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.


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: for a bunch of additional features. This was episode 18. For the show notes and full transcript go to

Craig: [36:42] Thanks for listening.

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.

Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share with Us?

Craig: [28:53] Is there anything else that you’d like to share with us?

Travis: [28:57] Yeah, if … A message that no matter what your faith is or if it exists or what your beliefs are, I think something that can be universal is a heart of thankfulness. Yes, it’s resounding and very important in the Christian faith, but changing your heart to just appreciate everything, everything, because it’s shaping you. It’s an opportunity.

Travis: [29:33] I had a terrible college experience. I had a lot of what I called first and last semester college professors, because I was early childhood. So a lot of second-, third-grade teachers heard from a colleague that you can make really good money teaching night classes, I’m assuming. So then you come and you’re like, “You are not a college professor. You are probably a fantastic grade school teacher. You have no idea how to talk to adults.”

Craig: [30:03] So bending over with their hands on their knees, “Now, this is what we’re gonna learn.”

Travis: [30:06] Yeah, right. So I was … I went to a private college, and I was paying a lot to be there, to have that experience. After the first, second one, where I could’ve been upset about it, I just realized that there’s something I can gain from this. In the most terrible circumstance, there’s something that I can use to help me improve.

Travis: [30:35] I think, at the heart, at the core of a heart of thankfulness, is that ability to see what’s shaping you and what’s improving you. I just … I don’t know. The people that I meet and I encounter, I try to share that, that idea that that’s going to provide you with perseverance and patience and positivity. Like I said, whether it’s a Christian faith or not, it’s just … It’s important to do that, to be the giver, not the taker, to say, “Thank you so much for this” instead of “You can do this better,” taking away from it.

Craig: [31:17] So that strikes me as a sort of ability to choose your perspective on what’s going on. Where did you get that skill from? Can you take me back to a time when Travis just didn’t have that perspective? How did you get from there to where you are now?

Travis: [31:36] So many uncustomary things have happened to me. I taught in public school for three years. Through prayer, I asked God for advice on the direction that I should go, and I thought I heard what was a clear, “Leave your hourly rate. Leave your job security. Leave your guaranteed insurance. Go do this parkour. This is the path that I want for you.” I thought that was clear to me.

Travis: [32:12] I broke my leg a week before summer ended in a kickball game. I slipped in the grass. Students vs. staff kickball game. I broke my leg at school, right before parkour. Summer, there’s a big bang of classes and everything …

Craig: [32:29] Right.

Travis: [32:29] … that this was about to begin. I didn’t get it, because, like I said, not that I heard God’s voice, but I was just trying to listen to the different ways that He can communicate with you and said, “This is the path.”

Travis: [32:43] I said, “Why? Why would you” …

Craig: [32:45] “Break my leg right” …

Travis: [32:46] … “tell me to do something and then take away my ability to do that?” With how bad the break was, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t move. I just sat on a couch, and I had nothing to do but think. What I learned is that He needed to me how to ask others for help.

Travis: [33:06] So one of the huge personal drawbacks of going … Before choosing to follow Christ and now was my arrogance, that I can just always do it, that I don’t need your help, and like I am great and it’s me. It was still lingering, that idea, and He took away my ability to walk.

Travis: [33:28] For everything, I needed help – for everything. I couldn’t stand up. The swelling was too much, and it would be too painful. I had to crawl around. I couldn’t really bathe. I couldn’t really get myself food – like, “That’s the counter. I have to stand up,” and it was too painful.

Travis: [33:42] I saw, then, once I learned how to do my first jump again, which was a whole ‘nother experience and wonderful. Wonderful to reset your training from the ground. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t jump, and I did my first rail precision, like five years after I had already done my first rail precision.

Craig: [34:00] Right. Yep.

Travis: [34:01] It was so neat to go through the emotions again.

Craig: [34:04] Yeah, when do you ever get to have a second first?

Travis: [34:04] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I saw, then, in the next few years how I needed to depend on others and how I would not have been successful if I hadn’t been taught that lesson through breaking my leg.

