Katy Bowman talks with Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett from the Ready State podcast all about their paths to becoming leaders in physical health to share their ideas on how to make movement more joyful and relevant to you, the mover. Not just in the distant future but here and now.
(time codes are approximate)
00:03:12 - Interview with Katy, Kelly, and Juliet (Jump to section)
00:07:30 - Casting a Wider Net with Labors of Love (Jump to section)
00:12:00 - Culture Shock Learning (Jump to section)
00:14:00 - Movement Diet and The S.L.O.T.H. model (Jump to section)
00:18:50 - Movement, Physical Activity, Exercise (Jump to section)
00:24:10 - Exercise Costumes? (Jump to section)
00:32:00 - Stacking Your Life (Jump to section)
00:37:00 - Vital Signs (Jump to section)
00:44:30 - From Non-Mover to Mover (Jump to section)
00:50:15 - Bowman’s Orca (Jump to section)
00:56:10 - Specialists? Or Generalists? (Jump to section)
01:03:20 - Session Costs and Trade-Offs (Jump to section)
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE SHOW
This is the Move Your DNA podcast, a show where movement science meets your everyday life. I’m Katy Bowman - biomechanist, author, and movement teacher. All bodies are welcome here. Let’s get moving.
Friends. As you probably know, I have a new book out called Rethink Your Position. (It's available anywhere you get well-thought-out movement books). To support new books, I do what all authors do - which is lots of interviews for the media, which includes going onto a lot of other podcasts.
Kelly and Juliet Starrett of the Ready State, they also just released a book about movement, called Built to Move. They too have been appearing on SO MANY PODCASTS other than their own. So, when we realized that we had each other’s podcasts on our "to-do" media list we decided that instead of two interviews - one on each podcast, that had the same old questions about "So, why were you inspired to write this book", and "what can people expect in this book", we thought we would get together for a deeper conversation which is so refreshing. Not only between movement teachers but between people who’ve dedicated themselves to working publicly in this space of getting people moving better.
So what you’re about to hear is the three of us talking about why we think that the “move more” message isn’t working the way we had hoped, and how we’re trying to shift the conversation to something that we hope works better. In short, it’s about making movement meaningful.
So before we roll tape (which is not even a thing. I have no idea where this audio lives, probably in a cloud) here’s a little bit about my co-guests:
KELLY STARRETT (he's a DPT - a Doctor of Physical Therapy) is the co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Becoming a Supple Leopard, Ready to Run, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller Deskbound. He is also the cofounder of The Ready State and the cofounder of San Francisco CrossFit. He consults with athletes and coaches from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, the US Olympic Team, elite Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard forces, and he consults with corporations on employee health and well-being.
JULIET STARRETT is a doctor of Juris Prudence, or a J.D. (if you've ever seen those initials). She is an entrepreneur, attorney, author, and podcaster. She is the co-founder and CEO of The Ready State, and the former co-founder, and CEO of San Francisco CrossFit. She is a co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Deskbound, and was a professional whitewater paddler, winning three world championships and five national titles.
KELLY: All three of us have just launched books from different angles, I feel like aimed at the same thing.
KELLY: I've said many times that I really appreciate your brain and I think you've done it again with your book. And I'm very very pleased that it's out in the world. Do you feel like every chance you do - I know you've written hyper-specialization and certain topics like we did. We kind of go down a rabbit hole - deep niche. This book is special because it's so universal. And so timely and topical. It's like we're all into the zeitgeist of what's happening "Oh my gosh it's not working"!
KELLY: And the things we have been saying haven't gotten out there. But as you have progressed in your writing and thinking, do you feel like this book is unique or it benefitted from ten prequels or ten other efforts? Because really, I can tell, "I'm like here's a writer who has done a lot of writing and has thought more deeply and refined her own thinking."
KATY: We are in a time, it seems like, where simple steps give me the paired-down version. The most simple thing that I can do in a very short format. This book was essays, for example. I didn't even want someone to feel like they had to read through the whole book. We're sort of in the short form, Instagram, sound byte situation. So I thought, "I'll try it this way." We'll see... if I throw the spaghetti at the wall and it sticks like this. So yeah, it's a reflection of the times. It's a reflection of writing for a long time. And then it is also just knowing my own material better. Just seeing my material land with more people and not land with other people and figure out what is the key. Think of every single person as having a key that's unique to them, and you can't say it too many times. But you can't say it the same way again and again and again. You gotta change a word or two. You gotta change a metaphor. You gotta raise your voice. You have to whisper. Because everyone is different.
JULIET: I relate to that a lot. In fact, sometimes Kelly gets a little frustrated because he often feels like he's been saying the same thing over and over again a thousand times. Or sometimes maybe we'll suggest a video and he's like, "I've made that video. I've made that video 10 times..."
KELLY: In 10 different ways.
JULIET: And maybe you need to make it 12 different ways. And maybe whispering is the key for you going forward. Whisper a voice. We've never tried that one. But I really appreciate what you're saying is that you might need to say it differently to different people so they can hear. And also you never know who is landing on your page or your content for the first time for whatever reason. They've never heard it before. So I do think there's something to say for continuing to say the same thing over and over and over again.
KELLY: Let me just say it's important, I feel like we're in a cabal of writers - you, Jill Miller, right? Where it's important that we all have very unique voices.
KELLY: Because like you say, people hear this very differently. And I don't know if you notice it but I'm a 240-pound white guy without hair and tattoos. I'm just not going to reach all the people.
JULIET: So one of the things I was thinking about as I was reading your book, is that, again, speaking of this cabal concept, it seems like there's a bunch of us in the space, or at least I can speak for Kelly and I, evolved. I turned 50 this year. Kelly is turning 50 in four months. We've been able to take some time to reflect on what we've done, what we haven't done, and what's been working. And I think one of the reasons we wrote this book is that we sort of looked upon our industry of health/wellness/fitness people...
KELLY: The industrial complex.
JULIET: ... the industrial complex ... actually with a measure of criticism. Because, as you know and have talked about in many podcasts and in your book, things aren't going well from a health standpoint in our country. Right? We're spending billions of dollars. Everybody's getting more sick, more fat, has more pain. We're just really struggling from an overall health standpoint. And so I'm wondering if you sort of landed in that same place and are trying to sort of self-reflect the way we are and say "ok how can we keep trying to cast a wider net? Bring more people into this conversation of what it means to be healthy and make it more accessible." Is that kind of a driving force like it was for us?
