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Movement Is Freedom

I've outlined a guide of exercises to shape your body and mind. We can control so little in life. COVID-19 is proof of that but I'm going to teach you how to be the best at what you can control.

By G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock
By G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock

As you read this memo I urge you to participate in the activities provided below. These exercises I am about to share with you have been my life’s work. I now use them as a tool to persevere. Here is a little background on me. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, living with my mom and brother. My dad passed away when I was 11, from what I later found out was a drug overdose. My brother and I were close and we had a ton of neighborhood friends. Our vast exposure to our friend group led us to realize our narrative was a bit different from everyone else’s.

We lived off welfare in a three-deep, small two-bedroom apartment. We never had a working oven. My mom did not work and often we had to use candles to light up the house.We have been on the street due to being evicted. There were times when we didn’t have a dollar in our pocket. These moments could seem paralyzing to some people. Despite the rocky living situation my mother had an unwavering love for me (I am for sure a momma’s boy).

It didn’t take me long to realize that I did not have control over most things. I used exercise as a way to be free. It didn’t cost me anything and I could do it anywhere. I took that feeling of being free and created a life for myself. Boxing competitively for over 12 years as well as becoming a performance coach for athletes and some of the most inspiring and successful people in the world. I am choosing to open up to you now so that you understand no matter what, you don’t have to be a victim. You have what it takes to be the best at what you can control.

Now that you understand me a bit better lets get to it.

Step 1. Write down in this moment what you’re grateful for.

Step 2. Create room for a mat or simply use your carpet. If you don’t have either, the floor is fine just put a pillow down.

Step 3. Perform a cat/cow On your hands and knees begin to arch your back and round your back for one minute.

Step 4. Rolling side plank. For one minute you’re going to alternate side planks.

Step 5. One minute of MAX effort push ups. ( On your knees if needed. )

Step 6. From a standing position you’re going to squat and from that squat you will walk your hands out into a high plank position and then return with your hands to a standing position. Repeat for one minute.

Step 7. Lying on your chest with your arms out in front of you create a Y shape then lift your head and chest off the ground. Focusing on squeezing your back then return to the starting position. Repeat for a minute.

Step 8. Jumping jacks for one minute.

Last step. Write down again what you’re grateful for and this time mention three things that you love about yourself.

You see freedom doesn’t always mean being able to travel or go out to a restaurant or the gym. Freedom is having the ability to master the very little that we do have control over like your mind and body. If you can master those two, you’ll always be free.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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