Craig: Welcome to the Movers Mindset Podcast, where I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. In this episode, Ryan Ford shares his thoughts on his Parkour EDU program, various coaching methods, and his experience of building a community. He discusses the idea of a talent hotbed, how and why it occurs, and how to apply those ideas, before delving into the world of cryptocurrency. Ryan explains what cryptocurrency is, why he’s so interested in it, its potentials for growth, and the similarities he sees between crypto and parkour.
Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.
Ryan: Hey, how you doing?
Craig: I’m good.
Ryan: Welcome to Boulder.
Craig: Thank you. Ryan Ford is an American original, among the early parkour professional athletes and coaches. He is the co-founder of Apex School of Movement, and more recently Parkour EDU, as well as the author of Parkour Strength Training. Ryan is passionate about parkour education and best practices, and his entrepreneurial spirit reflects this. Welcome, Ryan.
Ryan: Thank you for that intro.
Craig: You’re very welcome. So, since were doing this just kind of straight through, and just chillaxing, we’ll start with something that I think people would think is an obvious topic to start. So, you wrote Parkour Strength Training three years ago-
Craig: Depending on exactly when. But you probably started on it four years ago, or five years ago. But, roughly three years ago, when everybody else saw it. And then, I understand that what you’re doing now in Louisville, if I’m getting my Boulder pronunciation correctly, in Louisville is, you’ve begun creating a physical program, like actually take that to the ground. And, I’m wondering if you want to unpack some of your experiences with that, what went well.
Ryan: Yeah. So, what we’ve been doing for the past couple months here, I think we started building this Parkour Strength for Adults program, in Apex Louisville, started it in mid-December. So we’re at, I guess a couple months in and I’ve learned a lot. Basically, the program is based off the book. So everything I’ve learned about, tested on myself, trained others, coached others. Many different types of people, kids, teen, adults. I think, in parkour, at least at the businesses, gyms and stuff, tend to be a bit more focused on kids and teens.
Ryan: And so one thing I was interested to do was start building up that program for adults. I think a lot of adults see parkour, and they kind of dismiss it as, “Oh, I couldn’t do that”, or “That’s definitely [crosstalk 00:02:30] crazy”, or “My knees don’t work”, or you know, whatever that may be.
Ryan: I think that’s unfortunate, but what we need is to show this in another way. And so a lot of our skill classes, almost all of our classes, actually, at Apex I would say are more biased toward skill training. So, about 80% skill training, maybe 20% physical training. This is the inverse of that. So we focus much more on the physical training, and there’s a little bit of skill, and fun and play mixed in there as well. But, yeah, we’re just trying to provide another outlet, or another on-ramp or funnel, whatever you want to call it for adults to understand that, hey, you can do this too. This is all progressive. This is scalable. We can all do, essentially, the same movements. Essentially the same workouts. But I’m going to scale up and down depending on what you’re ready for.
Craig: My personal experience I started at 40 and 40 pounds heavier than I am today. And for me the fun stuff is fun, but the physical preparation is obviously grueling. And I found that all the physical prep was the time well spent, and the fun was fun. But what I’m wondering is, does everybody else’s experience jive? Do they all push back on you, like, “When are we going to play the games”. Do you have to sneak it in? In other words, you think you’re playing a game but you’re really doing physical progression? Or have you managed to make it engaging enough? I’m just wondering how that plays out for the average person.
Ryan: Yes. So, actually I’ve been posting a lot of this kind of research and development, building the program, posting videos and stuff from the classes on my Instagram. So people can see a lot of what I’m, or what we’re-
Craig: What it looks like, right?
Ryan: … Yeah, you can load up- There’s a bunch of warm-up games.
Craig: Just so everybody has it, what’s your Instagram handle?
Ryan: Yeah, it’s @RyanMFord. My middle name is Michael, fun fact. So, Ryan, M as in Michael Ford.
Craig: So, those are snapshots, Instas of what’s actually going on?
Ryan: Yeah. When I get a good game, and the vibes are good, or there’s a nice workout, I just try to just whip out… I mean, maybe this is bad, depending on what your views are as a coach. But, my students have fun with it. They get to see themselves training a bit, I just whip my phone out, film a little 10-20 second clip here and there. And then put out a little context in the description as well. So, what is the workout, or why are we doing this, how can we disguise some of this stuff as play or as fun? Because, yes, I think that is a very common theme. And the people that gravitate toward parkour, they’re the ones who maybe didn’t like the traditional team sports.
Ryan: Or they don’t like the traditional working out with weights and machines and all this stuff. So, that is challenging sometimes. But honestly, the reception has been really great. In most of these classes we’ve got anywhere from 16 or 18 years old all the way up to I think currently the student [inaudible 00:05:19] will be like 57.
Craig: And I’m guessing it’s like a snowball effect. So if you have 16 people in a class and the 17th person shows up, he’s not going to raise his hand I’m presuming a guy and say, “I don’t want to do this at this point I want to play a game”. They’re going to, like, “I guess we’re doing this”. And then it gives you the chance for it to really be fun, before you have to convince them that fun is okay.
Ryan: Right. We’ve got kind of a core group. I guess that’s really important. You get the core group, they people who are buying into it. They understand why this is important, or why we’re doing it in this way. And then when other people walk in, and they see some 57 year old-
Craig: Killing it.
Ryan: … kicking ass over there. We’ve got people who are overweight, we’ve got people who are completely weak, can’t do a pull-up. It’s all over the place and that is challenging as a coach. But I think one of the highest level things you can do as a coach is have a class filled with all different levels and all different types and still manage to make it safe and challenging for everyone.
Craig: And see, I’m not a coach. But when I’m in a class and I realize suddenly that everybody is … I’m usually the oldest, slowest. But when I realize everybody is engaged you can get the vibe. If the younger, faster, better people are looking over their shoulder, like, “You’re slowing us down”, like that vibe can’t be hidden. I’m guessing that’s probably where a lot of the joy comes from, to see that. The material works, the principles are right. But then to actually see it implemented, and see all the students engaged and having fun, I’m guessing that’s what’s powering you to continue doing it.
Ryan: Yeah. Oh, man, there’s so many layers to this. For example, when I wrote the book, that was very much so, here’s the information. Here’s the movements you do, the workouts, how to tie it all together. But then when you start to build an actual group class program in real life, then you also have to consider, how am I going to make everyone feel welcome? How am I going to encourage interaction? Partner interaction and games, group games. How are we going to build a community? How are we going to have fun with this?
Ryan: And actually kind of backtracking a second here, a quote that comes to mind is, “It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun”. And that’s kind of how I feel about strength training. It’s not always fun, we’ll just get that out of the way.
Craig: You’re changing your definition of fun.
Ryan: We’ll get that out of the way right now. But, when you do a really good workout, and you’re done with it, would you rather look back and regret it?
Craig: Yeah, somehow you had fun, even though you didn’t have fun.
