My Eccentric Journey

Depending on how you pronounce it, the word “eccentric” has two meanings. I’ll let  you look it up, but you are either talking about a weird or off-beat character or characteristic, or you are talking about a type of movement. While either definition may be applicable to me, the  latter definitely is.  I am starting on a journey to become certified to teach Essentrics®. This is a fitness program designed to rebalance every part of the body through simultaneous stretching and strengthening of all 650 muscles. I’ll bet you didn’t know that you had that many muscles!  The program name uses the “soft c” pronunciation, with a different spelling: Essentrics®–tweaked by using part of the creator’s name: Miranda Esmonde White. Miranda is a former member of the National Ballet of Canada, and since developing this program, she has become a TV personality, author, much-sought after speaker, and of course, she is still teaching.

Miranda Esmonde White    

I’ve been following Miranda’s PBS program “Classical Stretch” for many years, and in the past five years, I’ve seen it change and become more popular. The PBS program seems to be geared more to Baby Boomers, but younger generations wanted this type of strength and stretch program, but maybe with a different name.  Miranda has written two books, and she and her team of instructors, which includes her daughter Sahra, have produced a number of DVDs and mini-videos, which are all available through the website.

Here is Sahra in an Introduction to Essentrics video:

I’ve introduced this program to friends, and now I’ve decided I will become a Level 1 Certified Essentrics® Instructor.  For now, I am an Apprentice Instructor. That’s where the “weird” or “offbeat” part of “eccentric” comes in.  If you’ve been following this blog, you know I have an eccentric form of humour. Telling myself that I could become a fitness instructor at age 65 might be the funniest joke yet. Yet, here’s the thing: I already have the support of family, friends,  a great group of Essentrics® instructors, and the Essentrics® training team, so I will do this. No joke.

This blog will become, in part, a record of this journey, which is just beginning. As with any journey, there will be bumps along the way, and there have already been some detours and delays. There is a lot of material for me to learn, and I have to [gasp] be filmed while teaching a class as part of my certification exam.

So why do this, and why now?

I love doing the exercises as they are a perfect antidote for my chronic pain and fatigue from fibromyalgia.  But who likes to work out alone? By becoming an instructor, I hope I will be able to help friends, family, and others improve their health by improving their posture, reduce or eliminate any pain they may have, tone their muscles, perhaps lose weight, and add an overall enjoyment to their life.  There are so many benefits to this program, which I hope they’ll appreciate and  understand from my teaching. At the very least, I’ll have company for my workouts! With the “milestone” birthday, I thought a new challenge was in order. I also want to, as Miranda and many others are  clearly doing, “age backwards.” (I think she’s 67, and I know there are many people,  including other instructors, who are doing this program well into their 70s and 80s, and beyond.)

Please join me on this eccentric/Essentrics® journey. I know it won’t be easy, but there will be some fun along the way. Who knows? Once I get my certification, you might like me to teach you!  So stay tuned.

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21 thoughts on “My Eccentric Journey

  1. Christine I too am about your age and very recently discovered Eccentrics. I hope to start doing it daily to help this old body. I’m a caregiver and have one client who has fibromyalgia. I’ve been reading Aging Backwards and telling her about it. Even talked to her physical & occipital therapist also it. Could you explain more about how it’s helped with your pain so I can share it with my client. Maybe I should also look into their training. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring me to at least think about it.

    1. Hi Lora. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your comment. I absolutely love this program and find both of Miranda’s books, “Aging Backwards” and “Forever Painless” to have a lot of useful information in them–including great exercises. Essentrics has helped my fibromyalgia pain by relaxing the muscles, and allowing me to move more freely. Simply put, when the muscles are not as tight, there is not as much pain. This is especially true for the muscles surrounding my hips, my hamstring muscles, and the upper arm muscles. Those are the places where the fibromyalgia pain is worse. I just find that when I can move more easily, it is then easier to keep moving and doing these exercises daily. Sometimes I have to slow down the pace, but I keep moving. I hope you will find the same for yourself, and your client. Keep going.

  2. What a great idea! Congratulations. I look forward to reading more about your journey as an instructor with this program. Sounds like it will benefit both your students and you!

    1. Wow, I just tried the video and I admit I find it difficult. I have herniated back discs, fibro (not as bad as many people) and arthritis. This definitely helped to stretch my muscles. Thanks for the link!

      1. Yes, following workouts with Sahra is more challenging. I have a tough time keeping up sometimes and the Level 1 pre-choreographed workout I have to learn is led by her. Following her mother Miranda is easier, and there are videos showing some pain relief exercises you might like. You’ll find them on the Essentrics website, http://www.essentrics.com

    2. Thank you, Suzanne. I hope I not only continue to improve my own health, but do indeed help my students improve theirs. The wonderful thing about this program is that it can be done by anyone, of any age, at any fitness level. Thanks for coming along on the journey with me.

  3. As I sit here having one of my major pain days, I think that this would be just what I need! I’ll look into it when we return in the spring. Good for you for taking on the challenge of getting certified. Look forward to following your journey.

    1. Hi, Juliette, It would be nice if we lived closer to each other, and it’s so great to have your support.
      You can try Essentrics online. There are some short videos on the website, http://www.essentrics.com. There are also DVDs, which I’ve used because our PBS stations are coming in anymore, and when they did, the Classical Stretch program was on at 6 a.m.–too early for me! I will be posting more notes about this journey, so stay tuned. Cheers, and Happy New Year!

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