Exercise vs Right Livelihood: An Open Letter to Michol Dalcourt

Dear Michol,

A pleasure to work with you as always. I am such a slow learner, I need several times exposure to your system to even grasp it, but it yields positive idea results when I do.

For example, we got a freak early snowstorm up here in Maine while I was down in New York with you at Equinox. (Boy, we were sitting there a lot, weren’t we? – the paradox right in front of us: the wide gulf between the rich potential and the stagnant actuality of movement in human living.)

Anyway, Mother Nature dumped a foot of wet snow on our unsuspecting farm, breaking lots of branches out of the trees. Everybody else was tired from shoveling and carrying water and all the other inconveniences of having no power, so my job this Sunday afternoon was take the pickup and clean up the detritus.

Sure, you have to lift the branches off the ground with concentric loading, but then it’s across gravity to push and twist them into the truck bed, pull ‘em back out, and chuck ‘em out over the embankment. I was watching myself employ your patterns as I did it. Each ‘rep’ required its own grip on the branch (I want to talk to the trainers someday about hands – very important, big extension of your brain), and each one had its own unique heft and moment of inertia – so a bit repetitive, but not exactly repetitive.

The storm also delayed getting my sailboat hauled out – not often Tycha gets snow-covered. So today I brought her into the dock and off-loaded the sails and the heavy gear that stays here for the winter. While the branches had given my shoulders a lot of ‘high swing’ – abducted and flexed, shifting the bulky sails instead required a low cross-gravity swing. The arm is still abducted to get the bulk of the sail away from your thigh, so you anchor the kinetic chain to the ground on the opposite side, swinging the load around the Lateral Line.

Anyway, your concepts are so practical, and today I am especially grateful that I am not having to go to a gym for my movement, that my life provides it, gratis and variable. And meaningful: Everyone else is glad the branches are no longer underfoot.



Michol Dalcourt is the director of the Institute of Motion and the creator of the ViPR exercise system. He can be found at: http://instituteofmotion.com/