>Sunday 29 August
Showtime 2100 hours

As soon as the sunlight was all washed out of the sky, the five men from Kentucky came out. The general audience of this band are not loud aggressive types, but they are enthusiastic and passionate about MMJ. I have heard comparisons made with regard to MMJ and Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band, and Neil Young.  I enjoy all input from any fans and myself feel a strong connection between Eric Sr.’s love of the Allman Brothers and MMJ.  This is simply to say that there old people in the crowd as well as young college track athletes and 30-somethings.

We applauded and then waited for the moment.

Music floated into the air (Rollin Back intro) as Jim, Tommy, and Carl huddled in front of Patrick, swaying in time to the shimmery intro of Rollin’
Back, i wondered if they would appreciate a crowd that was obviously eternally grateful without being demonstrative. I mean, even the most avid fan i know draws a line between how excited they are to hear MMJ and how loudly they behave. My guess is that after 11 years of touring they are used to crowds and all the fluctuations from city to city.
-The Way That He Sings
-Circuital (new song?)
-It Beats For You
-Honest Man
-I’m Amazed
-Easy Morning Rebel
-Steam Engine
-Smokin From Shootin (with Run Thru finish)
-Touch Me I’m Going To Scream part 2
-Wordless Chorus
-Touch Me. . .(part 1)
-Highly Suspicious
-Off The Record
-One Big Holiday

Another excellent show. I’m sure we all wanted them to play for much longer, but i am thankful and reveling, yet motivated and awake. If i get to the 2nd night at Terminal 5 i will have done my job as a fan this year.
And i caught a few high fives from the guys before the encore and after.  This was another reason to hang at stage left if you ever want to see a band at Great Plaza.  And if you would like to hear more of My Morning Jacket, reach me and i’ll refer you to an album based off what you are listening to presently.  All of their records are distinctly theirs yet of varying persuasions.

>Sounds crazy if you are way wrapped up in your RKC identity and your Code of Conduct, but for me, for my future, this was non-negotiable.  The last post allowed you to hear about how/why the split went down, now i want to tell you about what it is i plan to do.  No, what i have been doing.

I was invited and attended the Gym Movement Level I [biomechanics education] July 25-26 2010.  Yes, it was awesome.  No, it wasn’t awesome.  It was frightening.  It was frighteningly simple, the blueprint that frankie Faires laid out.  It was scary and reductionist in the approach to anatomy and physiology.  In fact, i think i even heard someone say that ‘they’ didn’t want us to know what we were about to learn.  ‘They’ have been in my rear view since i was 11 years old and i’ll be a monkey’s uncle if they are going to take this from me!  Maybe i’m kidding.  Maybe.

So day one of max lecture and minimal lab left me with about 6 pages of notes.  The few questions i had were
-Why didn’t we go over testing protocols?
-Why didn’t we start until 1000 because your ole’ Dad here woke up at 0600?
-How does my hair look?

These questions were answered smartly, by Me, over a dinner of salad, chicken, steak, chicken, and salad.  in that order. 
-This was an invitation based educational weekend that leads to candidacy and completion.  We are here because we had been testing and posting to #PReveryday on Twitter, we are here because we have purchased the products, used the protocol, and were invited to be part of the group that moves this forward.
-We trained from 1000-1940 with a 90 minute lunch, so an 8 hour training day was completed nonetheless.
-My hair always looks good.

Day two involved heavy lab and great lecture.  Yes, frankie Faires is a great presenter.  Not unprofessional despite the profanity that peppered the weekend, and quite professional despite the devious implant of the Gym Movement DVD in the Dragon Door dome [someone smiles and someone frowns right now, no doubt], fF was all about the clarity of the material and urged us from the start to take copious notes.  He checked in periodically with me to make sure that i wasn’t going to go Pavelite on him and try to lock him up in a hold [he would escape and take me over i believe] and he also displayed concern for my health and the sub-par surgical job done on my inguinal hernia, repaired in April.  Also known as the purple streak that draws attention, also known as the area that hurts when i do pistols on my right leg, and lovingly known to my other hernia scar [who shall remain unnamed] as Gordon Shumway. 

fF and Mike T. Nelson looked over and worked over the scar with their hands [totally he-ter-o!] and gave me ideas of how to test the impact on that area and what to expect from future Movement courses.  So, the weekend ended similar to how my relationship with Gym Movement began: someone concerned with my health was intimately involved with me for a moment of revelation.  In October, Adam talked to me about toe-touches and shoulder flexion tests [me to him “you are an idiot”], in February he demanded that i call him back, and in March, we had a telephone conversation that i will never forget.  He was concerned with me and why i was not training, my voluntary exclusion of all beef, pork, fowl, and lamb, and why i had been in a state of physical pain that had escalated and in turn escalated the severity of my mood cycles.  I told him the truth.

