012. Elet Hall: Not training, risk, danger, and Lyme disease

012. Elet Hall: Not training, risk, danger, and Lyme disease

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Elet Hall takes time out from a motorcycle engine rebuild to discuss his approach to training (and not training), challenge, risk, danger, consequences, and why he walked away from American Ninja Warrior. Along the way, we talk about Lyme disease, and his work with the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, before he shares his _four_ words to describe his practice.

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Guest introduction

Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Elet: And I’m Elet Hall.

Craig: Elet Hall has been described as intense or driven and at one time had a Tinder profile that said simply, “Do you think you can keep up?” In reality, he’s a free spirited, outdoor loving thinker. Who Sevinch candidly described as surprising loving and smarter than most people are aware. Welcome Elet.

Elet: Thanks Craig.

On lessons learned

Craig: Now that you’ve been away from Ninja Warrior for a few years, what are your thoughts, things that you’ve taken away [00:00:30] from that or things that you’d want to share with the parkour community in large?

Elet: I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned from Ninja Warrior, especially because a lot of people in parkour have heard of some of my more negative experiences with the show, is just that it doesn’t matter why somebody shows up. It doesn’t matter why they come to a parkour class. It doesn’t matter why they come into your gym.

There’s a pretty major narrative between parkour and Ninja Warrior, it almost seems like a more competitive thing that parkour [00:01:00] and it’s practitioners feel underserved by major media outlets. They see the success of Ninja Warrior and people associate the things that we do with Ninja Warrior and rightfully so. People say, “Well all of our shows haven’t worked and we don’t do Ninja Warrior and we don’t.” When somebody shows up to your gym and they want to take a lesson and they ask where’s your warped wall and people get uppity about it or they say, “We are parkour not Ninja Warrior,” or likewise, “We are parkour not gymnastics.”

It doesn’t matter why somebody [00:01:30] shows up. They are there on part of their journey to improve themselves. Who cares why they’re motivated. They’re there to learn from you.

Craig: For some reason that brought them to you.

Elet: It brought them through your door and it doesn’t matter if you have the warped wall. You can say to them, “Hey, we don’t do exactly that but let me show you what we do and let’s show you what it can do for you.” Because there are a lot of guys who’ve been, and girls too who’ve been successful in the show come from a parkour background. It’s done a lot to get the word parkour out there despite their best efforts not to let us talk about [00:02:00] it.

That’s a whole different topic. When somebody shows up, if somebody– when I was a personal trainer– if somebody shows up, I ask them why they showed up because that matters to me. If it’s not the reason I would have showed up to the gym, I’m not saying, “Oh, sorry. You’re not good enough for my training. The reason you’re here isn’t the right one.”

Craig: Yeah. That’s crazy.

Elet: It’s just like I understand the intrinsic value of what we’re doing and if you want to take this and try to go make a million dollars from it on Ninja Warrior, that’s fine, that’s great. I hope you have a good time and I hope you learn something.

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.

Meet the team: Craig

I spent years looking for inspiration, and eventually decided to create a community where I could find it. I talk a lot about the signal-to-noise ratio on the Internet and in social media; I wanted a community where it was all signal and no noise.

~ Craig — Project creator and voice of the podcast

On footwear and getting back to barefoot

Craig: In that [00:08:30] line of more natural training, what are your thoughts on footwear? I’ve been getting into less and less structure in shoes and more minimalist type footwear. I know there’s a lot of nerves in your feet and there’s a lot of some people call it neurological nourishment that can happen through your feet. What do you typically wear just in general and what are your thoughts on hiking with hiking shoes versus hiking in thin, Vibram type of shoes.

Elet: Yeah, I think that’s a really important thing. Like you said, there is all of this neural nourishment that comes through your [00:09:00] feet and one of the big things I’ve noticed from doing a lot of running outside is just how aware I am of my feet.

My selection of footwear changes based on what I’m doing, changes based on the goals. I just came off of a show series 20 days long at the Canadian National Exhibition where I was wishing every day I had thicker shoes just because of the nature of what we were doing. We’re doing performance, we’re doing shoWs, we’re taking big drops, heavy impact-

Craig: [crosstalk 00:09:27].

Elet: … on manmade surface. [00:09:30] But when I’m in the woods, there’s so much more I feel when I’m in a thin pair of shoes. Currently, I’m wearing a pair of Merrell trail gloves and they’re thin, they’re chunky, great grip in the woods on wet rocks and all of that and that’s fantastic. I don’t do the majority of my training barefoot but I have kind of a fun story about a time I was hiking a mountian down in Virginia and the way up is super fun, lots of rocks. It’s this mountian called Old Rag in Shenandoah National Forrest. It’s one of the most popular hikes in the United States I think actually.