Travis: [34:19] So I’ve had to learn lessons like that in life in really difficult ways, but understanding that it’s a lesson and not just this huge wall that’s in front of me that I just have to wait until it passes. It’s my method of being taught. I mean, oftentimes, we refer to God as your Heavenly Father, and I see it more so in less of that term and more so as like my Father who has raised me and knows me best and does the things that I hate. “You have to be home at 10:00.”

Travis: [34:52] “Why? Why do I have to be home at 10:00?”, not seeing that, all of the terrible things that can happen after 10:00 in your city or what it might be.

Craig: [34:57] Right, and you need to go to sleep so you can do tomorrow. Right?

Travis: [34:59] Correct. You don’t see those things, and you think, “Oh, what a terrible thing.”

Craig: [35:05] Authoritarian. Right.

Travis: [35:05] Right, right, right. Then you get a little bit older and you realize, “Wow. That was a great decision for me that I couldn’t make for myself.” So that heart of thankfulness is through those really difficult experiences that I’ve seen now, years passed, why I needed that. When you’re in it …

Travis: [35:25] I use this for people in parkour, like, “Okay, we have one hour. Hey, guys, we’re just going to start at this end, and we’re just gonna end at the other end, that other end that we can’t see. Yeah, we’re just gonna crawl. We have a 50-minute time limit.”

Travis: [35:42] “What?”

Travis: [35:46] But the lesson taught is, like, “During it, you’re going to want to stop, and you’re not going to remember that there’s an end. You’re to going to remember that there is a finish. You’re going to be so caught up within the movement itself and say it’s never-ending. You have these infinitive talks to yourself, like it hurts so much and there’s no end to it.”

Travis: [36:07] “To remember that there’s an end result, there’s a goal, there’s a place that you are going, and at the end, you are going to be so happy that you’ve gone through this. During it, you’re going to hate it.”

Travis: [36:18] People get caught up in that, through life and through certain exercises and whatnot, that they just think that this is what it’s all about and don’t really see where this is leading them – to be present in what you’re doing, but understand where you’re going.

Your Mind, Your Body, and Your Environment

Sebastien: But of course when you starting to train your body-

Craig: Assuming there’s a calling to also work on the mind.

Sebastien: Yes, work with the mind and then after you work on your mind, and later on I started to realize my mind wasn’t strong. In my genes I’ve got some qualities based on say genes [00:12:00] physically, but the mind couldn’t keep up. That’s why I’ve got vertigo. Then there was the beauty with Parkour is got this analogy with obstacles and challenge yourself and everything and make decision and everything. But that’s where I can see I’ve got a lack of.

Craig: Through that you can see that you have a weakness, you have a hole.

Sebastien: I’ve got weakness. I keep practice parkour. Parkour bring me that. I’m getting better by practicing Parkour, but Parkour also give you a clear, [00:12:30] different view on the environment. The way how you see the environment, where you were children, when you do Parkour again, is come back again. Something like sometime I say it’s not about learning, it’s about relearning.

Craig: Relearning, rediscovering somewhere along the way I lost the ability to move and play, so I’m not really learning to move, I used to know how to do that.

Sebastien: That’s [00:13:00] why come up now it’s clearer because I worked very, very hard on knowing what I’m doing. I know there were the three kind of triangle between the mind, the body and the environment. That’s the key in order to become that butterfly. Some people, good body. The mind not the environment not good. Some people has got the body and the environment, but the mind is not good and so on and so on. But each time you see someone, I would say it’s a well balanced person, the mind is good, the [00:13:30] body is good, and the environment is good. It’s not only you, it’s link with how your environment is set up and also your surrounding. I always say that there is three major obstacles who prevent you to become the butterfly is I say it’s the environment, your surrounding and yourself. The entire journey, your entire journey is to find out how can I get to-

Craig: My full potential.

Sebastien: … to my full potential. Because as we know, when you practice Parkour, [00:14:00] everything around is been set up by other people. This is culturally or anything or an architect decided it’s supposed to be made by this.

Craig: It’s there for some reason and it isn’t for Parkour.

Sebastien: That would say a bench is made to sit down, so just sit down. But in another level, say who decided that and do I have the right to do this or this? Some people will say, come down from these trees and you say, no, but I want to climb the trees. It’s the boundaries. Now is just open you to the boundary. We’re living [00:14:30] in a world full of boundaries and it’s like we try to find out where is the true boundaries and it doesn’t mean we need no boundaries. It’s like yin yang. Then you’ll see there is the environment, physical boundaries.