I busted my back the day after Christmas and my girl [at the time, and if i can get it together, once again] thought i was going to kill myself.  She told me that she feared it the moment i cried out in pain and hit the deck [on a 325 lb. deadlift of all things, not like i was saving a bus of orphans from a disaster].  Not when the despair hit the next day, and not when i lost my mind 5 weeks later and broke up with her [happy birthday, by the way].  She told me that she saw me limping and thought right away, ‘Holy shi!t, he’s injured again, and this is the last daggone straw’.  Indeed, it broke my back but it was not the last straw.  I ain’t no dude turnin’ in his horse and saddle.  Forget that.  I got a massive eagle tattooed on my chest to remind me that men born into less have done greater things out of necessity than i ever have out of desire.  if you fear dying, you are already dead.  I feared reconstructing myself in the best image i could, in my own image, and fulfilling the prophecy written in the air at every birth and death-
“This is your life”

So what did i get out of biofeedback testing?  I got away from the Rubik’s Cube CKFMS and the medical community put me in, and i got behind the wheel of a 1979 model E.O Williams Junior with 240lbs. of burnin’ love under the hood and a trunk full of textbooks i’m ready to throw away.  I am using big movements that test well in order to move my body in the direction it wants to go.

fF “Train quality, tested movements, with varying degrees of specificity, and the minimum amount of distress”

Adam Glass “F@ck everybody, do your own sh!t”

My body, my system, my truth.  I think i may fix myself and reduce my pain levels to a serious low while improving the physical function in movements i consider important, and improving my ability to manage emotional flare ups resultant from any distress inherent to a reasonable lifestyle.  Step one, fix myself.  Step two-take this $#!t to the bank!

Stay tuned.

>This past weekend was over, much quicker than i would like but at just the speed i lived it.  Friday was a wash, as the old saying goes, and Saturday was a long day.  Sunday, i was back in the rack by 1500 hours.  I am now awake and recharged and your ole’ Uncle Willy has lots going on.  If it ain’t too much bother, here is what the heck is up.

I was RKC certified in April 2005, and promoted to Senior Instructor in October 2008.  Great stuff, lots of learning going on there.  I chose not to attend the big meeting a few weekends back in St. Paul, though i did offer some thoughts to Master RKC Brett Jones and Pavel.  Brett received my thoughts on CKFMS and did his best to make sure that i understood what i was misunderstanding.  Though, it was not a misunderstanding.  I simply don’t want to associate training with CKFMS.  Pavel told me, in an email reply, that he would call me in a few weeks. 

And the phone conversation that took place at 1600 hours, Monday 8.9.10, with Big Cheese John Ducane allowed for me to peacefully step away from the Russian’s Kettlebell Challenge.

These are the recommendations i made for the RKC program:
-The RKC could work as a candidacy program.  Just like CKFMS.
1.  Include a copy of ETK with registration
2.  Run the same cert schedule minus snatch test
3.  Reduce the feed forward tension and verbal cuing to a volume that allows them to focus on moving the weight, rather than compressing the $#!t out of their abs and glutes and binding their soft tissue down.
4.  Allow for some scalability in the drills, since not every one can move the same way, and if they can’t, it doesn’t mean they should fail and be ordered to go see a CKFMS like it says in the manual.
5.  Have the snatch test be submitted via video to the Team Leader from the weekend or if they can, they should test in front of a Master/Senior /Team leader.  This should be submitted NO EARLIER than 30 days after the cert and no LATER than 120 days after the cert.
6.  Consider this: if the manual says that clean and squat should be tested with two snatch test sized bells, either make them do it at the test or take it out of the manual, no in between.
7.  1 pull up required.  Just one chin clearing pull, regardless of hand position, for men AND women.  It ain’t keeping out the fatties Brett, but even if it is, that is also a good idea.  Fat people should not be able to profit in the same industry as me.  It doesn’t matter if they are fat and they have 40″ vertical, can roll up a frying pan, or run 100 yards in 13.1 seconds, if their waistline measurement is 3.5 times the size of their neck, and they can do something else athletic, they can also find the discipline to train for 1 pull up.  Men and women.  It simply means that they trained for it.  This should be submitted along with the snatch test AFTER the weekend course.
8.  So, they pay, the get ETK, they show up, train, they take a skills test, and teaching test, and at the end they are issued a certificate of attendance.  Then, they have the option to tell Dragon Door “I want to test as an RKC, i will submit my pull up and snatch video”, and they pass a written test of simple musculoskeletal anatomy and function [flexion, extension, circumduction etc.] and then we make a big deal out of it and they are RKCs.  For current RKCs they should have to re certify in the same fashion, even if they are re certifying while assisting.  Or, they opt not to test as an RKC and they are OK with that.  It took me three months to figure out how it could all work and that is the best i can do.

It is my idea that to be the best of the best, a more selective induction could benefit the team.  It is my experience that not every RKC Instructor is a Pavelite.  I know RKCs who do not own a single Dragon Door kettlebell.  And then there are RKCs like me who do everything and more.  Maybe it was my own injury history that reestablished itself in the last year.  It could have been all that physical work at Trader Joe’s or it may have been a reduced intake of animal products that aided in all of my injuries flaring up at once.  Without regard to the nature, i am fixing my state with big movements under the Gym Movement protocol:  Practice quality, tested movements, with varying degrees of specificity and the minimal effective amount of distress.  When i told Brett that CKFMS red lights me from any training and recommends that i go to the doc, he said i was not an FMS client, but an SFMA referral.  And there is where the disconnect became clear, i believe for both of us.  I do not want another doctor to either tell me to rest [i rested from April 2009 to May 2010] or to do a bunch of small movements to repair/re-pattern, etc.  No one else has been able to fix me or even answer my questions.  I am taking this into my own hands.  My body, my feedback, my system.  Brett was happy to hear that i was exploring other avenues of movement but iterated that i could have given FMS and SFMA another chance.

I want to move.  I can move, in certain contexts.  And within that box i will move around, do what i can with what’s in the box, and then make that box bigger.  Thesis: Man in pain denies his old textbook and throws out his beliefs about pain and not training, antithesis: all movement is corrective if it tests well with biofeedback, synthesis-PR every day.