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. Today, Sean Hannah takes us deep into curriculum development, how he researches, the importance of games and fun, and developing with specific audiences in mind. He discusses his role in designing the curriculum for the PK Move Study with Marymount University, and the specific challenges it presented. Sean shares advice on coaching and designing for adults and seniors before unpacking his current personal curriculum and goals.
Craig: Hello. I’m Craig Constantine.
Sean: Hi, I’m Sean Hannah.
Craig: Sean Hannah is a coach, athlete, and curriculum developer, currently based in Colorado. Before moving out West, Sean spent years as the lead coach at Urban Evolution in Alexandria, Virginia, developing their curriculum. Sean’s background in rehab and personal training also led to his involvement in the PK Silver Program development, and he is a member of the PK Move Board. Sean dislikes shoes and being on the ground. Welcome, Sean.
Sean: Happy to be here, Craig.
Craig: Sean, I mentioned in the introduction that you’re part of the PK Move Board, but it think it’s also important for people to know that you were really critical, according to Nancy and her team you were really critical in the curriculum development for PK Silver. I think that people may not be aware of the level of work that went into getting from the idea of how to teach Parkour to people, to making it actually be something that can be done reproducibly and safely, so I would love to hear more about how much of that you’d want to unpack.
Sean: As you might imagine the number one reaction, and really the only reaction I get when I tell somebody, “Yeah, I teach Parkour to grandma,” is like, “How? How does that work?” It’s pretty obvious why that reaction comes through because our reputation-
Craig: Precedes us.
Sean: Precedes us, right. So the fun thing about that … the challenging thing about is on two tracks, working on the perception, and then actually developing the curriculum that will actually change the perception. It is a big challenge [inaudible 00:02:14], I developed a curriculum before for everyone ages 3 to 35, assuming a certain level of fitness, that’s a certain type of Parkour, and that’s the one that everybody knows about, that most people even in their 20s think, “It’s going to kill me if I try it.”
Craig: Right, right.
Sean: It’s like, “Yeah, I got granny t off the roof, son. How do you like them apples?” You know.
Craig: You better start laying down.
Craig: [Inaudible 00:02:38].
Sean: Even within the community itself, like when Nancy and I presented PK Silver at Art of Retreat, it wasn’t so much pushback, but it was a great deal of curiosity like, “How exactly are we [inaudible 00:02:55]? Is it so vague as to … Is it even Parkour now?”
Sean: “If an 80 year old can do it, is it actually Parkour?” So it’s a good challenge to kind of, to …
Craig: Figure out, well, you have to figure out first what does Parkour really mean to you, and then how do you design, how do you build out from or on that.
Sean: Exactly. So the first thing I have to do was just scrap everything I had written up to that point.
Craig: But I guess that would be considered learning experience, like all right, so throw that out, right, and then …
Sean: Well, yeah, because it’s a whole new challenge so you need a whole new solution for it. Well, it’s not whole new in the sense that someone over the age of 65 still has arms and legs, usually.
Craig: Right. Well, [inaudible 00:03:38] arms and legs, and they speak English, right? You can talk to them.
Sean: Yeah, and they still need to get from one place to another. Now their locomotion is going to be highly constrained depending on their situation, but most of the time as you get over 65 your movement, your getting from A to B is within your own house most of the time. That can be pretty challenging for someone who’s 75 and has fallen, and whose hip is a little bit creaky, and whose knees don’t work, and they’re scared of going down to the basement to get something.
Craig: Yeah, and deconditioned.
Sean: That’s your Superman front flip off the roof.
Craig: Right. You’re talking about my mom’s, my parent’s generation, and to them the laundry machines are usually in the basement, and laundry becomes a challenge.
Sean: What if we apply the same mindset, and the same curriculum to that challenge that we would getting a teenager to do a backflip off of a parking garage, not that we didn’t.
Craig: It’s not recommended, [crosstalk 00:04:32].
Sean: We don’t necessarily promote that behavior but yeah, it is super cool, and you can do it, but you take the same approach. First, make it a game, take the fear away from it, and turn it into exploration. There is a big scary monster in the basement called this week’s laundry.
Sean: Okay, how are we going to confront the monster? Well, what’s the game? Well, the game is get downstairs. What are the tools you can use? Okay, well, what’s our locomotive skillset for going down some stairs? It’s probably going to be walking.
Craig: Walking or butt scooting.
Sean: The most underrated skill in Parkour is walking, correctly. I like to … I would try to explain it to kids unsuccessfully, in like my six to eight classes, because they want … they’d come to a Parkour gym, and they want to live a video game. They’re like, “All right, well-
Craig: I’m going to backflip off the parking garage.
Sean: Yeah, we’re going to do all that, but we’re also going to really walk well. So, “Yawn, bro-
Craig: “I got that. I got that.”
Sean: “Shut up, child. Here is the thing. I know you’re playing your Mine Crafts and your Tomb Raiders, and your Super Mario Worlds.” I know there’s a lot of running, jumping, climbing, flipping, rolling, whatever in it, but most of the time you’re just walking around.
Sean: Don’t forget that, walking is the most basic and useful form of exploration, and that’s how you get treasure chest, and a [crosstalk 00:05:47].
Craig: Arguably human being’s secret power, our super power is walking.
Sean: Yeah, the magic mushroom, although I didn’t advocate magic mushroom ingestion by children.
Craig: So how does it work out with the kids classes when you give them the magic mushroom? Does that turn into a …
Sean: It runs a lot smoother, you just got to make sure that parents aren’t looking. They’re usually not, they’re on their phones.
Craig: That’s a whole another discussion. All right, so scary laundry monster in the basement, walking locomotion.
Sean: Yeah, and so you apply that mindset to the task of how do we get downstairs to confront laundry monster, and that’s where the basis of curriculum comes from, because you think, “All right, well Parkour is multidimensional, and 3D, so is going downstairs. How many different ways are there to go downstairs?” Ask that question first, make it fun. Well, what’s the way that scares you? Just going down forward.
Craig: Yeah, face first, that’s usually the scariest one.
Sean: Well, of course that scares you, that’s the most risk-laden way to go downstairs, let’s try it 10 different ways, and see which one is the most gentle, which one is actually kind of interesting, which one is the one where you can face a guard rail and act like you’re sneaking. Close up to the wall, going down it, now you can feel like a ninja and your knees don’t hurt, and it’s kind of sneaky and fun, and you’re actually doing like 20 squats on your way down and up.
Craig: Yup, and on the way up, right.
Sean: Yeah, so you’re sneaking in the fitness, while solving the problem, while making it entertaining, while engaging their imagination, while removing the fear of the thing that they didn’t want to do.
Craig: Yeah, and you just snuck quality of life in the door with all the fun, right?
Sean: Everything we do in Parkour for people that want to climb up a 10 foot wall you just did for laundry monster.
Sean: It’s just locomotion, you’re using locomotion and games to teach, and that’s all Parkour is from age 3 to 300, if Methuselah wants to learn Parkour, there is a way, you know.
