(highlight)I think especially when it comes to something like parkour the kind of injuries that happen there is I think common threads that occur, and I’m not talking about physically common threads. I’m talking about mental or situational common threads.
And I think a lot of injuries happen when people are showing off, and people are not concentrating, or people are too tired, and that moment where you’re like, “I’m just going to do one more. Just one more.” And it’s in that moment, often, not every time at all, but often, because you’re tired, because you’re like, “It’s just the last one,” you’re probably not concentrating quite enough, and that’s when it’s just like, “Ah.” (/highlight)
(chapter) Hello. I’m Craig Constantine. Welcome to The Mover’s Mindset Podcast where I talk with movement enthusiasts to learn who they are, what they do, and why they do it. This is episode number 92, Amy Slevin: FlowMotion, Pain, and Routine.
Not quite fitting in can seem negative, but it is what inspired Amy Slevin to create something new. She unpacks the roll movement holds in her life and how she came to create FlowMotion Yoga. Amy discusses her thoughts on pain, and injury, and particularly within parkour. She shares her personal routines, habits, and what she’s been reading.
Amy Slevin is an osteopath turned yoga instructor who teaches in London in the United Kingdom. She found FlowMotion Yoga to help people feel better in their bodies while sharing her love of movement and playfulness. Amy also teaches workshops about movement, pain, and injury, and is passionate about empowering her students through both movement and mindset.
For more information go to moversmindset.com/92. Thanks for listening.
Role of childhood movement [1:58]
(chapter) Hi, Amy. How are you?
Hey. I’m really good, thanks. How are you?
I’m very good. Thanks for taking the time. Morning for me, afternoon for you. One of the beauties of video calls is we don’t have to coordinate quite so much, and I believe we almost had a chance to sit down when I was in London two years ago. There was conversation, so I’m sorry that I missed the chance when I was there.
That’s okay. God, that was not two years ago.
Was it one year ago?
Maybe. It feels like two years ago. Maybe it was just one year ago. I know it was in May. Maybe it is coming up on one year. Time flies when you’re in denial. I like to start by asking people thinking about on your childhood what role did movement play as you were growing up?
Okay. I was a sprinter when I was a kid. I loved sprinting, and I obviously did competitive sprinting for my school, and what not. I loved that. That was my thing, but I also loved … I remember having summers or maybe just weekends, who knows what the time scheme is when you’re a kid, of just riding my bike up and down my road, and I remember bombing down, and being pumping my way up the road again, and bombing my way down, because I lived on a hill.
And I always wanted to dance. And I remember going to dance lessons when I was probably seven or eight and thinking this is not what I thought it was going to be. I didn’t really enjoy dancing at that stage, but then went back to dancing when I was about 13 I guess, and that’s when I really got into it, and I spent every Saturday afternoon at Sylvia Young Theatre School learning to dance, and then I started going to classes at Pineapple Dance two years in London also when I was about 16.
I was doing movement as I was growing up. It evolved. I started off just playing, and doing stupid things, and then sprinting, and then dance, and then obviously [crosstalk 00:04:04] when I was growing up.
How did you get into sprinting? Did you discover that in secondary school?
No. At primary school. They just entered the kids into an inter-school competition, and made us race against each other, and they thought I was pretty fast, and so they put me in.
Just trying to get you to blow off steam.
From childhood to present [4:27]
(chapter) I’m always interested in the transitions that people manage to pull off, and I lose track of … Most of the people that I talk to have created something. I read a lot about people, and I go here’s somebody who created a yoga studio, here’s somebody who started a dance program, here’s somebody who created a seniors program for parkour, and sometimes I lose sight of the fact that most people don’t do that. It’s just I’m interviewing this slice of active moving people, so I like to ask, and I like to try and dig into, how did you get from I’m going to say pretty clearly of being a lifelong mover. Anybody who was into bicycling, and then dance, and then sprinting.
How did you turn that into a love that you felt you wanted to create your own vehicle for?
After all of that, the dance and everything, I then discovered parkour. Loved parkour, and then after a few years of having worked in a normal job and doing parkour in my spare time I then studied osteopathy. I left my normal job, decided to study osteopathy, and during my osteopathy studies I started going out with somebody who did yoga. He introduced me to yoga, and so I started doing yoga, but I never really felt like I belonged in the yoga world, and I just had this-
… deep love for parkour.
