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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 interview, Tyson Cecka unpacks his design process, how he began to build the parkour obstacles, and where he finds inspiration. He discusses his current plans and goals and explains why he doesn’t consider himself a great artist or creator. Tyson shares his experiences with depression, how it’s affected his life, and how he’s working through it. Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.
Tyson: Hello, I am Tyson.
Craig: Tyson Cecka is well known in the parkour community for his innovative parkour design and construction work. In addition to being an athlete and coach, a co-founder of Parkour Visions, Tyson stepped down from leadership with the organization in 2017 after 10 years as its executive director. He also started STURDYmade, an awesome online community of parkour builders involving videos, plans, reference projects and experiments. Welcome, Tyson.
Tyson: Thanks Craig.
Craig: Tyson, as I mentioned, you’re best known for I would say your creative construction objects and build outs within spaces. I’m just wondering, can you take me back and talk me through, where do you think that started? Did it happen at the same time that you started parkour or were always building decks? How did this … That’s not an obvious thing to really be passionate about. There aren’t many people who are do it and are good at it. I’m just wondering where does that passion come from originally?
Tyson: I think it was accidental. I started parkour much before I started teaching or building anything. I just went out and found one person in my state that was training and went and trained with him. And then, that was down in Portland and I helped get that community going, and then I ended up going to the University of Washington for college and got involved with the Seattle community there and helped that get on it’s feet. But we didn’t start teaching until… We didn’t start teaching in a way that required obstacles until we started the nonprofit pretty much. So, it was out of necessity for we need classes that can handle a large number of people coming through them because we want to spread parkour as far as we can and we want to run these free monthly classes for people, so we’re going to need some equipment to be able to support that. And so, it came totally out of necessity. I had no particular background in building or anything of that sort.
Craig: So, you did a session recently at Art of Retreat, which I caught just a glimpse of. Having seen, I was going to say like the thoroughness, but the attention to detail and the intentionality of how you build, there’s more to it than that. It’s not… You can’t tell me you just got lucky when you put together your first vault box and ta-da. I’m wondering how did that evolve? And I’ve built a couple of vault boxes, they’re like Franken boxes, they haven’t collapsed yet but they’re really ugly looking, and I’m just wondering how did you get from… I don’t know how you put the first one together, with nails or whatever, but how did you get from that? What about the construction drew you in to want to refine it and then get into plywood, and sheer forces, and fasteners? There’s a lot to it.
Tyson: Well, it definitely didn’t just happen. Our first vault box was horrible. Mark thankfully gave us some dimensions for a vault box that he made, but he only dimensioned the plywood so we just cut the plywood to size and then we’re like, “How do we attach these plywood pieces to each other?” So, we just kind of stuck in some pieces of wood in between them and that was our first vault box.
Craig: The next day you had to build a new one, right?
Tyson: It lasted a little bit. I really like experimenting to find optimal solutions. That’s a big part of my parkour practice too. It’s like I find a challenge that peaks my interest and I try to find the best way for me to maneuver myself from one point to another within that… having that challenge in mind. And I can get really in depth into that where everybody else within the training group or whatever goes off and does something else and I’m like, “No, I still have to do this thing, and I can’t touch this thing because I really want to try this one movement and I don’t have it yet, so I’m going to keep going at it.” And that’s just, I think, a part of my personality.
Tyson: So, when our equipment was not usable in a lot of different situations, it was only good for one thing and one direction, or whatever, it prompted me to think about, “Well, okay. How could this be refined or changed so that we can get more use out of it, so that we can up its potential?” And I think that was kind of my approach to everything within the business that I was building. It doesn’t feel like a unique skillset for me, it’s just a lot of trial and error. I just felt comfortable with doing the trials and having them fail miserably, learning something from it, and trying it again.
Craig: Yeah, everything failure should be a lesson. If you’re doing your trials correctly, every failure would be a lesson that you could then apply going forward. How long was it from the first vault box to the first time you tried to create an indoor built space?
Tyson: So, we didn’t have the opportunity pretty much, which was maybe unique within our position. We were like the third gym that had opened in North America or something like that at that time when we started. And we had a existing program before that teaching parkour outdoors and we had little pieces of equipment, like maybe a balance beam, a couple ball boxes, and a set of parallel bars, I think, is what we opened into the space with, and a whole suit of precision trainers, most likely. But we had saved up as much money as we could, but in our first space which was only 2,000 square feet we didn’t even have enough money to floor the entire gym. We floored half the gym and we used that half as we built up stuff and moved into other things.
Tyson: So, we were just utilizing what was already in the space, throwing some plywood on it, and calling it a rock climbing wall or something, and bit by bit adding to that. Adding to that and modifying that. We were building in the space for a while and then we rented out kind of a garage nearby in order to build some more stuff so that we didn’t just destroy the gym every single time we built a new obstacle.
Craig: Still a bit of sawdust, a little bit of broken stuff.
Tyson: Oh, yeah. no, it was… Sawdust is a pain to get out of the rubber flooring. That process I think taught me a lot about both gym design and obstacle design, and just how much people loved having new opportunities to play… new avenues unlocked, all new things showing up in the gym.
Craig: Yeah, on the appearance of… Yeah, upon… Right, sorry. Go ahead.
Tyson: And so the people that were coming to this, it was a glorified garage, our first gym. It had fairly high ceilings but it was 2,000 square feet broken up between rooms. It was pretty tiny. The people that were coming were just… they kind of fell in love with the place. It was a niche, interesting, weird place and we just kept adding niche, interesting, and weird things. The favorite obstacle in that gym was what we called The Awkward Bar, which was a railing that I found at a Arida store that I believe was used for going upstairs, and it was like a triangle shape, and I took that and I mounted that on the wall so that at the top of the railing there was a flat section and then it was a triangle coming back down.
Tyson: It was the awkward because your first intention was to usually swing through it but that didn’t particularly work, you would hit yourself on your way. You had to orient your body in a very interesting way to make it through this thing, so it just became the awkward bar and it was loved and we kept it throughout PKV’s history. Seeing my students react to that in that way of they found me, they found [Leshays 00:08:29] through that, they found tacks through that, they found precisions to the top of it, which was the craziest challenge when we first found out that we could do that. Seeing them figure out so many different things from just a railing that I bought and literally just put on the wall made me just get really into how many more things can I do? What else can we figure out? We never had the money to be like, “Ideal situation, let’s build out the perfect gym.” If we-
Craig: Right, so it’s never with cad. Always with standing there like, “Oh, I could do…”
Tyson: I kind of feel like at that point in time if we had a miracle money source and we had done that, I don’t think we’d have the same gym that we ended up with. I don’t feel like it would have the same culture, the same value that I feel that it exhibited.