Craig: I’d be interested in your thoughts on the types of challenges that seniors face on average. I kind of artificially made up the basement, which obviously you have thought about, but the laundry monster isn’t a new idea to you, but I’m wondering what other types of things do they face? There’s people listening who aren’t seniors, which I think is all five of the listeners, people who are listening they’re going to wonder like, “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” and the next question is like, “What other challenges do they face that we weren’t expecting?”
Sean: What’s fun about confronting the challenge and perception about why Parkour and grandma, how does that mix? So you can ask kind of a leading questions like, “You’re asking me that because you think Parkour is like people falling off the roof.”
Sean: My answer to that is, “Yes, Parkour is about people falling off the roof, and controlling their impact, and disbursing it correctly, and chaining that to a different type of locomotion with no fear, and no problems, and no long-lasting knee damage if you train for it correctly.” Is there anything useful about that for a population whose number one cause of death every year is falling down? Yes.
Craig: I see no connection whatsoever. Oh, sorry.
Sean: Yes, I do think the masters of falling have something to teach a population who might actually need Parkour more than anyone else.
Craig: Who might actually need it.
Sean: That’s where I turn it around.
Craig: Yeah, okay.
Sean: That’s where I turn it around, because it happens to be true so it’s easier that way.
Craig: I don’t remember what lies you tell, that’s my problem.
Sean: No, ’cause it … Let me throw some scary stats at you. One in four people over the age of 65 will fall down.
Craig: One in four.
Sean: Every year.
Craig: Over 65, yeah, every year.
Sean: 25% of people over 60, we’re talking tens and millions of people will fall.
Craig: I need to call my mom. My mom’s over 65, and I don’t know if she’s falling yet this year.
Sean: “Mom, are you sitting down? Sit down. Don’t move.”
Craig: “Let me tell you the statistics,” or better yet, “Mom, have you been fallen yet this year?” “No.” Shove.
Sean: Don’t move until I sign up you up for some Parkour classes.
Craig: Parkour classes. All right, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to derail your train of thoughts. So one in four, over 65 once a year, millions of people-
Sean: Will fall down, every 11 seconds someone is admitted to an ER for falling down.
Sean: Every 19 minutes someone over the age of 65 dies from a fall.
Sean: We’re talking tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of hours in healthcare or hundreds of thousands of hours in healthcare, tragedy within … I mean this is real.
Sean: This is real, 25,000 deaths every year, and this is 2015. I can’t imagine it’s gotten a lot better. Thanks, iPhone.
Craig: I’m like it’s 2019, but you mean the stats are from 2015. I just had like a senior moment like, “Wait, what year is it?” But as you were saying, so that’s the recent stats from 2015, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the fear of falling is an even bigger quality of life challenge.
Craig: These people, they know everybody falls.
Sean: Yeah, so falling is like the main cause of like PTSD over the age of 55. So you’re absolutely right, even if you don’t … even if the worst case scenario doesn’t happen, if you don’t die or get some massive complication from a fall just the act of falling can instill a fear with you, which massively constrains your field of action. As any athlete understands, fear cuts down on your locomotive capacity.
Sean: Any movement you’re doing can be impacted by doubt, fear, uncertainty, now-
Craig: It makes … It’s like a vicious circle, “I’m afraid so my dexterity, like physiologically my dexterity gets lower,” and then guess what that leads to? Falling.
Sean: It leads to falling because it leads to even more defensive, and immobile postures. Most people who are hunched over, I mean, yeah, that can be long-term fascial imbalances, but a lot of it is mental. You can take someone who’s afraid of movement, who’s all curled up when they’re walking around, and just force them to stick their head against the back of a wall, and stand up right, and they discover that they can do it. They thought they couldn’t, and you can explain to them, “Yeah, you thought that, but in reality your mechanic still work the same as when you were 20 years old, and not afraid of laundry monster. Let’s work on that.”
Craig: Let’s go further with the idea of curriculum. So you’ve given me some really neat ideas about how you would share Parkour with this older generation, but the PK Move Group did a study with Marymount University, and can you tell me, I mean, whatever about it you want to unpack, but my idea is just what did you actually teach them, and then what results did you see? That would be my first question about it.
Sean: So the Marymount study was my first chance to do my really deep, deep dive into Parkour for seniors. Up to this point I’d help write the coaching manual, which was kind of a general overview of biomechanics, and Parkour pedagogy as it might relate to someone in their 70s. I had done most of these remotely, so I wasn’t working one-on-one [crosstalk 00:12:36] with our PK Silver classes, but now with the study I was being asked to write, like it’s a minute by minute curriculum for eight weeks of classes.
Sean: So this is the first time I had actually written a full-on multi-month class structure, detailed down to like, “Here is what you do at minute eight. Here is what you do at minute 14.” What we hadn’t done up to that point, which was build out every skill we want a person to learn from start to finish in a way that goes from simple to complex, and gradually increases the risk for a room full of 80 year olds I’ve never seen, so that was a challenge.
Craig: That was quite the challenge. I’m sorry, I’m just … I’m not actually … by the way I’m not a Parkour coach, people listening know that, but you don’t. I don’t coach Parkour, but I’m wondering like do you start with movement screens or how do you even … Is it like did you give them a bump and see whether they stumble? How do you even begin to assess?
Sean: Yeah, you just give them a little shove [crosstalk 00:13:37] with their balance test like, “Oh, lost another one.”
Craig: All right, sorry, good point, touche. No, but it’s like how do you do that? How do you do those screens on the first day?
Sean: So we have pretty extensive health history forms as you might imagine, and we also had a pretty thorough screening process to the university. It can only be a certain type of 80 year old that’s going to qualify for this.
Craig: Cut them in half and count their rings, what do you mean by a certain type?
Sean: That would have been a lot quicker.
Craig: Yeah, but then another [inaudible 00:14:07].
Sean: So obviously they can’t have any current major health conditions.
Sean: Almost everyone over the age of 70 has got something.
Sean: You know, but if they are less than X months removed from a heart attack, if they’re currently smoking, if they’re-
Craig: [Inaudible 00:14:26], right.
Sean: If they have asthma, if they … you know, so we have to get health-ish people in their 70s and 80s who weren’t … Teaching someone movement over the age of 70, if they’ve been sedentary for decades is difficult in any context, physical therapy all the way to jumping off the roof, but we wanted that to a certain extent. We needed people who were going from almost totally immobile to, “We’re going to do that crazy internet shit.” First of all, that’s going to eliminate a lot of people, just off of like, “Well, I don’t think I want to participate in that.” But if you present it correctly, and the big hook for us again, is fall prevention, social isolation, and fun. You’re targeting people who are constrained in their field of action because of their-
Hannah: Maybe their lack of relationships and their lack of mobility, and their lack of access to a program like this. If you told a person, without bringing Parkour into the conversation, if you told someone over 70, “I can make you strong enough not to fall down, and you’re going to have a great time doing it. Would you be interested in something like that if it is free?”
Craig: Right, shit, yes.
