In her annual end-of-year “how did we move” podcast Katy Bowman hosts myriad guests to share their stories as a way to celebrates more than three million downloads of Move Your DNA. We’re talking health goals at this party - what were they in 2018, how well did you meet your goals, what did you learn, and what do you want to take forward into 2019. Special guests at this party include some Move Your DNA listeners, along with Dani Hemmat and Stephanie Domet. Plus, Katy has a little more information for you on the next phase for the Move Your DNA podcast.
00:03:30 - What's happening at this party anyway? – Jump to section
00:4:20 - Biggest Health Triumph in 2018 – Jump to section
00:08:05 - Smartest health or movement decision – Jump to section
00:10:26 - What one word sums up 2018 – Jump to section
00:12:34 - Most Loving Service in 2018 - Jump to section
00:20:18 - Unfinished health or movement business in 2018 - Jump to section
00:22:37 - Best health or movement goal completed in 2018 - Jump to section
00:29:50 - Three people who had the greatest impact on you in 2018 – Jump to section
00:30:21 - Health surprises and lessons – Jump to section
00:34:02 - Important relationships that improved – Jump to section
00:39:07 - What do you need to say or do to be complete in 2018 - Jump to section
00:40:50 - Looking ahead to 2019 - Jump to section
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE SHOW:
Robin Blanc Mascari's questions
Katy's Movement Center in the Pacific Northwest
Personal Mission Statement Podcast Episode
The Dynamic Collective
Our Additional Sponsors
Sign up for Katy’s newsletter at NutritiousMovement.com
Access all previous Move Your DNA podcasts via your podcast provider of choice (Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, or anywhere you get podcasts).
Health Recap Questions
What was your biggest health triumph in 2018?
What was the smartest health or movement decision you made in 2018?
What single word best sums up your 2018 health or movement experience?
Greatest lesson you learned about health in 2018?
What was the most loving service you performed in 2018?
What was your biggest piece of unfinished health or movement business in 2018?
What health or movement goal are you most happy about completing in 2018?
Who are the three people that had the greatest impact on your health or movement in 2018?
What is the greatest health risk you took in 2018?
What was your biggest health surprise in 2018?
What important relationship improved most this last year?
Compliment that you would have liked to receive but didn’t?
What compliment would you have like to have given?
What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2018?
What would you like your biggest health triumph in 2019 to be?
Health advise you want to give yourself for 2019?
How are you gonna change your movement results in 2019?
What are you trying to complete in 2019 or what would you be happy to complete?
What indulgence are you going to experience? What are you willing to do?
What would you like to most change about your health in 2019?
What are you gonna learn in 2019?
What’s your risk for 2019?
What are you most committed to changing and/or improving in 2019?
What underdeveloped talent are you willing, planning to explore this upcoming year?
What brings you joy in health? How are you gonna have more of that in 2019?
Other than yourself who are you most committing to loving and serving?
Hello! I am Katy Bowman, and this is the Move Your DNA podcast. I am a biomechanist and the author of Move Your DNA and seven other books about movement. On this show, we talk about how movement works on the cellular level, how to move more - and to move more of your parts - and how movement works in the world, also known as Movement Ecology. All bodies are welcome here. Are you ready to get movin'?
KATY: My friends, we did it. Well, I guess you did it, really. Three million downloads of this little movement-rich podcast. That is a lot of fingers swiping, tiny ear movements, minds shifting, and probably millions of miles walked while listening! I wish there was some way to measure this. That would be pretty cool. If somehow you could send in the miles walked per episode so we can see just the dynamic nature of this show. But anyway, all of this says one thing to us here at Move Your DNA and that’s Podcast Party. Podcast party combined with our annual end of year movement/health recap. And today we’re going to be looking back on 2018, and looking forward to 2019. Our movement highs and lows. And you are invited. Oh look! You're here! Welcome! Lots of you sent us recordings of your answers to our health recap questions. Thank you so much for those. We loved listening to them, and we’ve included many of them in this episode. But even if you don’t hear yourself on this episode, just think about your answer for each of these questions as they go by. That's the whole point - to self-reflect, self-assess, and make a plan going forward. It's not that different than when you're trying to figure out how to build a movement program. Right? You self-reflect. You self- assess. Then you make a plan to go forward. So we're gonna include the full list of questions in our show notes of this episode so you can spend some time with them and make your own list of highs, lows, wanted tos, wish-I-dids and nailed-its. One thing I’ve learned about reaching goals, whether they are related to health and movement or something else entirely, is that it often takes a whole lot of vitamin community to make it happen. And I have been so fortunate to have an amazing community built around this podcast. I want to take a moment to thank all of the sponsors who helped make this podcast possible this year. So, that's our Dynamic Collective of Soft Star Shoes, Earth Runners, Unshoes, MyMayu, and Venn Design. Plus, our additional sponsors this fall: Soul Seat and My Happy Feet.
If you listened to our last episode you know that we are taking a bit of a breather with this podcast in 2019. We're not gonna release it on a strict every-two-weeks schedule going forward. But when I have something to say in podcast form, I’ll put one out, so if you don’t want to miss an episode, subscribe to the Move Your DNA podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. And also sign up for our newsletter, which you can do at nutritiousmovement.com. That way, when I release a new episode, you’ll know right away!
For the last few years on podcast form and before that on my blog, I do a little recap of how I moved that year at the end of it. So we use questions from Robin Blanc Mascari, which we adapted to be focused around health and movement. I love looking back before I move forward. I like to see where I’ve come from. And actually part of prepping for this show requires that I go back and read my previous answers. So it's really fun for me to see words that I've used to sum up those years and words that I picked to be the theme going forward and how true I was to that choice before the year even started. These questions help me figure out where I want to go next. So… without further ado, let's get to our first question:
For me, it was spending so much time outside. I have spent more time outside than ever before in my life and that's because we have slept outside so many nights. So we sleep outside - that's an automatic 8 hours. And I think when I first started thinking about this a few years back my goal was 30 nights outside a year. And we've far exceeded that. And it's just, it's gotten to the point where - kind of like when you transition out of traditional shoes to minimal shoes you never really felt how you felt in a traditional shoe until you go put one on after not wearing one for years, you can really feel how it's pushing you around? That's how I feel inside now. I can feel inside on my body that I never could before. It took me spending a copious amount of time outside to realize just what inside felt like physically.
