Transcript for “Investigation – with James Adams”

Episode, Investigation – with James Adams

00:00.00
Craig
Hello I’m Craig Constantine welcome to the movers mindset podcast where I talk with movement enthusiasts to find out who they are what they do and why they do it. My guest today is James Adams welcome James my pleasure. Thank you for? ah.

00:13.64
James
Um, hello Thank you for having me.

00:19.16
Craig
Doesn’t say zooming in or dialing in or dialing in a little dated there correct for joining me virtually um I’m glad that you had a chance to to drop into my schedule and ah before we started recording I was like you know I don’t think we’ve ever even actually said anything more than hay or hello in all of my.

00:34.71
James
Um, yeah.

00:37.14
Craig
You know, relatively large for an american large number of trips to England so I’m also really excited to get a chance to have a None conversation with you. Ah, and so I did a little yeah do a little bit of research and I’m just like oh this is how do I pick something when I have 12 that I want to talk about and I think maybe I’m going to go in like a.

00:45.80
James
Likewise.

00:51.71
James
Um.

00:56.45
Craig
Random direction. Um, you have a penchant if I can use that word I’m not sure it applies for programming and I’m guessing also for systems building like that’s a guest um because I’m I’m sensing that what you’re doing with the Parkour clinic with your Parkour clinic.

01:04.73
James
Um, oh yeah.

01:16.35
Craig
And what you’re doing with like some research papers that I’ve seen and then just some like really sketchy like let’s run R code to analyze you know the x-men. It’s like all right definitely like parcor mixed with programming mixed with systems and I’m I’m just wondering how. Do you feel like systems building is a superpower for you or is maybe you feel like programming is this power screwdriver that you have that most people don’t have so it just seems like you get a lot done because of the programming skills or what is it that you feel like is the real power tool for you.

01:49.11
James
I mean definitely it’s ah like a multipurpose screwdriver when you wanted to be that’s you know I used to be 1 of those people that would find all the apps and tools and random things that you could put on your computer to help you save 3 seconds off all your tasks and once I finally managed to.

01:58.43
Craig
Um.

02:06.92
Craig
Oh.

02:08.31
James
Teach myself how to code I was like oh I should have just done this years ago because it it does all the plus all these things for you. Um I don’t necessarily know that systems building is how I describe it I I think Productivity has always been a big. Um, oh God It sounds like such a nerdy thing to say that productivity is a passion.

02:11.54
Craig
Ah, that.

02:28.90
James
But you know that kind of it came about yeah it um you know it came about through necessity particularly being self-employed and freelance and things like that you have to stay on top of a bunch of things and then eventually I was like oh actually I quite I Quite like fiddling around with all these things.

02:29.85
Craig
I’ll out myself I’m a nerd I’m proud of it.

02:40.17
Craig
Um.

02:47.58
James
And um, so yeah, maybe not systems but definitely data I would say is something that I really enjoy and that comes out through the coding and programming as well and the research things and stuff I like um, kind of the fitting together of things is the best way I can describe it I like seeing how.

03:07.46
Craig
Yeah, what? Ah what evolves and emerges. Um amen I hear you? ah ah my brain’s going in 2 directions. 1 is let’s see if James is also into science fiction. Ah there is a science fiction story which I can’t remember if it was like ah the moat in god’s eye or if it was like.

03:07.71
James
Relationships come out. Um, Oh yeah.

03:26.80
Craig
1 of the Ramas ah, but basically it’s human beings wind up traveling long distance to get to a planet and when they arrive they’re basically like all right, let’s explore the area and they get like effectively attacked and boarded by an alien by itself in a ship and the alien has 3 arms that is an extra arm and it’s.

03:37.39
James
Um I.

