Living On the Edge

Written by Casey Stutzman FMS

Working “outside the box” is my favorite piece of non-descript corporate talk.

When someone showcases creative or forward thinking tendencies, we often celebrate them as someone who lives in the magical “out of the box” zone.  What this is really saying is that fresh thinking and creativity exist in a vacuum, a space way outside of the normal or everyday. Alas, this is simply untrue.

Creativity is a progressive endeavor -- a mindset.  

Each thing we learn builds our knowledge base so we become increasing efficient in the ability to filter good new ideas from not so good ones.  True creativity is making unlikely connections to create something new and magical, the first person that filled chocolates with peanut butter would be a shining example of one of these great pioneers.  So if new ideas have to be built on old ideas, they can’t live in the vacuum that is “outside the box.”

We all are aware of the negative impact of living inside the box. This is that space where we are confined within a strict set of rules and beliefs.  This environment is less than supportive of new ideas and ways of thinking and is oftentimes where the “Well, that’s just how we’ve always done it” people like to hang their hat.

The secret spot -- the one no one really talks about (with the exception of Seth Godin who has written/spoke on topic many times) -- is on the edge of the box, the place where we can build and grow on the ideas and methods of the past/present but still have the ability to look ahead.  This is a place where we can use our knowledge and experience to make unique connections to create something “new.”

The edge of the box is where FMS is proud to call home.

In my experience, fitness can be extremely dogmatic.  Once you label yourself as a Trainer, PT, Yogi, Barbell or Kettlebell guy, your world gets extremely small.   We look inward, learning only from those in our community and building cases to the rest of the world why our methods are better than yours and how everything you have ever needed is provided by Hot HITT outdoor Kettlebell training.

That said, the goal has never been to create the Great Cult of FMS. The Functional Movement Screen is a measuring tool, a way to provide the practitioner with personalized and detailed information specific to that client’s movement abilities.  Once we are able to capture that data, there is no shortage of ways to improve their movements. The only “right” way is the way that works. Once you have the data you need, you will have a systematic approach in your personal toolbox to be highly effective no matter who your client is. 

The most powerful thing about the FMS community is the ability for different professions to intermix:  Kettlebell gurus with Yogis, Trainers with PT’s, Chiros with Group Ex instructors and the list goes on.  We are all able to meet on the edge of the box to learn from each other, allowing our ideas, experiences and knowledge to intermingle and thrive.

In my experience, when a bunch of people who have chosen to live on the edge get together, you can expect some pretty dynamic results where everyone wins.

Casey Stutzman is an ACE, AFAA & FMS certified trainer and has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 2004. He is the owner of the Performance Locker, a personal performance training studio in Alpena Michigan. Casey’s love of athletics and competition drove him in to the fitness industry. He uses his experience as a division 1 college football player, amateur bodybuilding competitor, strongman competitor & endurance athlete to help others reach their goals in all areas of fitness. Casey spends his time training clients and athletes to meet the challenges of life and sport. He has worked with and developed strength and conditioning programs & performance training for a number of local athletic organizations and teams. As a Master Instructor for TRX & Real Ryder Casey travels North America to educate and connect with fitness professionals to help them offer more to their clients and athletes. In 2012 he teamed up with Hedstrom Fitness to develop training methods and programming for the Surge & currently represents Surge and BOSU as a Master Trainer. Casey is an International presenter in the Fitness industry teaching a number of professional courses each month and has spoken at conferences held by SCW, DCAC, IDEA and CanFitPro. Time outside of fitness is occupied with reading, travel, indoor rock climbing, snow sports and being an active outdoorsman. He enjoys spending free time with his wife Mary Beth, his daughter Vesper, son Indiana and Turkish the family dog.



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