Sean: Yeah, almost none of them are going to say no, right? So we made sure not to mention Parkour until they’d already said yes. “All right, now sign this waiver, and don’t read that tiny little-
Craig: Tiny little thing at the bottom.
Sean: “That explains what Parkour is.” “I wanted to be French firefighter.” “You lied.”
Craig: I had this vision in my head, this is horrible, but I cannot stop myself, when you’re 70, and you jump off the top of the parking garage, is the proper order to throw the walker before you or do you push it after they …
Sean: No, you do the telescopic hooks that are on the ends of your walker, and you use it for a rapid descent at the side of the building. You don’t just jump. People listening in the Parkour community, please teach your students of all ages, you don’t have to just jump.
Sean: I’m sure you already are, but [crosstalk 00:16:46] it bears repeating all the time.
Craig: We’re being fastidious, I can’t [crosstalk 00:16:50].
Sean: So many ways to get around, jumping is just the coolest.
Craig: I cut you off by making a walker joke, but I know you really have like deep, you have tons of stuff you want to say. You were talking about screening them, and just picking those people, like who fit it in.
Sean: Yeah, and so once we had our people, now I’m trying to figure out, “What am I going to make them do?” Because I had an idea of what people should do, and I’ve taught older Parkour classes, and in my training experience I’ve dealt with rehabilitation with people in their 60s coming off of surgeries, coming off of cancer, coming off of, you know all the vagaries of life, and trying to get back to it. I wasn’t shooting blind, but I wasn’t seeing them, so I had to be extremely detailed for the coaches about what exactly we’re going to do.
Sean: It was such a fun challenge because I’m thinking, “Okay, I’ve got scared 80 year olds on week one, and by week eight I’ve got to get them in a park doing obstacle courses.” How do you fill that gap, you know. I’ve done this for kids and teenagers, and young-ish adults mostly, what’s that gap look like for an 80 year old? I hadn’t dealt with the question in that kind of detail yet, and what that brought out, and what’s going to fuel the next phase of our curriculum in PK Move, is understanding that posture and balance just on one point, actually not locomotion.
Craig: We both just sat up straighter.
Sean: Yeah. No, it’s great, it’s great, all you have to do is tell people because everyone slouches, and sucks at just sitting, and that was the point, and that filled out almost the first three weeks of that study. Well, we definitely got them moving on day, but we moved from, the curriculum moved from a single point to three dimensional. So you’ve got point, and you’ve got two points, which is a line, and then you’ve got three points, which is like a vector, but then you bring in into 3D, now you’ve got multiple dimensions.
Sean: What does that look like for someone who is 80? Well, we’re going to spend a lot of time on the single point, and for all the Mine Craft kids listening out there, my fortnight players who want to do Parkour, single point is still your best training tool, and it’s seriously overlooked in the community because it’s hard to make money selling ninja stuff where you’re just standing on one foot for a while. But what I discovered writing this curriculum, is there’s so much that can be gained in full-on, high-speed, dynamic, three dimensional Parkour from standing on one leg, and playing with a broom, stuff like that. I had a really great time thinking about, “Can standing be Parkour? Can sitting be Parkour?”
Craig: I believe so. Sure.
Sean: Can just getting down on the ground be Parkour? Well, actually, yeah, for someone who’s 70 the adventure from just standing up to getting down on the ground, to getting back up, that’s actually a serious process that can be broken down into multiple steps, and actually taught for like 30 minutes at a time. If you asks most 70 year olds to pick something up on the ground, A. They don’t want to do it. B. They’ll probably ask you why you can’t do it for them. Why?
Craig: “You pick it up.”
Sean: Here, here.
Craig: “You put it there.”
Sean: “You’re here, young man, you pick it up for me.” But that goes to the question of autonomy, right?
Sean: If you’re going to talk about teaching Parkour to seniors then you have to get in your headspace as a coach, as a curriculum writer, as someone who shares this with people like, “What if your field of action is restrained to just up and down, not forward around, sideways, three dimensions? What if you just can’t get to the ground? What does that Parkour look like? How do you make a game out of that? How do you make it fun?”
Sean: So, what was fun to see as the curriculum writer for this study, because I didn’t know what was going to happen, I kind of went into it with a broad toolkit, and just started throwing shit at the wall to see what would work before I sent it out to Virginia to actually be practiced on real 80 year olds. I was doing this in my kitchen, and I kept learning over and over again, the curriculum kept coming to me as a surprise like, “Oh, this is what we actually need to do.” This is what we actually need to do, and so much of it was not actually going anywhere. I’m going to teach locomotion by not going anywhere, that was the surprise.
Sean: I think one of my really pleasant surprises from this study, from writing this curriculum was, and it’s something that I can’t wait to share again as a Parkour coach for all ages, just to see if I can make the kids do it, is try to convince them that staying in one place is actually vital to your Parkour training. The easiest example to think of is a precision jump, what is a precision jump? You’re landing on a single point. What’s the perfect execution of a precision jump? The stick.
Craig: The stick, yeah.
Sean: Not just a stick, but a soft stick, right, so that means you’re controlling that final point with perfect skill. Well, what I discovered so often was that I would get kids into my classes, athletic teenagers too, we’re talking kids that came from other sports, and first of all, no one can precision jump when they start, right?
Craig: Right, not the way the Parkour people mean precision jump.
Sean: But the way we teach it or the way a lot of us coach’s teach it is by precision jumping a lot.
Sean: But I used to take my classes out, and just make them stand on the edge of the curve for 10 seconds at a time, just to see if they could.
Craig: Yeah, forget the arrival part.
Craig: Can you do the precision point?
Sean: Just to collect my own data, right, and be like, “How many out of 10 today can stand on a curve, the end of a precision jump?”
Craig: Yeah, the balls of the feet on the edge, and your heels are [crosstalk 00:22:46].
Sean: For 10 seconds. Yeah, usually a couple out of 10. Usually ’cause they’re talking to each other. It’s like, “All right, goofball.”
Craig: Focus, yeah.
Hannah: “Now focus, be a silly ninja, and see how long you can stay,” then everyone gets 10 seconds. “Now let’s do it for a minute.” “Ahhh,” like, “Yeah, that’s the next stage of the program is actual discipline.”
Craig: [Inaudible 00:23:07].
Sean: “Now just stand here for a minute,” and it was always a challenge to get them to do it, unless once again if you can get them into the mindset, if you can like, “This is an adventure.”
Hannah: “If you guys can stand still I’ll take you to the next part of the adventure,” and that’s where I found so much of my progression in kids, and teenage classes was like, “Yeah, we’re going to start by standing around really good, and then maybe we’ll be on the top of the foam pit jumping to a rail like maniacs for no reason.”
Sean: Right, so-
Craig: They’re all standing around, this is something that they do.
Sean: Yeah, and I drew on that experience writing for seniors. It’s more like, “All right, well, let’s just start at step one like I did with the kids.” We’re going to stay on step one for like a long time, and we’re going to master step one in ways that the kids will refuse to do. So I got them to do the first couple of standing around drills, I’m going to have grandma do like 20 standing around drills, where she’s got one leg out, where she’s holding a broom or she’s poking a demon in the face in her kitchen.
