Well, here goes once more! Again it's been a while since I've written anything but here's an update and some thoughts. [[**Edit**- It was going to be a post regarding my faith and it's relation now to what I;m seeing with parkour, but it's long enough as it is, so next post will be more related to Parkour.]]
Since my last blog...
- Continuing Youth Work, Now Two Years and working towards NVQ's.
- A Few Coaching Jobs Around and About.
- Developing myself through training, First Aid, Volunteering, and trying to start local projects for the community, with the Police and Council
- BPCA Work and Writin, beginners guide coming soon!
- Training Focus on reality.
- Crawley Juggling Convention '09.
- Became Christian.**
**So yeah, the last point is obviously the biggest deal in many ways and undoubtedly one of the biggest changes to impact my life, so I'm going to write about it all, where it's lead me and allowed me to see.
So yeah Summer's been grand, training with and helping the SouthendParkour Community grow and develop, myself included within that. Pushing the community aspect, we are growing and making small differences within the Southend Area, continually clearing rubbish and litter from our training spaces and others, as well as obviously, training ourselves for the benefit of others.
We've incorporated a lot more swimming into our training of late. Considering we are on the Thames Estuary and by beaches, it would make sense to practice swimming and use the sea to our advantage, especially for helping others and thinking about REAL LIFE scenarios people might need help, sea and water issues is likely. Useful for immune system, and cold training also!
SO we are running more, and a few of us spending more time in the gym and working on carrying and lifting weight and each other. This is NOT a fitness first gym or overpriced rubbish like that... it's an old school free weights gym, the owner Roy Perrot was Mr Universe in 1968 Medium Class!
Anyways, the main focus of training, as ever, is sticking with being strong and useful within the realistic environments or situations we will or may be in. Erwan's MovNat work as an example, is all well and good and opened most people's eyes to things that should have been incorperated into peoples Parkour training, such as lifting and carrying.
But the thing is, he had to move to a place like that (middle of nowhere) to train. His methods work for where he is, but where we are, where society is developed and materials aren't Natural such as the towns and cities most of us live in, barefoot and other methods like that become, in my opinion, ill-practiced, especially with the fact that todays towns are the places that people really need help. There's then another extreme in the oppositte direction with the WFRC and stuff like that, it's all about balance. Both have relevance to life, messages, lessons and use, BUT IN BALANCE. It is important, but yeah, I'll discuss why Parkour is so important in relation to this in my next blog.
This kind in relation to function and real use, has lead us to move running, climbing, carrying and lifting work, as well as continuing to train these and increasing aerobic and anaerobic strength capacities.
My Beliefs and Ideals Within Life.
Background: I've been exploring faiths, religions, and lifestyles with a real interest over the past 2 to 2 and a half years. Having practiced Parkour and been opened to finding new ways of approaching obstacles and life, Dan Millman's novel, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior , gave me a happy living ground for a good few years; accepting what is; and doing what I can to help others, to be of use to others, staying here and now. When it came to faith and religion, I felt like, I could go sit in a cave and be myself and spend my time reading and working out if God was real or not; but it wouldn't be much use to others there and then, so left it be and stuck with immediately what I could do for others, and with what I did know.
Parkour, as a discipline and living practice, gives you some great perspectives on life, and can make you more perceptive to the subtle changes around you, seeing the lessons in the smallest of mistakes, firstly in movement, and later on within life. I've seen so many doors close and others open, so many little 'coincidences' in life, like not doing something which I thought I needed to, which lead to something much better, or things of this fashion.
I just accepted that it was just the "energy of the world", and how it works. Having faith in the 'Process of Life'.
After training sometimes, looking at the world around and wherever we are, feelings of amazement and awe take over, how beautiful and perfect everything is, how we can learn from everything that's infront of us, how it's possible that we can communicate with one another, the sights we can see and the things we are blessed to do.
I don't live in cuckoo land, I know there are issues in the world that people would disagree with my "perfect" statement, yet still, there are people who love enough to get out and work to make a difference to those people, it is interesting.... it balances and can do.
I had problems believing that all of this, life and the world, is a mistake, but I also had issue believing there was a God that created it all. I approached this issue thinking I'll never know for sure, so just do what I can, with what I do and can know, here and now.
Over the past year in particular, Christianity has had a significant pull on me, went to a church event with a speaker who was talking about his life, through homelessness, drug abuse, army and finding God and Jesus. As well as, towards the beginning of this year listening to a lot of Shane Claiborne talks, and asking my friends questions (thanks to Caz, Whitney and Danny in particular) answering any questions and issues I may have and giving me other perspectives.
So that's the background, on with Soul Survivor.
Soul Survivor 2009: Week C: Bear with me. =]
I was asked to help and Coach at Soul Survivor Week C, months ago, so I thought it sounded like great fun, and nice time away and a good chance for my to persue exploring Christianity further. (If you don't know it's a Young People's Christian event "Soul Survivor runs events to help people get to know and follow Jesus better.")