All right. Let's hear from one of you.
MAHINA: Hi there. My name is Mahina and I currently live in Seattle. And in 2015 I had my first son. Despite what all the doctors said was a healthy normal pregnancy I had multiple postpartum complications which resulted in the loss of a lot of muscle and mobility. And two and a half years later I was still really struggling with chronic pain and new injuries every time I tried to exercise. After a lot of deliberation though my husband and I decided that we wanted to have a second child and so we started trying but I was really afraid of the toll it would take on my body. So I was trying really hard to get back into shape before getting pregnant again. And after injuring my trapezoid from the, get this, lying down on my son's bed to read him a story, ouch, I was seeing a massage therapist and telling him this long story and lamenting that I felt like I would never be pain-free again. And he recommended that I read a couple books and one of them was Move Your DNA by Katy. And amazingly Katy had her book on audio which was so great for me because it takes me forever to get through physical books these days but I could listen to an audiobook while doing other things. And one day I was in the gym walking on the treadmill, listening to Katy, and I just had this ah-ha moment realizing that there were so many things that I know intuitively that I'd learned throughout my life and my experiences that I ignored because they went against the societal norms and everything that I had been taught and raised with. So I quit the gym. I started walking outside. I changed my footwear. I changed my clothing. I really just changed my whole lifestyle. And now it's about a year later and I still have a long way to go in my personal movement journey, but I'm currently 6 months pregnant with my second and honestly, I feel better than I did during my first pregnancy. I have a lot of people who will come up and be like, "Oh. How are you doing?" I feel great. I feel normal. Like maybe, you know, a little heavier in the pelvis and maybe my hips are a little tight, but the first time I had a whole list of complaints. Sciatica and this and that. This time I just feel much stronger and healthier. And so my greatest health triumph in 2018 has been getting healthier and becoming stronger while being pregnant which is something that I wouldn't have thought possible before attending one of Katy's movement workshops this past summer. So going forward I want my biggest health triumph in 2019 to be bouncing back to recovering from childbirth easily and quickly so that I can move forward with my life and focus on the things that really matter to me and my family. So thank you, Katy, and Happy New Year.
For me, it was making a 20 miler part of an almost monthly routine. I think that was, it was a decision that was in good alignment with kind of the exercise/movement volume that I was looking for and it's also a big dose of community for me just because of the situation in which I'm able to do this walk on a regular basis - the people that I'm able to do it with. It met just this undernourished area and it's so funny to look back on my own progress. The first time I ever walked 20 miles it blew my mind it was so hard and it was so challenging. And so to now make it kind of an almost monthly routine, it's like wow - I'm moving more. I'm getting more physically capable as I get older which I find very exciting. So Artemus MacCallum wanted to answer this one.
ARTEMUS: The smartest decision my wife and I made in 2018 was to leave our jobs in New York City to camp in the country for 6 months with absolutely no idea where we'd eventually settle other than to hope that it would be a place where we could connect more directly with non-manmade nature more often. In many ways our trip was much like the movie, "Away We Go" with Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski, except instead of being pregnant, we did it with a 3-year-old. As camping newbies this trip's changed our lives in all the ways you can imagine and helped my wife and I understand just how badly we wanted to restructure everything to be in direct union with mother earth as a way of life. As a result, I became a serious trail runner, of course. And my wife is starting an online presence on the topic of sustainability in all of the ways. So just like in the movie Away We Go, after starting in my home state of North Carolina and heading west, we ultimately settled on the first trails we fell in love with here in Asheville, North Carolina near the great smokies. So much of your work, Katy, has inspired this trip. So we are forever indebted to the very real ways your work has helped changed our lives. We love you as if we've been friends for years precisely because that's how it feels. Thanks for everything.
KATY: Wow, thank you Artemus. That was a great answer. And I'm waving at you and yours, you know who. I'll see you soon!
ANNI: That word for me is recalibration. So I moved to North Dakota from California at the beginning of the year, which you are probably thinking that's quite a jump in terms of miles on the map, but particularly weather, climate, environment, and amount of sunshine. Which you'd be correct in all of those things. It's very different. So back in California I was very much used to being outdoors every day of the year, 365 days. There really wasn't weather that could stop you. And that's not the case here in North Dakota. We have days that are base temperature negative 20 something. And so it's hard to stay motivated in the winter to get outdoors and walk outdoors. So the start of the year 2018, January, I really didn't move much outdoors at all. And so it started to take a toll on my body. I had more heel pain. My mood was affected. And tune in through the rest of the year and I find your podcast in the summertime and hear you speak about walking and the benefits of just more movement in general. And now that it's the tail end of 2018, winter is officially here in North Dakota. So, I've geared up. I've changed the equipment that I have. I have really awesome snow boots that have no heel which is wonderful. And I've got all the warm gear you could really possibly imagine. So I've had to change and recalibrate my mindset to get a little bit more motivated and understand the benefits of being outdoors, not just walking but walking outdoors. And I've had to change my equipment. But either way it is December here in Grand Forks and I'm looking forward to moving more and moving more of my parts this winter. So thank you, Katy.
And I was thinking about this and this is just recently for me. I just got done with it a few days ago. And it was joyfully, equanimously tending to my family while sending my husband for 12 days to a meditation course. And I know that many people out there, maybe even many people listening certainly my mother tended her children by herself our whole childhood. But this was still, it was the fact that I wanted, I knew that there would be just for the way our lives are set up, I work a lot, sometimes upward of 80 hours per week and so to assume the responsibilities of homeschooling and doing basically the work that the two of us co-parents share ... sending someone else off for almost 2 weeks, that was a loving thing. And to not be frustrated while I do it. Just to kind of keep back, checking, and going, no I'm doing this for someone else to allow them the growth that they're looking for. So that was probably the most loving thing I did - if we're going to relate the amount of love to the amount of work assumed for love. I love people and do stuff for people all the time but not in a way that challenges my boundaries. And I would say that my boundaries were definitely challenged.
