Appreciating How the Body Moves and Performs
Movement Matters. Movement is an expression of how we interact with the world and influences the life we lead. It is an activity and a challenge, a state of mind and a potential, an ability and a mentality. Movement is dynamic, static, athletic, and restful. We can train how we move and how we rest. Movement directly impacts performance and vice versa.
Movement/performance is both simple and complex. Find a support team who can help you navigate it. We don’t know the perfect formula to optimize performance, but we are always learning ways to improve it. The more we understand about our stability, mobility, flexibility, neural drive, and strength, the better we can execute daily activities, postures, athletic events, and training. It is the job of coaches and health professionals to help you develop the relationship between these factors and body systems so you can live the life you love. Good support has your best interests in mind as an individual.
Rehabilitation and training programs shouldn’t be a universal formula given to all people of a certain “type.” No two bodies, athletes, or people are the same. Movement is not uniform because everyone has individual characteristics and structures that need to be considered. There are too many relationships that are unique to an individual that "good" movement for one person may not be the same for another. Knowing what positions, preparation, movements, and recovery are appropriate for you will optimize your performance. Surround yourself with professionals who appreciate this.
The body is capable of incredible change and resiliency. Smart, efficient, hard work will produce results! You can push yourself beyond your comfort zone with the right mindset, work ethic, and physical care. Health and wellness professionals can help you optimize your performance and work toward the changes you want!
Despite all our efforts, the body can still break down. Sometimes we can do everything right and we still get injured, sick, have setbacks, or our bodies just don’t cooperate. It is important to still be kind to it. There are things we can control and things we cannot. When the going gets tough, don’t beat yourself or the body up further for disappointing you. Instead, shift from “Plan A” to “Plan B” and do what you can control to move forward.
Pain can be common, but is not always normal. Pain is complex - we are constantly learning more about it. Never feel you have to navigate it alone; there are many professionals out there to help you understand what your body is saying. It isn't typical for young, healthy, athletes to perform with pain. Childbirth does not mean your body cannot recover. Aging is not an excuse for stopping activity or having aches and pains. “No pain, no gain,” is not always the correct mentality. Education is needed to understand when to push and when to respect what the body is saying.
Learn how to read your body and your movement. The more you understand what your body is saying, the better you can express yourself to your support team (coaches, parents, partners, medical professionals, etc), who will better be able to support you, your performance, and your goals. Understanding how the body changes and understanding what is typical and what is not can help you develop a positive relationship with your body through the lifespan.
Optimizing performance also means optimizing recovery. Taking care of the body requires understanding
how to properly fuel, sleep, and rest. Learning and training recovery habits can help you thrive.
The body is very good at cheating. As we develop our movement, skills, and performance, different body relationships play out and our body can start to find ways to cut corners. In other words, it can find the easiest way to perform a task versus the optimal way. Sometimes when the body compensates enough, imbalances can start to occur and suboptimal performance or injury vulnerability can result. We set people up for success by teaching them how to develop their different body systems and create consistent, controlled, efficient movement.
The body changes. Performance changes. You change. Goals change. Don’t hold yourself to the person you used to be or limit yourself to the person you can become. Your body will change throughout life. Embrace the change as a chance to continually develop and challenge your potential. As you change, your goals may change, and that is okay. Your body belongs to you and your goals are made for you. Be able to communicate with your support team so you can reach YOUR dreams. You aren't alone in your journey, people are there to help you navigate.