094. Renae Dambly: Self care, perception, and competition (transcript)

Highlight [0:00]

Chapter’s show notes…

Renae (00:05):
(highlight) There’s no one else you can fall back on except yourself. So especially when it comes to training or pushing through, I guess, moments of doubt, you have to have the confidence or the backup plan to get over it essentially. Because no one’s always going to be there. And you can always reach out to people, but you’re always going to have yourself, so you need to be your own safety net. I think that’s something I want to always remember, and that’s something I’ve learned from this. (/highlight)


Introduction [0:36]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (00:38):
(chapter) Hello, I’m Craig Constantine, welcome to the Movers 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 94. Renae Dambly, self care, perception, and competition. Moving to a different country and starting over is a challenge that Renae Dambly embraced. She shares how parkour and movement fit into her life, and how she takes care of herself, especially after moving to Germany. Renae unpacks her perception of herself versus others’ viewpoints and publicity representing parkour. She discusses climbing, injury, competition, painting, and hitting the plateau.

Craig (01:24):
Renae Dambly is an athlete and coach, recently moved to Germany from Colorado. She has a diverse movement background including track, rugby, and rock climbing, in addition to parkour. Renae is pursuing a career in fitness alongside her professional parkour career. For more information go to moversmindset.com/94. And a quick note about this conversation with Renae, last year we traveled to Denver… I think it was last year. Was that last year or was that two years ago? For a series of interviews. The day we were set to fly out a crazy windstorm closed the entire airport chopping a day off the schedule, and Renae’s was one of the conversations that didn’t happen. Then she moved to Germany, never one to take a hint, I hounded her for a conversation via video. It was well worth every bit of effort.

Craig (02:16):
And a final note, have you seen our weekly campfires? Bring your own marshmallows and be ready for some conversation. We get together regularly in a sort of cross between instant chat and performance art where we talk about what we’re up to within Movers Mindset and what we’ve seen recently that’s caught our interest. We get together in a Zoom call and simultaneously co-edit a shared document. At the end we post it in the forum. Thanks for listening.


Childhood role of Movement [2:42]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (02:44):
(chapter) I’m here with Renae Dambly-

Renae (02:44):
Hi.

Craig (02:44):
Hi Renae. I want to start by asking, thinking back to your childhood, what role did movement play as you were growing up?

Renae (02:54):
Oh, okay. Movement’s always been there. I don’t think I’ve ever not been moving. That’s funny, that’s such a good question. What role does movement play? I think movement is almost a guide for me. It definitely takes me where I’ve always gotten. So with sports or with traveling I usually go somewhere where I can do something, I’m never very stagnant, and if I do find that I’m not moving I find myself getting frustrated or bored. So I think movement is definitely, it has the role of the guide in my life.

Craig (03:34):
Hm. And I’m wondering if you’ve ever had… What I was going to say is, have you ever had major setbacks? But I don’t mean injury, what I mean is… So I went to college and when I went to college I wasn’t already really into movement, but I was really into bicycling, I mean, not competitively, but I’m in Pennsylvania, so rolling hills, and summers, and trees, and I biked all over everything. But when I went to college, bicycling went out the window for me, and I really can’t imagine how I could have kept my love for bicycling going at the same time. So I’m wondering, and I don’t know if it would be college, but if you’ve had any places in your life where you’ve found something else that was really important to you, got in the way of movement, and how you’ve managed to balance those too.

Renae (04:15):
Yeah, I’ve had that, I think about twice in my life where I didn’t have movement. And the first time would be middle school, and it was… Yeah, I was so focused on school that I stopped all sports and that was when I realized I need sport in my life, because even though I’m focused on my education and I’m focused getting involved with school it was still very frustrating for me. And when I got into high school, that’s when I joined track. And that’s when I remembered, “Oh yeah, I like to run. Why did I ever stop running?”

Renae (04:56):
And I think that’s helped me… Yeah, when I started running again I found, I think, more joy where… And then the second time was when I went to university, I, once again, gave up parkour to study sports science at Fort Lewis. And there is no parkour there. There’s no community. So I gave up, in a sense, parkour, to get my degree. And that, yeah, I stopped moving. So those would be the two examples where I would put school in front of movement.

Craig (05:35):
So I like that you pointed out, because I was going to ask and I don’t have to ask, I like that you pointed out that in the first time that that happened to you you didn’t realize what you had done, you didn’t realize the trade-off you had made right away, and then later you realized, “Oh, I gave up this thing that I loved and then I went back to it.” So I’m wondering, the second time that it happened to you, was it more of a decision up front like, “Ooh, if I go and choose this college and go in this direction, I’m going to have to put this particular love of mine, this parkour passion movement, on hold.” Did you make that decision up front or did it surprise you again the second time?

