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.
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.