MEET TIM: LEGEND, SURFER, WRITER & BARISTA
Tim is a great friend of mine from Sydney, who I go way back with. We met around 18 or 19, back when we were little shits running around with our shirts off at punk shows, punching the air and screaming swear words. We’ve done our fair share of head banging and probably caused a few neck problems from it too. Looking back, what I love about those early years in the punk and hardcore scene is that they really instilled a strong desire to look after ourselves and the life we’ve been given. Even though I’m a techno guy now, I still feel like the roots of our past continue to run through me.
This past weekend Tim attended a Foundation Training workshop in Sydney at my good buddy Nic Laidlaw’s Balanced Studio in Avalon. Tim is an amazing story teller and co-creator of his own quarterly publication; North Journal. Because I am so stoked to hear when a friend of mine gets to experience this stuff, I thought it would be fun to catch a few words with Tim and hear what he had to say about his experience with Foundation Training.
Read on below...
I’m stoked your got your feet wet with some FT and even more stoked to hear how well received it was. Thanks heaps for sitting down to write a few words. I love hearing about when my friends learn this stuff and really want to help get this knowledge out there to the wider public. So a pretty common question I get all the time; how would you describe FT to someone who has never heard of it before?
Today I was actually asked by a few people about the workshop I had just attended and at first I actually found it quite hard to describe, because it seems so simple but also so complex hahaha... I guess I would describe it has a really simple yet perfectly designed series of exercise movements/poses to help decompress your whole body. You don't require any equipment and once shown the simple movements of FT you could do them anywhere to give the body a good old ring out.
Had you ever done any FT before this workshop? How did you hear of it and what drew you to trying it? Did you have back issues or did you see FT as more of a preventative tool?
I knew very little about FT except I had seen the poses on your Home Holistic LA instagram a few times. I had wondered, what is this odd finger touching, bum sticking out, arched back stretch Nick is getting people to do in his holistic health classes? From there it began to pop up on my social media and I heard a few people in my life mention it in passing. Once I saw Nick was hosting a workshop, I saw it as a sign to go get involved. I then reached out to a few people who had encountered it and everyone was so positive about it. I've had back issues on and off for the past ten years so it sounded perfect for me. My back has been good lately due to some ongoing work I've been doing but I thought it would be amazing to build on what I have been doing for my back and add a new training to my arsenal to avoid any further injury.
You were a body boarder, a surfer, an office worker and now a coffee maker, what has all this done to your back, you think?
Where do I even start hahahah ... Riding a bodyboard in shallow, heavy slabs and flying the old esky lid off close out sections into the air, only to land in flat water in front of the wave had to have been some pretty intense trauma on my lower back. So many high performing bodyboarders I know have back issues; I think it is such a high impact sport on the back. Also riding surfboards since I was a kid was only adding insult to injury. Having my neck and back in extension whilst paddling for hours at a time, then going to work and editing videos at a desk for 10 hours and now a career change to running a cafe where I am on my feet all day with my neck always looking down as I make a million coffees per day. It all just sounds like a recipe for compression, stiffness and soreness, when in all honesty I haven't done enough work to counter balance all this repetitive stress on the spine.
I think this is the case for the majority of my friends, even though they may be active and eat relatively healthy, they all partake in very repetitive tasks in both their work and exercise. I feel like so many surfers don't think of the need to counter balance and decompress the spine after partaking in such a repetitious activity. I see so many middle aged surfers come in to my cafe complaining about back pain and I started freaking out, I don't want to be that middle aged guy with back pain that could be avoided.
So what are some of the things that really stood out to you in the workshop? Like, were there any concepts that you were like, “yep I better remember that”, any “ah ha!” moments or things that you learnt about yourself?
It seems really simple, but the decompression breathing is such a simple concept but feels so effective. The idea of using oxygen through your body to decompress your spine is actually mind blowing for me. We were taught a simple breath method referred to as 'decompression breaths' in which you breath deep into your rib cage and move the breath high by elevating your chest, this effectively makes you stand taller and you can feel the breath stretching you out. During the breath out you are told to suck your belly away from your pant line and keep it sucked in for your next deep breath inwards. This creates such an amazing decompressing feeling. I learnt that I am not so great at breath work but I am excited to work on it.
Was there at any point where the positions became meditative?
I could totally see how the movements could become meditative but I think I was focusing too much on trying to learn all the tiny detail of the movements to get lost in it. I think after a few weeks of repetition it would become a really good addition to my morning movement/meditation routine once I had the movements a bit more dialled in.
How did you feel after 3 hours of practicing Foundation Training?
After 3 hours of FT I felt like I was 7ft tall and walking on a cloud. I felt inspired and I walked out with a spring in my step. I've experimented with plenty of awesome movement and exercise classes but this was hands down the most effective class I have done. I would love to know if everyone else walked out with that same feeling or if it just really suited my condition.
Who is FT for and how will you implement it into your life?
I really think FT is for everyone, young and old. I think it could be used to treat an existing condition in the spine but I also think more importantly that it could really be widely used as a preventative measure. It is so effective and only requires a small amount of practise each day to have its powerful benefits. I am so excited about FT that I've decided in the long term I would love to become a teacher of FT. It is something I really want to share with people and hopefully improve their quality of life. I see too many people just persevering in pain and it doesn't need to be that way.