DR KELLY STARRETT – Corona virus, transferrable movement and the adaptable athlete



DR KELLY STARRETT – Corona virus, transferrable movement and the adaptable athlete

Dr Kelly Starrett founder of The Ready State and author of Supple Leopard ( and many more excellent books), takes the time to chat with me about mobility for all types of athletes, transferable movement and training and the adaptable athlete… basically how to get move well, prevent injury and get SMART about your training and longevity in your chosen sport AND training for life! This was an epic interview as we start the chat with our learnings during these unprecedented times.

Jackie: What are you learning?

Dr Kelly: This is really interesting, um do you, have you ever been to an Ikea shop and you see the machine that stress tests the chair

Jackie: Yes

Dr Kelly: And it puts like twenty thousand duty cycles, well I think we’ve been able to sort of stress test our environment, how robust our interpersonal relationships. How solid is our own family, where we’re getting by. How well are our kids able to be independent, to exercise and manage sleep. How are we self soothing, are we leaning on marijuana or, alcohol or food um you know what does this look like? So and then we have this opportunity to ask well how stable are is our profession, if you know I guess this is a black swan event but a lot of people don’t have health insurance and the cost of all these businesses are going under and the cost of the beer in New York is really 10$ but we’ve been charging 4$ for it and that cost means that there is no health insurance for the workers, there is no job security for the owner and the rents are too high and so I know I appreciate that this is crazy but also what is the renaissance?

Are we going outside? Are we walking or are we actually sleeping? Is this the first time we could ever, we could actually get the sleep that we require? So it is am, I think human beings are anti-fragile robust creatures but you know when we’ve been advocating for people to have a home practice for years, decades and now I’m like, well, do you have a home practice or not because you know, you may not get the gains you’re after, you have to have a home practice, you have to be able to meditate, you have to be able to breathe. You have, you know, the good news is we’re spending more time barefoot than ever before, you know, the IPhone 11, eleventeen, XS? doesn’t really matter very much

Jackie: Exactly

Dr Kelly: Right? The skies are clear so I don’t know I mean it’s really an interesting time. What’s really interesting is if you’re beyond the existential threat of food and security, job and security.
I feel like you’re working it 2x. Most of our friends are working like they’ve never worked in their lives and there is no, what we’ve seen is that there is no off switch, there is no routine of schedules to say “I’ve work enough, right and, and so there’s sort of desperation I wanted” and, so people are putting in this freakishly long days and aren’t very healthy right now

Jackie: Yeah

Dr Kelly: So interesting

Jackie: So interesting and yeah and I’ve certainly discovered things about myself during this time

Dr Kelly: Like what? tell me more

Jackie: Well I mean just how, how much I deprived myself of self care, and sleeping well and my own exercise and, you know, I’ve, my business has always been number one in my life and you know, not because I’m a selfish person, it’s all about business, business, money, money, um like maybe, In 2016, I, I, expanded my business and literally went from a room 20 square meter room to a 180 square meters, where, it was, you know, several treatment rooms, two studios where we could start these movement classes and what not and it was the most fuckin’ stressful three years of my life and so that conditioned me to just work work work ’cause there was no other way, like there was no other way to make rent and pay all the expenses so that luckily came to uh, I, downsized in the beginning of 2019 which has been a blessing and so slowly was finding my feet again on how to just nurture myself and um and then hilariously this year everything just pulled, pulled me back even more, it’s like “lets really sit you down!”

Dr Kelly: Yeah well what’s interesting is you know, we’ve, we see a whole shift in dynamic. Can I see my physio? Who’s responsible for pain? So some of the conversations I think that we initiated a few years ago or you know, really have said “hey we need to shift and re empower people to take care of their bodies to be able to feel again, to be able to self regulate” there is so much noise from then where I, I, would, get on the Instagram and I’d be like look at this girl showing her butt making a good living 1.3 million followers not putting out content, look at this genius people coaching, teaching empowering you know and I, I, could if you know like the CBD toothpaste, the MCT, you know, nail polish gimmick, you know booty sprout um,

Jackie: Booty sprout is that a thing? haha

Dr Kelly: You bet it is and I hope, I hope a lot of that stuff dies uh and I hope that the people who who run those companies are okay but, there were so much sort of um shallow quick scheme, quick fix and I think you know we really have moved away from what’s important and what we have found I think, potentially is what’s essential. How do we empower people from afar am you know, where having to teach people how to work in their homes you know for the first time I mean thank goodness we wrote a book a few years ago called Deskbound

Jackie: Yup

Dr Kelly: Which is all about, hey by the way if you’re gonna have a home setup you know, here are some things to consider, you know, we’ve all been working on laptops of late, and that’s not what we’re supposed to do, this is the portable computer

Jackie: Exactly

Dr Kelly: This isn’t our main computer we’re supposed to have a big screen we’re supposed to be able to look far, we’re supposed to walk around a bunch so you know it, it, is very interesting and I would just say that you know like you, anyone who creates a business or does anything extraordinary works their asses off and you may not, you may not survive it’s, it’s to be done once you can’t do that amount of output again and I universally look around at my extraordinary friends and all of them had had a phase where we’re taking the aeroplane off, and it takes full throttle and then being able to recognize when we have to fall back so that it’s sustainable, so what is sustainable now how, how do we build, if this is our new reality, this is the reality of globalism not globalization, globalization is the promise of interconnected markets and multiral, multicultural sharing and identity, globalism is the race of the bottom of cause of outsourcing of key elements right and you know, I don’t know if you know in Australia but it is very hot and you have fires

Dr Kelly: And I live in Northern California and we share this in common and this is a snapshot of, of climate change and I, I think what’s really interesting now is this has been terrible for so many people.

