haleyshevener haleyshevener

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haley shevener, CSCS  RKC2, FRCms, USAW, Pre/Postnatal. Navigating POP & athleticism. San Francisco, CA @popuplift @snatchkettlebells

If our idea of an "empowered" birth ends in a specific mode of birth, who are we empowering?
If our practice makes assumptions about the route in which people desire to birth, how equipped are we to listen?
If we come to the conclusion about a "better" birth before we have the data to support those decisions on an *individual* basis, how are we supporting informed and autonomous choices?
I'm not a doula. I'm not a childbirth educator. I'm not a person who has any interest in making decisions for people or assumptions about what they desire for their care. But I am a person who birthed, and I am surrounded in my work and social circle by people who have birthed, or are planning to in the future, and they are all unique. Their stories and preferences are their own.
I feel strongly that the mother who desires an elective cesarean birth should be supported in achieving that goal. I feel strongly that the mother who desires an unassisted home birth should be supported in that goal. I feel strongly that there is no risk-free birth route, and that one's own personal risk profile and one's desire to avoid the risks that are the most meaningful to that person should be discussed, and respected. I feel strongly that one's preferences be respected, a desire for information be fulfilled with all available education, and that we refrain from withholding information that, we believe, might "scare" people into a decision we deem less-than.
I believe we have failed at supporting birthing people in nearly every aspect of their care and continue to do so when we make assumptions about the "right" way to birth.
The dominant narrative in my circle of social media is that "informed choice" seems to have a desired outcome attached to it. The alternative outcome speaks of a person who didn’t “properly” advocate for themselves, who wasn’t “in control” of their own care.
Is there anything less empowering than the assumption that we all have the same birthing goals?
Is there anything less supportive than communicating to a mother that the way she birthed was wrong?
Methods of birth aren’t magical, but mothers are. ⚡️

What’s the “right” way to lunge?
I don’t know.
What’s the “right” direction to head? Depends on where you’re going, right? What’s the “right” food to eat? Depends on what you feel like eating, right?
It depends on what your objective is, what your body needs, what your interest is, typically. I know - someone on Instagram told you the “right” way - but did you ever stop to think that their considerations for “right” might be different than your own? Might be different than your needs or abilities?
Instead - I have a challenge for you - how many different ways can you lunge while keeping your feet exactly where they start? Pro tip: they’ll all be “right” if your body is feeling 👌 Also: you can, of course, move your feet if you want! Sometimes, limiting ourselves it the catalyst for thinking outside the 📦. Tag me, if you try it!
Sometimes, we can benefit from specifically training a certain type of lunge. The context makes it a good choice for the setting. But your context will change! Your body will most certainly change. Your “right” will change too, then...right?!

Finishing up a great weekend spent diving into two of my favorite topics: voice and the pelvic floor! Exploring voice has been central to my understanding of pelvic floor function and #pelvicorganprolapse and it was fabulous to dive a little deeper into those connections! I’m coming home with some nuggets that I’m excited to explore with clients and for @popuplift. Thank you @sclintonpt for generously sharing your knowledge and passion this weekend!

Coming soon to a suburb near you!
1A: Bicep Curl & Coupon
1B: Returns and Reverse Fly
1C: Shoulder Press to Shop
1D: Mall Walking Lunges
Optional: Food Court Foam Roll

