Laurel is one of the most dedicated, committed, and heart felt athletes and all around humans I’ve ever met. If you have had the pleasure of working out with and/or mobilizing with Laurel, you know she is deserving of both Athlete AND Mobili-buddy of the Month simultaneously. It is an honor to highlight her this month and share her story with you.
What first drew you to adding mobility into your routine?
My physical circumstances (dealing with the long term aftermath of injury) meant that I always knew stretching, “mobilizing” were going to be key to getting stronger and fitter. A little back story, when I was 18 I was in a serious motorcycle accident that left me with a crushed pelvis, 2 broken femurs and a broken tibia and fibula on my left leg. I survived, I thrived and added a yoga practice to help live with the arthritis that was one of the longterm impacts of my injuries. Fast forward to 2010 I got a full hip replacement that really freed me from pain and gave me back my body. I started crossfit. I loved/hated it. And I knew that I had a deficit in range of motion, and half a lifetime of compensatory biomechanics to overcome.
What was your first mobility experience like?
Welcoming, safe and challenging, as is fitting with the core beliefs of Solcana. I want to stress that mobility is a benefit for EVERYONE not just someone recovering from injury or a lifetime of limitation. EVERY BODY is improved by stretching, sometimes it is your spirit that gets opened along with your hips. Don’t feel like you are flexible enough and are too embarrassed or frustrated to try it out in an intimidating yoga studio? Solcana mobility is a safe place to learn and grow. To flex a mental muscle and learn to become “comfortable being uncomfortable”.
What are the benefits you’ve noticed from incorporating mobility?
Mental, emotional, physical. I can’t really count the ways that having a regular mobility program has helped me. I find it really is in line with the Crossfit and weightlifting programming. It definitely has improved my core and my shoulder strength and my weightlifting form. FORM is FUNCTION in weightlifting and my lifting has definitely improved. Recovery from both injury and the day to day DOMS are a plus too. Who doesn’t want to reduce those DOMS, really? Mentally and emotionally it has helped me to push past concerns over how I look trying a particular posture, and become more accepting of my body now. The meditation practice has helped me to be more present and given me some distance from otherwise overwhelming emotions. That is an amazing gift that will serve me well as we face the future.
Is there anything that gets you really jazzed about mobility?
I’M CHEAP, and I love getting a deal and this is an amazing value!! We already know that informed, intelligent programming and coaching is worth paying for at Solcana, but I want to get every penny’s worth out of my membership and the amount of knowledge and support that you can get from the amazing coaches is a steal. Seriously, drop in classes or memberships at yoga studios can be expensive. It is so convenient too. IT’S RIGHT THERE. Integrated Stretching and Health (meditation, group acupuncture) is RIGHT NEXT DOOR and you’ve already paid for it. How cool is that!
Any embarrassing mobility moments you want to share?
Oh I suppose I have an embarrassing moment or two (give or take a thousand). Once when we were using chairs as a prop, I slid out and under and the chair folded up around me. I needed help getting out. But I laughed pretty damn hard. One of the instructors likes to say “we are just a bunch of friends rolling around on the floor in a basement” and that is about as safe a place to do something embarrassing as you can find.
What one piece of advice or insight would you share with someone that may be reserved about mobility?
Mobility is for EVERYONE. I see it as integral to my strength and metabolic conditioning. I’m never going to be hyper-flexible, I have real limits that I bring to class. We all have them, and everybody’s limits are different. But I can feel changes, and I feel much more comfortable exploring and bumping up against those limits. I really think mobility can help us all push our limits to new heights.
Anything else you’d like to share?
It doesn’t take much time and the rewards are much bigger than the effort it takes to walk through the door. I might be spent and hungry after a WOD or a day at work, but I ALWAYS feel changed for the better when I get out of a mobility class.