EsmeHawthorn on the #FunctionalChainTrainer #SkiEx #InjuryFreeRunning #Barefoot



Time for another update on the progress of my grand-niece, Esme Hawthorn. She is now at the ripe old age of 14 months and shows NO signs of slowing down. Her progress since my last blog post age age 11 months has continued to fascinate & impress me. Again, I find myself moving up her Canadian Olympic team debut by another 4 years to 2030!! I don’t even know if that’s an Olympic year by I’m sure as hell she’ll be on one of our National Teams.

We re-connected at the family cottage on Lake Huron this past Victoria Day weekend. I had not seen Esme in a few months and couldn’t believe my eyes. She is now:

  • running full tilt barefoot on virtually any surface – this includes our old, uneven stone walkway that is even difficult for ME to maintain balance. No problem for Esme
  • running full tilt on the sandy beach – and I’m talking the soft, deep sand NOT the packed down, wet variety
  • doing chin-ups on the metal railing at the top of our cottage steps
  • climbing onto the leg bands of my Functional Chain Trainer (see video clip) – more on this later
  • pulling on the hand grips attached to the upper body bands of my Functional Chain Trainer with NO encouragement from me – she observed me doing it and then jumped right on them – barefoot and in perfect balance, I might add

As promised, more on the FCT mentioned above. This is a unit that David Lemke developed to create a more neutral posture (with all its benefits) by activating the posterior extensor chain muscles in 1 to 2 minutes twice per day. Esme took to it like a duck to water. I’m sure once she grows tall enough to fit the unit, she’ll progress in leaps & bounds.


To put all of this in perspective, Esme’s 14 month old cousin, Bennett, is still in his stroller and just starting to attempt walking. Esme’s 2 year old cousin, Quinn, loves hanging with her as there is never a dull moment. I am convinced that Esme is blessed with a mind and body that has been stimulated from Day 1 via barefoot activity and encouragement to take on the world. No prisoners and no holding back for her.

As those who follow my blog know, I am a huge fan of encouraging kids to move barefoot and take on challenges daily. This is how they grow positively and injury-free. Take on the responsibility to encourage your young ones at all turns!

coach Jeff


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