Where do I begin? I guess the best place to start is to say that if you haven’t been to the PCC yet, GO! I’ll wait while you go sign up. You won’t be sorry.
I had the PCC on my workshop wish list for quite some time. I was maybe halfway through the first day, my mind already being sufficiently blown away by what we were learning, when I thought “geez, what on earth took you so long to do this?”
The PCC was different from any other certification I have attended. There was a certain energy in the air amongst the participants from the moment we walked in the door. A lighter energy, an inherent sense that this workshop was going to be a lot of fun.
I think the fact that the workshop starts with Al Kavadlo essentially telling us that he had no expectations for what we could and could not do immediately releases any nerves the participants may have. He tells us to have fun and try new things, but that some skills take months or years to achieve at their highest levels of progression.
The name of the certification embodies the very principles of this method. Everything is progressive. But because everything is progressive, at the same time everything can be regressed. As such, everyone can participate in some way, to the level that is appropriate for them on that particular day.
The energy amongst the participants, however, is magnifying, inclusive and inspiring. As you’re working within your small group or with your partner, you suddenly hear an eruption of cheering next to you as someone reached a personal best on something they have either been working on, or with a skill they just tried for the first time. Sometimes, you find that the cheering is for you. Often you find the courage and the encouragement to try a skill that may have scared you.
The participants don’t just cheer when the achievement is met, they cheer for each other as they make these attempts. This is all in an effort to try something new and to learn what each progression of an exercise feels like. If you try but don’t achieve the skill, they still cheer for you just for trying.
The skills themselves look like feats of superhuman strength, and some definitely are. But at the same time, they are playful. This playfulness just adds to the fun energy in the air. Each day is wrapped up with tallying all of the personal records on each skill that we learned. To see how many hands are raised for the PRs and to see them posted on John Du Cane’s Facebook page is that much more empowering and inspiring for the next day and for the future.
Of course, just like all the Dragon Door certifications, you always make new friends at the workshop. That’s another thing that the Kavadlos tell you from square one. That you will make some deep connections with people and leave with a bunch of new friends that are all part of the PCC family. Perhaps you’ll even find yourself practicing some of your new-found skills with your new family on the subway one evening after dinner!
When you go to the PCC, be prepared to accomplish things you never thought possible. Be prepared to learn how to advance your own skills while bringing back a host of smaller chunks that you can use with your clients. Be prepared to look at every street sign or every kind of pole or bar in a new way. Be prepared for the time of your life.
Shari Wagner is a PCC instructor, RKC Team Leader and owner of Iron Clad Fitness in Denver, Colorado. While Shari’s fitness journey started with kettlebells, she loves the results from adding calisthenics to her own training. Her clients are having lots of fun incorporating calisthenics as well. She can be contacted through her website IronCladFit.com. Follow Shari on Facebook: facebook.com/IronCladFitness and Twitter: @IronCladFitness for more info.