I get a lot of random email questions, not always about alignment. These are either the Greatest Hits or questions that make me question whether or not I should get an unlisted phone number.
Is Katy your real name? No. It's Frances, actually. But I thought that Katy made me sound more mature. Just kidding. I am assuming you mean, it is a nickname? Nope. Katy is my real name. Please note, it is spelled with a Y. Y? Because that’s how it’s spelled.
What made you want to go into biomechanics? Can I know more about your education and where you went to school, etc?
I started school at a community college, because I couldn’t afford to go straight to a 4-year. I did my first two years as a mathematics major. Then I decided that math was too boring and decided to study physics next. I did that for another year. By that time I was already at University (CSU Fresno), and I was starting to get bored again. I think becoming bored is a bad habit of mine.
I was flipping through the school catalog and I saw two words: Biomechanics Option. It was basically a combo degree of math, physics, physiology, and exercise science. I think I screamed. With all of my math and physics already under my belt, I finished my degree quickly, studying anatomy, biology, physiology to fill in the gaps. I worked in the field for about four years before deciding to go back to graduate school. I got my Masters of Science at California State University Northridge, doing a full biomechanics and kinesiology program there. I loved it. I was home.
Why did you choose to study biomechanical science?
I guess you can say that initially, I studied it by default. But when I went back for graduate school, I was really driven to explain disease in a way people could understand and then take action.
How did you meet your husband?
My DH is an Ayurvedic practitioner. I made an appointment for a consultation.
He looked at me.
I looked at him.
He recommended an enema.
It kinda went like that.
What do you do for exercise? How did you get your figure back so fast?
Over the last few years I have transitioned both my mind and my body to get rid of the paradigm of exercise. So I don’t really exercise anymore. Instead use my body, constantly, in the natural way it was developed to move. I lift. Not repetitively and with the same loads, but my baby and plants and whatever else I can. I walk every day, and not just to cross take walk off the list, but to transport my body for a purpose. I don’t have furniture in my living room, so I stretch all day, while I’m just living. I’m in the process of building an obstacle course I can go through - climbing over stuff, a little scaling, a little swinging, a little balancing. That kind of stuff.
This was a log not far from my house. First attempt was wobbly with my arms out and head forward, looking down. By my third pass, I could relax my arms and keep my body upright, looking down with my eyes. By the 27th pass, I was just like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.
And, of course, the *big secret* is, when you're alignment is off, so's your metabolism. If you want a perfectly toned body, just work on your alignment while walking around a lot. Nothing else needed.
What do you do for fun?
Well, the nerdy thing is, I do biomechanics for fun. I write my blog for fun. I’m a mother for fun. I’m a wife for fun. I walk for fun. I go on Facebook for fun. I don’t separate the duty from the play. This whole thing is a gift that I thoroughly enjoy. And when I am feeling overwhelmed and like things are beginning to get un-fun, I meditate. Which I do, of course, for fun.
I'd love a break down of what you "do"/how you move each day, as inspiration. Also would be neat to hear any stories about how your work has influenced your parenting and how your family members receive and utilize your knowledge.
I get up with the sun. I’d like to say I do this by choice but it’s really because you-know-who likes to get up with the sun. I work on my laptop, while stretching and balancing, for about an hour while the wee one works on his standing work station too. I make coffee or tea and make breakfast. I typically eat a Core Defender bar while waiting for breakfast to cook because I am always very hungry.
Then, I crawl around and play and stretch on the living room jungle gym for an hour or so, until it’s nap time. Finn’s nap time, not mine. And while he sleeps for an hour, I bang away (again standing) as much work on my computer as possible. We usually take a family mile-long to the post office to mail stuff. And then a 1/4-mile family walk to my sister’s house to play with her kids for an hour. Then home, for another nap. Again, not mine (boo). More work for an hour and typically one of us will go the the store for fresh food for dinner.
Three o’clock is really the end of day here. Everything after 3:00 is play-stretch time in the living room. Lots of chatting and dancing and soundtracks to movies like Grease, Sound of Music (Can I get a whoop whoop for The Lonely Goatherd?), and Footloose. Dinner. Quick writing for 15-20 minutes, and then maybe a movie in bed before heading to sleep!
What kind of shoes do you wear on a regular basis, the ones you reach for everyday?
Most of the time you will find me barefoot, in my pink Vibrams
or in my (new) warmer Sockwas.
