Monday, August 25, 2008

August 26th 08': Flying Forward

Well it HAS been a while since I've posted anything, and I feel it's for a valid reason, practically no Internet access and working my ass off at camp! So yeah, gonna post up my thoughts, history and realisations over the past few months.


Island Lake Sports and Arts Camp 2008


So, the time came around after working hard in the UK, for just over a month, working every single day doing 3 different jobs in order to make sure I had enough money to pay for fees and travel America, June 12th 2008 came around and it was time to fly to JFK Airport in New York City and start almost 3 months of a new job, experience, and opportunity to learn. June 13th I arrived at camp to some who had been before, some newbies and some who arrived the same day as me.

Generally the whole story of camp is a long one, best explained within the pictures I've collected as the days have gone by, you can see these photos here:

Counselor Orientation


Island Lake 2008 Folder 1


Island Lake 2008 Folder 2


Island Lake 2008 Folder 3


I would like to say thanks to all of my friends from camp, as well a Doug, Kim, Nate and Darren from Circus for helping me learn so much and to the kids for making me laugh even when I was down on a rare occasion. The camp truly had an amazing atmosphere about it, it was said at the start of camp and I truly felt it at the end. Saying goodbye to the friends I had made and spent so many good times was very hard and I could not hold back my tears as we said goodbye. Thank you for everything! See you again next year!


Realisations at Camp; Parkour, Circus, Movement and Life.

Well, at camp I was fully immersed within the Circus environment. Parkour and the movements that contribute to the practice, were still practiced and used on occasion, but I felt it important to work on the areas of movement I needed to develop for work and to teach others while at camp. I worked with focus on Flying Trapeze, Catching, Russian swing, Teeter Board, Quartet and Mini Tramp as well as pulling safety lines for all those which need them.

Parkour as I practice it at home wasn't applicable to camp life due to the sheer amount of work with the department and campers. So I learnt many BRAND NEW things and I have no doubt in my mind that the Parkour and years of training I've put in have helped me learn these movements much quicker through understanding of my body and abilities.


While at camp I've been reading "Body Mind Mastery" by Dan Millman, which is a spiritual/sports psychology book, discussing life and sport, coupled with "Eat Right For Your Type" by Dr Peter J. D'Adamo. While practicing circus and movement, along with (since February) my non meat trainings, many of the realisations I was experiencing were being reiterated within the books.

In body and movement terms, lessons included:

  • Stages of practice and learning while learning new areas of movement;


  • Realisations of improvement and demanding higher performance from self


  • Confidence and faith within my individual abilities


  • The importance and beauty in increased flexibility


In diet:



  • Our body is it's own teacher, and Will naturally choose what it needs if you listen to the natural urges.


  • Taking what's natural and as much as possible, untouched by chemicals, additives etc.

  • Things that you'd think are good for you, may not be in relation to blood type and how your body reacts to parts within the foods.

(Regarding diet and blood type, it is something I will be trying out and I will post more about it in a few months once it has been followed strictly and update you on my process).


Camp also allowed me to develop the area of life I feel that needs the most of my attention, service to others. Camp is a difficult environment to work in, when you are at camp, generally you are always on duty, rest is minimal apart from on a day off, however the work I've been doing before camp has definatly helped me push through the tiredness, problems, difficulties faced when putting others before yourself. Yes there were times when I didn't want to do things, but that's the time you need to work harder through it. It's the same in our training within Parkour, should we feel tired and achy, train as much as you can, as the days you are feeling better and happier you're going to enjoy it more and have improved from the "off day".


Camp has helped me see many strengths, and many weaknesses to improve on, Traceurs and those who wish to gain a better understanding about themselves and what they can do to improve themselves and possibly work harder than they've ever worked before, check out doing a summer camp.


Also at camp I managed to get Parkour to be taught by myself. I had a good and large group of young people who enjoyed working hard for the 2nd Session, working on conditioning, and gradually a few vaults. 3rd Session was a smaller but generally older group, we worked on running first, and creating an understanding of the body through 'warming up' and fun challenges to test themselves, which involved a dodgeball game variation. I'm beginning to ask more questions on my methods for training the body in relation to Parkour, I mean the movements are important, but as has been said before, the 'being chased' scenario is, in fact, rare, and currently I'm creating the conclusion that learning more about yourself is paramount, learning in a fun, challenging, and active way, building things up VERY slowly and allowing the room for personal, albeit supervised and guided, development. Of course before, my thoughts being solely for Parkour, conditioning and understanding before movement but this is slightly different, the Parkour 'techniques' Incorporated within a broader range of skills.


Post Camp Travelling: NEW YORK CITY.


Wednesday 20th August, saw my arrival to New York City from camp. First night I was staying with Alec and his family in his apartment. BIG THANKS TO YOU ALL. Next day I was training with the local New York Parkour practitioners. It was a great day in both weather and training and thanks to everyone for coming. That evening I got all my bags taken down to Jamaica in queens where I would spend a week training and living with Mike (pyro). We had a great day in Long Island, training with more locals as well as numerous times in NYC and with varying people and numerous locations.


Personally, this week has been a chance to get used to 'civilization' and getting into a more regualr pattern in regards to training, as at camp it was haphazard and many outside factors affecting my training. I'm now beginning to get my head around what areas need real improvement, all of which are about balancing my body. Now it's just a matter of motivation and carrying through on this difficult and frankly, 'make or break' part of my training in life. Let's see how it goes. Last day of training in NY tomorrow and it's far too late! time to sleep!


Til next time! Safe journeys


Brad