This wall is this high, this is the fence. I cannot go over and everything, but also you’ve got the people around you. People with different mindset [00:15:00] between someone who’s going to encourage you to climb tree versus the other person who going to say no, you come down. Do not do that. We can see this every single time and is based on your family.

Craig: Your local community and the society that you’re in.

The Rider

Sebastien: You see, but I’m working on it and for me and I’m believer of what I’m doing. I’m an explorer and then as [00:30:00] I say, and then after it’s sanctuary winter is where like you can literally almost like a bear can hibernate sometime make joke about that and at least almost what I do.

Craig: That’s what I do in the winter. I have like lists of books and things in collections and cross connections and like I go into winter, like. “Aha, I got so much I need to do.” A lot of it looks like me sitting in a chair but I stand up, I move around a little bit and I sit back down. I’m taking notes and then when spring comes around you, you’re just like raring to get outside [00:30:30] and raring to start moving.

Sebastien: Sometime I can say you can do recall like, to not forget. Let’s say you’ve been in summer you’ve something. You’ve been moving quite well. There is no problem because it’s almost three months. During all time if you want to go outside and jump, there is no problem about that. But the intensity during the three months is reduced. You can imagine the impact in the body is lower. We’re not following the calendar of a traditional sport, which I respect because they choose. [00:31:00] It’s like a contract, a non-written contract about I’m on back on a journey where I’m going to sacrifice my body, but it’s for the middle. It will maybe change my life because sometimes a career literally completely-

Craig: Yeah, is built on that accomplishment.

Sebastien: It can change your life and lift you up. Then you ended up as a reporter or anything. It can be very beneficial. But it’s a choice you make. For me, I choose I want my vehicle, my body, the horse as [00:31:30] I say if I’m the covener, how do you say that? You say the other word.

Craig: The rider.

Sebastien: The rider. You see, me as the rider the guys would decide, “Okay, I respect the horse. The vi cure will bring me from point a to point b, which is a definition of Parkour. Then after you need to decide and I know, I’m in a holistic journey. That’s why I make my choice. I’m in a holistic journey. For me it’s pretty, pretty simple. That’s why most of the time I practice and I don’t [00:32:00] train, but sometimes there’s some circumstances because I’ve done a lot of stuff in my career and my life and I can have opportunity is like the ripple effect. When you throw a rock into-

Craig: A ripple effect. Sorry. I thought you said it in French. Your English is correct.

Sebastien: You see and it does something. I already did it. Even when I talk now some people will listen. It will resonate for some people and it will go back [00:32:30] to me.

Maturity System

Craig: Yes. Let’s talk about that. Some people who are listening, I’m betting, people are listening going, this is not at all what I expected you to be saying. I expect you to be talking, insert history. I find this resonates with me. I understand what you’re talking about. It makes sense to me and I know that there are people that it doesn’t resonate with. What’s going on there? Why are there some people that what you’re saying is like, “Well, that’s excellent. I need to go think about that more.” Other people are like, “What are you talking about?”

Sebastien: It’s because they’re not in demand for that. As I said there is the maturity level, [00:33:00] it doesn’t mean they’re immature. This is just where they are. It’s like a journey to become from the caterpillar to butterfly. In maturity system as I said, there is age of roots, age of fire, age of water, age of air. In between, as I say you wave and someone who’s age fire is in demand for something very particular. Someone is age of water like me is in demand for something very particular. Water talk with water, it resonate. [00:33:30] Water talk with fire,-

Craig: Probably not.

Sebastien: … probably not. Fire speak with fire. Someone I will say like it’s a phase. I used to be fire. I used to be roots. I need to because roots is like I try to understand what I’m doing. I have no idea what it is and seeking for knowledge. Age of fire, it’s like, okay, I got it. Get out of my way. Let me show you.

Craig: I have things to do. [00:34:00] Let’s go.