But let’s call this a dress rehearsal so then when the next virus comes around or the next catastrophe you know catastrophe comes around, were we better prepare to say or were more resilient this time or do we fail to learn all of the lessons, you know, and I think this is really interesting, I, it’s really I mean there, it’s so intellectually interesting once we move beyond the horror

Jackie: Yeah absolutely and it’s not like this is, this is never happened before I mean if we look back and obviously we really, you know, we’ve come a long way in terms or our, our ability to treat and all the vaccines and everything being produced and what we’ve got access to now the… but always been around and viruses yeah so

Dr Kelly: Yeah this is, this is the new feature of our world, that means we need to think differently about having a bigger first aid kit at home

Jackie: Yeah

Dr Kelly: Having being able to manage stress from my children ah if you think you have it bad, right, think about people who are at home with children and I don’t know your family situation but running school at home is very tricky right now, I have two teenagers, but one of my friends just texted me and she said, you know, “I thought it was really great idea to have my daughter in French immersion school and she’s like, but the problem is, she’s, all her homework and all her edu… all the communications in French and I don’t speak French” and I was like well just when you think it can’t get worst, it gets worst

Jackie: Excellent and the silver lining is?

Dr Kelly: That’s right that summer vacation is here right, that there’s always, there’s always a cold VB waiting for you

Jackie: Haha I don’t drink so ah, chocolate is my vice

Dr Kelly: Ah I don’t know if that’s a vice and I think what really is interesting is, to, to put that awareness of you know, this defence mechanisms, self soothing mechanisms and not to say that it’s bad but to say ah “why am I reaching to the chocolate right now” you know and then, and then you self identify so you know you use this defence mechanisms which are there “hey when I’m stressed I really feel hungry hmm why am I crushing why am I falling face first into this cheesecake? it turns out maybe I’m really stressed”

Jackie: it loves me back!

Dr Kelly: “What do I do about that” so you know I, what I think though is that for the first time ever we have been able to connect the dots between extraordinary communities of yoga and breath and movements and weightlifting, gymnastics and running, triathlon? which really gives us access to best practice and we have a way to really up everyone’s game. You know if I ask the average teenager or a young adult or even you know, middle age person of myself, you know, the questions about self care, they are an order of magnitude and more sophisticated than my parents were at this age right, about you know the patriarchy is different now around medicine, you know the conversations we’re having here on food are much more sophisticated but you know this is a chance for us to really think about “hey in my skill se, can I keep myself antifragile, can I be robust?” How, what are the, what are the essentials here and that’s how really great conversations so again we either win or we learn I think that’s a Nelson Mandela quote and if we’re not winning I hope we’re learning a lot

Jackie: Absolutely, alright well, oh and another thing do you prefer doctor Kelly or Kelly or?

Dr Kelly: Well ah this is the deepest secret between us and the podcast audiences that my friends called me Kel

Jackie: Kel? shall I call you Kel?

Dr Kelly: Kel is great

Jackie: Oh I feel like we’ve been mates forever now

Dr Kelly: For sure and my family loves Australia, am, we are due, for another trip back I was looking on the wall to see if we had any of our Australia photos, so we’re, we’re due for another trip back and we can’t wait to travel

Jackie: Will you be coming to Adelaide?

Dr Kelly: Oh absolutely we have to go see the, the you guys have a team there, we gotta go see ah..

Jackie: I actually work at the Port Adelaide football club, well, I was one of the contracted massage therapist, but that all that’s not.., This was gonna be the 3rd season but that’s obviously no longer happening due to obvious reasons but yeah, hopefully those games will get started soon

Dr Kelly: Yes so were due back and what’s really fun you know, the, I think what we’re going to learn, one of the things we’re going to learn is that we always have access to remote coaching but there is no substitution for being in a room of people and I don’t mean to make this step into the metaphysical or philosophically ah realm but Jesus said it, the Buddha said it, Mohammad said it, you have to be together

Jackie: Yeah

Dr Kelly: Wherever you gather I’ll be there, these are fundamentals, truths about being human and were missing to share the experience

You know we went to ah to Hamilton where my youngest daughter is a fan. Right before ah the break am and you know the magic of being in the same room together is extraordinary and there is really something missing right now from shared experience of shared practice and when we throw around the word tribe a little bit sometimes, it’s a little bit casual affiliation but um, there’s real loss and death right now, of this sense of community and that I am only by myself or I’m only my entire you know psycho-emotional needs are being met by just a handful of people and that’s, that’s, we really have to work to overcome that and I think we’ll see that you know people are going to need each other more and we need each other more now than we ever did and this practice of showing up and seeing a teacher of surrendering of being vulnerable in this moment you know we, we have, you know the bio-psycho-social moment idea around sort of the whole human person as a member of society as a collection of experiences not just a biomotor machine has really won that, you know, has recently come back up to the forefront in terms of talking about pain and recognizing that pain is very complex

Jackie: Yeah

Dr Kelly: But what I’ll say is have you ever been in a community that train or exercise or practice together like I show up and I’m like “hey why are you sucking? today Jackie?” you know like well “I’m very stress” and were having some immediate feedback and a mechanism by which we could talk about sleep, talk about food, talk about care, talk about feeling safe and that’s gone and so what we’ve done is, we said, here is this place which is the greatest diagnostic tool we’ve ever had and suddenly here we are trying to do it ourselves and, and that goes against our DNA as human beings, it’s not natural

Jackie: Yeah well I’ll look forward to you coming to Australia and wherever you are, I’ll be!

Listen to the complete interview on the podcast.

Where to find Dr Kelly Starrett

Website: www.thereadystate.com

Instagram: @thereadystate

Facebook: @thereadystate

Youtube: The Ready State

Get in touch: jackie@jackietann.com  |  @jackietann_rmt

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