Craig: How much interaction was there with the students and with the coaches? So, what I’m interested in is first of all, who was the built team? Was it really just you, or were all the coaches involved in the physical cutting and assembly? And I’m interested in the people who weren’t part of the construction, how were you interacting with them? Because it seems interesting they would be… it’s like every morning is Christmas. You’d come to the gym and you’re like, “Oh, there’s a bar. Oh, there’s a box. Oh, there’s a thing!” And I’m wondering how you took their feedback and fed that into your internal design and creative process.
Tyson: I would rarely find inspiration from a student. It usually always came from our coaches and their desires on what they would be able to teach. I would sometimes watch classes and see if it just felt like there was something missing or if there was a certain problem with how long something was taking to being set up, or if it seemed like the coach was reaching for something that we just didn’t have the capability of doing. I think that’s where a lot of the inspiration for that stuff came from within the first gym because we had limited building space. We didn’t particularly have a shop that was easy to get to. Within the first one I did most of the building. When I brought Eric on he kind of became the builder as I needed to do a lot more administrative tasks. But we-
Craig: He’s the physical builder, so you’re saying, “Build this, buy this, buy this, [inaudible 00:10:57] put it together?” So, he’s doing the physical construction but he’s not doing the creative work? That’s a question, that’s what I’m asking. What was the load on the creativity?
Tyson: I don’t particularly remember at that point in time, but I remember that when he brought him on we needed to make just a lot more of everything that we had already. One of the things that I love doing is creating the new stuff, the different stuff, the interesting stuff, but I make them maybe one or two at a time and then we realize oh, this is cool. This really works.
Craig: Make six.
Tyson: We should have like eight more of these. So, the first thing that Eric did after we hired him was make like six vault boxes and it took up the entire garage that we were renting as the shop. It was just vault boxes from floor to ceiling and it was pretty hilarious.
Craig: I’m wondering if you realize how… subtle isn’t the right word, if you realize how… I’m going to say deep but that doesn’t make sense either, but how deep it is that you’re able to look at a space, like a physical gym space, with people moving in it. Yes, you have insight on how the coaches work because you know what they’re trying to do, but you’re still looking at people and you’re watching them. Some of them are problem solving where their problem is how do I teach? Some of their problem solving the problem is how do I learn? But you’re standing there watching those people and that means you have to actually empathize with them and understand their feelings and their desires, and maybe even their hopes and their dreams that coaches are thinking big, and then go back to the mad science lab and then look at these physical materials and go, “Okay, I can’t make a 19 foot railing out of plywood.”
Craig: The reality has to be blended with that thing, and I’m wondering if… Well, first of all, do you realize now I think that’s very, very unique, your ability to do that. That’s not something that I think most people have, so I don’t know if you realize that is the first part of the question.
Craig: Meh, okay. I’m going to take that as you don’t realize how unique that is, so that’s actually quite unique.
Tyson: I put things onto walls and then be like, “Oh, that’s cool.”
Craig: Yeah. So, how many other people do you know who put things on the walls like that?
Tyson: I mean, somebody’s got to done it.
Craig: Yeah, somebody.
Tyson: Of course you should put this thing on a wall.
Craig: Yes, but do you know anybody? I don’t know anybody that does that. I know people who visualize the whole space and they plan it all out, but to organically Jackson Pollock it, that’s not a thing that, you know, I mean just like, “Let’s put this here, let’s put that there,” that’s not a common skill. I was assuming you were going to say yes you’re aware that’s a unique skill and then I was going to say, “When did you realize that was a unique skill,” but apparently the answer is you’ve never realized that. So, what are your thoughts when I say that I think that’s… That’s clearly art. That’s clearly a creative, organic process.
Tyson: So, I was teaching too at the time. When we first started, it was just a pretty small group of people that were doing little bits of everything. I got tapped to do the accounting and administration work, but everybody basically had two jobs at that point. So, I would teaching something and I’d be like, “I want a thing here. I want a thing here,” too in addition to watching the classes and stuff. I don’t think that I would be able to just pop something into my brain that would be cool to make and that I think has movement for potential without being able to anchor that into I’ve done this in this environment and I’d love to recreate the feeling of that within here. Or I’ve taught this to students within this environment and I wish it was maybe a little bit different or-
Craig: Yeah. Or I wish I could get this class in that space that I saw when I was at… yeah.
Tyson: Yeah. So, all of those experiences influenced any designing process that I did. And most of my designing process is with the object, as often as I can have an object. As often as I can just have the object and play with it and tweak it, it makes it just drastically, drastically easier to build and something cool come out of it. I can go around in circles in my head forever obsessively, it keeps my up at night, on how do I make this thing perfect? And it’s like, well, I could do this, I could do this. I could put a bar there, but I’m like, “Well, if I put a bar there, then when it’s in this orientation that’s maybe a tripping hazard so I can’t put that there. But it’s good if I have it in this situation. Is that more useful than that?” And those sort of thoughts will keep me up at night but when I actually have the thing, when I have it built, the answer’s obvious.
Tyson: It’s like, yeah, it’s totally worth it. I just did this thing that was super, super cool. Any downsides to this is whatever now. It doesn’t matter.
Craig: Right. But you realize that the average person can’t do that in their head, right? The average person cannot… and I’m going to go on a limb and say I actually can do that. I can build things in three dimensions in my head, flip them around and go, “That’s not going to work,” and visualize how the stress and the shears work. That’s why I’m digging into this because I think you have a skillset here that is way beyond I can build things because we were talking before, and one of the things I’m going to ask you is to talk about one, if you’re willing, talk about one of your ideas about going and doing… I love the term artist in residency type of construction work, and if you want to unpack that I would love for you to tell me more about that idea about how that would work.
Tyson: You want to jump right in to the what… I guess I’m missing what your… you want me to-
Craig: So, you were talking about having, okay, I’ll come in and I’ll build something that you want and then in exchange you have me build something that I want.
Craig: That’s it, and I love the term artist in residence and it’s like a I get freedom in exchange for you getting a thing that you believe you want first or second, and that it is… I mean, I’m just going… This is not… You are not building boxes, you are creating and you are an artist building and working in space, but I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on that.
Tyson: Yeah, I just keep wanting to play it down even more though. What you were talking about in terms of being able to visualize something and be able to…
Craig: Flip it [inaudible 00:17:03].
Tyson: Yeah, flip it and whatever. For me, that’s all parkour as well. That’s all… If I can visualize my body moving through space and visualize the movements that I’m going to be doing before doing it, which is a very powerful tool within parkour, then why shouldn’t I be doing that when I’m building, designing something in the same way, right?