KATY: A little bit. I mean I'm 47 so I'm around the same age. And I think that - I come out of graduate school and I have all of this information and understanding and it's such a simple tool. It's so easy and inexpensive to pick it up, that my earlier ways of speaking about it really come from that place - that place of that stage of life as well. That stage of being in your 20s gives you a particular perspective of how easy it is to start moving or do a lot of sports. Right? And then the work responsibilities creep up. And then the children creep up. And then you just get a sense of "Oh there are more obstacles here than I could have fully appreciated.' And so that's part of the feedback that you get. "There's no way I can do this because this is my life." And to a certain extent, some of it is the narrative that we have that there's no time. It's like ... how much time are you on YouTube? Right? There's a lot of time but I also recognize that I was missing the key to this audience that was myself ultimately as I moved through the stages of life. And while I can also appreciate the stages of life, we are also in a stage of life as a country, as a culture, around the globe where there are these bigger trends that simply didn't exist before. We are operating ... and I think it's not said enough, it's not fully appreciated ... we are operating in a completely novel environment. Completely novel. If we just add the digital tech aspect, nobody knows how to parent in this. Nobody knows how to age in this. No one knows how to get their needs met because this environment seems to have come with these unintended consequences of affecting sleep, and movement, and nutrition, and community, and relationship. And when you look at it in that way it's like, there's no blueprint here. So I try to give a little bit of grace. We're just going, I don't know... I don't know. I don't know. But I have an idea and I'm willing to put it out there and these are all ... I feel like these books that everyone is writing and these programs that people are creating - they're labors of love. They're not career decisions as much as they are "I really feel that I would love my fellow humans to have this as a tool." And I love that space. But yeah. I mean, I'm definitely coming from it in the somewhat of a same way.
KELLY: I think all three of us, and the larger community of us, in the grass, working towards these things trying to solve things or prove the ball are recognizing, as you say, a gigantic mismatch between humans in our two and half million years of being on this planet. And I'm not talking about pining for the old days.
JULIET: Wasp-nest soup. I can't even say it...
KELLY: Fermented wasp next soup. I don't need to eat all of those gross things. But
JULIET: And you like your teeth...
KELLY: And I do also like my teeth. Julie and I have discovered recently that one of my fears is that in the zombie apocalypse that I'm gonna have a toothache and that's what takes me out. That's my thing.
KATY: Do have dreams that your teeth are falling out?
KELLY: No that doesn't happen. Just like a waking because I have all these broken teeth and I'm dealing. And that's what takes me out. Not the lion. Not the crowd with pitchforks. It's tooth infections or abscess.
There is this gigantic, human, mismatch - speed mismatch. You have just come back from taking your family and living abroad which is so cool. I feel like always a little bit of an outsider. I grew up in Europe. I didn't come back to the United States until I was 15 and I dropped right into a big high school on the east coast. And it was culture shock. Big time. I'm like, "What do you mean you don't ride your bike? What is this? You can actually have a pizza delivered to your house?" All those things just blew my mind. The kids are going to listen to this and be like, "What?
JULIET: So cool.
KELLY: He's so old. So the question I have for you is, what stood out most as you moved back from Central America with your family and the shock, the speed you mentioned a little bit. But what in terms of "wow I can really see the differences between what we might be doing better and what we're not doing as well as we could"?
KATY: You know, I'm really about the distinction between movement and exercise. That's been my thought process for a long time. Really teasing it out more for scientific purposes and public health purposes because I think there's a reason physical activity and exercise and movement have different definitions. But there's another element to movement that often gets overlooked. And I've tried to course correct it in my own writing in the last 4 or 5 years and my own offerings is, while we have this huge problem with sedentarism, simultaneously there are many people who aren't sedentary in our culture. They are the laborers. So when we're writing these books we're oftentimes really geared towards people who sit a lot. But there is still a large number of people who don't. So labor - spending time in Central America has just ... I really recognized how much labor we've gotten rid of ... it's eyesight. Labor is still happening but it's not - you're not really spending - not everyone is spending a lot of time seeing the labor go down. Back when I wrote Move Your DNA it was a couple of sentences, almost like a footnote to say in these discussions about move more for your health, don't move, not great for your health there's this other group who are laboring who are also not healthy. And if you put an activity tracker or a pedometer on them, they would be active. But their issue, which you probably already understand is repetitive motions. Their movement diet is also not broad.
KELLY: What do you mean? When you say movement diet? Explain that for everyone.
KATY: Movement diet is...I'm trying to really help people. I'm capitalizing on this framework that we understand of nutrition. It's like, "Hey calories great. Make sure you get enough calories." And it's like, "awesome." And "If you eat enough calories everything will be great." And it's like "Well, there's these macronutrients here. We're gonna dial it in a little bit more." And you get that dial and you're like "Oh no, I'm still having this issue" There's this thing called micronutrients. So you've got to dial all that in too. And what nutrients are is just, something that's identified as a nutrient in hindsight, when you have the absence of the thing, the compound, there's predictable symptoms that arise.
KATY: Scurvy. That's the kindergarten model. Nailed it. Nutrition is done. So yes, there's these micronutrients. We sort of have a "just eat some movement" - we're at the calorie space. We're so "just move." And many people are in a movement drought and can absolutely benefit from that. And we also need expanded messaging when we're talking about who identifies with our work or who doesn't. It's "I'm on my feet 10 hours a day. When you say I need to move more, that doesn't make sense to me. I've got this thing in my hip and it's not because I'm not moving enough." Right. Ok. Macronutrients. What are these ... what's your walking? What's your floor-sitting ability? What's your ability to hang or move from your arms? Some general - how can you carry something heavy? And then micronutrients is really in the realm of corrective exercise, physiotherapy. It's like "ok you're hanging but your elbow's 15 degrees in this position and that's gonna keep this part of your body sedentary." You are active with sedentary tissues and sedentary cells within an otherwise active body. So, this is all to answer your question 17 minutes ago. Which is "What did I learn in Costa Rica and in Nicaragua" is labor is much more intact in these places. And it's not to celebrate labor done without choice or in more oppressive situations. But it's to recognize when we talk about where the movement has gone, we really no longer labor for things. And so that's what I'm really interested in. And my 17th book will be looking at labor and also with Grow Wild, the book I wrote for families, it's like we really need to be introducing our children to labor movement. And that can be as simple as having a garden, active transportation, walking or moving for the things that you need versus only where movement currently sits for many people on the ... Are you familiar with the sloth - the sloth time economy model? All humans spend their time into five life domains. S. L. O. T. H. Sleeping, leisure, occupation, transportation, and home. Those are the domains. Transportation - most of us pick sedentary forms of transportation. So it's this idea of you could get back a little bit more movement in that domain. And so just even walking to the store. Not necessarily for your health, but just to move for the things that you need. And so the nice thing was my family got to see that contrast - people who go out and labor very hard all day long. It certainly comes with its own issues. But also that there was still joy. That there could still be lots of joy and gratitude about physical capability and things like that.
JULIET: So I just want to go back to something you mentioned before which I think is based on a diagram I've seen of yours and I don't remember if it was in Move Your DNA or one of your other works but this differentiation between physical activity, movement, and exercise. If you could tell our listeners a little bit about that because I think Kelly and I often - I think we've really come to believe that exercise is sort of an extracurricular and that the movement piece ultimately is more important.
KELLY: Not just walking.
JULIET: Not just walking. But overall movement. Obviously, we can all agree that the data is bearing out to be true that people are spending of dollars going to Peleton and that doesn't seem to be moving the needle at all.
KELLY: However we are the best nation in the world at Peleton.