(highlight) What was it about the yoga world that you thought you didn’t fit with?
I guess I struggled to connect with a lot of the philosophy, and I also had the impression … Basically, I started doing yoga, I succumbed, because my sister had died shortly before. I was studying osteopathy, my sister just died, and there was another family thing going on at the same time, and I was just like-
The confluence, right.
Yeah. And then, Bertie, my boyfriend at the time was like, “Why don’t you try some yoga?” And I was like, “Boring.” Because I’d done it I don’t know, twice, about 10 years previously, and it was a very long story, but I’m going to try to make it more succinct. I started doing yoga, never connected with it, but I wanted it to help me. I wanted it to help me with my anxiety, with my grieving, and all that kind of stuff, and it just never did.
But the physical side of yoga I really connected with, and I found it quite interesting exploring these different ways of moving my body in the yoga capacity, and seeing how that compared with parkour. I then completed my osteopathy studies, but never really wanted to be an osteopath, and I was like, “Shit, what am I going to do now?” Because I’d spent four year doing this, but I don’t really want to do it now. But then, I had been doing yoga during that time, and I was like how can I help people with the tools that I have, and the tools that I had were movement, yoga, and this vast knowledge from osteopathy.
And so, I just decided I’m going to teach people yoga in a way, and I never really committed to it, because I never really connected with that yoga in that way. Do you know what I mean? I felt like a fraud for a long time, and because of that, because of me feeling like a fraud, and because of me feeling like I wasn’t really connecting with yoga, and my love for parkour, and loads of other different types of movement that I discovered also along the years I was like, how can I now marry all of these things together, bring in a bit of parkour experience with my yoga, and develop something from that? And that’s basically how FlowMotion was created.
I was like, okay, let’s just give myself permission to bring in movements from here, there, and everywhere, and to bring in that kind of playful element that I really love from parkour, and the diversity. That was really the thing that [crosstalk 00:08:33] me. (/highlight)
Practice and students [8:31]
(chapter) That leads to my next question. Maybe you didn’t set out to do it initially, but you clearly realized that you had to create something that was uniquely your own. I think a lot of people have that urge. It’s almost an itch that you can’t scratch, and if you don’t figure out what that is it gets really annoying, but you have done a good job of really being wise enough to steer away from the things that were no longer calling to you because osteopathy is not a simple subject, but yet to not be hung up on the sunk cost, the amount of time you put into that.
Can you tell me more about what your vision is for your actual studio? Do you have a particular type of student that you’re trying to serve, or do you revel in helping people figure out what they need? What does that look like when people come to you?
I don’t have an actual studio. I teach privately one-to-one, but then I also teach in other people’s studios. I teach classes in other studios, but I teach privately in my own space. But basically, for my classes, it’s generally I want people who love movement, and I want people who are interested in experimenting with new and different ways of moving. Potentially they are people who are new to yoga, and in fact I love those ones, because they don’t come with any expectations, and so I can just do some weird stuff with them, and say now put your foot over here, and your hand over here, and they just do it.
They don’t even think is this yoga. I love those ones. And then, I get the occasional yogi who comes along and they’re like, “Oh my god. This is so weird and different.” It’s discovering all different ways that I can move my body, and I love those people too. I’m welcoming all the newbies and the experienced people, and just people who love moving. Those are the people I want, or people who are open to be converted to loving moving.
I’m going to add, this is kind of going on a limb, but do you find that people who are generally into yoga don’t actually love movement?
There’s a question.
That’s a good look, and hey, what happened to her video?
You know what? I think there are so many different types of yoga that there’s almost I dare say something for everybody. There is the very meditative non-moving kind, but then there are the people who love the physical, and they want to go hard. They want to just push themselves really hard. They want to sweat, and that kind. I guess I’m more towards that end of the spectrum. I didn’t think I necessarily push people as hard as other types of yoga do in terms of getting on a really aching body, and a really sweaty situation.
I push people and I get them to do interesting things, but I’m definitely not at the mental kind of thing. Those people would probably hate my classes, and that’s okay.
I would agree. That’s definitely okay.
Challenges of tele-teaching [11:42]
(chapter) I noticed that you’re, as most people are, switching over to doing online courses because obviously the current topic affects that.