Sean: Wherever your imagination takes you, but you’re going it while standing, and from that developed drills that I never dreamed of doing in my kids classes, that now I wish I could because they’re so fun, and so low risk-
Craig: Give me one. Just give me one off the top of your head.
Sean: Well, one of my favorite ones was you get them holding a broom, so imagine they’ve got the wooden end of the broom down, the brush is up, and they’re just standing and holding it like an American Gothic painting.
Sean: You know.
Craig: People are, “American Gothic, need to look that up.”
Sean: Right, and now this is a weight distribution exercise. First of all, I want you to get equal weight on both feet, which for 99% of the population if you get them to think about it they’re off-balance. You, you, me, I’m totally off-balance. I’ve had injuries in my left leg that make me favor my weight in my right, which is why my hips are unlevel. I have to think about standing correctly all the time to work it out. So you get them holding the broom, “Now put equal weight in your feet, all right, now slide over and put weight on the broom. Now slide back and take weight off the broom. Now pick up one leg, broom and foot is equal.” You can do that all day.
Sean: It’s going to be super interesting to someone whose, A. Never done it before, and B. It’s actually challenging, and now you’re showing them like this is Parkour too, and we’re not going anywhere. We’re barely doing anything, and you’re already really, really challenged, and you’re smiling. Just wait ’til I have you pick the broom up, and your one leg, and you’re doing a stabbing motion.
Sean: You know, whatever the physical manifestation of your fears are.
Craig: Your husband, right?
Sean: Yeah, “Imagine now, imagine your spouse three feet away. Now turn the broom around, imagine having sharpened it. Now imagine prison fight. Isn’t this exciting? Isn’t this exciting, Gam Gam?”
Craig: [Inaudible 00:26:04].
Sean: “20 stabs, one, two, three, put the broom down.”
Craig: Switch hands.
Sean: “Oh, you came off your mark. You’re not a ninja yet. All right, ready, pick your knee up, now stab, stab, stab.” Grandma is having fun, this is science. This was in a study.
Craig: I mean, I like humor, I love when the guest have things to say which are funny, but the things you’re saying are really, really-
Sean: Is that funny? Because it was true.
Craig: No, I was just laughing.
Sean: It was also true.
Craig: Yeah, I was going to say … I was just laughing because you were laughing.
Sean: The truth is often ridiculous.
Craig: But what I … We could not make this stuff up, so-
Sean: No, I did.
Craig: No, I mean … Good point, all right, touche, stab me with your broom handle. So you actually, which is perfect you actually pulled this back to this was in the study, and I think like 10 minutes ago I said something like, “What were the results of the study?” Let’s tie that up in a bow, because this result of the study, well, no, I’m not going to spoil it, you spoil it.
Sean: Okay. So, yeah, the whole broom stabbing adventure worked out as far as preliminary science is concerned. They really liked the first round. They ordered up a second round, and now they’re publishing, and it’s going to be presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference here in Maine. We’re going down there to … we’ll be talking about it with people, so that’s pretty exciting. Grandma stabs in her kitchen, Sean-ny gets to go to Orlando, how about that? Ain’t life fun?
Craig: Now that’s A to B. Sean, in the intro I also mentioned the 401 PK Program at Urban Evolution, and just in case [inaudible 00:27:48], 401 as in 401 retirement funds? So it’s a Parkour Program for people who are retired? Sorry, I’m just … I’m [crosstalk 00:27:55].
Sean: Parkour funds, they’re the best, especially when they’re used for marketing.
Craig: So 401 PK, do you want to unpack what you did for the curriculum? This is should be an entire curriculum episode, which is awesome, do you want to unpack how that program work? Because I’m guessing that was obviously, well, I’m guessing that was very different from the seniors because you’re looking at a more active, or a less deconditioned group of people.
Sean: Sure. Sure. So I could probably credit my work in 401 PK with giving me some of the seeds of what I would have to cultivate later in teaching Parkour to seniors. So that class was our program for attracting-
Craig: Over 55? Over 50, right?
Sean: It was over 35 in 401, and this is where I met Nancy, and I would love to talk about her being like one of my greatest success stories.
Craig: You are … But she wasn’t or you don’t want to? Because you’re allowed to talk about anything you want to talk about.
Sean: Well, you know, like most of the problem was getting people over the fear of trying, with Nancy it was like, “You need more fear, and I failed to instill it in you.”
Craig: I think the story I heard was she saw Seb do the run at the front of Casino Royale, and she’s like slapping her husband like, “I want to do that.” “But we could not, you’re normal.”
Sean: Yeah, most of us were, but most of us weren’t Nancy about it.
Craig: Nancy’s age, right, yeah.
Craig: 401 PK, marketing, getting people in the door.
Craig: Trying to keep Nancy out.
Sean: Well … Plus, she wore me down with persistence, but that was a fun challenge for me, and for two reasons. One, like how does the marketing change? How do we attract the … because the biggest thing we kept seeing, and every Parkour gym understands this now, is the parents bring the kids. This is our business model, the parents bring the kids, the parents go sit down.
Sean: Once in a while they look up with that little glint in their eye like, “I was eight once,” and then that’s our opportunity, “You can be eight again in a very limited fashion. Sign up for our adult classes.” So 401 PK was our version of that, and I was tasked with figuring out like, “Okay, how do we do the same stuff without killing people?” Because if mom doesn’t come the kids don’t come.
Craig: Yeah, don’t break mom, we’d lost both of them, right?
Sean: Yeah, and it’s another success story in Parkour business, right? We have to keep people alive, and healthy enough to do it. The big challenging curriculum was someone over 35 is first convince them that they can do it, and be as a coach understanding like what that really means, like how do you constrain all of these drills to someone who can probably do a lot of what the 20s, and teenage kids are doing, but much more susceptible to injury, and-
Craig: Connective tissue degradation, degradation [crosstalk 00:30:47].
Sean: Yeah, just the realities of modern living, you know, they sit around and make money so the kids can come here. What that ended up being was … Well, first of all, it was really fun for me because at this point I was in my 30s too, and my knees were hurting, and I was hitting my wall where it’s like, “How am I going to do Parkour when I’m 40 and 50 if this is how I feel now?” A lot of that was just the schedule. Coaches out there know that teaching’s brutal, and if you don’t have the time or you make the excuses that you don’t have the time to repair your body every single day for teaching-
Craig: Yeah, what’s the first thing that goes? My personal recovery because I have to go teach.
Sean: Right, the grind, it’s the life, that’s why I got out. I feel great now by the way, knees springy.
Craig: So challenges to luring in the 35 year olds, and dealing with their age specific weaknesses?
Sean: Yeah, so the first part of that had to come from my credibility as a coach. First of all, I’m in my 30s, and I’m still jumping off the roof, but it’s in a very limited way. I can’t do this like I could when I first started, even though my technique is improved, even though my conditioning is better.
Craig: Yeah, the amplitude is more sane.
