Was that resilience?

(Part 10 of 37 in series, Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)

Sunday’s class contained a block of time where we were told to set a specific goal for ourselves, and then go work on it.

There’s a particular technique that I’ve been stuck on for nearly two years. It’s completely a psychological issue. Each time a coach brings up this technique, I equivocate, and they drop me back to the progressions for the technique. But, I can do the progressions, and every coach then says, “Then just do the technique.” Usually, they manage to encourage me enough to eek out a few tentative iterations of the technique. At which point I’m all like, “Yeah! Progress! Awesome!”

And the next time the technique comes up I have the EXACT. SAME. PROBLEM. I profess inability, the coach assesses the progressions, and then coaxes me through getting the technique. Over and over and over and over and over with too many coaches, way too many times.

Nemesis: n., this technique.

So on Sunday, armed with 15 minutes of time and delusions of making progress on my own, I set off to work on my nemesis.

(Here, there would be a montage and inspirational music.)

13 minutes later I had managed to scare the crap out of myself several times, and had accomplished absolutely nothing. I’d stared at it, fiddled with variations of feet and hands, and jiggered every adjustable parameter. Basically, I spent 13 minutes trying to avoid my fear. It was exceedingly frustrating because I’ve done this countless times: Every single variation, every attempt, every change, telling myself the things coaches would say, my worries, my self-reprimands.

So I’m standing there, mentally kicking myself thinking: “Yes yes, I’ve even tried mentally kicking myself countless times before. Fine. All I have to do it screw around for two more minutes and then this can be over.”

At which point I finally had a different thought: Section 3! Resilience! How can I specifically use resilience in this situation?

Truthfully, I had no idea how to apply resilience. I tried looking at the obstacle differently. I literally laid behind the wall and looked up from where I should land. I sat astride the wall and imagined the technique from the side.

I eventually tried again and — I have no idea why anything was different — I actually made one. Then a second. And then a third. And then, in fact, 13 in a row, banging out the last few repetitions as the instructor called us back together.

NOT comfortable: Even the success freaks me out so badly that my palms are sweating days later as I type this.

NOT impressive: It’s a simple technique. The 13 I did were teeny tiny baby versions with a low obstacle, and most of them had poor landings. Worst of all, I’m not the LEAST bit certain I can do it again.

Was it resilience? Was it stubbornness? Luck? Finally just strong/flexible/whatever enough to make it? I have no clue. I was jammed so far up in my “head space” that I haven’t the slightest idea what actually happened in those last two minutes.

Do I have a point here? I’m not even sure about that. This is just a story related to section 3.


Some days, Parkour is like this; It’s not all unicorns and rainbows.


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