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Meet Courtenay Turner of WIM: What Is Movement in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtenay Turner.

Courtenay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born with congenital rubella syndrome, which rendered me with several health/medical complications including (but not limited to) unilateral blindness, bilateral hearing impairment, heart complications, hypotonia, fine and graphic motor impairment, stunted growth, and asymmetrical bone development.

I am honored to have inspired my friends, fellow athletes, and community with my passion for physical endeavors despite the physical challenges bestowed upon me! My parents were told the best they could hope was to find a nice institution for me to spend my life. The prognosis was so dismal no one expected that I would be walking, talking, and certainly not exhibiting great feats of athleticism. As someone who hungers for knowledge & creative expression, I have spent most of my life exploring the human psyche via academic pursuits but always turned to movement for healing and self-expression. I believe I am testament to the power of movement to heal physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I attribute my ability to overcome physical challenges largely to movement practices as early as infancy, dancing in my mother’s arms, playing in a wet sandbox to strengthen hypotonic muscles & early gymnastics experiences that laid the foundations for acrobatic and strength training pursuits into my teen and adult years. The healing practices and values I’ve learned as a child later became what I’ve turned to in times in need of emotional fortitude. Each physical challenge I face is an opportunity to get stronger not just physically but mentally & emotionally.

I aspire to set an example for anyone who is discouraged by the difficulties and obstacles life presents to us all, especially those who were made to believe their life would be limited by a congenital condition or even just limiting beliefs they have either been told or internalized. My drive to create my show “What is Movement (WIM)” is to inspire people to connect to their bodies and find ways to use movement as a tool to help them heal, physically, emotionally, mentally & spiritually! I believe “all human beings are designed to move but the ways in which they do are their unique creative expressions!” I’m passionate about inspiring others to move as they wish and explore their bodies’ potential and the healing gifts that can be uncovered as we explore our physical expressions.

“All human beings are designed to move and the ways in which they do are their unique creative expressions”. This is a complex notion of the age old Decartesean duality that is the human experience. We are indeed complex creatures intertwined mind, body & spirit! I wish to articulate these themes into tangible terms that can help people face challenges in their daily lives! Using my own life experience, I want to impart tools and wisdom for others to use our physical experience as a mirror to help us improve our mindset and our emotional well-being!

Has it been a smooth road?
I commenced my college application essays with “my life began as a series of challenges since then I have continued to seek mental, physical and emotional challenges to surmount!” This has been true if my life’s journey, but I believe as Nietzsche said “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. Each time I overcome an obstacle, I prove to myself I am capable and it fortifies me to forge ahead. My mission is to empower others to do the same and to see difficulties as an opportunity for growth!

As children, we face challenges constantly and we cannot function if we don’t face them and learn from them. As adults, we have more luxury of complacency but the drawback is we cheat ourselves with the opportunities for growth! I believe we are always either evolving or devolving and the hope is to evolve both individually and as a species.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I have created my show and brand WIM: what is movement with the hope of inspiring people to tap into their physical home (their bodies) and to learn from my story and the inspiring stories of other movement experts how to create what I call a “movement mindset” to build resiliency overcome adversity & heal themselves mentally, physically, emotionally & spiritually!

I also speak on these topics while performing aerial acrobatics as part of the event to show what is possible when people believed it wasn’t!

I am most proud to have the opportunity to inspire and help others to reach their highest potential! It is an honor to be able to use my darkest pain and the things I have spent my life (and still work at) overcoming to help others!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see a lot more online presence in even the speaking space… personally I have a lot of visions for my brand down the road.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rob Klein

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