Let's hear from Kathleen about what she did:
KATHLEEN: Dear Katy. I'm a nutritious Movement certified Restorative Exercise Specialist since 2017. I came upon your work several years ago when I was searching for yet another way to relieve my chronic and worsening neck pain. In addition to your restorative exercises, I've also incorporated yoga, chiropractic, massage, rolfing, anti-inflammatory diets, etc., etc., into my life. However, no matter the modality my progress with my neck pain was always limited and it was a pain that I just acquiesced to live with. That is, until October of 2018. Another thing to know about me is that I've always felt pretty shy or timid. I was terrified of public speaking until I began teaching yoga in 2012. When I first started teaching my voice used to tremble uncontrollably. But I got over it. Speaking in a safe place like a yoga studio helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking. I didn't start speaking up or speaking out all over the place. I just mean I didn't tear up or feel like my face was burning off when all eyes in the room turned to me. This summer I read the book: Let My People Go Surfing by Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard. It's both a guide to running an ethical sustainable business and also a call to activism and reading it was life-changing for me. I hadn't had an existential crisis like this one since I read Movement Matters. Then in September, I had another life-altering experience. I found a child who had been abandoned in a parking lot. Helping this helpless child and speaking up for him stirred something in me that I didn't know I had. Just like it feels when you begin to tap into the power of your underused lateral hip muscles, I started to tap into the power of my underused voice. I began to feel a true need to stand up vocally for what I believe in. To speak out against any injustices that I saw. So I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper about the separation of migrant families at the border. I contacted my city government with some environmental initiatives that I wanted to implement on our beach, and I started asking my office colleagues to recycle. And then on October 8, something new happened. With little notice and under a shroud of secrecy, the real estate master developer of my city, Asbury Park New Jersey, started construction at the beach by my house. So I started researching what was going on. And boy has it been some rabbit hole to go down. To summarize, it turned out that the developer was building infrastructure to eventually support a new private beach club and also a 15 townhome devel0pment concept that has been highly contested for years. It also turned out that the permit granted by the New Jersey's department of environmental protection to perform this construction was issued in 2004, nearly 15 years ago. That's well before Hurricane Sandy ravaged our shoreline in 2012. The permit to build on this lot is based off of flood maps from 1983. So, I started asking my neighbors if they knew what was going on and what they thought. And none of us were pleased. To give it some context the boardwalk is like the femoral artery of the Jersey shore. People have both a physical and emotional attachment to these boards. You can't just go tearing them up without any notice. So my group of concerned neighbors started talking to some other neighbors throughout the city and together we realized that these developments proposed for Asbury's waterfront would discourage public enjoyment of the boardwalk and beach. They will adversely affect our changing coastal environment. They don't promote social inclusion or our cities diversity. And when the developer commences the construction of the private club, it will develop on one of the largest remaining coastal open spaces in Monmouth County. So we formed a coalition known as Save Asbury's Waterfront with a mission to foster and encourage appropriate development on the waterfront. We met with our elected and appointed city officials. The city agreed that the developer had to make a presentation at the November 8th city council meeting. We made flyers and we encouraged everyone to attend. We talked to anybody who would listen. We engaged with environmental and social justice organizations and also our elected state representatives. We contacted local and regional media and they still continued to air our story. On November 8, well over 400 residents showed up for the council meeting and after 2.5 hours of public comments, the city council of Asbury Park issued an order to cease and desist construction immediately and ordered the developer to return to the table to negotiate the cities 2002 waterfront redevelopment plan. Now 3 weeks later my group is working together with the city and the developer towards a forward-looking, transparent, and sustainable plan for our city's waterfront and it has been an incredible experience. Now I did not set out this year to be on the news or introduce my state lawmakers at a press conference that I organized. Nor did I set out to demand that a publicly traded Manhattan real estate developer stop, reflect, and readjust its plans. But by exercising my voice in concert with the voices in my community, I am helping to shape the future of Asbury Park, its socioeconomic and environmental future. So what does all of this have to do with my neck? Well, it hasn't been hurting since I started speaking up and using my voice. As you elegantly discuss in our essay Analogous in Movement Matters: "Rivers are shaped by the forces that flow through them." And my voice is a force, flowing through my neck just like water flowing through a river. And the dam that was holding it back for so long is now gone. I observed that the sedentarism of my voice was perhaps my vitamin deficiency and that there's no corrective exercise more powerful than activism. I will remember 2018 as the year that I found my voice. The year that I improved my own personal ecosystem by engaging with and improving the ecosystem around me.
KATY: I'm not that much of a crier but I have found listening to these answers, they're really bringing tears to my eyes. So let me wipe those away.
And I was thinking about this and we had planned to live outside for 2 months in 2018. We were going to do it September to November, but as many of you know, we just launched a new website. And the new website is full of new products that took two productions. So every production is 4 to 5 days and basically shooting video all day. So, during September to November we designed a new website, built a new website, shot two productions. That was 8 days of me being on camera all day. And we also had a massive live 2-week long training with both Nutritious Movement teachers and the MovNat staff. And we couldn’t make, as a family we couldn't make it happen. Or rather we chose not to do it. It was just, I know we want to do this thing for our well-being, this living outside for two months but this is not the time to do it. So I really, I had really wanted to do it. It was part of our personal mission statement. It was exactly what our family had defined that it needed to be well, but we couldn't make it happen. Now I want you to hear from an old friend about her biggest piece of unfinished health or movement business in 2018.
