Episode: Comfortable – with AnnSofie Svensson
Hello, I’m Craig Constantine, welcome to the movers mindset podcast where I talk with movement enthusiast to find out who they are, what they do and why they do it. My guest today is Anne Sophie or and so as most people know her, and Sophie Svendsen. Welcome. And so it’s a pleasure to have a chance to talk to you.
Thank you for having me.
I think the place to start would be to let’s talk about rail flow. Because most of the time I watch Instagram and cry for what I see, oh, I wish I could do any of those things. However, rail flow is something that I particularly enjoy. And I’m wondering what your thoughts are around. I like rail flow, because of the contact. And it’ll mean, I’m afraid of falling. So I always want to be, that’s true. But I mean, I like the way it physically feels. When you feel the bar on you like something you’re not doing it wrong. But when the when you’re on that there’s a comfort. And I’ve talked to dancers who describe a similar feeling, when they do think it’s called for work, and when they’re when there’s contact on the floor. So I’m wondering, because I know you have a dance background, as we talked beforehand, I’m wondering what your thoughts are about rail flow and the rail work that you do, like, does that is it? Does it feel like aerial does it feel like it’s grounded floor work from dance? What are your thoughts on how those things work together in your rail work?
I feel it’s like somewhere, I think, a middle ground because it connects both what I what I used to do in the air and what I do on the floor. I’m not sure how I got into doing as much rail flows as I do now. I know like the architecture where I started doing Parkour was more rails than walls. So it’s always been more common around me.
I, I think I noticed that you’ve started doing handstands, that that’s a thing that you’ve been working towards or that you like, I think I saw a comment where you basically did one impromptu in front of some students. And you was like, yes, it worked. I was so happy. I’m wondering if there are if there are other skills that you’ve looked at. So like one can look at hands down, I should work on that. That’s the thing. I’d like to have other other skills that you’ve looked at that you’ve went, I Yeah, no, I don’t, I don’t need that. Like, you see what I’m saying? Like, this is interesting to look at what you’re drawn to. But it’s also interesting to ask about what you’re going to say repulsed by but the things that don’t draw your attention.
I don’t like it. Usually, I just want to do everything, which is too much. I already do too much. And at the end, I’m also I’m really, really bad at being consistent with any type of training. So really happy to have
your I saw your chin up post. I was like, you know, for those who didn’t see it, go look it up. It’s an Instagram, chin up bar in a doorway, you know, the person hanging and then she does like a chin up. And I’m like, a second one. I’m like, Okay, I’m a third one. Okay, that’s more than I can do. Then it cuts to I’m not gonna spoil it. It’s like the other part of the training. I’m like, Oh, that’s funny. Sorry, I interrupted you. Like, I know what you mean about the consistency and, and right, it doesn’t have to be like, exactly consistent. But what what do you do when you’re you’re working on something, maybe it’s chin ups, maybe it’s handstands, you work on it, and you put some more time in and then some more time, and it’s just not happening. Like how do you
usually, usually a man managed for three weeks, and then I just get bored and doing something else? You know? So I managed to keep something consistent for three weeks, and then I’m done. And I go back to it like a few months later, like, oh, well, I need to start over.
So I’m not sure if I cut you off before you got to an answer to my other question, which was are there movements that you’ve chosen to not try and tackle?
I haven’t, I don’t know. Like I haven’t done much acrobatics in forms of flips, mostly because I was. I didn’t feel that was part of Parkour when I started. But these past few years when I started doing more circus. That part of movement has entered my life a bit. But yeah, it’s like I tend to injure myself really easily. I think I get overexcited. Like too often. So I’m trying to keep myself down. And yeah, trying to be more aware.
There’s something to be said for ballistics, you know, like, if you take a jump or I, just like, I’ve seen a lot of aerial silks work, and it doesn’t even strike me as something that I should even consider ever trying like, no. But when I see some of the aerial silks transitions, like you just see it coming. It’s like a wrap. So, oh, this is going to be in there. It’s like, a drop. And then there’s a catch. And like that stuff, when you see a dynamic movement, that, I mean, obviously, it has to start. But when you see a dynamic movement and under control, that stuff always really impresses me. Because you know, if anybody who’s done any kind of dynamic movement, you understand how much energy is involved, especially if it’s gravity and head down. Yeah. Do you find that maybe the dynamic stuff is you’re like hooked on the idea. There’s like a runner’s high. Do you find maybe think that that’s what drives you? Like, just, oh, that was fun. Okay, moving on, or is it?
I like facing my fears a lot. I really like pushing myself through those. So it’s more working with that. And, but then I was like, I, I usually say that I have issues with commitment, and not the fact that I don’t commit, like the issue is that I commit too often.
