MovNat — Oregon Edition

As I mentioned last week, I attended MovNat’s one day workshop in Eugene, OR. It was a typical Pacific Northwest day, which is to say, it was raining like hell. Luckily, Eugene Crossfit provided great facilities, so while it was a bummer not to get outside as much as we would’ve liked, there was plenty of play to be had indoors.

If you’re not familiar with MovNat, I’d like to congratulate you on extricating yourself out from under that rock and then refer you to their website. I also went into their philosophy from a personal perspective in last week’s post. But I’ll give you some nitty-gritty, which you can also see in this video, taken at a workshop in Newberg, Oregon the day after ours.

MovNat recognizes 12 essential human movements: walking, running, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing, swimming, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching, and combative/self-defense skills. Clifton and Kellen led us through several exercises engineered to get us back in touch with movements that used to be a part of daily life. Our modern comforts and conveniences are great, but they don’t afford many opportunities to practice these skills.

So we cat-crawled on curbs—forward and backward, over and under PVC pipes held by our taskmasters. We jumped onto targets aiming for precision. Sprinted. Rolled around on the ground. We didn’t get to do swimming and self-defense, probably for time and location purposes, but I think it might’ve been a last-minute executive decision when Clifton saw me walk in and knew I would kick his ass.

My favorite by far were the bars, as seen above. I don’t know why, but as I mentioned last week, swinging around on them gave me a buzz. They seemed to be enjoyable for about half the group and a challenge for the other half, so obviously this depends on your particular proclivities. But as a woman, I take it as my personal duty to develop my upper body strength, to be prepared to help myself out of a situation should I require it. And? It’s fun. I was able to perform the signature MovNat move of getting on top of the bar, and here’s the evidence. I was challenged when we played around with swinging from one bar, letting go, and grabbing onto another one. I was able to touch the landing bar, but grabbing it? That required a whole other level of commitment I couldn’t quite pull off that day. Just more motivation for practice.

But none of this encapsulates the experience. If you’re even just mildly interested, I can’t recommend MovNat enough. It was more than worth the 3 hour drive and 5 days of soreness afterward.

Lithia Park

One of the biggest challenges for MovNatters has to be trying to bring the lessons home. My friend Heather took the workshop with me and I think she’s hooked, since she asked if we could get together weekly for a jam session. So this past weekend, we jammed in Ashland’s Lithia Park, a beautiful park that has both manicured/developed sections and wild/natural sections. It’s essentially one huge MovNat playground with a creek, reservoir, big stones and boulders, benches, picnic tables, stairs, trails, hills, and logs. We had a blast being complete feral jackasses together. And, I admit it. I felt mildly superior to the folks just jogging through the park with nothing better to do. I’m such an arrogant ass, aren’t I?

So until the next opportunity I get to take another MovNat workshop (I’m eyeballing you, Thailand), I’ll keep running around like a mad woman, getting dirty, and fielding cat calls while I squat with a huge log on my shoulder.

Have you MovNatted? Interested? Tell me all about it.

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6 Responses to “MovNat — Oregon Edition”

  1. Heather here. I have to say….this.class.was.awesome! I had no clue what I was getting myself into when Karen gave me the info on this class. However, after about 3 seconds on the MovNat website I was sold. I mean really, could there possibly be anything better than a full day of working out while learning to use your natural environment?

    Karen is a natural at the bars and she was impressive to watch as she hopped up there on her first try with total grace. Meanwhile the men in the class muscled there way up with grunts and groans. I however, looked something more like a donkey trying to climb a tree, with no skill for this type of activity, a weak upper body and no grace. But that is also what this class is all about – giving you tools to learn to do these types of activities and be creative with whatever you’ve got in front of you, no matter your skill level.

    As a long time runner and cyclist I won’t be giving those activities up anytime soon, but suddenly I’m branching out while on my runs and seeing all kinds of opportunities to vary up my workouts while on the trails. I have to admit, the two hours in the Park that Karen and I spent making our own MovNat class this last weekend went by a lot faster than any two hour run I’ve ever been on. Plus, it gave me a full body workout, it was a hell of a lot of fun and all the looks and comments (mostly of admiration) were priceless.

    It’s a blast to learn to be a kid all over again. Thanks Karen!

  2. So, you’re totally gonna kick my ass with this stuff when you come to visit, right?

  3. Sounds awesome! This appeals to me so much more than jogging or using machines in a gym….

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