JULIET: We're really good at Peleton. So tell us about those - that framework that you've developed. Because I think it's really informative and instructive.
KATY: Well ok. A simple diagram. I love simple diagrams. A big giant circle and the word "Movement" is written on top of it. That's the biggest category because it encompasses any change in position of your body or change in the shape of your tissues. Right? Because pressure is going to also be in that category but not everyone - people are sort of missing the vitamin pressure. So giant category everything fits inside this category. But inside of this circle is a second circle which is physical activity. Physical activity - and these are just clinical definitions. Physical activity is movements that use your musculoskeletal system to an extent that they utilize calories. So we definitely have a calorie-centric scientific perspective on movement. And that's sort of locking us to where we are not actually able to - I think that that right there is a big part of why movement people will have, you know, 400,000 followers but not 7 million. It's so linked to calorie expenditure. So that's physical activity. And that could be, again, a lot of things that go into the movement category but it wouldn't be pressure-related movement. So you rolling out your body or getting on the floor and learning how to tenderize or doing pressure type therapy. That wouldn't necessarily fit inside the physical activity category. And then exercise is a smaller circle still that sits inside physical activity. So it's three rings. Movement, smaller circle Physical Activity, smaller circle Exercise. And exercise - it's movement that meets the same conditions of physical activity but are done so that they have to use the musculoskeletal system in a way that utilizes some kcals, but they're done with pre-determined - you've got pre-determined specs on them. You've picked the mode. You've picked the duration. You've picked how far, how many, how long. And you're doing it for the intention of health. So it's very isolated. So to show you just a comparison, if you get on your bicycle and say "I'm gonna go ride for one hour today and I'm doing this for my well-being" that will fit into exercise. You've picked the mode. It's sort of scripted. If you take that exact same bike ride to get to work, same equipment, same you body, same rate, same distance but use it for transportation, that's what moves it out of exercise into the physical activity category. So the movements aren't really different. The benefits to you physically aren't different. But it's about your ability to see where movement can fit inside your life outside of purposefully done exercise which goes into that SLOTH model... that's in the leisure category. So exercise is a leisure-based activity by definition. We're trying to expand - all of us here are trying to expand it. But that's where it sits right now as far as language goes in common - in common usage in the upper echelons of medicine. And medicine and public health is still on that exercise model.
KELLY: Do you think that's why when we work with industrial athletes- people who use their bodies - they're like, "Are you telling me I really need to go lift weights." They push back and to get healthier I need to go do formal exercise. You think that that's some of the sort of why when we view exercise as leisure activity then we suddenly have a filter of looking at the gym and really gym culture - physical culture - as "wow that's a hobby."
KATY: That's right.
KELLY: I think that's what - Juliet and I talk about this - I want you to view your Peleton and Yoga classes as sport and that makes it a leisure activity. I think that's cool but ... comma ... we're missing a lot.
KELLY: And we won't capture everyone.
KATY: When I was talking with my neighbor in Costa Rica, who labored extensively and was trying to talk about movement for your health it was like, "Are you kidding me? Come listen to what she's saying right now...that movement and doing exercise for your health..." Again, that cultural perspective. Yes. Of course, I can completely understand because many people move a lot and aren't feeling well or robust. But yes, it's just sort of a ... it is a solution. And it's not a dumb solution. It's a smart solution. It's just that when we're trying to figure out how something works - and I'm trying to figure out how sedentarism works. I've spent the first 20 years figuring out how movement works and then I switched to how does sedentarism work? Because I think that that's the next question to permeate a bit more. I feel like, yeah, the perception of movement, the fact that it for many people, is sort of a leisure time. I mean you need an outfit for it. You need a costume for it. Know what I mean?
JULIET: Costume. We love that. Let's put on our exercise costume.
KELLY: Let's put on our exercise costume and go.
KATY: There's active clothes. If there are active clothes, what are all the other clothes? You know what I mean. So it's just the perception of it.
KELLY: Couch clothes.
JULIET: Somehow we've created a life, Katy, where we can wear those exercise costumes 24 hours a day.
KATY: I'm right there with you. I'm right there with you!
KELLY: Feeling it!
JULIET: Maybe just a couple comments I was also going to say. I think this whole movement piece is not only for the exercise piece is not only cultural, but it's also generational. If I look at my grandma, Georgia, who literally never exercised a moment in her life and lived to be 90 and probably actually would have lived to be 100 if she wasn't a smoker. I look at that generation and I think these days we all assume this thing where you exercise and put on your costume and go do a thing has been around forever but it really hasn't been.
KELLY: That costumed ... leisure takes place in a one-hour chunk. That's...
JULIET: People played sports, of course. And there's hundreds of years of sporting tradition. But the notion of that if you're not playing a sport and that you would go kind of do these fake movements in controlled environments, I feel like that really blew up in the 80s. It's not that long ago. And the other thing I was going to say when you were talking about this broad movement diet made me think of one of my personal heroes, Kate Shanahan, and her book Deep Nutrition, and she says that one of the pillars of nutrition in every culture for a
KELLY: A millennium
JULIET: A millennium has been a eating a broad array of fruits and vegetables. And it seems to me that it's the same thing with movement.
KATY: Yeah. Gotta move the rainbow.
JULIET: Think about it. I shouldn't just eat carrots. Right? Which is what most Americans do. Most Americans eat more vegetables. We shouldn't just eat vegetables. I should eat a broad array that would ideally be seasonal and that's where I get all the benefits of it. And I think you're sort of painting a picture that that's how we should think about our movement life in that same way. I love that.
KATY: We're confused about what a nutrient is. I think we're just like "A nutrient is something that's good for me." As much as I want "The End" right? And we have this way of categorizing things. But you can not live on kale. You will be very sick. You will become malnourished if you live on a ...
KELLY: Did you say sick or sad? Because I think sad would be first.
KATY; That's right.
JULIET: We'd have really jacked jaw muscles though. Really jacked jaw muscles from all that chewing.
KATY: Mm-hmm. It's just all nutrients work with all other nutrients. Right? There is a nutritious diet. And that's why when people were saying "what's the best exercise?" ... I can just see from your face right away - that and the other question is "What about rebounding?" Those are the two most questions that I get. And I think that people are trying to nail down - they're trying to find the simplicity of it. So my solution is let me offer a movement diet. Still really simple concept and you can get the sense of how you sort that out. We can take more steps. What's your movement diet? Is it one food. One mode of exercise. Are you using one range of motion only? And you're time in your office counts toward your movement diet. It's not your exercise diet. It's how is your body physically positioned and changing that position throughout your day, throughout your life, and that's what you have control over.
KELLY: I love it. We - I have been using this language - the verbiage of movement lexicon. Trying to expand your vocabulary. You're writing 3-word poems and you're capable of Shakespeare.
KELLY: And I think it's a little bit of why we've seen some thinkers in the space really - I think of someone like Ido Portal and his idea of movement and application and exploration of self and why some of those thinkers in that category, not pulling on Ito for any other reason but he's a good example of, hey the things we are passing off as making me a more skilled mover and being able to write this poetry in the classical gym setting isn't really purporting to do what we think it's purporting to do.
