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Elise Richmond

by Shaun Kober
October 26th 2020

In this episode, I speak with athlete, coach and adventurer,  Elise Richmond.

Elise has worked in the fitness industry since 2009. Her career in personal training has taken her around the ... More

Hey guys, welcome to today's episode of the live train perform podcast. I'm your host, Sean Cobra and joining me today is a lease Richmond who is an athlete, a coach and an adventurer? Uh she's been working in the fitness industry since 2009 as a personal trainer, which has taken her all around the world and provided the opportunity for her to go on her own athletic endeavors and she's doubled in. Bodybuilding is a two times crossfit regionals athlete and has crossed Mongolia's Gobi desert on foot as well as kayaked. Australia's largest river and has just returned from cycling across Australia In an attempt to simplify life as much as possible. She now lives in Tasmania with her husband and 10 chickens alise. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks mate. Thanks for having me. My pleasure. You are a fascinating person. You and luke are amazing people um and you guys intrigued me with the lifestyle that you've decided to live.

Um and there's many, many questions that I want to dive in into in today's episode, but the first one I want to talk about is I'm an ambassador for Swiss, a which is a proactive mental health program designed for people, to Scheduling and structure the most important things in their life. And the Swiss eight pillars of health and wellness are sleep, nutrition, time management, discipline, fitness, personal growth, mindfulness and minimalism for you. Is there one of those that stands out for you that you are prioritizing right now in your life and has there been other times in your life when uh maybe a different um one of those pillars is, becomes more of a precedence? Yeah, I think it's actually, I don't know if they're in any particular order, but the last one, minimalism really stands out for me at this current point in my life and probably for the last couple of years and I think you can sort of apply that minimalistic um theme to all the other ones as well, because I think a lot of time with our sleep with our nutrition, without training with all those things, we really just over complicate them and I think a lot of us just need to take a step back with all those things and go back to the basics and cover the basics before we get wrapped up in how many reps women to be doing and all those kind of things.

It's like, okay mate, well how often are you getting to the gym? So that minimalistic side definitely jumps out for me and just simplifying life and everything involved in it. I love that. Now we spoke about in the intro, you're down in Tasmania at the moment and I know where you guys are used to live in Tasmania and you're in a beautiful part of the world, um you've got a block of land, you've got a place there and you know, I've seen your social media posts, I've been following what you guys are doing and you guys have literally like minimize your life too. The bare essentials. Can you talk to me about that? Yeah, I think the simplifying life really kind of kicked off from our move to Thailand and we lived in a five by five bungalow with like nothing, the mosquitoes got in every night. It was super basic, we ate the same thing every day. Um and that kind of kicked off our, what do we really need to be happy and enjoy life and it's not very much and we kind of realized that quite quickly over in Thailand and have just really been chasing less ever since we came down to Tasmania on a base jumping trip and just fell in love with it and nowhere else had really felt like home before.

I mean Thailand was great and all these other places, Sydney, all those things, but both of us just felt at home immediately and we were literally on the internet the next day like let's look for properties, um because we just wanted space and nature and it had all our amazing climbing and hiking and all those things that we love down here. So it was a really easy decision to sort of take the plunge and go into adulthood and buy some land. Yeah, that's amazing. There's something I want to talk about their because that's something that I see you and luke are very similar. You are both go getters, you both action takers like you know, yes, you put some thought into doing things that you want to do, but you don't need to have all the answers, you just figure it out as you go and I love that about you guys, you know, I love that you just made the decision to move down there and figure it out along the way. So what was the, was there a catalyst for moving to Tasmania from Thailand?

Um not really, I think like you just said uh we kind of just wing a lot of stuff, but there's kind of a reason behind it I guess. I mean opportunities tend to present themselves when you put yourself in situations that are different. Uh and we kind of both realize that quite quickly from moving to Thailand, we're in the Sydney rat race with a gym and all those kind of things before we moved to Thailand and uh and we were being presented every single day with the same opportunities. So we were meeting the same people, we were in the same environments, we were having the same conversations and so nothing new was ever really happening. And then as soon as we moved to Thailand all of a sudden we had access to these people from all over the world and all these different locations and all of a sudden all these different opportunities started presenting themselves and one of them being like luke was asked to row across the atlantic ocean if we hadn't shifted everything in our life over to Thailand um he wouldn't have been presented with that opportunity and then I was presented with access to be able to train as hard as I liked And I'd never had that before because I was working 9-5 or even longer.

So all of a sudden all these opportunities presented themselves and it wasn't a coincidence, it's well we actually just shifted everything, we shifted our environment and our conversations and the people that were in front of so all this stuff started coming up and arising and um they were like, okay, there's something to this. So then you just sort of start always looking for different circumstances and different environments and different conversations so you can get presented with different opportunities and then it's just this big snowball effect where you get, it seems like all these things are coming your way, but you've actually just stepped out of your zone and and different things have come to you because of that. Um so I have no idea what your original question was, but but that's yeah, and then that's another thing and then we moved into like rock climbing and all those kind of things and started looking around like, oh where could we go to rock climb and then Tasmania pops up and we find ourselves down here and then all of a sudden, you know, we're buying land down here and and figuring it out, yeah.