Sean: Because I’ve also learned how to do it the wrong way, and because I have to take care of myself so much more than the kids do. I can share all these with you. Plus, just give me one class, and my big pitch in the class was, “Can I make the same types of drills with like three different obstacle sets, but constrain it to like three feet, constrain it to dismounts as opposed to jumps?” The key is actually pretty simple, we all understand why Parkour hurts, right? Because the fun stuff is the most dynamic and high-impact. I love jumping off of everything. I also know I can’t do it every time.
Craig: It’s that last eight of an inch at the bottom that sucks.
Sean: Every time. So really in that sense it doesn’t change except you have the opportunities, you have an audience that’s way more perceptive of it, because they don’t want to get hurt either, right? You get under the age of like 22, 21, I’m like, “I’m immortal, I don’t care.” I’m like, “No, you … I’ll see you in a few years, maybe,” but someone who’s 35 they’re so willing to hear that message.
Craig: Yeah, they’ve have at least one sip pretty basically. Everybody’s had at least one serious injury by the time they’re 35, you’ve like broken something, had something half-rip off, and you’re like, “I do not want to do that again.”
Sean: Right, so this makes it so much easier to sell like the mid-range Parkour stuff, that for me is so … like everyone rides on rail flow, “Oh, it’s lame.” I love rail flows.
Craig: I don’t brag on rail flow. I don’t want [inaudible 00:33:25] with those losers.
Sean: Rail flow is awesome.
Sean: For coordination, for balance, for fun, for learning break-dancing with the core power.
Craig: Proprioception, [crosstalk 00:33:35]
Sean: Yeah, everything we teach with jumping off of a stuff with-
Craig: It’s all in there.
Sean: Almost zero ligament damage if you’re doing it competently, right? So there’s so much, and it aided my practice as well. I learned how to sustain Parkour for 30, 40 years for my own practice by teaching it to other 34 year olds thinking like, “Okay, well, how would I do this if my number one goal today was just cardiovascular strength?” I just want my lungs stronger, I don’t want anything to happen to my knees. I just want to be able to do my mid-rang Parkour longer. What do those drills look like? That was stuff that I wasn’t challenged to do in the kids classes, right?
Sean: Because the kids class is like, “How do I make this as fun as possible while I’m not breaking anybody’s neck?”
Sean: Okay, how do I-
Craig: You keep them really passionately engaged.
Sean: How do I keep them engaged? They want jumps, right? But-
Craig: So looping back to the middle age bracket, what would you say, because obviously you have a very unique viewpoint, and a unique experience to work from, so what would you say is the biggest hindrance, so like this age group shows up and they all do this or this is the biggest problem that I face as a coach, and what do you think is their super power that they have? I think you kind of hit it at this improv, but like what’s their biggest weakness, and what’s their kryptonite and what’s their super power?
Sean: They’re bound up in the same reaction, so the reaction is usually fear-based, and that’s where the gift is. So they’re afraid because they don’t want to get hurt. Because they don’t want to get hurt they’re willing to take the advice from me as a coach that you just can’t give the kids, and because of that they learn low to mid range Parkour, and make it beautiful in ways that are very … it’s very hard to teach an eight year old unless you get a very creative and attentive eight year old who’s willing to listen to you.
Sean: Like really listen to you, and that’s where someone like Nancy comes along, who’s very child-like in her worldview.
Craig: In a good way, right.
Sean: But has the experience and knowledge of understanding what her limitations are, and then six months into the class her rail flows is one of the best in the gym, and it’s beautiful to watch. It’s not a rooftop jump, but it’s the same art form, and it’s being applied beautifully, silently connected, flowing, efficient.
Craig: You can see, I’m going to guess because I’ve seen people move like that, you can see the passion and the joy in them, it just comes out in the movement. They’re not just doing it as a chore.
Sean: Smiling the whole time too, yeah. It’s the same reaction I get doing a rail bridge jump, every time I stick one I wiggle a little bit, so I have to [crosstalk 00:36:14].
Craig: I’ve been spotted sticking rail [inaudible 00:36:17] and then doing the Egyptian, and then stepping off.
Sean: Yeah, and so in the 401 PK Classes I was noticing as the curriculum started to harden and take shape, and the students got consistent, like it became the most fun class to teach because the students were having the most fun. The kids were still all caught with their problems [crosstalk 00:36:40], “What’s the other kid doing? Why can’t I do this?”
Craig: “I want to go. Are you cutting in front of me?”
Sean: “I want to do this,” yeah. Yeah, caught up with their self, but the adults are just three year olds goofing around.
Craig: With the brain and attention span.
Sean: With the brain and attention span.
Craig: Did you … Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off, but like I got 19 more things I want to ask now. So did you you have to also, I was going to say deliver their curriculum to other coaches or did it all fall to you to coach it? Because what I want to ask is people who are listening are like, “Oh, I want to teach this stuff.” How does one pick it up as a coach? Can they … I mean, certainly they can, I would say reach out to you, and you’d probably love to train them on it, but just generally did you have to … You had to invent the curriculum, deliver the curriculum to the students, but then did you also have to package it as a thing that you had to give to other coaches? Because if you could give us some tips on how coaches would pick up the ability to deliver such curriculum to this age group, that would be really useful to people, for people to hear.
Sean: Sure. Two places, first, I would want every coach who’s going to think about teaching Parkour to someone over the age of, God, I would even say 25 now.
Craig: Yeah, 30, 25.
Sean: Yeah, thanks iPhone. I would say first you have to get a general grounding in biomechanics, because everything is a biomechanical problem when you’re talking about movement to some degree or another, and if you can … if you take the age off a person and just look at the mechanics of their body, how are those joint patterns move, and you can intelligently come up with a solution faster. Now the problem in Parkour coaching obviously is this is still very new, and most of the coaches are under the age of 25.
Craig: They came out through the ranks. Most people that I know who teach Parkour started by doing Parkour, and then, you know, it’s a passion [crosstalk 00:38:27], and they coach, they go into, they grow into coaching.
Sean: Right, and you can see it with some of them. Some people have the gift, some people can just look at what a person’s doing and understand what needs to happen, but that’s pretty rare in someone under 25. Even if they have it you don’t have enough life … you haven’t experienced enough pain.
Craig: That is true.
Sean: In your mind and in your joints, and in your soul to understand what a 45 year old is experiencing, you just haven’t.
Craig: Did this just turned into like two old guys bitching at the world? Is that what’s happened?
Sean: Oh, I got a lot of that. You know, when you invite someone under the age of 30 over to your house.
Sean: Then they show up, and then they text you, “Here,” and then they sit in their car, what is that?
Craig: We didn’t text you that we were here. We did sit in our car though.
Sean: I know, and I appreciate that, the way you just walked to the door and-
Craig: And rang the doorbell.
Sean: And rang the doorbell, not worried that you might be confronted by a person you weren’t planning on seeing. God, what is it?
Craig: So there’s a ton of setup that goes on behind the scenes.
Sean: I got at least half an hour on that shit, let’s redirect.