KELLY: Because we're still seeing the same sets of hip disease, lumbar disease, poor range of motion. But we're seeing big jacked people who are tan and look good on Instagram. And there's nothing wrong with that, comma, it may not be the best long-term plan.
KATY: And also, we have to keep remembering that the people coming - myself included - the people writing the guidelines, thinking through the solutions, preparing it live in a gym. Live lives where they're in their exercise costumes and so it's just really challenging to think outside your own culture when you're coming up with a solution because you're getting paid to do that. So your movement is fitting inside "O" of SLOTH. In your occupation. What about everyone else for whom it's not? And that's what you've written a book for. Right? You're trying to say, you do not have to do this professionally or even abundantly. It's just these tiny steps that we can start taking that fit into, that really fit into all of these domains which is what I appreciate about the book.
JULIET: I feel like we have tried to take this view because I think something you touched on is it has felt for a long time like those of us who are in this industry occupationally or are at least weekend warriors where we want to talk about fitness on the weekend, we have taken over and had a - where kings and queens have health but we want to expand it so that other people can own health as well but not in the way that we do. Not in this totally all-encompassing way where we think, talk, breathe, health/wellness/fitness 24 hours a day. The goal is to try to open up the door so that people feel like they can have a seat at the I'm healthy table without having to put so much of their attention and focus on it.
KELLY: And take 100% of their leisure time to try to invent a sport that they need to go do for their health. I think that's where we see this real dissonance. We were just listening to Ezra Klein on the drive back up from the south and they were talking about interviewing a person who was really looking at the public health crisis and psychological crisis in teens - in teen girls. One of the things that research has pulled out is that they really think there is this inflect - this inflection point at the advent of social media where suddenly we're not engaging and teens aren't engaging with other people and all the other unintended consequences as you've said, where suddenly we're seeing the erosion of sleep.
KELLY: I think that what that brings up for me is sometimes the missing component - Juliet has started saying recently that there's two people do together. They eat together and they move together. Right? And you could expand that - we work together potentially if that's our movement piece. But sometimes as we've come from high performance - really high-performance environments - we forget that there are these huge psycho-emotional, cultural components to sitting down together, eating together, moving together. And we're not honoring that sufficiently. Did you feel that a little bit differently when you were out of the United States.
KATY: Well, that's actually a big part of the work that I try to do even here in the United States. And that was in the kids' book - the kids and preteens book - we've got to start re-layering movement, food, and community together. And celebration. I think that celebration has always been a conduit for those things. Even if it was just mundane celebration. "Oh look, the tree has given the thing that we all need and if we don't get it we die" party. But the party is also you picking up everything and then pounding it and you get to hang out. So I feel like this is the key place for layering movement. And yes, abroad, there is just a lot more social labor together. The fish have come in. We are all getting together and making the big giant pot of something. It's labor. But we're having a party while we do it. This is also our social time. It's not that different from "let's get coffee and take a walk". It's trying to stack multiple needs at the same time. And you would just see that over and over again. I need someone to come with me to do this project but it will also be what we will do all day and there's lots of chatting and enjoyment. And so, yeah, it's much more - what do I want to say - it has to be more forced here. You have to be creative, you have to plan it, you have to think about it. There it's the in-tact natural way. We do everything in series. I say everything is fast, really, in North America. Everything is fast but at the same time we're meeting fewer needs and the needs that we're not meeting were the actual needs. We're meeting a lot of our wants. Not meeting our actual needs, because we're trying to do them in series. This is my time for my movement. This is my time for my family. This is my time for my partner. This is my time for my friends. Oh, we've got to have the party for the thing. It's all separate.
JULIET: No wonder everyone feels so time-crunched. Right? When you say it like that it's like "Wow, all these things have to happen as separate events." And somewhere I have to work a whole day in there.
KATY: And we're talking about multi-tasking and we don't need multi-tasking, we need stacking. Which is you rethink the tasks, pick one that meets more needs. We need to increase the nutrient density of our periods of time. We do not have nutrient-dense periods of time. A single thing is happening in a period of time. So the things that you're talking about - you're going to walk to the store and you're going to carry your bag back home so that you don't have to go to a separate place for movement and carry nothing to nowhere. Carry something to nowhere. Because we've figured it out that we need it. We have figured out that we need it. What we haven't figured out how to get it more often.
JULIET: I think that's one of the reasons why we're obsessed with - it's not very sexy - and I think you referenced why we have all of us have not that many followers on Instagram and the people with abs do. But we're obsessed and talk constantly about walking but to me, that's the greatest activity to stack. You can drink your coffee, get some sunlight, you can practice breathing through your nose, you can do it with friends so you connect with community, you can actually carry a thing.
KELLY: You can drop your kids off at school.
JULIET: Drop off your kids at school. You can, right, there's so many things to make the simple act of walking this sort of stacked behavior that you're talking about where you can check so many of our human needs boxes all in a little thing and it can be 20 minutes. Right? I developed a walking school bus at our kids' elementary school when they were there and they would walk to school every day. And it turned out that the walking was, I mean it was cool and that was great and we got some steps in or whatever. But it turns out that that was the least awesome thing about the walking school bus, right?
JULIET: We had these days where we got this really intensive quality time with our kids where we could talk and connect.
KELLY: The transition handoff to school was mellow.
JULIET: Transition to school. We made friends with new parents and got to know them and learn about their lives. There were all of these side benefits. It's something we actually miss actually. We talk about how our kids are older and we don't have the walking school bus it was just this tight connected part of our day that we miss a lot because it had so much. It was so rich.
JULIET: And it was for 20 minutes. Literally. But so rich.
KATY: Time doesn't say anything. It's all about the density of what's happening.
KELLY: I love - one of our friends is a coach in Boulder. She owns Cross Fit Roots. Nicole Christensen. She's a professional strength coach. And she works with lead athletes, incredible cyclists. She's really an amazing woman thinker. When she and her husband go and ride their mountain bikes together, people are like "Did you get a good workout?" She's like, "We don't nature for time." I'm just hearing the language that you're using about making sure...
JULIET: Nature for time.
KELLY: Nature for time, I thought, is a really nice idea. We really have tried to say everything has to fit into this leisure/exercise bucket otherwise it's not worth doing.
KELLY: One of the things that we took a swing at in this book was to try to create some vital signs where we can at least come up with some benchmarks. Because one of the things in our sort of fitness/fit care community, everyone is like, "I'm killing it. I know I'm killing it." And I'm like, "Ok, great. Let's do some third-party testing validation." Because that's what we've done with public health measures. That's our third-party validation of our community. Of our health. Of our nation. Right? Of our state health. We're seeing it all and it doesn't seem to be going very well. But when we ask people to go play and explore new sports, they often find they have these horrific blind spots. "Well I'm really strong but I'm not very fit." "Man, standing on one leg in yoga was really hard." And what we're always saying is, "Hey, let's go ahead and try to help you reimagine a movement life, a fitness life, that you can go drop into any novel task" I don't know for 15 years we've said the best athlete is the person who can pick up the new skill the fastest. That means they can transfer skills more effectively. They have access to movement solutions because of what their practices look like - allows them to create new novel movement solutions to a new task. Right? That's the highlight of it.
