Another whirlwind tour of the best Boston has to offer was sandwiched carefully between leading Primal Move workshops – an instructor certification workshop on Saturday, and then a 3hr “intro to” for all populations on Sunday. The group who signed up for the instructor cert were some of the smartest most capable instructors/trainers I’ve seen in a while – their individual situations and insights added so much extra value to this workshop in particular. We’re going to have to do this again, or maybe schedule an “instructors reunion concepts review” workshop or something… could be fun!
The trip began on a high note with yet another upgraded flight from Delta (yes, Delta, I love you right back, thank you for letting me travel “like a boss” and the seemingly unintentional lower carb options for lunch in 1st are massively appreciated) then hopping on the silver line, then the red line, then meeting up with Amber and immediately going to her studio, GiryaScope where I’d scheduled to take a 2hr individual lesson in Chen tai chi from Henry Lee. I’ve been curious about Chen for several years – ever since seeing my tai chi teacher (in another town) demonstrate a few of the forms, forever invoking “oh wow that looks cool, I want to do that!” Henry is an incredible teacher and we made a surprising amount of progress in a short (but intense) 2 hrs. I came back with some small sections of the form to practice and a whole lot of very interesting ideas to explore. Many of which would come in handy when thinking about another martial art (Systema) I’ve recently begun to study and explore.
Also, learning new things from other instructors has really been a boon to my own coaching skills. Its a great thing to experience something as an absolute or near absolute beginner – when we can empathize with the overwhelmed or extremely challenged feeling that new trainees can sometimes have, and then observe how our own coach or instructor works with or around that, infinite learning possibilies come about. In other words, if I’ve you’ve been training me for anything recently, know that I’m getting at least double the learning out of it – one – I’m working on learning the skill that you’re teaching me, and two – I’m learning about your coaching approach, even if I’ll never be an instructor in your field, human communication and learning transcends the subject at hand.
Something else I like about Chen is that the martial arts applications are readily apparent. Henry Lee is one of those guys who’s very sweet, patient, and can totally rip your arm out of the socket with what appears to be zero effort.
After my quads were completely fried from the low stances, and my brain fried from the concentration, we met up with Amber’s hubby for dinner. I ordered a bunless burger topped with guacamole and bacon of course. Mmmmm good. We went to sleep early because Saturday would be a big day.
A family friend of Amber’s agreed to come along as a photographer and general assistant. In an awesome twist of fate it turns out that he’s as into superfoods as much if not more than I am. So on the way in the car we enjoyed sharing and trading various snacks as part of breakfast (I’ll trade you some Brazil nuts for some of those goldenberries! Here try this Beyond Organic grain free incredible “granola” etc. etc.) Arriving at the historical, well located, and infinitely interesting location (we were in an old theater commonly used for large dance classes – so we had big mirrors, open floor space, and vintage surroundings), we were outside for a few seconds to be outside until they opened the doors at 9AM sharp. After quickly getting everyone’s paperwork, and handing out manuals, I could tell from the introductions that we were going to have an exceptional day. Backgrounds included – PT, P.E., CrossFit, all manner of fitness, golf, training children, training older adults, training athletes, and much much more. Fitness writter and jet-setter Jen Sinkler was also in attendence, if you haven’t checked out her website, you should! Not to mention everyone was enthusiastic, which as an instructor – I like to see – because its a TON of material and people always remark that “this could be a 2 day workshop!” in the course evaluations. The format of the workshop is some lecture, but there is a LOT of teaching and exploring the movements. Lunch was obviously well earned by everyone.
While Indian food isn’t my first choice, I do enjoy a good dosa every now and then – and Jen was all too amused to see the size of my lunch: What you see on my tray there are things which get ordered once or maybe twice a year as I’m not a huge fan of flour in any form. Thankfully, there was also a nearby source of espresso, so I wasn’t being irresponsible… a carb-tacular meal like this would usually render it “nap time” …not good for someone who would need to continue instructing in a very hands-on way for the next several hours – which will be the concern of the “Part Two” post which should be up in a couple days!
I’ll also talk about how much fun we had in the 3hr intro on Sunday because not only did another incredible group of people showed up for that (including a reader of this site who drove from 3 states away to attend!) – there was ZERO room to spare for that workshop – to the point of which Amber bowed out in participating so we could have more room. She promptly made very good use of her time doing various marketing work, and unknownst to me, PILFERING MY STASH of Beyond Organic goodies! It’s ok though – she’s part of my Beyond Organic Team, so I just made her promise to start growing her Beyond Organic business (which she has already done!) further and to ORDER HER OWN snacks immediately (which she has). Seriously though – the raw, live, and enzymatically activated cinnamon pecans are out of this world, click here for my review of them.
In other news – the paperback version of Al Kavadlo’s Pushing the Limits is now available! I’m in a few of the pictures – some of which I regard as just a little bit dare-devil-ish 🙂