Three Words to Describe Your Practice

Craig: And of course, the final question is three words to describe your practice.

Sandro: So that three words in Swiss-German would be Kraft, Nachhaltigkeit, Autonomie. So that will be strength, be strong, [00:27:30] sustainability, and autonomy. So there’s basically a story behind it. If you don’t mind sharing-

Craig: I mean yeah, it has to be shorter than 23 hours. Let’s do that.

Sandro: So basically the “be strong” was really the thing I had in the beginning when I started parkour because I was always like the thin guy. [00:28:00] Really not able to do anything except running.

Craig: I don’t believe that, but okay.

Sandro: Yeah, it was. It was. And so that was quite a big topic when I saw parkour guys doing that stuff first in YouTube videos. When I watched all the YouTube videos, I saw basically very strong guys being [00:28:30] able to do things I was sure I was not able to do at any time. So I got started into it. And as I got started, and as I got further with doing parkour and doing all the stuff, strength went always a little bit more into the background.

Craig: Okay.

Sandro: For me still, it’s strength or to be strong is still a thing, [00:29:00] but not only physically, but also mentally. But it’s more strength or to be strong to be useful, to help other peoples, and not only with the background of physically helping people, but mentally be aware of other peoples. And that they have different backgrounds and that you might help them with being open, with an open mindset and being tolerant. So that’s basically the story about being strong. [00:29:30]

Sandro: And the second one, sustainability, is something I really admire people who are getting older who still deal with being able to move a lot. Maybe to say two persons I admire for that, it’s Ramon Siegenthaler, from Switzerland from ParkourONE. [00:30:00] And also Chau Belle, we had a workshop with him once. And especially or of course, also Sebastien Foucan, and the other founders. But I didn’t meet the other founders, so I cannot tell about them. But yeah, it was the ones I experience, and it’s really admiring how they still move in such good ways. And I think that’s something I want to keep for myself as well, [00:30:30] that I can be able as well in 50 years, maybe not to do so big moves, but to move as a person and to give that on to other people. And I don’t want to end up staying in the house and don’t move anymore at all. I think that’s quite a basic fear I have, being old and not being able to move anymore. [00:31:00] And so I don’t want to have that.

Sandro: And the last one, autonomy, is basically it came as the last part, or it came quite lately. And it’s something I want to share with my students especially. To be autonomous in their own practice. And also to think autonomous and critically, [00:31:30] not only of the practice, or of parkour or what we’re doing at class. But also doing or thinking critical and autonomous in life, when they’re acting-

Craig: -translating it.

Sandro: Yeah, when they’re acting in their life. That’s basically very important for me that my students don’t just look up to me, “Oh, that’s the teacher [00:32:00] saying these very important things.” But that they think of, “Oh, what is he saying?”

Craig: Right.

Sandro: “And does that work for me as well? And can I apply to this?” And I also always, or I try to remember them often that I think critically also about my lessons. And that I think about their feedback when they [00:32:30] are in my lessons. So that’s basically the one thing I want to give on to other people. Or to share with other people, that they start to think critically, and don’t just believe in things that are ….

Craig: Handed to them blindly, right?

Sandro: Exactly.

Craig: Well thank you very much, Sandro. It is a pleasure to talk to you today.

Sandro: Thank you, Craig. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Speaker 1: Want more? Check out moversmindset.com/insiders for a bunch of additional features. This was episode 19. For the show notes and full transcript, go to moversmindset.com/19, thanks for listening.

018 – Interview with Sebastien Foucan (part 2 of 3)

WAIT! If you want to read the entire transcript as you listen, GO TO THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT FIRST and then start the media player from there.

Episode Summary

Sebastien Foucan and Craig continue their conversation in the second part of Sebastien’s three part interview. In this episode, Sebastien discusses how he trains, how he coaches, and how he prepares for his roles in various movies and films. Craig and Sebastien also discuss the influence genetics and natural skill has on the success of a person in their sport.

References

For more exclusive content see:

Introduction

Craig: [00:25] This podcast is longer than our normal ones, so this is part 2 and if you missed the first part stop, go listen to that. Both of these parts you’re going to find a few French phrases and words thrown in here and Sebastian’s accent, so I encourage you to go and look at the full transcript while you’re listening it’ll make things much easier. Anyway, thank you Seb.

Sebastien: [00:47] Thank you, thank you to have me here.

Craig: [00:49] What did you want to say about the body? Do you want to talk about physical training

Sebastien: [00:52] Yeah, yeah

Craig: [00:52] Do you want to talk about … oh, all right

How Sebastien Trains

Sebastien: [00:54] So, I’m gonna talk to you about traditional sport.

Craig: [00:58] Yeah, I was gonna say, what questions to get all the time? I bet people ask you all the time “what do I have to do or eat to look like you” or “how do you do your physical training”?

Sebastien: [01:05] Yeah, just to show people how I evolve, because I think a few days ago I did the live talk and everything and I talk about the difference between … and I always say that I make a clear difference between training and practice and I explain a lot about my practice, you know, this is how I do, waving, and I flow, and everything but I do train also. And I failed to explain people what is my training when I train. So let me try to explain that, okay, because I think you would answer to a lot of people so how do you stay fit or whatever.

Sebastien: [01:38] Being always in motion keep you fit and healthy. And if you don’t push too much that’s good, it’s good for you. But if I got something like a project, a very important project, now here is what training is for me. First of all training is very specific. For me it’s like, it’s always related to what I’m going to do. I cannot just …

Craig: [02:00] Like the actual goal.

Sebastien: [02:00] Yeah, yeah, so it’s specific. So I cannot do a training like everyone. ‘Cause if my project is acting I have to think about acting. I did Dancing On Ice, “You’re going to be on ice Seb, you’re going to skate.” So it’s not the same like, “Now you’re going parkour.” Or, “Now you’re going to climb the Mount Everest.” Every training is specific. If I’m going to do scuba diving I need to train for scuba diving. That’s the starting point for everything. Or, for me for everything. Then after specific, then after I’ve got a goal what I try to achieve. That’s how I train first. I didn’t say the contents, I always say the foundation. Like this is how we started.

Craig: [02:44] Right.

Sebastien: [02:44] Without the specificity, without the goal I sort of point along the way of your journey when you become hard, you’re gonna stop, or say, “I don’t know why I’m doing this.” No, this has to be….

Craig: [02:57] Targeted and clear

Sebastien: [02:57] Very clear. Take an example, Mike Tyson and Cus D’Amato. You know this, boxing? Cus D’Amato. By circumstances discovered, not him but someone discovered Mike Tyson, told Mike Tyson to go to see this guy, which was Cus D’Amato. Cus D’Amato of course he had two world champions before. He saw Mike Tyson and he sees a diamond inside the rock. And he said, “I’m gonna make this guy…” He told him, “You’re gonna be the youngest champion in the world.” How does he know that? Training. ‘Cause I’ve got knowledge of training.

Sebastien: [03:31] But it doesn’t stop by … Okay, like he said and you can … people can find it on YouTube, that’s what I do. Explore, I do. I don’t teach people … I don’t start to teach them, or show them a move until I get to the core of them. Once I know what they’re made of then I start the programmation. We can talk about NLP. That’s why for me say, each time someone say something, I’ve got always a books next to me, and I write it down straight away. If you say something like, R.R.T. or something like that I say, “What is that? What did he say?” It was hard for me because english was not my first language, so I tried to listen again and again and again. So I write it down, and then later on I dig into that.

Sebastien: [04:19] So go back to training, the goal, specificity. And then after I go to my training, but I have to learn to do something completely different from what has been done. Like, for example, the winnow bar push ups, winnow bar pull ups. That’s traditional, but I do parkour so it’s different. When I train everything I do is with parkour. Everything else is just … you can see one day me doing pull ups, or push ups, but you see it’s just because I’m joking around, I’m having fun. It’s not an exercise. I think yesterday I saw in a gym they had a challenge of pull ups. They have to do 26. I didn’t take part of it. It was a challenge it was fun for them, I don’t take part of that. Because for me it’s not my training, it’s not fun. I don’t judge them, but it’s not my thing.