Um now there's something that came up for me that I am going to kind of tie everything back in together. Um and that was, you know, you guys said that you were looking for circumstances, you were looking for opportunities and to me, good luck is um the meeting of preparation and opportunity, you know, you need to put yourself in those situations to be able to take advantage of those opportunities when they come up and um you and luke and myself pretty much did the old switcheroo, I went from being in Tasmania over to Thailand to live the life that I wanted and you guys went the other way to Tasmania from Thailand. Um now there's something that kind of piqued my interest before when you said we were putting ourselves in these situations and you know, there was always kind of something behind it, there was always a reason behind it. So um I want to tie that into what your underlying values are because I'm sure you and luke have spoken about, you know, you've spoken about minimalism and trying to make life as simple as possible, but also living a life of meaning.

Um can you talk to me about what your underlying values are and those reasons why, you know, you basically have made these decisions to put yourself in different circumstances and surround yourself with different people and um put yourself into these different environments. Yeah, I mean luke goes by the mantra, one life, one chance and that has definitely rubbed off on me, my mantra is simplify life. So we've definitely, I think combined those two really seamlessly and for me it's all about making stories and making memories and luke actually asked me, he's like, what's your purpose? Just in a very dramatic voice. The other day we was just sitting on the couch doing nothing. He's like, what's your purpose was like, I don't know, no one really asked me that and I kind of walked away, made a cup of tea and I was like, you know, my purpose is just to have as much fun and experience as much joy and as much pleasure as possible.

That is my purpose. And so for me that means going out and experiencing things and whether I like them, whether I don't like them, whether I've had the time of my life or not, at least I've experienced these things and then I can grab them, hold them and they are my memories and they are my stories and I really don't think we are anything without our stories. You know, if you, the scariest thing for me is getting old and losing my memory, losing my experiences and and the people that I've met and the places that I've seen and I I can't imagine there'd be many people that wouldn't fear that I'd much rather my body fall apart than my mind. Um when I do get old. So yeah, for me it's just it's just creating stories and having, having those experiences in my pocket.

Yeah. Yes. Speaking of you've got some pretty incredible stories and experiences and you've just got back from basically trying to cycle across Australia. You went from Darwin, you're trying to go back home, right, trying to cycle all the way back home, but then you guys had to call it because the victorian border was closed, is that correct? Yeah. So originally we were going to go right through the center of Australia and then along the bottom through the Great Ocean Road and then catch the ferry across and then ride through Tasmania to the bottom where we are. Um That was the original plan. It was a very loose plan. Can we just say um this is the very last minute um adventure just because of everything, all our overseas trips and general stuff being shut down because of Covid. Um So we kind of bought some mountain bikes like a month before we left, we're just figuring it all out. And so that was the loose plan. It ended up being Darwin to port Augusta, which is just essentially right through the middle of the whole section of it.

Um top to bottom. So that was pretty awesome within itself. Yeah, amazing. How many kilometers did that end up being like 3, 3.5 1000 or something like that. I think it was just under I think it was 2800 in the end. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, let's talk about that ride. So you again, you guys are just go get his action takers pretty much did it on a month's notice, figuring it out as you went. So I'm assuming you didn't really do any training for that. Uh We had about three training rides, I think the most recycled on a training trip was about 39 or 40 kilometers and this is around to see and to see is hills central. Um So that was pretty brutal. Uh and we only did a one day kind of thing, We never did a back to back kind of um practice ride. Um Yeah, I kind of got the gist of it, figured out the gears, asked a lot of questions at the bike shop and sort of put it out to our very limited biking network um just like what do we need?

And I mean the great thing is this forums for all this stuff now so you can kind of figure it out. Um But yeah, we had, we had a couple of weeks in Queensland before it and then flew straight to Darwin, put the bikes together and hit the road, what was the most mentally demanding thing, mentally and physically demanding thing of that trip. How long did you go for? Um And what was the humidity like, Oh man, when you hit Darwin, I mean we're coming from Tozzi. So it was to see winter, you know, 5°. Um and then we hit Darwin, it was like 40° the first time. So we had a bit of time in Darwin just to sort of acclimatize And then we hit the road, we did about 75 km on day one and my ask was ruined. It was absolutely shot. So we had the bike pants, luke actually bought a different bike seat a bit squishy er And yeah, so those first few days were just super painful on your bum.

Um and of all the people we asked, no one was like watch out for the bum, no one, so that was, I'm pretty sure I saw a social media post of your legs like, oh yeah, they, I got I got a heat rash um so it wasn't sunburn because I was properly lathered and stuff, it was just this mad heat rash. Um And then we both had a tent each, so we had a one man tent that was sleeping in each night um impact down to our front wheel, which was really cool. Um but those first few days in the tent, we're just scorching um and we were trying to Um navigate the start of it was really trafficking coming out of Darwin, so we're trying to navigate that as well. Um but then eventually we got up to about, I think our biggest day on the bike was about 165 km um, in the, in the day, so that was, that was courtesy of a tailwind, uh, and the most physically painful on a bike is when you have a headwind and you, everything gets cut in half.