Craig: So there’s a little bit of context, there’s a ton of … I had to travel here, and there’s somebody that works with me when we do this, and we both are … we had coffee, and then we came here. So you need to get to places early enough that you’re not late, but we also like to be ringing doorbells 20 or 30 minutes early, and surprisingly it was. So we’re like sitting in the driveway both on our phones, like doing work, and then it’s like 10 o’clock [crosstalk 00:39:56].
Sean: I saw that. I was doing … because I was [crosstalk 00:39:58] at this window right here, like doing a little PT, and I was looking out the window and like, “They’re probably just prepping, but if they text me here I’m going to fucking lose it.”
Craig: No, it actually never … we would … It never had occurred to us, it was just like we were … I was actually checking in on the rest of the team.
Sean: Yeah, I know you’re here.
Sean: So, am I.
Sean: We already had several electronic exchanges about this, it’s just 10 more feet on your own.
Craig: Am I glad I didn’t text you.
Sean: What is the … Do you want me to come out of my house, come over to your car, and escort you back into my house?
Craig: No, we got it covered.
Sean: Do you not know how to do that? Do you need an app? Oh, God. Get off my lawn. Yes, somebody other than me says it in the … I say that all the time, “Get off my lawn.”
Craig: Coaches, picking up movement and kinesiology, and teaching it to middle age people, so you have [inaudible 00:40:52] thing, you need to practice, you need to learn more.
Sean: That’s right.
Craig: That’s where you are before I derailed you.
Sean: Right, and at Urban Evolution we were very good about making sure that our assistant coaches that I was …
Craig: Lean in.
Sean: Yo, hey.
Craig: Yo, hey.
Sean: Hi. Shall I restart that?
Craig: No, you can keep going, [inaudible 00:41:09] a little sound different, if you get in here it’s very personal.
Sean: Right, so yeah, you can’t age a 20 year old and give them the experience to understand. So you need some kind of basic scientific grounding in biomechanics, kinesiology, that’s just standard. We were very good at Urban Evolution of making sure our young coaches had to learn the basics, what are the planes of motion? What are the kinetic forces that act on the body? You need a little bit of jargon, you just do, but beyond that how do you impart … How do you, A. Get them to wrap that jargon around parkour movement, and B. Deliver that to someone who’s mechanics are gone? I mean, all the kids that come in have jacked up mechanics too.
Sean: But it’s not going to cause them a knee or an ankle as clearly as it will.
Craig: They have a big margin of, a big buffer of capability.
Sean: Yeah. So the plainest advice I can give other than, “You need a background in mechanics,” would be develop your mid-range more. Develop your mid-range more, and what I mean by that, it’s not just rail flow but like how often do you practice five-foot jumps? I think about a guy like Max Henry, who we all know has outstanding technique, but if you were an average person who doesn’t do Parkour, and only look at Max Henry’s Instagram you’ll be like, “Look at this crazy person. He does all these huge stuff.”
Sean: It’s like, yeah, but he also trains very intelligently. I know for a fact he trains his mid range. Him and I geeked out talking about walking for like an hour once. He’s so into it.
Sean: Max Henry loves to walk.
Craig: Yes, the things you see on-
Sean: And he is great at it.
Craig: Yes. The things you see on his Instagram are one aspect of what he does. You’re right, I’ve trained with him for an afternoon, and yeah, there’s stuff that we were … He is like a little kid in terms of his inquisitiveness, and he’s just as intrigued by the three-foot challenge that I decided to try, that’s sketching me out as he is by the 15-foot challenge that somebody else came up and, “Max, can you do this?” Like all those things [inaudible 00:43:10].
Sean: No, no, exactly. So if you’re a young coach teaching someone who’s older than you, which can be intimidating for the coach too, right?
Craig: Yeah, and then maybe we should try to unpack like how, because you said you had two things, and I think I cut you off before you even did the second one, but is there a way, like what advice would you have for a younger coach when they’re … and that can be any age, who’s faced with somebody who’s like twice their age. Is there like a … How do you prep talk that coach when you go, “Okay, I’m going to send you in to the 10 44-year olds,” and you’re 22, don’t try and like [inaudible 00:43:42] with testosterone, they’re just going to go like, “Oh, yawn, look a 22-year old.” How do you coach them to have the right mindset to be believable, but that’s not quite the right word, but be believable as their coach?
Sean: Stay in and be fascinated by the mid range, if you’re a good practitioner of parkour, not even a great one, just a good one, you’ve developed your mid range. You’ve developed standing on one leg really well, balancing, you’ve developed rail walking, you’ve developed rail flow, you’ve developed three to six foot jumps. You’ve developed the sense instead of just jumping and rolling. You’ve developed all the things that are sustainable throughout a lifetime of movement, and not just the cool Instagram shit, right?
Craig: I mean, you got teach it, like if your passion is-
Sean: You have to do it.
Craig: I’m really into the big power stuff, then you need to do that too.
Sean: Right. So what I would say to … What I used to say to some of the coaches that were coming into 401 PK was stay in, but also be fascinated by the mid range. In other words, if you’re, and this holds true across all sports, all disciplines, so like if you’re not interested in what you’re teaching they’re not going to be-
Craig: Interested in learning.
Sean: Right, and remember how amazed you were the first time you did like a speed vault, and you didn’t chunk and hit the ground when you did it, and your hand placement was right. It just felt effortless. It’s like that’s what we’re really teaching here not-
Craig: Yeah, convey that.
Sean: We’re not even maybe going up to speed vault yet, but we’re being fascinated by the small in between intermediate steps that aren’t sexy, that will never make a cool YouTube, but the initial building blocks is should have been what captured your imagination first, thinking, well, I mean Casino Royale captured our imagination first. But then later on we discovered this is actually a whole system, and all those little in between steps, if you don’t get fascinated by them, and interested in how they build into these super human feats, then you’re not going to be a good practitioner yourself, and you definitely won’t be able to teach it to someone over the age of 30.
Craig: Sean, we’ve spent a bunch of time talking about curriculum, and it’s great, and I’d love to do that forever, but earlier you mentioned very briefly, and I didn’t miss it, you mentioned very briefly that you are currently spending your time building your training, and building your own personal curriculum. I’m just wondering if you’d care to share any of what’s going on inside, what is it, Superman’s … no, was it the Crystal Palace? Like what’s going on in Superman’s Crystal Palace these days?
Sean: It was the Fortress of Solitude.
Craig: Fortress of Solitude, yes, okay.
Sean: Tomato, tomato.
Craig: No, wrong versus right, it’s Fortress of Solitude.
Sean: It’s 2019, we’re post-fact.
Sean: It’s fine.
Craig: That’s good.
Sean: Yeah, so I think I’ve gotten to a point where a lot of Parkour people, and really just movement, you can’t see I did air quotes with my fingers, movement people-
Craig: I saw, I saw it. It was air quoted. I saw it.
