Flow for Firefighters: Interview with Captain Scott Ryckman
We are incredibly honored to interview local Firefighter & Captain, Scott Ryckman who got started with Clubbell Yoga & Steel Mace earlier this year. We are on our final week of our Fire Station Flow Initiative (offering 2 weeks of unlimited FREE classes to all local Fire Departments in Whatcom county), and wanted to hear first hand why he is so passionate about sharing mobility, strength and yoga with his colleagues. Check out his story and how Clubbell Yoga & Steel Mace have impacted him, even better check our Online Schedule and get started with our intro special 2 Weeks unlimited classes for only $30! Firefighters are FREE till Sept 2nd!
Tell us a bit about you and what you do in Bellingham...
My name is Scott Ryckman and I am a Fire Suppression Captain with Bellingham Fire Department. We provide EMS and Fire services to the City of Bellingham, Marietta, and Goosberry Point. I also have a paramedic certification.
How has training Clubbell Yoga, Steel Mace, etc impacted your body and mind?
I have been practicing with Steel Clubs, Kettlebells, gym rings, and similar types of exercises for 10 years. I first started up with Steel Mace due to my wife. She knew I’d like it because of the style training I tend to pursue. I like functional training because it focuses on using your whole body. I’m admittedly not the biggest firefighter around by a long shot, so this style of training has taught me to do my job efficiently, safely, with form that prevents injury. I also love the way it focuses on mind/body awareness and improves reaction times and reflexes.
What type of stress reduction techniques to you use to recover from your job?
I’m a huge music geek. I have a M.A. in Music with a focus on Jazz Studies. I still like to play my saxophone and listen to a ton of music. I love riding mountain bikes, hiking, snowboarding, and working out. Which is funny to people who have known me for a long time because I have really become active the last 12 years. I also do a lot of breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and see a counselor on a regular basis. Fire and Police see a lot of trauma, and we are all recognizing the occurrence of PTSD/PTSI that these jobs create and the toll it takes mentally on our people. Finding positive and healthy outlets is critical for us to do our job.
What do you want the Fire Departments and personnel to know about coming to Flow Shala?
I really like Clubbell Yoga and the results I’m getting with strength, conditioning, and mobility. Yoga is really good for you and focuses on so many small stabilizer muscles. It really identifies weaknesses that isolation weight lifting can’t. I’m also a big fan of steel mace because it mimics the feel of a lot of the long tools we use on our job. Rad Roller is also amazing for recovery. I’ve been doing foam rolling for awhile, but the density and shape of those tools really target spots a foam roller is unable to hit.
What tips do you have for people who have never done yoga or may be "inflexible"?
It’s not just flexibility, it’s strength to hold the poses, balance, and control. It’s also mental focus and breath control. The flexibility, or better word would be mobility, comes with time and discipline, so it is a really interesting physical and mental challenge to practice yoga, with or without weight.
What is your favorite Steel Mace move and why?
I love 360 swings. They hit your whole body and engage your core, but also open the shoulders and really test your control and mobility. Plus they are great for a lot of the motions we use swinging axes, forcing doors open, or overhauling structures after a fire.
What changes have you seen in your movement practice since you started?
I have experienced better coordination and balance, increased mobility in my shoulders and hips, fat loss and lean muscle gain, and increased energy because I’m training in a way that helps me recover faster and more efficiently.
Thank you Scott for your dedication to your movement and Flow practice. It is an honor to train with you. We invite you and any of your colleagues to come train with us this Fall, check out our Fall FlowFit Challenge that starts up in September. We will be training FlowFit, getting on a 4 day wave, integrating meaningful recovery training into our week, as well as working on personal development & mindset.