Sebastien: [05:11] So for me, it’s literally based on what I’m going to do. So when I did James Bond, I didn’t do the same like when I was working for Madonna. For Madonna, I didn’t train because I was trained with after James Bond. However, when I was doing Dancing On Ice I did no parkour. I immersed myself completely …

Craig: [05:31] Learning to skate as an actor.

Sebastien: [05:32] Exactly. Exactly to become like … to understand the concept of edge, inside edge, outside edge. I asked so many questions. I learn a lot about who was the Michael Jordan of skating. I got plenty of information. So I was doing this, and I didn’t do any parkour for all this time, and I was able to skate after.

Sebastien: [05:54] But I train, so wake up early, sacrifice we talk about this. What are you going to eat. Because you know like … especially with parkour too much fat, if you’re jumping, you’re going to hurt your joints. That’s it. It keep me warm, but however, be careful for your joint and be careful for your … so you see, you set up kind of a stuff, so it’s between like, “Okay, I need to work on my cardio, I need to work on my physical aspect. Then the technical aspect.” And there is the mental aspect. That’s pretty much like when you start to train. So I say, “Okay.” And there is the food. I need to think about the food, that’s another thing. And I didn’t talk about the move, because the move get into the technical aspect. When you do training there is a … we call it PPG. PPG. Préparation Physique Général. It’s like general, physical preparation. Then you go to specific preparation. That you’re already kind of how your trainings going to be. Makes sense?

Craig: [06:59] Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sebastien: [06:59] Everyone’s following me on this one? You’ve got the goal, we know it’s specific. That’s very important because then you’re going to set a…

Craig: [07:04] How can I set that third part, right

Sebastien: [07:04] Then you got a calendar. Without the calendar … parkour they’ve got no calendar, we do this for all years and there was no calendar. There was no deadline, there was no … That’s why training is very hard, because for coach, such an achievement to have this person on the D-Day …

Craig: [07:22] Here’s your particular day

Sebastien: [07:24] To prepare for much higher performance right now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, right now. It has to be calibrate. That’s what I do. Someone say, “Okay, we’re gonna do this for three months, Seb.” Oh my god. Three months? Three months of what? That’s specific. Three months, it’s gonna be dark, it’s gonna be minus 20. It take a lot of stuff and consideration.

Sebastien: [07:51] That’s why I talk training. Training is last first. Before, yeah I’m repeating and I push myself hard and … No, no, no. Hold on, hold on, hold on. General preparation, maybe go to the cold get you used to that. You can write it down, you can be very creative with that. And then after you go to specific but more geneal for specificity, and so on and so on.

Sebastien: [08:12] So if it’s parkour or for me cardio, what I do, I play … I talk about the game. My three games. I play tag, I play zombie, and everything because that’s what I call sparring. An energy with sport, because I know boxing and I know the martial art and everything. That’s where I take this from. Because for me it’s very easy to remember, as spar. And inside that I can spoke hours just about sparring, because there is … every game has a specificity. And inside every game there is so much you can learn. Someone can do only sparring, and I think that’s a martial art branch of parkour, which haven’t been tap into it yet, ’cause now we start to have World Chase Tag. But the World Chase Tag is very good, I’ve done it. Because as I say I cannot talk about something if I haven’t done it.

Sebastien: [08:59] That’s why they say why does Ninja Warrior? Because there is the child inside me wanted to do it, but the value inside me say, “Yeah but, is that competition?” Once I answer that … I answer that because see it’s me versus the environment, and I still want to know if I can still do it. It’s like in martial art, the guy’s got black belt pretending that he’s super good but could you really go into the cage and stand up? I understand that, for me say, “Can I still move?” That’s why I did Ninja Warrior, that’s why I do World Chase Tag. They don’t care I’m a founder of something, they have to tag me, they’re gonna tag me.

Sebastien: [09:33] It goes deep, I can go now and just talk about sparring, and sparring bring me far, I need to stop. Okay let’s go back to the training, how do you train? For cardio, sparring is the best. That’s it.

Craig: [09:49] I’m just gonna say, you haven’t lived until you’ve played tag with Sebastien. It’s hard.

Sebastien: [09:55] Sparring is the best. “Seb, how you keep fit?” First of all still I’m still realistic. But my practice is pretty accurate. I don’t care about turning and spinning. Doing tricks and flips. For me in term of … because I’m educated in energy, sparring help me for my cardio, and my cardio is what I need. I’m not debating with anyone, I didn’t say flipping … because I can do back flips that’s where you learn somewhere. I don’t want to go that far, because everything you learn open the door for more, and more and more. And for me I know that. And as I say with energy …

Craig: [10:32] Time is limited.

Sebastien: [10:33] Yeah, and I say time is limited. And I say, if you know your energy where do you want to spend it. I want to spend it in sparring, because it’s linked with my cardio, and because I don’t like to run around all the time and everything. I use the same things like the kids are doing, they play tag, and the same thing as the animal is doing, they play. They play. That’s what I do.

Sebastien: [10:59] If we go physical, which discipline is really well rounded, very functional and everything? It’s parkour. So for me all I do is parkour. So I do what I call trekking, randonnée. You can do it by yourself. So that’s me now, nobody follow you. You go from one point to another point. The environment will teach you, give you the obstacle and the challenge, and you just go through that. And because you climb, you jump, you roll, you swing, my god if you do that for months, just watch your body. You know the sequence where … the scene with Peter Parker in Spider-man, you know he get a …

Craig: [11:41] Bit.

Sebastien: [11:41] Bit by the spider, and then he just wake up in the morning and look at his body like completely changed.

Craig: [11:46] What happened?

Sebastien: [11:46] That’s what parkour does if you just do it simply. Without performing, just keep on doing. You will see your shape, your body’s changing because we’ve got this things to adapt ourself in ourself, so that’s it. Then that’s why I say, “What do you do Seb, for it?” I’m trekking. That’s my training guys. That’s what I do. I spar, I trek. You come to my academy you will see.

Sebastien: [12:11] I don’t say it to my children, student. Nobody talk too much about that. It’s obvious, it’s just right in front. We start trekking nice and easy. Trekking is fantastic way to communicate to transmit knowledge and everything. Also, it teach you everything you need to know. And you can go to all the functionality, you can do tic-tac, wall run, all the technique without even naming them. And then you got the technique and the technique is right there. The technicality. And the technicality is not about what they call double-kong, even if it’s still technicality. I’m talking about the footwork, the handwork, the coordination. In basketball, they’re gonna call it hand-eye coordination, we’ve got foot-eye coordination. That’s why I say, I’m so annoyed when people talk to me about … even like when they talk about the problem with the …

Sebastien: [13:00] Even like it’s there ’cause they talk about the problem with the federation and the taking over, we talk about FIG and everything.

Craig: [13:06] Right.

Coaching and Genetics

Sebastien: [13:07] I want to talk about the coaching. I want to talk about do we have more … does anyone come up with a new idea, new game, new stuff for foot eye coordination?

Craig: [13:18] Right.

Sebastien: [13:18] How much we can push the … be more specific. That’s where I am. Okay. That’s why we didn’t talk.

Sebastien: [13:26] This idea of a simple move. Okay. Like cat pass for example, or kong they call it. They shouldn’t call it kong but, anyway. Okay. It is the way it is. Then to cat pass to precision. For those that don’t know it’s like you, I don’t know how to describe that but, cat pass to precision which now is … it bring you two things. Also, when you do cat pass to precision often if it’s not a bar if it’s a wall there is this notion of blind jump. You have to run and jump into this. There is all this stuff that happens with the brain and the visualization and everything. All this stuff is really interesting. Okay. That’s what I’m talking, this is real technique. Now we get into the-

Craig: [14:05] We would say the minutia, the little tiny details.

Sebastien: [14:07] Yeah, for me it’s really cool. Then you got the mental aspect. ‘Kay. Some people it’s like … some people are willing to take risks and some people don’t. Then also we talk about fear. Also, fear is in motion. I didn’t have the same fear, for example when I was, let me see … where my fear was the last was … I would say was around Angry Chicken. That’s where I literally discovered I’ve got potential. None of my friend taught me because everyone want to say, “Okay, I won’t tell him everything because I want to be good.”