Craig: I agree that you work that way, and I think I work that way, but don’t know many people who think that way. And it may be that may be part of what called you to parkour. You may have always had this… I’m just going to say tenacity, this idea of like, “Oh, that thing is…” Do you find, this happens to me, I see objects, like industrial things in reality and I go, “That’s dumb. The center of gravity [inaudible 00:17:48] turn around.” Do, you find yourself inventing problems, just when you look at the world, inventing problems and then solving them?
Tyson: Yeah. So, this is why we named the organization Parkour Visions because for me one of the most powerful things for getting into parkour was how it changed my view of the entire world. I could entertain myself by just walking around in the city and imagining all the different things that I could do in those areas, and that also led me to grabbing every railing that I saw to test how strong it was, and just running my hands over the texture of different things so that I could get a feel for, “Oh, this tends to be slippery when it’s dusty. This one seems to be a lot better,” and doing those sort of things every single day no matter when it was that I went. I definitely had those thoughts of, “Well, crap. They should’ve just done this and then this railing would’ve been way, way more strong and I would’ve been able to jump on it,” even if I was just jumping on it in my head and I didn’t have time to do then, it’s still disappointing me that they just didn’t do it that way. And so having those thoughts just constantly all the time I’m sure influenced the way that I would come to design and build obstacles.
Craig: I’m thinking, or those thoughts are what caused you to… I’m guessing people who throw clay, they didn’t start out by saying, “I would like to make pots.” The started out by, “I am drawn to form shapes from amorphous blobs,” and painters start from the same vision. So, I’m starting to feel more like you’re and artist than a constructor of things. Your medium happens to be plywood lumber and screws. Maybe we should talk about the destruction of the said objects, I think that was a really cool way to present that material if we want to go there too. I do like to say things that the people who are listening have no clue what I’m talking about and then just like not come back to them like, “Bummer, you should’ve been there.” But if you want to talk about it, it might be fun to talk about, since I hinted at what’s your presented art of retreat, to talk about why you thought, I’m going to put words in your mouth, why you thought destroying objects, temporary, not destroying the physical building, but destroying purpose built parkour little mini example objects, why you thought that would be a great way to teach people?
Craig: Because I think it’s pretty clear that you wouldn’t need to do that. You could just picture it and go, “That’s not going to work. There, that works in my head. Okay, build it.” You don’t need to destroy them anymore.
Tyson: Yeah. There was kind of two things that I was trying to accomplish with the destructive experiment phase of that workshop. One of them is that I have advice that I give people that came from somewhere, maybe I made it up, maybe someone else told me that that’s how it should be done, like a headman towards when I first started on how to properly build these things, and I would pass on that advice and people would accept it like gospel. I would always be a little bit worried by that because it’s like, well, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’ve experimented, these seem to be pretty good ideas, but I don’t necessarily know that you should just take it as this is the one way that you should go. Maybe you should experiment with this more. So, that was a let’s test some of these things. So, we had half inch plywood versus three quarter inch plywood, which is one of the things like half inch plywood’s a lot cheaper and it seems like it might be strong enough.
Craig: Yeah, but three quarter inch plywood is way stronger.
Tyson: And that’s what we found is that, yeah, it’s really going to break much much easier in certain situations where we had a much harder time breaking the three quarter inch. But then we also found that different plywood’s break in different ways, which was interesting to be able to get a differentiation between that. We weren’t necessarily getting all the physics, like perfect experimental results out of it, but what I wanted to show people was how you get a general feel for these things. So, it’s like I make screw recommendation not necessarily because I know huge amounts about screws, I’m fairly interested by screws and I do know a fair amount, but-
Craig: Maybe more than you want to admit, right?
Tyson: For the analogy, I make a recommendation because I bought a bunch of them and I just broke them different ways to see what physical characteristics they had because I knew some of those would be more useful for others for the sort of obstacles that we were making.
Craig: At the very beginning, I didn’t say it because it gets recorded later, but at the very beginning of the podcast episodes I say that I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. So, you want to guess what I’m going to ask you now? I know who you are, I know what you do, I want to know why do you build parkour obstacles?
Tyson: When I first got into parkour, it intrigued me because it was much much more open and free than a lot of the sports that I had done. I had done many, many different sports. I’d stick around with them for like a year and then I would feel somewhat constricted by them or just that it wasn’t the right fit. I was really enthusiastic about parkour with the freedom that it allowed and the seemingly unlimited potential there was. Nobody knew what the max limits were for any of the movements. They were constantly being changed and broken and new and interesting ways of moving were being invented or discovered all the time. When it came to the point of building obstacles to support classes that we were running, I started to see the same pathway open up in terms of if I can put a slanted wall anywhere that I want within this space, all of a sudden I can do so many more movement types.
Tyson: I can’t do all these different wall tricks that were way harder without it. I can reach higher with my tacks. I can do weird up the wall roll thingys that I haven’t really seen much anywhere else. And that sort of expanding of the potential bubble just really interests me and one of my main drives with parkour as a business is been always to share it with as many people as I can, because it affected my life very deeply and very positively and I wanted to try to spread that to as many people as I could. So, we accomplished that by starting the nonprofit and running all these classes and getting… I think we were pretty close tot 30,000 people through the gym over the period of running it taking direct classes. And I think another way to get people into the discipline or deepen their relationship with the discipline is to give them interesting, accessible, unique space to practice parkour, and I think that’s something that is either lacking out there right now or could potentially be lacking if we don’t do enough to protect the places that we love.
Tyson: Places get shut down and I see the stuff that got demolished in lease for example, and I’m like, “Oh, this beloved spot,” those movement are kind of forever lost to a certain degree unless somebody remakes that with the same… Even if they remake it though, it’s like it’s not-
Craig: It’s not the same, no.
Tyson: It’s never going to particularly be the same because it’s going to be different people, different culture within that area. So, it’s like we fall in love with these spaces that aren’t ours, that we don’t necessarily have control over.
Craig: Control over.
Tyson: Or rarely will have control over or we find that we don’t even have much say in them a lot of times, so I think that’s why it’s important to be able to have safe spaces that we know will persist.
Craig: That we have control over, right. Safe in the sense that we control them, not… we don’t care about physical safety that much. That’s a pretty easy thing to accomplish.
Tyson: Yeah, when I was training on the University of Washington campus, they cut down a few branches and I was amazed at how much it affected me emotionally. I was like…
Craig: I was using that.