Ryan: Yeah. And then especially over time as you accumulate more and more of those and you unlock the first pull-up, you unlock the first precision landing on a ground rail two inches off the ground, you unlock all these things. I was just talking to my oldest student, his name is Stuart and he’s from the UK and actually started out at primal fitness a long time ago in D.C. Took a few classes there, but now he’s out here and he’s just telling me when he first came in he was pretty intimidated, and I get it. Coming into a parkour gym with people [crosstalk 00:08:14]. Especially here, we’ve got kids at our gym that they basically live there.
Craig: Especially if you walk into the wrong class. Sometimes you can walk in the gym and think, “Oh, this is a nice vibe”. Other times you walk in when the real kids are training, and it’s like, “Whoa. This is high level”.
Ryan: Yeah. And so we’ve got these people who basically, they live there. They’re there almost every day, and they grew up there. So for example we’ve got a group of guys who are around 18-21-ish. They’ve all been training with us for 10 years. I taught these kids when they were 10 years old, and now they’re insanely skilled and confident. And that can be intimidating for people to see, especially an older, maybe out of shape adult who walks in. Again, that’s why this is really important. Going back to Julie Angel’s thing. That’s another thing I think about all the time. See and do.
Ryan: That’s very important. If you walk in, and you see this parkour strength class over here, and you’re like, “Oh, there’s a couple of overweight people. There’s a couple older people. There’s a scrawny kid. Hey, I look like that, or”-
Craig: Yeah, I fit that.
Ryan: “That person reminds me of me. Oh, maybe I can do that. All right, I’ll go try it.” And then, after one or two classes and you kind of explain to them how it works and they’re hooked.
Craig: So, people will be listening be like, “Okay, how do I build such a community?”. When I say community I mean not just the micro or the sub community of the people coming to that particular class. But how do you construct a community in a gym space where you have this huge range of physical ability, and people who don’t, I’m guessing normally train together. Either they see each other in passing or I’m in this section, you’re in that section. How do you cultivate that communal spirit inside the gym? Are there other things you do specifically? Or is it like, try this and it grows, or try that didn’t work. How do you go about engineering that?
Ryan: If you go to the back of my book on Parkour Strength Training, you’ll see kind of little blurb about special things too and I list. It might be maybe 50 or 100 different people, but they range from athletes to coaches to entrepreneurs or whatever. But these are the people that, some of them probably don’t even know it, but I studied so many of these programs, so many of these coaches and athletes. I studied them very closely and I see what’s working for or what are they trying to do? What’s working to help them do that.
Ryan: And specifically going to your question, I think I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration for this and this is kind of a touchy subject. I won’t get too much into it, but there are certain programs out there, where I’m kind of anti-guru, I’ll get that out of the way. I don’t want to be anyone’s guru. I don’t really like the fact that some people think they can only learn from one coach. They’re like “This is my guru. I’m going to have to put blinders on to everything else”.
Craig: Or I have to follow a whole, I hate to say lineage, but a whole program. In other words, if I’m going to learn parkour, I have to pick, and I have to start here, and then I have to do this whole thing otherwise it’s a waste to go here and then switch. I agree with you that it’s not necessary. There’s advantages if you’re in a hurry, go straight through. But if you want to learn the most, I’ve talked about this before in the context of coaching certifications. I think the best coach would be the person who puts on their school board “I would like the P.E. job resume”, that I took all the certifications, right? Not like I have 57 layers of this one person … I’m stealing your train of thought. So, I agree there shouldn’t be one source of truth.
Ryan: Yeah, I totally agree. Actually one of my guiding mantras is a Bruce Lee quote, whether it’s as an athlete or a coach or an entrepreneur like life in general, I’ve carried this with me since I read my first Bruce Lee book when I was probably 14, 15. And it’s something like, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is uniquely your own”. And another funny version of that I’ve heard, which I think is very similar, is from the breaking community. There’s a phrase called “Bite and rewrite”. They managed to take that Bruce Lee quote, and condense it into three words.
Ryan: And bite and rewrite means, don’t steal, but draw inspiration from other places, and maybe even steal it, but rewrite it. Add your own unique take or connection on it. So, yeah, I think I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration for this parkour strength program for adults specifically. Because it definitely changes training little kids in parkour versus adults. So I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Ido Portal, Movement Culture, Christopher Summer, Gymnastic Bodies, Dr. Andre Spina, Functional Edge Conditioning, which I consider to be the gold standard of mobility training these days.
Ryan: So there’s this huge emphasis on mobility training, strength training. For some of the higher level people we get into power development. That’s kind of a bit more of the performance or competition level athletes who want to compete in sport parkour league, or maybe they’re training for Cirque du Soleil or who knows what.
Ryan: But drawing inspiration from all these different coaches and programs, and things. A couple things that have helped me build the community or build a better in real life parkour strength program for the first time, a couple things I’ve learned are, encourage partner interactions. Partner games, group games. Make people switch partners, interact with each other, even touch each other appropriately obviously.
Craig: Yeah, in the beginning a lot of people… westerners, especially people in the United States have a little space, like my little personal space.
Ryan: Yeah. But it’s undeniable when you encourage that collaboration, that interaction, people start laughing and having more fun. You see people’s eyes light up, and also it’s really cool to see we do have some of the higher level athletes training side by side with this 57 year old who started last month. And then they start to realize, “Oh, we are actually all kind of doing the same thing, but different progressions of.”
Craig: I always try to wonder how much of my story that I should put in, but there was a gentleman I trained with in the community in Pennsylvania where I am. I haven’t seen him in a while. But he told a story about, doing push-ups in a circle, or something, and got to a point where we’re at failure, and he’s exhausted, and a very young person next to him, in great shape, looks at him and says, “You know, if you breathe through your nose, it’s easier”. And what he didn’t realize, was the person he was talking to is a Tai Chi and Kung Fu instructor in his late 50s. This guy teaches breathing, meditation, he’s preaching to the choir. So, the older gentleman said, “I had a moment of anger. Don’t talk to me don’t you know who I am?”.
Craig: And then he said it was gone in a flash, and he went the next realization he had which is, I wonder if I would unpack all that, is he realized in the moment it was amazing that somebody who was a different generation than him, who was a completely different physical ability level, that that person reached out to him in a completely helping fashion.
Craig: This kid didn’t laugh at him or if you breathe through your nose … he actually was like, “How can I help this person who is clearly struggling?” I can’t physically lift them up. This person wants to do the push-up. But maybe if I mention this thing that I know. And what you said, which made me thing of that, was you were talking about the mixture of the really high level athletes and the newer students. And I’m just wondering if it’s always the case if we, like everyone in general if we just keep putting these people in close proximity, if it just magically happens. Is that a human thing? Or is it something that when you put people together the first time you have to say, “Okay, now in this class, we’re all going to mix, like go find somebody”. Do you have to set it up, or do human beings just click into that mode when you just kind of put them all in the same physical space?
