Saturday, May 19, 2007

21st of May - 26th July 2007 - Personal Development within Parkour

Well, gonna type and see where it goes, I've learnt so much recently I've got a lot in my head, gonna try and get it out as well as my thoughts to share with you and hopefully they will help you, or at least then see my view on things to incorperate it into you Training/Parkour/Life.

For the last few months my training has been down, not training as much or as hard as when I first did, merely because when you start you need to get strong to do certain movements. I remmeber when I first started training, I wasn't strong enough to climb up lik the people in all the videos I watched were, so I went home and did press ups and pull ups and kept working until I could. However, after the initial stregth gains to be 'strong enough' for Parkour, the movements I was practicing retained the strength and I continued to practice Parkour how I thought right. To clarify this to practice Parkour to me, within training, was drilling movements, working on combinations of movements for small 'runs' etc. Just the way it was, learning form having fun, doing technique, we knew nothing better, I knew nothing better.

Throughout my time practicing, I've learnt all sorts, travelled to many places and yes I have been progressing, predominanlty in technique and little bit in strength and what have you just from practicing and small bouts of a few months training regime, then stopping, I don't know why, I think it is predominantly due to impatientness as a teenager, do some exercises > see results > think you are done and leave it.

The Samsung Tour was a big learning experience for me, having trained with 9 different people for about a month, Danny taught me about movement training and "missions" and Parkour in life, Brad, I started learning more about diet, Prozac was great fun to train with and his amazing levitation powers, Luke, for making me laugh and his caring about having fun while out and about. The tour was a great experience as well as teaching at the first WWJ workshop in Lincoln, meeting a friendly and close scene training hard etc. I taught precisions and techniques I had developed through my time training.

Still regardless of all of this, making reasonably steady progression, I wasn't training how I should have, just how I think I should have, a few workshops later came to Decemeber and Xmas 2006. Now to be fair to myself I started working very hard, along with Oli, Elton and Mark, and the guys who condition hard around Southend, evening barefoot rock running at Shoebury East Beach, and barefoot stair running on Christmas eve in Southend! Dedication eh?

Christmas starting a chocolate and caffiene addiction and January, a difficulty to get back into training, I was training but not too hard. And then pretty sure it was the 15th of January first time Erith opened back up after Xmas - BANG/CRUNCH -

Side flip off of a horse into the covered foam area, like I had been doing all night perfectly, over rotated and heard nothing but a gristly pop/crunch and a thought that I had broken my ankle. The journey home wasn't nice and went for an X-ray the next day, they said it wasn't broken, btu I just knew it was a lot more serious than any sprain I've ever done before.

So lots of rest, and limping. I rushed back into my training and had a few little tweaks of it, and each time backing off more and more, resulting in lots of rest and reading. Eventually it was good enough to start running on so me and Chalrie ran about 2km down Ironwell Lane in the wet and rain. Was hard but defiatly worth it, we went exploring and for a long walk that day, was soooo nice to be outside and moving, albeit with a little pain. Morning in general were bad, used to wake up and having to stretch my ankle with walking and then it was okay for the day. Still getting better every day to this day.

Since retraining all I've been wearing until recently is Feiyue's. I've really found they have developped my touch and confidence in environments, as well as to avoid high impacts, been only focusing on low and small techniques to not put my ankle under too much stress.

Over the past few months, namely March onwards, I've been hit with the passion of learning and working hard, I read a book which awakened me to the world around me. In essence, everything we need to know and learn is in the world around us, so get outside, and learn something new. I've been a lot happier, and had a greater dedication to training, still regardless of this, I have felt regret on thing I have done/will be doing. My most recent regret being looking predominantly at my physical strength.

To rectifiy, I found using anger to my advantage in regards to strength training.
Climbing for example (Arm jump position), trying to get from one side of a wall to the other, climbing with raw determinism and persevernce, until my hands bled to make it to my goal. When you reach plateaus, you cn really see how week you/we are as individuals, and fills me with more drive and determinism.

With this, I still felt empty, and alone. Needing someone to help me out, help me along my path, learning errors in my way, how to live more fully, and TRULY Living. Weeks ago I stayed with Jason and Liv in Canterbury, training hard everyday, he showed me a lot in relation to raw determinism and how hard I should be pushing myself to become more than myself. It is obvious to see Jason has been working very hard, with strict conditioning and flexibility training, it is always a pleasure to see someone bettering themselves and becoming more and more confident with their body and skills, no matter which discipline they use to better themselves in.

In that sense that is why I feel Parkour is such an important discipline. It is personal and people bring their own qualities and thoughts into the discipline, it is open to any age, gender and ability. It is challenging on so many levels and you can always move forward, always better yourself, always find other ways, other challenges.

Above this, this was written around May time, now, I've fisnished Britains's Got talent, which is one of the biggest experiences of my life, living in London, triaing hard for a show and appearing in from of a few hundred people as well as MILLIONS of via live on TV. Met some amazing people all of whom live through their passions. We entered for a laugh and was happy to get to where we did. However being there and being through that much pressure I know that's not for me, I wasn't training how I enjoyed only what I needed to. There should always be a subtle blend of the two.

I got home, reaclimatised and started training again, I am doing a lot of barefoot work and believe it is an important part of my training and development, discussed here ( ) and here ( ).

I am training hard again having developed a new sense of self and direction. I have a new job starting soon working for Connexions being a Youth Worker, which is an area I always want to work in, helping other people. See how it goes :-). Local workshops are on their way, so teaching parkour locally at schools etc, which again is a brilliant opportunity to pass on what I have learnt.

A few word's I've picked up that I feel are important in Life.

"Amoung friends, there are no good-byes"

"Do not Stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die."

No matter what, we are connected with the Earth and will go on. We should look after it and it will us. Go through life treating everyone with love and respect as a person and helping all who ask or seek it.

Hooray for training again! Learning and teaching is a true gift.