We have to.
And I’ve seen a lot of that happening, and it sounds like you weren’t used to normally teleteaching that way before, and I’m just wondering what challenges you might have found other than the obvious ones of, “I can’t see you”? Are there surprisingly different challenges that you found when you switched over to that.
Interestingly, the week before I started doing my live classes I was in Holland filming online classes for a company called Ekhart Yoga, which was a vastly different experience because that was in a studio by yourself teaching nobody, and that is weird.
That’s a good point.
Then when I came to do my first Zoom class where I had real people the learning curve was enormous, absolutely enormous. In that one hour I learned so much about how to teach online which I’m so grateful for that, that challenge, and seeing how me saying what I was saying, like giving the instructions, and that kind of thing, and seeing how people were interpreting them differently, and getting confused, and being like, “What the hell are you saying?”
That was like, okay, I need to be really clear with my instructions, even more clear than I would be otherwise, because even though I’m demonstrating with some of these movements they’re having to crane their neck properly, which when we’re in a studio enviroment I make sure that I put myself where they can see me, so if we’re turning this direction I make sure I’m over there. You know what I mean. I just can’t do that with this online.
Have you considered spinning up two devices so run one device … I’ve done a couple of Zoom calls. One thing you can try to do is I’ve had guests who’ve showed up with one device running video, and one device driving the audio. You can put multiple versions of yourself in the call, so you can have a side view and a back view. I don’t know how many you could do before it got crazy, but you could totally have a bigger view and then something closer on the floor so you’d be able to talk to this camera for personal, and this camera’s always showing you the bigger picture. Just a random thought.
Okay. I’m very open to all suggestions, and in fact yesterday I was filming some stuff for YouTube, and I did have two cameras. I had one from one angle, one from straight ahead, but for the Zoom I’m open to doing that.
Just a thought. I was going to say.
What do you think you might be able to take from what you’ve learned doing telehealth, teleteaching, back out into the physical space?
Geez. I haven’t thought about that one.
I’m sorry. I’m notorious for asking hard questions.
Let me have a look think.
You can just say, “Pass.”
Okay. It’s probably a good idea to think about it generally. Gosh, what can I take? Can I pass on that one? I can come back to you [crosstalk 00:14:54].
Yes, you can certainly take a pass.
Injuries and pain [14:56]
(chapter) Let’s do it this way. I also want to make sure that I don’t spend all the time just grilling you with questions because I could just do that for hours, so is there anything that you can think of that you were coming to our chance to talk to today with like I want to make sure that I either get to X, or I want to ask Craig why, so if anything pops to mind I can pass you the baton for a while.
(highlight) I love talking about injuries and pain, and I know that’s a real issue in the parkour, not a real issue, it’s a thing that happens in the parkour world, people get injured. It’s not exclusive to parkour by any means, but it’s one of the subjects that I find really fascinating, and also ongoing and long-term pain. I find that really interesting too, so if you’re happy to go there.
Yeah. I was going to say, why are you obsessed with Pain? [crosstalk 00:15:48].
You know why. Because as an osteopath people come to you, and I remember being in a lecture of osteopathy and the question that was being asked by the lecturer was like, “Why do people come to osteopaths?” And we all just sat there like, “I don’t know.”
I’d at least punt and say because they want help with something.
Yeah, and basically it all comes down to pain. No one comes to you and says, “I think that I have a leg length discrepancy and that’s all.” They’re like, “I think I have a leg length discrepancy and it’s causing this to happen, which is giving me issues and pain.” Right? Everything in osteopathy, physical therapy, chiropractic is generally related to pain. There’re other examples as well, like digestion issues, and that kind of thing, but on the whole it’s a musculoskeletal pain.
And I think the reason I find it so fascinating is because in my second year of osteopathy, oh my god, we had to write an essay on the changes that occur locally, and in the brain, when it came to chronic pain, and I remember sitting there trying to write that essay and it was so difficult, and I remember just feeling completely inept, and completely just like I have no idea, but it was also not long after my sister died so my brain just wasn’t functioning properly.
And so, having that experience with that essay left a huge hole in my … I don’t know what you call it, but there was a void. I felt like I knew nothing, and all of the patients that I was seeing had long-term pain. Very few of them were like, “It started last week.” These were people who had it for years, and that essay would’ve helped me to understand what was going on for them, but I just couldn’t get my head around the essay.
