I have been dragging my feet for ages on writing a blog. There was a part of me that couldn’t seem to validate why anyone would want to read it. Then one day, driving through the winding roads of Martinique, one of my athletes started peppering my with questions, or rather one question, “Why?”
It didn’t matter how I responded, his rebuttal remained, “Why?” and it lead me spiraling down the rabbits hole deeper than I knew it could go.
Originally, ELEVATE Mind Body Game was conceived to solve a problem that I saw emerging in the athletic arena. Physical education was being removed from the public school curriculum; as a result, young, developing, aspiring athletes were left to develop under the guidance of youth sport coaches. Understand, I am not taking anything away from these coaches, many of who are volunteers. Truthfully, I applaud their efforts and respect their desire to be involved in youth sports. However, in my experience, though they may know X’s & O’s, many do not have a strong knowledge of the mechanics of movement. As a result, i hypothesized that athletes were more susceptible to serious injuries, at a younger age and ultimately, inhibiting their ability to reach their true athletic potential.
I felt that if I could introduce a program that afforded young athletes an opportunity to learn how to work with their body, to control & move it dynamically, it could potentially reduce their risk of injury and elevate their game. I wanted them to have access to information and coaching that I didn’t have access to as a developing athlete.
Flash forward to the summer of 2015, driving along the coast, looking up at the volcano that I had climbed just a week earlier and I realize that that was just part of the equation. The barrage of “Why’s” were like little tremors that shifted the ground below, each one delving deeper within me until I finally erupted with ideas and reflections that reinforced this premise that I had prided my career upon; the mind and the body are connected; we are an integrated system. Movement, whether in the shape of Go-Ju, tap, basketball of yoga, movement is vehicle of self-expression.
As a child, the playground served as my doorway to friendships & as my pen when words could not express my emotions. I was happiest in motion because it allowed me to release anxiety, frustration and exhileration freely. Movement was my voice when words failed me. It helped me develop a connection with my body; I was strong, fast and athletic. It was and remains the root of my confidence.
Through the evolution of my career as an Elite Performance Coach, I have had the opportunity to work with a broad spectrum of individuals. I have observed that developing a connection with your body can elicit a visceral response. Indiscriminate of age or gender, whether one is a weekend warrior or an NBA athlete, movement has the potential to positively effect us all. Movement, in whatever form you choose, has the potential to foster courage, confidence, and pride; I have been the witness of this transformation in adults and children alike.
Sharing in the transition from frustration to excitement with a 3rd grader as she learns to double dutch for the first time. Her elated smile, radiating as she exclaims, “Did you see that? Did you see what I just did?” Lost in the moment, the only thing I knew to do was to kneel down hug this jubilant child. Her new found confidence seemed to have given her an extra three inches.
Working alongside an athlete through a turbulent off-season; guiding him past old injuries, teaching him hoot refuel and recover, how to listen to his body, fostered growth physically, mentally and emotionally. He began to trust his body; to embrace it rather than fight it, becoming more generous with his soul. His mental and physical connection lead to patience, perseverance and tapped into an inherent power, emerging as a leader on and off the court.
I had a front row seat to the transformation of a 50 year old woman who had “lost herself in being the mother of four”, proclaiming that she was “afraid of everything.” When we first met, her highest physical achievement had be climbing the stairs back in High School. In a matter of weeks, she had harnessed the courage to be daring enough to conquer her fear of the water. Watching her “jump in” her pool, surfacing with an electrifying bolt of laughter was absolutely brilliant! It was a moment of triumph, and I had the opportunity to be there to witness it.
Its hard to not get emotional about some of these experiences because they are emotional. As a coach, I get to be a part of these experiences. The magical part about all of this is that energy does not get washed away in the whirlpool of that one instant. It spills over and reaches all aspects of your life; its kinetic and contagious. I get to be excited by that same electric current. I want to share this feeling with as many people as possible.
So, Mind Body Game, this blog, is here for you… to answer questions, to act as a resource and hopefully provide some inspiration. I will share my journey and experiences as a coach, as an athlete and as a woman who is striving to discover all that her body can do. I want to encourage you to elevate you mind, elevate your body to elevate your game. I invite you to discover #WhatMovesYou.