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Barefoot Movers
Barefoot Movers offers both private and group lessons. Courtesy photo
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Soul on Fire: Barefoot Movers focuses on natural body movements

So COVID-19 snacks turned into a “snack section” in my abdomen area. Binge-watching Netflix also included binge eating a lot of the time, and like so many of us, I packed on some pounds over the last year.

I was determined to do something about it, and I built a whole gym with every imaginable piece of workout equipment in it. I hired a trainer and then went all out — and promptly injured myself by overdoing it.

You see, my mind still thinks I’m a 20-year-old athlete. My body is crying to me to wake up. When you get injured or pull something out of whack, you start being more conscious of your body. More appreciative of the wonder of the human frame. The fact that it is the vessel for spirit to express here on earth. That it is a moving miracle.

I was sitting at the park mowing a breakfast burrito watching the waves at Buccaneer when I noticed a guy with long curly hair, barefooted and doing movements and stretching in the grass. It looked easy, but when I went home to try a few of the moves I had observed, I had a startling reality set in. I could barely get up off the ground from a sitting position!

I had jotted down the name of the company from the car decals, I went online, and there were some instructional videos. These are basic moves that any child would do, from learning to crawl and reaching to standing up and walking on your hands and feet.

When exactly did I lose so much of my mobility and coordination, for that matter?

I called the number and had my first meeting with Rodrigo Gallego, owner and operator of Barefoot Movers. I proudly walked him into my workout room and pointed to all the things that were going to help me on my new fitness journey. He asked if we could go outside instead.

I was stunned. Rodrigo suggested I sell all the workout equipment because I wouldn’t need it anymore. My mouth was now open. Please explain.

Rodrigo Gallego
Rodrigo Gallego, owner of Barefoot Movers, teaches a workout regimen based on natural body movements. Courtesy photo

According to Rodrigo, I would now be entering the natural movement world, using my body weight, and breathing fresh air on the grass in the park or on the sand at the beach — barefoot.

Imagine that.

“Humans were never trained like that, to work out mindlessly in a gym,” explained Rodrigo. “No machine is going to show us how to move.”

He’s got this great Argentinian accent and a passion for natural movement. A teacher that comes from his heart to share what he knows, with a love for human movement in healthy environments.

“We forget that we are animals. We have the same needs  — to move, to laugh, to be outdoors, movement, stretching, sleep, play and have fun, to connect to the earth, our tribe to the community,” Rodrigo said.

Being a pro athlete for his entire life traveling the world and instructing tennis, scuba, and other athletics, Gallego has always studied and learned about the anatomy of movement and agility. Since 2017, he’s been offering his outdoor 1:1 private or group class training.

After the lockdown, I found it was the simple things that kept me happy and healthy — and that we don’t really need much to accomplish that. This type of natural movement allows one to enjoy life in a body that works and maintains itself for long and healthy life. Injuries happen for a reason. We are so hard on our bodies and expect so much.

According to Gallego, we need an hour of recess every day to connect and feel our bodies. To breathe and slow down. To create these spaces of time within our day to be in the temple. Not to pound out reps with headphones on and obsess about caloric intake.

Starting right where you are, you can make small changes daily to improve your life, to begin to enjoy it more, and change the way you see your future. According to Gallego and his natural movement classes, it’s not over once you hit your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and more — and your best days have not passed.

I mean, we live in the sweet spot of the universe, and if we up our vibe from within, we are more able to make the world a better place.

A soul on fire needs a healthy body, and in just a few weeks, I can measure my progress by how I was moving three weeks ago and what I’m doing now. I’m starting to trust my body to move naturally with grace and ease once again. I’m more activated and energetic in all areas of my life.

Rodrigo is starting a 12-week class called “The Comeback” on June 12th. Check it out and get yourself moving!