COLUMBIA, MD – OPTI is a holistic preventive healthcare network and performance training institute dedicated to educating people about how to use movement, nutrition, recovery, psychology, and mindset to care for themselves in all aspects of their lives. Corey Beavin, a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Director of Education and Internships, explains “Just as you need to learn basic algebra to do your taxes, or literacy in order to get by in the world, you need to be educated about how to take care of your physical body. Rather than being attached to the outcomes of your weight or what you can lift, this needs to be a process-oriented approach.”
The entire OPTI team of personal trainers, physical therapists, and nutritionists has begun to use The Art of Learning principles with their individual clients. In addition, they are bringing Resilience based principles such as Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, and Using Adversity into their physical education initiative, which aims to teach principals and physical education teachers across the nation about providing their students with sustainable solutions for their physical lives. “I heard Josh speak and listened to his book and it completely aligned with my life and mission to change the education system of people, specifically in the realm of health as it relates to movement,” Beavin told the JWF. “The JW Foundation is an amazing resource and partner in people learning the realities of how to continue to gain competency in movement which, in its foundation, is a process-oriented, self-regulated behavior that views adversity as a learning challenge.”
BOULDER, CO – Jessica Reiss, the Personal Training Director at ONE Boulder Fitness, supervises a staff of 13 personal trainers. In her role as director, Reiss is interested in providing her trainers with the space to utilize their own creativity while supporting them in drawing on all of their strengths to provide their clientele with the best possible fitness experience.
She plans to have all of her trainers read The Art of Learning and to provide active workshops in which they practice the learning principles through movements. The team will then identify specific learning principles to incorporate into their training, such as how Making Smaller Circles by focusing on one area of the body with depth and intensity can help a person develop the tools to improve strength overall.
“In asking important questions like how to look inward, the internal growth will allow them to shine brighter for their clients,” Reiss says. “I want to lead them into self discovery to become safely vulnerable in front of their clients to allow dialogue and relationship building.”
Reiss is particularly drawn to the concepts of Investment in Loss and Using Adversity within the realm of physical fitness. “People get caught up with failures, which feel very real when experienced in the form of physical pain and discomfort. They don’t utilize these interpreted expressions of failure as part of success. These failures diffuse them. We have to see the value and the effort, not the outcome.”
With both her trainers and her personal clients, Reiss is interested in exploring the relationship between physical and emotional responses to adversity. She plans to incorporate visualization and meditative breathing to help her staff and clientele create positive habits in one area of their lives in order to positively affect the whole.
HOUSTON, TX. Health and fitness specialist Randy Kaiser has creatively integrated The Art of Learning into his own fitness practice, Eleet Fitness, impacting clients that include teachers, parents, administrators and many other types of professionals. He has also designed a development program for personal trainers rooted in The Art of Learning principles that he is using to educate staff members and colleagues across the nation.
Says Randy: “After reading The Art of Learning last year, my life has changed significantly. Let me explain: For years I have questioned the close-mindedness of our educational society and the inability to harvest the minds of the children that will lead us into the future. Unfortunately, with many friends and colleagues involved in the educational system, my concerns have fallen on deaf ears. The educational system has indeed destroyed any functional system needed for higher learning. Creative and inspirational instructors are forced to follow protocols and there is no room for creative thinking. I was terrified to start a family and bring children into this world and expose them to a system of this sort. Enter Josh Waitzkin and The Art of Learning. A very close friend of mine introduced me to the book and told me it was highly regarded in his circle at the University of Minnesota. Well now I understand why the book was so highly regarded. Not only was the book a fantastic read but it also gave me hope that change can be made in a system that seems to value grades more than critical thinking. I have a better understanding of where I am headed in regards to learning and commonly recognize Josh’s ideas in my past and present experiences.”