFit GranVia became our basecamp for 5 day, arriving at 8:00 in the morning and finishing around 6 p.m. My workshop colleagues were a little J younger than me; the oldest only 13 years younger, and well represented in the crowd were CrossFit coaches, personal trainers, a physiotherapist, and a crazy (sorry Lorenzo :-)) Parkour Italian. What type of coach I was? An explorer and rewilding lifestyle coach.
So why doing MovNat indoors since it’s all about moving naturally outdoors? Good Question! The instructor’s course is stuffed with lots of different techniques which have to be trained and rehearsed, in a safe environment. As a group, we opted not to go out, looking for good outdoor spots, but instead use every minute available to learn and train in this gym, which has a superb and very open-minded atmosphere. The better you master the moves, the easier it becomes to move well in nature.
Jerome Rattoni, an extremely skilled French MovNater, responsible for the instructors’ certification courses in Europe and the Middle East, was our teacher for five long days of theory, movement instruction, and coaching sessions. “Come prepared” he had warned us, “I will help you to fine-tune, but I expect you to be moving well already.” Jerome has his own ways of teaching – always calm and gentle, but demanding, and never compromising on quality and efficiency. He keeps you sharp by challenging you with surprises and tests. He is not easily impressed, and he doesn’t give a damn about your CV or title. If you want to see him happy and proud, do a nice and clean move, balancing on a narrow beam or a precision landing on the requested spot. (I like that!) Go ready to be tested and challenged: “A MovNat instructor should be able to do well and being an example in all different ways under any circumstances,”
I went prepared for the certification course. The manual had (almost) no secrets for me, as I read it forwards and backwards over and over again, and worked on my moves in the woods. Later, I would find out that Jerome wanted it to be (very understandably) higher, further, cleaner, faster, slower, and just overall better. The fact that we opted for doing the 2 courses (Level 1 and Level 2) one after the other, made it special. It was tough. Halfway through I felt, as all the others, very tired, but I managed to recover and continue learning. Because we spent five long days together, we felt like a little tribe. The atmosphere was tremendous, and my younger teammates helped me jump higher and further than I ever did. Personal Trainer. Garai, and Italian Parkour expert, Lorenzo, got their Level 2 Certification. The rest of us got the Level 1 certificate, with extra training homework to do in order to obtain the Level 2. But don’t be scared off – everything is safe and measured. MovNat can be practiced by anyone at any level. MovNat is natural and it’s human. As Erwan says: “We are NOT the jackass of moving naturally.”
It was a wonderful experience, and I will surely use it in our rewilding lifestyle workshops where we inspire people to move in the most natural way possible. And believe me, Jerome, I won’t forget. It’s all about posture, breathing, sequence, timing, tension, and relaxation. Once again, thank you, Erwan, and thank you, Jerome. I will now, more than ever, crawl up and down mountains, jump over rivers, balance fallen trees, and breathe!