A Personal Story to Personal Training: The Importance of Functional Movement
I owe most of the reason I am in the nutrition and personal training field because of my dad. Growing up, my dad was constantly keeping my two older brothers and I engaged in some sort of sports throughout the year. My two favorite sports were snow skiing and water skiing. For 15 years, my dad took me and my friends on awesome adventures of shredding up Pacific Northwest slopes and tearing up the wake behind our boat. Some of the best memories of my life.
My dad's body held out just long enough till I could drive and take myself. Even though, I could tell that my dad was slowing down and soon enough he would not be able to keep up with me. However, those last few years, I still enjoyed knowing he was there making his tracks. I did not mind having to wait for him or help pull him up.
Many people have told me that I am one of the most patient people they know. I believe that most patience is learned. Dad was my teacher. He must have taught a hundred people to either water or snow ski. I never saw him lose his cool teaching anyone. For the people that struggled, he would keep encouraging them until they "Got Up". Each time he taught someone how to stand up on water skis, he would do his happy dance. Still cracks me up to this day.
I would love to have just one more day of skiing with my dad. It would be even cooler if we had three generations of us on the slopes - him, me, and my son - leaving our tracks.
Knowing what I know now about the human body through personal training and the Functional Movement System, I wonder if my dad would feel strong and confident enough to still be out on the slopes with me and my boy. I do believe it would at least give him a fighting chance.
For now, I am doing my best to keep my body in tip-top shape so I can be out there with my boy when he is 38. Six months ago, it was looking like I would not have been able to spend his first year with him. My injuries of my motorcycle accident seemed to be taking a toll on my lower back. I was having trouble touching my toes and putting on my shoes without massive pain. I looked, moved, and felt old. The prospects of being able to spend quality time with my boy being active were looking pretty grim.
Fortunately, I was recently trained in the Functional Movement System (FMS), a program based on assessing the movement patterns of people to identify movement, stability, and painful areas in their body.
With the specialized exercises, I have been able to nearly rid myself of all of my lower back pain. I was having a combination of motor control problems that were causing my hamstrings to fire as a protective mechanism and underactive glut activation that made me rely mostly on my quads and hamstrings. The FMS has greatly given me back my ability to move with minimal pain. I still suffer knee pain, but that was broken in the accident and I am not sure anything can correct it; but maybe FMS can keep the pain at bay. I will keep you all posted.
This January, my dad will turn 67. He is retired now and traveling across the USA in his 40 foot RV with his wife. I last heard he was in Texas and will be heading to New Orleans soon. He is still in relatively good shape despite the nutritional abuse he puts his body through. My next article about him will be how his poor eating habits helped guide me into the world of nutrition. For now, my family and I will be heading for a snowboarding trip to Smugglers Notch, VT tomorrow. I will be thinking about my dad and all the good times we had on our ski trips and missing him.