On training methodology

Craig: I don’t normally [00:02:30] share my stories on the podcast but I’m gonna let this one in. There was a thing, which we affectionately call the Williamsburg Bridge QM Challenge and when we got up at the ‘O dark thirty hour to leave for that, you were asleep on the floor and had absolutely no interest in joining us.

Elet: None. None.

Craig: Up until that moment, I had always thought that maybe you were this gung-ho accepter of challenges and now I’m realizing you have a very particular way that you approach things and I’m wondering if you could [00:03:00] unpack a little about your personal training methodology and how you approach thinking about training.

Elet: I guess this is gonna be a little bit of the parkour origin story. It’s gonna have to cross that road. As dumb as that gets in interviews, as often as it’s done in interviews.

I ran into parkour first through a military fitness forum. I got into it through the idea of using it to complete obstacles and complete goals, complete missions, [00:03:30] that type of challenge. As my interest in it grew, I got a different idea of it and as I grew, I was really researching into the ideas surrounding physical education through peek athleticism. I became a personal trainer at the age of 19. I went to school to study physical education as a pre-athletic training degree. I was really, really interested in understanding [00:04:00] how we react to challenge biologically and physiologically.

There’s also sports psychology, there’s all of that. These are kind of the things that the scientific communities that surround our talk of embracing challenge is these are the things that happen. We have the subjective experience, which is our embracing of challenge and then we have the objective result, what happens to you. Getting up that early and QMing that far [00:04:30] and knowing what that’s gonna do to my body and the subjective experience of the rest of that day and understanding where I want to go with my training, it just doesn’t take me there.

You talked about earlier that people would describe me as intense or driven and it’s like, absolutely sometimes if it’s something, frankly, I give a shit about. If I don’t, if it’s not inline with my goal because I have specific set goals, then it’s not a thing that I’m gonna spend [00:05:00] the energy on. We have a finite amount of energy, we all do. We have-

Craig: Finite time.

Elet: Yeah. If I want to spend my time training for the enjoyment of my subjective experience, I’m not gonna take myself out there and do that. Whereas, if it was a long hike in the woods that I go all day without food and water, sure, I’d love that but to go crawl around on the cement in the city in the rain, it just wasn’t where I was that day. That’s not to say that another day I wouldn’t be down to do it, it was just that day and it changes every day.

Yeah, I have [00:05:30] a particular idea of where I want to go with my training and I’ve done enough studying and research to be able to understand the progressive steps that will get me there.

Craig: I think there’s an old children’s story about the city mouse versus the country mouse and it occurs to me that the difference between the quadrupedal challenge across the Williamsburg Bridge versus an all day walk in the woods with no food or water, that’s a perfect example of the difference in the two and I’m wondering why you’re drawn to one versus the other and what iS the value difference that you see [00:06:00] in those two approaches.

Elet: I think that’s a really interesting thing and one that has kind of always separated my practice from a lot of other people’s is most of what I do is out in nature. Not necessarily in the ‘Evolve. Move. Play‘, Rafe Kelley, MoveNat, Erwan Le Corre type but it’s just where I am. If we’re looking at parkour as an answer to challenges or puzzles or things that we put in our way [00:06:30] then the challenges in front of me exist here and they’re the ones I enjoy.

Also, when it really gets down to it, what’s the point of all of it? It’s because we enjoy it. This is just happens to be what it enjoy. It could be history, it could be predisposition. It could just be what I’m used to. When I’m in the city, I’m not enjoying myself most of the time. When I’m in the country, I’m enjoying myself. When I go on a long duration [00:07:00] challenge like that, I end up having way more fun in the woods and when I come home, the feeling that I have is very different than after a day in the city.

The big part about that too, is when you’re on the flat ground, when you’re on the concrete, there begins the idea of repetition. When you’re in the woods, there is no repetition. No step is the same.

Craig: Trail running versus path running.

Elet: Yeah and I don’t pound pavement, man, I don’t road run. I never did, I never grew up doing that. I hate it. It’s [00:07:30] mind numbing to me.

For me, being outside is in and of itself rewarding. When I do my practice, when I practice my parkour outside it’s doubly rewarding. I’m interacting with — I’ll make a little value statement here — where we should be and where we are made to be. Where our 10 fingers and toes and big monkey brains evolved and that is fulfilling in and of itself but then also I’m getting stronger, also I’m flexing mental [00:08:00] muscles solving problems.

When I’m constantly stimulated in that sense and not overstimulated. I’m a very auditory person and man, if we’re gonna go QM across a bridge, I’m gonna be hearing trucks and cars the entire time, I’m gonna be hearing other people, I’m gonna be rubbing my hands in their shoe gunk on the ground. That’s not my understanding of a good time and not to take away from anybody’s whose is. We are all here pursuing our own idea and that’s great for you. It’s just not me.