[00:10:00] It’s really rocky and it’s beautiful and the top is just this granite dome, barely any trees, all these giant boulders, great parkour opportunities. Just really enjoyable, beautiful, hike. 360 degree panoramas. On the way down, you’re going back down this really rocky, heavy impact trail and by the time I got down there, probably about three quarters the way, my knees were really starting to ache. It’s a long day, it’s seven miles up, seven miles down. It’s all elevation change, it’s not a flat spot.

Coming down, I was starting to get sore and as [00:10:30] I get down towards the bottom, I take my shoes off and by the time I hit the parking lot at the bottom, my knees don’t hurt anymore. That’s just kind of a very in your face example of, “Oh, here I’m tired and oh I’m achy,” a lot of it is just the balance of the muscles being stimulated in the way that they’re pulling on the joints.

Craig: Removing your shoes like you get back to the proprioception input. That’s something your body could change whatever it was that was causing the knee pain.

Elet: Well and a big part of it too is you’re not doing things that without padding it’d hurt because you might still be working through the same [00:11:00] movement pattern that would cause pain without padding with a shoe on but of you get rid of that ability to pad that sensory nerve down on your heel, you’re not gonna drop your heel onto the ground. When you step down off of a rock, you’re gonna reach first with your fore foot

Craig: … right. Ball of your foot …

Elet: …. and you’re gonna use those extra joints. You’ve got three joint in your toes you got a joint in the middle of your foot. You’re midfoot joint that doesn’t get used when you use a shoe.

Then there’s a minor amount of movement through the talor bones in the back of your foot. Those aren’t [00:11:30] getting pulled into play at all when you’re wearing a shoe. There’s so many more shock absorption joints that just get used when you take your shoes off and all those muscles get stimulated and that’s gonna get a little too deep into psycho-sematic pain, but that feeling that your brain is getting of, “Oh, I’m in pain,” doesn’t get stimulated because things are being used right. We don’t want to get any deeper than that ’cause that’s a hell hole of the science and neuro science.

Just kind of getting into the [00:12:00] fact that bare foot is what you’re supposed to do, it’s where we came from. It’s not gonna work if we’re trying to push 12 foot running precisions onto a metal rail, that would take years to develop, which if that’s your goal, that’s your goal. But as far subjective experience goes, man when I’m doing my performances, I want thicker shoes.

Craig: I think going even further with this train of thought on feet, there’s also the issue of how your bones get set. I’ve been recently, over a couple years, working on trying to sit comfortably in a deep squat just [00:12:30] because I think it’s a good movement pattern to be able to do. I’m finding that it’s a lot more complicated than just muscular length and just normal flexibility.

I’m wondering if people need to reassess their goals for barefoot. If you decide, “I want to train bare foot,” you might have to have go back to how you began moving as child and realize that your bones in your feet are now set a certain way.

Elet: Definitely and I think that also kind of ties back into training in nature as well because if you decide to make that shift, [00:13:00] you’ve got to reassess the surfaces you’re working with and not necessarily making things smaller but using more small movements to get the same job done.

If you’re looking to train bare foot or if you’re looking to train outside, if you go out and you push your maximum precision ’cause you know, hey man, every time I can jump 12 feet, it’s not gonna work out there. Why, because it moves, its wet and it’s gonna break.

Craig: It’s off-camber and it’s got a funny texture.

Elet: That [00:13:30] could mean your feet or it could mean the surface you’re landing on. You’ve got to take it down and you got to reassess the situation.

Also, kind of the idea of that is different. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What are you trying to get out of it? Are you looking for a healthier body or are you looking to change your style? Both are good experience, all of it I hope, but just realize the reality of the situation. You could just go walk in the woods for a mile bare foot and when you come back, [00:14:00] your feet are gonna hurt. Your skin’s not tough, the muscles aren’t well developed. You’ve got these weird motor patterns that are ingrained from thousands and thousands of hours of doing something shod, and maybe also on concrete.

If this is new to you, this is changing everything. You’ve got to take not just two steps back but five and approach it. Like you were saying, the stuff that you did as a child and realize how that fits in. When I go and teach at these [00:14:30] bushcraft school events, which is something that I’m involved in a lot, is this bushcrafting community. I teach a movement class called From the Ground Up. We start with ground movement and we then work from there to transitions to quadrapedie, and we work from there into low two foot positions,

Craig: … yeah, ‘low gait’ …

Elet: … bipedal positions and then to walking, moving silently, which is especially important in our train of thought, stocking, reach, escape all of that. Then we get into jumping and running and then we get into climbing [00:15:00] into the trees and then transitioning between trees.

