1. How would you define your personal practice?
Our tagline at POINT is “Train indoors. Play outdoors.” Our “practice” really is just a way for us to enjoy any adventure we want to have, whenever we want to have it… We never want to turn down any opportunity because we are not physically capable of doing it. Since nature is always unpredictable that means our practice is varied; there is not really a good way to define it. Some might say we are “generalists” but even that seems too “fitness-y.” We don’t follow a program. We don’t usually have a plan. We do what we feel like doing that day. We move because we need to. We move because it feels good. We move because it’s fun. We move so we can handle our own shit.
2. What turning points have you encountered on your movement journey?
The most significant turning point for both of us was realizing that we could, in fact, shirk the traditional “fitness” paradigm and use our intuitive ideas about how and why we should move… And that other people would be on board and want to do the same thing!
3. What role has injury played in cultivating your current niche?
We have both followed a diverse model for movement in “sport,” “exercise,” and “play” over the course of our lives so we haven’t felt the need to modify anything as a result or prevention of injury. Given that there is nothing you can do to truly “prevent” an injury – sometimes shit happens – we train in ways that we think would reduce the severity of an injury or reduce the recovery time after one.
4. Do you consider yourself a teacher? Why or why not?
To the extent that a teacher is someone who facilitates the learning of knowledge, skills, and/or values, yes, although we believe that every interaction is an exchange of teaching and learning. I think there are different moments where we could define ourselves as different things: teachers, coaches, servants, confidants, guides… Learning and exploring movement can be a very vulnerable process for many people so it requires that we adapt to the needs of those around us; empathy is extremely important. But that’s not so different from any circumstance in life, is it.
5. What has been your experience with physical education, both in the schooling system and sought out knowledge/ know-how elsewhere?
Physical Education in the public school system, at least from our memories from 4th grade on, should really be called “Sports Education.” We learned the rules of various sports, from bowling to badminton to basketball. We also “learned” that boys were stronger than girls, based on the requirements for the Presidential Fitness test. We call bullshit on that and wonder what the world would be like if girls were not conditioned to think they were weaker… If there was equal value placed on different kinds of strength, all which are necessary to be a vital, thriving human.
From there we have sought out different kinds of physical education that value different aspects of human movement – various sports, barbells, kettlebells, running, biking, yoga, rock climbing, swimming… All of them seemed to be saying that it was the best – that if you just did this for the rest of your life you would be a complete, healthy, “fit” person. But whenever we tried to stick with one thing we always felt like something was lacking. The truth is that you need elements of all of those things. MovNat is the closest things we have found to a comprehensive and practical physical education system that prepares us for all activities in our lives.
Truthfully, in terms of seeking out physical education, the best learning comes from trying new activities outside. Doing things you have never done forces you to move in new ways and gives you immediate feedback (physical education) on areas of your movement patterning that are not as robust as others. Plus, getting outside teaches you resilience. A short list of things that are pretty accessible to try: bouldering; stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing; trail running (get off the pavement!) and hiking; swimming; plus so many more that might require more equipment or a trained professional for safety.
6. How do you involve your mind/ emotions into your physical routines?
There is not a way to disassociate these. Your mind is your body and your body is your mind. When you have an intention for your movement – when you really dig down to WHY you do what you do – this bleeds into your practice or your event. The converse is also true. Practicing movement shapes the way you think and feel. This is why it is important to train in a way that brings you joy and makes you happy. This does not mean it should be easy. Confidence is developed through the courage in trying new and difficult things and compassion is developed through that process of learning.
7. What are your personal aspirations regarding movement? How do you hope to find purpose and use in the skills you have built?
Honestly, our personal aspirations are just to feel good and maintain a level of health and movement that allows us to endeavor any task we are confronted with well into old age. Layered in with that is to keep using our health and fitness to serve others in our community, through physical labor, if needed, but also through inspiring others to regard movement as a means to happiness and freedom.
8. How can people find/ contact you? Do you have a site or social media handle to share?
Our brick and mortar business – POINT Gym and Kitchen – is located in Portland, Oregon, which you can find at pointgymandkitchen.com, on IG at @point_gym_kitchen, or on FB at facebook.com/POINTgymandkitchen.
You can contact us directly via email at [email protected].