DANI: Hello Katy! How are you? All right, Betty. I'm gonna answer these end of the year health questions. I love this. Number six: What was your biggest piece of unfinished health or movement business in 2018? Ok, this is crazy but I believe my word to sum up my movement health in 2018 was going to be "Altitude" because I wanted to climb and do lots of hiking. Well, unfortunately, in April, I ended up with a torn quad tendon. So, not only was hiking out of the question, but walking was a huge deal and very hard for me up until a couple months ago. So my biggest piece of unfinished health or movement business in 2018 was I just didn't get the altitude I wanted. Fortunately, now I am healed. And so that's gonna be one of my goals this next year.
For me, it was learning how to jump. And I want to thank MovNat for that. I've never been a jumper. Even as a kid I don't really remember leaping off things. I do remember climbing onto roofs and stuff quite a bit. Never jumping. And so to have discovered jumping at 42 ... When we did this big training with MovNat and Nutritious Movement we went through a level one training and the fact that in a matter of a handful of days, in less than 2 days, I could jump from a yoga block, you know, just on my toes on a yoga block and jump six feet and land on another yoga block over a stack of yoga blocks between the two. Meaning I actually had to have a little height on my jump. That just blows me away that that's something I can do. So I was most happy, most joyful, most kid-like, about completing that in 2018. Now I loved this answer from Annette Cashell.
ANNETTE: Monkey Bars hands down. Or I should say hands up. Two years ago I was suffering from severe nerve pain in my right arm. It was caused by three bulging discs in my neck. The pain was constant and the pain meds didn't work. I was told a neck fusion operation was inevitable. The idea of this absolutely terrified me so I started researching alternative routes. I came across Katy Bowman's work. Her home video on living furniture free absolutely fascinated me. I started incorporating some of her ideas into my life and signed up for the two-year certification program. Two years on, I feel no pain in my arm. There's no neck fusion operation on the horizon. And I can do the monkey bars. I cannot fully explain the thrill of being able to carry my own body weight across this set of bars. I would say I feel like a kid again. But I'm not sure I could even do this when I was a kid. I'm no spring chicken either. In five days time, on Christmas eve, I turn 50. A big birthday. And this year I'm giving myself a big present. You guessed it. A set of monkey bars installed right here in my dining room. Best birthday present ever.
KATY: All right. So there we have it. I really feel like movement goals that make us happy might be the ones that are kind of tickling these ... childlike is not the right word because it assumes that you're only supposed to feel like this as a kid. It's really just joyfully exploring your physicality. And then, of course I think when you see that there's something in your body that feels better because you're pursuing this joyful ... what is the word that I'm looking for? It's just a smile. It's whatever the word is for the way your face feels when it's smiling. The fact that it's challenging and that it rings you out and that you find your edge. I'm just thinking of nature school. Nature school for kids, and for grownups too - wilderness skills - is all about pushing you to some edge because the edge is where you grow. You can't really grow if you're not on the edge of something. And so because we tend to stay comfortable in the middle we don't grow that much. So maybe all that air quotes around "childlike" is is just the sensation of growth. Right? And so in that way we stop being childlike because we stop growing. So I have found that just both through my thinking about the answer, and certainly Annette's, it really feels like growth is joyful.
And I'm gonna have to start with MovNat which is not a person, but a movement system. But it's represented by people, by their team. And we have just completed, during the time that I should have been living outside but I wasn't, we completed a collaborative project with them and their and our staff cross-trained for a week. And it was maybe the most fun I've ever had. The MovNat team is just - they're really phenomenal people. They're phenomenal movers, yes, but the group of people was just amazing. So to be able to spend that time alongside the Nutritious Movement team and the MovNat team, they greatly impacted my health and certainly my movement in 2018 in ways that I've already mentioned and ways that I'm going to continue to mention and share going on in 2019. So that's one. Even though that was ... gosh, there was 40 of us total. So those are a team of 20 folks. And then also we have a new puppy, Haere Mai. And Haere Mai, she's definitely, just like having, you know, when we had really little kids, movement is such a priority because everything is informing that. The hours outside, the long-distance trekking, those were things that we just prioritized, two to three times a day. And it's - you're back to kind of square one when you have a puppy, which is basically like a toddler. And so it just kind of renewed, not just mine but also the kids now. And I, it's kind of fun to explain to them. "She needs to leap. She needs to run free. She needs to go through some complex terrain. You can't pick her up and put her on the thing she's gonna how to figure out how to get here. That's how she learns. So they've kind of almost gotten a parenting lesson or certainly a lesson in how we parented them in the sense of, I guess, cultivating physical development. Because they get to lead her on those walks. So it kind of revved up their desire to go out and explore complex terrain. Because it's like we want to do it for this dog. In the same way that we wanted to do it for our kids, the kids want to do it for the dog. And it just goes on and on. So that was definitely great. And then finally, see none of these are actually people. This is a terrible answer. I've got a team of trainers, I have a puppy. My third person that had the greatest impact on my health or movement is really the entire community where I live in the Olympic Peninsula. In my efforts to still do the work that I do in the world but not in an online format, I went back to where I started which was creating a live movement center for the community. So it's just opening next month. I'll link to it in the show notes if you want to go take a tour of it. You're all welcome to come out and take a class up here. It's where I teach regularly. Where a lot of our other teachers teach regularly. And we just have lots of workshops that are coming through. You'll see on our website if you go to live events which ones are located at our studio up here. But it's really, again, in contemplating the state of the world and the fact that so many things need attention and I do have a strong desire to be efficient. And so I thought the ultimate way of tending to my own physicality, to my own body of work, to the bodies of the people that share space with me, in crisis, it's really the person closest to me that I'm going to turn to. There's a lot of things that are happening online but as far as things that are happening where you are, I found equivalents to all the big things that are happening online happening within my own community so addressing them in a community format has been powerful for me. And it's just starting. It's just starting at the end of 2018. So I can't wait to do this recap in 2019.