It’s kind of that same mentality of just approaching movement in the woods, it’s from the ground up. You’ve got to have a foundation.

On motorcycles, and taking things (and knowledge!) apart

Craig: I think those who know you, know that you really love motorcycles and I’ve noticed with a lot of people, myself included who are really into parkour are also really into fixing things or taking things apart and understanding the nuanced details.

I’m wondering, first of all how you got into motorcycles and what your thoughts are and how those two loves sort of dovetailed so well.

Elet: [00:15:30] I got my motorcycle when I was 17 years old. I had seen this particular Nighthawk 700 that I’m working on right now in a book at the age of 10 or 12. It was a book, The Beginner’s Motorcycle Guide. I read a section on … it was printed in the ’80s this bike was new at the time, this was a 1984. They were saying, here’s the top 10 beginner motorcycles. This was on the list. For whatever reason, I was 10 years old, I don’t remember the details but it just [00:16:00] stuck in my mind.

Craig: It became iconic, right.

Elet: I loved the way it looked, I knew it was a good beginner bike and then one of my best friends bought a motorcycle when he was 18, I was a year younger and I rode it a few times and I decided, “Hey, I need to get my own bike.”

I’ve ridden dirt bikes on and off and stuff but never like really, really into it. I bought this bike from a guy up in Pennsylvania and fell in love. It was something that I just continued to pursue all over and I didn’t have a big budget [00:16:30] so I started to work on it myself and I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I needed some experience. This particular bike got ridden for four years, thrown in my parents garage and Then ignored for the next five or six. I’m just getting back to it now.

It kind of grew from that and I think the big thing that attracts me to working with my hands, whether it’s motorcycles, whether it’s bushcrafting, whether it’s building, woodworking, I kind of do all of this different stuff with my hands is [00:17:00] the understanding of the world around you through the nerves in your hands. This is a big thing in parkour.

Craig: … tactile feedback that physical knowledge.

Elet: Yeah, we crave that. We crave contact. Contact with the physical world. This is a very intricate process but one that is very understandable when you get into it.

I don’t think … There’s no mystery to being a mechanic. There’s no mystery to woodworking. There is just getting in touch with a process, embracing that process and the beginning to understand where you are and just getting familiar. [00:17:30] It’s so nourishing mentally.

On why he stopped doing Ninja Warrior

(This question is part of the “Story Time!” project.)

Craig: One of the things that I am passionate about is collecting other people’s stories because I think having people share something they’re passionate about really gives people a glimpse into who you really are. Is there a story you would care to share?

Elet: Maybe the story of why I stopped doing Ninja Warrior.

I was filming for my submission video for what would have been my fifth season on American Ninja Warrior. I had a very, very surprising [00:18:00] experience. I went out to a woods near where I was staying at the time, it was along a river in Laurel, Maryland and there was an old dam there, this used to be a mill town and that dam had a tower on the one side of it that’s maybe 40 feet tall. It’s a man made wall, off to the right hand side is the wall of the dam itself, which is about half the height, about 20 feet.

It was something I messed around on bouldering on before and [00:18:30] man made walls are great to climb because they got a lot of big handholds but they’re also interesting because a lot of times, especially with old walls, the grout disintegrates and makes a lot of sand on all these holds.

I was up there for the day and I was gonna film and I just set my phone up to film this one climbing route and I just started bouldering up and I got to a point where I was like, “Alright, this is high enough, I’m gonna exit right out onto that dam wall.” And as I start to traverse off to that side, I caught a bad handhold with a lot of sand on it. My hand [00:19:00] popped and I’m 25 feet off the ground and down below me is a boulder field of rocks. Ankle breakers, back breakers I mean some serious stuff and I started to barn-door off and I just said, “Nope.” So I just pushed off the wall.

I’ve got a video of it, I’ll have to send it to you. Ended up falling 25 feet. Landed straddling a rock, full compression on the landing, my tailbone was probably an inch and a half off of this giant limestone boulder and I came within an inch and a half of paralyzing myself and walked [00:19:30] away absolutely fine, not a scratch, not an ache.