I’m on the move a lot, but if I do happen to do something for TV or a formal lecture, I tend to wear my Kalso Earth footwear. I like boots. Oh, and as you might remember, I farm in these (also from Earth):
I would like to know what kind of reactions you get when you tell people you don't like strollers. I'm guessing they start thinking about stuff like the scene in "Away We Go"! Haha!
Well, believe it or not, I don’t go around telling people my opinion of things. Of course, that’s different if someone (like you) comes to my blog or to my class or to my course. If you’ve come to me for information, I will shove it down. your. throat. Because you’ve asked me to. I don’t, however, walk up to people and say, Hey You. Yeah You. With the tucked pelvis and the stroller. You’re doing it all wrong.
One thing to understand is, people can rarely hear information they haven’t sought for themselves. This is a tough lesson to learn for many of our new graduates. They think that other people think just like them, and that’s not the case. Chances are you’ve tried to tell your partner, kids, co-worker, or person in the elevator some little tidbit that you learned here. And worse, you probably use the phrase “Well, Katy Says...” a lot. This origination of phrase (and blog title) stems from our whole-body course students who, when unable to explain the physics of the situation, reverted to the five-year old explanation of “well, Katy Says....”
I'd like you to be clear that the reason you stand with your weight in your heels is not because I said so. It is because you understand why you’re supposed to do it. Optimal health only works when you understand the whys and not just the hows.
Now, that doesn’t mean that when the stroller and tucked pelvis walks by that I don’t mutter and curse. I’m not that pious. And, P.S. I love Away We Go. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. That and Top Gun.
What do you love to eat, above all else? In what position do you like to eat it?
I don’t know if I could pick a “thing” to eat. Can I pick an entire country of things? I’d have to go with Greece. If there was one food I couldn’t live without, it would be olive oil. And maybe avocados.
I typically eat standing because I eat constantly, all day long and to get down on the floor seems like a lot of work. But, when we eat together, we just sit on a blanket on the living room floor.
Please provide some more shoe suggestions, but for under $100.
What is your favorite doughnut?
It used to be the apple fritter when I was a kid. Then it went to maple bars when I was a teenager. Now I think I’d pick the rainbow sprinkles. I’ve never had a Krispy Kreme.
How in the world do you get so much done with an infant?!?
Well, before I had any kids people always said I got a more done than what seemed normal. I guess I read and write very fast. I figure stuff out quickly. But those things aside, it probably has to do with the fact that I don’t have a television. Television will eat away at all of your hopes and dreams.
The furniture (or lack thereof!) in your house. I think you mentioned once you'd post a pic sometime of your main living area - I would be curious to see how you do it.
What bad alignment habits do you work to correct on yourself? Aches and pains? Favorite philosophy or approach to life. what pets have you had throughout your life? Do you have a favorite animal because that seems to say a lot about a person. Are you a very social person, or prefer your own company?
I work, constantly, on my left hip. My entire left side, really. And my neck and shoulders are always tight! As for philosophies/approaches to life, I would have to say that I try to follow the teachings of the Big J.C. and the Golden Rule. Karma. Buddhism. Go with the flow. Do unto others. Resistance is futile. All you need is love. I think these are all the same thing.
My totem animal has always been a whale. Specifically, a humpback whale. I'd love to know what that says about me if anyone knows. I would say that I am a balance of a very social person and a very introverted person. I love to have parties and host meals often, but I also really need a lot of solo time. Mostly because I am a chronic thinker and am always developing new theories that need to be written and researched. I would totally be a recluse, I think, if I didn't enjoy teaching people so much and eating really good food. If we were all living in Greece instead of on Facebook, we'd be discussing alignment matters while eating baklava and olives in my backyard.
I would like to know more about your pregnancy, if you had any ailments or pains and how you dealt with them!
My pregnancy was awesome for the most part. I studied pregnancy pain in graduate school so I already knew that that these aches and pains were not a result of being pregnant, but a result of being weak, misaligned, and loaded with the extra mass.
I was, however, terribly nauseated for about four months. This picture, taken at month two kinda sums it up:
This is how I felt, pretty much all day long. At about 6 weeks prego, the Hubs went to get food. We had already discussed earlier that I needed more protein. He came back with a selection of groceries that have since been heckled. I couldn't remember exactly what he brought home, so I had to check my inbox for an email I sent my S.I.L. Here's that exchange:
Me: Yesterday was a new low. I mastered the art of throwing up food while I was practically eating it. Disgusting. MC tried to help by bringing me more food after not eating the bulk of the day and staying in bed. This is what he brought home (really):
2. Tiny Shrimp in a Can
3. Spicy Chicken Nuggets that you can Heat Up in the Oven
oh, and Roses. MC says to mention the Roses.
