This month Inspired Mover is Kate Havelin.
There is so much about Kate that inspires me. She has written a bunch of books – her latest that I highly recommend is called Explore Twin Cities Outdoors and please check out her blog Going Places where she writes about her travels, activism (the story on her arrest with BLM is outstanding), art and nature.
Kate is breathtakingly beautiful and seems to have no attachment to it. She is self-assured, incredibly smart, talented and articulate. She is also tremendously humble and loving with a deep desire to serve and make the world a better place.
Also, Kate is a kick-ass mover.
1) At Bootcamp, she always challenges herself.
2) She meets herself wherever she is on the day she comes to class. She modifies as she needs to without worrying about what anyone else thinks.
3) She moves in many different ways – paddling, yoga, walking, hiking…
Here’s Kate’s story in her own words:
What do you like about getting out into nature?
Being outside– exploring alone in the woods, strolling through parks, or walking along the river– makes me feel connected and part of the world. It’s a treat to hear wind through trees, waves whooshing, birds chirping, people biking, walking, paddling along the river– it’s life in action! I feel lucky that I’ve gotten to explore nature for my work. I hiked dozens of trails to research my new trail guide, Explore Twin Cities Outdoors, which will be out this spring. It’s fun to get out and see new places!
Have you always liked to move your body?
Growing up, I had a big disconnect between my mind and my body. I believed that the ‘me’ that mattered was only from the neck up, my head. My body was just this thing that wasn’t the real me. I played sports– field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, but never considered myself an athlete. I was a writer, student, etc. I didn’t like my body, always thought my neck, legs were too big.
In college, when I began running, just to run, I began shifting my idea of who I was. Running, at first, let me cope with a broken heart. In time, running helped me connect my body and head. I saw that I was strong and could run long distances. I was happy with what my body could accomplish and began to accept how I looked.
Is movement something you feel like you ‘have to’ do or something you ‘like to’ do?
I hear and read about how so many people have to force themselves to move their bodies. Sure, there are mornings when I want to turn the 5 AM alarm off and burrow under the blankets, but I know when I get up, have coffee, and get moving, it’s the best way to start the day. That said, this morning, I did not set the alarm since i stayed up too late and know I needed sleep more than AM exercise. I do try to be balanced, and not force myself to exercise if other parts of my life are too crazy (ie. Too much work, not enough sleep, injuries that need rest more than movement)
Why do you like to move?
I know that exercise makes me happy and keeps me balanced. Moving my body– running, walking, Boot Camp, yoga– helps my mind as much or more than it helps my body. I am so thankful that I like exercise.
What are your favorite ways to move?
For three plus decades, running was the activity I loved most. I ran when I was antsy, sad, bored, angry. I ran regularly from my junior year in college until two years ago. I ran 18 marathons, along with a few ultra-marathons, in a decade, starting when I turned 40. By age 55, my body let me know running wasn’t working for me anymore. I have scant cartilage in my right knee, and I’ve accepted that I can’t run anymore. I miss the joy and freedom of running, moving through time and woods, like an animal, my mind floating free. I’m grateful for every mile, every race I had. Now, I focus on finding joy in other ways to move. Kayaking is the the closest thing to running I’ve found. It’s a delight to step into a kayak, paddle alone on the water, and use my body to float free in the world. I can’t wait to get out and kayak this year. Until then, I’m enjoying working up a sweat at Boot Camp with you, Tula yoga classes, using cross-trainers, exercise bikes, rowing machines, and free weights at my gym, the Jewish Community Center, and walking outside. It’s been a treat to walk outdoors in California and Arizona this winter, with my husband. Hiking hilly trails, being in nature, is a delight. After breaking my wrist slipping on ice in December 2016, I’m really cautious about winter walking in Minnesota. But even here, I’ve been able to get outside and walk. Soon, I’ll be able to bike outside again!
Does your body feel differently now that you’re older when you move? In what way?
I joke that aging is like playing Twister– having to focus on injuries and sore spots, Left wrist! Right foot! I’m 57 and expect that I will have to do more to keep my body flexible and healthy enough so I can keep moving. And I’m motivated to keep active. I know I have to manage my weight so my bones and joints aren’t forced to deal with excess pounds. I know I can’t do everything I used to do, and I will find new activities that suit my body– less pounding, no jumping, more stretching, more time in the pool, on a bike, in a kayak.
Does getting older frustrate you in any way or no?
The alternative to getting older is being dead. I don’t want to live forever, but for as long as I can, I want to keep moving.
How is your love of travel and exploration and movement connected?
I love, love, love seeing new places, heading out on trails and streets where I don’t know what’s around the bend. That’s a thrill of traveling.
What do you like about getting out into nature?
Being outside– exploring alone in the woods, strolling through parks, or walking along crowded city sidewalks– makes me feel connected and part of the world. It’s a treat to hear wind through trees, waves whooshing, birds chirping, people, bikes, cars, and buses passing– it’s life in action!
How does moving your body support the all of you?
I get stressed easily and moving helps balance that stress.
What advice do you have for us?
Find some way of moving your body that makes you happy. Maybe it’s walking around a lake with a friend. Maybe it’s Tai Chi or martial arts. Maybe it’s swimming alone or racing with hundreds of people. All of us are animals who need to use our bodies.
Thank you Kate for inspiring me and so many others. xo