Sebastien: [14:42] At this time I knew I had potential because I also I say Angry Chicken won Lion d’Or, prize for that.

Craig: [14:49] The gold lion is right.

Sebastien: [14:50] Yeah. For me it’s like, yeah, if you got prize for something you’ve done it’s you. Along the way I thought to rely that. Maybe we can talk later on about this idea of denial or something like that. Okay. It’s something dear to me, very important. That’s it. You start to realize even they don’t give you the prize in your hand, now you start to understand what you’ve got. At this time I’ve got less fear. Still, because I was with now my wife but, which was my girlfriend at this time … don’t let me think. I didn’t say anything cause Angry Chicken was in … well, when was it 2003? Sorry. I think it was 2003. I just had my daughter, my first daughter 2003.

Sebastien: [15:42] I think it’s interesting when you’ve got a baby your motivation, everything raise a level up. By same time, later on, very soon you start to have this responsibility things and you start to be careful of yourself. You don’t want to let the person that is with you by themself.

Craig: [16:00] Right.

Sebastien: [16:00] You know what I mean?

Craig: [16:01] Yeah.

Sebastien: [16:02] That’s where fear start kick in. It’s okay, now. Don’t take that much risks or something like that. Even I wasn’t a risk taker but, it affect your performance. That’s why I wanna talking about this mental aspect. I say, “Okay, how do I train myself? How do I prepare myself for that?”

Sebastien: [16:19] That’s why I do what I call LLP, a sort of motivation. I record my self, video of myself with positive reinforcement like Muhammad Ali did, ” I’m the greatest in the world.”

Sebastien: [16:32] See, I’ve got video when I say that. “I’m the best.” It’s personal. It’s my stuff.

Sebastien: [16:37] Bruce Lee had something like that. Kind of PNL when he say, “Hi, Bruce Lee will be the highest paid martial art … ” I do it for-

Craig: [16:45] Right.

Sebastien: [16:52] … this you see. In the … he say exactly the date when he’s gonna be, he’s gonna have $1 million or something like that.

Craig: [16:52] Right, he was very specific about his goals. NLP is neuro linguistic programming and then you said PNL is just the-

Sebastien: [16:58] Yeah.

Craig: [16:58] … French.

Sebastien: [16:58] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Craig: [16:58] Turned in French-

Sebastien: [16:59] NLP

Craig: [16:59] … is the-

Sebastien: [16:59] Yeah. NLP.

Craig: [17:05] … order is different. Can you unpack a little bit. How did you first discover NLP and …

Sebastien: [17:06] Basically, I didn’t discover it. It’s through, it’s afterward. I started because I knew I’d lack of … basically, for me I start to understand I call it MPT, okay? It’s why I do when I do coaching. It’s like there is the mental- m, p- physical, t- technical. I kind of … I’m very into … I try to find the cause of my ignorance. For me it’s a lot about time table and stuff like that to really understand. For me I start to make a graphic just for me. This is stuff I never share. This is the first time ever I shared this stuff.

Sebastien: [17:39] I make this and for me it’s like, “Okay, it term of percentage, where I am?” Physically I think based on my DNA and everything, you’re 90%t kind or an 80% something like that. Like 80 to …

Craig: [17:54] Yeah, total person.

Sebastien: [17:55] Technically where are you? It was like kind of technically because we’re old school. The old school guy we are not that technique, compared to now we were just like okay we do a drop jump and I do a big arm jump and-

Craig: [18:05] Right.

Sebastien: [18:25] … big, big, big. That’s it. It wasn’t as technical on that. Technically I was maybe 30/40 is what I say. Mentally I would say I was 10%. You see that’s what I was. Once I draw that, you see. It’s rough for you.

Craig: [18:26] Right, right.

Sebastien: [18:27] That’s my feeling. That’s how and it was pretty correct when I said this exactly. Then I knew say, “Ah.” Then my training change. Why do I have to train physically when I’m gifted physically?

Craig: [18:36] Yeah, I’m already so far ahead.

Sebastien: [18:38] You see.

Craig: [18:38] Diminishing returns

Sebastien: [18:38] You know what I mean. I can sit practice a cardio. Cardio is important. I was young. Flexibility, I’ve got natural flexibility. I’ve got quick, quick fiber.

Craig: [18:48] Right.

Sebastien: [18:48] I’m very explosive. I’ve got all this stuff, already. That’s why it’s so they discover my brother and my brother did the Olympic. He trained, okay but, he’s got the potential based on the family.

Craig: [19:01] Genetics, right.

Sebastien: [19:01] Genetics, ‘kay. That’s something I can talk about, this because I always talk about how people think, “Yeah, we can train. We’re all the same.” No, we’re not all the same. I’m so sorry guys.

Craig: [19:09] Yeah, right.

Sebastien: [19:10] I’m gonna [crosstalk 00:19:10]-

Craig: [19:10] There’s different potential.

Sebastien: [19:13] … I did it. I call it nemotechnique. You know nemotechnique?

Craig: [19:14] Nemo?

Sebastien: [19:16] It’s like sometimes you use sometimes to remember.

Craig: [19:19] Oh, a mnemonic?

Sebastien: [19:21] Mnemonic, ah, okay. Sorry.

Craig: [19:21] Mnemonic

Sebastien: [19:22] Sorry.

Craig: [19:23] No, it’s fine.

Sebastien: [19:23] Mnemonic, okay. I’m gonna say that because it’s like that, it’s fun my stuff. I say it’s a sentence it means nothing in French but, it’s mean … I see how to, where is it written? “En general la choix et la condition prime toujours sur la chance,” which mean nothing, right? Okay. In general, hold on I’m gonna say it in English.

Craig: [19:43] Nothing ’cause my French is horrible. Yes.

Sebastien: [19:45] In general, okay, the choice and the condition … prim… is like goes before-

Craig: [19:53] Primary, goes before.

Sebastien: [20:01] … primary, prim, always before luck. That’s, okay. Now we’re gonna explain why.

Craig: [20:01] Always take precedence to luck or always primary to luck, right?

Sebastien: [20:04] For me it’s the [inaudible 00:20:05] factor to say this is why not everyone will be a champion. My answer is because, “En general la choix et la condition prime toujours sur la chance.” It’s a … how do you say it?

Craig: [20:18] Mnemonic.

Sebastien: [20:18] Mnemonic, sorry, mnemonics.

Craig: [20:20] Don’t be shy.

Sebastien: [20:21] I’m learning.

Craig: [20:21] I’m happy we’re doing this in English.

Sebastien: [20:27] “en general” – E-N means ENtourage. Okay. “General”, is G-E so it’s for GEnetic. Okay. Then the choice is literally the choice and the condition is literally the condition. Okay. Primary I took it for pyramid, see. You see?

Craig: [20:48] Oh, okay. Okay

Sebastien: [20:49] Just for pyramid it helped me. Okay. After always “sur la chance” on luck so, luck is right there. There is entourage that’s why you will not everyone is gonna be a champion because you need to have a good entourage, like Michael Jordan had a good entourage.

Craig: [21:08] Right.

Sebastien: [21:08] Or [inaudible 00:21:09] had a good entourage. Mike Tyson has a good entourage. Even he was a diamond. If he never met … ‘Cus D’Amato doesn’t happen. Then you got genetics. That’s why you can miss Cus D’Amato but if you don’t have the genetics-

Craig: [21:24] Genetics.

Sebastien: [21:25] You can meet the Michael Phelps’ trainer.

Craig: [21:29] Robert.

Sebastien: [21:29] You can see progress, won’t be like Michael Phelps. Then you’ve got a choice because I can genetically be shape to be the greatest gymnast in the world but, if I prefer to do golf-

Craig: [21:44] Right.

Sebastien: [22:03] … I miss the opportunity to become that person. That’s a choice. Then there’s the condition, “la condition”. Everything has to be well set up. ‘Kay. For example Tiger Wood when his dad set up around him a particular condition, you know like the golf-

Craig: [22:04] The club.

Sebastien: [22:12] … the club. He say like when he was young they follow, they make regularly measure him. They make sure he swing never change, technically.

