And now, with this https://youtu.be/8Emx3gzxccA seen and approved, it is official: as of 7:16 AM today, I am now a Certified Level One MovNat Trainer. Hoo-yah!
It was not easy! As with hard, good, meaningful achievements, this one has timeless universal aspects to it. We overcome obstacles. We fight back from injury. We fire ourselves up when it seems like we cannot go on anymore. We achieve.
The certification was 06-08 April 2018. That weekend, I passed everything: the written test, the coaching test, the skills tests. Everything except the balance test.
So I had to make a video of myself doing the balance test good enough to pass. On two 2x4s, without once coming off and with showing good technique and posture, walk forward and backward twice each, turn left and right twice each, then do tripod balances. You come off the boards or have bad technique — you start over. But you get only so many tries.
What all did we have to do? Show mastery of crawling, throwing, catching, climbing, running, get-ups. (See the list in the comments.)
I have been doing this sort of thing for years, albeit without knowing good technique. But last year, my training was going really well. My endurance, balance, skill training was really good. I was walking on a 2.25″ bar about 100 yards, coming off only three times. I was running, some days, 6-10 miles on rolling, winding dirt trails through forest and woods. I was jumping, rolling, climbing, and more.
Good thing, because then:
1. December 16, 2017: I cut the skin on knee clean through so that I could see my patella; the gash was a clean cut about 1.5 inches across. I was, it turned out, not eating enough for my training, so my brain was not active and alert. Consequently, when going over a guard rail I can normally vault in my sleep, I went over it, brain-dead, like a wet noodle, and hit my knee against an edge.
2. December 23, 2017: I messed up ligaments and tendons in my knees that I did not feel till the next morning. I don’t know what exactly I did to them, but on the 23rd I did a 4-mile trail run in the morning, then walked 3 or so miles in the afternoon, picking up trash in some woods with friends. On the way back from our furthest point out (about 1.25-1.5 miles), I carried 40-80 pounds in each hand (not sure at all of the exact weight, other than “heavy”) farmer-style on 1-1.5 miles of dirt trails. In other words, I did a long farmer’s carry with lots of weight. My right knee was swollen for just over a week and a half, but my left knee was swollen for over a month and a half. So, for 2-2.5 months, I could to do very little but walk and light, light running. No jumping. I did not even want to drop from a bar after doing pull-ups. No way was I going to put myself in any situation where I could injure my knees worse.
3. Three weeks in March: I had to train in my eye glasses because of the Pine pollen. (I have no allergies; it gets under my contacts and feels like sandpaper on my eyes.) My glasses I wear only after I wake up in the morning, or just before bed, so they have a Pavlov effect: when I wear them during the day, they make my brain shut down as if I were not awake. I seem to function at only 60-90% when I have them on. And they are out of prescription: I cannot read road signs even 100 yards away with them on! The strain was annoying.
4. Then, in March I lost a contact lens, so I had to wear my glasses 24/7 for a week! That was even worse: I had to wear my glasses all day, instead of only when I was outside. Training was again thrown off. My balance was not good. Coordination was impaired. Everything was blurry. My glasses are so thick, I get a prism effect: things I look at are red on one side, and blue on the other.
5. Then I got sick for over a week. I had some congestion and sneezing for four days or so, then had fever for one day (March 28): I actually stayed home from work, which I have not done for 10-15 years. The day I had a fever I was brain-dead tired.
Then — certification on the April 6-8!! I went anyway. No excuses.
The weekend was hard on me since my stamina was shot. Hell, when doing the balance test at the end of the day Saturday, I was so tired I thought I had to stop. I thought I was going to lose balance and come off the boards because I was too tired to even move or think. I was in one of those altered states of consciousness you get when you are so tired that your brain is low-functioning and can barely support consciousness. I felt like things were distant and I was far away from everything and everyone.
But I forced myself to wake up, to keep going, and to focus. My eyes went from glazed over and dead to sharp with fire. I forced myself to keep going and run through the balance test, but I could not pull off good technique, so I failed that part at that time.
I did my balance test and videoed it a week or two after the Cert — and after giving my right foot a few days to heal. I accidentally and stupidly kicked a metal pole while working out the Saturday after the Cert. So my foot was still recovering.
Then I had to wait a month or more to hear if I passed!! The waiting was sometimes hard. 🙂 Come to find out, my email had been missed or misplaced. So, after writing to see if he had gotten my original email, Cameron finally had the link to my video. And now all is done.
But I was making more videos in case the one balance test was not good enough!
1. 4 May 2018. Six times in a row, with no attempt before, during, or after edited out: https://youtu.be/7daMxMUv6dM
2. 4 May 2018. Slow turns and tripods: https://youtu.be/SlU1NTHyrgs
3. 14 May 2018. Fourteen consecutive minutes on the boards: https://youtu.be/DoBdP12g__M
4. 15 May 2018. A number of sets of walks-turns-tripods: https://youtu.be/QFjSUM-lKUw
5. 18 May 2018. Slow turns and tripods: https://youtu.be/4pUMgF4_rkY
6. 18 May 2018. A number of sets of walks-turns-tripods in >90ºF weather: https://youtu.be/oDancMIFlNU
Other tests I did really well on, I think. They were part of some highlights from the weekend:
1. After doing a “side-swing traverse” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pys42MTuJv8), Cameron, the certifier, said only “Sweet.” Hoo-yah. That was awesome, coming from him. I did a “side-traverse,” but looked at my hands while doing it. Fail! He said “you are looking at your hands. Don’t look at your hands.” (Or something like that.) Well, OK, then. So, I did a side-traverse while moving my gaze from one place in the building to another, then thought “was that good enough for you?” LOL. 🙂 “Sweet.”
2. After doing a massive, powerful “tuck swing” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evaugCBXgL8) that had me going almost parallel to the ground, if I remember right, Juan C — this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R52z3ybpwrw (he was there getting certified in Level One and Level Two) — said, with a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face “Now THAT was a good tuck swing.” The “awe” in his manner and voice was unmistakable — and was even more deeply appreciated. When someone like him says something like that — you have just been given a major compliment.
Overall, I learned and improved a hell of a lot the weekend of the Cert.
Cameron Pratto is an excellent, knowledgeable, experienced, informed athlete, mover, trainer, and certifier. And the other professionals there to be certified were a good group of people and movers. Nice group I’m glad to be part of.
Level Two, here I come!!!