[T]he comfort zone. This is the bane of all athletes, the enemy of all entrepreneurs and creative[s], and the graveyard of dreams. ~ Dan Edwardes from, https://danedwardes.com/2021/09/24/risk-and-reward/
This is a ubiquitous problem. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “stuck in the doldrums“? It’s a literal place where there isn’t much wind, and thus the bane of old-timey sailors. But the metaphorical doldrums are just as real. You can avoid the literal doldrums. You can at best only try to avoid the metaphorical ones. Whether it’s literal or metaphor though, the way out is the same: Concerted, intentional effort to go somewhere else.
Motivation will get you out the door, but it fades over time. A good book or podcast might give you the momentary impulse to take your first steps along a path, but when the road gets tough only discipline will keep you moving forward. ~ Dan Edwardes from, https://danedwardes.com/2020/11/17/motivation-is-temporary/
Edwardes is a well-known figure in the world of Parkour. He’s someone I’m proud to call a friend. A little over a year ago, I had a quiet, private, late-evening conversation about businesses and movement and Parkour and I’m pretty sure we touched on motivation. …or at least, I know motivation was something bouncing around in my head. Specifically: lack thereof. I’m not even sure that I realized that at the time, but it’s clear to me now.
At the time though, I definitely experienced a sort of ground-shifting sensation. I don’t generally fan-boy on Parkour people, and I’m pretty sure I never did that with respect to Edwardes. No, it was more like—something I’ve experienced on several occasions with Parkour luminaries—I was suddenly aware that I hadn’t been fawning [for years] over this person. No, here I was, once again, in a cool conversation with a fellow human. Being.
These days, I’m doubling-down on discipline and that quoted blog post and that conversation conspired to inspire me to make a fresh post.
Anyway. Dan Edwardes is someone you should hear of, and now you have. Check out his blog, or the best—call me biased—podcast interview of him, Dan Edwardes: Motivation, efficacy, and storytelling.
Oh— and no, that linked podcast is not the conversation I mentioned up top.
All coaches carry out their role based on combination of their experience, knowledge, values, opinions and beliefs, likely with most unaware that they are doing this at all. This melting pot of factors amounts to what can be described as the coach’s philosophy. The question is – do you actually know yourself well enough to understand how these elements are combining to produce your own philosophy of coaching? Do you understand what your core coaching approach and methods are?
~ Dan Edwardes
Yet in the practice of parkour there is also a war being fought: a psychological battle that we are presented with every time we step up to a jump or a movement we have not yet mastered, every time the fear of failure or falling rests its dark gaze upon us and tells us to give up, to go home, to try it another day, to excuse ourselves into accepting defeat.
~ Dan Edwardes
For me, fitness and health are just a means to a larger end – something to enable me to live as I wish, to accomplish what I want, to face any challenge and adversity that may come my way and do my best to overcome it. Fitness isn’t the goal in and of itself; it’s just a tool, a part of my training which in itself is simply to allow me to follow my path for as long as I desire. It’s a by-product of living my life to the fullest, nothing more.
~ Dan Edwardes
To my mind, the most important guiding star on our journey is integrity. We have to practise what we preach, and this means embodying the principles we aspire to and letting them permeate every aspect of our lives.
These lofty values and principles we aspire to in training; courage, determination, commitment, humility, honesty, quality, consistency, perfection – what good are they if we abandon them when we end the training session and return to our daily life?
~ Dan Edwardes
Who can jump the furthest? Who can run the fastest or climb the highest? Who can face the most danger? Who can do the most twists in a somersault..? How could we get to a place in our minds where any of these things actually matter to us? Arbitrary things, all of them: quick to come and quicker to go; easily gained or lost, easily learned or forgotten.
~ Dan Edwards