Ryan: A couple thoughts come to mind on that. This is actually kind of a strength and a weakness of a parkour school, or program, or classes in general, in which you see lots of kids or teens and maybe the adults are like, “I don’t know if that’s for me. I want to work out with adults. So, I’m going to go to that Crossfit gym over there, where there’s a bunch of adults”. But, if you can manage to get them in, and you manage to get them to try it and commit to it a little bit, then they start to realize, “Oh, I actually really appreciate the fact that there’s these insane little kids doing crazy stuff that I can’t do yet, but I get to see that and I get to see these other people. All these different levels and types of people”.
Ryan: It reminds me of a book that I think about all the time. It’s been a big influence on me as a coach, as an entrepreneur, and an athlete, all kinds of different things you can use or apply this to. It’s a book called The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, I believe. And he has a great blog that goes along with this. So he wrote the book and then he publishes occasional blog posts that are related to the book. But, really it’s all about how do you build a talent hotbed? A talent hotbed meaning, why are there these little pockets around the world that are just freakishly good at some thing.
Ryan: So for example, like a little tennis school in rural Russia. Or the little tiny Caribbean country of Curacao produces an insanely disproportionate amount of major league baseball players. And so this guy went around the world studying these different talent hotbeds, ranging from music, sports, many other things. And he’s like, “What happened here? Why is that big here? Why are they producing so many great athletes?”.
Ryan: So, there’s three sections of the book. They talk about deep practice, meaning, basically the training methodology. There’s a section about ignition, which means, how do they ignite the country or the community to be into this.
Craig: And get behind it and [crosstalk 00:17:32] resources.
Ryan: For example, a native guy from Curacao made it to major league baseball. I think this was maybe the 70s, 80s, or 90s, I’m not totally sure on the details. But, his team got into the world series, and this guy hit a home run in the world series, with the entire country watching. And in that moment you can bet that 100s or 1000s of little kids were like, “I want to be that guy”.
Craig: Yeah, where do I do that? Where do I do that? How do I do that for baseball?
Ryan: Sign me up for baseball. And so, I think a couple years back I did kind of a talk on this. A lot of people consider Colorado to be a talent hotbed for parkour. So, I did a talk on this at a retreat in New York City a couple years back. And one of the cool things was or one of the biggest things I’m kind of getting to here is that there’s one specific blog post that you can find on The Talent Code blog. It’s about Chinese divers, Chinese Olympic diving team. And they have little kids that are selected to eventually be Olympic divers, for whatever reason. I know they have some crazy [crosstalk 00:18:35].
Ryan: But they have little potential prodigies. Little kids training side by side with Olympic level athletes. And that was one of the key things, in his opinion, or in his analysis. Actually, I think he was profiling another coach who was helping with that program. But the coach was saying that’s been the key, is they have all of these different levels, all these different ages training side by side. It’s almost like cross-pollination, osmosis, these words come to mind.
Craig: Right. And, I wonder how much there is. I’m thinking so if you’re an Olympic level athlete, and it’s just your other teammates, they all understand you’re really well. But when you know that people are watching, like those little kids, and you’re like, “I know these little kids are looking at me like I’m a hero, I probably should step my game up”. That could also be a vicious cycle of people overworking.
Ryan: [crosstalk 00:19:25]. Or, just be a better example? Make better choices.
Craig: [crosstalk 00:19:30]. Little things, like I decided to fold my towel, or I picked up this piece of trash, like we all do in parkour spaces. And, it would just create that feedback loop of trying to be their best version of themselves. That’s an interesting …
Ryan: Yeah, and kind of on that same note, another thing he talks about in The Talent Code is, there is a … I forgot who the tennis player was, some famous tennis player.
Craig: Skip it. When the name comes back, spit it out.
Ryan: When they were a little kid they grew up watching every single match of their favorite tennis players. And even as a little kid that started to almost unconsciously move exactly like their favorite players. I think we see this a lot in our communities. We’ve got these little kids, who they stick a precision, just like Dylan Baker or Brandon Douglas or these higher level guys that they see all the time because these guys are locals. It’s that osmosis thing. You see these other talented people doing it, and it eventually becomes part of your own skill set.
Craig: Cool. So, since we’re just kind of going off the cuff, do you want to dig into something else? Do you want to talk more about that? You want to tell me your plans for the future? I’m a big fan of random left turns.
Ryan: Yes. So, one other thing that’s kind of current, that I’m into and have been into for the past few years is cryptocurrency, blockchain technology. Kind of along with my entrepreneurship and video and technology startups. I’m all over the place man. But, what’s interesting is-
Craig: That’s a good thing. First of all as long as you recognize it, and as long as you’re choosing. “Today I’m spending here, then today I’m going deep on this”. So sorry blockchain [inaudible 00:21:07].
Ryan: Yeah. So, I guess I’ll preface that with a story I’ve been telling a lot of people lately, because it’s been particularly inspiring to me. There’s a couple of books that some of my favorite books over the past couple years are by this guy Yuval Noah Harari, he wrote a book called Sapiens the follow up was Homo Deus and then 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
Craig: Sapiens is on my bookshelf to be read.
Ryan: So, I heard Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, all these people are saying you have to read Sapiens. So finally, I was like, “Okay, I’ll read this”. And I hated history for most of my life especially in school. Especially in American schools, I’d say. They’re teaching some version of history and we’re just like, “Is that what actually happened?”.
Craig: It’s all facts and figures. There’s no perspective.
Ryan: Is this America’s version of what happened?
Craig: I’m going to go with America’s version of what happened.
Ryan: So, I really appreciated Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens because it’s almost as if it was written by an alien who was able to zoom out-
Craig: That’s what I heard.
Ryan: Like blast off into outer space and just kind of observe everything that happened.
Craig: Yeah. Came by every third Tuesday and took a picture and checked in and oh, wow, that’s messed up man.
Ryan: I’m sure Yuval Noah Harari has his own biases, but it felt much more level-headed and unbiased. So I appreciated that. What I’m getting at here-
Craig: Okay, so you brought that up for a reason. So what was your big impact? Your takeaway? Not you’re takeaway like summarize the book, but how did that change what you were thinking?
Ryan: Yeah, where I’m going with this is, his followup book was called Homo Deus, and that’s about what’s going to happen in the future. At least from his own opinion and his own historical expertise. He’s, I believe a professor at some university in Israel. And so he’s amazing at the connections he can make from almost seemingly unrelated things throughout history. And then, using that to figure out, okay, where are we going? What’s next?
Ryan: And in his latest book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century he is predicting like in a world that’s changing faster and faster, if you look at the rate of technology, innovation.
Craig: Right. Everything’s [inaudible 00:23:16].
Ryan: We’re at the hockey sticks at the moment where it goes from very slow and steady progress, to just blasting off. You think about 5, 10 years ago, iPhones, smartphones were barely even a thing. And now I feel a little bit bad about this, when I came back here, just a couple of hours ago, I honked at a lady, she’d crossed two streets, one of them right in front of me, while I was driving. And I was totally aware, I wasn’t going to hit her, but I wanted to honk at her to make her realize, hey, get off your phone when you’re crossing the street.