So you literally, if you were going to have 100 and 50 kilometer day, you're going to have a 75 kilometer day. So, um, that's pretty challenging on the mind. Um, yes, it's hard physically, but you can, you know, you can stop, you can have a rest, there was no time frame. So, uh, yeah, definitely, the headwinds was the hardest thing to navigate. Yeah, you guys have done, you guys seem to throw yourself into these positions where you take on challenging adventures and I love that because I think in this day and age that we live in, you know, people live in perpetual comfort where they're not really, you know, putting themselves out of their comfort zone where there's no growth there, there's no, you don't need to build resilience and if you don't test yourself and if you don't put yourself in these uncomfortable situations every now and again then you lose the ability to maintain mental and physical resilience. Um, you also rode down the Murray river, was it?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So Australia's longest river, it was 2200 km long and again, same sort of situation. We got the kayaks about a month before, did a couple of training trips and, and you've got to understand that. Like the Murray river is pretty chill. There's no rapids, there's no, you know, it's sandy banks a lot of the time until you get to the wider section, it's really quite calm. Um, and you're going with the flow. So it was, it was a pretty chill one. And we had luke's dad there with us as well in a fishing tinny and you know, there's a, there's a grocery store every 3-6 days. So, you know, you've got fruit cake and coffee and yeah, so you just, You just decided to row 2200 km for leisure. Yeah, that's the, that's the beauty of having a base level of fitness as well is, you know, what you're capable of and you know, okay, well, this is going to be x amount of time in a kayak every day and how am I going to be able to manage that?

Well, I know I can do that. Um, and you can just jump straight into it. There's, and there's no off season for fitness. Like you, you just stay at a level of fitness where if, you know, if someone goes to you, hey, do you want to go and kayak the Murray river, you could go, yeah, I can, let's go. Um, and that's kind of the basis behind, well, my fitness at least is if someone tomorrow invited me to go and do something epic, I can say yes. Yeah, that is brilliant. That is literally my philosophy on fitness as well. Um And you know, that's something that I talk about all the time is you know, build a solid foundation, you should be strong enough fast enough explosive enough, have good enough endurance, good aerobic capacity, mental resilience, physical resilience, you know, all of those mental and physical attributes so that you can literally live the life that you want without being restricted by anything. So I love I love that definition of fitness.

That's that's amazing. Um Let's talk about your fitness journey for a moment because um you're a coach. I know that you worked in Thailand for people listening at home. If you've never been to soy tied in Thailand it's a road that's probably 1.5 to 2 km long and there's probably about 10 different gyms on the road. Um And you know Tiger muay thai is the biggest gym there. Um Then you've got unit 27. Um Hook at top Teams. Dragon Boy is a heap of little multi places along the street as well. And the whole road is dedicated towards health and fitness basically. Um and it's such an amazing place and I came for the first time in 2013 when I was traveling through Southeast Asia had been out of the army for about a year. I was traveling with my ex girlfriend at the time and the first time I rolled into soy tired, I was there for a week and I was like, this place is amazing, I'd love to come back here and live and train here one day and um you know, seven years later also was like four years later that ended up happening and I moved back to Thailand, but um everyone goes to the street for different reasons and I know people that have gone there to kick kick an addiction and turn their life around or lose a heap of weight or they've had a heart attack or something like that was a catalyst for them, you know, making some massive changes in their life and um it's it's an amazing place and it draws a heap of amazing people from different backgrounds and different stories trying to better themselves, So can you talk to me about your or how you ended up in soy tied and your coaching experience and life experience on the street?

Yeah, so as I mentioned before, luke and I, so he was my boyfriend at the time, um he was running a crossfit gym in Sydney and I was working for him and it kind of just got to a point where we were just working so much and we just had a conversation, I was like, when was the last time you were happy because you're not happy right now and he said when I was in Thailand and as you just mentioned, he'd gone there originally to kick an addiction um and then became a coach there and then we were like, okay, well how can we get over to Thailand? How can we make this happen? And we ended up just selling everything and moving over to Thailand and I actually arrived there and I didn't have a job luke, had a job at unit 27 so I was just going to live like the chill life and just train and um and then eventually I got offered a job from Unit, which was cool, actually got offered a job as a crossfit coach and I'd never done crossfit before, so I quickly had to figure out this crossfit thing.

Um and yeah, and then I jumped straight into that and it was a very relaxed schedule, which was really cool, which meant it gave me the opportunity to train myself a lot more and I eventually fell in love with crossfit and moved towards the crossfit sort of scene. Um but it was really cool. I mean for a coach often you get very trapped in the humdrum if you're in a sort of city gym, which I was back in Sydney um you know, you're getting people really early in the morning before they start a 12 hour shift at work or really late in the evening and everyone's stressed to the eyeballs and they just feel like they should go to the gym and um then you get to this place in Thailand and people have a couple of months to train and just chill and relax and everyone's happy and the sun's out and it's just, it's just a really enjoyable place to be. So I understand why people keep going back there uh as a coach though, I we stayed there for a couple of years, so we did see the same people come back again and again and again um which is great because we made great friends with them, but also a lot of the time you're seeing them not progress um but regress sometimes, which is really hard to see because you've just not seeing them for a year and all of a sudden they come back and you're like, oh my God, what's happened?

Um so that was something that really stood out to me over there and made me sort of realize, I not only have to try and look after these people here, I need to make sure that when they leave they understand what's going on and why they're doing what they're doing and what's happening in their home environment, that's leading them to not make progress and often regress. Yes, that's a great observation. That's something that I've noticed as well. Um you know, like you said, a lot of people do come to Thailand to try and change your life and here's the thing that I've put together is that when people are in Thailand for a month to month, three months, etcetera, they're not in that same environment that they're that they're in back home. So it's much easier for them to stick to a schedule training program and it's much easier for them to eat healthy food when everything on the street is relatively healthy and it's difficult to get shitty foods, mm And they're surrounded by like minded people that, you know, there for very different reasons, but also very similar reasons and when they're in that environment, it's easy for them to put one ft in front of the other.