Craig: [22:12] Right.

Sebastien: [22:12] They make it bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger.

Craig: [22:14] Yeah

Sebastien: [22:15] You see what they make the-

Craig: [22:16] The clubs are right.

Sebastien: [22:42] … perfect condition for him to achieve. You even have this guy I think his name was Rudy. Rudy something like that. He says like this guy was around they thought it was his friend but, no his dad bring him because for the … he thought like Tiger would need a mental reinforcement like something make sure he’s got all the edge, psychology to make sure is on top. You see, he was prepared to be that. He had qualities but, this is why not everyone is gonna be a champion.

Sebastien: [22:47] Then after you got the condition then the “pyramidal”, pyramid, prime, pyramid. In the world of competition it’s a pyramidal system. Only one person is going to be on top, only one. Also, it doesn’t … even if you got the talent, you’ve got the right entourage, I can even make sure you never get there because it’s kind of political. There’s all this stuff aspect. You didn’t expect but, I had this, this, this. No because someone make something-

Craig: [23:16] Out maneuvered you.

Sebastien: [23:22] … yeah maneuver. Still it’s such a high competition yet, at the end only one has to be there.

Sebastien: [23:23] The last one is luck. It just happened that … like Mike Tyson say why does he start to pick up on boxing. It just happened moment that he visiting prison and he came in this prison where Mike Tyson was and Mike Tyson say, “I want to take courses not about cooking-

Craig: [23:44] Knitting or cooking, right.

Sebastien: [24:10] … and stuff like that. I want to do boxing.” It just happened … that’s luck and you can find it again and again. That’s why I did this. It’s very important because for me that’s what initiate the idea of training. That’s why sometimes I say, “No, I’m not training that. That’s wasting time because I know now I probably won’t be the champion.” Why? Because I wanted to be … how do you call like in basketball the guy who’s the tallest and was like Shaquille O’Neal?

Craig: [24:12] The tallest, what do you mean?

Sebastien: [24:14] Oh, okay, I sorry. I think it’s power forward or something like … I don’t know the name. They’ve got everyone has a-

Craig: [24:19] Yeah, I don’t follow basketball, sorry.

Sebastien: [24:20] It doesn’t matter. I say it because I’m a … I almost say I’m a freerunner but, that’s … I’m an explorer. You see that’s a true name because freerunning has turned into something completely French. However, that was the original idea. Now you can see I did get to … people say, “Oh, you sort of other place.” I’m an explorer but, there is a spine there, a common-

Craig: [24:38] A thread.

Sebastien: [24:39] Yeah, yeah.

Craig: [24:39] A through line.

Sebastien: [24:40] Then basically, if I like Shaquille O’Neal and I really admire, he’s my hero and I want to play basketball no chance that I’ll be in his position. No chance because I’m five foot five. You see what I mean.

Craig: [24:56] Right.

Sebastien: [24:56] It’s like voilà . There is no point to put all my energy to pretend and to try to push people around and-

Craig: [25:03] Right.

Sebastien: [25:03] … everything.

Craig: [25:03] Genetics are missing.

Sebastien: [25:13] … because Craig you’re taller than me. Okay. For a basketball player you’re small. Okay. But for me I’m what? I’m a hobbit. You know what I mean? You know what I mean?

Craig: [25:17] Right.

Sebastien: [25:17] Let’s be realistic.

Craig: [25:18] Right.

Preparing

Sebastien: [25:19] That’s why I say, “I spend my energy wisely.” ‘Kay. I can train but, I train when the opportunity comes to me. If it comes to me because they think I fit for the role-

Craig: [25:31] Right.

Sebastien: [25:52] … then I answer to something. When I do it I know I say, “Oh, my God that’s going to be tough. I want to do it but, I’m going to do it in order to be very efficient, very … I need to do that.” As I say, “I do general preparation, then general specific preparation and then really specific preparation.” For example acting I’ve got this script has come to me and it was like I knew my character is kind of a vigilante. Okay. It’s kind of Batman kind of universe. Batman …

Sebastien: [26:00] A Batman kind of universe. Batman is at night. So I know Seb, even you do partial sequence, it’s going to be at night. So you’d better train at night, okay? So your vision and everything is appropriate. It’s a movie you have to repeat a lot. What do I have to repeat? Do I have to do big jump and everything. No. Yes there is a lot of impact. So I need to prepare my body to get back to the impact and probably it’s going to be maybe there will be no crash mats, so I need to get back into that. Which is very demanding.

Craig: [26:30] Maybe there will be crash mats.

Sebastien: [26:31] Yeah.

Craig: [26:31] That’s a whole nother problem right.

Sebastien: [26:32] Yeah. You see. So it’s very specific and then also there is this idea of usually when you’re an athlete you do a proper good warm up, okay?

Craig: [26:40] Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Sebastien: [26:40] Then after when you’re ready then you come, but in movies it doesn’t work like that. Maybe you warm, but they’re not ready. Then when you cool down they are ready. The shooting is more important. Whether you’re ready or not, get warmed up because that’s my experience and that’s what training is about. Action.

Sebastien: [27:00] It has to be very close to specificity. So general preparation is to over condition, so maybe I don’t need to do a back flip or stuff like that because it’s not written on the script.

Craig: [27:12] Right.

Sebastien: [27:12] So I have to be more general, so my spine, my abs and everything and my cardio has to be on point and everything. So I do for a certain period of time based on the calender where it is. Maybe it’s in December or something like that. I can see where I am. So maybe it’s in two years, maybe it’s in three months, so I do that. That’s … Sebastian wants me to talk about training, they think I’m gonna say no … Now okay, I explain to you how it works. Then I say “How about the food?” Maybe my character at the beginning is overweight and then he trains because he understands the ring. I can come back Like Rocky. When he started he’s a bit more fatty and after he train, train, trains and now he’s ready to fight Apollo Creed. So there is a change there. Do … Is it written in the script, yes or not? That’s just movie. But if I do “World Chase Tag”, very specific. Let’s take this example for example, I couldn’t train myself for “World Chase Tag” and for “Ninja Warrior”.

Craig: [28:09] Because they’re completely different types of activity.

Sebastien: [28:09] No, no, no, no, because of the circumstances of where I was of what happened in my life. Normally, I didn’t plan to do it. It’s just because I needed a purpose to get back on track. When I felt like, My God, I thought I was the healthiest person in the world and I did this kind of exam and they said, “Oh, my God. You’ve got high cholesterol.” I said, “Where did this come from?” See? When people can’t understanding … Like a lot of stuff, they can’t understand that they … They can’t come up with “Oh, it’s because you’re eating too much junk food.” Okay, so I stopped junk food. It was kind of, “That’s unfair, you know?”

Craig: [28:46] Yes, I was doing everything right, I thought. Right.

Sebastien: [28:47] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So they start to … Now it’s something … So, I’m going to say this they start to … I have something in my eyes, some people don’t know. One part of my eyes can’t see. That’s the first time I say this. Some of my friends know. When I look at you, if I close my left eye and I look at you with my right eye, half of your head is I can’t see. That’s because I’ve got …

Craig: [29:08] Detached retina?

Sebastien: [29:09] No, no, no, no. It’s called … So it’s there’s nothing in the front like a cataract and everything; it’s behind.

Craig: [29:16] Behind.

Sebastien: [29:16] It’s more complicated than that. They were very worried because it’s like if it was an artery, it’s like a blood clot. When I started they were very worried, so they gave me all this stuff, a battery of tests at the hospital. So, I go for tests. How I discovered that for my eyes, I discovered, because the cholesterol, because I go for test and say, “Now, I’m going to take care of myself even more.” Every year, I want to do a full checkup of my self and now I know where I am. I really thought she was going to say, “Huh, man you are healthy like, Oh my God you’ve got the body of a …”

Craig: [29:55] Strong like an Ox 20 year old, right?

Sebastien: [30:13] ” … 20 years old.” She didn’t say I was like, “Okay, hold on, could you say it again please?” So basically it kind of shook my foundation because I was kind of an ego mindset. I’m not an egotistic person but I was somewhere within there, okay? Then, it was like, “What? What are we talking about?”

