Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rif Signs Off

Mark Reifkind's blog has gone offline - links to it will return a "by invitation only" to read now. After 4 years of near daily blogging, Mark is shifting gears.

Mark Reifkind is known to many in the hardstyle kettlebell community not only for being a Master Intstructor of the Pavel Hardstyle RKC, but perhaps especially for a resource he created for the community: his workout blog, and now, after four plus years, he's signing off.

Perhaps running a workout blog mayn't sound like much in particular - there are so many folks who have a workout blog.

But in the RKC space at least, Rif's Blog is a big reason why there are so many RKC blogs. And his is the Gold Standard, and that for several reasons.

First, Rif's a respected athlete: gymnastics and powerlifting background who came to kettlebells early. He's been there since the formative days. Having a blog to trace his experience in using this New Tool, the Russian Kettlebell, assessing it, meant something to others curious, thinking about dipping their toe into this water.

Second, besides letting others vicariously assess and be inspired by his findings, Rif shared more than workout logs: he shared insights in figuring out how to work through his various aches and pains, and these were grounded in an understanding of the musculature of the body. That he logged his progress through his pain towards healing and strength gave a reality check on where others might be thinking about turning for their own rehab.

Third, Rif helps: some of the most helpful tips are on Rif's blog. The format of the VO2max Dane of Pain drills are there; my favorite is how to tape one's hands for the RKC weekend. Golden.

Fourth, Rif has introduced many of us to new techniques, including club bells and hot bikram yoga. It's been remarkable watching his vids using these tools - and seeing his form and progress.

Fifth, if he didn't pioneer it, his use of videos to show how he walks the walk is illustrative, inspiring, and what makes his workout record such a gift. Go *watch* Rif do it.

Sixth, Rif's blog is a generous space: his blog role goes on forever with the names of many RKCs - who were in no small part inspired to create their own blogs because of Rif's example. Talking with RKCII Rolando Garcia at the CK-FMS, he asked if i'd noticed how RKC's blogs weren't just do one thing, but included a range of practices - a little joint mobility; a little KB'ing; a little powerlifting. I turn to Rif's rich reflections on his own workouts and see the Model. And what day of the week is Swing Day? When are double bikrams?

Seventh, Tracy. Rif's love of and support for his life partner Tracy is just so cool to see. That's them in the picture in this post. He talks about Tracy with such obvious joy, pride and butt kicked impressed-ness, that we can't help but just applaud - but also what a great model of encouragement and support. Tracy's own blog has mirrored the Rif model of sharing her video'd progress and thoughts. It's a powerful combo, these two. The community owes them a huge debt of thanks.

Eight, Rif Replies. Look at ALL the comments on Rif's blog - half of them are usually him responding to others' comments. Your thoughts are never just a post on Rif's blog: you comment, he'll reply back. Like you're at his place and he's gonna come around to welcome you. Again, this interaction approach has been inspiring and informed our own practice: this is just the way ya do it, the Rif way.

Rif, thank you so much for blazing the trail and setting such an awesome template of generous, courteous, helpful engagement. Respect, dude. Live long and prosper.

1 comment:

Franklin said...

Thanks for the wonderful tribute to great man and his gift of sharing.


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