How, how do you combat that? Like I would? I’ve spent I used to have a theme for every year, one year I had a theme, it was no, like the word no, on a sign over my desk. Like the theme for this year is no, like, say no to things, Greg. So how do you combat saying, you know, committing to everything and saying yes.
I’m still working I’m
sorry. mean to point out? Well, there’s your problem directly. My bad we’ll cut that out. No, we won’t. You find that there are a lot of them. A lot of the movements that I see one of the challenges is, each one of us can only share, you can only share so much. So we even if you’re sharing a video or a sequence of things, which shows your progress, we’re still we’re still telling a story. Like, no matter how you share, even like you and I having a conversation, we’re really telling each other. I’m telling you one story, it looks like me asking your questions are being curious. And you’re telling me one story by how you answer and what you choose to share. So we’re always filtering what we’re choosing to share. And a lot of what I see you share is you by yourself. I mean, sometimes there’s a couple people in the background. Or sometimes it’d be like another person, like the books post was funny. But mostly it’s you sharing. And I’m just wondering, does that I don’t want to call that solo or aloneness. But is that part of your movement? Like you enjoy moving by yourself? Or are you are you energized when there are other people around? But we just happen to not see them? Or do you like to do partner things? Like how do you think about practicing and training alone versus with others?
I think it really depends, like I love like social training. And I tend to not put that up as much because then he’s busy being with people. But I also have always chosen discipline that not many people do where I live. So I’m just trying to figure things out by myself and I’m usually by myself training. So also, I recently moved up to north of Sweden again and moved back north and I live in this town where it’s not so much Parkour so I tend to not do much Parkour here yet. Because that is that part of my practice tends to be more social then my circus practice.
Do you feel like so many… This is not me being bored. This is me having too many things. I’m like… favorite movie? The man from Earth? Really good movie. Is it an English or is it the?
Yeah, it’s like it’s very telling kind of fiction
and my brains thinking about the Man Who Fell to Earth, which is a really old David Bowie film, but what what epoch is it like to say is it as or is it like 2000… 1950… Like, you know, roughly when?
2010 ish or earlier maybe?
Feel like I should have seen that then but I’m not so
it’s not common. Most people haven’t seen it.
The beauty of the internet …can probably see it in my glasses Earth. Earth 2007 The Internet Movie Database says: An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues, he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine — I have not seen this. What the— I will look, that’s a neat looking movie. How did you find it?
Through a friend? Because that was his favorite movie.
That’s a good way to find new favorite things. Coffee or tea? We do random stuff for a while. Tea.
Yeah, I don’t drink caffeine. At all. No. Hmm.
i A while back gave up putting anything in my coffee. And that really changed my change my experience of it. And I’m really like, I’m really liking coffee more now that it’s just the coffee. Cool. Do you think that you’re, you mentioned that you’re having been doing as much Parkour. And I’m gonna say that’s a common. I don’t mean to make small of the problem. But that’s a common problem. People find that their heart, like is saying, Go jump on stuff. But there really isn’t a great place or a great community to do that. Without putting you on the spot. What are you doing about that? Like, do you feel like there’s a way that you can get more Parkour in? Do you feel like you can find people or create something? Or Wow, what are you doing about that?
I think for now, it’s just been winter, so I haven’t really thought about it much. But I also come to this realization that Parkour might be right now, discipline that I do when I travel to places when there are people who do Parkour. And otherwise Parkour is still like, it’s always in the back of my head. And I still do things but I don’t practice it.
Interesting. What’s, what’s your favorite place to visit for Parkour?
I don’t know. I get it’s mostly depends on the people like I traveled to meet people and train with them. But I do like get a really like their architecture in like England, Scotland, for Parkour, because it’s so different from what we have in Sweden, usually, that
might be a density issue, right? Like, just there’s so much more. But there’s something magical to going to other people’s place, you know, their city or their town or countryside. There’s something magical about being around somebody else who just keeps going, Oh, I gotta show you this. And they run off saying, Oh, we got to save it. And they just keep like, I’ve been in, visited places where I’m like, slow down. I haven’t even jumped here yet. You know, like, give me a chance to explore and it is that’s contagious when you find somebody else who has that energy level to share with you. Have you gotten sucked into Build during yet? You know, climbing on the buildings? Are you still…
A little bit but it’s like one of those things that is on my list of things I want to do that doesn’t really I…
just what I need another thing to do!
I think I counted at some point I count in the different disciplines I’ve been doing the last year and I was like up to 20 Yeah, and I felt like that was a bit much. And I started to divide them in categories and then I felt easier.