But as you stated, once they go home, they go back into their old environment, they're hanging around with the same people, you know, they're going back into the same job, they've got the same stresses which they don't have in Thailand, you know, and it's very easy to fall back into those old patterns with that environment. So, I think it's very important to um coach people into identifying and bringing their awareness to Different aspects of, you know, everything that happens in life. Again, going back to those eight pillars of health and wellness with the Swiss eight model, you know, looking at each one of those pillars and prioritizing, which is going to be the most important view, and there's something you said then as well, that tied that in together and you spoke about minimalism again, where you basically just packed up your house in Sydney and moved over to Thailand and then you basically did the same thing packed up in Thailand and moved down to Tasmania. Can you talk to me about that? Because that is, that's a, it takes a particular mindset to be able to do that because for most people, that's really fucking scary.

You know, most people that is their identity where they live, who they hang out with, what they do for work, you know, that's their identity and when they pack up and move to a new place, that's, that's frightening, you know, and so many people cannot do that. But you've done that multiple times in your life. I've done that multiple times in your life. Like, can you talk to me about that process and how you come to these decisions. Okay. Yeah, I think it's definitely been like you were saying that identity crisis thing is a really real thing for people. Um, and it's definitely been a process for me to overcome. Um you do, you start to get wrapped up in, I am a lease and I'm the crossfit athlete and if I'm not doing crossfit, no one knows who I am and no one cares. And I think it was, it was actually in Thailand when we started getting into climbing. Um, I was training for the regional, so in 2016, it was my first regionals.

I was crossfit. Everything like training twice a day, just absorbed in crossfit and looks like, look, we need to go and get you out of crossfit mind. So let's go climbing and just go over to Tennessee and just relax for a weekend. And I was like super anxious. I'm like, no, I've only got a few weeks, I've gotta, I've gotta cross fit. Um Anyway, we went over with a couple of friends and this one girl that we climb with epic climb up, beautiful girl. Um, she just goes to me, she's like ali's house, all that fit, cross stuff going, just trying to, trying to be really interested and not doing anything by it. And I just, that was my moment for me where I was just like, nobody cares, just stop getting so wrapped up in your bubble. And it was literally a pivot point where I was like, I'm a lease, I do crossfit but I am not crossfit.

And so I've kind of just tried to apply that to everything. Um, moving forward, I'm, I'm just me, whatever I do, that's my identity, whatever it is, If it changes on a daily basis, then I'm okay with that now and I don't feel like I need to continue with an identity or a passion or a, a thing that is no longer serving me a purpose. So you know, I could have kept pushing in bodybuilding because I wanted to be a pro at the time, but it stopped serving me and if I kept pushing, I would've made myself very, very sick and very, very sad. Um so I shifted and then I went into crossfit, but then if I kept pushing at crossfit when it no longer served me, then again, I'm just giving up on what I really want to do in my life, which is, I don't know, whatever, um, just to pursue a passion because I think everyone else thinks I should be doing crossfit, it's just ridiculous.

So I have definitely let go of identity crisis stuff, which like I said, takes a few years or took me a few years. Um, but it's, I'm so much happier for it, I'm so much healthier for it because I just navigate around it now. Yeah, I want to talk about a couple of those um pivotal moment because you did say that you were in the bodybuilding realm and I saw you post something, I was talking to your affair before um and I went on to your social media, I love your social media platforms, by the way, you post an amazing content, but you know, you posted something about bodybuilding competition, there was a photo of you um like with makeup on and you know, already rock up on stage and um you know, you spoke about that not serving you and you spoke about that not being a place that you were particularly happy and you realize that you're aware of that and then you started making steps to push away from that, can you speak about that post in particular and where you're at at that stage in your life and how you became aware that it was not serving you and you needed to put some processes in place to step away from that person that you were identifying with at that point in your life.

Yeah, bodybuilding was a really strange time for me. Um I think I was I definitely moved towards it because the people in my circles were bodybuilding and particularly as a coach, I felt the need to um sort of wear my business card on my body and I definitely thought that I needed to be shredded to have clients and um and yeah, and I just went down that path and I don't regret it at all, but I was definitely, I wasn't healed from an eating disorder up from a few years before, so it definitely brought up body image issues and eating disorder issues and I tried to ignore them um just because I wanted to be a pro and I thought this is what I need to do to be a pro. Um so I did two separate competitions and I did really well in them and I looked great and like I got really shredded and all that kind of stuff, um but I realized that the the people and the space that bodybuilding involves was just not me and I was forcing myself into this whole um because I felt that this is what I needed to be and this is what people thought I should be.

Uh So yeah, it was it was making me really sick and it was forcing me to be around people that I didn't connect with and I was like, yeah, I really, I just don't want to talk about food all the time and I don't want to talk about training all the time and I don't want to carry my food around with me. Um and the reality is that that's what you do and yeah, and there was definitely a lot of unhealthy relationships within that space as well, which I needed to move away from. So um it it sometimes just gets to a point where you have to choose between health uh and you know, being shredded which are different things. Um So what was what was the biggest lessons you took from that period? Uh I guess I guess that within itself is health and looking fit don't necessarily come as a package.