I wish someone would have told me (even if I hadn't listened) that #pelvicorganprolapse was a likely outcome following a pregnancy and birth.
I wish someone would have told me...
...so that I could have been eligible to make informed decisions, even if those decisions hadn't changed the outcome.
...so that I could have asked more of my providers who asked me if I had any questions. I never had any questions because I didn't have any context.
...so that I wouldn't have felt like the odd woman out who wasn't as "designed" for birth as my sources had suggested.
...so that I could have (even for a split second) challenged my stubbornly-held beliefs about the "right" way to birth.
...so that I would have had someone, ANYONE, to talk to that didn't make *that face* when I tried to explain what was happening.
...so that I could have examined whether the activities I was doing were the most productive for me. I only knew to care about my baby. I didn't know I needed to mother myself, too.
...so that maybe I wouldn't have found myself glued to a screen reading every letter of every word of every paragraph about POP at odd hours of the night while I vehemently wished not to resent feeding the infant that "did this to me".
...so that I would have been able to develop a plan of action in the event that my reality became my reality. We pay for insurance on the off-chance our houses burn down, or our cars crash. We send ourselves blindly into birth, ignoring the staggering statistics, and find ourselves grasping for resources in our days of least coherence. You have a much better chance of putting out the fire if you aren't standing in line purchasing the extinguisher while it's burning.
...so that I would have known that people, including me, will carefully wrap my infant in a blanket of security as my sense of security swiftly unravels. No one, myself included, will ask me if I'm cold. Maybe, had I known, I could have covered myself preemptively.
...so that I would have realized earlier just how not-alone I was.
...so that I would have known exactly where to go.
...so that I would have known exactly who to call.
...so that I would have known that it would be okay.
(More 👇)

I love conventional strength training. I love moving heavy loads in one direction over and over and over again. It fulfills some bizarre (🤪) part of my brain that seeks order and predictability and rules. There’s a lot of security in standard strength training. I dig it.
And I love taking those movements and flipping them around into something else. I like bending “the rules” and bending my body into shapes, stumbling and forgetting how I got there, getting a little lost, and then making up a new way home. I like the open mindedness that is inherent in making something up and being forced to get TF over yourself. There’s no such thing as not knowing what you’re doing or “looking stupid” if you get to decide what the objective is. I like pressing play on play and just forgetting about all the stuff I’m “supposed” to be doing.
Play is a massive privilege and something I wish we all had the opportunity to explore more thoroughly. I am SUPER COGNIZANT of how lucky I am to be able to roll around on my floor and do weird things that feel good. If you have a little bit of time, too, and you’re looking for something different for your brain and your body, I think we’d probably make a good team.
I’ve a bunch of weird, wonderful, and wonky ways to move and I wanna share with ya. I’ve recorded several of them with step-by-step guidance with the intention of giving you some gas to fuel your own creativity, and for mine to live beyond my brain. I even added some music that’ll make you feel like you’re doing yoga, stoned, in an elevator (in, like, a totally great way - I promise 😂).
There’s a link in my bio (“Move with me”) where you can swap your email for something weirder. 🤗 First flow going out tomorrow so get on it💪

Yes, diet culture is alive and well this time of year. I’m hoping that you are *even more* alive and well.
If you are struggling with the messaging telling you that your body isn’t worthy of acceptance, I hope you’re open to being gentle with yourself.
If you’re feeling like the most logical next step to “solving” your body is another diet or detox or cleanse or night spent worrying, I hope you’re giving yourself the space to be curious about whether the “problem” is really your body.
If you’re finding yourself unfollowing unhelpful social media accounts, or choosing to refrain from conversations about someone’s latest meal plan or workout routine, I hope you know that that shit is not easy, and you should be really damn proud of yourself.
And if you’re in a place of desiring change for yourself, I hope you feel empowered in your choices.
“New year, new you”, if that resonates with you (it doesn’t with me) - or maybe just a new (and rather large) pizza. This one even has my name on it 😻.
Also - it’s worth mentioning that my thin/able-bodied privilege gives me a lot of space to chat about being able to talk back to diet culture, flashing my giant pizza around. We should all have that space.

A POP diagnosis challenged all the #eatingdisorderrecovery work I did (and thought I was “done with” 😂). I hadn’t realized that I had swapped investing my worth in my appearance/weight for investing my worth in my abilities. It took my shifting abilities to wake me up from the ableist mindset I’d held for years, showing me my work was far from complete.
Comments like these from the people working through @popuplift allow me to reflect on that (ever-evolving) process and bring me a lot of pride and peace.
We wanted to create something with a movement-optimist, body-positive lens that didn’t imply you were broken and just waiting to be “fixed” to start living again. We wanted to invite people to find fun and freedom in movement (and themselves!) again. It’s a thrill to watch it come to life through the experience of other people!
If you’re looking for guidance and support in working through #pelvicorganprolapse, I think you’ll find solace, joy, and a dynamic set of tools in POP UP: An Uplifting Guide and POP UP(LIFT): 12 Weeks of Foundational Strength. Together, it’s well over 20 hours of evidence-guided information, and 200 videos of exercise instruction geared towards building your awareness, strength, and confidence.
Until tomorrow, it’s discounted, too! Enter code “Happyholidays” at checkout for $10 off! Link is in my bio. 🤗

