Virtual with Renae Dambly

Virtual conversation

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.

Childhood role of movement

Movement has always been there, never not been moving. Movement as a guide; always leads somewhere. Balancing movement with life; quit all sports in middle school to focus on schoolwork, but realized she needed sports. When she started running again, wondering why she ever stopped. School at the front again in University, parkour on hold. Made sure that while parkour was less in life, it was still there.

Current movement

Coaching online fitness classes through Apex Denver, and making sure to spend time outside in the sun. Training spots near her apartment in Germany, ability to train solo (from college).

Your future self

Covid-19 and Germany move; ‘Be your safety net.’ There’s no one you can fall back on except yourself. New country, different language, you have yourself to fall back on.

Self care

Hot showers, art: sketching and painting when she doesn’t feel up to moving. Loves audio books, especially fantasy. Napping in the sun, listening to a book, and looking for things to paint.

Current project

European perspective of parkour vs American/Canadian perspective. Current project gaining an understanding of different perspectives between US/Europe, dissecting them to learn more about the larger view of parkour.

Self image vs others viewpoints

2014; Traveling more and starting to make youtube videos, began getting comments about being ‘good for a girl’ and ‘the best female practitioner.’ Didn’t really have a sense of how others viewed her up to that point. Experiences at playgrounds, how different people react (encouraging or leaving). When being judged by public, continue training, but respect for people and environment comes to the forefront. Trying to represent parkour in the most positive light.

Rock climbing and competition

Started in University, went to rock climbing club meeting. It automatically put you on the team, though competition was voluntary. Competitive aspect was there because of team, but helped with reaching goals of learning to climb. Team viewpoint different than non-competitive. Competition in general; anti-competition in childhood, but changed as she grew older. Competition now a way to meet other athletes, connecting rather than beating others. It’s a tool to measure your skills under pressure. Focus was more on beating your own times, rather than winning the race.

Things you’ve come back to

Climbing; shoulder surgery, and just recently went sport climbing again. Humbling experience, being back to square one, but a good reminder of the challenge and freedom of climbing. Also painting; self teaching watercolor. Just at home, but wants to take paint out into the world, local garden. Taking photos of things to take back to paint later.

Food discussion

Recent discoveries: endless possibilities of tacos. Taco Tuesdays as an institution; food, but also friendship.

Something people get wrong

People often think she’s sad all the time, but it’s just the RBF. Usually just lost in thought. People are often surprised when they learn more about her; Not as straight-laced as people assume.

The plateau

Hasn’t hit a specific plateau, but the social media comparison is what makes her feel ‘meh.’ Each time she was close to the plateau, something happens: having to pause training, injury, start back from zero.

QM

Generally under-rated. One of the most useful forms of movement for life. How do you explain it… using all 4 limbs together. Versatile and extremely human.

Rapid fire questions

Books, quotes, or competition? Often recommends Max Henry’s Parkour Roadmap , Thinking Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman), Next competition: NAPC Skills comp. Quote “Your energy speaks for you before you do” helped with her self confidence.

Contact and further info:

You can find out more or get in touch with Renae through her website, renaedambly.com, or follow her on instagram (@renaedambly)

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