It's a rather nice event, travelled for a looong way and many hours to get to Somerset and the Bath and West Showground, (as it happens where a large part of my Parkour Journey began, I met Seb Foucan and Co there in 2004). Max picked me up form the station and I was reaquainted with the Ilabacas, friends, Kie and later on Tariq, Yeays! Monday was getting used to things so a nice chance for us to play and train with each other before coaching started on Tuesday.
In the evenings I went to the 'evening meetings' where there were teaching and speakers as well as worship. Was pretty cool to see that many people in a huuuuge tent singing and there for what they believe. We had coaching sessions late afternoon and after the evening meetings.
As the week progressed and having chats with people from around camp and the site, it was great ot hear other perspectives from new and different people. One guy Ben, who was with a Group of Young People I was talking with into the early hours, after hearing my thoughts on the world and God, said "Maybe if you believe there's some power in what you call a Universal Spirit, it might be wise to invest a bit more time looking into it?".
Those words really stuck with me that night.
If you've not been to the Showground it's an awesome open space, and you really feel connected with the energies around you. I was feeling things so much more and Come Thursday I was quite open to the idea of God. During the day and coing into the meeting in the evening, was chatting and from what I'd seen during the week, of people and their actions, I was feeling like there were many missing the point of what I've learnt through my own research, what Jesus' teachings really are, of love, embodying, and living teachings, being THE example and guide for others.
All were 'united' in the tent, then when finished, back out to normal, sticking to their own friend circles, afraid to try new things, and boxing themselves into catagories. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this was everyone, and I am by no means perfect, but they were my thoughts, that's what I was meant to see. During coaching Thursday evening I felt energy pulsing and I let whatever was needing to be said out, some of the words I don't think were my own...
Come Friday I was feeling like, "what was I thinking yesterday", and feeling a bit silly about possibly believing in God, I mean "how could He and it all be real". Friday went on through coaching during the day, and went to the evening meeting. The Holy Spirit was 'introduced' to the tent and some weird old stuff was happening as people were getting touched and filled; people laughing, shaking, screaming and what have you. I'd never seen anything like that, really had a magic and mysterious quality to it all. I walked around and was remembering things I've heard during the week, that some are thrown in to the deep end and just have to believe, taking the first step to believe in something more than what you can see and feel at times, and having faith in that. My upbringing and teachings from the school and society had definatly made that hard!
Either way I thought I needed to give it a try, I prayed to a God I didn't know if I believed in or not for guidance to find him, somethign to help me believe. I then left the meeting.
I went up to the coaching area feeling lousy and confused, I asked if Kie, Danny and Tariq and co' could take the session that night. It was a free session for those who had been in to train during the week and to move. It isn't the type of session or training I work with and as such I didn't particularly want anything to do with it, if something happens it was my neck, so I sat in the corner and let things happen. It was selfish. I was really feeling whats the point of it all, and in turn asking if what I'd done that week actually helped anyone?
A guy came up looking for me, Ethan, he was in one of our classes during the week and being the last night, he wanted to come up and say thanks for the session, and that the things I were saying made a lot of sense and were helping him clarify his throughts of late, the things I were saying about movement and life, helped him and he wanted to say thank you.
Now, that was great enough, I felt better about coaching and I could have gone back out and helped, but it didn't stop there... He asked me "Are you a Christian", to which I replied with a brief laugh of confusion, "Not really, I don't know, I'm still figuring that out". He sat with me and we sat started talking and practically all the questions I had in my mind where being answered by what he was saying, which was frankly baffling. I asked a few questions as we went along but as we were talking I was in disbelief at yet another "life coincidence" cropping up, in particular when I asked for help and needed it.
After almost an hour of chatting I had to get some food and let some things sink in... And so there I was, with my own proof and experience of God in Action, of Jesus' love living through others and helping those in need those who open themselves up and ask for help and forgiveness.
That night was a long and great night. I spoke to people who I'd got to know through the week and they said they were praying for me, without a real sureness of why, they just felt they had to.
I've made the choice to give myself to Jesus. I realise the experiences over the past few years, in particular relation to Parkour and the community, has lead to a stage where I could let Jesus in, guided by God's wisdom and power to then and now. Since then, I've had some great people brought into my life and things are slowly piecing together to really work for others and do what we must do the change the world with love.
It may sound like a trivial event but so much has happened in life and I've now been pushed into believing, by God, to now live and live my life for His glory.
For those of you unsure of your faith or beliefs, Pray and mean it and answers will come, keep praying, keep loving and a whole new world will open up to you when it's right.
This posts been long enough, but the next one within the next week will be my message about Parkour, what I and others have been seeing, and what needs to be said and done so we can start changing the world, one step at a time.
Thnaks for reading people, love to all.