So the biggest surprise for me was how much I loved jumping as an exercise and just in my natural movement practice. And I think what was the greatest lesson was through the process of learning to jump, and because I'm always trying to stack it - see how it fits into my life - I've learned that there's so many more movements not only to explore but to figure out how I can stack them. So the greatest lesson is: this is still only the beginning. That I've got nothing figured out really. All I have are a few key principles. I figured out a few key principles but the principles aren't practical. They're just equations. And that the practicality is how you apply those principles. And that's a knowledge that I'm currently after. And the greatest lesson I have is that this is my life's work as a person with my own physicality in my own community, as a human being on this planet. That I'm just getting started and I have some key ideas that I can work with physically but that the working with them is far more important than the principles themselves. That the principles themselves don't do anything. That it's what you do with the principles that makes change.
So these questions were also linked for Carol Robbins. Here's her answers:
CAROL: I really can't talk about 2018 without mentioning my ankle fracture. Which is saying a lot because I broke my arm in the same year. But that was relatively minor. And my ankle was pretty catastrophic. It was a trimalleolar fracture and it wasn't so much a surprise as a shock. It was such a shock, in fact, that I refused to believe that it was broken until I saw the x-rays. From the time that the accident occurred till the traveling to the hospital and then the waiting in emergency and then waiting for the doctor and so on, it all takes a lot of time. And then going into radiology and then having the doctor come back and saying, "It's broken." It's like, "What? This can't be happening to me. I'm a movement professional." So, that was extremely surprising and also the fact that I just kind of assumed that it would be better really quickly. Like I would have the surgery and it would be better. And then it was like, oh, well I need a cast. Well after the cast comes off, I'll be better. And then it was like, oh, I need a walking boot. Ok, well after the walking boot comes off, I'll be better. And then it was like, ok, I still don't have range of motion. Ok, in three months I'll be better, and I'll have range of motion back. And then in another three months after that, I might have an ankle that looks somewhat like the ankle I used to have. So that brings me to the question greatest lesson you learned about health in 2018, and that is that the body has its own schedule and that you need to respect it and work with it and do your best to support it. Because it's really doing its very best for you. So that is my answer. I hope that is interesting to someone out there. And hope that 2019 is a year of recovery and no more surprises. Bye for now.
And I would say it's the one with myself through working in various ways, specifically exploring the difference between my - what I'll call - my wildest self and the facade that sits on top of that to sort of cope/survive in civilization. So the biggest risk that I'm just starting to take in 2018 which is another one of the questions here, and I'm gonna do more of it in 2019, is to reduce that difference. Right? To make ... I mean I understand, and I know many of you have done a lot of work in the psychological sense recognizing, again, what I'm gonna call my wildest self and you know, kind of the ego that's around that. I'd like to reduce that difference so that the wildest self is what is mostly presenting. Obviously, we live in society and that society is built around quite a bit of suppression of the wildest self. But the risk I'm wanting to take that I'm willing to take, that I'm starting to take, is in reducing that difference, it becomes risky because it possibly alienates many that are prioritizing the current society over its more wild counterpart. And so we just have to accept, I have to just accept, that other people's discomfort is not my discomfort. And then, of course, playing with how that all sits in the fact that we all share space. Doing it in a live community. There's that kind of sharing space, and then there's sharing virtual space. Really delineating between actual space and virtual space, I think is key. So I am really engaging more in live community, live spaces, to make sure that I'm able to use all of the tools that come with a living body or person. It's interesting in virtual spaces. Because in virtual spaces almost all of your expressions are reduced to symbols of text. Sometimes there's video which helps. But for someone who writes a lot on the internet and writes books, you're taking ideas that are embodied in physical, wild spaces with other human beings and you're reducing them to symbols. Another person's brain is taking those symbols and then are having to reconstruct what they think you mean. It's a big challenge. So I have found one way to be more effective is just to spend less time communicating in symbols. And more time communicating with all the tools, right? The facial expressions. Touch. Gesturing. Demonstrating. You know - the fact that maybe you say a certain thing but you're physical actions and behaviors don't match up. But if all anyone has is those handful of symbols, they're going to construct a whole reality from those symbols. Yeah, this podcast has gone 2001. Not the year but the novel has gone really fast. This is a little Sci-Fi. Anyway, I'm just working on that relationship with myself and then, of course, bringing that face to face with everyone else.
Here's what Karen Barnes in Seattle says:
KAREN: Have to say it's the relationship I have with myself. My self-confidence improved a ton this year with my reentry into the workforce. I finally got a green card in March. I'm a Canadian living in the U.S., and I'm a stay at home mom. And I was finally able to align my personal movement goals with my job. I had become a yoga instructor in 2016 and had been teaching Karma Yoga, but I was able to launch it into a business where I could actually go out and legitimately help other people do activities that benefit them. Throughout my time in Seattle, being a stay at home mom, I was the one at the playground that was always trying to encourage others to get moving. And so when the kids were playing, I would talk to the other moms and say, "Hey instead of standing around, let's go walk around. Let's keep moving our bodies and doing something as our kids are able to move their bodies. And the self-confidence that came from having that ability to be able to start up a business has really made my life blossom this year. My self-confidence has improved greatly as has my ability to be confident enough to approach people and to get people to participate with me in doing activities. And then the more people participated with me and did yoga with me, the more that I was able to see that there were people that were interested and people that were stagnating at home that wanted to move their bodies in a better and healthier way. And it made me feel good that they were coming to me to help them.
And this would be an all-caps shouting: "Goodbye social media! Get out of my head." I probably won't be doing this or yelling this before the end of the year though. But it is, it's a very strong intention. I need to say it to be complete with 2018. I feel it on a daily basis. Now I am verbally expressing it. And then hopefully soon I can physically embody the thing that I know needs to happen. There's still some fear around that though. All right. Now let's hear from our good friend, Stephanie Domet.