Uh So that was really a turning point for me to understand health. Um and what it encompasses and how to be healthy rather than just how to be and and that includes your mind as well as your body uh rather than just how to look fit. Yeah, I think that's a great point is for some reason in Western society we associate health with how we look and of course, you know, being aesthetically pleasing I guess, or um you know, not carrying too much body fat or whatever is a sign of health, okay? But there is too much of an extreme and when you're going to that extreme where you're looking to be, you know, cover model lean or bodybuilder lean all year round, like the discipline it requires to get to that point and the restriction it requires to get that to get to that point. It's, you know, it's yeah, it may be worth something to push towards once or twice in your life just to experience it.

But in my opinion is definitely not sustainable. It's not somewhere you want to stay all year round, like, you know, it fox up your hormones, it messes up your sleep, it makes you an irritable person to be around and it's just not enjoyable for anyone. Um Let's talk about the transition from that bodybuilding phase into more of the crossfit phase because it seems like you went from throwing yourself into the body building, which obviously brought up some um previous food relationship issues. Um was stepping away from that scene and pushing towards crossfit a means to try and move away from that scene and you allow yourself to get into a healthier space. Yeah, I actually uh segued into power lifting after body building. Uh and that was just through a manager that I had at the gym, he was like, look, if you want to do something different, let's try power lifting and I was like, yeah, cool uh and really enjoyed it, did a few competitions and hadn't trained to be strong ever before.

So that was a really cool thing because I realized my potential, I was like, oh actually I am strong, I can sort of stand up with some of the best and and do something here, so that was really cool. Um and then power lifting just got boring because I was sick of doing the same three lifts over and over. Uh so and then at that time can we pause for a moment? Yeah, I think that's a that's an important point to note for people listening back home is that bodybuilding um you know, aesthetics is, you know, it's very subjective, it's a never ending, you know, it's a never ending finish line. So if you're constantly looking to get leaner and constantly looking to put on more muscle and constantly looking to get more jacked and blah blah blah, like that finish line just never moves and it's as a competitor, you're being judged by someone else. So, you know, it's very subjective, whereas when you move towards power lifting, its objective, 200 kg is funding 200 kg, right?

Like you either you either pick it up or you don't, you know, so did that um kind of allow you to build a healthier relationship with what your body was capable of doing. Yeah, definitely. I think after my last bodybuilding competition, I, you could email the judges for feedback, I was like, yeah, cool, because I wanted to keep going with it and I emailed them and they sort of said, look, your waist is too thick, your blah, blah, blah, your, this, your, that you need to change this yet. And I kind of read that email and I was in a really pretty chitty place that there at this point in time, I already put back on all my weight and blah blah blah and I just kind of read it, I was like, well my waist isn't getting any smaller, like that's my rib cage, I don't know how I'm going to adjust this. And then I kind of looked at the judging panel as well, I'm like, these people are all old, has been like, I just, I don't know these people, I don't care about these people, so why do I care what they think?

Because anyone else would be like, oh my God, you look amazing, this is so good. But now all of a sudden I just got to the leanest I've ever got and the six pack and all that and I was still picking myself apart and in my head, I was just like this is so not good and I knew it and I was in this sort of angel devil kind of chat with myself and so then moving into power lifting and then having someone stand next to me and go, hey you're good at this, this this is this is up your alley and this is you could do well here, I was like I felt that as well and I felt like hey this is this is definitely where I need to go and like you said it's it's objective and it stops you. I hated the thought of competing against other women in bodybuilding because it was about looks, I'm like we compete against each other every single day on the street, like we don't need to jump on a stage and do it.

Um and moving away into the powerlifting world and getting to do a couple of competitions in power lifting. Everyone was so supportive because you know what, your P. B. S. You know what the girl next use PBS. So if it's way higher, you're just like, well look, I'm just trying to beat my own PB and if I do that is the best day um and everyone's celebrating everyone else and it's just a different atmosphere and it's fun and it's supportive and there's no sort of behind the scenes or like back stubby kind of stuff um which I really loved and I definitely took on board and then moved into crossfit, which is obviously like another objective thing, you're either the fastest or you're not. Um let's talk about that transition. So you went from bodybuilding which you did quite well at, but it also brought up some, you know, some basically some poor relationship with food and um you know, hanging out in maybe an environment that you didn't want to be in transitioning into power lifting, which you did quite well at and had a good healthy change of mindset where you started focusing on more of what your body could start doing.

But then you got bored with that, so transition in towards crossfit. So then you went on to compete twice regionally for those who haven't been following me for that long. I competed in a crossfit competition a couple of years ago as part of a team and the lease was one of my teammates and that team was absolutely jacked and one beast peace. I know I'm not a cross fitter, I am a crossfit coach but I don't really do crossfit and that was the second team crossfit competition I competed in and had the um had the opportunity to compete with Elise and Dave driscoll and Joy Summers and dominated that competition. So I've seen what you're capable of. But let's talk about what crossfit did for you both mentally and physically as an athlete going from being a bodybuilder to a power lifter to a crossfit athlete. Yeah, crossfit really combined all my loves I guess. So it has a more gymnastics element to it and I did a lot of dancing all throughout my childhood.

So sort of getting to combine that stuff with the strength and um it was just a really beautiful stew of athleticism for me and it really allowed me, I think power lifting because there was a weight class as well. Um and I was sort of in between weight classes, so I did need to dye it down into a weight class um and that for me was hard because I was still dealing with my food relationship and my eating issues. Um So I remember dieting down for my last powerlifting competition and um experiencing some disordered eating and thinking, you know, I've worked so hard to try to get over this. I don't want to be here anymore. So crossed it, not having weight classes or anything that you have to look like or anything like that, I think it was just the perfect poison for me at the time.