Ryan: What are we all doing just staring at our phones all the time? This has changed so much behavior and other aspects of life already in just about 10 years. So, where is this all going? What are we going to have to do to preserve our own mental health in the future? Like staring at Instagram and social media and smartphones are all correlated to this uptick in mental health and-
Craig: Or a downtick in mental health. I know what’s your uptick in mental health issues, right?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s what I mean. So we cope with this? Where are we going in the future? And what are the lessons we can learn to adapt and do better? One of his key takeaways is, one of the most important things for the future is going to be the art of reinventing yourself and learning new skills and combining them in new ways. An example of this that comes to mind is, are you familiar with Dilbert the comic?
Ryan: So, one of the most successful cartoons or comics of all time, in all the newspapers and who know how far it’s reached. Everywhere.
Craig: Everywhere. I think I’ve read the statistic it’s been translated into hundreds of languages. Which, I’m like, “Oh, yeah, you would have to translate the writing [inaudible 00:24:53].
Ryan: So yeah, I was never even a particular fan of this cartoon, but I learned more about the author, Scott Adams. And he has a great quote relating to where I’m going with this. He says something along the lines of, “I was never the funniest guy, but I can tell a good joke here and there, when it comes to me. I was never the best drawer, but I just drew enough that I got decent enough to draw some little cartoons.”
Craig: And I can do it consistently, right?
Ryan: Little squiggly hair and like, glasses, not too complicated, but and he didn’t necessarily think of himself as an entrepreneur or a business guru, but he has an MBA he understands the office place. So he can make his jokes kind of related to that. And so his point was, like, I wasn’t the greatest at any of these things, but I was good enough. And then I can connected and combined them into a new way which was Gilbert. And that’s why he’s wildly successful because there’s tons of people who are better drawers, way funnier people, this and that. But did they all actually connect it in a new way that made them unique and original and successful.
Ryan: And so I thought about that, and I have kind of been doing that myself, maybe unconsciously now or for a while. But now [crosstalk 00:26:17] I’m consciously actually trying to develop this same idea. I wrote a book, my mom was an editor. She’s been hammering me on like writing in grammar and everything for my whole life. So I think I’m a decent writer, not the best. I’m decent athlete, not the best. Decent coach, not the best. I have a pretty good understanding of entrepreneurship and tech and startups. But by no means the best. And video, I really love to run around with my gimbal and my camera and film some cool parkour stuff.
Ryan: So through all these different things, using parkour as the lens, I’ve developed all of them and kind of combine them through Apex or Parker EDU or my book and all these things. So I think I was generally where I’m going.
Craig: As you say you wind up with five things that you’ve spent time on, that you’ve worked on. And then those five things combined gives you a very unique in a literal sense factor. I was just thinking like, wow, serendipity, I was just reading … I have a way of like reading all of a website. So I can take something like Seth Godin who’s written 10,000 pieces and slowly, day by day get through them all without losing any of them. And I just read one the other day where he was talking about the idea of, it’s no longer good enough to be the best at something.
Craig: So you’re the best baseball player. We got lots of those, that’s like any single category, if you’re the best, that’s a tough tall hockey stick on the front end. And the point he was making was the exact same one that you’re mentioning, which is this idea of combination. So if you’re really good at A and really good at B, that’s probably literally unique. And then that’s an interesting common tutorial way of tacking it. Also it take a lot of the pressure off, I don’t have to be the best podcaster good, because I’m doing your best, like if you to be the best two things you can like, well, I’m passionate about this and I also have the ability to travel and I have the ability to do parkour so that I can actually understand people that I’m talking to, put those three things together that makes me unique. And then that’s all right, I can run with that.
Ryan: Definitely. And I think this idea isn’t even new. I guess you go back far enough they call it the renaissance man, or they call it a polymath. They call it this or that. But yeah, I think the general idea of these books I’m referring to you, the Scott Adams and Dilbert example, and what I’m telling a lot of like the younger community members here is, hey, you guys like we’re about to hit some crazy time. Sorry to kind of crazy and what are you going to do to survive? Parkour is not good enough. You got Parkour it’s a good base but what else are you going to add to that? What else are you going to combine?
Craig: I think it’s crazy to hear [inaudible 00:28:50] like and you’re right. Parkour is not going to [inaudible 00:28:53] it’s like wow, okay, we’ve already reached a point where this beautiful, magical amazing thing called Parkour is like, all right. That’s just like one of them. But that’s kind of cool that it didn’t die. You delve into all this, I don’t mean to like rein you in but you delving into this, you’re talking about cryptocurrency and you’re talking about entrepreneurship. So I’m like let’s go back there because I wanted to hear more of that.
Ryan: Yeah. I was going to go there. And then we got way sidetracked. But I think it actually ties-
Craig: Sidetracks are good.
Ryan: It all ties together pretty well. So one of the things I’ve been trying to add to my own skill set, you know, I’ve got the three, four or five things or whatever that I’m trying to combine in my own unique ways to add value to the world in other people. Crypto, it didn’t start out like that. And actually, that this is interesting, because Parkour didn’t start out as a thing that I was planning on dedicating my life to, I just did it because it was fun. And I just want to keep doing it. And eventually it turned into this other thing or many things.
Ryan: And for the first time in a long time I felt that same thing with crypto where I’m like fascinated by these ideas, and what it could be used for, how we can use it to you create a more open financial system for the world. There’s a bunch of crazy statistics that I may botch a little bit, but a significant portion of the world right now is unbanked. They don’t even have access to, I was about to say a trustworthy, that’s debatable no matter where you’re but [crosstalk 00:30:18].
Craig: Trustworthy, right?.
Ryan: They don’t even have a choice of having a bank account, even if they wanted to. But nowadays with cryptocurrency and blockchain and interestingly enough, most of these people who don’t have a bank account actually do have a smartphone or are about to, as they come online. There’s like billions of people coming online soon. \smart phones and all that.
Craig: Well, and to sidetrack who is it Bezos, who is talking about building the global constellation of satellites for WiFi? I think it is. Have you heard about this project?
Ryan: I think it’s Elon Musk.
Craig: Sorry you’re right. It’s Elon Musk. Like it’s one of the two people who have all the money. But Musk’s idea was to build a constellation, which is just like a sciencey term for we have a whole bunch of them in a known pattern. And the idea was to just have WiFi, not just like cellular 5G, actually have WiFi service on every square meter of the globe. And one of the big points is a lot of people in nations where they don’t have a lot of infrastructure, they do have cell phones that are WiFi enabled, and they’re not currently using it and to be able to say oh [inaudible 00:31:13] WiFi, then you have two people in a marketplace who can interact using blockchain technology. They’ll be like the last piece of the puzzle was their connectivity without it being controlled by the government and be like, oh I’m using the global network.
Ryan: Yeah. And so if you get into blockchain tech, I think you’d probably love it. But it’s fascinating because if you want to learn about it, and you get interested and fascinated by it, next thing you know you’re studying finance, Game Theory, economics, computer science, psychology, political science, like it’s so multidisciplinary, and I think actually Parkour is similar. So Parkour is climbing, gymnastics, breaking track and field-
Craig: Right. Performance.