In the shock that followed as I walked back to the apartment and as I sat there by myself thinking about what the hell was I doing, what happened, what took me there, I got into the idea of why was I filming that? What prompted me to get up into that, what was motivating me. I realized I put my life on the line for something that I didn’t necessarily believe in 100 percent. I’ve been doing [00:20:00] Ninja Warrior for years and years and it was a big production and there was good and bad. I met a lot of great people through it, I had good experiences but then at the same time, we weren’t getting paid. We were helping a show that last year made 750 odd million dollars and we didn’t see a penny. I was perpetuating that. I was involved in something that didn’t necessarily represent what I wanted to represent and here I was risking my life to get back on it.

I [00:20:30] kind of just had to balance that and that was the day I kind of decided I’m not gonna do that for a while. I backed away from it. It was just a really interesting thing because I always talk about analyzing risk and consequence. Consequence exist all of the time. Being alive implies the consequence of possible death. Parkour implies the consequence of possible injury, death, always.

There are a lot of people that like to say, “Oh, parkour’s safe.” Parkour is not safe. It’s not safe and it will never be safe. We can make good decisions. We can manage [00:21:00] risk, we can mitigate risk but its not safe. If it was, it’d be boring. We enjoy that dance. There’s consequences that’s real, which is the juxtaposition to the majority of things we do in our day to day life. The reason we don’t care about them, the reason we’re disenfranchised is because it’s not real.

If we lose it, that’s fine. Oh I’ll keep going, I can still put food in my mouth, I’ll still be alive. How many of us have been in a situation where we’re facing off with death, where we’re facing off [00:21:30] with real consequence, where we’re facing off with real social consequences. Because if this goes, I lose my job, I can’t feed myself. Mostly none of us and we avoid those places as much as we can.

Parkour is our way to play with that and that’s fun because it’s as high or low a stakes as you want to make it. We got this analogy of risk versus consequence here and we interact with that daily in parkour. Your decision making abilities, your technical training abilities, your ability to reiterate a jump again and again and again is [00:22:00] your ability to manage and mitigate risk.

I went and I took on this climb that always, a climb has a consequence of falling and I thought I could mitigate that risk and I was wrong because that’s the game you’re playing and occasionally you come up wrong and man, I walked away from it okay. I don’t know what it is, 15 years of parkour training helped me take a 20 foot, 5 foot drop straddling a boulder, inches a way from the goods and the end of my spine. That was a very serious day. [00:22:30] That’s something I just always like to talk about is this risk versus consequence idea with all things in life. It’s the game we’re always playing whether it’s social, whether it’s physical, whether it’s putting food on our table with our jobs or anything like this. We are always playing that game.

When you can separate that idea and say, “Well here are the possible consequences, here’s how I’m gonna mitigate the risk,” and you can begin to formulate a plan around things. Kind of ties us back into the begging of being very particular about the way that I train. It’s always that analysis of, here’s possible consequences, they [00:23:00] could be good or bad consequences of course.

Craig: I choose this challenge or do I move …

Elet: Or do I move to another one. That’s just kind of my take on how we approach challenge, how we approach life’s issues, obstacles, actual obstacles, because what we do in parkour is not interaction with actual obstacles. None of those are obstacles. You can go around them, we put them there, it’s a challenge, it’s our own choice.

Real [00:23:30] life obstacles, real life problems, it’s the same analysis and that’s one of the fantastic things about parkour is it gives you the tools to manage that, so you can approach it with the same mentality that you do these situations that have the consequence of life and death. You are more well equipped.

On his effort to raise awareness of Lyme disease

Craig: Risk and consequence is an excellent topic and on a more practical note, you’re an ambassador for the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and lets just touch on that because it is a really important topic.

Elet: Yeah, absolutely. [00:24:00] I’ve been working with the Bay Area Lyme Foundation for the last several years. Their mission is just to raise awareness of this bacterial infectious disease.

Craig: Lyme disease, right?

Elet: Lyme disease and be able to create opportunities for research to find a workable cure and to possibly create a vaccine or something of the sort. That’s kind of the science side. What I’ve been doing with them is just trying to get people aware of the fact that this is a very real disease. It’s [00:24:30] tough because it’s not a visible disease.

Craig: But it is practically endemic on [crosstalk 00:24:37].

Elet: Absolutely and especially in the region where I come from in Appalachia

Craig: [crosstalk 00:24:41].

Elet: Especially there are some places in western Pennsylvania where they’ve done tick studies and they find 85 to 95 percent of the ticks in the area are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. I was diagnosed with it when I was 23 years old, I had had it for several years at that point without knowing it and [00:25:00] just attributed the symptoms that I had to other lifestyle factors. I was an athlete, you’re always feeling tired, you’re always feeling achy and who would have thought that was an actual thing.