Tyson: It wasn’t only that I was using it, it was like that was the first time I did this massive mental breakthrough was… because that branch was there, I had this massive mental breakthrough. I was able to do this jump that I would never have considered being able to do before, and it’s like now that opportunity is gone or that opportunity for me to show that to someone else and have them experience what I went through is gone. Yeah, I think that’s… I was very surprised by how much that affected me so I knew that part of the push was, okay, to protect the future of the discipline, let’s make good coaches who can pass on parkour and preserve what parkour’s about. That’s one avenue. Two, preserve the environments for parkour to make sure that there are still environments that we can go to and do parkour. We need to encourage parkour parks and parkour gyms to open and run and persist, and that’s another avenue. I think both of them are really important.
Craig: So, there’s a dichotomy, a opposite polar pull between… and I mean people say this, but just in general conceptually, parkour in the found space versus parkour in the built space. One of the criticisms of parkour in built space is that it stifles creativity or they would say the things that you can do in the found space are missing, the creativity required in those found spaces is missing. You and I had a discussion, not on these mics, where were talking about finding it in built spaces that can be manipulated because they were manipulated by somebody else and I’m wondering, when you see people who use your structures, so not when you have the opportunity to discover this [inaudible 00:28:24], when you see them use them in ways that you hadn’t expected, I’m just wondering what you think when you see that, what emotions that brings up.
Tyson: Oh, it’s absolutely thrilling. I tell the story of why we built the vault boxes the way that we do in that they are pretty stupidly overbuilt in terms of just being to do a kong on it, it’s like you can just make a saw horse and do a kong off it, but what I found is that the first time that we… the first that our coaches had access to that equipment, they would immediately tip the vault box on its side and try to use it as a tacking platform and our first vault boxes couldn’t handle that. They didn’t have enough structural stability in that direction to be able to facilitate that. So, every time I would make a new obstacle, our instructors would find some new or weird way to use that obstacle that I never considered while designing it. So, I was just like, “Okay, well I’m just going make everything as rigid and as strong as I can so that when that situation arises, I can just be like, “Awesome, sweet, it works that way. I’m proud that it still works that way and you are awesome for being such a creative individual for flipping it around and leaning it up against that and doing-
Craig: Propping with this, right?
Craig: I understand that you took a step back and moved to Vancouver to have some recovery time, and it seems that you are now, these days, you seem to be getting more back into things and I’m just wondering do you have a vision or a plan for what you’re going to be doing maybe for the rest of the year? Where do you see yourself moving to since you’re kind of moving away from Vancouver as a home base or spending more time outside of Vancouver?
Tyson: So, when I started parkour I sort of considered myself to be one of the first general of people that were training around that time. What that means is not necessarily that I was the first to start so look at the all experience that I have, it meant that I had to travel to train with other people. So, that was-
Craig: Look, one person doing parkour, a community!
Tyson: Yeah. I had to go to Texas to train with Jeremy there and I had to go to New York to train with Jesse there, and I followed Parkour Generations around from the first time that they came to every event that they went no matter where it was in the states, and these were the ways that I could get good training in because I thrive a lot off of being able to train with other people that have as crazy ideas as I do a lot of times. That’s something that I valued really highly when I was developing myself as an athlete and it’s something that I stepped away from when I was developing the business to be able to reach more people and to spread parkour. I find that I’m not as interested as developing myself as an athlete as I was during that time, and I don’t like the big gym environments as much that are geared towards that end of the spectrum where you’re going to push yourself really hard and develop as an athlete.
Tyson: It’s like I have my own practice at this point and I know the things that make me feel fulfilled from the movements that I do. So, the traveling I think that I want to do now is to go to my friends and other leaders within the parkour communities and to see the spaces of the programs that they built and the challenges and the obstacles that they’ve had to overcome in getting there and to see if I can offer ways to help and develop that or to even challenge some of the beliefs that they’ve built up over what they think works best for their situation. So, that’s kind of what I’m imagining my next progression to be. I really enjoy the building arm of this and I really enjoy doing really unique and interesting things that push the limit, and I would love to just find more people who are willing to take that step and be like, “What would happen if we just cut a tree and brought it in here and flipped it upside down and used that as a start of a really cool precision bar scaffolding course?” And be like, “Yeah, that sounds great. Let’s do that.”
Tyson: It’s easy, I know from personal experience, that it’s to get locked into you found a thing that works and you keep doing that thing. And that thing makes you money and it doesn’t feel safe to expand past and push for that thing.
Craig: Well, and people would be asking for, money aside, if everybody says, “Please build more of those,” you’re like, “Well, if they’re great I’ll build more.”
Tyson: Yeah. We had a unique position, I think, as a nonprofit where we weren’t tied as strongly to those profit generating activities and I put the popularity and achievements of what Colin has been doing with our design arm as due to our focus as a nonprofit where we did parkour design for parks and pushed for parks really strongly for two years straight without making a dime from it, and we were paying Colin during this time to do like, “Okay, well option A didn’t work. Let’s go to option B. Option B didn’t work, let’s go to option C.” We were at like plan H by the time that the-
Craig: They bought, right?
Tyson: Well, by the time the whole project fell through and it was no longer possible to do and we then we moved onto the next possible project. We’ve had a very long history of trying to make these things happen and not quite getting there, and it’s only until recently that there are actually examples in the ground of parkour parks built that people are actually on board with the idea. It’s like now the examples are out there, now we can actually proceed and it’s not just us talking and doing presentation after presentation after presentation after presentation trying to sell these people on it, they can just talk directly to the parks department of the place that has it and see how powerful it actually is for that community. I forgot the rest of what we were talking about.
Craig: That’s just fine. I’m not trying to maintain a coherent over arching thread through the discussion. The hardest part of being on this side, I know that your side is also very hard, but the hardest part on my side is trying to decide which avenues to follow. So, one of the things that you said was the A to B to C to H and then fail, and then you did another one and it failed, and you did one and it succeeded, and the first I thought of was if I took eight iterations on the first failure, was it fewer iterations on the second failure and few iterations on the first success? Because what I was thinking was it’s building vault boxes. You’re iterating on designs, it’s not plywood and screws in one specific thing, but you’re facilitating, in this case if I understand correctly, you’re facilitating Colin doing the work but you’re still guiding this, “No, let’s keep… Yeah, I know it broke, let’s keep going after this.” Smash it with a hammer and do it again and do it again and then be cool with just throwing the whole thing on starting with a blank state. So, to me it sounds like pretty much the same process in terms of what is driving you to do that.