Sebastien: I am the one. This is kind of like this, it’s a bit caricature but this is it. Then age of water say you know what? Okay, I’ve done it for a long time. I’ve had my bruise and everything. I need to understand why I’m doing that. Then that’s where also you read more, you listen more, you’re more sensitive, you’ve got so much experience, so much. That’s what I say the stuff I say now resonate to only those who are available for that. Age of air, [00:34:30] as I say, it’s where is the let it go.

It’s just like, now I know. I won’t be here forever. It’s a fact. I can fee it. My stamina maybe is lower. My performance is lower, everything and I accept it. They don’t take part into any battle. They can make some suggestion, but they don’t take part of anything because they know is futile. That’s why it’s very linked with the meditation. Now it’s I think I always say that this is where you start to enter [00:35:00] to the other world, I would say. The stuff we don’t know, the stuff like from religion or non-religious people. It’s like you still have as an intuition, you there is something. You know and everyone can argue for hours and hours but say, no worries. You’ll sooner or later-

Craig: You will know.

Sebastien: We hope later, but you will get it. That’s where the art of let it go, that’s okay. I’ve done all my journey, long journey and now I enter to this world, [00:35:30] I start to have more wisdom. But some of the people are old but they have no wisdom. But anyway, but that’s the way.

A place of their own

Dylan: [00:11:00] Right, yeah. So we found a tiny, little, we would joke it was like a boutique parkour gym it was like 900 square feet, and we-

Craig: I love that thing, you walked in and it was like, “Oh, it’s got an L, it goes around the corner,” and when you filled it up with stuff it actually got bigger for some reason.

Dylan: Yeah, exactly, it is hilarious when we designed it the way you would design a ship or an airplane or something where there’s no wasted…it’s not just the dining room table, it’s also the bed, so we [00:11:30] tried to be really creative in use of the space and the interaction of the obstacles and I did love that gym. But it was hilarious when we did move recently, just January first we opened to our much bigger space, like four times the size. When we had gotten all the stuff out and I just looked at the… I just stood there alone in the room, I was like, “What crazy person thought he could do a parkour gym in this thing?” It was so little!

Craig: Wasn’t it some kind of art thing on the other side of the wall? Was there an art studio or a gallery-

Dylan: Right, that whole building was mostly artist spaces and stuff [00:12:00] like that, so it was like the size, the guy who had it before me was like a sculptor. It was just him alone and a wheel. There was enough room for that, and then I was like, “I could build a parkour gym, it will be fine.”

Craig: We’ll hang five sets of rings from the ceiling…

Dylan: Right, exactly. So I guess a couple years went by in that much smaller space, and at that point we started to… I guess we were doing something right because it was growing a lot, and a lot of interest. The buzz was starting to form and starting to reach that tipping point in the community where enough people knew about [00:12:30] us that when someone was interested in this type of thing, they would be like, “Oh, I know there is a thing like that around here, go check it out.” So we kind of grew to the point where we were like, “We’ve gotta get out of here-”

Craig: Bursting at the seams…

Dylan: Right, there’s too many people-

Craig: I can’t get in the door to get my bag down to turn right-

Bigger and better things

Dylan: Exactly, so that’s when we started looking for bigger spaces, found the one that we found now, and we’ve been there since January first. That’s kind of the story of how I went from [00:13:00] training alone in an alley to having three different gyms in the course of a few years-

Craig: I think there’s a really interesting middle step there that I don’t know that I’ve seen anybody else do, which is the idea of, someone once said to me, “smallest set of features that can be defined as success.” So, not, “what is the dream?” Well, it has to have a door, it has to have a vault box, and it needs to have students, so what’s the minimum. So I don’t know that you were setting out intentionally to do that, but by picking a space that was… It was [00:13:30] clearly too small. By picking a space that was too small you set yourself up for at least avoiding the failure of having too much money hanging over your head. “I can’t make the rent,

Dylan: Right.

Craig: I can’t get… I need 70 people.”

Dylan: Right.

Craig: And then, or course, if it becomes a hot bed with six people show up and it crammed then they tell their friends, “Man, the joint is jumping!”

Dylan: Right, yeah.

Craig: That might be a good intermediate step for people to consider. Don’t think, “How do I start a 5,000 square foot parkour gym?”

Dylan: Right.

