I’ve been really active my whole life, from climbing trees as a small (and now big) kid to rugby, surfing, running and more recently Parkour - any movement that has an implicit challenge draws me in. Starting with gym instructing and then swimming teaching in the mid-90’s I began to work in fitness and then went on to study a degree in Sport Science, graduating in 2001.
Professionally speaking this was just the start and since then I’ve learned from some of the most innovative trainers and therapist in the world to develop a deep understanding of how (and why) we move. There’s so much we don’t know and so much to explore….
Given that much of my childhood was spent running around the edges or Dartmoor, often in barefoot, it’s a little surprising it took my close to 30 years to realise that it’s this close integration with out environment that is what “fitness” is really all about. Yes strength, stamina and mobility are useful ideas to some extent, but whether we are an elite athlete or just want to fully live life, moving through our chosen environment with efficiency and effectiveness is our ultimate goal.
This is a broader meaning of what we term fitness that includes not just our muscles and energy systems but the sensory-perceptual abilities, contextual awareness and decision making abilities - in effect our ability to read and respond to our environment and others. Our tendency to categorise and direct our movement abilities into muscles or discrete components of fitness such as strength or endurance leads to a reduced emphasis these equally important factors.
My current (and future) exploration is into how our cognitive and physical capacities interweave and mesh which our environment to create an opportunity for greater development of ourselves into intelligent, efficient movers and humans.
My idea of being a “barefoot athlete” originated before the current barefoot running thing really got started, and was actually intended for surf fitness as I was really into that at the time. There was a dual idea behind the name - that our ultimate potential lies not in fancy technology or equipment but is buried deep in our primitive biology, and the second was a bit of a dig at the idea that being and athlete was a serious affair - actually the full engagement in sports is (and should be) a playful, curious and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
This idea has now grown into a set of principle that can be applied to any movement situation, with an emphasis on engaging and interacting with our environment and others. We’ve evolved over the course of millions of years for this very purpose, so it should be no surprise that our bodies and minds rapidly adapt and easily engage once we return to our roots.
I think much of the “will power” problem with fitness is because we’ve removed our natural context - the hills, trees, trails and other people - and transferred our practice to a sterile gym where the machines do the thinking leaving our minds bored and in need of distraction.
Our return to nature and full engagement immediately draws you in and puts a smile on your face - the activity becomes an intriguing problem to solve and you hardly notice that you’re getting “fit” at the same time.
Anatomy in Motion Practitioner
NeuroKinetic Therapy Level 3
Fascial Manipulation Level 1
Be-Activated Level 2
Remedial Massage Therapist Level 3
Sports Massage Therapist Level 3
BSc (Hons) Sports Science
Diploma in Sports Psychology
Studied CHEK Level 2 Practioner in 2005
Future Fit Personal Trainer
"That activation worked a treat! Feeling much stronger. Thanks."Ceri, Runner
"I have run 10 miles both days and tonight I did it as a bit of a fartleck, and was 2 mins faster. It felt good without the gripping pain."Helen, Runner
"Got 36:56 in the 10k, 6th place in a strong field and over 3.5 mins off my PB on a hilly off road course. Maybe the eye activation did the trick!"Tom, Runner