Tyson: Yeah. Luckily, we weren’t having to throw away stuff that we built on each one of these plans that failed. It was all generally like, “Here’s a new concept. Let’s make a design and a pitch for this and we’ll see if this works,” and then, “Oh, we got shut down by this person that’s in another department that says, ‘Oh, we can’t quite use this space.’ Okay, let’s go over to this area of the park and try to make this happen here. And it’s like, oh no. That area of the park’s actually in a different county and can’t do the thing…” So, that’s the sort of process that we were banging our head up against and it eventually took less iterations to get through, simply because we gained the experience through each of the failures. And that happens within the built obstacle environment as well, it’s just that we haven’t really… never had anything break within the last, I don’t know how many years, but that isn’t to say that nothing ever broke in the beginning. We broke tons of things in the beginning, we just learned from each one of those things.
Tyson: I think it’s really important to see any those not as failures but as just the opportunity to learn new stuff, because it’s rare when it happens and that rarity makes it valuable. And seeing that it’s valuable I think is really important to being able to learn from that and improve the next generation.
Craig: Different train of thoughts, like new chapter, turn the page. What’s something that you think that people misunderstand about you or think about you that’s actually wrong in your opinion?
Tyson: One of the things I feel like I’m correcting people on a lot is that… well, one of the things that I’ve corrected you a lot on…
Craig: Which is fine. Excellent, I love when people turn it back on me.
Tyson: Is the, “Oh, you’re such a great artist. You’re such a great whatever, whatever, insert this here, because of this that you made or because of that or because of this,” and I think it’s… People can’t necessarily see all the influences upon my work and just straight up the things that I took credit for that other people did necessarily, right?
Craig: People think I’m a good podcast and I have no clue what I’m doing either. I’m doing exactly the same thing. I make a lot of mistakes. Wait, actually perfect example of before we pressed record we had all these mistakes and things and weird wire things going on. So, I don’t think making mistakes, like make mistake, learn, make mistake, learn, make mistake, learn, I don’t think that iterative process devalues the mastery that you end up in the least. It is that process which leads you to be a master, so.
Tyson: Yeah, I just think that a lot of times it’s difficult to see how much of a group effort it has been up to that point and it’s something that I don’t always get a chance to talk about, but after our first space when we had the shop that was separated from the gym-
Craig: The space, right.
Tyson: … and into our second space where we had a rather large shop directly on it and our coaches had a lot more experience and they just started building stuff on their own, and so many of the ideas for equipment that was in the gym came from the coaches. I would say the majority of the ideas and some of the unique use cases and unique setups came from the coaches. Never particularly came from my angle.
Craig: Sure, but how many of those coaches are still building obstacles?
Craig: Okay, so who’s the artist here? You. All right, keep going. So, the coaches are generating… and I understand why the coaches would generate a lot of the ideas. Okay, keep going.
Tyson: So, I always have this urge to somewhat correct people on that, and I think it goes back to even when as we started as a nonprofit we’d get that question all the time because for the longest time we were the only nonprofit in the entire states. I think there’s two now, but for the longest time we were the only ones and people would always ask, “Why did you start this nonprofit?”
Craig: Why that model, right?
Tyson: Because I would tell them right away if they were trying to start a nonprofit I’d be like, “No, don’t do that. It’s way too hard.” We had no idea the amount of overhead that we were getting into and responsibility that we were taking on in creating this as a nonprofit. But it came out of a desire from me of this is our way to give back. The things that we know, the things that we’ve learned about parkour did not come from… they came out of our efforts but they were only possible because of the people that we were training with and the community that we grew out of. And this is our way to show that we are dedicated to giving back to that community and this is our way to show that this is a group effort to push this forward and to expand it to more people. I very strongly pushed for that culture within the gym environment and I think that is… I think where I am now or where the level of respect for Parkour Visions is now is directly because of that.
Tyson: I don’t think it was me. I pushed for things but I was not the person that came up with all of these ideas or that did all of these accomplishments. The original question was what do people get most wrong about me-
Craig: Get wrong about you.
Tyson: … and that’s the very long answer to that question is that-
Craig: They overestimate your role or your influence?
Tyson: Exactly. I think part of being a successful business person, part of being a successful role model, leader, whatever is that you inspire others or even if you don’t necessarily inspire others, you surround yourself with very capable, interesting, creative people. And you may position yourself as the figure head of that because it’s more powerful that way, has a greater reach. It’s easier to do the marketing, it’s easier to do the interface with the government or other departments within the city or whatever, but I never want to forget the people that get you there, the people that are there and a part of the community.
Craig: So, what’s something that you’re currently struggling with?
Tyson: My biggest struggle right now is something that has been kind of plaguing me for the last five or six years which is mild to severe depression, somewhere along there, somewhere within the spectrum. It was something that I kind of lived with and pushed through and just forced my way through stuff when I was running PKV but I didn’t notice the toll that it was taking on my body and my mental state. And by the time I realized what that was and how it showed up it was too late to be able to take a step back and take care of myself in the way that I had needed to. I feel like I did a lot of sacrificing for others and not enough taking care of myself to the point where I burned out.
Tyson: I had wanted to step down from the leading role of Parkour Visions for a long time before it eventually happened and I’ve been taking the time recently to correct those mistakes that I made during that time and learn how to actually take care of myself basically. That’s that big struggle, the constant big struggle is getting over this thing that’s very new to me that I don’t understand that I have loving and supporting people around me luckily to help me through, but that seems like it’s something that only I can solve but I don’t quite understand the problem.
Craig: So, one of the issues that I struggle with is finding people to talk to when I get… I call it the big black dog. When the big black dog shows up, I can’t make it go away. I can’t be like, “Get out of here.” I can’t ignore it. I can’t get it to go for a walk. It’s there and it’s just going to be in the living room for I don’t know how long. And anything will set me off. People ask me random questions about stuff and it just becomes this I can’t talk fast enough to explain all the train of thought that I don’t even need to think because I’ve been over this so many times the carpet is completely worn from me going around in circles, and it’s really tricky to find… I’m going to say a hand hold. So, for me it’s usually letting go that gets me out of the funk that I’m in.
Craig: And what I’m wondering is if you’ve found, because I can share some things that I do, but I’m wondering if you found any short term… So, if you recognize it’s one of those days? And for me the answer is usually to just… I’m super super driven about crossing T’s and dotting I’s and if I said I’m going to do it I’m going to do it and I can’t let anybody down, so for me it’s usually to just let go of everything because six hours or a day really isn’t going to make a different. So, for me it’s usually I just say, “Bleep the world,” throw my hands up in the air and go for a walk or a bike ride or something, or go out for my favorite sandwich, just get away. But that’s how I do it, that’s how I kind of sneak out of the front door and then I come back and I’m like, “Is the black dog still here?” And usually it still is but maybe I can spend a few minutes making a phone call or something.
