Are We Really Broken People?

Yesterday at CrossFit Chilliwack my instructor Jay told us about a two day free presentation that started today. Kelly Starett is a hugely popular Crossfit athlete as well as physical therapist who put together a Primer for Basic Human Movement where the second part can be viewed tomorrow Jan. 31 at 9am PST.

The presentation was brimming with information and if you can watch it tomorrow, I highly recommend it. Replays can also be purchased with PDF downloads as well.

I was pretty much riveted to my laptop screen from 9 to 4 as the keys to alleviating the pain, stiffness, and poor balance in my body were virtually handed to me and everybody else watching the presentation.

He said that our bodies have not changed much for thousands of years but that currently we’ve been spending our “genetic inheritance.” Our miraculous bodies have the capability of surviving to 110 years because they have the capacity to self heal. Because we are making basic mistakes in how we move most of us are not pain free. We do not have a basic template for maintaining the proper posture or as he calls it “organizing” ourselves and as a result we are causing damage to our bodies.

The Quest for Unblocking and Balance

Centuries ago “pockets of embodied knowledge” existed so that one could learn how best to align the body. We have only to look at statues and illustrations to see how the body was aligned with the chakras and how warriors crouched mindfully into the perfect squat, poised for combat.

The Quest for Unblocking Goes Far Back in Time

The Quest for Unblocking Goes Far Back in Time

We now have the opportunity to get our bodies organized and by accepting the challenge we can stop making basic movement errors. The alternative is to live  imprisoned in a body that will degenerate to the point where we won’t be able to participate in the basics of living a daily lifestyle that we have taken for granted for so many decades.

My aging body is slowly being seized up by blockage points. I am going to explore places in my anatomy where most people choose not to go to discover why I have limited mobility.  My shoulders and knees for example  hold me back from executing full squats and other useful movements.

You don’t have to have a crooked back like me to start feeling the repercussions of our modern day lifestyle. When your knees are stuck in a flexed position all the time such as in front of the computer or the steering wheel, the knee rotation will be limited. It will actually get stuck so you won’t be able to hyper extend it and that in turn will limit mobility for another function you will want to execute. Eventually, this could lead to a new knee so if you don’t mind surgery and sedation and have great confidence in your surgeon, you don’t need to change anything.

Kelly and his guest Jill Miller introduced how using lacrosse and yoga balls are useful tools in self maintenance. By learning how to deep tissue massage, we can open up the pathways to areas in our bodies that are blocked due to how we live.

Relief Between the Shoulder Blades

Relief Between the Shoulder Blades

We sit all day and are “maladapting”…we are adapting to poor posture, locked joints, poor breathing and the list goes on.

We all know that the palms of our hands and balls of our feet are well cushioned and designed to resist any deformation. Our feet handle 10,000 steps a day. But not our butts. With high pressure and high body temperature bearing down, our rear ends are subjected to what he calls “butt lamination”. The layers of tissue are being pressed into the wrong position causing problems with movement and resulting in pain.

And once you have pain, it is often too late. When swelling, numbness and tingling result then often damage is done. Kelly stresses the importance of identifying the problem well in advance of any indication of pain. It is possible to do this by observing how well our anatomical hinges and levers work. Wherever there is misalignment this can be corrected.

Yesterday I practiced massaging my back with a lacrosse ball by placing it between my back and the wall. It helps to release muscle tension that is otherwise hard to reach.  I’m buying these hard and soft balls this weekend to help get my spine and breathing “organized”.

Back to the Basics with the Lotus Position and Jump Roping

I’ve also decided to try to sit cross-legged in front of the computer for timed periods throughout the day. I know this will certainly hurt in the beginning since I have a lot of retraining to do but when I get visions of pushing a walker by the time I’m 70 I know I’ll get over it. Over time it will get easier.

Cross Legged Table for a Cross Legged Person

Cross Legged Table for a Cross Legged Person

Another activity I’m initiating is jump roping for at least five minutes every day. Not only does it help with coordination but it makes you feel like a kid again.

Get Your Butt in the Air

Get Your Butt in the Air

The World of Broken People is Closer Than You Think

Kelly had several slides illustrating the World of Broken People around us and we just take it for granted and are oblivious to them. Feet with big bunions, slouching backs, and weak bellies paraded past slide after slide showing how many millions of people are running their machine into the ground until it stops functioning.

Most don’t know what to fix since they don’t have the basic knowledge so they end up doing “Press and Guess” tactics.

You don’t have to be suffering from scoliosis like me to benefit from body organization”. Many people, super athletes included, are not enjoying an aligned body. So the next time you are out shopping, take a look around at the overall condition of our fellow mankind. It’s a wake-up call for sure.

For tomorrow’s presentation, just go to and sign up.


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