MovNat Day 2: This aint no picnic

It just keeps getting better & better or worse & worse, depending on your perspective. Those who are here, of course, know it’s getting better. They’re just having the quality and comprehensiveness of what they signed up for confirmed for them.

It’s truly remarkable, and different. Long days. No time wasted. But I’m walking dead right now and it’s coming up on 11pm. I’m sitting in Erwan’s car in the parking lot of a Burger King on WiFi getting this done.

One of the things that’s different about this is that you never know exactly when mealtime is, what sort of training you’re going to be doing, how long it’s going to last or when you’re done for the day. But on both days we’ve gone from morning (today, 30 minutes of primal & functional stretching exercises before breakfast) until late, after 7pm.

Eggs and Fuit Nuts in Coconut Milk
Eggs and Fruit & Nuts in Coconut Milk

After that meal we did breathing exercises that takes the breathing one learns in a Yoga class to a functional level that’s used in all of Natural Movement. This included holding your breath. Now, in the assessment drills on day one I did a 2:10, beaten only by Barefoot Ted at around 2:30, I think. But today, after breakfast, not getting to sleep until 2am (rain, rain and more rain) and exhaustion, I could barely manage 1:30.

I was so tired but self defense training really breathed new life into me. I was particularly interested in this because I have never had any fight training. Interesting. Freeze, Flight, Fight, in that order. You train to fight for self-defense (but often by being very offensive & aggressive) so that you can have a very short freeze reaction and then take flight: get your ass out of there; that is, if you can’t do that right from the start.

They wore us out, having us throw endless palm & elbow punches using proper hip rotation. Ah, lunch…

Zuchini Noodle Spaghetti
Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti

And ha, it wasn’t raw vegan this time. Since the one guy eating veg (for the last 7 months) caved to the beef last night — and Allie the camp chef had some leftovers — it when in the sauce (it was a cold dish, very yummy and would have been great even without the added meat.

Thank god we finally got a sunny day, and so after lunch it was off the the lake via a hike through the wilderness of 2.5 miles or so. Many obstacles along the way offered opportunities to practice new skills for just getting by in a jungle-like environment like a human animal.

The water training spot on Summersville lake is diving, as well as secluded. Most people would not brave the rugged trail to get there.

Summersville Lake Water Training
Summersville Lake Water Training

We spent a time hauling around a huge water logged-log, then did some drills with sticks and awareness I can’t describe, then did drills seeing how far we could dive down to get to the bottom. Many of us did 12-15 feet, but I think Barefoot Ted went the deepest at around 20 or so.

Finally it was a hike back and more training, this time first cleaning heavy logs (from one end), then cleaning and pressing them. And then after that, it was jumping from balance beam to balance beam, placing them farther apart with each success. Finally, we called it a day at 7:30 pm.

Mr MovNat
Mr MovNat

That’s a photo I took of Erwan earlier today to send to a magazine editor who’s doing a story on MovNat.

No photo of dinner as I was too busy eating and plus we were faked out with an earlier dinner. But we had enormous chicken breasts with a great fresh veggie/pepper puree sauce, some sweet potatoes and green beans.

Here’s a list of links to all the posts in this series.

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  1. Bay Area Sparky on July 14, 2010 at 21:06

    I’m guessing you’re gonna sleep real well tonight. Kudos on posting at the end of another long day.

  2. Michelle on July 14, 2010 at 21:27

    Love it! Looks fantastic, thank-you for sharing!

  3. Michãel on July 14, 2010 at 22:03

    Really loving reading about this and seeing your photos. Thanks for your efforts!

  4. clif on July 14, 2010 at 23:18

    I’m getting more and more excited for my course starting the 26th.

  5. Dan Linehan on July 15, 2010 at 00:17

    It really does not surprise me that Barefoot Ted is winning everything.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 15, 2010 at 04:32

      I didn’t say that, Dan. There is a number of things he excels at. Others at other things. For instance, I outperformed everyone on clean & press both in terms of the heaviest log they have and the number of reps & sets I did.

      • Alex on July 16, 2010 at 07:28

        NICE WORK Richard. Sounds like your trim-down/bulk-up/whatever phase you went through the past several months has paid dividends!

  6. michael on July 15, 2010 at 04:56

    Hi Richard,
    This is really interesting to read your take on this experience. It sounds a little like some field exercises I did in the Marines…..almost 30 years ago. I remember the long days, not knowing when we would eat, not knowing how long we were going to be doing whatever it was we were doing, and dealing with whatever weather was happening at the moment. Being tired. And the sleeping arrangements also. Tent city in sleeping bags. I bet this is a great experience. What surprised you most about this trip?, or what have you learned about yourself while there you didn’t know before? Thanks for the “live” updates.

  7. JP @ Primal Journal on July 15, 2010 at 05:39

    It’s only getting better and better!

  8. ben on July 15, 2010 at 06:31

    richard, love the updates, thanks so much. I first heard about movnat from your initial mention of it months ago and i quickly read the site thoroughly, all the testimonials, etc. I was really thinking about doing it then, well, life happens yknow.
    At any rate, ive grown to trust your various recommendations on your site and your comments in general so getting the play by play is really killer. Thanks and best of luck there. Show em what you got, no mercy!

  9. Dean on July 15, 2010 at 06:56

    Great getting your daily report about MovNat. I’ve been thinking of attending one of those picnics soon:).

  10. David Csonka on July 15, 2010 at 07:15

    Richard, did you guys get visited by the hornets yet? They have a nest/hive near the beginning of that running trail. I got stung like four different times throughout the week. lol

  11. Joyful.Fig on July 15, 2010 at 07:48

    I am in awe of your breath-holding abilities!

  12. Fitness Explorer on July 15, 2010 at 12:45

    Those wasps, I remember them chasing us last week for a good 15 metres. We had to try and outrun them, now that’s natural movement! :-)

  13. Paul C on July 15, 2010 at 13:07

    Haven’t tried to time breath-holding in forever. I just managed 1:40 sitting at my desk, better than I thought I would do.

    Do they teach holding techniques?

  14. bart on July 15, 2010 at 14:28

    hey Richard, doesn’t the new iphone also shoot video? ;)

  15. Kurt G Harris MD on July 15, 2010 at 21:06

    Good reporting. Maybe you are being comped as a guest, but can you tell me the normal fee for this week of training? I tried to find the price on the MovNat website but could not find the price information.

  16. pieter d on July 15, 2010 at 23:37

    @ Dr. Harris,

    I think the fee is on this page:

  17. Kurt G Harris MD on July 16, 2010 at 08:20

    @ Peter and Seuils


  18. Cynthia K. on July 16, 2010 at 12:54

    Thanks for taking the time to post about it all when you must be so tired. I am finding this so interesting. The zucchini noodles have got me wanting to run out to the market for zukes! I was never much for group living situations (camp, dorms, retreats = ug), so learning about it and getting the vicarious experience through your blog is just right.

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