Craig: So, that’s how I do it, is not… I don’t get out of the hole by talking to people because I haven’t found anybody that I can talk to. And I’m just wondering if you found any tools, like when I need to hit the panic button? Is it walking or is it… I’m wondering, it might actually be like going and building things is what I’m fishing, is what is the immediate cathartic that gets you one iota of movement in the right direction to get out of the hole?
Tyson: When I was in the worst of it in the really stressful position that I was in the executive director during the many different crisis that the organization went through, I found solace in taking walks by myself, forcing myself to train because I would often not feel any desire to train. We actually… I found this space somewhat near to the gym that was just this abandoned building, like half demolished but sort of just left there and nobody was doing anything with it. So, I started turning that into a second gym sort of thing.
Craig: Fixing it up, right?
Tyson: Fixing it up, adding grip tape to certain areas that were falling apart. We started retiring obstacles there.
Craig: The obstacle graveyard.
Tyson: Yeah, when an obstacle went to die it would make it to the farm instead and that was nice. It gave them a second home.
Craig: The one thing that audio doesn’t convey is the way your face lit up when you described the farm and the place where the obstacles go to die. I don’t want to make it sound trivial, but it’s deeply meaningful I can see.
Tyson: Yeah. So, that was nice and that gave the short term release for that. I expanded on that after stepping down from the executive director position. I originally hoped to jump right into a building constructing role, like a manager of the shop position but after losing the gym and that not being a possibility I instead just took a long time to say, “Fuck it,” to the rest of everything and just be like let me try to live without particularly burdening myself with responsibilities for a year. It turned into like a year and a half, something like that, and I found that what worked for short term relief in the middle of the high stress situations did not work for long term success. I believe that I… by taking myself out of it so much, I was more avoiding the problem than finding a solution. I was using these techniques before for taking the edge off, but if you take away the entire implement then you’re left with kind of nothing, right?
Tyson: So, you need something that pushes you. What I’m thinking now in terms of the direction that I’m going next for something that will help is that I think I need to redo my entire mental concept of how whole depression thing works for me in that I always considered this as something that happened to me and I just have to figure my way out of it and I think I need to shift my view on that into this is who I currently am, this is where I am, that is how it is. The more that I try to fight that or to get angry at that for things used to be different, the more and more that my body is going to I think just rebel against that. So, I really enjoyed at The Art of Retreat taking [Weston’s 00:50:21] session when he was talking about chronic pain and his journey through fibromyalgia. He used the metaphor of as your body gets so sensitive to the world around you and this pain, it becomes like a wounded animal and you have to treat it like a wounded animal.
Tyson: I realized that I had not been treating myself that way. I had been treating myself as why can’t I just be like this? Or what do I need to do in order to just make this whole thing go away? And I wasn’t showing the love and care and acceptance for me just being the wounded animal at that time. So, I think that’s a shift in mindset rather than a new toolbox of skills that I need to learn. All of the problems previously in my life were just, “Oh, I just need new skills in my toolbox.” Everything was developing new skills. I’m all about learning new skills. I taught people how to do lock picking at the Art of Retreat just randomly because-
Craig: That’s a fun session, right?
Tyson: … I brought some locks with me because, yeah sure, I lock pick, right? It’s just another interesting skill for me to develop and to play with and that was how that was really important to me through my life and I got a lot out of that, but that approach does not seem to work the depression with the mental illness side of this. It’s not just new skills that I need to develop, it’s a different perspective on who I am as a person potentially.
Craig: So, what’s something, if there is anything, what’s something that you can think of which just immediately lights you up with energy and a smile?
Tyson: Nothing. No, I don’t know.
Craig: How about chocolate ice cream? What I want to get is what’s your perspective on what are the kinds of things that you enjoy doing and what makes you smile? Because I’ll tell you one thing, talking about lock picking and the fun of doing something that’s almost irreverent, like this is just a silly thing but it’s so much fun to do. And then people try it and they’re like, “Wait, why can’t I…” It made you smile big time and it’s a very small thing in terms of what’s required to do it, what’s required to share it, how much effort it really takes. It’s a very small but it really lift you up when you got to it.
Tyson: Yeah, and the reason that I originally was thinking of replying nothing to that question was because that’s the major thing that just annoys me to death about my current mental state is that I will try to think of things that bring a smile to my face and I will come up with nothing. It’s like, “Oh, all these things I used to enjoy, I don’t get the same enjoyment out of it.” Yet at the same time, I know that I greatly enjoyed the presentation that I gave, especially when we went to destroy stuff with sledgehammers, and I greatly enjoyed teaching people about lock picking, and I greatly enjoyed all the people that came up to me and asked for advice on construction related stuff and things that they were designing or building.
Tyson: So, I think it comes down to I enjoy helping people, I enjoy spreading the things that I’m passionate about, it’s just currently I just get so easily stuck in these ruts of it not feeling like I’m going to enjoy it. I was so stressed before my presentation at the Art of Retreat. It was just destroying me and I knew perfectly well that I would have a fun presentation and I knew perfectly well that people were going to learn stuff from it, but what I don’t think that I understood was that I was going to have that much fun doing it because I don’t know. It all just felt like a drag. It all just felt like, oh, this is just more ways to not meet either my expectations or other people’s expectations. There isn’t particularly an answer to it.
Craig: I wasn’t… That was not me critiquing. I made a… I don’t if I want to repeat this or not, but I made a gesture with my hand or c’est la vie or that’s the way it is, and I didn’t mean you ignored me. I meant I agree with you completely, that’s how it works. It’s just a commiserating gesture.
Tyson: No, I was thinking a lot of times when I… I haven’t shared this with all that many people because I find that usually people have a similar response to it that I do in that once they understand what the problem is, they start thinking about what the solution could be, and then they propose solution after solution and it doesn’t particularly help.
Craig: I already tried that, but.
Tyson: Yeah. And it’s really hard to tell that to somebody or tell them, “Okay, can you stop trying to fix it?” It just doesn’t help me in that stage or that’s not the support that I’m looking for right now, and I think that that’s just something that it’s really inherent within me. I am a problem solver, give me a problem that’s well defined and I will totally find you a solution. I just go get problem, solution, problem, solution and I think it’s easy to get stuck in a position where it’s caring more about the problem than the person I guess is the split there.