Craig: [30:14] Do you know who I am? I can’t have high cholesterol.

Sebastien: [30:17] You see, you see? And then after, “What’s wrong with that?” So I need to think. That’s why I want to talk about also with training, about food. Even though I know balance with food and everything, I just realized maybe your way of food is not that good. There is something in it to think. That’s why I talk about specificity. Why people are very veganism, for people like what do they call it? Paleo. There is so many things with food, okay? But now, me I’m very conscious about that. Why? Because of what happened to me.

Sebastien: [30:49] So, I said, “Okay, now I’m going to go on a journey and start to discover what is missing, who I am and everything. But, I’m not taking part of anything.” Despite it even now, I’m not eating meat. I’m not eating fish. I’m not eating anything alive. Okay, that’s it. That’s my point. People say, “Why?” I say, “I’ve got my own reasons and that’s it, okay?” Anyone can … “I’ve got my own reasons.” I don’t have to enter … As I say, people know me. I don’t want to enter into any battle. I can be an inspiration, that’s it, but I don’t enter in any battle, okay? That’s [inaudible 00:31:20] They want to do whatever they want.

Sebastien: [31:24] Go back to the food and go by today. So for me when I had this in my eyes; I used to have my full vision and my right eye was the best. I would go like this, “It was like, Oh man, I’m demolished.” Before that, I broke my wrist. So, a good friend of mine, Brian passed away. Just like that. It was like, “Whoa. Wow. Life is short.” Day after, fall and broke my wrist. Then go to … No, that was before I did the test for a full checkup. “Yeah, you’ve got high cholesterol.” Great. High Cholesterol; friend passed away; broke my wrist and to finish, “Boom, you’ve got something in your eyes.”

Sebastien: [32:15] So, you can’t imagine now how low I was. Man, I tried to do things by the book. I really tried to be not stressful and everything. To do everything by the book and yet this thing happened.

Craig: [32:26] Yeah, it was all these things.

Sebastien: [32:30] So, I feel very defeated, but I went through that. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s still there. I mean, now I said now; but, everything I do from Ninja Warrior ending … Because you know normally they say, “You have to take these pills and everything.” I say, “No, no, no, I’m not doing that; I’m doing my own thing.” But not in a crazy way. You know like, I did all the tests. They say, “Your blood correct. They did my brain and everything.” So, I did everything, and I said, “Man, but I still can’t practice.” I was afraid, like my heart is stopped. They bring me fear. They bring me fear. So I couldn’t train. I couldn’t … Transfer, I couldn’t practice.

Craig: [33:07] That’s a good saying.

Sebastien: [33:09] I couldn’t practice because I practice every day all the time. That’ me. That’s the way I am. Like a bird in flight. This is it. I go outside oxygenation, practice. Get on a tree. Everything like that. This is my move. This is my stuff. This is up. I’ll go in here. I’m doing my tracking stuff. And now suddenly it’s, “What if I’m losing.” So my two daughters and my wife they’re here in the UK. While still struggling to make a living, I left them by themselves.

Sebastien: [33:35] No, no, no, I’m not moving anymore. I was like, super slow. I was literally walking slow. Then, I was after a few weeks, I said, “No, you can’t leave like that. No chance. Let’s go back on track.” I started to move again. I was a bit scared I have to say. Then I start to move again and move again. I say, that’s fine. They did what I call a holster. They put a holster on me. It’s kind of something to track your heart – heart beat. You have to hold it for 24 hours. So all day I have to wear it and say, “Live your life normal. Then it will record everything.”

Craig: [34:10] Did they say anything about your heart?

Sebastien: [34:11] Then, we’re going to … I said, “Okay, let’s do it.” So, trust me I did a full day, it’s not practice; it was full day training. Because I wanted to make sure because I wanted to keep moving. That whatever is going to happen I’d rather they say, “You better stop right, now.” Or they say, “We find nothing.”

Sebastien: [34:26] So I did this. They did … I moved, I did my session teaching the class. Going down into the forest, jumping all over the place. Running like crazy. Doing big sprinting and everything.

Craig: [34:36] The Cardiologist is like, “What the …”

Sebastien: [34:39] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then after I give it to them. I give it back. They watch everything. They say, “No, everything is fine. Everything is normal.” From these four months, I say, “Okay. I still have a doubt. The only way to kill this doubt was to embrace challenges.” That’s why I say, I’m going to do Ninja Warrior and I’m going to do World Chase Tag. Nobody knew when I did that.

Sebastien: [34:59] So even with my eyes I say, “Yeah, but how about your eyes? Could you keep moving?” But I knew there were people who’ve got only limbs; no arms, no legs. They can do things. People are … There are blind people. there is this …

Craig: [35:09] Right, people with disabilities participate …

Sebastien: [35:10] Yeah, yeah, they are Superhero’s. Like this guy, I think he died but he was using a clicking technique. I don’t know if you heard about this guy. He was blind, he was like bad …

Craig: [35:18] I think I did. Basically, was like acoustics, right.

Sebastien: [35:22] You see. That’s my exploring things. Makes me discover all this stuff. It helps me to grow and to be better. I don’t take it into parkour. Parkour’s got has got great things. I take it in my exploring journey. So, when I’ve got an obstacle in my life, I say I can overcome, because this guy, remember? He jumped into a swimming pool, he had no legs, no arm. Okay? Seb, Oh, man? Seb, if he can do that, come on Seb, wake up. That’s what I did. So, I did wash up after I changed. After that, I was … Now I can feel I’ve got a strength in me. It’s like something like beyond. That’s why I said, “Where does this come from? Where does this go?” It’s like, “Oh my God, the circumstance is hard on me. Everything is against me.” Then suddenly, boom, “Now you see now… See how you are … How you were before? Think you were strong? See how you are now?”

Craig: [36:15] How quickly things turn around, right?

Sebastien: [36:17] You see the certainty and everything. Yeah, I faked my life. I faked my entire life. I won’t talk about everything else. There is much more than that, but the sad from before is gone. It’s a new sad now.

Craig: [36:30] Want more? Check out: MoversMindset.com/Insiders for a bunch of additional features. This was episode 18. For the show notes and full transcript go to MoversMindest.com/18.

Craig: [36:42] Thanks for listening.

017 – Interview with Travis Tetting

WAIT! If you want to read the entire transcript as you listen, GO TO THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT FIRST and then start the media player from there.

Episode Summary

Travis Tetting joins Craig for a heartfelt discussion of his coaching journey, community, and building things from the ground up. Along the way he describes his love for his community and the rewards of coaching. Travis explains how his bond to his family and Christian faith have given him the strength to get to where he is today.

References

Guest Introduction

Craig: [00:26] Hello. I’m Craig Constantine.

Travis: [00:32] Hi. I’m Travis.

Craig: [00:33] Travis Tetting is doing everything one can possibly do, and it’s a good thing. He draws his strength from his deep Christian faith and his wife and children. He has a knack for building things from the ground up, family, community, and even parkour obstacles. Welcome, Travis.

Travis: [00:46] Hi, Craig.

The Journey to ADAPT Level 2

Craig: [00:48] Tell me about being stuck in the airport on the way to American Rendezvous.

Travis: [00:52] Yes. Yes. So original flight, I’m not gonna give any names. No names. Okay? Not gonna be a flight bias, ’cause …

Craig: [01:01] We only name the guilty.

Travis: [01:02] It was … Yeah, it was almost completely because of the weather in Boston. So we can blame Boston.

Craig: [01:07] Okay.

Travis: [01:07] That’s okay.

Craig: [01:08] Yeah.

Travis: [01:08] Yeah, we’ll point the finger at Boston. So 7:40 PM flight from Chicago, and I live in Wisconsin. So about an hour and half drive, so, I mean, you can’t just adjust and say, “Okay, I’ll stay at home.” Right? I got email when I was at home saying it was going to be delayed 15, 20 minutes. So not a big deal.

Craig: [01:25] Sucker. Right?

Travis: [01:27] Go down to the airport, maybe … I don’t know, 5:30, 6:00 I get there, check in, everything’s fine. Then, about every 15 minutes, where you hook into the airport wifi …

Craig: [01:38] Right.

