Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kettlebell Valentine: Birth of a new Workout Era

This is part two of my Valentine post about how I first fell in love with training with kettlebells.

So there I was, the healthy eating vegetarian, doing yet another set of preacher curls and another lunge-curl-press in my set of 6 to 12 exercises, with my NASM cert, yoga certs, AAFA certs...realizing that I didn't feel any bit stronger, and that it was all I could take. I wasn't a size two after hours of training. haha. I could not sustain my strength with 8 mid-to-highly impactive aerobic style workout classes I was teaching many hours per week, and this was a reduced schedule. Not funny anymore. My body had been through enough, and it was time for a real change with real results.

When I began teaching for World Gym, I no longer taught with music. Even though I was initially attached to my music and sad about this, I realized that it brought me into a new world of exercise opportunity. It was then that I restructured how I taught all my fitness classes, and began to bring a level of evolution into my teaching. When Mike and I fell in love with learning bellwork, I realized I had to change. When I failed at keeping a regular bell cycle, and kept defaulting to what I knew with no return on my investment, I felt forced to

It was then my new quest, that I dragged the girls onto, kicking and screaming. There was no way they knew what working out hard meant!! I don't even think I truly knew anymore, since my body had adapted to everything else. I started really researching kettles and bought Mike and I a book, Enter The Kettlebell.

When you become consumed with something you feel very passionate about, it overtakes your life, and you begin to not only wonder how you lived your life without it, but everyone catches your vibe and follows you up on your path to the enlightenment your passion teaches you.

The lights went on. Working out became a challenge again, a real journey. I was excited to get to the floor. I even named our workout cliche Smash Team, based on this transition from a snatch we do that just looks nasty. (I call it wrecking ball). But if another person came up to me calling the kettlebell a cardio workout, I was going to swing the thing at them! No! It is NOT just another cardio workout, and who ruined this sport's good name? It, to me, is an athletic practice that improves all other feats in one's world. It even combines yogic practice into the lift. (In fact, John Du Cane of RKC, lived in a yoga community in India for a bit.) The more I practiced, the more Mike showed me his findings and I mine, the more we noticed how much there was to learn, and how far ahead of the curve and simultaneously, innocently ignorant we had been, about it all.

I knew of Steve Cotter and his training style, but nothing like what I know now. Using his technique to rebuild my swing was potent information. It really helps to get into the research of a sport and find the art and science. What was originally considered "cardio" at that point, turns it into something real, untouchable, poetry in motion. Learning more made everything I did before, almost obsolete. 

Enter 2013. Enter "Resilient," a DVD by Pavel. Again, it was shifting our workout paradigm. Swinging had gotten us all through some hard times. It became the clarifying moment in my day to swing that bell. Even yoga wasn't making the same impact anymore. It was the integration of the two forces that began to provide for me the best benefit. I'm not knocking the years of yogic practice that I still feel is so highly valuable. I just saw the kettlebell as a tool for yogic expansion...maybe by the time Mike and I are ready to enter the RKC, or IKFF, we will finally be ready to start at a beginner's point. Hm. It's beginning to sound a  lot like yoga.

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