060. Andy Fisher: Teaching, journey, and efficacy

Episode summary

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Andy Fisher discusses being a teacher, why he loves it, and how his pursuit of his passions relates to the classroom. He shares his unique and unexpected movement journey before explaining how all of that relates to the passion projects he regularly pursues, such as the Thronin and Hero Forge projects. Andy discusses his thoughts on efficacy, his current struggles and how he manages and works towards overcoming them.

Teaching

[1:19] Who, what, where? Secondary school teacher in the small town of Norwich. Students ranging in age from 11-18. Teaches English literature, steering students to love literature in order to get results, pushing the educational envelope. ‘Thronin’ knife throwing project (1000 days of knife throwing to learn how to do it). How it informs his teaching, bringing what he learns into the classroom, becoming good at something in a limited time frame. Gives an alternate way of thinking, learning, interacting with students; A chance to be human, to connect with them. His side projects are his own professional development

Movement journey

[9:58] Boarding school forced him to learn to run and overcome asthma, beginning of his physical training. Anger converted into proactive efforts. Involved in sports throughout school, was put into martial arts as a child because of fights. After uni, accidentally joined the circus as a dancer, but learned new skills, led to recognizing his love of teaching. Got his teaching degree, settled down and taught for 10 years. Became a bouncer to level up martial arts, led to opportunities to learn about security/personal protection officer. Left security company for ethical reasons, did a series of random jobs. Felt series of random adventures was a great growth opportunity, and good for teaching. Eventually led to wilderness survival training, 1 year course took 4 years. Knee injury and recovery led to parkour, and then knife throwing project

Thronin project and podcast

[20:52] Accidentally learned he was terrible at knife throwing, so he decided to learn. Serendipitous moment: Knife throwing champs in England that year, he entered to gain access to experts. Started the podcast for the same reason. Goal of the whole project: 1000 days of knife throwing, learn to throw, get a ranking. Injury ended to project.

Hero Forge project

[25:51] Dan Edwardes fault, suggested him for Hero Roundtable conference. Hero Forge book came from sorting through thoughts for his presentation at the conference. Book became fatherhood, a message, legacy for his son. Meeting others and hearing their stories inspired him to create the podcast

Projects and self efficacy

[30:35] Theme of self-efficacy, self driven, working on projects and allowing them to end. Not an intentional path, but following the energy (could be anger, frustration, passion). Learning to be kinder to yourself, picked up too much self-suffering from martial arts. Pushing the envelope, but trying to stay healthy. A challenge: not knowing whether you can complete it, but turning up in that space to see what happens, no shame for ‘failing,’ but what you learned instead. Self efficacy growing more compassionate as he ages.

Night missions

[35:01] Parkour Generations and Dan Edwardes. Coming up with themes and fun, challenge vs training. Idea of potentially toxic influences making us reselient in the long run. Transforming yourself for functionality.

Current struggles

[37:21] Getting older, changing relationship with body… respecting body vs copping out. Managing the fundamental pieces (sleep, nutrition, etc). Reinvesting in longer term health, upkeeping foundations to prevent micro injuries, allowing for rest. Strategies? Routine, breathwork, sauna, etc. Diet is still under progress. Students as accountability, being a role model

Recommendations

[42:50] Books: Jonathan Livingston Seagull , by Richard Bach. Way of the peaceful warrior , by Dan Millman. Anything written about Bruce Lee. Advice: There’s more books to read than you ever possibly can, so don’t finish a book you don’t like. Invest in study skills, learning effectively, time management, note taking, memory stuff, etc. Learn how to LEARN, it’s an important skill.

Story time

[45:42] Circus performance (escape) gone wrong, comedy of errors, cheating death in the south China seas

3 words

Craig: And of course the final question. Three words to describe your practice.

Andy Fisher: Okay, I’m going to work on the assumption that my practice is defined by more than my physical movement, it’s my philosophy or approach in general. I have a tattoo on my right arm, and the top, it’s the date of my marriage, and at the bottom, it’s the date of my son’s birth, and in between, there are three phrases, and it’s basically the summation of my philosophy in life. It’s hard to read because it’s in Elvish. But essentially it says, ‘Be here now, Speak softly, or tread softly, speak kindly.’ Of those three, I think, ‘Be here now’ Would be my philosophy.

Craig: Thank you very much. Andy, it’s been a pleasure.

Andy Fisher: Thank you, it’s been great fun.

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Contact and further information

If you’d like to get in touch with Andy, you can reach him through his photography website.

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