Travis: [01:38] You’re sitting there, and you get a … You’re looking, also, at the screen, and it says, “Flight delayed another 15 minutes,” and ding. You see on your phone, “Oh, my flight’s delayed.” So ’til about … Maybe ’til about 11:30 PM, those continued. So you’d be sitting there …

Craig: [01:55] Every 15 minutes, ding.

Travis: [01:56] Yeah, you’re sitting there for, like, 14 emails, right? You’re sitting there, and people are dropping away. Right? There’s like, “I’m gonna get the 6:00 AM flight,” and they go out and get their hotel. You’re just looking around and you’re like, “Yeah, we’re the patient ones. We’re the strong ones. Hold strong. It’s coming. It’s coming.”

Craig: [02:10] The hardcore terminal …

Travis: [02:13] We keep asking the poor ladies up at the desk, and they’re not supposed to be there, either.

Craig: [02:16] Yeah.

Travis: [02:16] So they’re tired. They’re fatigued. “What’s going on in the flight?” It was sitting on the tarmac for, like, two hours. Right? Then us with sympathy, we’re like, “This isn’t so bad. I can walk around, and people are stuck on the plane in a thunderstorm without anywhere to go for, like, two hours.”

Craig: [02:33] Whoa.

Travis: [02:34] So, eventually, they bring the plane back. Everybody gets off the plane in Boston, because after a certain amount of time on the tarmac, they have to let them off.

Craig: [02:40] Right.

Travis: [02:41] Then there’s something wrong with the plane, so they get a new plane. Again, this is all true, 100% true. They get a new plane, a new pilot, new crew, get the people back on, and, eventually, at, like, 1:00 in the morning, the flight … No, maybe, like, 12:30, the flight takes off.

Craig: [02:58] From Boston to come to you, right?

Travis: [03:00] To come to us, right. This is the flight we’re waiting for. We’re so excited. There’s rejoicing in the terminal. The flight gets there, and we’re all weary. We’ve gotten our beautiful, free, blue, baby blue blankets and our pillow, and there’s so many canceled flights that the entire airport at O’Hare is broke out in cots. So it’s become a shelter.

Craig: [03:21] Tentville, right?

Travis: [03:21] It’s become a shelter. The flight comes in. Everybody’s getting off, and we’re kind of like giving ’em fists in the air. We’re like, “Yeah. You finally made it.”

Craig: [03:31] They’re as weary as you are …

Travis: [03:32] Right.

Craig: [03:32] … just to get there.

Travis: [03:32] Right, right, right. So, finally, the last people to come off are the pilots and the crew, and they just keep their heads down and just walk quite quickly past everybody.

Craig: [03:43] Right, right.

Travis: [03:44] We’re all sitting there, and we kind of look at the concierge people. The concierge people look at us, and she just puts her hands together. She’s like, “Hmm. It’s probably not good.”

Craig: [03:54] Right, ’cause shouldn’t they be on the plane getting ready to go back?

Travis: [03:56] Yeah, we’re like …

Craig: [03:57] “Aren’t you driving?”

Travis: [03:59] … “Where are they going?” So now we were complaining about the plane before. We have a plane, but now we have no pilots.

Craig: [04:03] Great. Sorry. Careful what you ask for.

Travis: [04:09] So they make some calls, and, obviously, at 2:30 in the morning, there’s not a terrible large selection of pilots.

Craig: [04:14] … of additional flight crew to pick from.

Travis: [04:16] That’s right. They have a standby, probably, but …

Craig: [04:17] Yeah.

Travis: [04:18] But, I believe, those people were the standby from Boston, so … So then the letters go across the board, “Canceled.” Canceled.

Craig: [04:29] Oh.

Travis: [04:29] Wait for, like, 12 hours and cancel. At this point, I give up hope. I was totally fine with before. I was like, “Yes. Bring on the challenge,” like, “This is Level 2 ADAPT,” like, “Hit me with tiredness. Hit me with fatigue. Go into the fire and battle.”

Craig: [04:44] Right, ’cause people are wondering, “Why is Craig starting with a story about an airport?” Right …

Travis: [04:47] Yes.

Craig: [04:47] … and I’m like, “No, this matters, ’cause you’re gonna get a lesson about Travis.”

Travis: [04:50] So Level 2 ADAPT, which … Previously, we should know that I’m a stay-at-home dad with my three kids, and then I teach classes in the evening. I get to see my wife for about an hour each day. When I come home, she’s sleeping.

Craig: [05:03] Right. Tag-team, right?

Travis: [05:03] Yeah. When I come home, she’s sleeping, the kids are sleeping, and when I get up, she’s already gone. So in order for me to get in morning training, which I realized I needed, because everything I have done is evening and late night, I need to be prepared to see what my body is like early in the morning. So I was getting up before she would go to work to go do my 5K, to go do a bunch of the physical requirements.

Craig: [05:25] Right. Sneak out of the house quick.

Travis: [05:26] So, most of the time, I’m going to bed midnight, whatever, once I get, actually, my work done. So, for me, now five hours, and then by the time I get back from doing my physical, I’m not going to go back to sleep. Then my kids wake up, and I have now begun my day …

Craig: [05:41] Right.

Travis: [05:41] … and I’m on very limited sleep. So it wasn’t too …

Craig: [05:45] It was like a regular day, right?

Travis: [05:46] It wasn’t too bad.

Craig: [05:48] Just more indoors than usual, right?

Travis: [05:50] Yeah. So the concierge lady, poor lady, she gets then, like, mobbed by people. “You need to call somebody.” Then we’re all sitting there, like, “She can’t do anything.”

Craig: [05:59] Right.

Travis: [06:00] ” Leave her alone. It’s a storm.”

Craig: [06:01] She wants to go home, too. Right.

Travis: [06:02] Yes. So I get put on the 9:00 flight, which is not good, ’cause 9:00 my time …

Craig: [06:08] Right.

Travis: [06:09] … is 10:00 Boston.

Craig: [06:10] Right.

Travis: [06:10] So I’m already now an hour late, and I haven’t even left. Now I’m missing the first half of the day.

Travis: [06:16] I just go up to her. I just get real close, and I say, “Is there a list, like for the 6:00 AM? I know it’s full, but is there like a standby list?”

Craig: [06:25] Yeah.

Travis: [06:25] Then she’s like, “Hold on a second.

Craig: [06:27] “Let me check.”

Travis: [06:29] She didn’t wanna alert other people …

Craig: [06:31] Right.

Travis: [06:32] … and be mobbed again. She was like, “I put you on the front of the list. It’s not guaranteed.” She slides me over a little standing-by boarding pass.

Craig: [06:39] Travis plays the blue eyes card, right?

Travis: [06:45] So I’m looking at the different flights, ’cause six months of my past training has led up to this.

Craig: [06:52] Yeah, he’s focused on this one event.

Travis: [06:53] I do not want to miss this, in any sense, if it’s a little bit or completely, the first day. I mean, it’d be tremendous, and to not have people then doing it with you, now you’re just doing it individually with a coach, entirely different feeling, entirely different mentality. It’s not … Like I said, I wanted to go into battle.

Craig: [07:09] Yeah, there’s an esprit de corps.

Travis: [07:09] Yes.

Craig: [07:09] There’s a team aspect to any sort of certification, and you kind of miss that. Obviously, you miss it if you’re not there, but you … In your heart, you miss that, ’cause you draw strength from those other people. Just like in a community or in your family, you draw strength from the other people with you. So 6:00 AM flight, short list.

Travis: [07:31] Yeah, so I look at the other flights, and there’s another 6:00 AM flight on a different airline, 170 bucks, guaranteed, and it’s going out. Well, as guaranteed as any flight.

Craig: [07:42] There is a caveat there.

Travis: [07:44] So I call my wife, and I just say, “I can either get on this flight or kind of bank that I’m going to be on this.”

Craig: [07:50] Yeah.

Travis: [07:51] So I go up to the concierge lady, and, once again, I get real close. I kind of look at her. I was like, “In your experienced and professional opinion, how likely is it that I’m going to get on the 6:00 AM?”

