haleyshevener haleyshevener

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haley shevener, CSCS  M O V E M E N T. RKC2, FRCms, USAW, Pre/Postnatal. Navigating POP & athleticism. Mama. Funnier in IG stories. #popfitness #SNATCH

The Women’s Athleticism Workshop is one month away! Will we see you there?
We’ll be covering:
✨Considerations that female athletes and coaches should know
✨How to adapt your strategy to suit your needs and increase performance
✨How to manage #diastasisrecti, #incontinence, #pelvicorganprolapse, and more while still exploring your (or your athletes’) athleticism
✨Mindset and coaching tactics to meet yourself where you are, whether you’re a beginner or professional athlete
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@brianna.battles , @liftlikelindsey and I have very different coaching and athletic backgrounds, but we all live and breathe this stuff as coaches and moms who deeply understand the specific needs of female-bodied athletes.
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If you’re a woman looking to deepen her understanding of maximizing your performance and honoring you body, or a coach training women, this is an awesome opportunity for hands-on coaching, and interactive knowledge sharing.
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Come hang out with us at @crossfitnovato on October 13th - and get your ticket before Sunday to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing! Code: EARLYBIRD, link in bio!

Every dozen-or-so posts in my social media feed, I come across a well-composed, high resolution picture of a similarly-self-employed person. They’re smiling, hair done, makeup just right, a hip mug filled with coffee (or some mushroom/coconut/CBD tea concoction), with a desk that speaks of how organized I perceive their life to be. The picture is accompanied by a caption advertising that they’re accepting new clients, or launching a program. Who the fuck *wouldn’t* want to work with you, magical, beautiful colleague? I stare, longingly, at your portraits and double tap.
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And then, how easy it is to wonder why anyone would want to work with me.
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Can you see my drinks, sprawled out on my dining room table? Some are 6 hours old, some recent. Can you see the literal trash in my kitchen, and piles of dishes? Yeah, I’ve chosen not to see them either. Can you see my plugged-in keyboard? It’s there because half of my laptop’s keys are broken. Can you see the anxiety piling up from the taxes I haven’t paid, the prospective clients to whom I’ve yet to respond, the 19 tabs open on my browser (one belonging to the photographer I’m compelled to hire to take a picture of me, smiling, and my laptop, pretending it functions perfectly)?
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But, maybe, fellow entrepreneur, this is the picture you need to see.
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You’re not alone if the thought of your clients suddenly quitting kept you up last night. You’re not alone if you feel so damn privileged...to be able to choose a path that brings you so much stress. You’re not alone if you feel out of your element, or if you’re not even sure what your element is anymore. You’re not alone if your #momboss mug and spirit have cracked on more than one occasion (or if those are things that never resonated with you). You’re not alone, even when you feel that way.
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How lucky I am to work so hard on what is uniquely mine. How lucky I am to work so hard and to feel so messy and so very lost so much of the time. How lucky I am to share space with my brilliant colleagues and their impeccable advertising and know that, yes, I belong here, too.

“The Only Workout You Regret is the One You Didn’t Do”
...and the one in which you found yourself injured.
...and the one that depleted you of the energy you needed to get through your day.
...and the one that was driven by your obsession for exercise.
...and the one that exceeded your symptom threshold.
...and the one that took you away from listening to all of the other things your body needed at that time.
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Sure, there are times when you might find a “motivational” meme to be a helpful nudge in a direction that feels appropriate, but the dominant narrative of the fitness industry has been one that seems to suggest we don’t innately know what we need and instead need to be punched in the face with “fitspo” that reminds us that we have “no excuses” and can “never miss a Monday”.
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Monday might be a perfectly good day to stay in bed all day.
You have plenty of valid “excuses” (reasons) for not partaking in exercise.
Working out today (or in the way you had planned) might not be the best (or most accessible) choice.
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Conventional fitness messaging has consistently failed to acknowledge that we are autonomous humans capable of making decisions for ourselves. It creates reductive narratives for our (incredibly complex and nuanced) relationship with movement. It assumes we are all able bodied and just looking to run ourselves into the ground for some hard-fought badge of exhaustion. ...and, yet, even knowing this, it can be so damn persuasive.
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I know how challenging it can be to learn to trust yourself and your body. Fitness professionals, like myself, have often made this even more difficult (while trying to “help”). Cultivating a practice of movement doesn’t have to disconnect us from our needs — instead, we can use exercise as a tool for connection.
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Let’s start with better messaging. Nothing tastes as good as thin(king for yourself) feels.
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#fitspo #fitspiration #fitfam #noexcuses #nevermissamonday #icantbelieveimusingthesehashtags

This makes my heart so happy. Intergenerational movement is extra magical. ✨✨✨Thank you for sharing, Deborah! @lessenevitch

B.Y.O.KB.
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Working with clients in their homes brings a level of creativity and intimacy that is difficult to foster elsewhere. It also increases the likelihood that there will be cookies (client-baked, today!), and dogs. I’m here for all of that.