Craig: That’s almost insurmountable unless you have resources and assistance. And don’t think that, “Okay, I’m gonna go into teaching [00:14:00] in a gymnastics space,” as like, “I have to be there forever.” Picture your stepping stones, “I’ll be in the gymnastics space for a year and a half… I’m not telling them that, but I’ll be there for a year and a half, and then while I’m doing that I’m looking for the next space to make the leap frog, I’ll be there for another year or two.”

Dylan: Like An intermediate step. It feels analogous to if your band is just getting started out you should book an arena. It’s gonna feel empty. Get a small theater and then it’ll feel… it’s better to be in a tiny theater that feels full and people are standing room only, than to be in this huge space [00:14:30] with seven-eighths of the seats are empty.

Craig: “How we feeling in row two?”

On the meaning of success

Craig: When I say the word successful, who’s the first person that comes to mind.

Dylan: My idea of success is definitely not aligned with some of the traditional notions that I feel like I’ve gotten from our culture of just having the biggest most important job, or making the most money, or having the biggest house. [00:15:00] I definitely think that success is defined by happiness, and that does come back to my idea of following your bliss. Whatever makes you satisfied and just the things that fire you up and the relationships you’re having with people, as long as those things are prioritized in your life, then that is what I think of as a successful life.

A great example is a guy like Rich Roll. If [00:15:30] you happen to know, he’s a plant-based, ultra marathoner guy who, I guess his backstory is he had been this big time corporate lawyer, been like sort of “successful” in the traditional sense, but he also was really unhealthy and would tell stories of getting tired walking up the stairs-

Craig: Stairs are challenging…Doc says we have to talk about these numbers…

Dylan: Right, exactly, the doctor’s pretty much like, “You know, you’re gonna have a heart attack, like, any second, what are you doing?” [00:16:00] So he just had this moment where he was just like, “Okay, I’m gonna change up my diet, I’m gonna start training, I’m gonna quit my job as a corporate lawyer and just go hang out on the beach,” or whatever he was doing. I don’t know how he made that work, but eventually, he just became this really successful ultra marathoner and just running hundred mile races and winning them and starting all this past the age of forty. Now, he just seems like this pinnacle of health, [00:16:30] and he just does his thing and he trains and he talks about, I think he has a podcast. He’s definitely a person I think would think of as success just ’cause. I’ve seen videos-

Craig: He defined it himself and then succeeded at that.

Dylan: Right, exactly. He just kind of exudes this sort of a calm glow or sense of self-assuredness-

Craig: Some people have this visible concept, you can just see, they know where their North Star is and they’re not in a rush to get there, but you spin [00:17:00] them around three times and they just settle back on the direction they want to go.

Dylan: Right, exactly. I think a lot of issues for people comes from having the idea of success or what they’re supposed to be doing with their lives not be aligned with what they actually want inside. That dissonance that’s created from that, I think, causes a lot of suffering. So the sooner we can figure out what actually makes us happy and try to do more of that, the better off we’ll be. It is hard. I’ve jokingly referred to it as the “siren [00:17:30] song” of traditional success. It does draw you in. I even find myself sometimes, even now, where sometimes I’ll be like, “Oh, should I be trying to open up a bunch more locations and create a parkour empire? That would make me more impressive.”

Craig: “Or train coaches so I can make a pyramid out of this…”

Dylan: Then I’ll have this moment where it’s like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa…that sounds like a lot to manage!” I tried to set up this whole gig so I could share parkour with people, but also train a lot. Work less, and train more. [00:18:00] That’s been one of the things that I’ve found in owning a gym is that there are so many…it’s not all…I mean, it is all it’s cracked up to be, but it’s also not all it’s cracked up to be, because there’s so many, paperwork and just things to do.

Craig: I call that the sausage factory. Until you’ve owned a sausage factory, you have no idea what goes into making sausage.

Dylan: Totally. There’s a lot. As soon as I’m tempted to be like, “Oh, maybe this is going great, we could probably open more locations and [00:18:30] blah, blah, blah, have an empire.” Then I’m like, “But then you’d have to do the paperwork for all that! Wouldn’t you rather just train and not have an empire?”

Craig: Instead of that, add more staff.