Travis: [08:01] She’s like, “I can’t guarantee it.” Then she just kind of nods and looks me in the eyes.

Craig: [08:06] There’s often one seat that slips in.

Travis: [08:10] So I was like, “All right. All right.” So I just trusted her.

Craig: [08:13] Yeah, I’m not gonna hold you to it. I understand.

Travis: [08:14] Yeah, got on the 6:00 AM and got out. I was only an hour late. Rubbed my quads a little bit.

Craig: [08:21] Then off we go.

Travis: [08:22] Dan Edwards looks at me and says, “Are you going to be able to do this?” I was like …

Craig: [08:25] “We’re gonna find out.” Right?

Travis: [08:26] Yeah, right. So everybody’s running the 5K, and I don’t know. For me, I’ve talked about it with some other people, but, for me, to not be there at the beginning, it’s such a core value of what I teach. It’s such a core value of what I hold that not starting together and having them run into battle and then me being at the tent, like, “Who didn’t wake me up? Wait, guys. I’ve been training, too” … It just feels so wrong to then jump in at the second exercise.

Travis: [08:57] So that part, I think more than the fatigue or anything else, I really didn’t like going into it that way, coming into the second exercise fresh …

Craig: [09:06] Fresh.

Travis: [09:07] … where everybody else is …

Craig: [09:07] Right.

Travis’ Practice

Craig: [09:07] It almost sounds like … For those listening, this is why I brought up the airport story. It almost sounds like you had a vision or an idea of what ADAPT Two would be like, what any assessment would be like, and this is like the exact worst-case scenario.

Craig: [09:27] Everything else was under your control. You had a year to train. You had six months to train. You chose the flight. You picked where you were staying. You picked that you were going this year, not next year. Then the curve ball that you get is, “So sorry. You’re stuck in the airport for 12 hours. Now deal with it.”

Craig: [09:40] So, in a way, it’s the exactly perfect bit of training to … Your ADAPT assessment happened in that first hour. You got there late. How are you going to emotionally and physically and spiritually react to, “Sorry, you have to be the guy who looks like overslept and missed the run. Go”?

Travis: [10:01] Yeah. My … I’ve been told by people, and I suppose it’s true, that my patience is insurmountable.

Craig: [10:08] I would definitely vote yes on that proposition.

Travis: [10:12] In my younger kids’ classes, the mothers that know me, know personally, they just don’t get it, how I can be with three very young … I have two four-year-old boys and a two-year-old boy, and that I can do that all day and then come teach just a little bit older kids and somehow still have patience and excitement and kindness. They’re like, “We kind of come to this because we’re kind of done for the day. You’re done for the day, and now you’ve begun another day of patience.”

Travis: [10:44] So I don’t know. Sitting in the airport, you realize the two sides of the fence, that the grass is always greener. When you look at it and you desire it and then you’re given it, sometimes, then, you don’t appreciate it. Here I am for how many of … the last four years of my life, not having time to just sit and stare.

Craig: [11:08] Right.

Travis: [11:09] I’m 100% on-duty all the time, and I’ve been wanting to just have time. Not to do anything …

Craig: [11:17] Yeah.

Travis: [11:17] … to do nothing. So I’m sitting at the airport, and I have my options. Right? I have two phones. I’m a phone guy.

Craig: [11:22] Right.

Travis: [11:22] I have my two phones and whatever else, and I just sit, like, “Okay, I’ll put one Instagram post.” Yeah, takes me a couple minutes, but in the scope of 12 hours …

Craig: [11:35] Right.

Travis: [11:35] … sitting at an airport …

Craig: [11:36] “This is so they know they I’m alive. Right? Okay.”

Travis: [11:39] … honestly, I just sat. I just sat and people-watched and made little conversations with people and just was. It was really nice, because I had the choice either to be like, “Wow, what a waste of my time” …

Craig: [11:54] Yeah, you have to go find engagement.

Travis: [11:55] Right, or to say, “This is what I’ve been wanting for four years. Now I have it. Appreciate it, because you don’t know when the next time this is going to be.”

Travis: [12:05] I don’t know. I’m a huge preacher of the half-full, half-empty. Same glass. I could be up here, like mobbing the concierge and being so upset that there was a storm, which is out of anyone’s control.

Craig: [12:17] Right.

Travis: [12:17] The tired pilots don’t want to kill us.

Craig: [12:20] Yeah. They’re not allowed to. I’m sure there are rules.

Travis: [12:23] Right, on a flight, which are unreasonable things to be upset about. There’s much more important things for my energy than …

Craig: [12:31] Yeah.

Travis: [12:34] … complaining to get what …

Craig: [12:35] Yeah, the poor person who happens to be in front of me at this moment.

Travis: [12:38] Right, right. Realizing that that’s a person, also, that I’m yelling at and demanding things from, that they’re not in control of that, either. So, yeah, it’s just a choice.

Travis: [12:47] So, yeah, coming into Level Two, it was a choice. I can either complain about this and use it as an excuse, right? Going into it, that was one of my things in my head, like, “I can either really talk about this with everybody, be like, ‘Yeah, I didn’t have sleep’ or ‘I missed that because I’m a little tired,’ whatnot. Maybe afterwards, I can reflect on it and say, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely, that had a physical effect on me.'”

Travis: [13:09] But to use it as a continual excuse through things, to be like, “Oh, normally I can do this, blah blah blah,” was, definitely, I knew, going to be my tendency, because I like to complain.

Craig: [13:22] I’ll drink to that, right? I’m with you.

Travis: [13:25] But just to not. One of … The image in my head … So I’m fairly old-school, but the image in my head is a story that was shared … I can’t even tell you who shared it with me, but it was a Yamak training event, just the Yamak.

Travis: [13:43] Williams Belle, right? Always strongest, always kind of out in front, doing more, and, for one of the sessions, he wasn’t. He was second, third, fourth, right? In everything, finished a little bit slower and much more gassed, much more sweating and everything.

Travis: [13:56] At the end of the however-many-hour training session, then he takes off his sweatshirt and he takes off his weight vest.

Craig: [14:01] The weight vest, right?

Travis: [14:01] He takes off his ankle weights. Right, right. To be that, to embody that, of, “I have all of this extra stuff that nobody can see. Why make it … Why complain about it? Why boast about it? Just deal with it and help it to make you stronger instead of using it as a crutch.”

Travis’ Gym and Community

Craig: [14:25] I have to say that your parkour gym (Axiom Parkour), there’s something about the way that your gym construction is layered. I don’t know. I always feel like I’m looking at Norwegian or Swedish furniture. I mean, it looks like an Ikea done correctly. I wanna just go there and, like, “Look, it’s a table during the day, and it’s a parkour obstacle at night.”

Craig: [14:43] There’s just something about that, about the aesthetic that you build, and I’m guessing that that just called to you, too, so that’s why you build things. But you seem to have this cavernous space, and you just keep throwing toys into it. So what are you doing with your community there at the gym, and where are you going with that?

Travis: [14:57] So there’s two driving focuses of the gym and the build and the design, really, of it. Unfortunately, one is frugality.

Travis: [15:14] So, for anyone who hasn’t seen, it’s dimensional lumber. Everything is constructed from dimensional lumber, mostly two-by-sixes – stud-grade two by sixes, but if you order enough of them, there’s enough premium that you can …

Craig: [15:27] If you nail enough of them together, they get straight.

Travis: [15:30] Yeah. Yeah, you can face. You can face enough good, solid boards. Right?

Craig: [15:36] Enough square board feet, right.

Travis: [15:38] For all the facing for things. It allows me to build things for the future as well. It’s not perfectly permanent. If I glue and I perfectly round the edges of plywood to this size box, that is the size board that it’s going to be. If I have an untouched – other than a little bit of sanding or whatnot – two-by-six, I can take that two-by-six off and use it as framing. It’s not perfectly permanent. Right? Where it is, it’s not going anywhere. It’s not moving. But I can Lego it.

Craig: [16:15] Repurpose it. Right.