I have to ask if you can wrap your head around the topic now?
Yeah. It sent me on a quest of trying to understand as much as I could about pain, so that’s why I find it fascinating. I think pain is quite common. A lot of people are living with pain, whether they want to do anything about it, or not. I think some people resign themselves to living with pain and some people are lucky enough never to have it, but I don’t even believe in that.
I’m coming to believe that’s not true.
Everyone experiences pain at some point in their life. Haven’t you? (/highlight)
Yeah. Oh yeah.
What injuries have you had?
We’re going into the injury stories. The most sustained pain I have ever dealt with is I was in a bicycle accident at one point in high school, 11th, 12th, and I got road rash. I got knocked down on a street. I wasn’t racing. I was just riding with friends, and I got knocked down on the street in cycling lycra and I had road rash-
… a square foot of it up my hip, and that hurt for weeks. I’d just lay there, and there’s nothing you can do because it’s an open wound that has to heal. I don’t know. It was horrible. That was sort of a manageable pain because it’s figuratively and literally a surface pain. I’ve had a couple of good earaches. I have pretty bad hearing, but I’ve had a couple of ruptured eardrum type headaches.
How did you get that?
I’d just get an ear infection. I have allergies, seasonal allergies, so if you hear me go … It’s just allergies. And if you’re not careful with that you can get either bronchitis, like a bacterial infection from the … Okay, let’s get gross, postnasal drip can lead you to those lung problems. It’s not going to kill you-
I love disgusting stuff. Yeah.
… but it’s not pleasant. But if you happen to get that infection in your ear then shit gets real, and I’ve learned enough that it’s like once you get it in your ear going to the hospital doesn’t help you. They’ll be like, “We can stick a needle in there and let the pressure out.” I’m like, “No, let’s not.”
Oh really? I would love that.
I had one like 15 years ago where basically you can put a hot towel on your head, and then hopefully you can get the swelling to go down so that your station tube will open up and drain naturally, but if you can’t do that eventually your drum just ruptures, and really it hurts.
I’ve done pain, and I’ve done head injuries. I broke a finger and a foot one time. The foot hurt. I broke my foot in a stupid physical education gym class dodgeball game. In one of those as I was running I fell down, and when I got up I was limping. I was like, “What’s up with that?” I broke up one of my metatarsals.
Yeah, broke it clean. The great thing about that story is I went home with my mom and dad, like hobbled home, and it was weird. I could walk on the outside edge of my foot, so if I inverted my foot all the way it would bear weight, but it wouldn’t flatten no way, because as soon as you flexed it was like the second or third one. As soon as you flexed it was no-go.
I hobbled home. My parents were like, “If you can walk no big deal,” so I sat at home for two and a half days waiting for that to go away, and it didn’t, and then eventually my mom took me to the emergency room to get an X-ray ironically the day that The Challenger Shuttle exploded we were sitting in the ER waiting for an X-ray as The Challenger blew up on the TV screen, and my foot is aching.
I’m like, “What the heck?”
At least you were entertained.
No, that was not entertaining. That one hurt.
Bad choice of words.
I know what you mean. At least I was distracted, but yeah.
I was glad I wasn’t in school for that, but anyway I broke my foot. I’ve had a couple of good stomach flus. Those are always brutal when you have an internal deep pain.
Yeah, and that often refers up to your right shoulder. Maybe not stomach, but appendixes do.
Yeah, or if you have a stomach pain it shoots up to your left shoulder. You’re like, well, I guess those nerves go right next to each other. Or the other one is your foot by your ear. Sometimes if you get a pain in your foot you get an itch in your ear. It’s funny when you see referent things happen like that, or maybe it’s just me.
My nerves could all be twisted for all I know.
Didn’t know about that one.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m wrong.
It sounds fascinating.
Maybe I’m entirely wrong. A lot of people say I’m special.
Now, I’m going to go and Google it afterwards.
Sorry. I didn’t mean to send you in the Google rabbit hole.
No, that’s fine.
We started into this talking about pain. I don’t want to say if you’re fascinated by pain because that makes it sound like it’s really bad, but if you’re fascinated by pain do you manage to bring that into your current practice? Do you they come to you and say, “Hey, I got this pain,” or do they show up, and then you notice, “Hey, it looks like you’re in pain”? How does that play out in your practice?