Dylan: Right, instead of that, do more QM. So, yes, sometimes, I still need to remind myself to not accidentally slip onto the treadmill of traditional success.

From practitioner to facilitator

Craig: How did you get from the doer to the facilitator? So in the beginning, I don’t think that you had visions of becoming a parkour community leader, that you were just following your own path, and parkour was the path that you were taking. So, how did that turn into … Obviously you don’t do everything yourself, but how did that turn into you being one of the key people [00:01:30] who keeps the community moving forward and focused on what it is doing? How did you get from-

Jesse: Well, a big thing for me … I mentioned before the interview that I’ve been running experiments on myself since I was 12. One of the experiments was, “Okay, what happens if you set a time, say 6:30 to 8:30 every Tuesday, you’re going to go out and train? You’re going to do it the same time every week. Let’s see what happens.”

[00:02:00] The first thing that happened is it’s kind of rough to keep the schedule. I don’t even know if it’s helpful.

Craig: Oh no, it’s raining, right?

Jesse: Oh no, it’s raining, oh it’s getting cold, it’s winter. Nobody wants to come out.

Craig: Now I’m by myself.

Jesse: Now I’m by myself. But then what you start to notice is, after I train, I feel better. I feel better for like two days after that, too. So I could just do a few sessions of these a week, and [00:02:30] that would coast me on my feelings. Maybe not get me towards my ambitious goals, but it would help mentally regulate me. And that was hugely powerful.

And this just became this dedication to myself to go out and to train, and my promise to myself every Tuesday is to go out and get the training that I need, whatever that looks like. [00:03:00] Maybe I did a lot of jumping that week and I need to do some kind of recovery, like, I’m going to do that there. And listening to a friend of mine, he said, “If you’re truly connected with how you can heal yourself, then you can heal others.”

Craig: So the Movement Creative, depending on who I think I would talk to, they would have completely different opinions of what MC really is. Is it a business or is this organic creation? And I think in reality, it grew out of, [00:03:30] it became, structurally, legally, organizationally, it became just simply what it needed to become in order to do what you guys wanted to do with it. And I think there’s some really complex philosophical points maybe, that people in the United States need to unpack that are related to business versus the goal of the business.

If you create a business, are you creating a tool [00:04:00] because you need screwdriver to solve a problem, or are you creating a tool because you think the tool would be cool. And I think that’s really a subtle point, and maybe I’m wrong, everybody thinks that’s obvious, but I think that’s a subtle point that a lot of people miss. And they tend to throw the baby, the business, out with the bathwater. And they go, “Well, this particular business didn’t work well.” So they throw all business out, throw all businesses under the bus.

And my question for you specifically, since that was rambling, my question for you specifically is how [00:04:30] do you figure out what to do next when you need to put on your business hat? Or do you not have a business hat, and you just, you know, shoot from the hip all the time?

Jesse: Well, my biggest defining guidance is not to do anything offensive to my soul. I’ve done plenty of things that were offensive to my soul.

Craig: Name two. No, I’m kidding.

Jesse: But that’s [00:05:00] what is guiding me. I don’t think the Movement Creative has to succeed, I don’t think I have to succeed, I don’t think I have to make money, I don’t think I have to eat, I don’t have to breathe or be alive. I’m here on purpose, I want to be here, I want to share this, I want to eat, I want to enjoy life, I want to bring this out into the world. And coming from that core of, “This is a decision. There’s a million things I could do to make money.” This [00:05:30] has to be because I want to share this thing.

And if i want to share this thing, how can I share it in a way I totally agree with? And if it’s not working, then I need to look at myself and figure out what I need to learn or understand better, or even that relationship to business being a tool to help something come to be. That’s still something I’m working on.

Systems thinking through game design

Craig: Honestly, I think the hardest part about interviewing you is I can’t decide [00:06:00] what to talk about. So I ask guests all the time, is there something you would like to share in here? And Jesse just hit me with something I know nothing about, so you wanted to talk about?

Jesse: Systems thinking through game design. So my first school program was teaching parkour as a boss level, at a school called Quest to Learn. It’s partnered with Institute of Play. And I got [00:06:30] in there with a friend of a friend, an acquaintance, he knew that I did parkour and he heard that his students wanted to do it, so we ran a weeklong session, and it went pretty well. So they asked us to run another one. So we’re thinking about running this other one. And then they asked us to run an after school program, asked us to run a summer camp.

