Meet GUY EVANS, a sedentary ‘office worker’ (trade lawyer), world champion triathlete and a family man with 2 sons who understands the importance not only of a work-life balance, but also of keeping your whole body in balance. Learning to move efficiently has not only enabled him to perform at his best, moving regularly also enables him to access his creative and strategic mind.
Guy wants everyone to know that pain is not part of their job description or a natural part of aging; and that we can all benefit from becoming MovementWise.
- Work-Life Balance
- Body Balance
- Mental Health
- Mental Performance
Your Performance Passport – Your Guide to Becoming MovementWise by Tania Cotton
Patrick’s Story – Return to Play: A MovementWise Film, produced and directed by Tania Cotton and Keith Partridge.
‘Moving properly is part of looking after yourself. I have no doubt that I am more able mentally as a result of just being able to get up and do things than I would otherwise.’ ~ Guy Evans
LIFEWISE #14: PAIN IS NOT PART OF YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION WITH GUY EVANS
When patients and athletes become aware of how learning to move efficiently can change their lives – they notice how it can transform the lives of those around them too.
In this interview, Guy Evans shares the importance for all of us to have the opportunity to become, MovementWise.
Tania Cotton: Welcome Guy. So, tell me what do you like to get out and do? What do you really enjoy?
Guy Evans: Oooh, I just enjoy being outside, basically, just mucking around outside. I do off-road triathlon so I get to bike outside on my mountain bike, I get to run and whenever I can I get to swim in lakes and open plan water as much as possible.
Tania Cotton: So when was it, Guy, that you started to notice that the quality of your movements really mattered for you to stay healthy and perform at your best?
Like many people for me the learning process began with injury, and to sit down and begin to understand why it was I had been injured in the first place and how the injury was simply a reflection of something perhaps not working the way it should have been working. I guess it’s a bit like the suspension on a car for example; if it grinds, doesn’t have enough oil in it or isn’t set-up properly then it’s not going to work properly and therefore when you’re going over the bumps it’s not working as effectively as it could do. Whereas when it is set up properly it will perform the way it’s supposed to, to its full capacity. And I think for me, particularly in the running, I have seen a noticeable difference in performance that I am absolutely convinced is linked to certainly my hips working better. My biking, I am fortunate in that even though I started relatively late, although I am 49, I’m still actually making improvements in performance and some of that might be down to fitness but I think a lot of it is down to me just finding a way of making my body work better.
Tania Cotton: What is the secret to sustainable success – to staying active for life?
Guy Evans: Basically, there is a lot of what I call ‘body maintenance’ that has to go into it which is essential. So, leaving aside the training and the conditioning, there’s the whole functional strength program or the exercises basically to try to make sure shoulder complex and the hip complex is working as effectively as possible within one’s limitations. I know at my age and given my history and the problems I’ve had in the past and that I haven’t always been savvy enough to look after myself
Tania Cotton: Does the lack of awareness of how to move well frustrate you, now you know most pain and injury is completely avoidable?
Guy Evans: Well now my biggest frustration in terms of mobility restrictions is not actually sport-related because if I am racing against someone who isn’t holding themselves properly or whose body isn’t working properly then that is to my advantage, that’s fine. My biggest frustration though, is in my workplace, I’m an office worker and my work requires me to essentially be sedentary and I have many, many colleagues who also have sedentary jobs and who suffer day in day out, they suffer during work, they suffer when they go home and I’m no doctor I can’t perform a diagnosis but I suspect the majority of them are suffering simply because they have some restriction or incapacity to move properly or just to hold themselves properly or sit properly so that this, at the end of the day, causes them pain and that really is my biggest frustration. I was introduced to this world of what I loosely call functional mobility through my own injuries which were essentially sport related but I see for me the benefits of this in my daily existence, in my interaction at home with the children, just through feeling that I can get through the day more easily without strain on my neck, without strain on my shoulders and I see some of my colleagues, some of whom can be 20 years younger than me coming to work with a back brace because they simply can’t support themselves the way they have been told to support themselves in order to avoid pain and it’s tragic. It cuts short their enjoyment of life I have no doubt about that.
Do you believe poor posture and movement habits are stress related? (Sun)
If one were to go, for example, into a cinema half-way through a movie and shine a torch on people you would see them sitting exactly the same way with somehow their shoulders higher than they should be in relation to their ears and that’s nothing to do with stress, these people are not stressed sitting watching a film, there is something else going on. So stress may be part of it for some people but there is something else happening and I believe that something else is probably simply gravity and a lack of awareness and a lack of knowledge within people knowledge within people on how to help their bodies resist the gravity and to understand that if they allow gravity to take over, their bodies will bend and shape themselves in a way that is fundamentally unhealthy. Their bodies, their back will be bending in places where it's simply not desired to bend and if they do it for long enough it will inevitably cause them problems. Now, they might not be serious medical problems that require surgical intervention but I’m sure they will suffer pain at some point
Tania Cotton: So, what’s the answer?
Guy Evans: I think we definitely have to create awareness - the difficulty is how to create awareness. I believe employers have a duty of care towards their staff to educate them so that they can sit properly, hold themselves properly, get up properly when they do finally get up and so that when they go running at lunchtime they know how to hold themselves so that that run is actually doing them some good rather than just increasing the problems and actually just exacerbating things by making then run or wall, or whatever it is they do with this poor posture, with this restricted mobility.
Tania Cotton: How do you feel when you are in pain and you cannot do the things you really want to do in your life?
Guy Evans: If I have a niggle or a pain it totally consumes me. I find that it just makes me desperately unhappy. I get completely grumpy with myself, with other people because I am not able to be doing the things that I want to be doing and it's totally debilitating. I am definitely reduced to 50% function.
Tania Cotton: So tell me Guy what do you think – how important for all of us to learn how to move properly?
Guy Evans: We shouldn’t underestimate the importance, firstly of moving properly and secondly - well moving properly is as part of looking after yourself. So, yes, for me personally I have no doubt that I am more able mentally as a result of just being able to get up and do things than I would otherwise. Whether that’s the same for everybody or not, who knows.
Guy’s ‘call to action’ prompted us at MovementWise to put together an interactive webinar, a series of practical Rise and Shine sessions, and a 2-day Performance Passport Workshop – so you too can become more physically robust, mentally resilient and resistant to pain injury and disease – to live life and perform at your best.