Meet Rich

Performance breathing coach

Rich is a strength, conditioning and performance breathing coach with lifelong ties to the Sunshine Coast. He describes himself as a kid from Melbourne who lived for the 3 weeks each year his family spent at the beach. As a "serious" adult, Noosa became Rich’s favourite place to refresh and recharge between stints around the country and across the globe.

Now, as a husband and father, he describes it as the place most aligned with the vision him and his wife Bec have for their family. We stopped by Rich's house in Sunrise to chat with him, Bec, their daughter Ryder and enthusiastic French bulldog, Harvey. Rich led us through some breathing techniques and even coaxed us into an ice bath, proving his own words of wisdom to be true...a lot of people will be surprised at what they are capable of.

What about Noosa feels like home?

The ocean. If all life originally came out of the sea; then to be near it, on it, or in it every day reconnects me to something well beyond a feeling of home.

What does community feel like to you?

1+1=3. That magic equation whereby nobody can sincerely try to help another without helping themselves in the process.

How would you describe your work?

I'm a strength and conditioning coach who stumbled upon the most incredible rabbit hole - an exploration of breath. And my goal is to change people's relationship with stress; be it physical, mental, or emotional; through experience, through feeling that which shifts within once we learn to use our breath to our best advantage. By testing people's abilities in situations provoking fear, stress and anxiety - ice baths, breath holding, training with heavy weights under water, etc. - we can break down the barriers preventing them from becoming the most versatile and resilient versions of themselves.

How did your interest in this area begin?

As a kid I was always fascinated by the limits of human potential. Playing semi-professional football exposed me to various high-performance cultures and thinkers. But the quantum leaps have come with the ability (through technology, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.) to learn from and connect with some of the top minds in sports performance and neuro-psychology.  What keeps it interesting is that we are constantly playing, testing and exploring, so the evolution and understanding just keeps deepening the rabbit hole.

Is there an experience within your fitness journey that has most impacted you as a person?

Injury. Even though it could be considered incredibly 'unlucky' to have suffered a series of injuries in the prime of my playing career, in hindsight it did two things. First, it taught me a lot about resilience and the persistence it takes to build back up from rock bottom. And second, it forced me to consider how I had contributed to creating the conditions (methods of training, posture, movement patterns) that led to the injuries. If we're playing the long game of health and fitness, then really getting to know your body, and understanding how what you do every day is either helping or hindering you is the most important insight to have.

The more I teach others, the more I learn. Both about the subject matter and also about myself.

What is a typical day in your life like?

The only real constants in my days are coffee, family and walking. Doing most of my work from home has given me an incredible opportunity to be deeply involved in the first year of our daughter's life. And to be there for her every day is very special. Aside from sharing a coffee with Bec first thing in the morning and finding an opportunity to walk (usually with our French bulldog Harvey), my days include some mixture of training, teaching, learning, and working in/on the various businesses I'm involved in.

How do you find peace in your day to day life?

Sitting quietly. I don't have any kind of formal meditation practice, but taking the opportunity to manipulate my breath (whether I'm on the beach, living room floor or in my home ice bath) creates the quiet space for reflection, insight and gratitude.

How do you celebrate success?

With quiet satisfaction. Taking the time for a coffee and croissant with the family and an ocean swim is hard to beat.

Go to coffee order:

Long black.

Words you live by:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

What's next on the agenda for you?

At 40 I still don't feel as though I've reached my physical and mental peak and I'm excited to keep pushing the limits. In my training I'll maintain a strong commitment to learning, exploration and experimentation. In the community I'll continue to work to bring together like-minded people, eager to explore the possibilities of movement, breath and performance in a playful and supportive way.

Connect with Rich

IG: @richjburrows

FB: @coachrichjburrows

Website: https://www.performancebreathing.online/about

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