Ryan: So you get to learn about all these other kind of semi related disciplines, but then tied together in a new way. And I think that’s what crypto unboxing tech is doing. And so I’m really, really curious and hopeful to see what happens with it over the next coming years, decades, might take a while for people to realize the fact that US government can print money whenever they want.
Craig: And they do.
Ryan: And that the values all of them, right? Or the the financial crisis in 2008. It was basically because these banks acted completely, irresponsibly, none of them got punished, arrested for anything. And then the taxpayers essentially-
Craig: Had to foot the bill [crosstalk 00:32:43]. Right.
Ryan: These are the things that blockchain and crypto could hopefully start to help with, by providing people with another option. So instead of having to go with the US dollar, I could opt for Bitcoin or Ether, there’s tons of them. And you have to be careful, there’s a lot of scams and it’s technology.
Craig: And sometimes you get a bad coin, they call them coins, you get a bad coin or shit coins].
Ryan: shit coins. It’s what they call them.
Craig: I wasn’t going to say it, but yeah, you get a shit coin, and then you wind up where there’s no actual value there, your value disappears or [inaudible 00:33:13] a software problem, and it literally evaporates. But the technology is awesome there are cool things that I’ve read about that have to do with contract enforcement where you can have a reliable transaction between two parties where I can guarantee that you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do, and you can guarantee that I’m going to pay you. And the only way to do that today is with some form of escrow. If you buy a house, it’s like, okay, I got a big pile of cash, I need to give it to Ryan. And Ryan wants to give me the title to his house. And it isn’t actually possible for me to hand him the money at the same-
Ryan: So who’s going to go first?
Craig: Right. Who goes first? So what we do instead is we pay multiple other third parties, and one of whom acts like a bank. And we trust these other parties, that’s like, you have to bring these third parties in the mix. And of course, everybody in that party, they skim a little bit off of it. So just being able to take on those just almost kinds of not even using it as money, but just being able to do contract enforcements and stuff like that. That’s like hugely beneficial. And then if people are really interested, you have to go look up blockchain to understand how does that work, but it’s basically mathematics that guarantees that what you think is happening is what’s really happening.
Ryan: Right, and just an action item, I guess, because this is a really intimidating subject.
Craig: Even if I say if you want to drop some places to start with some good breadcrumbs like that would be good to do that.
Ryan: Yeah. So this is a very intimidating subject for a lot of people who maybe they think they don’t deal well with tech, or they don’t understand anything about coding or whatever it may be, it’s new, they’re like isn’t that about the dark internet and terrorists or something, like we still have this stigma. And this is actually I’m used to this I got in Parkour when nobody knew what it was. And I had to like, just be patient, keep explaining it. And this is kind of where we’re at with crypto and block chain too, is we have to be patient, we have to help people understand that this is revolutionary, this can literally change the world for the better in many, many ways. And it’s not as hard as you think. And you don’t even need to know everything, but you need to at least understand like, what is application? Or how can I use this?
Ryan: So a couple people keep asking me because I talk about this online a lot and they probably think I’m crazy or something but I’m pretty passionate because this is such a young technology. I still believe a lot of people are like, oh, I missed out, isn’t this just for like making money like? Speculative bubble? Blah, blah, blah.
Craig: Yeah do we want to unpack the arbitrage concept?
Ryan: Yeah. So there’s a lot to be careful about, of course, but you can learn the basics and start to understand why this is a big deal. And if you want to do that, I would recommend maybe starting by reading the white papers, basically, it’s kind of like a summary or abstract of like, what is Bitcoin? What is Ethereum?
Ryan: So the original white papers of Bitcoin, which is original crypto, that’d be a good place to start. And then I’d say Ethereum because this kind of like the next evolution of Bitcoin, whereas Bitcoin was like one application of the blockchain, as in like using it for money, or a store of value. Ethereum is essentially like the App Store. Now you can build whatever you want on top of it.
Craig: On top of it.
Ryan: And what you’re getting at with smart contracts, this idea that we don’t have to trust the parties or we get to cut out the middleman, we don’t need banks anymore. We might not even need lawyers anymore in some cases.
Craig: We’re complex, we have five people and we all need to do something at the same time. Like it can be complicated interaction that we don’t know how to do that.
Ryan: Yeah, or we don’t need to trust PayPal to not freeze our account. Or we don’t have to trust YouTube or Facebook to not censor like this is a big deal nowadays, I keep hearing about people get their YouTube account canceled because they were controversial or-
Craig: Or they weren’t controversial but somebody’s got to be in their bonnet. And like one of the auditors in the YouTube went the wrong way today and bloop gone, there goes your lifeblood.
Ryan: So one of the most key concepts here is centralization versus decentralization. Centralization is where like one company or party kind of controls everything. So your bank is centralized, YouTube is centralized, a lot of this stuff that we work with in society nowadays is centralized. What happens when we can decentralize it, and we don’t no longer have to trust these other people who can censor us at any time, or Comcast can throttle your websites.
Craig: Or even bigger, information is power. So you probably think about but a lot of people don’t think about all the information that is collected. So we all know, Facebook’s watching, but YouTube is watching too. And anytime you interact with these central brokers, they’re gathering data about you and that data is valuable. So would it be great if you could perform monetary transactions or contractual things, all these things that were covering. If you could perform that without having to also give away data about what you were doing. Of course the government wouldn’t like that, because how are we going to collect taxes if suddenly there’s this -equivalent in their opinion of a barter economy that springs up? And my answer is like, well, maybe you just shouldn’t be collecting taxes, because you’re not providing any services in support of that.
Craig: So we’re going to move on and go around you. I think it’s a very interesting topic. I think there’s also a stack for it, a Stack Exchange. It’s like, crypto.stackexchange.com, which is like a giant Q&A site, which is like a big, loud, noisy room. But there’s a lot of interesting material there if you want to wait around.
Ryan: Yeah, I haven’t checked out that one. But to give people a few more places, they can look up where I get most of my best information. It sounds kind of ridiculous, but it’s honestly on Reddit and Twitter. I don’t know why. Well, I do know why. But on Twitter, it seems like it’s more for kind of like journalists. And crypto is huge on Twitter, like most of the experts are on there. Obviously on Parkour. It’s more like Instagram and YouTube, just because it’s more of a visual thing that people want to represent with their video and stuff. But on Twitter, it’s about the text, right? Like a little tweet and text. And so I get most of my best info from just following the experts on Twitter, this couple of sub Reddits. There’s a few of them on there.
Ryan: But if you have to kind of what Amos was talking about earlier, you have to also see this through the eyes of like, okay, is this is this bullshit or is this like legit?
Craig: Yeah, [inaudible 00:39:11] anything else like that.
Ryan: So I tend to follow the experts. But also even be wary of whatever the experts are saying they might be biased toward Bitcoin or Ethereum or-
Craig: Right. And I think I like it. This is a programming job well, dead beat horse, which is an infinite loop. I was thinking, this reminds me of like, obviously I’ve done a little bit with crypto, but when I started and I didn’t have a problem getting in because I’m a computer geek. But if you’re thinking about getting into crypto and you like this is way too complicated, just think back to when you started Parkour and it was like you go to your first class or you hang out with your first friend, and in five minutes you see 47 things, you’re like, oh my god, where do I start? And then somebody said to you just start here, do this progression.