KELLY: And by creating these vital signs we're like, "We've become totally agnostic about how you want to move." But we're saying show us the proof of your work. What we're seeing is that ... "your keto diet is super cool until we cut you in half and look at your blood panel and we were horrified to find out that you really weren't doing great." I think we need those third-party validations. We thought about vital signs: How are you helping people to kind of come up with minimums? I think that's where we are as a culture. What's the minimum vitamin C so I don't get scurvy? What's the minimum hip flexion exposure so I can maintain my range of motion?
KATY: I really let people set those themselves, but they have to set them and then hold them constant on the outside of them. Because one of the things that I have I guess realized in this journey is for an athlete, you're talking about the athletes, people who value physical fitness and physical performance and they take a test and find, "Wow my performance is on point here but not on these other arcs" and that's disturbing because they value physical fitness. What I have figured out through lots of conversation is many people just don't value performance or physical fitness in the way they think about it. It's not in their value system. And we can't... and I've just been assuming that everyone has the same value system as me. But, so I'll just tell an aside because this is what I do and then come back to the original questions. I just did a big launch for my book but I didn't want to go into the same - you're talking to the same groups of people. People who are sort of interested in fitness - they're not there yet. They're watching you. They're trying to get that step. But where are the people who are not? That's who I need to be talking to.
JULIET: Yeah. Same! We're trying to find those people too.
KATY: So for me, I'm just, spoiler alert, I'm a nerd. And I'm a book nerd. I don't only write books. I read books. Books are really my portal to the world. Not just movement books but all books. And I was like "oh right". And my personal story is I came from a non-moving very sedentary background. And was able to transition into someone who was a mover. And that's kind of who I tend to write for because I know that journey very well. But I was like, "I'm going to hold an event for book people" who feel that there are movers and there are brainiacs. And there's no overlap. The people who would never pick up a book about movement or do a movement class - that's for people... not to say that everyone thinks that movement people don't think. But there is definitely a trope, right? That there are bookish people and there are jocks. And those are your options.
KATY: I don't think that's true but that idea permeates and people tend to self-sort themselves in that way. I was never picked for a sports team. I was always picked last. I have no coordination. I was discouraged from movement at such a young age because athletics was my only portal offered...
KATY: At that time of development that I just figured athletics equals movement. Movement's not for me. Books are for me. So we had over a thousand people show up to say: "I'm a book person and I felt like my body's neglected. And now reading is hurting my body." Right. You're like any other athlete. Reading is your sport. But you are not cross-training. And reading is primarily upper body sport. You grip - I mean people are like "I can't read big books anymore because my wrists can't hold them." Right? They're saying the same thing that people are saying in a gym about their preferred sport.
KELLY: I can't do what I love...
JULIET: I can't do what I want...
KATY: Can't do what I love and what my value system is. And I can't do it because there's a structural problem. And I can't do it because I don't have muscular endurance. Right. Because we all need a movement diet. Your sport is reading. This is your program readers who want to keep on reading. And boom. Give it to me. Because now I see how movement relates.
KELLY: This is so great.
KATY: Yes. And so the way for me, those benchmarks are more like; what is it that you value most in life? How are you doing on that? Where do you feel like your physicality is getting in the way of it. That's how you can tell if you're doing it or not. This is how you figure out where to play with movement meals, movement supplements, however you want to think about it. This is yours.
JULIET: Right. The big thing we've been saying is that we're trying to help people do what they want to do physically with their body. Whatever that is.
KELLY: We've even sort of expanded our definition of mobility...
JULIET: ...to include that.
KELLY: What is it that you need to do or want to do or might do?
JULIET: I have to tell you a quick story here that I thought of as you were talking about this. I think what you're really talking about is people's identity, right?
KATY: It is.
JULIET: They become. They create it. Kelly and I always have this movement identity as athletic movers. And you, at least at one point had this identity as a bookish person. And there's many others. But the one story I'll tell you: We have a dear friend named Chris who was working for years in sort of more creative pursuits and Kelly was talking to him about something related to mobilizing or taking care of your body or being physical. And he said in complete honesty, "Well are these things for creatives too?" Are what you're talking about for creatives. So we've always thought that was so interesting, right? Because he felt like "Oh you're talking about something that's related to moving the body" and he actually wasn't sure right away whether that would be appropriate for creatives who don't have an interest or at least sort of a hobby in moving their bodies. I thought that was so interesting. So what I want to know is how did you go from being a non-mover into being a mover. What was that transition? And the reason that I'll ask that is, you know, I have noticed in my own friends of life that it seems like there's a trend. If people have learned to move as kids ...
KELLY: ... for whatever reason...
JULIET: ... for whatever reason. Or have fallen in love with a sport or a physical activity, it tends to be easier for them to continue to do that in their life. Versus my friends who didn't grow up with a movement tradition or sport or whatever and then they get to forty and realize, "Oh crap! I need to move - I realize now." And it's much harder for them to incorporate that into their life. So I think your story is so interesting to be able to share with people that you can start later and develop a love of movement. What changed for you? Where did you make that mental/emotional transition saying, "Ok, I'm not just a ... I can still be a bookish person and a mover." Or "I can still be a creative and a mover."
KATY: I think I'm still making that transition, frankly. It's just a very long journey. We come with what our passions are. And my passions are just consuming information to a hyper detail and integrating it. Probably what was my exit out early on was I just happened - I'm a biomechanist. I just really love physics and math. Sitting down and doing it. I just started to feel like - I think my body didn't feel good. And I had one parent who was very sedentary and one parent who wasn't. But the parent who wasn't, I didn't live with my dad all the time. So I had these little touchstones of movement. But I was just more supported in my not moving endeavors. And then I think it was going through a hard time as a teenager, I started walking. I started walking out of necessity, right? Because you didn't get a car when you're a teenager and you're angsty. And so I said, "Fine. I'm gonna go where I want to go. I'm gonna walk. I'll show you." And then you walk and you blow off steam. And I'm a hyper-observer. So again, maybe a personal trait. And I was like, "That felt good." And then I just started making that choice. It was sort of an accident at first and then I started making that choice. And then I would come home from school and want to go on another walk. I'd want to go walk for two or three hours. Walking for me, even now, I'm a long-distance walker. 20-30 miles with regularity as just - it's like a spiritual practice. It's a detoxing practice. It's a self-organizing practice for me. So I started walking and then I joined a gym. So I actually came through the gym piece. And I thought, "What is this?"
KELLY: Why do these people have headphones and not talk to each other?
JULIET: So weird. Look at these costumes!
KATY: This was before. This was before there was even TVs. And what I used to watch when I was on the stairmaster...
JULIET: YES! Yeah me too.
