The Path of Fearlessness

The two key fears are the fears of uncertainty and not being good enough, and in my experience, they’re both the same thing. We’re afraid of the uncertain future (and uncertain situations) because we don’t think we’re good enough to handle whatever might come out of the chaos.

If one felt that this were true, what might one do unlearn such fear? As usual, Leo has a considered opinion spoken from the position of experience.

Random snapshots of two men I admire

One guy is always happy to see me. I don’t mean well-duh-that’s-obvious happy, the way say, my mom is always happy to see me; I mean, just outright happy, twinkle-in-the-eye, “Hey there you great lug!” sort of way. This fellow gives automobile-crash hugs– WHACK and you fall over into him. His aren’t “A-frame”, I’m-hugging-but-no-actually-i’m-not hugs. I think I could back over his dog — he doesn’t actually have a dog, and I’ve never backed over ANYONE’s dog — and he would STILL be happy to see me. Consequently, it is IMPOSSIBLE to not feel better after receiving one of these greetings. It is not just me which receives this treatment. The world is a better place every time someone gets a crash-test-dummy hug like that from him.

The second guy is a Gentleman. This is a highly-intelligent, engineering-degree-from-respected-University… he knows there’s evil, and people do bad things, etc… AND he’s such an impeccably, unwaiveringly, decent soul. I have never heard him curse, or even speak ill of anyone. In fact, I have NEVER heard him even raise his voice. This is not hyperbole; I’ve known this guy decades. In fact, having talked to others who know him, no one ELSE has ever heard him raise his voice, curse, speak ill or generally be anything other than pleasant and polite. His composure rises above “great self control”, to the level of — well… honestly, I’ve no idea. I just wander around my life, thinking — how the F*** does he do that?!

(Alas, one of them recently died, and the world is a little bit poorer for it.)

These two men were best friends for — my guess here — 70+ years. One of them married the other’s sister, which as far as I can tell, only made them better friends.

I suspect that none of the above is coincidence . . .

10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings

And now, somehow, a decade has elapsed.

Because I believe that our becoming, like the synthesis of meaning itself, is an ongoing and dynamic process, I’ve been reluctant to stultify it and flatten its ongoing expansiveness in static opinions and fixed personal tenets of living. But I do find myself continually discovering, then returning to, certain core values. While they may be refined and enriched in the act of living, their elemental substance remains a center of gravity for what I experience as myself.

Maria Popova’s site “Brain Pickings” is one of the true delights of the Internet. Take a few minutes to click over and see.

All Training is Sacrifice

To train successfully, you must be willing to sacrifice portions of your present self-concept to a future, higher version of the self created by your ego. It is your ego, god-like, that is initiating and driving the process of self-transformation and becoming. This process requires you to exchange something you have for something you want. Nothing worth anything is truly free, and everything worth having requires some kind of sacrifice.
Instead of “killing your ego” — instead of fighting yourself — approach training as a sacrifice of a part of yourself to a higher self.

Yes you can

(Part 59 of 64 in ~ My Journey in Parkour)

Hello there! Welcome!

This post is where I’ve dumped a bunch of things intended to convince YOU that you really can do Parkour.

Why do I think you can do Parkour? Because, basically, everything the general public has heard about Parkour is wrong. You could totally do Parkour because…

I’m too old, over-weight, out of shape…

I did it, so can you.

I simply mean that when I started, I was very over-weight (BMI well over 30, definitely “obese”), very out of shape, and I was just over 40 years old. That combination is probably “worse off” than most people who end up reading this.

However, if you are older, in worse shape, or fatter than that, I do still think you can do it . . .

Do you think you can improve yourself?

Parkour is about improving yourself through challenge. So whatever is challenging for you, that’s going to be your practice. Maybe for you, it’s a warmup and then start working on some shoulder strength, but you spend a majority of the time watching class so you’re not over-exherting yourself. Maybe it’s a long talk about nutrition and diet (generally what you eat, not a specific diet fad) combined with your initial Parkour efforts.

What about that crazy stuff on TouYube?

It is NOT about big jumps! Why does everyone see the EXTREME movements, and then assume ALL Parkour has to be like that?

You can drive a car without getting into auto racing. You can do a cart wheel without being an Olympic gymnast. You can go for a jog without running a marathon. You can practice Parkour without jumping between roof-tops across an alley!

There’s nothing wrong with the extremes (in the “ultimate level of performance” sense) in any of those activities, but those extremes are NOT representative of the average activity of “driving”, “cart wheeling”, “running” or “Parkour”.

And anyway, here’s a link to my all-time favorite video of some Parkour. I think it’s spectacular, but not in the “huge jumps”, “extreme movement” sense: Julie Angel’s, Movement of Three (2’33”)

But I’m a woman…

The answer is still: Yes. Yes you can.

I do understand that there are issues (not just in Parkour) that only women face. But those issues are either societal norms, or other bullshit caused by men. That has nothing to do with Parkour per se. (It’s about men. Actually it’s about boys. Real men don’t pull misogynistic crap.)

HOWEVER, do not take my word about anything regarding the woman’s point of view. Instead, go read this:

And the question almost no one asks…

How do I figure out where and with whom to train?

This is ACTUALLY the hard part. It’s always the same: finding the right coach is mission critical. And you have to perfom this most-important step BEFORE you know much about the thing you want to learn.

So here’s how you do it: You find the nearest place/people/group that purports to teach the thing. You go there. You put your “vibe radar” on and you don’t go back if anything weirds you out. If anything is high pressure (“Jump this! NOW!”, “Sign up for a year! NOW!”) then you back away slowly, and never return. They should be welcoming, intelligent and you should feel supported by most (if not literally) everyone in the class.