Craig: So it really is the exact same mental unpacking of like, we don’t have to swallow it all in one day, pick a thread, look at it. Oops, that’s the wrong one. Pick something else tomorrow.
Ryan: Right. So to kind of bring this full circle, one of the big things I’m trying to do now is how can I connect crypto with Parkour. It almost seems like a really weird thing that you can try to connect but-
Craig: Try anything once.
Ryan: There’s some very interesting ways and actually like what you’re talking about with the escrow, or like there’s a real say on the blockchain now. You can sell your house and pay for it with Bitcoin or something. If you wanted to, I think a lot of people don’t realize like, the amount of development going on, the amount of like [crosstalk 00:40:31] they have-
Craig: Man [inaudible 00:40:31]. [crosstalk 00:40:32].
Ryan: And the amount of talent like Facebook is in big trouble. So is Google like they’re taking all the heat in the news and stuff nowadays, and a lot of the top talent at these companies who helped create what they are now, they’re actually all over blockchain. They’re going over to blockchain, because they’re smart, they’ve got the skills and they know that this can change the world and actually-
Craig: And this is much value for the companies. So we’re talking about individuals, right? People who have a cell phone and who want to go to a market and buy stuff. But the companies themselves, there’s just as much value like, if there’s value for an individual to take advantage of something, then there’s value for corporations to take advantage of it. So the corporations are going to look at it. I think they already have, they’re going to look at it and go that’s good. Let’s put some time and resources into that. So it’s-
Ryan: They’re moving a little slow though.
Craig: Yeah. But it’s not like they’re going to fight against it. They’re going to like, yes, implement that so that we can go around the government, like it’s coming.
Ryan: Yeah. You’ve already got JP Morgan Chase who’s running their own private Ethereum blockchain, and most experts predict that eventually, they’re going to have to open that up to the public one. But yeah, it’s it’s crazy. They’re building identity based on the blockchain, where you will control all of your own privacy and data.
Craig: Imagine if you could take your data back when you want to leave Facebook, if you could actually guarantee that you’ve got all your data back. Good luck with that.
Ryan: Yep. So there’s a couple projects, I believe Augur is one of them. I’m sure there’s a bunch of more you port comes to mind. But just another example of getting back to-
Craig: Can I cut you off? [crosstalk 00:42:03] Parkour.
Ryan: How can we match up Parkour and crypto? So we just tried our first experiment, I guess, there’s a thing called bounties.network. And this is built on Ethereum. And what it allows you to do is essentially say, I need this. And so mostly right now it’s being used for like software development, like I need somebody to help me code this thing. And I’m willing-
Craig: There’s my definition of done.
Ryan: And here’s my definition of done. And here’s what I’m willing to pay. It’s nothing like super revolutionary like this is Fiverr. This is some of these other kind of websites-
Craig: Except the implementation is completely new. But how it works.
Ryan: Yeah, so this is decentralized. And what we just did was we put up #Parkourbountyone. And we want to try to do more of these, to see where we can take it. But Parker bounty one was essentially, we wanted to open it up to the locals of Apex communities first, or make it easier on them at first. So we said, all all you got to do is you can take a new clip or an old clip. So even out of towners have clips from apex, you just got to post it up on your Instagram, say something you learned at Apex and submit it to this page or this link on bounties.network. And we’re going to take our top five favorite ones, and you guys are going to get 0.2 Ether which is I believe at the time it was worth about 30 bucks.
Ryan: And then during the the one week contest, it went up to like 35 or 40 bucks or something. It is volatile. But the cool thing here is that when I clicked submit, like I wrote up the bounty, I click submit, and then I loaded up the Ether into the smart contract, that money is guaranteed there.
Craig: Yeah. You can’t get it out.
Ryan: Nobody can be like, oh, I don’t know if I trust Ryan like I don’t know if I want to submit to this because maybe he won’t pay it out. Maybe you can get away with that on Fiverr even though you probably get like a bad reputation or something.
Craig: Or they can take you out but it requires a third party, they like police it.
Ryan: But on bounties.network, you lock it up, it’s there, people can see exactly how much is there, what their payout is all these other things. And then as soon as the deadline hit, I just clicked a couple buttons. And that Ether went directly to their wallets on their smartphones or their laptops or whatever.
Ryan: And so I think a big thing here is they call it trustlessness. So you don’t have to trust anyone now. Or ideally, like in the future, we shouldn’t have to trust anyone. We should just be able to rely on the code, like the code guarantees that you’re going to get your deed to the house you bought and I’m going to get my Bitcoin or whatever.
Craig: Well, I’m going to play the old card here. I remember when they invented E-commerce online. And I remember when it was like, used to actually call, you’d put your order and then pick up the phone and call and give me your credit card Because nobody in their right mind would ever buy anything online, then that came on. And then it was like nobody’s ever going to use their credit cards online. Now. It’s like what? Are you loaded in the website you only like it’s-
Ryan: Nobody’s ever going to watch TV. Nobody is going to do it-
Craig: Totally. Really, the crypto is coming.
Ryan: They say that all the new technology.
Craig: Everything. Every single thing. Nobody’s ever going do that. That’s crazy. So yeah, I don’t think you’re crazy. I think it’s definitely like it’s coming. It’s interesting. It hasn’t fortunately sucked up all my time. I have a friend who’s really into it, who like came at me with like the really technical questions about software. And I’m just like, “Whoa I have no idea what you’re doing with anything.” But that was kind of my first glimpse into it. And then I kind of zoomed out a little bit and started looking at some of the things you could do with it.
Ryan: So the bounty example is just kind of the first experiment.
Craig: Yeah, proof of concepts.
Ryan: To see like, hey, I want to spread Parkour. And I also want to spread crypto because I think if you get into it now, and you just hold on to that, and especially if you earn it like you didn’t have to use your own money we’re going to get you-
Craig: We’re going to get you Ether or something.
Ryan: Bryan Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase had some quote recently, or last year sometime that is like, “The majority of people are actually aren’t actually going to buy crypto, they’re going to earn their first crypto through there’s all these different websites and apps and stuff that like, people don’t realize that all this stuff already exists or is like about to be here. And if you’re the early adopter, not only is that like fun and interesting and cool, and you get to teach your friends and parents and stuff.
Ryan: But if you were to just … who knows what’s going to happen, but if the more you learn about this, for most people, the more confident they get that if invest in it, or earn it or hold on to it. For five, 10 years, it’s going to be significantly more valuable than it is now. And we’re potentially looking at one of the biggest wealth transfers in the history of humankind. And I want to see the young people in Parkour, like young people in general or all people, like the younger people are going to be a little more willing to-
Craig: Yeah, dig into that. Figure it out.
Ryan: Dig into it, take the risk, if you want to call it a risk.
Craig: Yes, it took me four hours yesterday, but I don’t know it’s worth it, to find out.
