Interview: Portsmouth children’s author and exercise specialist Dan Fallon
Team Locals Portsmouth caught up with Dan Fallon, a Portsmouth-based ex-Royal Navy Physical Training Instructor, published children’s author, and rehabilitation specialist, about his passion for movement education.
What inspired you to write Snowflake and the Seven Sacred Movements?
One thing I always wanted to do was write a children’s book. Being an exercise specialist and working for a couple of years in rehabilitation, it was very evident that people don’t move that well. I had patients visiting over numerous occasions being diagnosed with biochemical overload, caused by not moving in an optimal way and therefore causing them pain.
The solution for me was investing in movement education for kids, which, unlike other campaigns, is specific in identifying functional movement patterns which relate to general everyday life like lifting, shopping, or even their favourite sport. The key message from the story is meant to be simple and impacting.
Discuss the reasoning behind the movements in the book?
Paul Chek, an expert in corrective exercise, developed a system regressing primal pattern movements back to their fundamental quality. Inspired by these seven general motor patterns, I started to build a philosophy (move more, move better) that would give humans today a better understanding of why we must remain functional to live injury-free.
I want the children to get involved with the exercises in the book like the Limitless Lunge, and Tornado Twist, and then go to school and show their mates what they’ve been reading by demonstrating the moves. The book is aimed at early years, progressing to children aged five through seven who are able to read it themselves.
Do you have a sequel in mind for the book?
Although many readers of the book have ideas of where the story could go, I see it could work equally well on television, relating it to something similar to, say, Kung Foo Panda.
Where do you want to take your message?
As an educator, I always thrive to pass my message on whether via the book or direct to people who are involved in teaching other people exercise, like personal trainers, PE teachers, and sports coaches.
Lastly, tell us briefly about the Lifelong Movements book you are working on?
I’ve written an adult’s guide to give to patients, to help them get into the mind-set of my methodology. It came from the experience of asking patients and clients what tasks they struggled to do through limitation due to an injury and tasks they just sought to be more competent at in their everyday lives.
For example, if they can squat, we can add weights and build up, or likewise strip it back and make it simpler. I’ve developed 21 movement patterns in total, all relating to the activities of daily living, designed around the activities of a typical family from the moment they wake up to the time they go to bed.
I hope the movement patterns inspire others to follow my philosophy to move more and move better.