Renae (06:06):
The second time I made sure I could include it in some way. So I was aware there was no community, I was aware there were no gyms. But when I chose the campus I was making sure that, “Okay, I can train there.” Or-

Craig (06:19):
Parkour [crosstalk 00:06:20].

Renae (06:19):
“Outside of this building there’s a spot.” So even though I was alone, I knew it would be less in my life, but I made sure it wasn’t completely cut out.

Craig (06:30):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Current movement [6:31]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (06:30):
(chapter) And now I’m wondering, so the podcast and the videos that we create aren’t normally about current events, but everybody has to be talking about COVID, and either the enforced isolation or self isolation, so I’m wondering, sounds like you’re probably pretty well prepared for when this happens to you, then you’re like, “Well, I’ve seen this show, I know how to do this.” So what are you doing these days to keep that, I don’t know, that flame kindled? What are you doing?

Renae (07:01):
Well I actually am coaching online fitness classes through APEX Denver, we’re doing Zoom meetings, and that’s three times a week. So I have that every week. And then I try to make sure that I have 30 minutes outside in the sun. So yes, I already spotted spots near my apartment that I have… I’m lucky enough to live next to a church, and they have very nice architecture for training. So I definitely have been prepared from my time in university to spot spots from nothing. And training on my own isn’t as much as a challenge as I think it is for others, because I did that for four years already. So yeah.


Your future self [7:48]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (07:49):
(chapter) What do you think… So sometimes people will say, “If you could go back in time and ask your 10 year old self…” What I’m wondering is, I’m going to do this the other way, if you… because you could do this by the way, if you were going to write a note to yourself and seal it in a letter and then open it 10 years from now, what is something that you think you would want to capture today to remind your future self, say, 10 years down the road, to remind your future self of?

Renae (08:15):
Oh my gosh.

Craig (08:18):
Sorry.

Renae (08:21):
Future self. From today? Ooh.

Craig (08:25):
You can scream for a mulligan and take a pass, you don’t have to-

Renae (08:27):
Yeah, I just… There’s so much, there’s so much going on from today.

Craig (08:32):
For example? What’s-

Renae (08:33):
COVID happened right when I moved to Germany, so I’m just like, “Yeah.” I think what I would write to myself is, be your safety net, because when moving to a different country, not knowing a lot of people, don’t necessarily speak the language, there’s no one else you can fall back on except yourself. So especially when it comes to training or pushing through, I guess, moments of doubt, you have to have the confidence or the backup plan to get over it essentially. Because no one’s always going to be there. And you can always reach out to people, but you’re always going to have yourself, so you need to be your own safety net. I think that’s something I want to always remember, and that’s something I’ve learned from this.


Self care [9:30]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (09:32):
(chapter) Leaving you space to see if you want to ask any questions. You don’t have to, but I can totally just fill all dead space, that’s the thing that I can do, for better or for worse. What do you think are… Something I like to ask people what they do for self care. And you’ve already talked a lot about that in terms of movement is clearly something that you do for yourself. But I’m wondering if there’s anything else you do that maybe you haven’t, and I’m not fishing for secrets, but that maybe you haven’t shared. Do you actually enjoy, some people are really into bullet journaling, or some people really want to do a morning pages if they’re a writer. I’m just wondering if there’s anything that you’ve got a, “Oh, by the way, I also am really into reading this book, or Anna Karenina every week or something.”

Renae (10:14):
Yeah. I have a few things. I do a lot, I think. My first response to that question was hot showers.

Craig (10:26):
Oh, [crosstalk 00:10:26].

Renae (10:26):
Yeah. But I do a lot of art, I like to sketch, and I paint. With Europe, moving to Europe, I couldn’t take my paints with me. So when I got here the cheapest thing you can get is watercolor, so I’ve been doing watercolors. I necessarily don’t feel up for much. And I also really enjoy Audible books, especially fantasy books. So I think for when it’s me doing self care I’ll probably nap in the sun and listen to one of my books. Or I’ll be looking up photography and yeah, animals. I like… I don’t know, the things I like to paint, and I’ll just see if I can kind of put that into my own style. Yeah, so art and books probably.

Craig (11:22):
Interesting.

Renae (11:23):
Yeah.


Current project [11:23]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (11:23):
(chapter) Is there anything that’s, [inaudible 00:11:26] 10 minutes in, anything that’s sprung to mind that you were thinking you wanted to talk about? Because you can do a soapbox, here’s your chance to… What do you want to talk about? So is there anything that you were thinking like, “Oh, I really want to talk about,” maybe a project that you’re working on, or something that you’ve thought about recently that you wanted to share?