It was a very deliberate kind of thing. When I knew that I didn’t want to be an osteopath, and that I thought maybe let’s teach some yoga, I very specifically marketed myself as someone who can help you through yoga, someone who can help your pain, or whatever, with yoga, and I still do that.
Not all of my current clients have any kind of physical issue. Let me just think. Yeah. Half of them do, and half of them don’t. In the beginning, especially, a lot of people came to me for specifically help with injuries, and then it developed into people who just wanted to do yoga, and that’s funny actually, now that I think about it, because as I was like now I want to branch into people who just want to do yoga it actually happened. I never thought about that until now.
So yeah, I created that little idea, and then I brought them in. I kind of manifested them if you want to use that kind of fluffy language. Now, I guess I work with people who do have specific injuries, or not even injuries, like osteoporosis is a common one, and other people who just want to move, and I love all of them.
Pain and parkour [23:34]
(chapter) This is pretty general, but do you have any insights on pain that you’d want to share with … I’ll just give you some context to skate off of, go where you will, but do you have any insights on pain that you’d want to share with athletes who are in the parkour vein?
Yeah. I think especially when it comes to something like parkour the kind of injuries that happen there is I think common threads that occur, and I’m not talking about physically common threads. I’m talking about mental or situational common threads.
And I think a lot of injuries happen when people are showing off, and people are not concentrating, or people are too tired, and that moment where you’re like, “I’m just going to do one more. Just one more.” And it’s in that moment, often, not every time at all, but often, because you’re tired, because you’re like, “It’s just the last one,” you’re probably not concentrating quite enough, and that’s when it’s just like, “Ah.”
You do the jump. You do whatever it is, and you just run out of steam, and showing off I think is a big one, or even pushing yourself. I have an Instagram post specifically about this coming up. Pushing yourself beyond your abilities, and not listening to your body is a huge one. Not listening to your body, and not knowing when to stop, and not knowing when to … It’s tricky in any kind of sport or exercise situation where you’re listening to an instructor, or if you’re with other people, and your body is saying I’m not sure about this, but then you’ve got the “Oh, come on. You can do this.” That kind of vibe.
And then, you think I can do this, and then, "Actually, shit. No I can’t. Do you know what I mean? And then, that’s often when an injury occurs.
I know exactly what you mean.
I know exactly what you mean.
And it’s really tricky.
I would totally agree with you. I once saw it described as it’s like going off the high dive. When you’re on the ladder on the high dive it’s like this isn’t so bad, but there’s people behind, and you get to the top, and you’re like, no, wait, I’ve changed my mind, but there’s 80 people behind you. You can’t run, and off you go. It’s really hard to be thinking far enough ahead to make that decision at the very beginning, and I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on how … Suppose somebody who’s listening goes, “Maybe I’m of that age group where I tend to drink the positivity in the group,” and then I head off, and you know what? I wind up bruising my foot or something.
(highlight) Are there any tips or ideas you have about somebody who thinks they might be susceptible, and they’re the kind of person who doesn’t listen to their body? What can they do other than listen to your body more? Any tips?
Okay. I hear you. I think that you’re talking about sort of youngish people.
I don’t want to be agist, but yes.
Okay. We can put it a different way. Seb Foucan has a way of describing different mentalities I guess.
Okay, so you know about his age of this, age of that, age of-
Okay, so it’s age of fire, right?.
Where you’re like, “It’s so cool. I’m so full of energy. I want to try everything. I want to throw myself around.” I’ve been there. I was age of fire until 25 minutes ago. No, I’m joking. Until relatively recently, and the universe, or I don’t know what it is, karma, or something will come along. If you don’t regulate yourself the universe will regulate you for you. I don’t know if that makes any sense.
Yes. Yes. Concrete is hard. Reality is objective.
Yeah. And so, if you choose not to listen to your inner voice, or listen to your body, or whatever, or your intuition, or whatever it is that’s saying “Don’t do this,” or if you hear it and if you choose to be like, “Whatever. I can’t.” [inaudible 00:27:36]. Then you’re going to get a repercussion potentially. Not every time, but there’s a potential repercussion.
