Movement

The future of functional fitness is an evolution into functional movement.

We see this already in the explosion of more complex movement practices like parkour happening all over the world and being adopted slowly by the mainstream fitness world. Organisms are not machines, and the era of training them like machines will give way to an age of treating them like organisms, leading to longer health-spans, fewer injuries and even greater potential.

~ Dan Edwardes from, https://danedwardes.com/2022/05/28/the-future-of-functional-fitness/

Thanks, Dan! Thanks for the teaching, for the training, for conversation, for asking good questions, and for just being the sort of person who keeps showing up. Showing up publicly, sure. More importantly though, showing up to do the hard work of self-improvement. And for showing your work.

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Beginnings

The situation is even worse if you have no designs on getting ripped and instead just want to build a baseline of capability, whether that’s for hoisting your toddler, shaking off the stiffness of a desk job, or living independently as you age.

~ Amanda Mull from, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2022/04/hampton-liu-working-out-pe-exercise/629696/

Back in 2011 or so, when I stumbled into parkour and Art du Déplacement, it was a weekly opportunity for movement and play. There was no goal. There was no larger point to anything that we were doing. We weren’t trying to get ripped or beat our best time running or win at anything in particular. It was simply a merry band of people getting together to play and move, and it was challenging and fun. I (and everyone else) had good days and bad days. We laughed a lot, sometimes someone cried and not too frequently there was just enough blood to demonstrate we were serious. We each faced our fears. We pushed our boundaries and were challenged and supported (figuratively and literally) at the same time. I had never experienced anything like it. Countless times I’ve had similar experiences now—no two days are exactly alike, of course—and it always surprises me just how special it can be to move and play with like-minded people.

If I’m being honest, it’s very rare that I get those experiences these days. Once a month, if I’m lucky, is about the rate. Perhaps. And just this morning we were talking about making some fresh space in our not-actually-really-that-busy lives— a bit of prioritization as it were. I should definitely follow through with that.

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Rediscovering movement

Play is a big part of our lives as children, but why do we lose our playfulness as we age? I talk a lot about the emotional and physical aspects of play, especially regarding Positive Ageing and aspects of Parkour. So many people feel like play is out of reach as they approach midlife, even though it’s an innate part of you.

~ Julie Angel from, https://julieangel.com/discovering-the-power-of-play-in-midlife/

Angel doesn’t write often, but when she does it’s something nice like this. I just want to say that physical movement and play are inseparable—without the former, you’re not really doing the later.

Or, perhaps I just want to say two things; That first thing, and that Angel is the film–maker who created my favorite video to share when people ask me, “what is parkour?” Movement of Three.

Actually, I want to share three things: Those two things, and Julie if you’re reading: OMG the cannoli!

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I’ll be podcasting and presenting Art of Retreat 2022

During the Sept 24th weekend, I’ll once again be recording conversations with community leaders and movement enthusiasts at a retreat in the Cascades outside of Seattle. Follow that link If you’re interested in the nuts-and-bolts of what I do in order to create some conversations. Over there, I’ll be posting replies as the project progresses over the next two weeks. I’ll be showing my work—preparation, packing, gear, field recording, and post-production. I’ll try to cover everything from ideation to the final deliverables.

The first piece of context is, what is the event that I’m attending? It’s an immersive gathering celebrating leadership in parkour. We bring remarkable leaders from the global parkour community together for 4 days of learning, sharing, and play.

https://www.artofretreat.com

The event is a concept which has been held in various locations over the years. It’s near and dear to me both in the sense that I’m into parkour and I’m into podcasting. I’m also leading an interactive session about Creating Better Conversation.

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Coaching through play

This blog deals specifically with the games based aspect of coaching. I recommend using a model of explicitly teaching skills and then combining this with purposeful practice drills. With primary school children, that almost invariably means playing games.

~ John ‘Hedge’ Hall from, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/coaching-through-play-how-does-work-john-hall/

I often mention parkour, FreeRunning, and Art du Déplacement and I just wanted to take a moment to mention that there are a ton of people (myself not included) who take teaching it very seriously. If you’ve ever wondered how it’s taught— well, here you go.

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Grit

(Part 73 of 73 in series, My Journey)

Don’t let ease tempt you. Don’t fall for its false promises. What you gain in ease, you lose in meaning. What you gain in ease, you lose in excellence.

~ Hugh MacLeod from, https://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/2022/07/08/follow-the-yellowbri-road-to-greatness/

This topic came up today in an outdoor Parkour class. Being outside, training, sweating, and overcoming challenges with friends old and new is always a treat. (“If this isn’t nice…“)

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There may be something to this

Research now demonstrates that neuronal sensory integration actually happens much earlier in the sensory processing pathway and is actually optimized or heightened with multi-sensory stimulation, or what we call sensory stacking.

Sensory stacking is to bring in as many sensory input systems during an exercise or movement for the purpose of enhancing cortical stimulation and neuronal pathways.

~ Emily Splichal from, https://barefootstrongblog.com/2021/05/06/sensory-stacking-the-integration-of-tactile-visual-and-auditory-input/

Our entire schtick—whether you self-identify with Art du Déplacement, Parkour or Freerunning, or whatever—is moving in a visually complex environment. That turns out to have a physiological, brain altering affect.

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Obstacles

When you start to see your world as something more in line as a tool and an obstacle to interact with, play with, you’re going to take that lesson and look at other obstacles in your life. Your relationships, your job, your work, your health even. All these things are going to be so strongly ultimately affected by this tiny little change of yourself and your city.

~ Caitlin Pontrella from, https://forum.moversmindset.com/t/004-caitlin-pontrella-movement-creative-play-and-community/79

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The story we tell

The story that you tell people is the story that they’ll believe. And that’s the story that you become. And so for Parkour, we have a bunch of disparate stories that are being told right now, where you have people that are doing their own things… I just think that it’s important that the people who are doing so are taking responsibility for their impact that they have on the global community and the way that Parkour is being viewed.

~ Max Henry

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Really! I wasn’t kidding the other day when I mentioned episode 4 This one is from episode 5.

Recently I published episode 129 of Movers Mindset. And there are 95 episodes of conversations with podcasters for the Podcaster Community’s show. And 38 episodes that I did for Art of Retreat’s SPARKs podcast. Okay, I’m panicking a little now. There are so many amazing things that people have shared!

Know anyone who wants to help me by working as an “archivist” or “research fellow” or something like that? …please forward!

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Disparate stories

The story that you tell people is the story that they’ll believe. And that’s the story that you become. And so for Parkour, we have a bunch of disparate stories that are being told right now, where you have people that are doing their own things… I just think that it’s important that the people who are doing so are taking responsibility for their impact that they have on the global community and the way that Parkour is being viewed.

~ Max Henry

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