KATY: for 20 minutes. Uh-huh. …was I'd look down on the group exercise room. So that was the entertainment - you watch everyone who is in the group exercise room. This was in the early 90s so there was a lot of people in there doing a lot of things on a step. And I saw it and I just knew. "I want to do that." " I want to lead that." "I want to teach that." Because I like to be entertaining. I thought I could make people enjoy doing this while they're doing it. And I set myself on that path, still being very bookish. The last essay in Rethink Your Position is all about I hated running the mile. I hated it in school because I was slow and you didn't get a lot of peer support back then. Peers are maybe more kinder now. But then one girl ran with me. One time. And she was a cross-country star. I was in seventh grade. She was in sixth grade. She ran with me the entire mile. And I was distracted from hating it. And then I didn't - so much of my struggle was in my mind. "I hate this. I hate this. Why are you making me do this." The same thing that's in my kids' heads when I make them do anything. You pick the attitude you're going to have to it first and so once I realized "Wow, if I have a different vibe this doesn't feel so bad. And then I just got fast. And then I just ...
JULIET: I'm sorry to interrupt you but did you become a step aerobics instructor?
KATY: Oh yeah.
JULIET: Oh, that's amazing.
KATY: And I would still if someone would want me. I would still teach a wicked class today. Y'all want to come? I would just lead ...
JULIET: I wanna come.
KATY: ... an awesome class.
KELLY: You know what's cool? Cross-fit and step aerobics with weights. All the movements are there. You learn all the choreography. And then people put music on. And then for 20 minutes or whatever time there is, it's just heavier step aerobics.
JULIET: I did so much step aerobics. I'm fist-bumping you through the Zoom right now.
KATY: I used to put plyometrics in there because I also started studying movement in college. So then I was like, "We don't need to keep doing this." I started making sports step aerobics where for skiers - protect your... Like I just started and I loved creating little programs like that.
KELLY: That's so good!
KATY: Don't blow your knee out on the slopes. Come to my sports step.
KELLY: Sports step aerobics.
KATY: Yeah. It was awesome.
KELLY: I quote you a lot. And I don't know, you may have run into this. It's called Bowman's Orca. It's a phenomenon.
KATY: I've never heard of that. Ok.
KELLY: So I've made 50 slides from - let me introduce you to a concept called Bowman's orca. And people are like, "Where's this come from." Well from Katy Bowman you need to understand. But I think it's in Move Your DNA.
KELLY: And you explain sort of this notion of loading collagen, disuse, mechanotransduction is the fancy term for it. Where if you want your cells to work at a cellular level, you have to load them mechanically. Everyone, that's mechanotransduction. And if you don't load a tendon, it's not gonna be a tendon. It can't do its tendon job at a cellular genetic level. Can you explain to everyone in your own words what that Bowman's Orca concept is? Because it's so great. And it has helped so many people. "Oh, I understand!"
KATY: Well the Orca comes from Orcas in captivity have folded fin. Folded fin syndrome. Certainly in the wild, they can get bonked and it'll bend over a little bit but male orcas in captivity they have a very tall dorsal fin. That's the one on the back. It needs a lot of structure to hold it up. We all have growth spurts. One of the reasons it is so important for movement for juveniles is that you're setting your adult shape. There's not a lot of going back.
KELLY: Great. This is my shape.
KELLY: Great. Thanks a lot!
KATY: Well, you're quite malleable. But in your bones, you have peak bone density.
KELLY: That's right.
KATY: But for orcas, it's again, nature's got those beautiful systems in play. The growth spurt of the dorsal fin during we'll call it orca teenage hood also comes with them swimming very strongly. They're showing off. They're diving and jumping and racing and they're going very fast. And so the water creates a lot of supportive pressure on the fin as it's growing. Right? Those relationships are thousands, hundreds of thousands of years old. The way an orca swims, its anatomy, and its environment. But then you put that orca in an environment as it's growing and it's swimming in a circle every single day, all day long. It's the only way it can swim. The fin is shaped like the environment. It is - so much of our shape is mechanically transduced. We all have genetics that we come with that create a lot of shape to our body. But we're like trees. Trees branch based on the loads that they experience and the wind. They also experience nutrient availability. But the way that they branch, the amount that they branch, the shape that they end up having that's outside of the way their bark and their leaves always look because of their genes, is because of their mechanical environment. And so the fins, is it a parable, I don't know, it's just an example. It's like we work in this same way. The shape that we have of our body of all of our tissues is about the loads that these tissues are experiencing. And the nice thing is we can still toggle them. Right up until the day we die we can toggle them. But during the youth, the juvenile period, they're much more plastic and pliable. But you've got to place the load on the body parts where you want them to adapt. There's systemic adaptations to movement and there's local ones. And just learning that phenomenon.
KELLY: So if you're a human orca and I change your environment where you're not loading and you are spending more time doing something that you would typically not do, we should expect to see a folded fin in our bodies. Is that...
KATY: Yeah. You're adapting to movement all the time. Not just to the exercise. You're adapting to your shape and your position and your movement habits 100% of the time. So if you spend a lot of time in a chair or whatever other environment you can imagine, that's your anatomy. You're adapting to that. You're anatomy is getting good at doing that and what makes it difficult to go do something else is you got your chair anatomy. You have to then - you have to gradually put your loads back to get your folded fin out so that you can then deal with the physical forces of being outside of that chair better.
JULIET: So one of the things I think we jointly talk about but in different ways - but I love the way that you talk about thinking about all the types of movement. We're doing almost a sports specialization. And I think as parents, the term sports specialization is tossed around to us all the time because everybody knows the worst thing you can do for your kids...
KELLY: I'm a cookie specialist.
JULIET: You are a cookie specialist! But everybody knows the worst thing you can do for your kids athletically is to have them specialized too young in sport and having teenage kids it's really hard to not do that I will say.
KATY: That's right.
JULIET: Even though we know better. But I think the same is true for all of our movement throughout the day. And I think most people don't think about the fact that if they spend the vast, you know, 15 hours of their day, sitting - they're actually sitting specialists.
KATY: That's their sport.
JULIET: Yeah. That's your sport or if all you do in that little exercise bubble is Peleton then you're a Peleton specialist.
KELLY: You're doing cross-training. That's a great use of the phrase.
JULIET: I don't know. Talk more about that. Then I guess maybe, how do we as a group continue to help people rethink that as a form of movement that they're practicing? We always say you're practicing. You're getting good at sitting and you're practicing it all the time and you say specializing, but how do we continue to help people evolve their thinking around this? Having this diverse amount of movement and not specializing. How do we get people to think differently about it other than saying "Hey you're specializing in sitting, cuz that's what you do all day."
KATY: Everyone, especially if you're not really movement oriented or identifying as someone who is a mover or sporty, I think the issue is people don't actually know that the physical experience that they're having is influenced by a lot of other parts of their life. I mean we say lifestyle but even to be more specific, that it's influenced by your sleep. That it's influenced by your relationships. That it's influenced by your diet. That it's influenced by movement. I know a lot of people out in a variety of communities and that's the thing that I've learned. It's the same - I went to the dentist the other day and I've always taken really good care of my teeth because dental hygiene was something that my family started off really young. And so it was just in my awareness zone. And the dentist said, "Most people don't brush their teeth." And I was like "What are you talking about?" And they're like, "Right." If you grew up in a home that knew about it, talked about it, but that's not the case. And it's generational - like you were saying before with movement. It's slowly becoming known. But I would say that people have known teeth for quite a while and the fact that there's still large groups of people who only go to the dentist in an emergency. The dentist is like an ER.
