08 Sep Joseph´s and Gourgen´s story
Our names are Joseph Stone and Gourgen Gevorgyan. We come from a background of elite sports (Rugby and Olympic lifting respectively) and for the last 10 years we have been educating personal trainers and fitness professionals throughout Scandinavia with the organisation and delivery of certification courses and workshops. Our educational platform grew considerably over this 10 year period in both content and reputation, covering all aspects of fitness and sports conditioning from basic anatomy and physiology to emerging trends such as ‘core-stability’ and ‘fascial-fitness’. We essentially offered a ‘one-stop’ shop of education for newbie and experienced personal trainers alike and we were particularly proud of our reputation in delivering the latest, cutting-edge fitness tools and techniques within Scandinavia.
As part of our commitment to be ‘first to the fitness market’ in Scandinavia we hosted Lee Saxby in 2013 in Gothenburg. Lee’s course was labelled as a ‘Natural Running Technique Course’ but in reality it was a crash course in applied biomechanics, evolutionary biology and coaching psychology all served with an extra large portion of ‘cognitive dissonance’! We experienced a true ‘eureka’ moment regarding the importance of foot function and it’s role in injury–free, high performance movement and how the fundamental human movement patterns of squatting, walking and running are the foundation of healthy movement regardless of age or athletic ability i.e all humans need to be nimble!
Two things happened after that eureka moment in 2013; we understood that we needed to completely change our educational offering to encompass the importance of ‘intelligent movement’ and human foot function AND we understood that on a much larger scale we needed to try and educate Scandinavian families on the importance of regular activity and movement. The first challenge was relatively easy (but financially painful!) as we changed our educational offering in a matter of weeks but it wasn’t until 2015 that we began to address our second challenge of educating the whole of Scandinavia; with the BTR family race!
Our goal was simple; to create an organised event that would allow families to experience the benefits of movement in a fun, friendly and collaborative environment and at the same time provide parents the tools to create better habits within their families.
What was amazing to see was that many parents found that most of their children were incredibly nimble and easily tackled most obstacles where they themselves were struggling. We are naturally nimble as children and lose that ability as our minds and bodies ‘adapt’ to modern, sedentary culture and poor movement habits. Through our education platform and the family race we want to deliver the message that ‘life is better when you’re nimble’ and help motivate and educate people on their journey to become more nimble.
Throughout this journey we have used and tried almost all types of “barefoot” shoes ‘ or what we prefer to call ‘anatomically correct shoes’. We have come across a few models of shoes here and there that fit our criteria of correct footwear but could never hand on heart recommend a specific brand (we are beginning to notice a worrying trend where many ‘barefoot’ brands are compromising anatomically correct design for fashion and sales volume)
It was only when we were introduced to Joe Nimble and tried and tested their shoes that we began to get very excited about footwear and the possibility of collaborating with a shoe brand. We quickly realized that this is a brand with a full range which we could recommend to everyone interested in developing and maintaining foot function. After an impromptu invitation and visit to the Joe Nimble HQ in Germany and hearing the “Baer shoes’ story from the two brothers Sebastian and Christof and seeing first-hand; ‘35 years of uncompromising toe-freedom’ being put into production our excitement only increased as the brand, people and product surpassed our expectations.
The path ahead for BTR Sweden is clear; we will continue to educate Scandinavian fitness professionals on the importance of foot function and continue to introduce more families to the benefits of ‘being nimble’. The exciting news is that going forward we can now provide access to the most powerful tool available to everyone on the path to health and fitness; Joe Nimble functional footwear solutions.