Sean: Yeah, quote, movement people get to, whether they come from Parkour or Capoeira or breakdancing, all of these systems that prize like three-dimensional agile movement, you get to a point where you start to see the overlaps between them all, and that forms the basis of your training. So for myself, obviously Parkour is my first entry point, but now I’ve been practicing, I’ve been getting into breakdancing the past year, and saw all the gaps in my physical development that that exposed, that I can then take back to a system like … I’m doing things now in Parkour that I couldn’t do in my “prime” when I was teaching, and at a very high level, just because so much of it was linear, where breakdancing is circular, but there’s overlap between those two systems. Now that influences my training, like what joint angles do I train now compared to when I was training for Parkour.
Sean: On top of that, I’ve taken a circus training, tramp walls, straps, aerials, all that stuff, and that’s a totally different end of the spectrum, whereas in breakdancing you’re practicing extremely closed joint chain movements where your elbows dug into your ribcage, and your-
Craig: Yeah, I was going to say unpack closed versus … I know what closed and open is, but unpack closed and open.
Sean: Sure, so if you can think of open joint chains, it’s like a straight arm, a completely perfect ballet straight arm, whereas a closed it would be a completely, like imagine touching your hand to your shoulder. A physiologist can explain that better.
Craig: I was going to say if you imagine the most basic step vault you’re making a closed system with your arms, and your legs, and it’s a physically nailed in place structure as opposed to when a ballerina stands on her toe the whole thing is entirely open system on constraint … physically on unconstrained, sorry. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot, and then have to second with you.
Sean: No, I went to school for it, I should be ready.
Craig: So, I’m not going to mind, I screwed up Crystal Palace, that was trivial, but like open and closed chains, bro, come on, bring it. So you discovered that breakdance is circles and closed chains before I interrupted you.
Sean: Right, so in my conception of Parkour, at least my previous conception, and the way I thought it was Parkour exists as a mid range practice that borrows from maybe a dozen other systems, and alters the form a little bit, bastardizes it if you like.
Hannah: But what I mean is like when I would do things in Parkour, and people would ask me, “Did you do gymnastics?” I’m like, “No, this is aesthetically awful gymnastic movement if we’re calling it gymnastics.”
Craig: Right, right.
Sean: But it works if we’re getting over a picnic table, it just has some similarities, right? Or when I would do rail flow people asks me, “Do you breakdance?” I’ll be like, “No, but I’m thinking about it the same way. It’s a dance, and I’m using a lot of postures that aide you in breakdance movements almost by accident.” I think people who Parkour long enough discovered this, like you’re stealing from climbing, you’re stealing from track and field, and you can add breakdancing, contemporary dance, gymnastics-
Sean: Yoga, Capoeira, like there is very little.
Craig: It’s like humans moving.
Sean: Yeah, and after a while I got to that point of Parkour and was like, “All Parkour is really is a context for taking-
Craig: It’s like a mindset of movement.
Craig: It’s just where I got the name for the podcast.
Sean: I feel like I can see where we’re going with this.
Craig: Yes, anyway-
Sean: I have so much light.
Craig: You’re so much fun I keep derailing you. I’m like you’re really cool [inaudible 00:50:32] I need to shut up.
Sean: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. So anyways, I love you, Craig. What the hell was I saying? [Crosstalk 00:50:40].
Craig: You were talking about breakdancing, circles, closed structures, and then people said, “Hey, you’re doing rail flow, do you breakdance? Hey, you were doing this.”
Sean: Yeah, so eventually you get to a point with Parkour, at least I did, where you stop seeing it as a thing on to itself, and more like a context for repurposing different types of movement, and placing it in three dimensions, that’s the big thing about Parkour. All these other systems take place on a two-dimensional flat plane, and all Parkour does is like pick out little pieces of that and go, “I can combine those, and put it on blocks and squares, and tubes.”
Craig: Parking garages, right?
Sean: You know, [inaudible 00:51:19] parking garage, or is it shopping malls.
Craig: I don’t train on parking garage, you keep bringing that up.
Sean: Other places where they don’t yet have signs that say, “Don’t do Parkour,” because really what are you saying when you put the … What kind of symbol is that? Like don’t use your limbs?
Craig: Don’t walk like an Egyptian, right?
Sean: Are we going to hand out rascal scooters to get back to your car?
Sean: Thanks to Parkour, yeah, we thought we were like breaking the system, but now it’s … we’re just probably going to have a backlash, and make it worse for everyone. Sorry. Sorry, I just like climbing things, and jumping off of them. I had no idea it would …
Craig: Where this was all going.
Sean: Shove us further [crosstalk 00:51:55] tourism, and screen-based living.
Craig: So how do you really feel about the whole … You don’t want to unpack your Fortress of Solitude plan anymore or …
Sean: So my goal with my own training now is to, one, longevity is … I’m 37 now, and my training has to, A. Sustain my best movements, my most fun, dynamic movements, while B. Allowing me to either preserve or expand my … what I continue to call my middle range activity. I don’t expect to be doing 10 foot rail pre’s forever, but I do expect to do seven foot rail pre’s almost forever.
Craig: Yeah, at least ’til 50, and then we’ll take a foot off, yeah.
Sean: But the problem with that rehabilitation’s boring. There is a certain amount of that, that’s just going to have to be, and as a physiologist I do still get kind of excited by what I can feel happening when I just like squeeze a pillow between my leg. I’m like, “Oh, that’s a weird growing imbalance I wasn’t aware,” but not everyone’s going to get to that level. So what I have to, and I’m not at that level most days, most days I just am getting through it, is there a way that I can combine it with all the silly fun goofy stuff that I like to do that aides both?
Sean: Yeah, can I rehab while breakdancing? Can I rehab doing Parkour? So my whole mindset is like how I can do this in the healthiest way possible? Can I still do back handsprings in a way that is sustainable into my 50s? Well, sure, if you, A. Constrain the amount of time you’re doing back handsprings, and B. every time you do one you’re completely honest about how it feels. If I do one, and it kind of hurts, A. Where does it hurt? B. Did it hurt because of a technical problem? C. Can I fix that within the next two or three handsprings to make it a sustainable handspring? And if I can’t then I’d work on something else today, just the maturity that comes with having developed dynamic movement, but now viewing it as less a game of progression, and more of a game of conservation, and seeing the ability to just do that is your gift. Because if you can sustain enough power to do a back handspring you can sustain enough power and mobility, and health to do damn near anything.
Craig: The laundry monster is trivial, right?
Sean: Right, so I use certain calisthenics, and acrobatic in Parkour movements, that was my benchmark to health, and less about my … there’s less goal-setting.
Craig: Yeah, I can say, I was going to interrupt and say personal quest for success, but like now you’re up on plane and loving life, and I would like to have that continue happening.
Sean: Yeah. So, yeah, like I don’t like doing pistol squats for example, but if I can do one then I know that I can do all these other movements. If I do my warm-up, and I can’t do a pistol squat, if there’s a weird tweak or if there’s some minor thing in some other part, like I’ll derail the whole workout, and just roll a ball into my calf for 20, 30 minutes first, then go back to it, and if I still don’t have it that’s not my day.
