Three words to describe your practice?

Craig: [00:29:30] And, of course, the final question, three words to describe your practice.

Dylan: I guess the first one that occurs to me is evolving, probably, or shifting, changing something along those lines because I almost think of the analogy of how they say you can never look at the same stream twice type of thing. There’s different water flowing through all the time. In a way, for me, my parkour practice is the stream bed, and that’s kind of this consistent [00:30:00] structure and methodology, but the things that I’m doing and the effects that they’re having on me, and the thoughts that I’m having while I’m training is constantly shifting and changing. That’s kind of interesting to notice and to try to derive whatever lessons there are inherent in that fact. For a while there, I feel like I was, for example, trying to build up to bigger and scarier jumps in order to cross some threshold in my mind [00:30:30] of like, “Okay, now I’ve done something-”

Craig: “Now I can jump,” right?

Dylan: Yeah, that’s like legit or whatever. Anymore, I’m just less interested. I feel like I’ve crossed some thresholds where I’ve done some scary jumps and blah, blah, blah…Sometimes I’m still drawn to those, but for the most part, I find that I’m more drawn to quirky, interesting, creative movement. That’s what really jazzes me up and I get really excited, or just flowy, fluid root stuff. [00:31:00] It’s interesting the way the practice kind of evolves and the way you have different places you are in your life and that will affect it. There was times in my life, in my practice early on where a big part of it was I just need to punish myself through a physical conditioning, just brutal physical conditioning.

Then, maybe there were some times when I was like, “I’m just gonna take it easy on myself and do just some chill flowy fun work.” The [00:31:30] mindset that I’m occupying and the motivation it’s all just constantly changing. It’s not staying one thing, but being able to embrace that and honor that and not feel like, “Oh, why aren’t you doing it this way?” Because there no really right or wrong way to practice parkour. There’s just what effect is it having on your life. Is it positive or negative? How are your motivations shifting? Because if this is something that we want to do for the rest of our lives, like many of us do, [00:32:00] it can’t stay the same thing. Life isn’t like that. The person who I was when I started training is a different version of myself than the one now. So it wouldn’t make sense to try to have it be this static thing. So I guess that would be one word to describe the practice.

Another would be purposeful or meaningful. I’m trying to think of the right word. Something around the idea that it has created a touchstone. [00:32:30] Parkour has become a way of thinking about what are correct actions in a given moment and a way of imbuing my life with meaning and giving me a reason to exist. I feel like, definitely, before I trained parkour, there was a large time in my life where I was just killing time, and just fluttering about. There was no organizing principle around my life. Parkour just creates that organizing principle. Like, is what I’m doing [00:33:00] gonna help me be a better practitioner or worse? It helps you make different decisions. Like we touched on earlier, in some of my younger days I would party really hard and do self-destructive behaviors and all these things. When especially for a bunch of those years where my main training things was just those epic long Sunday sessions, if I was going out and getting hammered Saturday night, that day was just lost.

Craig: You took it from yourself. It’s like with [00:33:30] the cupcake. Do you wanna eat the cupcake, you have to carry it over the wall.

Dylan: Right, exactly. Getting into that, what do you want more? Do you want more to do these self-destructive behaviors that seem fun in this moment or do you want to be ready to train, to make gains the next day? In the narrative about yourself, that you’re holding, what type of character do you want to be in the narrative of your own life. Parkour just kind of [00:34:00] helps create that organizing principle where I just start making different decisions and my whole life has just been a much more healthy, happy, satisfied version than I’ve been able to find before that. So many other things tend to fall into place in one’s life outside of that. I’ve found that parkour, if I had to point to one thing, that changed between my kind of like-

Craig: Dylan 1.0 and Dylan 2.0.

Dylan: My angry, dissatisfied, [00:34:30] anxious past self and now which is more satisfied and calm and at peace. Parkour has to be that thing. That change that all these other changes flowed from. I would say purpose-making, if that’s a word.

Craig: Hyphens are free.

Dylan: And then, I mean, I guess the final one would just, and this kind of just brings us back to the initial [00:35:00] description of myself that just blissful. I just love training so much, and it’s fun. That’s kind of the main point of a lot of things. Touching on what we were talking about before about success. At the end of the day, we’re just animals that got smart enough to realize we were here and started having to think about why. The dog doesn’t have these problems. Everything’s all good in the moment. [00:35:30] So, when we’re constructing the meaning of our lives, or deciding what’s important, I definitely feel that having as much joy, as many moments of joy is one way to measure how well things are going. Parkour has just been this joy generator, whether its feeling great after overcoming a physical conditioning challenge or breaking a jump, or just [00:36:00] fun and just play, just a chill session with friends, like, “Oh, What’s that thing you did; I wanna try that thing.” It just creates so many opportunities for just moments of bliss and joy and happiness. That has to be one of the reasons I just want to keep training all the time.

Craig: Thank you very much, Dylan. It’s been a pleasure.

Dylan: Thanks, Craig.