§16 – Don’t be that guy

(Part 28 of 28 in Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)

Serendipity.

I’ve been working on writing these thoughts for over three years. Without actually checking, I think it was the Fall of 2015 when I sat in Le Jardin Joan d’Arc and read my copy of Thibault’s book in one, all-day sitting. Almost 4 years ago?

I created this particular blank note for Chapter 16 in May of 2016. “16”?

As I’m writing, it is May of 2019. Another, “May”?

About three years ago I started the project which eventually became Movers Mindset. Two years ago the project grew to include a podcast.

This morning, I feel compelled to “finally” get around to writing something for Chapter 16. I open my digital copy, flip to Chapter 16, and I read, “Chris ‘Blane’ Rowat once wrote…”

Care to guess who I am interviewing for the podcast today? Yes, really.

This is sublime.

All those threads woven together lead to this moment of realization at 8:00 in a rented London flat, 6,000km from my home.

Critically, while I’ve known for months the exact date and time of Chris’ interview, I’ve not read Chapter 16 recently enough to have remembered that it starts with his sentiments. If I had, I’d certainly have made some complicated plan to co-publish this writing and the podcast, or something—but this serendipity would not have materialized. Energized by the jolt of adrenaline when I read Chapter 16 this morning, I now feel a renewed belief in the entire Movers Mindset project! (Which is good, because most days there’s more strenuous labor than love in the labor of love.)

But, serendipity and coincidence are bullshit.

It’s just my brain, (yours may be the same,) working its tremendous powers of pattern matching. This morning my mind found a slightly-more-interesting-than-usual pattern and screamed, (ala the old adrenal gland,) that it had found something that demanded much closer attention. I’ve been spurred to carefully read Chapter 16 about five times this morning, to mull over my thoughts, to spend an hour or so writing, and to think of all the people I want to share this story with. I was inspired to create a vision of how the interview will go, new questions have popped into my head, and I’ve thought of a specific person who I now realize I’d forgot for about two years!

I wonder: What would life be like if I simply paid closer attention?

What if—instead of needing a kick in the adrenals to be this motivated—I could begin to intentionally notice things a bit smaller than this morning’s coincidence?

What if!

…and of course, “don’t be that guy.”

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A person should be strong

(Part 14 of 74 in My Journey)

http://www.parkourgenerations.com/node/9399

It suggests that a person should aim to be strong, but not just in a physical sense. They should aim to be resilient, free thinking, confident and yet remain humble. They should learn to be self-sufficient and useful to their loved ones and they should be aiming to always progress in some way.

~ Chris Rowat

Written to have 5 parts, plus the introduction, he’s only completed two parts so far. But if parkour/art d’déplacement/free running you love, read this you must.

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To be and to last

(Part 7 of 74 in My Journey)

To be and to last

http://blane-parkour.blogspot.com/2013/12/50-ways-to-be-and-to-last-in-parkour_11.html

To last? That old lesson about the brightest flame burning the quickest is particularly true in Parkour. What use is a person who lasts five years and has to stop training due to bad knees and a broken ankle? How useful is a body that can’t move pain free due to years of neglect and abuse? The journey of Parkour was never meant to be a brilliant flash of spectacle and show, it was always intended to be a lifelong pursuit of improvement and one that doesn’t need to end once the body begins to show signs of age.

~ Chris “Blane” Rowat

Ignore the show reels. Ignore the spectacular. Those MAY be inspirational to you, but your journey SHOULD be a long series of small, eminently POSSIBLE steps. Go to your first class and try anything; try SOMETHING. Stop when your body has had enough. Repeat. In a few months, you will have grown so much that you will hardly recognize yourself.

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The Cat’s Out of the Bag

(Part 2 of 74 in My Journey)

http://www.parkourgenerations.com/article/call-arms

If you want to repeat that little jump at an angle to a moss covered wall all day until you can do it with your eyes closed… well my friend, you are not alone. I want to repeat that jump with you. But let’s do 50, just to be sure. And one more for the others who can’t join us. That’ll do us both more good than that big roof gap whilst you hold the camera.

~ Chris ‘Blane’ Rowat

By now, all of my friends know I practice parkour with Lehigh Valley Parkour. I’m pushing 42, with graying hair and the BMI calculator says 34.9, (which is “obesity.”) So when people first find out, they raise an eyebrow and say, “You’re a brave soul!” or “Huh? The jumping from roof-top to roof-top thing?!”. …my answer is ‘no’ to both of those.

Please do not go to TouYube and look up parkour; Total waste of your time. This is one of those Catch-22 things where the people who believe — quietly, to themselves — that they “get it”… well, those people aren’t posting spectacular videos on TouYube. So you don’t notice their point of view on the whole thing.

I am not saying, “those people over there have it wrong.” I am not saying, “parkour is the One True Path(tm)”. I am not saying, “these ideas are to be found only through parkour.”

I am saying parkour is…

…a journey composed of tiny steps so easy that failure is impossible.

…the grueling, deconstructing, work of self-improvement.

…that well-earned sense of accomplishment.

…the joie-de-vivre that I hadn’t noticed I let slip away.

Playfulness.

Freedom.

…and one more for the others who can’t join us. :*)

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