Craig: Paralyzation is not normal, right?

Elet: Yeah, that was exactly what happened to me as I woke up one morning and the left half of my face was paralyzed. It’s called Bell’s palsy, it’s a common symptom of more long term infections of Lyme disease when it begins to affect the nervous system.

Speaking of risk and consequences and being selective about the challenges I undertake as earlier when I said, [00:25:30] we have a finite amount of energy, as I have a very finite amount of energy and when I reach that threshold, it’s done. I’ll begin to have these weird muscle spasms and cramps, my nervous system just gets fried and gets beat up. We might go have a training session together and you know– you’re a few years older than me– You’ll feel it for a few days and I’ll feel it for a week and a half and I’m supposed to be this big strong great machine athlete, but I got to be really smart about the way I [00:26:00] approach things because what do I want to spend my energy on.

What’s gonna help me grow, I have to be selective. That’s also helped me be very, very intentional and particular about the way that I train so that I can continue to progress with a disease that puts the majority of people to bed and kills some people.

Craig: Specifically with Lyme disease, I’ve never actually been tested for it but there is a test for it, you can simply go and have the blood test done and as long as it’s been long enough, it doesn’t give you a positive right away. [00:26:30] It has to have been in you for a certain period of time before the blood test is successful.

Elet: Well and its also difficult because the blood test is rated at about 66 percent accuracy, compare that too other major diseases, HIV AIDs, Hepatitis, all of these things 99.9 percent accuracy. There is one out of every three chances that you just get a false positive or negative. You just don’t know and its also, it’s a two tier test. If you don’t come up positive on the first one, they don’t run the second one ’cause it costs money. It’s [00:27:00] a tough system, it’s not a really functional test and it also doesn’t mean that you’re currently producing the antibodies necessary to come up positive on that. It’s really complicated scenario.

There are a lot of people, the Bay Area Lyme Foundation being one of them and the one that I work with, who are really pushing the research side of things to help people to be able to get access to a better test, a usable cure, and just really, really pushing some creative ideas in that direction.

For me on the day to day level, taking risk and [00:27:30] consequence, I’ve just got to be practical about what I do and know that, “Oh, okay, this works for me, this doesn’t.” Keep track of my diet real well, train like an athlete, which is an important topic for parkour people to begin to explore. Then manage the symptoms as they do present themselves. For me, it’s mostly nervous system based, which comes with some chronically tight muscles and the lower threshold for overuse injuries.

A lot [00:28:00] for me on a day to day is just taking care of myself and that’s why I’m really focused on the subjective experience of a lot of this is, how do I make this feel good because I don’t usually feel good. The majority of the time in fact I’m in physical pain. I feel great when I exercise though so how can I exercise more often, ’cause if I do too much then I can’t work out for the rest of the week. How can I balance it so I can do it every day so I can enjoy the feeling of my physical body every day ’cause that’s not something I get.

Three words to describe your practice?

Craig: [00:28:30] And of course the final question, three words to describe your practice.

Elet: I think I’d have to go with “break all the rules.”

That’s four, right? Just making sure.

Craig: That would be four if you …

Elet: That’s kind of the point. No, but in all seriousness, I would go– if I was going for a serious answer, I would say “strength of character.” That’s not just my approach for my parkour practice, that’s for most things in day to day life.

[00:29:00] This is an exploration, this is a journey that we’re on in this life. Being able to find the things that you want and being able to make that decision for yourself and then hold to that is what you need to do. I’m not here to have a battle with myself, I’m not here to have a battle with other people. I’m here to enjoy this life and I’m here to enjoy it with the people I surround myself with and part of that is being able to undertake [00:29:30] the challenges that my life presents without turning away from them.

Approaching them in the way that I want to and making that decision and then living with the consequence of those decisions, that to me is strength of character and that’s why I approach parkour the way that I do, it’s why I’m particular about my practice. It’s because I want to learn certain things from it, I want to experience certain aspects of this life that are brought only through challenge, that are brought only through embracing the process of trying to get, as pun-y as this sounds, [00:30:00] from point A to point B in anything. Whether it’s motorcycle mechanics, whether it’s a hike in the woods or whether it’s an actual parkour practice. Allowing yourself to be immersed in a process is very, very important for our mental health, for our physical health.

One of the consequences that that turns around is a very deep-seated idea of your own self-worth of a great feeling of self-confidence. That strength of character is what I looking for in almost [00:30:30] everything that I do.

Craig: Thank you very much Elot, it’s been a pleasure.

Elet: Alright, thanks Craig.