S.I.L.: I'm still laughing about the chili, tiny shrimp in a can, and spicy chicken nuggets that you can heat up in the oven. Was he serious? I'm about to throw up just looking at those words.
Me: I think he had a "protein" thing in his mind. These all made me throw up just looking at them, especially the Tiny Shrimp in a can. Who has ever bought Tiny Shrimp in a Can, unless they wanted to feed their pet turtle or something? I wouldn't eat those if I wasn't pregnant.
Any phobias? I know someone deathly afraid of chickens and how about your most embarrassing moment 🙂
Hmmm. Toss up. It could be the time I decided to take a yoga class at a gym while out of town and mistakenly entered the wrong-gender locker room and stripped down for a shower. It wasn’t until I was standing there with a hand-towel (forgot my full towel, of course) when I head men’s voices (a lot of them) come in around the corner.
It could be that, or it could be the year my hair looked like this:
My sister calls this the Broccoli Hair Cut. Which would also explain why I have a phobia of broccoli.
I want to know your every move and every thought during one whole day.
Damn, it’s early. Feet straight. Damn, I’m hungry. Feet straight. Damn I’m tired. And hungry. Feet straight.Repeat 10 more times. Thank God it’s time for bed.
How did your parents respond when you told them what you wanted to do when you grew up?
I don’t really have a family like that. I went to college on my own and was the first to do so. And, I’m not really sure they still know or understand what I do. I think my mom tells people I’m a doctor. And my dad told me to put him down for one DVD when they came out, like it was a school fundraiser, which I thought was hilarious. But, they have (and maybe even do once in awhile) some videos. And, my dad was just here and read an article on foot biomechanics I wrote for Idea Fitness Journal. He then jumped up (or as much as an 84-year old can jump) and said he never knew that he had so many muscles in his feet and that he needed to "strengthen his intrinsic muscles" right away. We gave him some Sockwas to wear while he was here:
I'm interested in your Writing Story. Clearly, you are an excellent writer, how did that come? Do you credit it to being a good reader?
Thanks! I've always been a very good reader* but I wasn’t always a very good writer. When I look back at my earlier writing, I had a very strange way of organizing sentences and paragraphs that made it very difficult to understand. I don’t think this is the case any longer. Writing for a blog over the last few years has definitely made me create easy-to-comprehend pieces, even when the topics aren’t that simple. And, surprisingly enough, this has become my career trademark. If I was a writing teacher, I’d give everyone a daily writing assignment of explaining something in 100 words. There is a power to editing that I didn’t fully understand until working with pop magazines. And, my husband is a copy-editor and all-around wordsmith, which has absolutely rubbed off. His alignment’s pretty good now too!
Do you have an "aha" moment (or moments) and if so when and what was it that led you this direction instead of following the masses?
Hmm. I wouldn't say that my path was created from the perspective of not wanting to do what others had done. I believe my path was created by wanting to find the most correct solution for a problem. I am not a good student or follower of other things because, as Richard Feynman once said,
- "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it's wrong. That's all there is to it."
So many people are following paradigms for reasons that don't add up to their experience with it (i.e. I'm doing this for my health -- yet their health sucks). If you give me a statement that I can find a false example for, the statement isn't valid, I move on. It's handy to have a really great evaluation tool, but it means that I'm constantly refining to find that one statement that has no false examples. And, you have to be willing to be wrong without seeing it as a personal failure. Being wrong does not make you bad. It just gives you a chance to be better. So, long story long, I have a-ha moments multiple times a day.
I'm a multiplier a-ha-er.
*One of my favorite stories to tell is how my 4th grade teacher took my Clan of the Cave Bear book away because she was sure my mother didn't know I was reading it. Mom was the one who gave it to me because there was nothing left to read.
Oh, and, teachers and parents, want to make sure a child is a huge nerd and is harassed by her peers? When the first day of fourth grade starts and you ask for students to put a book sticker next to their name for every 25 pages they documented reading, make sure you let them put 87 stickers in a row. Even if it takes four loooong rows and goes off the board and most other kids have six stickers. Just go ahead and let her do that, ok?