KATY: That's their understanding.
JULIET: How crazy is that?
KELLY: That's just the framework.
JULIET: The other story I'll share is we used to have our in-house physical therapy clinic and obviously Kelly's a physical therapist. And I can't tell you how many weekend warrior type athletes we would have come in and say, "I blew my Achilles out this morning." or "I tore this or hurt this." And I was doing the exact same thing I do every single day which is run for an hour. And I'm so shocked that I tore my Achilles because I was doing the same thing I did. First of all, there would probably be a conversation about their running mechanics but in almost every case, once an assessment was done we learned that they were going for that one-hour run every day but then they were sitting for 15 hours a day, right? But no ability.
KELLY: And not sleeping. And stress... and...
JULIET: And not eating or doing these other things. I think what we're all trying to do here, which I appreciate so much, is try to help people make these connections between these behaviors. I think that's one of the things we're proud of with this particular book of ours is that you can read great books on breathing, and great books on sleeping, and great books on nutrition, right? But we have never read a book where it says, ok, this is where all these behaviors are connected and influence one another. And I think that was what we're trying to do and have so much aligned with what you're doing as well.
KATY: Yeah. Something else I learned being in Central America, and I've been in other parts of Africa as well, is there's often this patterned exchange like: How are you? I am fine. How's your mother? How's your kids? It just works back and forth. You're walking by each other and it's still going on. That's protocol. And we also have a protocol which is: How ya doin'? Great. I'm not sure how often people actually sit down and write out their answer. I have sort of a mad lib that I've created. I don't know if we need to give a shout-out to mad libs, but fill in the blanks here. Because sometimes it's hard to muster the story. So it's like prompts. If my body felt better I would ____ boom. Let them fill in the words. Because that's another way of listening to your body. And it's really hard to get into movement if you're not listening - if you're not communicating. This is a relationship. This is something I put in the book. You are in a relationship with your body. You're in a relationship with people outward. And then you're in a relationship with your mind and that dialog. And then you're in a relationship with your physical body. That's not so great of a relationship. In the same way, if you were to look at a marriage or any other partnership and be like, How ya doin'? You're regularly asking, you know how to watch. You could probably watch each other and know when something's bothering the other person just by the way their body language is or their face or their words. We're fluent in many things but we are not fluent in our physicality. And so we need prompts. I want to write a book where the cover of the book is those questions. Where someone walking by would be like: I never thought to ask that. I would say we need some objective markers here. Because the mental part of you is really good at keeping from yourself how things are actually going.
KELLY: Yeah. Psychology is hidden.
KATY: We're generalists. As much as we talk about specialists. Spoiler alert. We are generalists. And so we have to put our heads down and get the day done. We have to deal with what's going on in life and it's a lot. I even think again back to this novel environment that a lot of us are sort of like - there's a lot of trauma going on. And again, if you are particularly hardy or resistant or well-resourced, you can sort of push through it. But I think so many people are white-knuckling it. The idea of asking how they're doing physically isn't even on the realm of questions right now.
KELLY: And if I ask that question, the thin veneer on which I'm standing is gonna crack.
JULIET: Plus I think human beings are so amazing in their both ability to adapt but also trick ourselves.
KATY: Mm-hmm. Third-party. That's what the third party is.
KATY: That system.
JULIET: That's why we have these assessments in this book. Take these tests. Let's see.
KELLY: One of the things that I love about this conversation is maybe we're all Carl Roger disciples. You know, unconditional positive regard, in that we feel if we can get people to expand their movement lexicon, increase their movement diet, then they'll actually feel better and be able to do the things they want to do. And one of the things I think I struggle with, and with physical therapy as a profession, is that they are only orientated towards pain and disability.
KELLY: And I can understand that. That's all they see. And yet the research is sometimes muddied or physical therapists will take offense to sitting causes pain. And what I'm always saying is I'm not making that statement. I'm saying that if you do a certain thing, or fail to do a lot of other things, you won't have access to the whole movement library. You won't be able to do. We have settled on a conversation or a phrase that comes out of that sports performance side called session costs. If you do a big effort, we can kind of measure that session cost the next day. Resting heart rate, heart variability, central nervous system arousal. Whatever. I mean like run a marathon, jump on a red eye and we'll measure hamstring range of motion the next day. That's session cost. So we're always talking to people - how can we reduce session cost? And there is a - I don't want to say cost, right? But there is aspects of what you're doing every day that will limit other things. As you're saying sitting. If I'm specializing in sitting, it's gonna be really difficult to put my arms over my head or extend my hips effectively.
KELLY: Trade-off is the right word. So one of the things I've tried to do is shift this idea of hey it's not do this or else you'll die or get cancer of movement. Gonorrhea of your knees. You should do these things because you will feel, that's my favorite go-to.
KATY: I had that. It was terrible.
KELLY: Knee gonorrhea is real everyone. So people are always asking me "What's wrong with your shoulder." It's probably rabies, I don't know you so it's rabies. But the idea here we think people are living smaller feeling lives that can feel better. That can have richer relationships. They can do the things they want to do and interact in their communities if we can start to think differently about the problem. We've sold this as do these things otherwise you die. Or your knees will get arthritis. And I feel like that message clearly hasn't worked. And it's something that I just wanted to give a shout-out to you about that you always do such a good job at pointing positive.
KATY: Well, this is the philosophical question that I grapple with a lot. I have this book about wild foods. Not the fermented wasps’ nests that you were talking about before but other sorts of wild foods from a wild food enthusiast who wrote in the 40s and he opens it with this little introduction about camping. It's like we don't need to build our own shelters. We don't need to sleep outside anymore. It's not a pressure of society any longer. But when you go out and make your own house for the day or the week in some natural spot and you sleep outside, You're under the stars. That feels good. The fact that society no longer needs us to do that - what does that actually say about sleeping outside? Spending time outside of nature. His argument then goes on to wild food. We don't eat wild food anymore. I can go to the grocery store. This was in the 40s. I can go to the grocery store and make a meal. I don't have to know the plants. I don't have to spend any time out in the woods moving things around. But it still makes me feel good to do it. It's still extremely nutritionally dense. I enjoy the process. I enjoy being with my friends when I do it and I'm getting all these other things besides just the foods that I'm eating today. So when I read that I was thinking about, well, we're actually not very far from that argument for movement any longer. Society has made the decision, you know if there is a CEO society, which there isn't, we've made the decision to set up the structure to not require movement any longer. So then as soon as I read that - it didn't take me two seconds after reading his thing about camping - it's like oh! And I think this is why people are where they are with walking. Walking is like a quaint pastime that people used to do on the prairies before ... like why are you celebrating this? It's like camping! Not everyone can do it anymore. It's like - we are very much starting to look at things comparing them to what the machine of society requires. And so movement is on its way out, literally. Right? You can get everything now without movement. And we're trying to argue for this pastime like eating wasps' nests. We're saying, "No REALLY. If you just ate the wasps nest it would be so amazing!" Look here's all the nutrient density of it. And they're like, "That's great." It's sort of the same thing. We're just on a longer trajectory.
