Hi my name is Charles and I tried floating for the first time this past September.
I have always done massage, acupuncture and a little standing meditation. I had known about floating for a few years but I took the chance knowing that I was ready for a new restorative and adding another channel to my wellness.
As a trainer, small business owner, and one of the few Steel Mace Trainers in today’s fitness scene, you could say I am more of get at it quick, fast and hard do-er than a sit back a relax-er sort of person.
I have a weightlifting background, some marathoning, and between swinging maces and training strength and conditioning style, I believe I can have the X-Men Super hero physique in a balanced sustainable fashion.
Whoever we are or whatever our lifestyle is (whether we are fire breathing type A doers or low key easy go-ers) we all know that we need to rest. We need to seek out a calmness and get a different set of feedback and allow our active living selves the chance to regenerate.
The term bio-feedback hits home for me. That is what floating has provided. Just like massage may provide a type of feedback different than acupuncture, or a steel mace might provide different feedback than a barbell, floating has opened up a new avenue of growth and discovery for me and it goes like this…..
Once you’re in, you’re in - Accessibility
I am writing this from a plane over Australia flying from Sydney to Cairns on December 28, 2019. And my first float was on September 21st. In this time, I have had 8 floats and by float number 3 I found myself sliding into the tank and thinking “Woah, this is all I have to do? I am just going to float here for the next 90 minutes. This is E-A-S-Y.” I know that I can just enjoy my time and place and the act of being in the tank. The ease of disconnecting and just lying in the tank, maybe falling asleep, maybe enjoying the act of floating, or going into meditation comes fast. I find this truly valuable in that it makes floating’s benefits extremely accessible.
The less you do the MORE you do - Space and feedback
Just like auto racing, less input equals more output and you are both the car and the driver in this case. True to the simplicity of just floating for 90 minutes, the weight that is taken away from your body by the salt, and the lower amount of input with the no lights and no sound leaves my body coming out of each float with more. My body is not handling as much weight so I can feel more from muscles and my nervous system. Light (I.e. phone and computer-who is with me on this?) and sounds do not create excessive and unnecessary input for my body to process. This space allows me to focus on other important mental, emotional and physical matters in my present.
I am a physical person and I like the feeling I get from floating
While there is a mental and emotional component to floating where some find themselves exploring different spaces of thought or self-awareness (I experience this too) I simply enjoy the different physical state that my body is in when I am in the tank.
I feel my spine differently, my body is lighter, I am suspended. I can tell that my hip flexors are maybe even just a few degrees tighter than I can tell if I was standing, foam rolling or stretching them. I can extend and lengthen through my spine and feel and control each vertebrae just enough that I learn something about my body each time. The float tank provides an environment in which my body and my muscles responding to gravity or outside force as they normally do and I can then use them differently based on this state. I have found this to be a truly singular and valuable learning experience.
Floating. It does a mind good
Going back to bio-feedback, there is a simple yet expansive mental effect that I get from floating. And it is this, I am cut off from any impulsive action or incoming message for 90 minutes. There is SO MUCH FREEDOM in this and it allows my mind to free itself, it allows me to focus on things that I would otherwise be distracted from. I have had some breakthrough realizations about personal things in the tank. I don’t block everything out but I can actually walk up to it, touch it, make a decision, put it down and walk away. For instance, let’s say that I had an awkward or tough conversation at some point. If this crosses my mind, I am more likely to admit where I was wrong, pick out what I didn’t like from the other party’s actions, leave it be for now and know how I feel comfortable proceeding in the future. And, that is it. There is no time like the present, to check yourself, leave the past in the past and take a step to your future with a clear mind. Leave it all in the tank.
When its over
When my float is over, it is usually time for me to go right back to work and I clean up, thanks the front desk and I am back at “going to 11” for the rest of the day.
But, I feel 100% refreshed and invigorated, my chest feels a little more open, the sun and the air feels brighter and clearer and I am happier about something that I can’t 100% put my finger on and I love the way my body is moving through space at that moment as it is taking the new information that it has picked up from its most recent state of suspension.
Charles is the Founder of Charge Performance and Wellness and has dedicated over half his life to fitness.Charles is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Advanced Olympic Lifting Coach, a USA Track and Field Running Coach, a ONNIT Certified Steel Mace Specialist.
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