If you choose to succumb to the peer pressure you’re going to get your ass whooped by something. (/highlight)
You’re going to get your karma. I’m wondering, giving deep thought to how … I hesitate to say, how do you teach this idea to people in the age of fire tangent? If you’re listening and you don’t know about … Sorry. We’re saying Seb, so if you don’t know about Sebastien Foucan, or his ages of … It’s actually not his original idea, but he talks a lot about it. There are actually a series Mover’s Mindset Podcasts where he talks about this stuff in depth. The last I talked to him I believe he had not yet written a book, but anyway Seb has a YouTube channel where he talks about these at length, so if you’re going, “Wait, what are we talking about?” Go do your homework.
Okay, so that’s your back. I never thought about trying to teach to someone because I’m not age of fire, no. I’m okay. That’s fine. You’re age of fire. I’m not. That’s cool, but I had never thought about maybe trying to help those people understand what the other ages might be like, so my thought that I had while you were talking is I wonder if suggesting to people to just be aware of those who are in different ages, and for everybody listening we’re not talking age, how many tree rings. We’re talking about which age of life you’re in.
If you see somebody in the group who makes a decision that looks different from how you would make decisions, and we might be able to just say to people start noticing that, and then you will see, wait, that person approaches fear differently, or that person approaches challenges differently. You don’t have to learn anything in particular from them, but you might realize there are other ways, these other ages, other ways of experiencing training, growing, learning. I want to know what your thoughts are on that. That’s me just thinking off the top of my head.
Yeah. Look, I think it is quite tricky, because if you have a 22-year-old who feels invincible.
First of all, he probably is. I always just little kids are made of rubber. If they fall down, they get up, they don’t even bleed.
But it’s true, yeah. Sometimes I watch these videos and which is like these kids doing these extraordinary things, and we’re like-
And they walk away, like “What?”
“What’s a broken pelvis feel like?”
Yeah. And just the way that parkour has changed in the last maybe five years even. Wow. And trying to tell one of those guys “Maybe this is a bit dangerous,” they’re going to be like, “Piss off, grandma.” Do you know what I mean?
They’re not interested in hearing it.
Yeah, but maybe we can tell them there’s a reason why I’m doing it my way, and I understand, and I appreciate why, to the 20 something, why you’re doing it your way. That’s great. This is why I’m doing it my way.
I don’t want to say what goes around comes around. Yeah, everybody’s going to go through these ages, these seasons.
Exactly, and even now, I’m 38-years-old. I still have people saying to me, “Oh, you do parkour. Isn’t that dangerous?” And I’m not age of fire anymore. I can’t remember what his actual thing is. The age where I still want to do some fun stuff, and I want to push myself a little bit.
It’s fire, water, air, and wind. No, air and … Oh gosh, even I have to go look it up again.
Yeah. The kind of more mature one, but I’m not quite in the most mature category just yet.
What we’ve both forgotten is the first age is age of roots, so fire is the second, so I’m like, why doesn’t this work because-
Very good. Yes.
… there’s an age of roots is first, and you and I have completely ignored that one. Age of fire is second, and age of fire is the period of your life, the season of your life, where you’re actively carving your path through the world. It’s the best description I’ve heard of it in a sentence. Nothing wrong with it. It’s totally legit. That’s how things get done.
And then, the third age is age of water, which if you don’t know what that is go read anything by Bruce Lee, “Be water my friend,” that’s age of water. And then, age of air, or age of wind. My brain just went age of flagellants. That age is more of a classical, philosophical point of view. So yeah, those are the four. Age of roots. I’m like, where’s the fourth one?
Bravo. Well done.
Fire, water, and air.
We got there eventually.
Yeah. Seb would yell at me-
… “Craig, you should know the source materials. You should know where it’s from.” Yeah. I figured it out eventually without having to reach for my notes.
I’m being told that episode 16, 18, and 20 from season two are Seb’s.
Okay, wow. Impressive.
He’s a blast. I don’t know exactly where you are, but he’s right in London, so you have the advantage.
It gets a little harder. Where were we before I derailed us with roots?
About trying to encourage people who might be age of fire to reign in.
Yeah. I would push back against trying to encourage people to reign it in. Don’t reign it in. Do your own thing, but I would encourage them, push them towards, being aware that there are other ages, and again, that’s those seasons. Just be aware of that.