Craig: You had expressed uncertainty as to the value about talking about it and I think that there’s tremendous value in talking about it. I think that too many people think of depression as a… I was going to say melody, like there’s something wrong with you if you are depressed. And I’m absolutely convinced that you can… I call it optimization, like I optimize the shit out of everything that I do all the time, like what paper? What pen? Everything, I carry two flashlights, all this stuff. I’m convinced that one cannot optimize oneself out of depression. I’ve tried it and I’m really good at optimizing stuff, and all I do is wind up… To me, it feels like I have a mental queue of like, I was doing this and then I have to put my finger on it, and then I start going on this and I just became optimizing and I’m like, “All I’ve done is make 7,000 things go around in my head, none of which had to do with… I was trying to make a cup or coffee or I was trying to get dressed.”
Craig: And I think just saying those kinds of things out loud help me when I say them to certain people, and I think when other people hear… The first time I heard somebody else say those kinds of things I was like, “Oh, good. I really really thought that my brain was broken. Now I’m convinced that my brain is actually just been trained to think a certain way,” which has to do with how I worked with analytic computers and what I did for 25 years of just everything has to be black and white because that’s what I was doing. And I was like, “Oh, so I do this, I do this, and there’s a remainder,” and then I had to put that somewhere and it’s like this long optimization process and leftover details. And when I start to talk to people about that then I find people like you who say the same sorts of things, “I can optimize the hell out of everything but I still have this.”
Craig: And then I think you’re maybe ahead of me in identifying it as I would say it but I still have this problem, and I think you’re are your outlook is a little healthier or a better way to look at it as and I still am this, rather than trying to fix it. So, that’s just my take on what you’ve been saying. I don’t think it’s useless or I think it’s very useful to talk about these things.
Tyson: Yeah. I mean, it’s only through forcing myself to talk about it that I did come to some of these realizations potentially, and I don’t know if they’ll be of particular use because I’m still in the middle of it and I’m just coming away with these ideas. I definitely sort of think the same way.
Craig: I wonder, have you ever given any thought to… My gut instinct is that these types of things that we’re talking are fairly common, but I actually can think of a number of people in the parkour and the movement space that I have talked to about these kinds things or that who I suspect have these same sorts of things that they think about, and I’m just wondering if there’s something about the creative type of mindset that the people who are really good at… When I say really good at parkour I don’t just mean, they usually are athletically good, but I mean people who really have the play vision, parkour vision, the people who really have the culture of effort, the Lutheran work ethic thing, I’m wondering if those people aren’t… that’s the give and take. If you’ve got that, then you’re also susceptible to this viscous self abuse cycle of trying to push yourself and optimize everything. I don’t know what your thoughts are on, that’s not a secret that I’m trying to dissect here, but I’m just wondering as two people commiserating, I wonder if that doesn’t generate more opportunity for that kind of thought process to arise.
Tyson: The other way to put that is there’s a lot of cool fucked up people in the parkour world.
Craig: Let’s just switch chairs. You come over here and work. All you got to do is work these two knobs, and then I’ll be the guess. That’s easy.
Tyson: No, I think there has been a lot of research and stuff that’s gone in that direction on do these people who are really really creative, like their brains, maybe they just operate differently. They come up with different solutions out of the blue and that different operating style comes along with other things that happen, and I think that’s totally fair.
Craig: I’m nodding vigorously. Nobody can see it. There’s a concept, which I will admit to having learned it was either yesterday or the day before, those two days run together, where I believe it was Paula Flynn was talking about neuro diversity. So, I’m a big fan of wait, what’s that? You know, Wikipedia, go dig and read, and one of the parts of it is the idea… and I’m like, “Oh, yeah,” the idea that brains, that minds, have a variation of behaviors or perimeters. Up to that point, I guess I had always thought, “Well, this is how your brain should work. This neuron’s going to connect to that neuron and then they work together and it makes a big picture and you can get dressed.”
Craig: Now, I’m thinking, “Oh, so why would I assume everybody’s brains worked the same way?” There has to be a spread in probably, I’m making a left to right gesture, but actually there would be how many different dimensions of how I don’t know all the perimeters to brains. It kind of sounds silly, but sometimes people say something to you and you’re just like, “Whoa, okay.” That may really have been very helpful to me to be thinking that, okay, my brain just does this. That’s how it works. I mean, my brain does some really cool stuff that people look at me and go, “How did you…” I’m like, “I don’t know. That’s [inaudible 01:02:08] obvious. You can’t see that? That’s just clearly how it works.” And I see a lot of that, you’re describing things in building that… I mean, I can build a little bit but you do things… and I just see you doing things that are way beyond my ability to flip things in my head in three dimensions, and I’m just wondering what your thoughts are, if you see any of the similar threads in your thinking about… because you were talking about, “This is the way that I am, this is how I am,” I’m wondering what your thoughts are about these different spectrums of brains.
Tyson: I think that’s… I think it’s definitely an interesting take on it. For me, I feel like I’m in a somewhat unique situation where this is really new to me, this sort of late onset of this. It would feel like I could accept that explanation for how my brains works if I had always been that way, but I think there’s another dimension of we can also change as a person quite dramatically. I don’t know what limits, or if there are limits on that potentially, but you hear stories sometimes of people taking psychedelics or something like that and coming out of it as a different person. Just-
Craig: Yeah, permanently changed.
Tyson: One experience can dramatically change a person and I… yeah. That’s that.
Craig: I always people, not podcast guys, but when people ask me questions about podcasting I say, “You can’t understand what it’s like to have a conversation with another human being who is literally in your head.” So, we’re wearing headphones, so every single thing that we say to each other, it’s like Tyson is in my head when he speaks. So, when somebody that you’re looking at, and humans and I think all apes, are really good at eyes and facial gestures and things, but that we’re like five feet apart. But when he speaks he’s literally whispering in my ear or shouting in my ear, so it’s a… There’s a connection that happens when you talk to someone, but when you bring them that close, there’s something about audio… Well, what it is about it is because it’s connected to the more primal parts of your brain and your eyes are not connected to the same primal parts, they’re further out.
Craig: So, it’s one thing to see someone, it’s another thing to have a conversation, it’s another to actually have them in your head. So, there’s a little moment that went by where he laughed and I laughed and there’s like an exchange that happens. It’s like, “Psh, nobody else got that,” because you can’t experience that space. There’s also a very strange moment at the end of every podcast interview where we take the headphones off and I have a little moment of ah, because the rest of the world is really boring compared to, I mean I’m assuming you’re enjoying yourself, but compared to having a conversation like that, it’s like the very best, chillax, confidant discussion over a shared topic of interest that you’ve ever had, and then it’s even closer, physiologically closer. So, sorry, I’m off on a tangent because I’m obviously passionate about podcasting and audio and stuff and story telling. Which actually would be a good fun question, I’m going to be mindful of your time, and not that I don’t want to like… Okay, that was… let’s shake that off, because I don’t want to shake that off. That was really important things that I have a lot I want to go think about, but let’s go a in a completely different direction.
