I was listening to The Active Life podcast and the guest was the father of modern mobility Dr. Kelly Starrett. They discussed their different approaches to mobility and treatment, and agreed that you can have different approaches and solutions to the same problem.
Starrett was the first person to come into the CrossFit scene that really placed an importance on mobility, stability, correct movement patterns or whatever else you want to call it. He made us all start paying attention to why we can’t get into the right position, and gave us options to try to fix it. The Mobility WOD was born and it’s motto was, “All humans should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.”
It was a great discussion and at one point, Starrett referenced a quote from the book Dune. (Now we’re really nerding out!) Dune is a science fiction tale about sustainability and ecology, and while that’s not my area of expertise, we can certainly apply it to our own bodies. We are a system just like the environment. We have basic functions and needs and if one piece collapses, a whole host of problems can arise.
“The thing the ecologically illiterate don’t realize about an ecosystem is that it’s a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, a flowing from point to point. If something dams the flow, order collapses. The untrained might miss that collapse until it was too late. That’s why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.”
Starrett pointed out the last sentence in the quote - that ecologists understand the consequences. He said that’s exactly what good coaches and teachers do too. We understand the consequences. I’m sure if you are a parent you can relate.
We harp on quality movement because we understand the consequences of not moving well. It’s not just about avoiding injury either. We should feel good, not have chronic back pain, not have to wear special gear to hold us in the right position, and on and on.
There’s no overnight fix if you have a movement restriction or mobility issue. We need to put in the work to fix it, but we can’t just slam through it day after day and then wonder why our shoulder still hurts when we move it a certain way.
This is hard. It is sooooo hard to take a step back, slow down, and work on these issues. I struggle with this as much as anyone. I just want to do it RX! My ego gets in the way. And I’m one of those coaches that knows the consequences.
Maybe I am writing this blog for myself or maybe it hits home with you too. Even if you don’t experience pain, are you always trying to move as perfectly as possible? Are you moving like you care?
Better movement will help keep you pain and injury free and it will make you stronger and faster. Quality movement equals efficient movement and efficient movement means more PRs and less pain. Don’t we all want that?
Workout for Thursday, December 13
5 min Row or Ride @ 150 BPM Heart Rate
1 min Max Reps Burpees
Rest 1 min
*Score is lowest round of Burpees