Yeah. You know what? Generally, with parkour one thing we tend to learn is that I think a lot of people are very good at regulating their movement in relation to what they mentally feel capable of doing. Maybe I’m not being realistic, but I’d like to think that is something that naturally occurs within parkour. Sometimes a newbie comes along and they’ve never done parkour before and they just do some massive enormous jump that I would never even think about doing, and I’m like you’re doing that.
Apparently, their body knew, right?
And to them, they know that it’s within their physical capabilities, and so they don’t even think about it, they just go, whereas someone like me might look at it, “Oh, no. It’s not for me.”
I’m with you. Pass the tea.
(quote) I think the environment tends to lend itself towards self-regulation a little bit, and if you don’t self-regulate then as previously discussed you will be regulated by the environment. (/quote)
Karma’s a bitch, yes.
Yeah, exactly. You might know that this thing is risky, I’m aware of what the risks are, and I’m prepared to take those. I think there was a massive jump that Kie Willis did, I can’t remember when, many year ago, and it was in Waterloo. Huge. And he prepared for it for hours. I think it was a [inaudible 00:34:29] or something. I can’t remember. It was enormous.
And he spent hours calculating that move until he has ready to do it, and I think he did it, and he was fine. I think that process is just one of things that happens within parkour, hopefully.
This is what I meant to say, he knew that if he didn’t make it, it was game over.
And it was a risk that he was prepared to take.
Completely different direction.
Personal Routines [35:02]
(chapter) Not that I want to stop talking about that, but other things I wanted to try and get to, especially because you have a history in osteopathy you strike me as someone who-
It’s a very brief history. [crosstalk 00:35:15]. A very brief history.
Let’s take a show of hands, how many people have gone to osteopathy school? You have. The vast majority of people have not gone anywhere near that, so given that you have a history in osteopathy it seems to me that you’d be someone who’s particularly self-aware about self-care and routines, and I’m wondering if there’s anything that you’ve discovered recently, especially because we’re all lockdown, anything you’ve discovered recently that you’ve slotted into your routines, or things you’ve started doing that you feel are really helping you maintain your personal health, and your personal mental state?
Yeah. It doesn’t have to be lockdown specific, but I’m looking for-
Or kind of general life?
… something fairly recent, like something that you’ve discovered fairly recently.
One thing, this is just so basic, and I think a lot of people do this anyway is having water within the first 10 minutes of waking up, and it’s something that I used to do without even thinking about it. I used to have a glass of water next to my bed, and I used to drink it when I woke up, not like straight away, but I’d be conscious and then I’m like, “Okay, it’s time to drink.”
And I stopped doing that for ages, and I started doing it again recently and it just perks me up, like I’m ready to go, almost like a cup of coffee, but I don’t drink coffee so I don’t actually know what happens with coffee. I’ve never had it, but I think it might be the same. So that, and doing little … One of my mental people refers to this as movement snacks, which is basically keeping moving throughout the day.
For example, and not what I’m doing now, but if I’m doing a lot of sitting down. I’ve been doing a lot of sitting down, like more sitting down in the last two weeks than I ever have, and that’s not true, but just little bits of movement through your head and your neck throughout the day, reaching your arms up, and doing little teeny tiny bits of movement throughout your day is really helpful for joint health, circulation, breathing, all sort of benefits, and mental benefits as well.
It increases the blood flow to your brain, which then helps you become more mentally productive.
And so, another thing I’ve been doing during the lockdown is while I’m working, this is no real revelation, a lot of people do this, have a standing desk, or if I’m sitting down I’ll make sure I stand up, shake my legs out a little bit. I might do some kettlebell squats while I’m reading something on the computer, or while I’m thinking about something I’ll do some kettlebell swings, or any other kind of random movement. Not loads. It’s not like a whole workout. It’s just like, okay, one set, done. Carry on doing work.
Yeah. I would definitely agree with that. Random bite-sized movement is definitely healthy generally, and super healthy when you’re spending a ton of time sitting, as I do. I generally go around barefoot all day, and I live in a house in a small neighborhood, so I could just go out the door, two more doors, then I’m outside, and just walk around in the grass, or something, just to walk around quick just to move, and I know that’s a privilege, like something I’m super lucky to have access to where there’s mountain trails nearby.
