It all began with a chance encounter on the outskirts of the forest about a year and a half ago: Ran, co-founder of the Wildling Shoes fox’s den, and Jan, founder of Corvy, literally ran into each other there while they were out jogging that day. They got along great right from the get-go and decided to stay in touch.
As time passed, they shared conversations, got to know each other, dreamed some dreams and came up with new project ideas together, until things really got going at the beginning of this year.
After some creative brainstorming with Anna, Jan seized the opportunity to develop a very unique exercise program, specifically tailored to the needs and dynamics of our wild pack of co-workers in the fox’s den. Alongside a workshop for the physically active warehouse team, Jan developed a program that takes the idea of remote work seriously and is designed to accommodate the predominantly decentralized nature of our office staff’s work from home. The challenge was to translate Wildling’s guiding principle of “together from everywhere” into real life with the concept of a collective exercise program.
To be sure, having the option of working from home certainly offers its own set of advantages. Yet not everyone finds it equally easy to pay attention to their own physical activity when they’re at home, sitting at the computer, juggling the obligations of family life and the everyday routine. The objective of the exercise program that Jan developed was to offer all members of the team a framework that provides space for physical exercise, mental balance, and well-being.
The pilot project for this program was implemented over the past six weeks with part of the Wildling pack and has been met with very positive feedback. So it’s not surprising that last week, the first den-wide 20-minute workout session with Jan was held, and now it’s high time for us to let you get to know him a little better. Thank you, Jan, for giving us some insight into your life, your motivation, and for this opportunity to work with you.
MOVEMENT FOR EVERYONE
Hello! My name is Jan, I'm 32 years old, and I founded the companyCORVY in 2014. Corvy’s mission is to enable everyone – regardless of age, skill, attributes, or prerequisites – to participate in a personalized physical exercise plan. Nobody should be marginalized when it comes to sports and fitness. It's not about competition and performance as benchmarks for achievement, it's not about people torturing themselves with hours of training, where the focus is purely on a quantitative execution of exercises.
Well-being through exercise
Instead, my focus is on enhancing personal well-being through exercise, which goes hand in hand with improving posture. My intention is to create a new guiding vision for fitness that focuses on a holistic sense of well-being. Through targeted and professionally guided exercises, points of tension are dissolved, muscles and connective tissue are specifically strengthened, and posture is sustainably improved.
The most important cornerstone of this concept is the RECOVERY, an analysis of the posture and the gait of each client, which is carried out to determine his or her current condition. This way, we can initiate a targeted muscle relaxation and, based on that, we can begin the functional training.
A swim in an icy cold lake
What was the wildest thing you ever did, the last thing that really made you feel wild and free?
The wildest thing I ever did was the #Coldlakechallenge, which I carried out in December of 2019. I spent 1.5 minutes swimming in the cold lake, forgetting everything around me, and feeling really free. I wanted to share this feeling of freedom with others and that's why I created the challenge.
It's important to prepare yourself for swimming in a cold lake, using cold shower sessions and targeted breathwork. I have been taking cold showers for three years now and I'm amazed by the positive effect on my immune system.
Just do it, without demanding perfection
Are there any childlike qualities that you have retained to this day?
What fascinates me so much about childlike behavior is the quality of being uninhibited. Just doing something without turning every action over in your mind a thousand times beforehand. I still remember that feeling from my childhood: the freedom, the carefree spirit, and the belief that I could do anything. You feel a tremendous zest for action and that special playful ease.
When I feel relaxed and at ease, I can retain this ability to let go of inhibition, even as an adult. I personally feel this in my work with people. It's where I feel comfortable and unselfconscious. The point is not that everything always runs perfectly, but that everyone feels comfortable from the start.
Uniqueness in your own backyard
What are your hopes for a sustainable future?
For a sustainable future, my hope is that everyone would start with themselves first.
It's the little things that can make a big difference, whether it's our society's excessive media consumption, the trash can without a plastic bag, or even doing without a car or coffee from a paper cup ...
I would like to see a conscious consumption of meat and the reliance on seasonal and regional food. Sustainability should start with each individual in his or her everyday life.
Our nature, with everything connected to it, is so incredibly diverse and beautiful, we have to rediscover it. And it doesn't mean taking a long journey – the uniqueness of nature is waiting for us in our own backyard.
Free thinking and feeling in one pair of shoes
What has been your experience with Wildlings so far?
Wearing minimal shoes changed my life over six years ago. Since that time, I have been wearing those shoes for sports, or I just train barefoot. I do have to say that, before I became familiar with Wildlings, I had never found a shoe that I liked enough to wear in my leisure time as well.
When I wore this minimal shoe for the first time, I had to get used to the width at the front section of the foot, and the maneuverability it creates inside the shoe. In the meantime, that's exactly what I've come to appreciate so much.
It just goes to show how much we are influenced by the social and fashion conventions of clothing, which aren't always good for us, but instead are often detrimental to our body and our well-being. Wildling has managed to create precisely this consciousness of liberal thought and to express it through these wild shoe models.
All the other shoes that I see in the stores now seem pretty damn narrow to me. Like little coffins with feet squeezed into them. Feet end up changing their shape and becoming narrow, even though by nature they are not.
But the amazing thing to me is that the Wildling minimal shoes allow my foot to regain its shape, it's getting wider, the toes don't stick together anymore, and I can feel more. Sometimes, even as a coach, you fail to see the obvious: What's the point of training barefoot if you have to squeeze back into cramped shoes in your everyday life? Although I made sure I had a shoe without heel lift, my toes were squashed and there was hardly any feedback to the ground I was walking on. Today, I get the ultimate feedback from my Wildlings in everyday life.
If you can’t work out in the gym these days, have to forgo the daily bike commute to the office, and don’t want to waste away in your home office, Jan’s website and his social media channels will certainly offer you alternative exercise options like online training and the home office program.