STEPHANIE: So there are two things that I need to do or say in order to be complete with 2018 and move on. I guess there's one thing I have to do and one thing I have to say. The thing I have to do is actually walk 100 kilometers this month. I'm in a group of friends, and we challenge each other to do that, and my work can be very sedentary. I write for long hours. I'm at my desk. And though I try to make that time as dynamic as possible, sometimes when I'm really cooking I forget. So, it's been hard for me to even achieve that 100 Kilometers a month this year. And I'm gonna do it in December. I'm doing it. I've told you. It's my pledge. It's happening. And then the thing I need to say to be complete with 2018 is "it's ok." Where you are is ok. It's always ok, and you're ok. It's simple advice, but sometimes I need to hear it from myself.
And I'm gonna go back to those two months living outside. We are planning on taking those two months outside in the spring of 2019. So that. That's gonna be my biggest health triumph. And I'd also like to move continuously for an entire day in ceremony form. So I'm thinking it's like maybe 40-50 miles walking or something like that. And I have got an invite I know from one of you to that 50-mile walk that's happening on the east coast. So I'm thinking maybe something like that that might happen. Or maybe it has to happen in a format that I create myself. But yes, those are my plans for 2019. Now let's hear from Dani - I know everyone's going YAY - on what she'd like her biggest health triumph to be.
DANI: Ok. I have thought a lot about this because there's a lot of things. And I know you think I'm gonna say, "I'd like to do that pull-up." But you're wrong. I'm about 1/3 of the way to that pull-up and I've been working really hard, but I'm not there yet. It's not going to be my biggest health triumph though because I already know I'm going to accomplish it. So I've kind of already got it in the bag. I think for me I would like to increase my cardio capacity. I took adult swimming lessons this fall, and I found out I really liked it. And I also found out it's really difficult. Because I just didn't have the cardio capacity. So the biggest health triumph this next year? Increase my cardio capacity.
KATY: All right, health advice you want to give yourself for 2019? For me, it's slow down. It's just slow down. I'm a hyper-producer so slowing down is gonna be fantastic. Lindsay Silva in Texas had this timely advice:
LINDSAY: And that is simply to stop letting perfect being the enemy of the good. I have a bad tendency to compare myself with other people on social media who I see - they're natural movers, naturally moving in these natural settings that are just so gorgeous and it feels sometimes like, oh my gosh, I live in the inner city in a not so nice part of town. If I'm not leaping from trees and swimming in crystal streams and foraging all my foods, does it all count? And it absolutely does count. And the more I have allowed myself to get creative and look around at what objects and environments actually do have to interact with around me, I'm realizing that it might not be a gorgeous sequoia tree or it might not be or I might not have many opportunities for urban foraging or very limited ones, but that doesn't mean that what I do have is not good enough and doesn't offer me a lot of movement variety. And so I'm trying to get better about not comparing myself and also for allowing myself to be creative and to accept and love what I do have around me. And I'm hoping I can do this because I kind of have gotten off of Instagram and Facebook specifically because of the comparison which is too strong. I really miss the community and the people who I was able to connect with using those platforms just around the world. So I'm going to try to make more of an effort to work on my thought processes around this, my attitude around this, and just be thankful and excited to be able to move at all. And to go out and be creative with my environment and what I've actually got out here. Anyway that is, those are kind of my health goals. So thank you again for this opportunity, and I hope that you have a happy and movement-rich 2019. Thank you. Bye-bye.
KATY: How are you going to change your movement results in 2019? For me, it's just giving up the internet as much as possible. So I want to get my work done. I want to reevaluate how much work I need to do as a whole, of course. But then after that, I want to go the heck outside. I just want to do the minimum and be done with the internet. And I've been slowly able to reduce it. And it's really screens in general. It's going back to the idea of screen-free week. I've just noticed it's challenging as all of the systems are slowly put onto screens, stepping away from them really requires stepping away from a large portion of the culture. So, I'm gonna feel brave and just do that anyway. And again I think it's gonna do well with some of our living outside and just being outside more. Because if you're outside more, you tend to just be away from where those screens are located. I mean I guess you can always have one in your pocket, but in general moving away from where they are located in abundance or plugged in and have an unlimited supply of juice so that you can engage whenever possible, I think that's gonna help. What are you going to try to complete in 2019, or what would you be happy to complete? I'm happy and scared to say that it is a new book. I'm gonna say more soon. But I will say it's a book about babies and kids moving. And that it's also about families moving alongside of course, so some movement ecology focusing on juveniles to put it in biological terms. Sarah Ellen is an exercise science student in Atlanta Georgia and here's her answer.
SARAH: I would do an actual happy dance if by the end of 2019 I could move each of my toes independently. I would even settle for being able to lift my big toes without bringing all the other ones up with them. I have spent the last five years transitioning from a smooshed toe, high-heels lifestyle to a more barefoot existence. It has been a slow process, but I've made a lot of changes to move my feet more and move them better. I've invested in minimal footwear. I exercise and move in bare feet as much as possible. I move over different terrains and elevations and use tools like yoga-toes and Tune Up balls to get some movement during more sedentary parts of my day. All of this work has produced big results in my feet and ankles. My whole body really. I actually went down a half shoe size as I developed an arch in my foot. My calves were so short that I used to walk upstairs on my tiptoes. And I can now perform this action flat-footed. My balance has improved tremendously. I honestly could talk about all the system-wide changes this has produced at length, but the one part of this foot rehabilitation program that has been neglected is moving my toes. When I do devote some time to toe mobility exercises, I feel like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, laying paralyzed in the back seat of the car willing herself aloud, wiggle your big toe. It takes great effort to produce even the slightest independent movement. The ability to move my big toes independently would represent a health triumph for me, not just because of the result, more movement and more parts of my body, but also because of the process to achieve that result. I honestly don't have 10 minutes every day to devote solely to toe mobility. So I know that producing the results I want will mean more stacking my life: choosing and creating environments that produce the results I want. Changing an environment, a lifestyle, as opposed to adding a new exercise to an already busy schedule means that that change will be sustainable over a lifetime and that is something to celebrate.