Renae (11:44):
Yeah actually. So with moving to Germany, I’ve realized that the European perspective of parkour is very, almost opposite of American/Canadian views. I’m doing American and Canadian because those are the two, I think, Western perspectives of parkour that I’ve seen the most. I’m… and then versus European. That’s something that’s popped up a bunch with talking to different coaches and gym owners here. And that is a project I’ve decided to work on, is to understand, I think, the roots of each perspective and connecting that to how the sport culture within parkour specific communities has evolved depending on the root perspectives.

Renae (12:38):
And that’s going to be my new project, because I think that’s something that’s been always there, but no one, I don’t think anyone’s really dove into it and really analyzed the differences. Everyone’s just kind of like, chatted about, but I don’t think anyone’s really, yeah, dissected the diverse perspectives.

Craig (13:02):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I want to say, “Tell me more.” But I also don’t want to force you to cough up things you haven’t finished thinking about.


Self image vs others viewpoints [13:08]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (13:07):
(chapter, highlight) So I read your, you wrote a blog post about, and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but about how parkour reminds you, not reminds one in general, but how in your opinion it reminds you of the two perspectives of the self knowledge, how one sees one’s self, versus how everybody else sees one’s self. And I’m wondering where in your, presuming that it wasn’t always from the very beginning, but where in your journey did you first realize that parkour was a tool for that? For giving you access to those two perspectives? Or I’m completely wrong and incorrect.

Renae (13:44):
I think, yeah, no, I think in 2014, when I made my first YouTube video, that’s when I started to realize it, because that was around the same time I started to travel a bit more to parkour events and competitions, and that’s when the comments of, “You’re good for a girl.” And, “Oh, you’re the best female in the community.” Comments started to arise. And I was like, “Oh, I never thought about that when I started training. I never thought about being compared or…” Yeah, I guess, yeah, more about the comparison or how other people see me as an athlete versus I’m just doing it for me. So that’s when the double consciousness came in with me doing it for myself, but then how others perceive me and how that affects my training as well and my development. So I think, yeah, 2014 was around the time I realized it.

Craig (14:53):
I’m just impressed you have an actual date, but because you have it tied to an event about publishing a video, okay, yeah.

Renae (15:00):
Yeah.

Craig (15:01):
I’m just like, “Whoa, all right.”

Renae (15:01):
Yeah, no, because, yeah, my first YouTube video came out in 2014, around that same time, yeah, all those comments were being made. And yeah, because I was just taking classes at first, and I was just having a ball doing classes. And then all of a sudden all this kind of got piled on. And one of my coaches was like, “You should make a YouTube video because you’re one of the good girl athletes.” And then I was like, “Oh. I mean, yeah, sure, I’ll make one. But that’s an interesting comment.”

Renae (15:26):
And then as I kept training I realized that parents at playgrounds viewed me differently than other teenage girls at playgrounds. And some parents will encourage it and clap, and other parents will take their child away from your area. And it’s like, “Sweet, okay, so some people view me as a menace and some people view me as entertainment.” But I’m doing the same thing, it’s just other people. So, but that also makes me act differently, so when I see families with young kids I try not to train, because I have had the experience of parents getting mad, but then I’ve also had the experience of parents being like, “Oh, that’s cool.” And their kid tries to copy that and they just let their kid go for it.

Renae (16:11):
So it definitely… You don’t know how to act or, yeah, for me when cops are around I definitely don’t do anything, but I have friends in England who are like, “Oh, we have no respect for authority, let’s just keep training.” Like, “Ah, cool.” Interesting. It’s all… Yeah.

Craig (16:26):
Okay. Do you… So there’s two pieces I see there. One is the, how does that affect you? And how does that inform you’re choosing to train or to not train based on your experience in that moment, then there’s also the whole societal… I forget who exactly I interviewed said something… Oh wait, I know exactly who it was, Mark Toorock from American Parkour said his personal mission is to lower the age at which it’s considered acceptable to play. So he’s the kind of guy who will just take play right into people’s faces. What I was saying is, I’m torn between asking you to tell me more about how this insight that you’ve had, how people see you, how that changes, and affects, and informs your training, versus asking you, I think this is a better question, what do you feel about… you’re forced to choose whether or not you want to be a parkour ambassador.

Craig (17:20):
So okay, here comes the mom with the kids. And then it’s, okay, I can make the choice, what’s the best choice for Renae to train or not. And you can also make the choice, what’s the best choice for parkour as a community global thing. And just, I’m more interested kind of in an outward facing one. Do you decide, “All right, I’m going to make the decision based on the outward perspective?” And how does that play out.