And of course we were in Thailand and I was coaching crossfit, so it made it just made a lot of sense. Are you still doing crossfit these days or have you moved away from that modality of training? Look, I haven't touched the high intensity crossfit stuff since Regionals into the 1818. Um I just, I tipped my crossfit box with, except for the competition with you, but I ticked my crossfit box really with getting back to regionals and and since that I haven't really wanted to and I haven't needed to um So now I do a lot of, it's more like a combination of all of them bodybuilding, powerlifting, crossfit, like I've just kind of combined them all together and I just have fun with it and I just do what I feel like doing on the day and if we prefer to go for a hike or climb or whatever I do um, and then if we're leading into an adventure, I'll just get a little bit more specific into whatever that adventure maybe.

Yeah, yeah, cool. I love that answer. Um let's talk about the type of training that you're doing now because I know that you're a, is a neuro physics practitioner under kenya where Yeah, yeah, so talk about that qualification and what you're doing. I saw a post of you squatting, I've seen luke doing this over the last couple of years, have you guys squatting and moving and things like that with your eyes closed And I'm an applied movement neurology level one practitioner and I assume it's kind of along those same paths where we're looking at basically everything being driven by the brain and, you know, holding trauma and tension in the body is, you know, likely a result of, you know, some, some energy stalls and blocks and things like that within the body. I won't go too deep on some of the stuff that I've gone into, I went to a master practitioner of course a couple of years ago and was just like blown away with the stuff that these guys are doing um and a lot of it back then didn't really make sense to me, but I'm starting to kind of connect the dots now, but I've seen you guys, you know, moving and squatting and things like that with your eyes closed, Can you talk to me about the process of that, what you're doing there?

Um what your thoughts are on this ideology? Yeah, so in Euro Physics therapy, it was founded by ken ware about 30 years ago, um and now his graciously put all his, all his knowledge down on paper so we can study it and myself and luke have just sort of finished our studies over the last three years and your physical therapy is all about the brain and body, like you just said, being one, you cannot take one away from the other, um what happens in one is happening in the other and it's, that whole thought creates biology thing that Einstein talked about all those years ago, um so what, what we're doing with our eyes closed is we're essentially getting rid of any visual bias that way, maybe seeing whether we're in the gym or whether we're in a home gym or wherever we are and it puts us into our body, so we can feel more readily what's going on in our system and what we might need to correct um say we're doing a squat, are we feeling any asymmetries?

So neuro physics is all about creating symmetry within the body. Um If you're doing a peck flat, you should be able to bring your arms across your body and join them seamlessly in the middle, in the center of your body and that's just your appropriate reception. So a lot of the time you'll see people, if they close their eyes and they have to join their fingers in the center of their body, they'll be off to the side or they'll be high or they'll completely miss their fingers if they've got their eyes closed and that's just where you are in space and time. So if you've got all these little in corrections in your body, then that's why if you go to take a step, you missed the step and fall and roll your ankle. That's what happens. You've got all these asymmetries within your body. So neuro physics is all about creating that symmetry again and getting the system, the body and the mind to work as one again, because a lot of the time in our high stress, bigger badder faster world, we've just created these disconnections without body and everything.

Our bodies can heal themselves. We just need to set the circumstances for it to be able to do that. And that is what neuro Physics therapy is doing. Yeah, I love that explanation. Thank you for sharing that. Um And that's something that you know, I touch on with my AM N. Work is that you know, we've got primarily three systems of the body feedback systems. We've got our visual system which is our strongest by far system that provides us with sensory information to the brain which then the brain processes and then creates an output through via movement primarily and regulation of hormones and things like that. But then we've got our appropriate receptive system. So when we close down our eyes that are appropriate receptive system has to up regulate. And we've got all these feedback sensors under our feet and in our hands and on our face and neck and armpits and things like that. And then we've got our vestibular system which is basically the area which tells our brain where our head is in space and like the angular ations, accelerations and things like that.

For the most part, people literally go through their entire life working through the visual system and when the visual system is doing all that work, then appropriate receptive system doesn't have to work as hard. The vestibular system doesn't have to work as hard. So, um you know, it intrigued me to see you guys doing the squats. Um one barefoot but also to with your eyes closed and I do a lot of hip airplanes and you know, single leg work and balance work and I'll get people to close their eyes. You know, you can get people to stand on one leg and then they're fine, they can hold that, tell them close their eyes and they start swaying, they lose their balance and they're all over the place, and then people will be uncomfortable being upside down because they don't have a great vestibular system or you know, they're pretty receptive system is switched off, so, um I think that's um it's another level of awareness. Uh I said I wasn't gonna tell this story because it was pretty crazy, but I will tell this story. So I was doing my amen level one practitioner a couple of years ago and it was well above my head and I was not understanding it and I was fucking doing this course and I was reading the same notes again and again and again and again, I was doing all this research on the side and it just wasn't sinking in.

Um so I actually had an opportunity to go to a mastermind retreat in Thailand in Chiang mai. So, um most of the people were level three practitioners, level two practitioners, level one practitioners, and I was still working through my level one, and I was like, right, I need to go on this and hopefully it can accelerate my learning. And I went away on this mastermind retreat and the stuff that they were talking about was just blowing my mind and I was like, the first day, I was just like, oh man, what have I got myself into this stuff is just too out there, it's crazy. Um But then I was like, well you've paid the money, you're doing this course, like open your mind up and you know, listen in and learn from these people who you know above you in their knowledge and experience with this system. And I remember one, I can't remember exactly what we're doing, but they were talking about like energy fields and things like that and you know, you can heal people's nervous system by not touching them, manual therapy or anything like that. And I was like, this is pretty crazy. Um So anyway, I got involved and um the girl that I was working with, She had a car accident when she was 14 or something and the whole left side of her body was like under tension was tightened up and had all this scar tissue and muscular imbalances and things like that.