I don’t consider myself a “#boymom”. It’s a term that has never resonated with me, and if I’m being honest, that I find irksome. (Hey, p.s. if it resonates with you, this certainly isn’t a post aimed at shaming you or luring you away from the term.) I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to expect in raising (at least who seems to be) a son. Who are boys “supposed” to be?
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When I think of the word “woman”, the person I picture isn’t me. And when I think of “men” or “boys”, the people I picture aren’t my husband and son.
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When I was pregnant, people would comment on the traits this son of mine was certain to have: “Oh, you’ll have your hands full!” “It’s good to have the protective older brother come first!” (Don’t get me started on all of the assumptions inherent in that...) “Oh, good! You’ll save money on clothes!” They kindly bought us trucks and blue onesies.
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Now, his lovely locks seem an invitation for “she” and “her” pronouns. My child is often considered an anomaly because he isn’t the rambunctious tyrant 3 year old boys are, apparently, expected to be. I don’t fault the people who make assumptions - patterns make life easier. And I am certainly not void of assumptions, either - assumptions I don’t even recognize, yet. But, as we strive for greater representation, access to defining our own identity, are our assumptions helpful? Are they true? How clearly can we see people, if we see them through a lens tinted by who, we believe, they ought to be?
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My child pushes a babydoll in a pink stroller, loves trucks, the color pink, and the color blue. My child is patient and calm, like Dad. My child can be assertive, forceful, as I can. Our child is sensitive, like us. Our child has long hair, like we do, and laughs at farts (don’t you? Your daughters, too?).
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I’ve spent a lot of energy in my life trying to become what, I believed, defined “woman”. There are risks I didn’t take, roles I didn’t play, things I didn’t say, feelings I hid, because I couldn’t reconcile them as “female”. My heart aches as I picture this child learning to become “self” from the rules set up for “him”.
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Stay free, little one. Take me with you.

Want to feel super powerful, bright, and omnipresent? Make like the sun and get something to orbit around you (in this case, a kettlebell)😜☀️. This kickstand deadlift with kettlebell transfer heats up (🙄) your standard kickstand DL (nail that first before trying this!) challenging your solar — I mean, *stability* system while you resist the gravitational pull of the shifting asymmetrical load. Start with a Mercury sized bell (Pluto, if you still can’t get over that loss 😂) and progressively move towards a Jupiter sized load. Your planted, front leg is your weight on Earth, and your back leg is mimicking what it might feel like to be floating around in space (meaning, you’re barely using it).
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This is a great way to train your ability to not fall over which is handy skill to have if you have children that aren’t responding to the “gentle body!” cue, dogs that can’t contain their excitement for you, or need to quickly shift hands while carrying groceries, for instance. Note: you want to be able to resist the movement of the bell, but you’ve also gotta give a bit. Another good life lesson, ya know? Just enough tension/rigidity, not too much.
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Give it a go, with or without bad space jokes, and let me know how it goes!
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🌎🌑🌞

⚡️BAY AREA!⚡️ I’m so stoked to join forces again with @brianna.battles and @liftlikelindsey as we present the Women’s Athleticism Workshop, this time in my backyard (...because all of San Francisco and Marin County is “my backyard” now 😉) in Novato, CA.
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During this one-day workshop, we’ll cover strategy essentials that can improve the performance of female athletes in any and all activities. Love CrossFit? Running? Yoga? Orange Theory? Great! This will apply to you. You’ll receive hands-on coaching, education from three coaches and athletes with diverse athletic backgrounds, and a ton of support and practical information that you can use for your own fitness journey, and for the clients you coach.
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Women’s Athleticism Workshop
CrossFit Novato
Saturday, October 13th
9am-5pm
Athletes (if you move, you’re an athlete😉)& Coaches Welcome
“EARLYBIRD” takes $50 off for a limited time. Link in bio.
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See you there! 💪💪💪

Is there a “right” way to swing a kettlebell? What about a “wrong” way (barring pain/dysfunction)? Right/wrong for who? For what purpose?
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As an RKC instructor, I think I’m supposed to say “yes - hardstyle, of course.”
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It’s one way, sure. It’s a *GREAT* way. But is it the only way?
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What about Girevoy Sport? What about what folks do in CrossFit? What about my personal fave, Instagram Sport? 😉
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When we talk technique, we’re talking about a style specific to one particular discipline. What flies at a StrongFirst cert won’t win you a medal in long cycle competitions. We could argue biomechanically-advantageous positions, but even then, we’re assuming a training intention (if we generalize to an entire training population). We don’t all need the same stuff.
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As I get more honest and free in my training, I realize that boxing in movement was more about elitism (or maybe community?) than exploring the amazement that is the human body. For instance, this triple extension swing (watch my feet)? All “wrong”, according to some. Guess what? Felt awesome. So awesome, actually.
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Are these versions right or wrong? Or are they more appropriate for some than others? Are they not-yet-popular? Who gets to decide? And if not you, why not?
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No one evolved swinging a kettlebell. We made it up, just like we made up ballet, and the rules to baseball. But who’s stopping you from bending the rules? If it’s you, what happens if you ease off the brakes?
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There’s a time and a place for everything. Context matters. But context is fluid, bodies are capable of a vast range. Use it!
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If you let go of rules, what do you come up with?