Renae (17:46):
(quote) So now I make sure that I keep training, because I don’t want to be ashamed of what I’m doing, because I’m doing nothing wrong. But I will keep doing it as long as I can demonstrate a respect for my space and the people around me. So as an athlete trying to make a positive impression on the public, I’m not going to stop training, but I’m also not going to train in a disrespectful manner. So I want to make the best choice to, I think, have parkour viewed in a more positive light. So I will keep training, but I will show respect. (/quote)

Craig (18:37):
I wish everybody did that. I think that’s the perfect way to go at it, you’re not sacrificing yourself, psychically bashing yourself, like, “Oh, people are watching, now I really have to show off.” You’re not holding yourself back from denying yourself from something that’s clearly important to you, training, and physicality, and movement. But you are clearly well informed about how the world views what you’re doing and how the world views parkour. And I think we’d all be in a better place… whether you want to call it parkour, [inaudible 00:19:06] running, we’d all be in a better place if more people took that opportunity to, “All right, I have to factor in the fact that I am part of a society, part of a community.” (/highlight)

Craig (19:16):
Hm, anything else spring… I was just checking back in, anything else spring to mind from your side that you want to bring up or that you want to ask about or… not that I have anything I think is particularly interesting to talk about, but I want to make sure people don’t feel like I pinned them down under a magnifying glass.

Renae (19:31):
I don’t have any questions right now. But yeah. Nope, I got nothing.


Rock climbing and competition [19:38]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (19:36):
(chapter) Well as I mentioned in the very beginning, I kind of interrupted my own self trying to introduce you, about rock climbing. And I’m wondering… I believe I understand how competitive rock climbing works, but I’m wondering, I’m going to say most people who rock climb, in sport, traditional indoor or outdoor, they don’t even… competitive isn’t even a thing on their radar. Everybody who runs, they all understand you can run races, but most people don’t think of rock climbing competitively, and I’m wondering, how did you just… what’s the story about how you got into that?

Renae (20:07):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So when I went to university and there was no parkour, roommate of mine expressed interest in rock climbing, and that reminded me of when I was younger and I also enjoyed rock climbing, so I went with her to the meeting, there’s a rock climbing club at our university. And so she doesn’t know anything about rock climbing, or she didn’t at the time, and so the best option for her is to go to this club where there’s a team.

Renae (20:39):
So being there you automatically are on a team now, representing your university, and as a rock climbing team or club you’re automatically into the collegiate competitive series. So it’s optional to compete, but we were already kind of in it, so both of us were like, “Yeah.” I mean, it’s a goal for us to be like, “Okay, if we can climb V3 by May when this one competition is, that’s a nice goal for us.” And then it’s cool to see where we’re at, and it’s a cool measurement tool for individual progress.

Renae (21:25):
So for me the competitive part I felt like kind of was in my face right away, but yeah, as we got more into it and got to know our club members a bit more, realized that there’s a whole different culture with rock climbing, and it’s more, to me, it’s more about being in nature and working on your root, and all this stuff. But with clubs and teams the competitive aspect is right there.

Craig (21:53):
Hm. That has an interesting parallel to… I’m like, “Ooh.” I just thought of, it’s an interesting parallel to how parkour works, where sure, you can go out and run lines on your own or train by yourself, but most people, the vast majority of people that I’ve talked to, when you say, “What is your training? What do you mean?” They say, “Oh, like me and people.” There’s a group of them who go out so it’s a communal, there’s a mini micro society aspect to what they’re doing in parkour.

Craig (22:24):
And most rock climbing, even if you go to a bouldering gym, most rock climbing is still an independent individual thing. I mean, the climbing itself, definitely literally is, but even if you’re out with another climbing partner you’re really still climbing by yourself. And I hadn’t thought about how competition… I mean, I know there are good things and bad things about competition in general, but competition can bring in that group dynamic, that society, that culture of us, can bring that into rock climbing. That’s interesting.

Craig (22:52):
(highlight) Did… I’m wondering what role competition itself has played for you. Is competition something you do because you enjoy it or because it’s a tool that you really feel you need? Or it’s an easy way to set goals? Or something else?

Renae (23:07):
That’s… For me that’s a complication question because I, up until high school, I was very anti-comp with sports. I played soccer from age three to 12 and refused to be on any sort of competitive team, because it took the fun out of it for me. And then when I started doing track and field, they’re like, “Okay, now you’re going to do meets and all that fun stuff.” So that was more of my introduction to competition. And I did my… I don’t even know when I did my first parkour comp, but I did my first parkour comp because a training partner of mine encouraged me.

Renae (23:48):
And since then, I’ve liked to compete as a way to, I think, meet athletes, and as a way to connect with athletes, not necessarily to win, I guess, if that makes sense. Competition originally wasn’t about the bettering of each other, it was about the connecting of each other. So to me that’s why I enjoy competition, and that’s what it means to me now. And I do think it is a tool to measure your skills and capabilities under pressure. But yeah, so that would be competition for me. It is about community, connecting, and a measurement tool.

