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“You expect me to just pay bills and die?”

The Way You Move

The Way You Move

It's one in the afternoon.  I sit anxiously awaiting Mr. Rabbit's beckon and call.  You see, I'm seven and a half years old, today is show and tell.  I don't have anything tangible to display for the gawking eyes.  What I do have is Kid 'N Play's 'Fun House' on cassette and the dance routine from House Party.  I've been tirelessly mimicking moves, while wearing out the VHS taping of the film.  With no further adieu, "Marque, what do you have to show us?"  I look into the fictional camera a la Ferris Bueller and make my strut to the board.

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I wish I could make that story up, but its actually true.  I've always been a fan of movement.  Long before GSP, Anderson 'the Spider' Silva and Mystic Mac.  Before Ginuwine got women wet to the motion of his 'Pony'.  I grew up on poorly dubbed kung fu films and MJ dance battling opposing gangs in the subway.  My journey started there and it took me awhile to fully grasp what it was.  I had no idea that movement training was even a thing.

Now, a couple decades later, I now praise every movement coach I've seen from Ido Portal to the Jabbawockeez to the aforementioned UFC fighters to Magic enticing the ladies to touch his Mike.  I always found something a little wayward with the gym rats who could barely move their neck from side to side.   Grunting from lifting weights that are clearly too heavy for them to manage, while wearing undershirts that scream "I don't fit you!"  Bonus points if you can name that reference.  I wanted to be smooth like Spiderman and defined like your favourite R&B songbird.  Not for the aesthetic of being large, but I wanted to be healthy.  Far from frail, but the opposite of meathead.

I marvel at how popular movement training has become.  Parkour and extreme sports garner as much interest as your typical, big business sports.  The emergence of fluidity in yoga studios across the world has become more than just a single mom's solace.  My goal adjusted from doing these motions for myself to doing them from my future children.  I have always wanted to be an active parent who takes the time to promote a healthy body and mind.  That has become my motivation for training every day.

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This is a fair and balanced view of how you can hit your physical goals with calisthenics over weights, activity over cardio and a healthy dose of sleep and nutrition to boost.  To look youthful and feel energetic while others wane and tire.  Take it from the guy who hates the gym, you can make yourself enjoy the movement of it all.  So, here's some places to check out locally that offer something different.

The Monkey Vault (100 Symes Rd. Toronto)

This is not a gym, we don't really deal in fitness. You wont find fancy machines here, nor will we try to sell you a magical dream pill. This centre is a place dedicated to movement and all other things come as byproducts to learning how to move better. Parkour, Free running, Tricking, Gymnastics, Breakdancing, Circus Arts, Stunt training, whatever you want to call what you do and for whatever reason you come here, the base of each remains the same. Each requires discipline; each requires proper training. That's why this place exists! That's why the people inside it train so passionately! This place was created to inspire others to reach newer and higher levels, push people past their previous boundaries, and allow them to prove to themselves what they are made of. We all have monkeys inside us, but as we grow older this feeling, this passion for movement dies away. It shouldn't.  This is taken straight from their site and if you aren't tingling just thinking about the possibilities, visit the gym and you'll be floored.

Moksha Yoga Toronto (Uptown, Downtown, Danforth, Bloor West, St. Clair West)

My first experience with this studio was humbling on the grandest level.  I went in drinking my own Kool-Aid, believing myself to be fluid and I got crushed.  The class I frequent is Jock Yoga, it is not for beginners - which I still believe I am.  The instructors I've had have all been amazing.  They not only teach you the value of movement, but even more important, they teach you how to breathe correctly.  You would never believe breathing was such an optimal part, but through breathing I've cured my snoring and reached new speeds in free running.  Check them out!

Paul Brown Boxfit (661 Yonge St.)

The film 'Creed' sparked something in my soul.  My boy, Corey, told me about his dad's gym and I immediately started skipping and training my mental state to embark on this journey,  Next week marks my first step into the boxing realm and I'm ecstatic for the fitness level, hand/eye coordination, discipline and effects it'll have on my body.  If you're even looking to protect yourself and become familiar with how to throw a punch, this is for you.  I'll have more for you in the upcoming months as I become more proficient.

Swimming, as someone who is terrified of drowning, I made it my mission to jump in.  While my treading technique still leaves something to be desired, I continue to push through mental barriers.  This is a great opportunity to work muscles that you never knew existed.  

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Dance, dance revolution and I don't mean that corny machine.  If it isn't clear by now, I love to dance.  I'll be doing it well into old age.  I love the movement to the rhythm and when you find a partner, its like fitting the last part in a ten thousand piece puzzle.  Ball room, Salsa, hip hop are my favourites, but I'm not married to only those forms.  I'll do any dance and you should absolutely try it too.

Without overloading your brain, I'll let this resonant.  There's a vast array of things to try that aren't your typical Goodlife or LA Fitness, these are just a few.  You can attain your goals without worrying about ridicule from people who seem farther in their mastery.  Take your time, breathe and pick something that offers both fun and exercise.

Marque Cecil