Ryan: Yeah. So we put up this Parkour bounty one and we’re going to try more, we’re going to try to open it up to things that aren’t location specific. So anyone in the Parkour community internationally could take part. And my goal is, we only got four submissions on the last one. And we said we give away or pick five winners.
Craig: Yeah, five… We stuck in there and the contracts because you can’t execute it.
Ryan: I’m a little bit disappointed. We’re basically trying to give people money. I don’t think a lot of people fully understand that yet. But I’m going to keep trying. I know like that’s how it goes with Parkour, I keep explaining I just had to be patient, I said over and over again. We’re going to keep trying more, try to open it up internationally. And if we can have more success. I think that there’s some exciting opportunities, actually Boulder is kind of a hub for blockchain development. I know a couple of the experts around here I’m talking with bounties.network they’re based in New York. I’ve have started to just kind of like I put myself out there-
Craig: And the more you try and help people then you become known as somebody who’s helpful and also knowledgeable.
Ryan: So if we can keep doing that, I think people in Parkour specifically are also going to start realizing oh, there’s like a lot of interesting parallels. Like the reason I love Parkour, now that I learned more about crypto is like now I love crypto because of the same reason. So for example, Parkour and Crypto are both decentralized. There are centralized kind of organizations in Parkour, but nobody really controls it. And I think that’s One really cool thing about Parkour, it grew up on the internet, everyone kind of like when I first started, I was just downloading stuff on my dial up modem in my parents basement, overnight, watch it the next day. And then it was up to me to like, teach myself.
Craig: And create from there.
Ryan: So I kind of developed my own version of Parkour. No disrespect to the founders or anything, but I couldn’t access that. So everywhere around the world started to develop their own version. And there’s definitely a lot of cross pollination, but for the most part, it is decentralized. Also, it’s kind of borderless, its global, as its crypto. I think a lot of people in Parkour love to travel, they don’t necessarily like the idea that you could be prevented from leaving your country or not entering another country.
Craig: Not allowed to what?
Ryan: We don’t want anyone to say you can’t go over that wall. You can’t go over that rail, let alone that border or that country. So it’s decentralized. Permissionless is another thing. Anyone can use crypto, all you need is a smartphone, or some WiFi or laptop.
Craig: Yeah. It’s interesting. It’s permissionless but it’s also explicitly permission required, depending on what you mean, like permissionless nobody’s at the gate keeping you out of it. But as a user of it it’s explicitly permission only, nobody has access to your wallet. There’s no third party with their hand in there.
Craig: So that’s like a neat empowerment that you get from using both … I’m talking about Parkour and crypto. You get that neat empowerment because there’s no one at the gate who can also fleece you as you go through.
Ryan: Right. So yeah, I meant permission as in anyone can get into it fairly easily.
Craig: Right. No barrier for entry or no gatekeeper.
Ryan: So just using a smartphone and some WiFi to download your crypto wallet. And then you submit the next part Parkour bounty two.
Craig: And you have more money.
Ryan: You jut earned your first crypto right there. Similar to Parkour, if you really want to do Parkour or just walk outside and-
Craig: Jump on something.
Ryan: Go try something.
Craig: Go do some QM, go do a push up, right?
Ryan: And then to kind of wrap that thought of I’ve kind of want to run or I want to write some interesting blog posts about this. Because there’s one amazing blog that maybe we can drop a link in this description or something. They’re relating crypto to fungi, mushroom, mycelium. That’s a decentralized network, mushrooms are decentralized networks. And then it’s fascinating to learn about the parallels between crypto and mushrooms. And I think an article about the parallels of crypto and Parkour would be pretty interesting. So I kind of want to write some more on this.
Ryan: But to wrap up, just a quick comparison of why people in Parkour might want to pay a little more attention to crypto is I think a lot of people in Parkour love the idea of its kind of freedom of movement, you use your body and your movement and your skills to be able to kind of do anything, go anywhere, overcome any object or obstacle. In crypto, it’s essentially trying to build freedom of finance. So no longer do you have banks or governments or whatever, telling you how to manage your money and what your inflation rate or APR this or that-
Craig: Right, you’re the rules.
Ryan: Now all of a sudden we get to kind of not do whatever we want with our money, but we have far more freedom of our money and managing it. So I think in Parkour a lot of people just love this idea of freedom in general. And whether that’s freedom of movement, freedom of finance, freedom of I think entrepreneurship is kind of like freedom to create your own schedule, work for yourself.
Craig: Right, your own destiny.
Ryan: So I think, almost unconsciously, that’s kind of what I’ve been after with a lot of stuff in my life is how can I get freedom of whatever?
Craig: Self determination?
Ryan: Agency. Is another good word.
Craig: There’s a word for that. Agency, right? Sorry, vocabulary fail. So just keeping an eye on the time to we want to … I personally love to collect stories. You don’t have to do that. If you don’t want do that. But if there’s a story that you’d love to share, I’d love to hear that. And then we can do the final question.
Ryan: Yeah. So just to make this easier on me, what’s a random theme that comes to mind for this story?
Craig: A random theme? How about-
Ryan: Or subjects.
Craig: I was going to say how about serendipity? And just because that’s been on my mind recently about like, I saw this and then I saw that and wait, now this is just anything that comes to mind related to serendipity.
Ryan: Okay, can you define serendipity? Elaborate on what-
Craig: For me the definition would be let’s see if I can come up with a story that doesn’t take me nine years to figure out. So a situation where I go somewhere, it doesn’t have to be about travel, I go somewhere. And I have an experience, like maybe with connecting someone in a glance, I have like a really deep personal connection with somebody in a glance. And then I go somewhere else six months later, and I had that experience again, and I had the experience the third time that it’s like, the arc of the story of me telling you like this is because I could actually tell some interesting stories about like being mid martial arts flip, and catching a glimpse of a person sitting in a stopped car in the street outside the window while being thrown upside down, like in the moment and actually feeling like the person really saw me and I saw them certainly. But I’ve had to happen like multiple times.
Craig: And to me that’s serendipity. When I keep seeing the same things over and over.
Ryan: Kind of like deja vu but in a good way?
Craig: Yeah, I guess like inverse deja vu. Only because you asked me for a theme and it’s serendipity was on my mind, but it could be something else. It could be … doesn’t have to be related to Parkour. How about what you think of when I say best meal you ever had. Sometimes it’s fun just to bounce around for best or like stories that come to mind names to be changed. But like worst first encounter you ever had with someone so give me like a date or a professional, the first time you ever met someone, the worst experience you ever had. So there is a method to my madness for picking for stories and I’m not thinking for dirt. I don’t want you to give me like a horrible …
Ryan: I’m struggling to find or I think of one on the serendipity. I can’t talk that.
Craig: Sorry it wasn’t a vocabulary test. And you don’t have to tell me why you think the story is cool. You can just tell the story. And that’s all. It doesn’t have to be anything.