Craig (24:41):
I’m curious about… I don’t know that I’ve ever talked to someone who I’d known… I must have talked to somebody who was a competitive track and field athlete from a secondary school or a high school, and I’m just wondering, what happens if you try to… Right? We’re supposed to win and you’re like, “Yeah, I just want to run.” What happens if you actually go to a competition but really are just like, “Oh, and someone passed me, I don’t care.” If you just went and ran it for the fun of it, what would… I guess that would kind of depend on your coach, but has anybody ever… did you do that? Or was it always just like, “Oh, all right, I guess I’ll try and win while I’m out here.” Or did you manage to separate those two?

Renae (25:14):
It was more about beating your personal time. So it was never about winning, it was always about, “Okay, last time when you did your 200 meter you ran a 29.5, so this time let’s see if you can minimize that.” So whether you ran a 29 flat or try to break 29 and get a 28. So it was, it’s always about continuing to better yourself, not necessarily winning the race.

Craig (25:39):
That sounds way healthier. I have a bunch of stuff on the wall over here behind the computer monitor, and one of the lines is, “I don’t compare myself to others, only to myself from yesterday.” It’s right in the middle of an oath that I have pinned up the wall, and that’s an excellent point.

Renae (25:55):
That’s a good one. (/highlight)

Craig (25:55):
Because I find, when I try to compare myself to others things never work out well for me.

Renae (25:58):
Yeah, same.

Craig (25:59):
It’s like I’m always the old, slow gorilla in any context. What about… So, let’s see, so we’ve talked about competition, we’ve talked a little bit about the dual viewpoint thing. We’ve talked about climbing. We’ve… I think I know the answer, but sport or trad?

Renae (26:14):
Oh, I’ve never done trad.

Craig (26:18):
[crosstalk 00:26:18].

Renae (26:19):
Yeah.

Craig (26:19):
I don’t judge. No I’ve seen a lot of photographs and I’m like, “Yeah, I don’t care whether that route is bolted or not, I would love to climb that route.” I’m not a leader, I’m a follower, so it seems to me like in sport climbing it would be much easier to learn to lead if you’re just clipping… I mean, just clipping, but I’ve never really spent… My problem is, I don’t live close enough to any actual real rock climbing, there’s nothing that high nearby me. And there’s one house sized boulder on the little mini mountain behind me, one.

Craig (26:52):
Where this has got all seven handholds have chalk on them, and everybody tries to climb on them. I’m like, “Yeah, but it’s not really a route.” So I don’t live close enough to any real outdoor places, and because of that there isn’t a… I know they’re around, but I don’t have a friend clique, like people who would go to the rock climbing gym. So maybe times I’ve been… In New York City or in London, and then invariably somebody in the room is really into climbing, and everybody else has at least done it, I mean, everybody’s done it a couple times. So it’s like, “Let’s go to the rock gym.” And it’s like, “Oh, I really wish I lived somewhere where that came up randomly in conversation for me, where it doesn’t.”


Things you’ve come back to [27:27]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (27:28):
(chapter) Because I think anytime I’m… I think I actually have a question here, anytime that I, I’m going to say challenge, but I just mean in the random like, “Hey, you want to go do this?” There’s a random lightweight challenge. Anytime I’m challenged to go back to something that I know I enjoy but I haven’t been to in a while, that’s always a delightful day. And I’m wondering if there are things that you’re finding, I know you’re… everybody’s locked down, but are there things that you can think of that you haven’t been, figuratively, haven’t been to in a while that you’re like, “Oh, I really need to go back to that?”

Renae (27:59):
Oof.

Craig (28:01):
Sorry. I always feel bad when people go, “Oof.” I’m like, I don’t mean to be… I don’t mean to make it hard, it’s not a [crosstalk 00:28:06]-

Renae (28:07):
Something that I haven’t… Well, I guess that’d be climbing, but I can’t really do that. Actually, I guess recently I did experience that with climbing, because I had a surgery on my shoulder, I had a torn labrum from working with Ninja Warrior. I dislocated my shoulder, it was very unfortunate. But I had to get surgery, just recovered from it in February, and went sport climbing for the first time. And it was really humbling because I had to start basically from ground zero and was climbing in European, or in French measurements? I don’t know. But it was a [crosstalk 00:28:49]-

Craig (28:49):
I never understood that, but apparently there is a difference. And I’ve never…

Renae (28:55):
I was climbing a four plus in Europe, but I think in US measurements that’s a five seven, five eight. And I was so fatigued at the top, and I was just like, “Oh my gosh. Yep. This is it, I’m back to square one.” But yeah, it felt good because it was a nice reminder of, I guess, the challenge and the freedom of that hobby that was so huge in my life at one point. But yeah, so I guess I did have that experience with rock climbing, and I would say painting too, because I’ve basically been self teaching how to do watercolor, and I started when I was… Oh my gosh, in high school? When I was 18 was the first time we did watercolor, and then haven’t done watercolor until a month ago. It’s been fun.

