The Take Shape Obstacle Course opened in the Summer of 2003 and each year it evolves with new obstacles/activities. We currently have over 30 obstacles, with hundreds of variations and games. Summer 2015 saw the new barefoot path.
The 10 acre course has a 500m grass track, mown weekly, and is set in picturesque countryside.
The obstacle course fits in with the principles of Frenchman, Georges Hérbert’s Method Naturelle (c.1900) which has been the inspiration and foundation for new activities such as parkour and free running. These principles are now being engaged by the top health professionals in the world for health and performance.
10 natural ‘utilities’
Pursuit – walk, run, crawl
Escape – climb, balance, jump, swim
Attack – throw, lift, fight
These are best performed outside and are non-competitive. “Exercise only with the intention to carry out a physical gain or triumph over competitors” Hérbert believed, “is brutally egoistic and just wasn’t human.”
“être fort pour utile” “be fit to be useful”
“There is the great duty of man to himself, to his family, his homeland and to humanity” Hérbert wrote, “only the strong will prove useful in difficult circumstances in life.”
Hérbert’s inspiration came from Ancient Greece, where health goes hand in hand with compassion and has three components:
paideia = skill (mind)
arete = strength (body)
xenía = desire (soul)
Overload any one of the three, and you’ll unbalance the other two.
If you build individual muscles on a gym resistance machine (that you see in most gyms but not Take Shape!) you build ‘stupid’ muscles that have no skill.
If you do not enjoy your movement, there is no desire and motivation will quickly wane (note I use the term movement not the unpleasant sounding ‘workout’)