And before I did some treatment on her, I asked her to squat and she drops down into a squat. She's sitting in like a quarter squat position and I'm like, can you go any deeper? And she was like, no, I can't go any deeper. I'm limited. I haven't been able to do a full squat for like 15 years. So anyway, I've gone through this process, that's protocol that they taught us. And I like I was doing some manual muscle testing and things like that and you know, basically her, I was asking her questions, I was like, is this tension in the lower body, is it in the upper body manual muscle testing that was telling me where to go, is it on the left side, is on the right side, is above the ankle, below the ankle, blah, blah blah. And then I was basically just asking all these questions, I wasn't saying these questions out loud and how it was explained to me was my central nervous system or my energy was talking to her energy and her energy was guiding me where to go and treat. And then I literally like, I was like this is crazy. But anyway, I'm going to roll with it and I basically put my hands above this area that her nervous system had told me to go to for like 90 seconds or whatever it told me to go to, did not touch her.

And then afterwards we called it calibrating right back to ken wears documentary will come back to this in a moment. But basically I asked her body was calibrated and it said yes and then I asked her drop down into a squat and she fucking dropped down. I asked her ankles and she looked at me like she'd seen a ghost and I was like, I was, my mind was blown, I was like up there, did not like didn't even touch her and all of a sudden she's dropped down into this really deep squat position and up until that point I was like, I've got no idea what this stuff is all about. Like I couldn't get my head around, I was like this is way too far out there, but I saw it with my own eyes and I was just like from then on I was like, I'm a believer, this ship works. Yeah. Did you, did you have any experiences like that where, you know, it was probably a little bit too far out there for you and then, you know, something happened like a pivotal moment where you're like, oh man, this is this is incredible. You mean with the neuro physics therapy stuff? Yes, in general, let's go, let's go to the neuro physics first.

So you're a physical therapy is really interesting in the fact that unlike any other therapy that's out there, whether it's physio or Cairo or whatever, um the onus is back on the patient essentially all the client, they do everything. So as a therapist, I am guiding them through the movement, whether it be a leg press or an adductor or a pec fly, I'm literally just putting their body in a position where they are open. Um so open gating and able to um take on stress. Um in a way that doesn't close them off. Um and doesn't cause anxiety and ways that we can see if there is any hidden anxiety. So you're a physics is really different in that sense where it's it's very hands on for the client and it's, it's on them. Um and it's, it's hard for a lot of people to get their head around the fact that I as a therapist and not doing anything to them apart from guiding them.

Um so that's, that's a really big difference there within that um within the higher disorder sort of clientele, whether it be paraplegics or motor neurons, disease or um people you know that haven't move their arm or have had a stroke or all those kind of things. Um ken, ware does a tremor therapy which he has done with me and luke, where it just, it's very hard to explain. It lets your system sort itself out. So it's almost like um like a shaking. Um and it allows the system to reorganize itself um and let's communication lines flow again where they were blocked before. Um and again, that's all just you doing it as well, ken's there guiding you through, but it's just you um experiencing it for yourself and then moving through it and feeling the effects of your system calibrating itself again, not recalibrating because we're not going backwards.

We're just calibrating and moving forwards. Um and that's another big thing with neuro physics is it's never about going backwards, we're never trying to recreate, we're trying to create um we're never trying to rebuild, we're trying to build. So we can't physically, well, biology, you can't go backwards in biology, you can only move forwards and that's a big premise within Euro Physics as well. Hmm, interesting, very intriguing stuff. That's it for me, I'm like, I want to know more about that stuff, but for most people listening back home, they're like, what the funk are they talking about? I just finished three years of study and I'm still like uh so, and you know, and it's it's very um it seems very obvious stuff once you grasp it, but when you're studying it, it's just like um brain explosion. But you know, the more I practice in it for myself in my training, the more it makes a lot of sense as well.

Yeah, what's the what's the biggest takeaway lesson from three years of study of this philosophy, slow down. Um so the, the initial um few weeks of therapy um in Euro physics is all slow movement, 5 to 6 seconds. Um e centric concentric and allowing yourself time to feel what your body, what is happening in your body. So when we rush through movement, it's like putting a DVD and fast forward, you miss detail and you can't see what's happening and you don't get the storyline. So when you do that in your training and you're always rushing your body isn't able to take in um that high definition information. So the slower you go, the more information you're getting in. Um and the more your body can make sense of it and the more neurons can fire and the better feedback you can have with your in your own system.

So I think the greatest lesson for me was just after years of crossfit as well as just like hammer time was just to slow down. Just take your foot off the gas a bit. Yeah, that's that's an incredible answer. I love that. Um and that's something that I do a lot with my clients is get them to slow down because you know our recruitment patterns, motor unit recruitment patterns dictate how we move if we want to squat or lunge, dead lift, clean whatever our brain creates a blueprint for that movement. And if we don't teach our body how to move correctly to begin with from that blank canvas and you move like ships from the beginning and then you add weight to you add load, you add time, you add speed, you add endurance, et cetera, like you're just building strength upon dysfunction. And I think this is a problem that a lot of people face. And this is where you know, injuries happen.

