A bio, it would appear, rarely has a shelf-life beyond a year or two. With my career taking a new direction, it seems appropriate to update this page with fresh pearls of self reflection. If you are reading this in the far future, grant me the benefit of your assumption that I have achieved many fine accolades, accumulated much wealth, and enjoy, with great humility, the other culturally-expected symbols of my success. – Mitch Tate, September 2016
Reader, I’m going to be honest with you. I am no great athlete.
Although my Super Nintendo pedigree could be considered quite competitive, my training background is far less impressive. Apart from the playful swinging of wooden swords and a moderate frequency of forest excursions, I enjoyed a largely sedentary childhood. It wasn’t until I became enraptured with the martial arts world at the age of fourteen that I willingly undertook any physical challenge.
Over the years that followed, the martial arts were my chief passion. Unfortunately, I was a poor student, and my impatience and headstrong nature prevented me from ever accruing anything which resembled true proficiency. Still, it introduced me to the world of physical training and was the platform that would launch me towards a fascination with human movement in the greater sense.
My interests led me to pursue Kinesiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. After graduating, I quickly searched for work as a personal trainer, eager to share what I had learned with others. In a short time, however, I became shockingly aware of the level of pain and movement inability that plagues our society.
As I searched for the answers to the problems I was seeing, my interests began to shift away from the version of fitness I had learned from bodybuilding magazines and martial arts forums. More and more I came to understand that the paradigm under which I was operating, that of exercise and fitness, had forgotten the most fundamental component to any physical practice.
They were moving, of course, doing movements, but something was missing. The intent, to me, seemed wrong. The system into which I had been indoctrinated saw the effects of doing exercise as the reason to train. Enhanced athleticism, chiseled abs, improved health, stress relief. These things are great, and there is certainly nothing wrong with pursuing them, but when attaining these effects is the only consideration behind training, too many boxes go unchecked.
The influence of great thinkers in the physical arts has convinced me that physical training should be viewed as movement practice, and that each of us should undertake such a practice in order to know ourselves better and understand how to use our bodies. Exercise should be performed mindfully, with real intent, and bear some relevance to our passions and pursuits.
When when hold developing our movement capabilities as the intent behind our physical practice, the effects of training, the muscles, abs, and health, naturally follow. Not only that, but they are developed in tandem with the proficiency and experience necessary to use them when life demands it of us. It becomes easier to conceptualize our strengths and weaknesses, and to see where the greatest potential lies for our training.
This, reader, is the intent behind my training – to continuously broaden my repertoire of movement skills, to limit my physical vulnerabilities and inabilities to the greatest extent possible, to be able to execute awesome feats of physical prowess, and to work for the balance of my mind, body and spirit.
It is these aspects of training that are the chief focus of my writing. I will share with you my insights, those raw and those overdone alike. I will offer you techniques and tools to enhance your own practice. I will regale you with anecdotes of my movement adventures. At times, I may write in a way that seems esoteric and inaccessible, when I need an outlet for the ramblings on training philosophy caught in my head, but I will endeavour to keep my content actionable and relatable. We will share many laughs, because, even though my work often reads like an outdated Thesaurus, I hold comedy next to godliness.
I have most recently finished my Masters degree in Physiotherapy, again from Dalhousie University, and am working to launch myself into a career where I can work closely with others to help them build movement practices that will add incredible value to their lives. As my career develops, I’m almost certain to eventually include those details on this page at some point, maybe.
So, in conclusion, and in advance – thanks for reading.