I have just returned from an amazing week in Athens where I participated in the Fighting Monkey Internship by Rootlessroot. There are so many great things to say about it but to truly understand it you would have to experience it yourself.
I tried not to have too many expectations prior to the event because first of all it was the first trip out of the country with our 11 weeks old daughter and secondly because giving birth to her ended with an acute c-section that I’m still recovering from. Anyway, I always like to be prepared but how could I prepare for the unknown! I did it by going for long walks with the baby and by practicing strength, movement and muay thai.
Linda and Jozef are the people behind the fighting monkey practice. They are not only two amazing human beings who are continuously researching and developing a beautiful and important practice but they are also parents. It’s definitely a rare kind. We were exposed to many inspiring concepts from their research as well as many frustrating and enjoyable movement situations and games. Like when we worked with handmade wooden balls or the clay which was not only heavy and large but also irregular. Working with it included carrying, throwing, hitting, pushing, pulling, wrestling and playing with it. It was some great tools to challenge everyone in more than one way; you had to adapt to the form, size, weight and to trust the partner you were playing with. I experienced that I love to be creative and it made me feel recharged and calm afterwards.
We were also exposed to rhythm and new coordinations which could be described as advance dancing but when it was studied more closely you could tell or you were shown that it had evolved from basic human movement patterns such as walking, jumping, pushing, playing ect. I felt frustrated because it took some time for me to get the coordinations and to do it on the beat and other times I didn’t get it at all. After a while I realised that my frustration was actually making it harder for me to learn the patterns so I tried to be less serious about it and not to care if I looked silly and I ended up enjoying those rhythmical coordinations very much.
Jozef and Linda shared many stories with us through their research and practice. I was reminded that many of us, including myself, are pursuing our training to become more healthy and are constantly aiming for more reps, load or more advanced skills but there are so much more to it. I’m actually nourishing myself when I’m training. I use the energy and power I get from it to enjoy more of life, make lovely relationships with my surroundings and in that way I’m nourishing the world – or at least a part of it. In that way the internship was also very beneficial for me – as a mother, partner and as an individual. Since I became a mother the love for my daughter, partner, family and friends has grown like never before – it’s overwhelming. I’m constantly putting my daughters need ahead of mine which is primary meaning a huge lack of sleep and at the same time I try to expose her to my world so she is basically with me everywhere; when I’m teaching, seeing family and friends, training and travelling. So far everything is going very well and I love my new role as a mother and I hope the way that she is being raised will nourish her life forever.
We were also reminded not to get too greedy in our practice but it does also applies for everything in life. When I look back I can see that I have been greedy. I wanted to become a physiotherapist and when it didn’t exceed my expectations I started to study osteopathy. At the same time I was building up my own company and working 2-3 jobs, training to develop as a fighter and to achieve more advanced movement skills, researching and observing to improve as a teacher. I wanted it all and at the same time, and it became to much. I’m still cooking a lot of things and I love my life as it is but I also need to realise that some of my dreams contradicts each other. I want to get back into ring and fight again which would require me to specialise but I also want to develop and expand my movement practice which would take me away from specialisation.
There is a decision to be made – but not today. For now I’m enjoying, appreciating and feeling thankful for the experiences, knowledge and relationships that I gained from the Fighting Monkey Internship.