Going for a Walk-Part 3

Nov 24, 2010
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The Framework of Co-Leadership-

My work and collaboration with James House has been successful due to a number of factors including:

1. Beginning with the end in mind – The trainer is supporting and defining the methods that will assist the client / trainee to achieve their goal.

2. The trainer responds to the presenting need (both short-term and long-term) and adapts as needed.

3. The trainer is assertive and respectful, shows knowledge, communicates, and teaches the client/trainee.

4. Both the client and trainer ask questions and seek feedback.

5. The client and trainer keep stretching beyond perceived expectations.

James knew I wanted to attempt to box to promote synchronicity of movement. When I raised the idea of boxing with James, I felt the new modality might alter a pattern where I used my upper body for balance. James demonstrated a willingness to try my suggested approach. He understands the critical teaching elements that are required to achieve my desired end. He uses demonstration, verbal cues and prompts, patterning, repetition, and sequencing to teach me a new skill base. He also understands the inherent risks involved and my unwavering desire to attempt something new until there is mastery of the skill.

James House III and Kerry Wiley working together. Photo Credit to Ms. Nancy Andrews.

When James stepped in to teach me the mechanics of boxing, he began to teach me about the posterior chain, which is a group of muscles, tendons, and ligaments on the posterior kinetic chain of the body. This series of muscle groups contribute to balance and movement. My balance is wobbly and intermittent. Boxing can be used to enhance balance and to promote knee lift. Balance and knee lift are critical foundations most people have to walk and move. James embraced my short-term wish to box and to conquer what I had never done before. He also used boxing to enhance efforts to improve my mobility without supports.

A recent session with James began with me poised in front of the punching bag, with full wrist guards and gloves, pummeling the bag. I hear James say that I am “slapping” the bag. He demonstrates how I should be maneuvering my shoulders side to side. I am then asked to widen my foot stance. A lot of work has taken place over four months to improve my foot position and stride. As I am told to “come forward” with my punch, I am elated at the new ability to stand using my legs exclusively while I hit the bag. The footing and posture is still quite new and fatigue sets in quickly.

The boxing lessons initially began with elements of static balance and a machine with weight blocks and cables that pull across your body and forward, as if you were making contact with a punch. James’s training style is one of quiet tones and repetition through varied ranges. The drills altered between standing and using the machine and then sitting and using the machine. In subsequent weeks, new drills were introduced. Among them, I am seated and am expected to rise to a standing position without use of my arms. It may sound like a simple act to rise from a seated position to standing. It is not. I want to use my hands or upper body to assist. James will find some means to occupy or restrict my hands so that I am not able to engage my upper body or it is pre-engaged in a way that I am not used to. In the initial drills, sessions ended with me visibly exhausted, my legs fatigued, and me trying to take in everything that was new. As sessions ended, James always said farewell with, “Welcome to your legs”.

Read more about Kerry’s journey on Friday November 26 in Going for A Walk-Part 4.

Author: Kerry

  • Rosaleen Breault

    Way to go Kerry! Always learning :) xoxo
    Rosie with Keenfit