KATY: This is a great question. I always have a hard time answering this one every year. What indulgence are you going to experience? What are you willing to do? So I had to ask my husband, what does indulgence actually mean in this context. And for me, it's gonna be cooking outside. So again it's all centered around this being outside. Now if you've been following social media or newsletters or other articles that I'm writing, I have been cooking outside a lot. Not a lot in that I cook three meals a day, every single day of the year practically. So as far as a percentage of outside cooking it's pretty small. But compared to what I did before it's quite large. I love love love cooking outside. And I don't mean typical camp food. So there's camping and backpacking, and there's the foods that are lightweight and easy that go along with that. And so that's great too, but what I'm talking about is, I love to cook. If I had one art, it would probably be cooking. I really enjoy it. But then I also like cooking outside. So I didn't want to be limited to kind of like air quotes again around "camp food" so I bought myself a handful of outdoor campfire cookbooks. I just posted them on Instagram. They're really great. They're really beautiful, and they're really indulgent. So I want to make beautiful meals for my family and my friends that are joining us on our trip of outdoor living. We're going to be going throughout the United States because I have to work anyway at a lot of different locations so we thought we would just - we're just moving people overall in the largest sense. So changing landscapes. So we thought that we would - I thought that I would create this kind of cooking box. Like a lot of the books are not just cookbooks. They really show you here's how you organize for people who are doing van life or are fairly nomadic anyway. I have a lot of friends, actually, who they don't have permanent homes. They just move around a lot and live in outside spaces. So just kind of to join them in this idea of having an organized outside set of kitchen tools, indulgent meals, and cast iron pot. That's what I'm going to be doing in 2019. I'm very excited. Stop by for dinner! So that's mine. And now I love this goal from Vivi Dumoulin:
VIVI: An indulgence for me would be more cups of tea in wild places. In 2019 I would like to do an overnight hike once a month in the beautiful natural parks that we have in Southeast Queensland Australia.
KATY: Don't you just those outside wilderness sounds? I think that the soundscape is really important. If you can indulge in a little bit of outside soundscape this upcoming year, it's really therapeutic.
Ok we're getting towards the end. What would you like to most change about your health in 2019? And I feel like I'm beating the same drum here. I'd like to dramatically scale back the computer-based work that needs to be done. So I work about 80 hours a week which is a lot. Fortunately, I can stack a lot of it. I am fortunate in that I have a full-time co-parent and that the nature of my work is often nature and outside and moving. So there's a lot of people who work 80 hours a week in an office that nothing else is really being met. So it's not a complaint by any means. It is just recognition that I think 80 hours of production is an amount that doesn't allow for a tremendous state of balance. So I'm fine working, and I actually believe work is really all that we're owed in life, but I'd like more of that work to be of the physical nature and more of that work to be directly sowing the things that we need. So that would mean more work in planting and tending plants. More gardening. More hunting. So I wouldn't like to relax more. That's not what my goal is. My goal is to not have so much screen-based work. I expect the amount of work to stay the same - or actually increase. It's just that what my work is - I'd like to shift that a little bit. Stephanie Domet is going to weigh in on what she would like most to change about her health in 2019.
STEPHANIE: In 2019 I'd like to take a more integrated approach to my health. In recent years I've realized that what I've thought was just the way my mind works is actually a little anxiety. And that sometimes keeps me from doing things that I know are healthy and that I would really like to do. And so my goal in 2019 is to find ways to get on top of that anxiety or at least to be able to work with it instead of it working against me. And then from there to be able to really commit to some of the healthy habits that I know would be transformational for me. So that is what I would most like to change about my health in 2019.
KATY: What are you gonna learn in 2019? I can't wait to find out! I have no idea! What's your risk - greatest risk - for 2019? And I think for me it's owning my positions more. What are you most committed to changing and/or improving in 2019? That's gonna be less screen time to simplify and Annette Cashell; she's gonna share hers.
ANNETTE: What am I most committed to changing and/or improving in 2019. And the answer is: The sitting habits of primary school children in Ireland. In 2018 I started a project called Movement Makeovers for Primary Schools. I was thrilled when it got accepted into a mentoring program run by Social Opportunity Ireland. The aim of my idea was to make schools more movement friendly, changing the environment to encourage movement throughout the day. By movement I don't mean exercise. I mean small bouts of movement spread throughout the day applicable to all children, whether they're sporty or not. We already know that desk workers sit way too much. But school children don't seem too far behind for me. Especially if we insist of them sitting for six hours a day and we know that they're on their tech devices for hours after school. So, I set up a six-week trial run at a local school to look at ways of adding more movement into the school environment. Each week a new movement idea was introduced. The children experimented with it for the week, and then I collected the feedback. One week they might be encouraged to sit on the floor more. The next week they might go barefoot. Then they might differently or use chair wedges or use Katy Bowman's movement posters or take more eye breaks. I was simply blown away by the support of the teachers and by the enthusiasm of their children and their pure appetite for more movement. Now, following the success, I'm discussing with various stakeholders in Ireland, to get these ideas circulated more widely and hopefully incorporated into more schools. These days there's a lot of talk about keeping kids safe in the digital age. But how about we keep them healthy too. I, for one, am committed to trying.
KATY: What underdeveloped talent are you willing or planning to explore in this upcoming year? I'm gonna stay with hunting. I think I said that last year as well. It's learning how to hunt and gather more from the land. There's a lot of great organizations that we have in our government here that are helpful for that. I did more fishing this year than ever before. But I'm just gonna keep going on with that theme. And also, plant identification and gathering. It's really all the how can I personally with as little waste as possible, with the greatest state of consciousness as I can - or mindfulness is probably the better word - as mindfully as possible consume. And for me, that really requires understanding the natural biorhythms, the ecology of where I live. So I'm gonna keep on that.
What brings you joy and health and how are you going to have more of that in 2019? It's wilderness for sure. I'm gonna get more of it by getting the stuff in my way out of my way which requires just paying attention to what's stopping me or what feels like it's stopping me and clearing it. Whatever that takes. Lindsay Silva, what are you gonna do in 2019?