Sean: But I still use the most fun, interesting, powerful movements as my guide towards rehab, and that’s my main area of focus as I get older, but it also allows me to keep learning.
Craig: Yeah, rehab is like … I want to say rehab is the wrong word, it’s almost like the … it’s not prehab, it’s just like [crosstalk 00:55:44].
Sean: Prehab is good though.
Craig: Yeah, living in … but even … prehab, yeah, prehab kind of means you’re preparing, but anyway it just feels to me like [crosstalk 00:55:50]-
Sean: It just means you’re fixing the injury before you got hurt.
Sean: That’s smart.
Craig: Yes, good point. I’m sure I should do that. That’s good. So I was thinking for rehab, I think there is a piece, and I’m going to go out like thinking out loud here on recording. I think there’s a piece missing, and I don’t know if this is because all the people that I trained, who were the coaches that trained me were younger than me, but I always feel like there’s this piece missing where there is a love of Parkour that’s communicated. There’s a skillset, there’s like all that stuff is there. I’m not knocking the coaches, but there’s always been this thing where I always felt like I’m trying to actually accomplish something different than what … and I’m like, “Duh, Craig, you’re 20 years older than the coaches,” but I don’t know what the name for it is. You’re talking about it but you’re also calling it rehab, and I’m like, “Yeah, it’s not rehab.” It’s, well, I want to say something like it’s living, it’s day to day movement, but it really is. It’s this-
Sean: But it is.
Craig: But I feel like there should be a word for that, like we have a word for rehab, we have a word for progression. We all know what rehab is for. We know what prehab is for. We know what progressions are for, and then there’s something else, which is like this Parkour and daily life thing that doesn’t really have a name, which kind of makes it a second-class citizen. I don’t know, I’m rambling, just picking up-
Sean: I call it maintenance.
Craig: Yeah, but maintenance is also like [crosstalk 00:56:57], that’s what we do when somebody has to clean the gunk out of the dryer vent, that’s also maintenance. I’m like, “Yeah, it’s not maintenance,” but I mean, yeah, it’s maintenance, but I feel like we should have name that’s cooler than what they are. They stole all the cool names, we need a cooler name.
Sean: I know, there was a gap there, my marketing-minded friends.
Craig: Marketing-minded listeners, yeah, cool.
Sean: For making rehab fun, but it’s true, I mean one of the easiest ways is to tie some bigger goal to it.
Sean: But then you still have to do the rehab movement. So getting back to the PK Silver study, like that was, that entire study was almost a practice in making rehab fun. Because half the curriculum consisted of standing around, sitting properly, standing properly, like, well, how is that fun?
Sean: Well, what if getting in and out of your car was like a nine-step process, which was part of a larger context [crosstalk 00:57:46] like being on a heist.
Craig: Ninja sounds! Wahhhh!
Sean: It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to give you a fake bag of jewels, you’re going to tuck it in your arm. You’re going to grab on to the human or you’re going to grab on to the little strap inside your car. You’re going to squat. You’re going to spin. You’re going to place it in your … you’re going to place the jewels in the passenger side bag. You’re going to strap on your seatbelt. You’re going to turn the key, and if you make a sound doing it-
Craig: You’re busted, right?
Sean: You have to do it again, and again, and again, and again. I didn’t get to see this, but we actually had days where we would practice car heists.
Craig: I was going to say you didn’t just make that up on the fly. That was a whole visual [crosstalk 00:58:27].
Sean: No, that was like week seven. That was in the curriculum.
Craig: there’s a movie about that
Sean: For today’s obstacle adventure we’re going to get in and out of the car super cool, because we just stole something and we have to do it perfectly. So you can use the, I guess you could use the same hooks that we used to get … because what [crosstalk 00:58:49]. The question like, “Okay, Parkour, fun, cool, but what is good for? Running from the cops, ha-ha-ha-ha.” It’s like, “Wow, there’s actually … there’s something in there that can be used to attract almost anyone or make the simple movements fun.” It’s like, “Yeah, we are on a heist.”
Sean: Heists aren’t all flash and dash, there’s a lot of planning that goes into this, especially if you trip and fall face first into your car after you’ve completed the heist. Everything has to be perfect from A to B. It’s not over until you’ve gotten out of your car, and you’re on your safe house counting your money.
Craig: So I say many times that I love to collect stories because hearing what stories people choose to share, and then of course how they tell the story that gives you a real good insight into what they’re passionate about, and the type of person they are. We’ve actually kind of have been telling stories the entire time here, but I’m wondering if there’s a particular story that you would like to share with us?
Sean: So I was Nepal, and we were, this was after the track, we’d done the whole, “Oh, the Himalayas are so tall,” and we were on our way down, and we stopped in this town Jomsom for a day, just to walk around. I was just walking the streets, watching people do what they do, and I saw this guy bring out a goat on his front stoop, and I looked it’s a butcher shop. I’m thinking to myself, “Is this dude going to slaughter this goat, like right here, right now?” I wish I had pop corn, you know. So I sat down across the street, and I’m like, “Oh, my God, he’s going to do it. How is this dude going to do it?” It was awesome. It was so systematic.
Sean: There was not a single wasted motion, he walked the goat, and the goat didn’t waste any movement either, it’s like he knew it, he was ready. He just walked out, pat him on the butt, sat him down, put out like three different sized buckets, hung up a big, I don’t know what you would call it, but like a lattice work, but hung it vertically on the outside of the shop. Put on his apron, whipped out his cookery, which is like the national weapon in Nepal, it’s this really cool-looking curved, like buck knife, and they use it for everything. The military uses it, chefs use it, there’s just cookeries everywhere, and brings the goat over, sits down, pats him a couple times, slits his throat.
Sean: Then over the next 10 minutes separates this goat into like a soup, into chunks, into cuts, and steaks, and skins it, and hangs it up like a blanket, wipes his knife off, takes his apron off, sticks his cookery back in his hip, and takes everything inside. It happened like lightning fast. Obviously this dude has cookeried a goat or two in his day, maybe 2000, and when he went back inside like I was just jaw-dropped by just watching it the whole time. One of the first thoughts that came to me was, “That was so Parkour,” and I didn’t even know what I meant by it. But it was mostly about the efficiency and the path that he took from A to B, which was walk goat out as a goat. Walk goat back in as sustenance and a blanket and comfort and all these things I needed, utility, strong, efficient, utility from A to B, and perfect.
Sean: I felt really inadequate after watching that. I was like, I just jumped around, this dude, this dude can Parkour. Wow. So then I had a Kombucha to just go and think about it for a while.
Craig: Of course the final question, three words to describe your practice.
Sean: Play good forever.
Craig: Thanks very much, Sean. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.
Sean: I don’t encourage bad grammar, it just sounds better. Thank you, Craig.
Craig: This was episode 51. For more information go to moversmindset.com/51. There is more to the Movers Mindset Project than just this podcast, visit our website for more free content, to sign-up for our newsletter or to read about how you can support this project, and I’ll leave you with a final though from Collin Wright, “You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do, act accordingly.” Thanks for listening.