Craig (29:50):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Do you… I don’t know, I mean, I understand the concept of watercoloring, but I’ve never watercolored, that isn’t even against it, because I’ve never picked up a paint brush. Well, that’s not literally true, but I’m wondering, do you only do your watercoloring in your own, whatever your defined space is? Or do you… Because I know somebody who has tricked out a tiny little fishing tackle box with tiny little watercolors and has the ability to, I’m going to call it, micro-watercoloring on the spot randomly. Have you made it a portable thing that you take with you in any use situation? Or is it only something you do in your own space?

Renae (30:25):
It’s only something I do at home right now, I would love to make a little tiny travel pack. I live next to a really nice city garden that has so much opportunity to make mini paintings, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Craig (30:50):
Yeah, and the season’s-

Renae (30:50):
It’s definitely a thought.

Craig (30:50):
And in Germany you’d have this really distinct season. Sometimes I… Pennsylvania is 40 degrees north, so we get four… I joke, we get six seasons, two of which are mud, and they go between our two winters that we get. There’s winter, mud, winter, mud, spring. But anyway, four real seasons around here, and that’s one of the things about… That’s… You mentioned standing in the sun earlier today when we were talking, and my brain flashed back to, I was walking, I try to walk everyday, I was out walking yesterday and I came up over a little crest in a park and, I don’t know, there was a red-tail hawk, it was really windy.

Craig (31:24):
Red-tail hawk trying to make progress in the wind, and the trees blowing, the sky is blue, and I just stopped and stood there, staring into the sun with my eyes closed for five minutes thinking, “Oh, somebody’ll be calling the cops any minute now.” But I was thinking, sometimes I look at those scenes and I’m like, if I had any clue how to paint, sketch, or watercolor, this situation is ripe, because everything’s windy, but there’s a hawk, and certain some trees are budding, and some trees aren’t, and the grass is really green, because it rains, it’s been raining a lot, and the sun came out. Sorry, remember I warned about I can just ramble and fill time, there we go.

Renae (31:54):
That’s all right.

Craig (31:55):
Anything else spring to mind?

Renae (31:56):
I guess, I have the same moments, and I always try to take photos of them on my phone, and then I take them back to my room and I paint them over there.

Craig (32:03):
Oh, that works. I always look at those photos and go, “[inaudible 00:32:06], nah. I mean, that isn’t even close to what I…” I joke about trying to learn to sketch. I read a book one time about how to keep a sketchbook journal. I do a lot of journaling, so I usually have a journal with me, not necessarily when I’m out literally training, but even when I travel I carry one. And I’ve often thought about, “Yeah, why don’t I just carry a couple of pencils?” Because I write in ink, but it’s really… You can sketch in ink too, but that’s really hard. But I [inaudible 00:32:33] I’m like, “Yeah, but I have lined paper in my journal.”

Craig (32:35):
And then of course, I just process it into oblivion. I’m like, “Oh, well you can’t sketch on that. You got to have to thing, and you got to be drawing, and you have to sketch this way.” [inaudible 00:32:41] I just wreck it.


Food discussion [32:44]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (32:45):
(chapter) What… Where are we on time? Oh, we got lots of time, yeah. What’s… And my pause is not because you’re not interesting, my pause is because I have a thousand questions I can ask. What’s some cuisine that you have discovered, I’m going to say, in the last two years?

Renae (33:04):
Last two years. A cuisine?

Craig (33:07):
Yeah. Just because I don’t want to say, “What’s a favorite dish?” But what’s something about food that you’ve discovered in the last two years.

Renae (33:15):
Tacos. The endless possibilities of tacos.

Craig (33:19):
Hm.

Renae (33:21):
I actually brought that to Germany, Taco Tuesdays.

Craig (33:26):
[inaudible 00:33:26].

Renae (33:26):
[crosstalk 00:33:26] in the past two years. Yeah, because I moved back to Denver about two years ago. And then we started doing Taco Tuesdays, and it was not just about cheap delicious tacos, but it was also about friend time. So I guess to me that’s how I interpret your question is, a cuisine that I’ve discovered that you can do so much with and bring so many people together. Tacos.

Craig (33:57):
Cilantro or no cilantro?

Renae (33:58):
No cilantro.