Travis: [16:15] I can deconstruct it to be able to do more. Yes, that’s a tremendous amount of work and probably not even worth it in the time vs. the the money thing, but it’s an option. Through my builds, I’ve kept that as a focus of a universal usability, that, “I can use this, but I can also deconstruct it. I can put it in my car.” More of a versatile design.

Travis: [16:40] So, when given the option to fill a gym space, it was difficult, because I can make up my own rules. If I have to fit things into a closet, now, there’s constraints.

Craig: [16:52] Right.

Travis: [16:52] But without constraints, it’s writing the term paper on anything you want, and it takes you forever to figure it out. But if you have … Right? If you have a tiny, specific thing, you can write 20 pages about it, because you’re confined.

Travis: [17:05] So what I did is I created an anti-object, I call it – one that you see and you don’t know what prescribed movements to do on it. It’s not great for a vault. It’s not a great length for precision. It’s not a great height for things. It’s not great for anything. So it kind of breathes innovation, because you have to re-adapt. You have to re-apply to it.

Craig: [17:33] Yeah, mental flexibility required. Otherwise …

Travis: [17:35] Right. I learned everything outdoors. It’s where parkour is supposed to be. It’s where the heart of it is. It was difficulty, opening an indoor space, ’cause conflicting, ’cause I don’t really want to.

Craig: [17:51] Right.

Travis: [17:52] But there’s a necessity to do it. So how can I embody the sense of exploration, the sense of innovation, that you normally find when you just come to a new spot in the city and say, “Okay, how can I apply the movement to this space?” Right?

Craig: [18:04] That’s a good point.

Travis: [18:06] I wanted to try to bring some of that in. Through the design, I’m finding out now, a year and a half, almost two years in, through the design of the modular equipment has, I think, more to do with it than maybe the actual design, physical design of the equipment, ’cause this current setup that I have at the gym right now, I think we can leave for a little bit more.

Travis: [18:27] Usually, I rotate about every three months, for curriculum- wise, keep things fresh. Once we’ve completed the challenges, “Okay, it’s a limited space.”

Craig: [18:34] “We know this spot. Okay, let’s make this spot” …

Travis: [18:37] Right. Right, right, right. But the thing that I have now was more loosely designed on curriculum and more so just designed to replicate an urban sort of planter setting that we all love.

Craig: [18:49] Oh, planters.

Travis: [18:50] Ooh, planters and stairs.

Craig: [18:52] Something more architecturally recognizable. Right? I just had a flashback to Government Center. There are these really cool stairs and planters in Government Center. Anyway, sorry.

Travis: [19:02] Yes. Oh, yes. But that’s what it’s supposed to be.

Travis: [19:07] But, yeah. While we’re on this topic of conversation, I’m at a bit of a conflict right now, where I’m pouring in so much time and energy to build this community where there was nothing. Okay? The nothing called me to this area to build the gym, except for God, except for through prayers. He says, “This is the direction that you wanna go.” No business sense – okay? – to do what I did.

Craig: [19:38] Right.

Travis: [19:38] Zero. It was a terrible business and entrepreneurial decision, but it all worked.

Craig: [19:45] But you … That’s where your passion is, ’cause if you go the business sense-ical way, you’re not gonna have passion. If you have passion, you can pretty much do anything, if you have the passion to get behind it.

Craig: [19:57] So the gym is, I guess, relatively convenient to where you live, but what you’re saying is there isn’t a huge community of normal, regular people.

Travis: [20:03] Zero, yeah.

Craig: [20:05] Zero.

Travis: [20:05] I mean, not parkour people, just in how many people live nearby.

Craig: [20:07] Right, right. So Walworth County. If you would like to go look it up, Walworth County is like that’s where they export the cornfields from?

Travis: [20:17] Rural. Without exaggeration, in most places, there aren’t curbs. So for what I call interactive architecture, places to jump on that are sturdy enough to jump on or wheelchair ramps or anything like a simple spot completely does not exist. Beautiful kettles and moraines. Beautiful woods. We have a gorgeous ski hill over there. But just … It’s not built up.

Craig: [20:50] Absolutely no space.

Travis: [20:53] No close urban city settings, in the least bit, in Walworth County, and nobody was asking for classes. I did not have a slew of people, like, “Let’s start a class down in Walworth County.” The opportunity came up. The right people came up. The right price came up.

Craig: [21:08] Space was there.

Travis: [21:09] It made no business sense, so I was just like, “Well, I believe in what I’m doing. Like you said, I have the passion to do it. I believe I have a quality product. So if I can get a family in, they will tell a family, and they will tell a family.”

Craig: [21:24] Sure.

Travis: [21:25] “That’ll be that.” Truthfully, that’s how it’s all grown. The people that are with me that were there at the beginning, I mean, I can’t get them to stop talking. They just find people on the street and, like, “Listen. Even if you don’t like parkour” …

Craig: [21:43] They become evangelical about it. Right?

Travis: [21:44] They have.

The Rewards of Coaching

Travis: [21:45] If I can share one boastful …

Craig: [21:48] You can share as many as you like. It’s our podcast episode.

Travis: [21:51] “This is me, and I am amazing.” At the YMCA that I teach at, there was a complaint … I had talked to a different person from a different class. They weren’t ending on time, which was greatly impacting my setup period. I had 15 minutes to set up.

Craig: [22:09] Right, right.

Travis: [22:09] So if they end five minutes late, they get their people out five minutes …

Craig: [22:13] Yeah.

Travis: [22:13] Now I have a little less than five minutes to set up.

Craig: [22:16] Four minutes and 32 seconds.

Travis: [22:16] Right.

Craig: [22:17] “Go.”

Travis: [22:19] It was quite stressful. I waited 10 class periods to …

Craig: [22:22] Yeah, call the management…

Travis: [22:24] … be forceful. I had talked to them many times. “Listen, this isn’t really working.” Like, “Ah, it’s fine. We’re getting used to the new schedule.” Eventually, I just said, “This … Next week, you’re done. This is the time.”

Travis: [22:35] Another student heard this. Right? Older, adult, and she was livid and complained to the YMCA. But … Now onto the boastful compliment. So the director that took this complaint from this person said, “Listen. People come to Travis even if they don’t like parkour. They hear about him as a teacher, and they will put their kids in his class.”

Travis: [22:56] It was neat to hear somebody say something like that, because, so often with parkour, the most unrewarding part is you get to see them for an hour. You get to see this person for an hour, but the changes that come about through parkour are so transcendent through their life. Sometimes a parent will come back or a student will come back and say, “Listen. This is how you’ve changed me.”

Craig: [23:20] Right.

Travis: [23:20] “This is how” … You’re like, “Oh.”

Craig: [23:23] “Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I hadn’t even noticed that.” Right?

Travis: [23:27] Right, right, because you don’t get to see it. You get an hour out of their … however many hours they get their week.

Craig: [23:32] You only see one asset or one facet of their life.

Travis: [23:35] Correct.

Craig: [23:35] You only see them physically moving, unless something really exceptional happens. You only see them physically moving, and you might see the changes in their body, but you don’t know what their home life is like and what their job is like and all those other parts.

Travis: [23:46] Every once in a while, you get that feedback, and it’s just … It’s an ounce of what you do, but the … How rewarding it feels to just hear that impact. I don’t know. Those are the things that I hold onto when things get difficult, when time is not available to …

Craig: [24:06] Yeah.

Travis: [24:06] You’re just kind of at your end’s wit.

Craig: [24:08] You feel stretched. Right?

Travis: [24:09] Right. You realize, “Remember, this is why I’m doing it.” It’s not about the jump. The jump is important, but the jump is like the method to get what we really …

Craig: [24:18] Yeah, the jump is a piece of your tool set, but it’s not the work.

Travis: [24:20] Right, right. It’s not the point. You come in and can lift the one leg, and, okay, maybe you can’t jump. Maybe you come in with no legs. You can’t jump. It’s not about the jump. It’s what you get through it. We can get caught up in it. We can get caught up in the physical and just the visual spectacle of it and forget that that’s not what it’s about. That’s not originally what the training was for. It’s how we got …

Craig: [24:48] Right.

Travis: [24:49] Right. It’s how we progressed. It’s how we got to where we are now. But it was never the original point, to just be a good jumper.