I’m gonna talk myself into that this is not a disaster. I’ve only got 130— There was an old Yeah, I could put on let’s not do movies all day Craig. What’s… I have like a million questions that I can ask, is there anything that’s now rattling around in your head that you’re wondering about or wanted to say or wanted to ask but you’re afraid that I was
…gonna …I was …I realized I was gonna say about the thing that I want to try to make do Parkour here is that I’m actually planning to build some sort of Parkour pack out by my cabin in the woods. So I have something just like where I live, and I have a lot of space because it’s in the woods. So I hope I can manage to build something this summer.
Because I gather you have real winter. Yeah, and often Like, where is this and like, like, you know, show me the climate Oh, around here, it does get below freezing for several months, but just below freezing you can go outside barefoot for like five minutes to get the mail. It’s not a problem. You know in
here your eyelids can freeze together.
Very rarely Am I experienced that I went to Quebec once? Well, I’ve been to Quebec several times. But one of the times I went there, I didn’t know exactly where I was going. And I stepped off the bus with my phone in my hand. And I went like 20 paces, and my phone turned off. And I was like, that’s weird. Turns out there’s a temperature sensor in there. And if it’s cold enough, the phone says no. Oh, never like oh, did I blinked and one of my eyes froze shut, you know, like the tears like, Alrighty, then. First of all, I need to warm that up. So I can see. Second of all, I think it’s time to run, generate some. Yeah, it does change when you’re in an environment. That is I don’t want to say mean, but when you’re in an environment where it’s like, yeah, that, you know, we can only be here for a few minutes, because the police show up every time or it’s so cold that you can’t take your gloves off. And that produces a whole different set of challenges. So try and well first figure out why am I here? And second of all, figure out what would be fun. What would be an interesting story. Yeah. Oh, I had many things I could say I have a friend who says who has told me on many occasions that there are three types of fun. There’s type one fun, which is this is fun. Right now we’re playing tag. This is great. type two fun is when the this this kind of sucks, you know, but this is going to be great later. Like when we tell the story. This is going to be so much fun. And then type three fun is this sucks mistakes were made. I want it here. This is not gonna be fun later. Those are the three types of fun. Do you have a story of type two fun so something that was a little a little bit? Either sketchy or uncomfortable or challenging in the moment, but that turned out really well and was funny.
Well, I think I’m a bit clumsy is like it happens quite often that I just do stupid shit. Like I had friends telling me like it. We should just have a film crew after you all at all times. The outtakes? Yeah. I always like when I when I get to try a new movie. I always put up the camera. Cuz I know like, well, the first try might be really good. Like, in the sense that it’ll look funny, because I’ll probably mess it up. But I had it had a rehearsal for one of our circuit shows that we do. And my character is a person who doesn’t have any impulse control.
Okay, keep going.
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. But then when I was getting jumped from this wooden ladder to a table, but the wooden ladder it folds. So jumping from it, and it just folded and it’s like smashed onto it didn’t wasn’t intended to do that as tended to land on the table, and I was like, well, the second try will surely work. Then I want to smash straight into the table instead.
We need to rethink the physics here. This is not going to work and he’s rubber feet or bolt it open or something. I keep doing your work this time. Yeah. Terrific. All right.
Sophie is the part where like, commitment issues.
That’s what I was thinking. I’m like, Yeah, some people might say too dumb to quit. But I’m not saying that. I’m just saying commitment. Yes. I know exactly what you mean, I once tried to do. I read an article about somebody who was who had turned 30. And the person decided, probably while eating potato chips on the sofa that they wanted to get in shape. So they thought, Well, I’m 30 If I work on push ups for the whole year that I’m 30 I’ll be really good at push ups. I get some it’d be fun challenge. So I was 42 at the time. I’m thinking I wonder what happened if I tried to do instead of this person’s choice of 30,000 Push Ups What if I tried to do 40,000 And I like know that numbers. I wound up trying to spend a whole year trying to do 10,000 of each of push ups pull ups bar to bar precisions at 60 inches or more seconds. 10,000 seconds in handstand and 10,000 bodyweight squat. So it became this giant I mean spreadsheet. I planned my whole life out because it’s like well, I have to do 27 of these and 15 of those and yeah, all I got for it was a partly torn rotator cuff. Yeah, yeah. I totally understand overcommitment. Yeah. Anyway, yeah, talking again. Alright, well, as much as I would love to talk all day, we can always talk again, I think I will just say and of course the final question, three words. to describe your practice
yeah, right. That one. Making the uncomfortable comfortable.
That’s an excellent that first of all, that’s a really good phrase, but it’s also a good summary of, I would say your personal way of approaching movement. Terrific. Thank you so much, Annso, for joining me it was a distinct pleasure to get chance to talk to you. Nice to meet you.
Thank you. It’s fun.