Craig (34:02):
I understand that there apparently is a taste bud issue and to some people cilantro is like soap. I’m not that group. I’m like, “Yeah, cilantro.” But I-

Renae (34:11):
I’m [inaudible 00:34:11].

Craig (34:11):
That always confused me, but then there’s also, have you heard about the… I forget whether it’s cones or rods, which are for color detection in our eyes.

Renae (34:21):
Both.

Craig (34:21):
But there is a gene for a fourth color which, and I want to say it’s only women, but I could be wrong about that, that a certain percentage of people see a fourth… they have receptors in their eyes for a fourth color which is slightly off from what most people think of as the normal red color.

Renae (34:41):
Oh.

Craig (34:42):
Have you ever heard about that?

Renae (34:43):
No.

Craig (34:44):
Yeah, I have a business partner who works in the creative industry, and for years we never could understand why we’re like, “What about this color?” And he’d be like, “Oh my God, you can’t do that.” And it turns out that certain people see, it’s a different, a shade of orange, and certain colors look differently to those people. I was like, “What?” I was just curious as to… since you are aware of the whole cilantro thing I’m like, “Ooh, do you know about the eye thing?” Sorry, tangents, I’m notorious.

Renae (35:10):
Oh, no it’s-


Something people get wrong [35:09]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (35:10):
(chapter) What… Oh, so many questions, what’s… and this one’s fun because… All right, what’s something that you think other people get wrong about you? And you’re allowed to take [crosstalk 00:35:20], you don’t have to answer my question.

Renae (35:24):
What do people get wrong about me? I don’t know.

Craig (35:28):
I’m asking because you’re quite cognizant of that duality of how I see myself versus how others see me, and I’m just like, “Well that my give you a particularly… an opportunity to have actually went hey, you see what?”

Renae (35:41):
I know a lot of people think I’m sad all the time. And that’s not true at all, because I’m often deep in thought, and of course, there is that nice resting bitch face that comes out when [crosstalk 00:35:54]. I know a lot of people are like, “Oh, she’s probably really angry or really sad.” I’ll be walking down the street and of course, a friend, or even a stranger will be like, “Are you okay?” “Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just thinking, just thinking about things.” So I think a lot of people get that wrong.

Renae (36:14):
And a lot of people do think, this is kind of funny, that I am a, how do I put this? A lot of people are surprised when I tell them stories about myself. And they’re like, “Oh, I would never have striked you as someone who would smoke weed.” I’m like, “Oh, well I have.” So-

Craig (36:39):
The prejudice of you to presume that I am not that sort of person. Man.

Renae (36:41):
Yeah.

Craig (36:43):
People make assumptions.

Renae (36:44):
Yeah, people do make assumptions. I was like, “Cool, I have no idea.” Yeah. I think a lot of people tend to think I’m, I think, straightedge, straightedge?

Craig (36:52):
Straight laced? I don’t know.

Renae (36:55):
Yeah, straight laced, thank you. Yeah.

Craig (36:56):
Mixing metaphors.

Renae (36:57):
Yeah.

Craig (36:57):
Straight and…

Renae (36:58):
[crosstalk 00:36:58].

Craig (36:58):
My brain went straightedged, that’s got to be a metaphor for something, because that’s awesome, that’s an awesome visualization. Straight laced is the one that you would…

Renae (37:05):
Straight laced.

Craig (37:06):
Which reminds me to relace my shoes.


The plateau and QM [37:09]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (37:09):
(chapter) Oh, there are so many things. Do you find that… My brain is doing math, how long you’ve been doing parkour, have you… I have a personal theory that everyone gets to the parkour plateau midway, there’s like, you go about seven years, is where I think it is. And I’m wondering, have you gotten to a point, and I don’t mean you just wait until you get it, I didn’t mean… Have you gotten to a point where you look at what you do for what you call parkour and you go, “You know what? I remember when this used to really light me up and I used to love it, and now it’s a solid meh.” Have you gotten to that plateau? I hope you never do, but have you experienced that?

Renae (37:44):
No, I’ve never actually, I haven’t hit that plateau yet. I’ve had the conflict with social media, and the self comparison to what other people are posting, and if I’m not posting the same stuff then I have that negative, and that’s when I have that meh feeling of like, “Ugh, am I training?” But that’s… I’ve never lost the, I think, enlightenment feeling when I train, because I think every time I was close to hitting that plateau something happened in my life where I just went down.

Renae (38:22):
So I trained for four years from 2010 to 2014, and then moved to university, stopped training, and then had to start from ground up. And then was doing really well, probably hit my peak in 2018, and was going to continue to progress and then got injured. And now I’m starting from ground zero again. So I think I’ve never really had an opportunity to hit a plateau, except something’s always happened where I kind of like [inaudible 00:38:53] start over.