Asking if planks or pull-ups or running or squats or kegels or _____ are good for someone with prolapse, incontinence, diastasis recti, etc. is akin to asking if a hammer is the appropriate tool with which to build a house.
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In what stage of construction are you? What materials are you using? What type of hammer is it? How skilled are you in using the hammer?
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How do *you* manage planks? How well can you manage pressure during pull-ups? Do your goals include being able to run? How do you feel when you squat? Does your body need more isolated strength in specific ways?
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Breaking down these exercises into specific movements can give you better information, as can working with rehab and fitness professionals, when possible. Do you have the requisite mobility required to get into the positions? Are you confident in your ability to manage pressure, in your strategies? Have you mastered the basics of all of the tasks required to run/squat/jump/pull-up?
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We can use hammers to construct and deconstruct. They aren’t good or bad tools, they are task-specific ones.
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As frustrating as it can be, initially, the answer to these questions is always comprised of further questioning. While the initial investment of learning the ins and outs of the “how” and “why” and “when” (versus just “what”) can take some time and effort, the result is a more autonomous, educated, and skilled person who can make decisions for years to come.
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Teaching someone how to use tools instead of building for them is a gift that will, hopefully, make elements of my job obsolete at some point. Guess I’d better get good at other stuff, huh? P.s. it won’t involve hammering.😂
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Are you struggling with the foundation that would enable you to consider the relevant (to you!) variables? What questions do you have? Let’s hear ‘em!

Want to work on your hip extension? Flexion? Of both sides? At the same time?
What about unilateral movement? Asymmetrical loading?
Want a big-bang-for-your-buck movement that will work your whole body but especially your ultra-powerful (or soon to be 😉) booty and your not-as-strong-as-you-thought quads? What about a movement that forces you to get realllllly honest?
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If you answered “no”, then you can go ahead and scroll. We’ll wait.
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Okay, but if you’re nodding along, give this movement a shot. Let’s call it “the Haley” because I’m a tongue-in-cheek narcissist and this pumped up single leg deadlift is a lot like me: slightly off-kilter, initially prone to giving feedback, but eventually destined to get you stronger.
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You’ll probably want to start with body weight (sans kettlebell). Hold on to something to build your confidence, but not like you’re about to fall off a cliff. Find yourself in your max hinge while keeping your hips level. Explore the extension of your free leg, feeling how badass your ass is for keeping your leg afloat with your toes pointed at the ground. Then, push into the ground to drive back up to your starting point. At this point, your free leg will flamingo (yes, verb) itself up and you’ll extend your knee, realizing that holding your leg against gravity is stupidly difficult. Resist the temptation to lean back (I know; it’s really tempting). Then, you’ll repeat, because you’re determined to be the best at this silly little movement you saw on instagram. Make it harder by adding load, letting go of the post, or wearing a silly costume that makes it difficult to take yourself seriously.
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Oh, and don’t forget to switch sides (if applicable).
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Most importantly: remember that if you don’t post it on social media, the exercise never actually happened.
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Okay, so, if *you* were an exercise, what would you be?!

Pain during sex (particularly postpartum) is dismissed as “normal”, just as incontinence is often considered “just something that happens!” While pain is a common finding (O’Malley et al. 2018), when we consider this to be a “normal” finding, we send the message that the owners of female bodies are to anticipate this, deal with this, not draw concern to this. We tell people with vaginas that their pleasure is less important than persisting for the sake of their partner, or a time when things might not suck so much. We dismiss their suffering without offering evidence-based treatment, resources, and support. We potentially set the stage for greater perception of pain. We affirm our long-standing history of negating a woman’s experience of pain.
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This topic came up yesterday in #POPFitness. You might be wondering what a fitness group, or a strength coach is doing talking about sex. While sex education is beyond my scope, coaches and trainers are often the first line of defense. Included in my initial paperwork are questions about sex. When a client is comfortable, I find talking about sex to be a helpful way to better understand their experience. Sex, like exercise, provides an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of our body. Pain during sex can suggest the possibility of concerns regarding the pelvic floor which will potentially impact the training decisions we make. Most mothers won’t see their care providers again for a while after the initial 6-week check (which is when they’re getting the “okay” to try sex again, generally) and so many have no opportunity to share that they find sex painful. I see people on an ongoing basis, typically; we have time for these discussions.
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While advising on sex is beyond my scope, being concerned with the woman with whom I’m working is 10000% my scope.
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Pain during sex is not something you need to suffer with in silence. It can be related to pelvic floor dysfunction, trauma, hormonal considerations, and other factors. A multidimensional approach to treatment can do wonders, and should be available to all. It may take some bravery and persistence, but asking for the help you deserve is your right.

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