And as we are running more and more there, parkour is my [00:07:00] thing, but I want this to be co-created. I want this to be working within what values the school-What’s the school trying to do? What are these students trying to do? What’s important to them? Can we use parkour to teach them something a little bit more.

I’m in the school and I see they break systems down. You have a goal that you’re trying to achieve, and a challenge, what’s stopping you, what’s in your way. You have the space [00:07:30] that you’re in, you have the core mechanics, what you’re going to use to accomplish your goal. You have maybe some tools, some things you can use as well. And there’s rules to any system. There’s some sort of rules.

So I started working with Brendon Trombley, who I just got to go to China with, to coach in December. [00:08:00] Brendan is a game designer. He will design a simple game to teach about tyranny, where kids, every day, once a day, they’re going to vote whether they want to work or rebel. And if enough people rebel, the king [00:08:30] is overthrown and they have to elect a new king. If they work, one gold gets distributed to the king. And then the king gets to distribute it however he wants.

Craig: Oh, okay. There’s a feedback, right.

Jesse: So that’s the whole game. And you play this for one week with sixth graders, seventh graders. They’re going to experience tyranny for a week. But it only takes one minute a day, [00:09:00] and then it’s happening between classes. It’s in the lunch room, and it’s like, “We have to get this.” Or “Let’s get it this round, and then we’ll distribute to just our class.” And, “Well, that didn’t work.”

Craig: That’s what you said last time.

Jesse: But he’ll also make a game…he made a working hair follicle cell in Minecraft. So you could move around…

Craig: In the hair follicle.

Jesse: And [00:09:30] you could make the hair follicle grow one cubit if you operated the cell correctly.

Craig: That’s neat.

Jesse: And it’s like, “Oh, wow. We can really use these to teach something.” So it started being like, “Okay, well maybe we can use some games to teach movement.” And I think it transitioned totally for me, to how can I use movement to teach this idea? And this idea is, we’re playing all these different movement games, [00:10:00] different parkour games, and as we keep running the program, we’re playing games that other students have created in this process.

Then we’re asking students, “Well, what do you want to get better at?” Maybe it’s teamwork, maybe it’s jumping. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. And then saying, “Okay, how can we create a game that will make everybody who’s playing it better at this thing?” And that’s awesome. You can take some of your favorite games and you say, “Okay, [00:10:30] what’s the goal of tag? What’s the goal of hide and seek? And what are the core mechanics, what do we learn from this game? What does this game teach us? If we get really good at this game, what will we get really good at?”

And it becomes, “I can take this piece and this piece and I can…” Or, “I don’t like this game at all. Let’s change one small thing about it, now what happens?”

Craig: Completely different animal, right.

Jesse: You say like, “Okay, I want to play tag, but we only have one small room. How are we going to play it?” [00:11:00] You change the space a little bit, you change the system. You just pull one piece out and put one piece in, and you see like, how does this change everything? And to me, that was a hugely empowering tool. And I’m driving up on the car yesterday, everybody’s in the van, and I’m like, “What game can we play in a parking lot?” And I can just see, like…

Craig: All the people coming into the parking lot, like, “What is going on [00:11:30] here? 14 idiots running around in a parking lot.”

Jesse: Yeah, what are my goals? What am I trying to achieve here? I want everybody to move together to have a fun time. Be a little bit confused, warm up…

Craig: Movement check.

Jesse: Yeah, movement check. Create an equal space. Create a space that is too complex and too fresh for anybody to possibly be good at it. Which is also an important thing. We keep making these new games. [00:12:00] We don’t want to be good at these games, these games do not matter at all. We want to be adaptable. We want to be ready to play whatever game, and just be open to it, and see what we can gain. And how powerful is it to tell an eight year old or an eleven year old, “Make a game that you’re going to beat us at. Go out, find a parkour challenge that I can’t do. I’m gonna find one you can’t do, and he’s gonna find one neither of us can do, and then we’re gonna try each other’s challenges until we can figure something out about it.”