Craig (38:55):
Right. Forces you to reframe, that’s great. Because I work really hard to reframe sometimes. I’m like, “Okay, I need…” Not reboot like I’m going to redo everything and, “I’m going to change my whole life,” but try to get back to, “All right, what did I really love doing that I’m not doing now?” And then it’s like, which this very second reminds me, I should go do some QM in my favorite tennis court. I have a favorite tennis court which is at a big park in the corner of our development. It’s from the 1950s is when this whole area was built that I’m in, and there’s a 50 year old, 60 year old, maybe more, tennis… Okay, what year is it Craig? 70 year old tennis court that has the old green asphalt and the tennis posts have been there so long they’re starting to lean in, one of those, and the chain-link fence is 70 years old, it’s a very old court backed up against a little mini mountain.

Craig (39:44):
So you’ll be… It’s breezy, and there’s trees, and there’s sun, and usually the vultures are looking at you while you’re on the tennis court. So that’s my favorite place to go out and do some zen QM. What are your thoughts on QM? I always love to talk about QM. [crosstalk 00:39:59].

Renae (39:59):
I think it… underrated. I think some people overrate it and some people underrate it. Most of the time I think it’s very underrated. I think QM is one of the most useful forms of movement in everything.

Craig (40:18):
How do you explain it to… Right, so if you like it that much, how do you explain it to people who don’t know what it is?

Renae (40:22):
QM? I just tell people QM is the way you can use all four limbs together in an efficient way to either save yourself to get through space, or to work on full body strength. So that’s the biggest, the three main reasons, or the three main explanations I tell people QM is. Yeah. It’s, yeah, it’s so versatile, and I think very essential in being human, and being able to do that type of movement that everyone forgets about it, because we just sit in chairs all day.

Craig (40:56):
I know. Yes, we are sitting in chairs. But I agree, I would agree with you 100%, too much time in chairs is not a good thing. And right now what I’m… there’s a window right over there which I’m looking at, I’m just like, “It is gorgeous outside today.” And I just keep… [inaudible 00:41:14] anything else that you have thought of you want to ask before I just keep going until the last minute?

Renae (41:19):
No. Yeah.

Craig (41:20):
No, okay.


Rapid fire questions [41:21]

Chapter’s show notes…

Craig (41:21):
(chapter) What… So many things I was going to say. What… I’ll throw a bunch out and you can pick one, and they’re going to be random. Books that you have given or shared, told people to read, or physically handed to them. Books you have given or shared most often. Favorite quote or next competition that you would like to train in, maybe not actually planned. So books, quotes, or competition.

Renae (41:49):
Oh. Books, I can do that easy, I’ve recommended Max Henry’s Parkour Roadmap book to [crosstalk 00:41:57] people, and even gave my copy away for a friend to borrow. That’s one. Another book was Thinking, Fast and Slow, which is a psychology book. And I don’t know the author, but I love that book, and I also gave that one to a friend and have never gotten that one back. So I need to buy it again.

Craig (42:16):
Oh, you’re not supposed to ever give books. I mean, you always give them, never loan them. Yeah.

Renae (42:19):
Those are definitely two books that were… Yeah, had a huge impact on like, “I want to read these.” Yeah. Next competition would definitely be NAPC’s skills comp, because that is one of the most fun competitions I’ve ever been a part of. Yeah. And what was your third question?

Craig (42:43):
Quotes.

Renae (42:47):
Quotes.

Craig (42:48):
You don’t have to… I mean-

Renae (42:48):
Ooh, that was the hardest. There’s so many quotes.

Craig (42:48):
Go in for the hat trick.

Renae (42:50):
One quote that I think helped me a lot was kind of… Yeah, it’s more about self confidence it’s, “Your energy speaks for you before you do.”

Craig (43:05):
That’s a good one.

Renae (43:06):
That one’s helped me a lot with coaching and going to a new place where I might have anxiety. So it’s like, well, your energy speaks before you do, so you might as well have good energy. That’s a quote that’s really important to me.

Craig (43:20):
That’s a terrific thing to end on too, I like that. That’s great. Renae and I were talking a little bit before we started and we had the… Movers Mindset and I had the opportunity to potentially interview you, and then we had an amazing windstorm where I live that grounded all the planes, so I lost a day in a trip and then we missed you when we were out there. So, oh, that sucks. We’ll have to just catch you in Germany. So it was a pleasure to finally get a chance to sit down and talk to you. Thank you very much for taking the time, and we’ll see you later.

Renae (43:52):
Thank you, yeah. See you later.

Craig (43:53):
Bye.

Renae (43:53):
Bye.