LINDSAY: I am going to try to start collecting more trash while I'm out on my walks. That has actually been a really big part of my movement journey is realizing just how much as a society we rely upon single-use products - the convenience things - and what's that doing to our planet and just clogging up our world. And so I am now trying to intentionally change my consumer habits of things that I buy or don't buy or how I buy them, actually because of my movement practice. And kind of seeing the waste on the ground as I was walking through my neighborhood. So thank you for that because I don't think that I ever would have gotten started on this. I was already recycling, but I was not thinking about but how do I not create the waste to start with. And now I have started on that, and it has drastically changed how I consume items now. So thank you so much for your podcast that had this really kind of cool unintended or unforeseen effect on my consumer habits. So I'm going to start to try to collect at least one small bag of trash, at least one walk a week as a way to just kind of feel like I'm doing something more for the planet because everytime that I've done it, it does bring me greater joy in my health. Because I feel like I'm doing something at the same time ... I'm doing something good for my body. I'm also doing something good for the planet. And that is extremely important to me and helps me feel very edified. And I'm actually doing something meaningful with my time as opposed to just racking up miles or spending X amount of minutes moving my body in a certain way. So I'm going to try to make more of a conscious, deliberate effort to collect, like I said, at least one small bag of trash at least one walk a week.
KATY: Other than yourself who are you most committing to loving and serving. The answer for me is going to be my kids which is probably not that uncommon of an answer. But they're growing up so fast and I just, I realize that they're essence, their soul is forming in the environments that I'm creating. And we've really tried, as a family, to clear out things so that they can establish a more wild perspective. Right? There's a lot of things that we have never had or that we've found was intervening with kind of their ability to engage with that wild self. But I can do better by looking at my own time and the way that I'm working. And, again, it's not about not working. We all work. It's just about how. It's just about how. And it's also about when I am using things like the internet that's not work, like to really be better about that. I mean really all the answers that I've given in today's show are about this environment and about how I'm modeling, you know, being to them. So I'm really digging this book, "Nature and the Human Soul." It's kind of informing my answer right now. It gave me the plan that I needed, and that's what I'm working on right now. So I want to thank you, woman, who attended my Vancouver talk last May, I think, or early June, and you gave me that book, and it changed our lives. You did that. So for all of you out there wondering if you should share a book with a friend or share an idea, do it. I would just say do it. Because what do you got to lose? Someone moves the book on. Just going to be found by someone else. So definitely feel free to share the things that you think will change the world for the better. Carla Harless, who are you most committed to loving and serving?
CARLA: For me, this is always my family, but in particular this year it's my mom who was diagnosed with Parkinson's earlier this year. And the symptoms have begun to progress rather rapidly particularly in the past six months. So for this season of my life, I want to be sure that I give her all the attention, uplifting, loving service that I can while I've still got her with me.
KATY: Our final question today and maybe my most favorite is: What's one word that you would like to have as your health movement theme in 2019?
CARLA: Well that, my dear, would have to be volume.
DANI: Deposit Daily. I know that's not one word. What if I say it this way: DailyDeposits.
What's your word for 2019? If you don't have a personal mission statement yet, and you can go back and listen to an episode just on that, if creating a personal mission statement feels cumbersome, then try coming up with a single word as you move through 2019 and keep referring back to it to see if your choice of behavior matches up with your theme word. My word for 2019 is collaboration. Because it's not only moving with others, for me, it's really creating movement solutions with them. I find that I do my best work when I'm with others in a group. I guess my method of leading, if I'm gonna be a leader, is alongside rather than really separate. So collaboration it is. It's using your feedback and the questions that you take the time to send in to shape those solutions. And I'm looking forward to collaborating with many in 2019, including you, in my live and online communities.
And I was thinking if this podcast had a word for 2018, it would be community. So many thanks to all of the guests who came on this year. That's Jason Lewis, Dongia Markegard, Sam Thayer, Gail Tully, Sarah Tippen-Salazar, Ben Pobjoy, Dr. Ihi Heke, Phillip Brass, Maria Sipin, Don Morris, Brianna Brigg and Karen Kursh, Shawn Stevenson, Angela Hanscomb, Jill Miller, Dami Roelse, Rose Hayden-Smith, and Arthur Haines. Plus Pack Matthews, Eva Nemchik, Michael Dowley, Terral Fox, Tyler Benner, Tricia Salcido, and Suzanna Solsonna. My goodness. That's so many people who took time out of their day to just share their story and share their perspective. And again, I don't think we would have gotten to 3 million downloads if there wasn't out there people willing to talk and even more importantly people willing to listen.
And if this podcast had a word for today, it would have to be goodbye. At least for 2018. We will see you soon in 2019.
This has been Move Your DNA with Katy Bowman, a podcast about movement. Hopefully, 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.
Completing and Remembering The Previous Year
What was your biggest triumph this past year?
What was the smartest decision you made this past year?
What one word best sums up and describes this past year's experiences?
What was the greatest lesson you learned in the past year?
What was the most loving service you performed this past year?
What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in this past year?
What are you most happy about completing this past year?
Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life this past year?
What was the biggest risk you took this past year?
What was the biggest surprise this past year?
What important relationship improved the most in the past year?
What compliment would you have liked to have received this past year?
What compliment would you liked to have given in the past year?
What else do you need to do or say to be complete with the results of the past year?
Creating A New Year
What would you like to be your greatest triumph in the coming year?
What advice would you like to give yourself this coming year?
What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in the coming year?
What would you be most happy about completing this new year?
What major indulgence are you willing to experience this coming year?
What would you like to change about yourself in the coming year?
What are you looking forward to learning this new year?
What do you think will be your greatest risk in this coming year?
What are you most committed to changing about your work and improving during this year?
What is one undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in the coming year?
What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in your life this year?
Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving this new year?
What one word would you like to have as your theme in the new year?
Compliments of Robin Blanc Mascari