2018: Now with EVEN MORE kettlebell fun! End the year with a bang (or a light bell) and give these three movements a shot:
First video: Kickstand Row to Bottoms-Up Clean & Press to Rotational Toss Thing. Start with a row, change your mind and do a press, oh, no, wait - toss it to the side. Repeat.
Second video: Kneeling Hinge Two Hand Clean to Kneeling Sissy Squat/“I Found This Feral Cat” (get those claws away from your face!), then going into a Flip That Makes You Feel Fancy to Halo & Hinge, repeat.
Third video: Single Arm Press & Bridge, Roll Up to 90/90 Bridge. This is basically what moms with newborn babies do all night while they’re “sleeping”.
And voila! 2018 could’ve been your worst year ever but no one would ever know, judging by your kettlebell antics on IG! 😏In my case, 2018 was a pretty damn good year *obviously* because of my kettlebell antics.

✨”12 Days of Christmas” flow.⚡️
⛄️ This is the last round, going through all twelve, sped up 3x. So, I’m working my way back down (12 to 1).
The movements are:
1 Down Dog —-> Up Dog
2 Child’s Pose to Lunge & Reach
3 1/2 Kneeling Rotations/side
4 Reach Overs, alternating
5 Cat/Cows
6 Kick-Throughs, alternating
7 Bridges
8 Shin Boxes
9 Down Dog to Power Slides 🎸
10 Lunge Reach Backs, alternating
11 Hinge to Squat to Stand
12 Side Lunges with Rotational Reach
Complete as the song: 1 Down Dog/Up Dog for the first round; 2 Child’s Pose to Lunge & Reach and 1 Down Dog/Up Dog for the next round; 3 1/2 Kneeling Rotations, 2 Child’s Pose to Lunge & Reach, 1 Down/Up Dog, etc.
It took us about 25 mins to get the whole thing. Let me know if you give it a go!

I am Martha Stewart now, just fyi.
🎄 ✨🕯🧣

I’ve been feeling...December.
I’ve been anywhere between 20-80% sick (currently on the higher end of that) and disinterested in 75% of #AllTheThings
And that’s been okay. Today, in addition to feeling “meh”, I found some interest in moving differently than I have been recently. My brain and body were pretty stoked about it, honestly. Well, ok, about as “stoked” as they’re gonna get right now. I’ll take it.
First video:
⚡️Kneeling Sissy Squat with Pallof Hold Thing:
Move slowly so that your quads/shoulders/abs have enough time to tell you to fuck off.
(There’s a weird glitch at the beginning of that video. Not sure what that’s about 🧐)
Second video:
⚡️90/90 Bridge with Band Pull Thing
You kinda feel like you’re unsheathing your sword...It’s probably how people who care about their hip mobility prepare for Ren Faire (no it’s not).
⚡️The second movement is for when you’re in the mood to feel like some really gross insect that Just. Won’t. Die. You just keep flipping around and popping back up. 😩
Third video:
⚡️This first movement is a commentary on our evolution from quadrupeds to bipeds...OR just a fun way to play with getting up down with a band uncomfortably digging in to your skin (maybe use a towel?).
⚡️Second movement is how people who suck at squatting upright (me) can feel better about themselves. The counterbalance of the band helps - a lot. May as well throw a row in, right?
⚡️Third movement is what happens when you try to make like a pouncing cheetah and end up looking like a tired house cat that just wants some damn food.
Fourth Video:
⚡️”I don’t know. What about doing this?” “Okay. Sure.”

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