Tuesday, January 1, 2013

About Kangaroos and Fitness and 2013

It’s only 2 years ago that I started my own business and called it Kangaroo Fitness.

I was a social work graduate and a new mom and new Canadian with an entrepreunal spirit and newfound joy for teaching fitness classes for moms and moms-to-be.  With my Personal Trainer and Pre/Postnatal Fitness Specialist certification received, all I needed was a business name. It took me 5 minutes to come up with Kangaroo Fitness. Four and a half minutes searching the internet for ‚How to find a good business name‘ and the other 30 seconds to figure that a Kangaroo is both maternal and sporty and that Kangaroo and Fitness are two words that look pretty good next to eachother. Turned out that it wasn’t a bad choice. If you are ever in search of a business name, ask me :)

Except that I’m not so happy with it anymore. I still love the Kangaroo. More than ever actually. Did you know that a newborn kangaroo is about 2cm long and weighs less than 1 gram and is strong enough to crawl into its mothers pouch? Pretty cool.

I also read that the kangaroo got its name after Europeans asked the native Australians what that animal was called. They responded saying ‚I don’t understand‘ which sounds like ‚kangaroo‘ in their language. The Europeans thought this was the name of the animal and this is how the kangaroo got its name.

Kangaroo Fitness  - ‚i don’t understand‘ fitness. Funny. Because it is very much what I’ve been contemplating this past year. Fitness. What does it mean? I don’t get it. Or rather I think that we as a culture don’t get it. Have we been brainwashed by the fitness industry?

Fitness is defined as ‚being physically fit and healthy‘. To be ‚fit‘ means to be suitable to fulfill a particular role or task. That leaves room for a lot of interpretation. Good. The key words here are particular role or task.

Is it the task to be able to do 3 sets of  15 biceps curls with that followed by 25 push-ups?

Or is it the motherly role to lift and carry a toddler without getting a back spasm when turning over to grab the diaper bag? Is it to run a marathon or is it to be able to run after your kids every day without leaking urine? Is it to get through some insane workout once or twice a week or is it to be able to enjoy a nice long hike in the woods without having foot pain the next day?

And how about being pregnant and not have pelvic or lower back pain? To have a smooth vaginal birth without blowing through your pelvic floor or abdominal muscles? To have birthed children and not say that the babies have ruined your body? To be 30, 40, 50, 60 years old and not have any of the ailments that seem to come with age in our culture? Or how about being able to squat in order to pee in the woods (everybody has to do this at least once a year, yes?) and not fall over or pee on your shoes in the process?

How about being able to stand for more than 5 minutes without leaning against a wall or table or without tucking your tailbone under or bending a knee and hiking one of your hips up? Or how about being able to do this for more than 5 seconds?

You could be ‚fit‘ in terms of being able to get through a tough workout. You could even be ‚fit‘ in terms of looking the part. But do all your body parts move effortlessly and are all your body parts healthy?

I contemplated changing my business name because I don’t offer ‚fitness‘ anymore and I want this to be clear to everybody.  But then I really like Kangaroo Fitness and I still want to attract people who subscribe to the fitness paradigm and introduce another way of thinking about our body and what it should be able to do. It works for the people who committ. A client of mine who was really into working out and believed that more is better recently wrote in a testimonial that she learned to 'work out smarter not harder'. Her back pain dissappeared and her diastasis recti closed. And she didn't do crazy amounts of exercises every day. A bit of education on body mechanics and a willingness to commit to using her body for movement and using her body for mindful and aligned movements. Just the way our bodies were designed to be moved, really. 

So, I'll keep the word 'fitness' in the name. Because I want more clients like her :)

I’m working on a new website and I’ll have a new logo and the new tagline will be something like this:

Kangaroo Fitness – Aligning Fitness With Natural Movement. Or maybe not. Because the word natural movement is loaded with preconceived ideas too. I'm not telling everybody to take off their shoes and go barefoot running. Just saying. So maybe its going to be: Kangaroo Fitness - Aligning Fitness With Everyday Movement. What do you think?

I’m excited about 2013 and grateful for all the ups and downs that helped me get to where I am right now.  And thanks to YOU reading my blog!

PS: Here is a challenge!

'Work out' by just standing in alignment every time you are standing.
Read this post about proper stance from my teacher and biomechanist Katy Bowman and follow the instructions:

Let me know how this feels. And if you want an extra challenge, stand in this aligned stance while holding your baby or toddler or shopping bags! No need to go to the gym!

Cheers to an aligned and healthy 2013!

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