Where I’m living, the state that I’m in, we have a … What do they call it? It’s basically it’s not that we aren’t allowed to leave our houses, but you’re only supposed to be going in particular, like going to the store, I’m going to exercise, of I’m walking the dog, but generally trying to stay indoors. It’s not quite a stay-at-home order. I’m cheating. I have somebody in chat telling me, “Here’s the time. Here.” Thank you. My out brain.
(chapter) All right. I’m just watching the time go, so we’re at 40 minutes. Anything else that you want to talk about in the last five minutes. I don’t have a question that goes on the end because it’s too hard to stop when we want to stop, so we just have a few minutes left.
Okay. I can’t think of anything.
We can do all kinds of random things. Ice cream or yogurt.
It just depends.
That’s a valid answer. What’s the last book that you read, or are currently reading?
It’s still a current book. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. You got it? Is it right behind you? Stop it.
I’m going to see if I can find it without even … Wrong stack. It’s on the top of this stack. I picked the wrong one. Yeah, that’s one that I just read around, and around, and around in. Yes.
Yeah, exactly. I have to say I don’t read quite as much as I would like to. I think that’s probably the case for most people, but for me reading is an absolute luxury.
I find I can’t sit and read. I sit and I start reading, and then I get an idea, and I go five pages on almost anything that I’m reading and then I’m forced to go do something. Do you try and sit there and read through, and trust that this stuff will percolate back up later?
No. It’s more allowing myself to actually sit down and read, because it feels like a guilty pleasure. It feels like, oh shit, I should be doing something specifically business-related. You know what I mean?
Something [crosstalk 00:40:30].
And so, I’m not doing that. It’s just like terrible guilt, even though I know that reading helps you do the productive business-y things. It’s very difficult.
We could just put a mirror here. You could just run your own therapy session with yourself and just pretend you’re talking to somebody else, because you have all the right answers. I think you’ve got it all figured out.
I know. Sorry. Just to say about the Viktor Frankl book.
Go, go, go.
Man’s Search For Meaning. I think everybody should be reading it right now, and also The Diary of Anne Frank.
I haven’t read that one yet.
Yeah, those two books. Obviously, I read that when I was 10, or whatever, but for corona time reading The Diary of Anne Frank I think puts things in perspective, and that was a family that was in a small space for 700 and something days I think, or 600 and something days, a long time knowing that if they were found that they would be killed, and here we are even though we don’t have an actual end in sight, but we still have enough liberties that we can leave the home and not feel that we’re going to be killed.
I think that could potentially help put things in perspective, and also just for any situation your internal experience is what’s most important.
And I think another really great example is there are people who go into a cave to meditate for a period of time. I don’t know what that is, weeks, or months. They go into the cave, and there’s no light, and I think someone gives them food every day, but there’s no communication with the outside world. And then, there are people who, for example, in prison are sent to the hole, and it’s more or less the same experience. They’re in darkness. Someone brings them food once a day, it’s going to be crap food, but they’re by themselves. There’s no communication with the outside world.
And the mental experience of those two things I think is really fascinating, and I think that just teaches us that whatever your situation is, whatever the circumstances are, how you interpret those things, and how you perceive them, is the most important.
I’m chuckling because you can’t see there’s a wall over here where it says, “Metal and Magnetic,” and my most recently put up note card is “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and our freedom, Viktor Frankl.”
It’s from that book. It’s exactly the idea.
Yeah. Exactly. (quote) And I think that we do have the capacity to choose, and I think a lot of people think that they don’t, but we absolutely do, and sometimes it just is a question of shifting your expectations of what you expect from the world, and what you expect from yourself, from other people, and I think that can also set you free, and I think we’re often prisoners about our own making regardless of our circumstances if, for example, we think that life should be different, or if we think that someone should behave a different way, so manage your expectations. (/quote)
Yeah. I think that’s a great thought to end on. That’s a positive idea, and some great reading suggestions. I think we’ll just stop there. It’s always so hard to stop. I’ll just say it’s terrific, so Amy, it was a pleasure to get to talk to you. I’m sorry we had to wait an every year to do it.
No, that’s okay.
I’m sure at some point I’ll be back to London. Maybe we’ll meet up in person at some point.
Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it.
You’re very welcome. All right. Wave bye.