Public Health

Movement is my Mistress

Our relationship began when I was nine months old, rolling my infant walker down the sloped floor of my parents’ apartment. By five years old, my alluring partner in motion had me climbing doorframes and hallways. Years six through twelve we made the pact to master the martial arts.

As a high schooler, she helped me claim the Wisconsin state freshman gymnastics title for parallel bars. In my later teenage years, she had me throwing double twisting somersaults from the diving board. And, at college in New Mexico, she enticed me to launch my snowboard-strapped body from big cliffs.

No matter what hardship I’ve suffered, she has always been at my side, ready to console with a solid trail run or some old-school calisthenics. In our more intimate moments, we’ve explored yoga, skateboarding, surfing, and capoeira. Her drug is irresistible, but don’t get me wrong — we’ve had our bad moments. Two shoulder surgeries and a bone sticking out of my knee are some of the worst injuries I suffered from our tangles.

I’m thirty-five years old now, happily married with a respectable career as a physical therapist, but my mistress and I still get together now and then. Sometimes we’ll catch up at the local bouldering gym or escape together for a bit of impromptu acrobatics. Not that my wife doesn’t notice. She does. But thankfully she turns a blind eye to my fooling around. What can I say? I guess she knows some relationships are impossible to untangle.

Mad Skills is not a treatise about the love of movement — I would have to write that at in some other more creative context. It is my professional attempt to give you the skills to be fit enough to pursue your love of movement, at whatever pace or vigor that you choose.

The stronger and more flexible you are, the better you can move. Period.

What you and movement choose to do in your private time . . . that’s none of my business.

[Preface to the 1st edition of the Mad Skills Exercise Encyclopedia © 2013]

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