In 2012, Mike Spiak retired from the United States Airforce and became chasing his dream of becoming the owner and chief operator of Fossilstone Farms, located in Greenfield, just outside of Saratoga, N.Y. If you visit Fossilstone Farms, it quickly becomes apparent there are several operations going on at once. Fossilstone Farm is 150 acres of vineyard and equestrian facilities, including a winery with a tasting room (in progress).
Mike was a flight engineer on the LC-130 Hercules. After retiring, Mike juggled between being a commercial pilot, conductor/engineer for North Creek Railway, and a farmer. As his vineyard grew, Mike decided to take Fossilstone to a different level. He was all in and devoted all of his time to chasing his dream of working a farm.
Like every self-employed owner/operator, Mike knew success solely rested on his shoulders.
If you want to manage a farm, you must become a farmer.
If you are injured or unable to perform, you are on your own! Things just don’t get done. Not good.
That means 18-hour days, maintaining vines, chasing horses 0200 in the morning, hay, construction, maintaining horses, and keeping up with winery construction and operations. The list is endless.
Mike suffers from chronic lower back pain and previously underwent a surgical operation known as a Laminectomy of L4-L5. A surgical operation that removes a portion of the vertebrae to relieve pressure on the nerves.
When you have to be on your feet all day pulling, pushing, lifting, and carrying-back pain and weakness becomes a major problem.
After using countless meds, Mike decided to allow his body the chance to do what it does best, heal itself.
Mike decided to give the Original Strength movement system a shot.
What is Original Strength?
As a movement and strength specialist I shouldn’t have difficulties explaining what Original Strength (OS) is, but I still do.
OS is a series of movements retracing our nervous system and skeletal muscle development that begins as soon as we take our first breath. Hint: The first movement is diaphragmatic breathing.
Original Strength movements known as “Resets” do exactly that, they reset the nervous system. The best way to explain a “Reset” is to use the electronic device analogy. If your device begins to do things that are undesirable, the first thing we do is reboot the system by turning it off and on again. Without complicating it (we are big on keeping it simple), that’s exactly what we are doing to the human body.
What are the Resets?
There are five resets. They are diaphragmatic breathing, head control, rolling, rocking, and cross-crawling.
Is it like an exercise program?
No. OS addresses the loss of “reflexive or natural strength” which workouts do not. Sure, you get exercise from it, but we are just moving the way the body was designed. No reps or sets-just movements. For most adults, exercise routines are incredibly boring.
How long does it take?
Depends. A session can be as short as three minutes or as long as a half an hour. The choice is yours. There really is no order or framework. Just the five movements.
I already physically work all day. I don’t need to exercise.
Exactly. You don’t. If you are moving all day you are “exercising” and it is good for you! But unfortunately, you have lost much of your reflexive strength and do have movement dysfunction. Think of lost mobility, shoulder, neck, lower back, hip, and joint pain.
Why would I need to Reset?
First, we are a nation of bad breathers. Both mouth and shallow chest breathers. As the saying goes, “Mouths are for eatin, noses are for breathin”. Mouth and chest breathing has countless negative effects on the human body. Not only does dysfunctional breathing retard facial development in children and young adults, but it has a powerful effect on mood. To name just a few, shallow breath effects posture, strength, and mobility, as well as hormonal balance.
Second, we are all victims of modern convenience. From driving, to sitting at work, to getting in front of our phones, computers, or TV’s. Unknowingly, we encourage our reflexive muscles (required for joint stability and posture control) to “shut down” by collapsing and relaxing into bad postural positions. Think of a nice comfortable chair. Our first reaction is to relax and collapse into the cushions. We begin to systemically shut down vital stabilizing muscles required for posture control. Because of this, our “larger or primary mover” muscles must perform both movement and joint stability. Prime movers (large muscles) cannot move and stabilize our joints at the same time without dysfunction and pain.
So yes, the active person does not require exercise as much as they need to restore reflexive postural control. This is done by resetting the nervous system. Performing resets will result in more mobility and pain free movement, improved strength (without weights), and balance with improved coordination.
Does it work right away?
Yes and no. OS works at the speed of the individual’s nervous system. Everyone has different responses due to different histories. If you are unhealthy, stressed, or have had past injuries, your reaction may be different from a healthy person. A person with a lot of “history” usually has a more stubborn nervous system. It may take a little longer. So, it may require more patience to regain your reflexive strength. But it will happen. As I say to my students after every session, “You are better than you were before you walked in.” Improvement is incremental- patience is required, but improvement happens every session.
The “Coincidence” factor.
I have heard many of my students say “it’s a coincidence… I have gotten stronger and/or move much better without pain or effort after starting OS”. I just smile and say, “Really? Interesting…hmmmm”. The fact is, it works for everyone. That’s a great thing!
Back to Mike.
After two weeks of performing OS resets daily. Mike is moving better with less pain. Mike’s gym is his farm. He continues to hit it every day from early morning to night time. There is no shortage of “exercise” at Fossilstone Farms! Moving better and getting stronger every day. Mike is just beginning to witness the body’s ability to repair without meds or weird devices (as seen on TV). Mike is discovering the human body is very simular to his farm. It must be worked, constantly maintained, and cared for when needed.
The body is willing, but are you?
Mike has learned not to fear movement, but engage in it. Part of aging is not weakness and decline. We are always meant to be strong during all phases of life. Like others who have decided to act, Mike has observed that OS is not an exercise, but a simple life maintenance program. Allowing us all to enjoy the things that bring us joy…. Until we drop dead.
For more personal stories and information regarding Original Strength visit https://originalstrength.net
Get after it!