In conducting my annual review, one of the things that became clear was the importance of a week that I spent in Puerto Rico in June 2017 co-teaching a workshop based on tools that I practice daily but rarely ever speak about or teach.
For background, in the Fall of 2008, I met Anat Baniel. At that time, I was about a year into a very severe neck injury resulting from landing on my head on a trampoline and was looking for ways to recover. I was also fresh out of college and looking for a path forward. I did my undergraduate research – a year long research project culminating in an oral defense and 150 page published dissertation – on how people learn movement. So, in retrospect, it was oddly fitting that I spent several years after college trying to learn again how to move without pain. In meeting Anat, it was immediately obvious to me that this woman knew a lot about how we learn, and I was determined to study with her. While the majority of my college peers went on to their PHDs (Reed College has the highest number of PHDs of any University in the country), I spent four years practicing very subtle movement, first on myself, and then with a wide variety of clients, and then with children with special needs.
As I began to practice with clients, I recognized a need for verbal tools as well as the non-verbal physical coaching that I was providing and ended up studying at the Option Institute for an additional three years. There I learned a form of socratic dialogue and the practice of being completely present with another human being regardless of what they are going through, and how to ask them loving questions.
I’ve continued to practice and refine tools I learned from these organizations, my study of behavior design BJ Fogg at Stanford University, and more tools I’ve picked up over the last decade.
Fast forward to June of 2017, where I taught a small group leadership training on retreat in Puerto Rico. This was the first time that I had taught these tools in public.
When I conducted my annual review, I was surprised to find that the Puerto Rico training stood out even among the many other personal and professional successes of 2017, and I’ve decided to double down on fitness education for the 21st century.
Thus, it is my great pleasure to announce the release of my new podcast, Zander Strong: The Future of Fitness, where I teach tools for cultivating physical health and mental resilience.
These podcasts are short, under 30 minutes, unlike my long form podcast, The Robin Zander Show. Each episode focuses on a specific tool or tactic that you can apply to improve your physical or mental performance.
Please enjoy Zander Strong and subscribe to the show on iTunes.