That's where chronic injuries start building up because you start creating these poor recruitment patterns which then create a muscular imbalance which then pull your joint into a bad position which then in flames. You know the soft tissue ligaments, tendons, bursa, articular cartilage et cetera. And then all of a sudden, you know like my shoulder used to hurt every now and again when I do these exercise, but now it hurts all the time. And now I can't go do anything overhead. Now I can't do X. Y. Z. And you know, I think that's a really good point of slowing things down, paying attention to how your body's working and again taking that feedback. So then your brain can process, process it and create an output. All right, I can feel when I'm dropping down into a squat, my left abductors tight. Um My left glutes probably not firing as well as it could be. You know, I might be hitting that bottom position. My hips are shifting across to the right, right. So as you slow down, you focus on those sn tricks you're really targeting and creating a mind muscle connection to connect to those muscles that should be working.

So you can create that that balance between left and right and between upper body and lower body and all that type of stuff. I think that's I think that's a really great take away from um from that. So I'm just wary of the time release. Um I want to start winding the episode up. There's still so many things that um I would like to dive into. There's so many questions that I have. Um But the name of this podcast is live train perform. That stands for live life to the fullest train to your potential and perform at your best. What does that mantra mean for you? I think the word potential there really stands out for me and train to your potential. I think in the, the health and fitness world, a lot of people don't even try to step into fitness, A lot of people don't even get to that starting line because they don't think they have any potential in fitness because they weren't athletic when there are kids, so they're not going to be athletic when they're an adult.

And I think that's just so sad that they don't, they aren't able to see any potential to even start training, even start going. Um and I think a lot of that has to do with their surroundings and not having someone see potential in them. Um, so maybe someone else comes along down the track if they change their environment a little bit and goes, hey, have you ever, like, you've got great quads? Like have you ever tried sprinting or have things like that? And someone else, it takes someone else to see the potential in them. And I think if everyone just knew if you have a body, you have potential to be fit to be athletic, it's there. If you've got a body, that's all you need. Um so often you, you, you underestimate yourself and you don't even start, but then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do and then you're going way past your potential and I've proved that to myself so many times where I thought my potential was here at my shoulders.

Well it was actually way above my head and then I showed myself that and then I could keep going, okay, well maybe I can go further, maybe I can just keep going and going and going and and reaching further and further. So I think train to your potential, but actually realize you have way more potential than you, I think you do than anyone around, you thinks you do. So that will move you into an incredible life, It will move you into living life to the fullest because you're doing all these exciting things and I think it's just like your mantra is just this big circle that keeps feeding itself, which is really cool. Yeah, that's a great answer. I think as you said, it's a self fulfilling prophecy and if you have these self limiting beliefs then you're going to have these limits. But if you yeah, if you can set your mind set up to be able to challenge yourself and get yourself out of the comfort zone because there's no growth in comfort, you need to put yourself in uncomfortable positions and be able to deal with that to build that resilience and put yourself under that stress so your body can adapt above and beyond.

So I can deal with that stress better next time. Um just want to finish off with, so if people are kind of in a little bit of a rut and they do have these self limiting beliefs or you know they don't quite have the right mindset that they would like to have to be the person that they want to be. Do you have any resources that you could recommend to people like any courses or books or podcasts or any other resources that you could recommend other than following your instagram page? Yeah um do you know what, it's really interesting at the moment, I have really stepped away from sort of educational podcasts and self help books and those kind of things because I felt like it was all very in my face at the time, I felt like self help was just sort of everywhere and I was like I can't handle this. So do you know what I've actually just thought recently the best thing for my mental health has been reading just novels, I've just finished the harry potter series and I read where the craw dads sing and um boy swallows universe and you know it's just so nice for my mental health to just have this sort of fantasy break from everything and it grounds you again, it makes you go ok, life's not so serious, like expelliarmus and wizard away and just wave your wand and I think I think a lot of people would really benefit from that at the moment, especially in the time that we're living, everyone feels like they need to be sort of upgrading themselves and that kind of thing, but a lot of time it's nice to just sit on the beanbag and read harry potter and not feel bad about it.

Yeah, I think that's a really good point. I mean, you did talk about upgrading yourself and that is a form of upgrading yourself, right? You're taking a little bit of a break from the self help stuff and the study and things like that, and just grounding yourself and being present. Going back to going back to minimalism again, like that all ties in for me, like you're minimizing the shift in your life. You're not worrying about all of these, these other things. I'm sure you're kind of similar to me, I don't watch the news or listen to the radio or anything like that and you know, I might have a couple of websites that I might go on to once or twice a week just to have a look at things that interest me. But, you know, I live a pretty minimalistic life as well and um, what you just explained there is that's amazing and that's a, that's a great place to be in your life. Yeah. Be okay with having me time and not feeling like you need to apologize for it. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. That's it, that's, that's incredible. Um I do have so many more questions, but unfortunately I'm going to have to call it there. Um, but I'm definitely keen on getting you back on again in the future.

Initially for those listening at home. Initially, I did want to get a lease and luke on together, but they're both incredible people with amazing stories in their own right. So I did want to get them on individually to tell those stories, so at least thank you very much for being a guest on the live train performed podcast. We definitely need to do this again soon. Thanks for having me man, my pleasure.

Elise Richmond
Elise Richmond
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