Ryan: I’ll go with one that is kind of Parkour related. A first meeting, I guess, I don’t know where I’m going to go with this. But this is another good story just because you can actually go online and watch little baby Ryan early in his Parkour journey going to France and meeting the Yamakasi for the first time. So if you google like ESPN E6 Parkour Yamakasi Ryan Ford or something like that, you’ll find it.
Ryan: So the I think it was 2006 or 2007 or something like that. Mark to Rock kind of put me for it as a person who could be a part of this ESPN story or video or something. And then ultimately, it led to them flying me out to Paris and meeting the Yamakasi and training with them for a couple days. And then I guess the bigger narrative was like I was this leader in this local community here in Colorado that was very young, never had anyone over here learned from those guys or been there.
Ryan: And so I was going to go there and kind of like learn as much as I could to bring it back here. And instead of us just creating whatever the hell we want with Parkour unfortunately a lot of people around the world or fortunately, depending on how you look at it. That’s one beautiful thing about Parkour is everyone kind of has their own slightly different style or take on it. But I think it is really important to learn at least with are from or under some of the founders.
Ryan: And so when I went out there to Paris, France with ESPN, there was a small crew, I think there was three or four ESPN crew, and then there was me. And then we I think we flew out there as like a red eye flight overnight and [crosstalk 00:56:17].
Craig: Super excited to go, right?
Ryan: I was super excited, couldn’t sleep on the plane just stayed up the whole time. So I think by the time we landed in Paris said I had been up for like 36 or 48 hours or something, I’m kind of like maybe what you’re going through right now.
Craig: Not that long. But yeah, I think it’s like 15 hours or something.
Ryan: So I was sleep deprived, exhausted from traveling and all that stuff.
Craig: But probably jazzed at the same time, right?
Ryan: Yeah. Super excited as well. So as soon as we got … I think we landed in the morning in Paris. And then we took, I think we rented a car and we drove to the suburbs and met up with Chau and Laurent and they put me … So in the morning, we didn’t even like have time to go sit down and have a meal. I think we had a couple of snacks, shoved some food in my mouth and then meeting up with these guys. And I and then they put me through like one of the most ridiculous intense four to six hour workouts of my life, while I’m sleep deprived and jet lag and all these things.
Ryan: So you can watch a little bit of this in the ESPN segment that I think is on YouTube. But there’s one point in particular, they’re having me do something kind of like where you’re on the ground doing push ups, but you kind of do an explosive push up and catch your hands against the vertical wall. And so it takes a lot of core strength and you kind of bracing like feet on the ground but you end up raising your hands up against the wall.
Ryan: And you can see a clip of this, like my shirt is soaked in sweat. And I think we’ve done like QM for a couple hours and a billion push ups and all these things. And they’re both like, I don’t know if they were both there, but one of them is standing over me. And I’m like, I’m trying my hardest and I can’t do any more. Literally can’t. I don’t like to say the word can’t.
Craig: I know.
Ryan: But I literally went to failure and you watch me like get one hand up, and then the other and I just collapse to the ground. And so yeah, that was a pretty memorable experience and work out and got to learn with those guys and take it back or bring it back here. And I guess where I’m going with that are to kind of tie it up.
Craig: You don’t have to tie it up. You’re perfectly welcome to just put a period on the end of it [inaudible 00:58:31].
Ryan: I think going back to serendipity here. So the Bruce Lee quote, I said before, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is uniquely your own.” I think having that opportunity to go out there. I think I’ve only been doing parkour for maybe like two or three years at the time. And so I was still very young in my own journey, and I got to learn with those guys. As I said before, I’m anti guru. And all that good said no disrespect to Yamakasi or anything but I learned a lot from them, I also probably rejected a little bit and I learned to add what is my own.
Ryan: And ever since I got to do that with them, I’ve also been trying to do that with like I said, studying all these other programs and systems and coaches and athletes. Whether that’s one of my favorites right now, as I mentioned him before Dr. Andrea Spina an FRC functional range conditioning. One of my own struggles and training has always been mobility. I didn’t even realize I was not mobile at all until-
Craig: Amen. Busted, right?
Ryan: So in my early 20s, I realized oh, I have really tight ankles, like freakishly tight ankles. And then I tried everything to do something about it and it’s painstakingly slow progress. But now it is I’ve actually said it to learn to like mobility training a bit more. Also just understanding the principles of it. Learning what Dr. Andrea Spina has to say about it, but also learning from other systems. The Ido Portal, Christopher Summer, GB. And I think the Yamakasi kind of helped kick me off on that path to just try to learn everything I can, travel-
Craig: Go seek.
Ryan: Critically analyze everyone, nobody’s perfect. And then just do your best to take it to the next level. Innovate, add something, rewrite it, connect it, synthesize it.
Craig: Cool. Alright, so I’d like to end with the final question. But I’ll give you a little setup. Normally, people wouldn’t hear all the setup, but the setup is, you can answer the question any way you want. You don’t have to have three specific words, when I ask you to describe your practice, sometimes people give me three words and unpack them. Sometimes people have no clue. But they kind of talk around little paragraphs come up with some like three ideas. And it’s fun to hear the thought process. But you can do anything you want with the question it’s just meant to give you a last chance to do whatever you want. So the final question is three words to describe your practice.
Ryan: Absorb, reject, add.
Craig: I was hoping you were going to go back to that.
Ryan: But if I could say one other thing-
Craig: You could say as many as you like!
Ryan: Maybe loosely related to that at least what I’m into right now, in this moment how I would describe my own training, somewhere to Amos that he described we’ve had some rough years, and unfortunately, as a business owner and entrepreneur, that you’re going to have to make sacrifices. And so a lot of Parkour entrepreneurs find that they no longer have as much time for training where they’ve got to got to take care of other responsibilities first.
Ryan: So I’ve definitely experienced the ups and downs and the struggles of finding that balance and managing it. But lately, I have been training a lot at least compared to the past couple years. And what’s kind of reinvigorated it for me is just speed training. So especially going outside, just like okay, here’s our start. Here’s some like interesting, complex obstacles, and we’re going to get through that and over those are finish. And then just see what happens, it takes the creativity, or instead of having to be creative, the parameters that you set encourage creativity.
Ryan: So I don’t know what movements I’m going to do to get through this. But from this start, this course this finish. Something unique and creative arises out of it. And on top of that, if you’re filming it, or if you’re using a stopwatch, you get this immediate feedback like okay, my first time was 48 seconds. And it was this sloppy, like trashy warm up run. And then after 10 times doing it, I got it down to 20 seconds. That’s a X amount of percentage improvement and oh shit, I like numbers and measurements. And that makes me realize how much better I got.
Ryan: And so that’s been really motivating and it’s just fun and some interesting lines and creativity comes out of it as well. So that’s been a lot of fun for me to just get back into it recently.
Craig: Thank you very much Ryan. It was a pleasure getting a chance. Thanks for taking the time to sit down.
Ryan: Yeah, thanks for coming out to Boulder.
Craig: You’re very welcome. This was Episode 49. For more information, go to moversmindset.com/49. And there’s more to the movers mindset project than just this podcast. Visit our website for more free content to sign up for our newsletter or to join the movers mindset community. Thanks for listening.