JULIET: Right. It's very quaint. It sounds quaint to be like, you need to walk more.
KELLY: You should sit on the ground. What?
KATY: Yeah. So I think about that all the time. But at the same time if we go to those questions though, and I was asking how was not having access to wild food, how does that relate to your experience in your life? I bet you if we asked about the movement ... while we've gotten rid of the need for movement to execute daily tasks, we haven't figured out how to supplement movement in our body yet. We've created giant grocery stores to meet that need. We don't have that for movement. And I think that this is, again, to go back to the earlier part that I was saying why I think that we're not making progress with movement has to do again with the definition of physical fitness itself. In the definition, the clinical definition of what physical fitness is and where all of those tests stream down from is you have to be capable of doing everyday tasks with a little bit of energy left over. And our everyday tasks don't require anything anymore.
KATY: So on paper because of the shift of society - it's the same thing with the shift of grip strength, right? Everyone's grip strength is decreasing so, all right, here's the new stats for it, which reflect the lower number. So OTs are going to shoot for this lower baseline because society doesn't need a stronger grip than that. Until you pull up the other papers on grip strength and all-time mortality. And we do. I think we're at that place now where there's philosophical conversations that need to go into the science of movement. And does a society determine what fit is? And maybe so. But I need to hear those arguments. And that hasn't happened yet but I think that's where we are right now. That's why people have a hard time keeping track. "I don't need to do anything with my body."
JULIET: Right. If it's based on do you have the capability to do the demands of everyday life and your demand of everyday life is sitting in your chair and going and sitting in front of your computer every day, that's certainly one kind of physical fitness, right? We don't really think of that as fitness. But you can do that without having a really wide movement ...
KELLY: Until you end up with dust bones.
JULIET: Yeah, until you end up with dust bones.
JULIET: And I think we're also having this conversation about longevity but what I was gonna say when you were talking about this - I think this is why, if we want to value movement the way the environment has been constructed for us, we do actually have to value fake movement. Like quaint fake movement. Like people say "Ok well people in the blue zones, they didn't have to go for a walk." But they were moving their body and they had a wide movement language and ...
KELLY: And they did it for decades.
JULIET: They did it for decades. They lived and carried and moved and did all the things. Right? We don't have that so we do have to intentionally add in this fake or quaint movement into our lives...
KATY: A supplement.
JULIET: ... in order to actually ... yeah it's a supplement. We have to think about it like that. We're not going to go back to paleolithic times and be able to move our bodies in all those ways. So...
KELLY: I like my teeth.
JULIET: Me too.
KELLY: Katy we can do this with you. I love your writing. I love your thinking. I think Rethink Your Position is fantastic. I think it's such a wonderful way in to think differently about your place in the world and how you choose to express this physicality and the potential of your body in the world. That's sort of one valance removed from exercising. It really is. Saying "Hey let's reframe the whole conversation". And if this book is this good, I can't wait to read book number 12. Sign me up.
JULIET: Just to bring it around to writing a lot of books.
KATY: Exactly. Get in there. And likewise your book as well. I mean Ten Steps. Ten glorious simple steps. I hope people pick it up and utilize them. Here's a question: What's the step that's hardest for you? You wrote the ten steps but is there one step that's for you, the hardest to do with regularity?
JULIET: We'll both air our dirty laundry here. The one that's hardest for me is the squat test. Because I have horrible ankle range of motion for a variety of reasons. Mostly having crap genetic hips and then a really bad ankle sprain as a high schooler. So I really have ankle dorsiflexion. So the squat test is for me...
KELLY: Hey you don't have terrible. You're actually a 3-time world champion.
JULIET: You know what I'm saying. That for me is the test where I struggle the most and the thing in my view that I have to keep the most eye on. Because I probably won't ever have Kelly ankle dorsiflexion but I don't want to have any less than I already have. so that's for me a big focus. And for Kelly, I'm going to answer, it's nutrition but he can say why?
KELLY: I just have a hard time eating enough.
KATY: I have the same thing. Do you think it's because you're working so much and outwardly focused and hard to take the time?
KELLY: I don't know.
JULIET: I will say doing a lot of eating with him, for such a large person, he can't eat very much in a single sitting. Like I can easily eat as much as him or more actually in a single sitting. And I think that's what kind of dogs him, right? I think he's someone who needs to eat more often. He may be like a three-meal, two-snacks type of person.
KATY: You're like a hummingbird.
JULIET: He's a little bit like a hummingbird.
KELLY: God help us if we ever see a hummingbird that looks like a thumb. (laughs) Welcome to thick... prehistoric hummingbird.
JULIET: It's a jacked hummingbird.
KELLY: Yeah it's a prehistoric hummingbird.
JULIET: But I think you're right. I love that and of course, I'm going to be using that one thousand times going forward. Tell us where people who are on our podcast can find you and learn more about you and buy your book, Rethink Your Position.
KATY: Nutritious Movement. Nutritious Movement everything - the website, the socials. And then the book, hopefully, everywhere. Your local bookstore, or online.
KELLY: There's a quote on the book from some guy named Kelly Starrett on the back. And I do want everyone to say that if you just read the book, you're changed.
KATY: Awe. Thanks.
KELLY: It's that simple. And I think that's one of the highest compliments I can give to something. You don't have to believe in it. It is like a virus. A positive virus that just, you know, upgrades your DNA and makes you just potentially think about the way you interact with your family and the world. It's really powerful.
KATY: Like an earworm. Like a song. Like Muskrat love that you can't get out of there once you read it?
KELLY: Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot for Muskrat love. The rest of the day.
KATY: And can you tell my listeners where they can find you and your book?
JULIET: Sure. Built to Move.com. We also have a 21-day free Built To Move challenge that anyone can sign up for.
KELLY: Like a video companion guide.
JULIET: It's sort of a companion course to the book. And it's our way of trying to help people envision how they can actually fit these habits into their everyday time-crunched busy lives. Even for those people who do not identify as movers. And I'm @julietstarrett on the socials and Kelly is @thereadystate on the socials.
KATY: And my podcast is The Move Your DNA podcast and your podcast is?
JULIET: The Ready State.
KATY: The Ready State podcast. All right. Thanks for getting together.
JULIET: Thanks so much, Katy. That was so fun.
KELLY: Thanks, Katy.
KATY: Thanks. Bye.
Hi, my name is Karla from Coatia. This has been Move Your DNA with Katy Bowman, a podcast about movement. We hope you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful but it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such. Our theme music was performed by Dan MacCormick. This podcast is produced by Brock Armstrong and is transcribed by Annette Yen. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen to audio and find out more about Katy, her books, and her movement programs at NutritiousMovement.com.