Craig: I’m wondering if there’s… I say this all time, “I’m passionate about collecting stories. I love stories,” and I’m wondering if there’s a story that you’d like to share? It can be anything at all.
Tyson: You’re not going to give me a prompt?
Craig: No, I love just throwing it out there.
Tyson: Like story?
Tyson: Anything at all?
Craig: Anything at all. So, I can give you examples of stories, but… If you want to let that cook for a second and we’ll see what you come up with.
Tyson: No, I need a prompt. Give me a prompt.
Craig: You need a prompt. I want a story… I don’t want a story that you’ve never told anyone, I want a story that highlights somebody that you admire.
Tyson: Highlights somebody that I admire.
Craig: You asked for a prompt. Oh, you wanted an easy prompt?
Tyson: No, I just have to have something to optimize around, so that’s where the prompt comes in. Highlight somebody I admire… I…
Craig: And I guess I would say you don’t have to tell me exactly who… If you want to leave the name out, you can.
Tyson: It doesn’t matter. There are quite a few stories of me walking into the gym to start my shift and discovering some crazy whacked out abomination that has been created by the coaches before I arrive and that I have to figure out what to do with. Just breaking down and just laughing.
Craig: What is the story behind this thing, right?
Tyson: Yeah, exactly. Like something happened. I don’t know. I want to be like, “How did you even get that on top of that? Really? How many people were here to help you do that?” The one that’s coming to my mind is something that I’m going to hold Curt responsible for, Curt Jordan. I think he’s responsible for probably most of these stories that I would tell about this sort of situation. I come into the gym and we have these what we’d call a jug, which is the four foot by four foot by six foot tall box. And generally to move these things around in the gym you’re either flipping them end over end, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, like really big lifting thing or you’re tilting it and shoving a dolly with wheels underneath and then maneuvering it around.
Tyson: But they had a jug with a platform on it and the platform went off to another wall, and then on top of that they had another jug. So, we’re talking now 13 feet high up in the air, and on top of that there was another platform going to another section of a wall. And then I think there was some ropes randomly thrown in and some stuff for added style on top of it just so that it wasn’t just this-
Tyson: … monolith of this thing. And they were like, “Yeah, we wanted something that had like an overhang that we could move between but we also wanted it to be kind of like a tunnel so we just built this thing.” And I’m just like, “You’ve just stacked 13 feet high of obstacles and now I have to figure out is this thing going to kill someone?”
Craig: How do I get it down without killing me?
Tyson: How do I… If I’m going to take this apart, how am I going to do that without killing myself? And I think, let’s see, did that one stay or leave? I believe that one stayed. I think I managed to strap it and screw it together in a variety of ways so that it was able to stay for at least the day probably until we took it apart, because it was just this giant monstrosity of a thing. We have so many stories, this was most of my presentation at the Art of Retreat was just showing pictures. I would take pictures of these things regardless of whether they were going to stay or not. My immediate response was just, “Wow, that’s hilarious. I’m going to take a picture of this weird, weird thing.”
Tyson: And some of them would have to come down and I’d be like, “Sorry, that’s a really cool idea but I don’t have a way to make it safe enough for our students, so it’s going to have to come down.” I would file those away in my head and I’d be like, “We could make that strong enough if we made this thing better,” and then it’s like that’s an old idea that’s been stowed away and can come back out. I think that was some of the most fun parts of my job I think was we had so many coaches. At one point we had like 25 coaches on our staff and they would always get… We would always encourage as much prep time as possible between the four classes. There would be pretty much mandatory 30 minutes, but if people came in earlier before that it’s like, “Yes, gung ho. You are on your way to becoming a senior coach at that rate.” The more time you plan to prep your classes, as far as we’re concerned the better the class is going to be. That correlation pretty much always held out.
Tyson: During that time, seeing what people would come up with was just awesome. It’s building the playground that you want to build and building the environment to teach the perfect class for your students that are coming in, for your particular students that are coming in. Regardless of whether your students that are coming in are three to five years old or 70 plus years old, or they’re on the autistic spectrum, or any of these things, you can build a perfect environment for them to come into. And that was just such a unique experience, I loved it.
Craig: That’s a terrific story. I think this would be a good place to wrap up, so I’ll just say and of course the final question is three words to describe your practice?
Tyson: What’s the prompt?
Craig: So, the prompt… That’s fine. So, the prompt is normally I would give this prompt to everyone and we would cut it out, but I think it’s fun to leave it in in this case. So, the prompt is picking three words is really tough because it forces you to over simplify and at the same time try and find words that are super powerful. So, I’m curious to see what three words people pick under direst to describe their practice. But there is also the next level up which is you have to either literally outwardly or at least in your head unpack what I mean or what you think I mean by the word practice.
Tyson: Yeah, that’s the stickler.
Craig: Right. So, what I want you to do is figure out in your mind what you would consider your practice. Is it the artistry of creating boxes? Is it facilitating learning? Is it spreading the idea of… So, you got to figure out what practice means and then pick your three words. And the piece I will give you is you’re perfectly welcome to just give me three words and we’re done, or you can also unpack them a little bit if you wish, but either way it’s yours.
Tyson: So, for me what I think of when you say practice is the common theme that ties all the things that I do together, and all the things that I think I do well together, like what’s hidden behind all of those things. And the first thing that comes to mind is courage, just the ability to go for something even if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out. Stubbornness because courage isn’t enough. Sometimes you just have to stick with it because it’s not going to work the first time. Most things don’t work the first time and I value being a rather stubborn person. And for the third, I would just have to say appreciation, and this is more for me looking forward than it’s been looking back because I think some of the best things that I’ve done come out of a deep appreciation for the people that I’m working on those things with, and some of the worse things that I’ve done or that have influenced me have come from a lack of appreciation for myself or for the love of the people around me.
Craig: Thank you very much, Tyson. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you this evening.
Tyson: Yeah, thank you very much, Craig. It was a lot of fun.
Craig: This was episode 74. For more information, go to moversmindset.com/74. You already know there’s more to the Movers Mindset Project than just this podcast, a lot more. In fact, there’s so much that we’ve put together a page that describes all the different things we’re currently doing from athlete questions, to guest follow ups, from transcripts to show notes, the community, our mailing list, and more. To learn more, go to moversmindset.com and click on overview in the menu, and I’ll leave you with a final thought from Atticus Finch. A man does the job no one else wants to do. A man lives with integrity everyday. The most important form of courage is moral courage. Live with quiet dignity. Thanks for listening.
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