03:45.12
Craig
Big and ape-like and without saying anything or attempt to communicate it basically forces its way into their spacecraft disarms them by grabbing you know like a piss a lot of this one guy’s hand and while they’re trying to figure out what’s going on it grabs his hand forcefully manipulates this human’s hand. And then in front of their eyes redesigns their pistol takes it completely apart makes the handle better improves the sights put it backs together and gives it back to them and and then leaves you know like it fixed some other things that were broken and then it gets and they’re like what the and it was just this idea of. I don’t know if this is what the author was’ and if I can’t remember what the it’s probably Arthur C Clark or somebody really famous. But when I read that I’m not saying I’m not I’m that creature. But ah that to me was an instance of a perfectly distilled problem solving tool-buding system repairing and it turned out that that was a sub. Race that’s entire job was to just go around and fix stuff. That’s all it did it was bred for that That’s what its intelligent was they had given it an extra arm so it could hold its own tools and all it did was fix stuff. It couldn’t talk. It didn’t have any other any other purpose in life but it fixed things and.

04:40.28
James
Um, right.

04:54.93
Craig
Sometimes I have flashbacks of that creature. You know when I’m when I see something and I’m I feel like I’m physically torn. So with the question I mentioned by saying I had two directions I’m pulled in and 1 direction would have been to just say so when you find yourself torn between fixing something like you know this web platform is.

04:57.83
James
Um.

05:14.25
James
Um.

05:14.33
Craig
Broken or trying to like ooh I feel like there’s a ah data relationship in here that I could tease out if I put some tooling at it. So when you find None of those questions that draws you? How do you decide when to follow that. Rabbit down the rabbit hole and and when to just be like yeah no, but that’s not going to give me any return on my time or I need to go make coffee or whatever. So how do you balance if you have that urge to build tools and to make things and to fix things. How do you balance that with you know, regular life.

05:46.26
James
I Don’t think I do if I’m honest I Yeah um I think I can’t help it sometimes and I know my wife has told me things like okay, you need to set an alarm on the computer.

05:48.56
Craig
Um, it’s kind of a hurry.

06:05.17
James
Um, because I’m going out and you’re working on this thing and if there isn’t anything to remind you. You will forget to eat until suddenly it’s like quarter to eleven at night and then you’ll panic order a pizza that you shouldn’t have so um, yeah, there’s there’s a degree of like being pulled into it I think is.

06:10.42
Craig
Ah. Um.

06:24.52
James
Is a good way to describe it. You just end up going. Oh this is interesting and then before you know it. It’s 3 in the morning. So um, yeah I don’t think I do balance it.

06:28.16
Craig
Um, was there someone ah some having flashbacks you know like I’m imagining my childhood someone thinking was there someone in your childhood or you know adolescent years where maybe you saw somebody who was. I’m just going to say a tool-building problem solving machine like that whether did you have those people as role models or were there maybe other people that you hung out with or like where do you think that comes from is it just a a predisposition that you have or is it a habit or.

06:58.58
James
I Think it’s a predisposition and I think it’s it’s kind of the same part of my brain that um of anyone’s brain that enjoys or gets reward out of solving the puzzle you know or or figuring something out. It’s um, you know I used to build websites when I was a teenager and. That stuff and although I fell out of it a bit of that time. It was just always always kind of there. It was just that and like video games and things like that They were always far more interesting to me than sport and going outside as a child which is really funny considering what ended up doing for for my twenty s but um.

07:25.59
Craig
You know.

07:35.00
James
Yeah I think it’s just um, where my my brain goes and actually I think that’s kind of what got me into power core is that little bit the connection of like putting things together and problem solving.

07:41.35
Craig
Yeah, that was that was the line I was going to draw next was I think people Ife still listening people were like well we’re talking about entrepreneurs. Great hang up I’m thinking though that when I see people in movement contexts.

07:53.19
James
Um, yeah.

08:01.10
Craig
Who are deploying the the problem solving even systems in toolbuiling like well in order to do that I’m going to have to make my body able to do this. You know like ah groups that I hung out with who try to abolish saying can’t.

08:10.84
James
Me.

08:15.44
Craig
And instead of saying can’t they have to replace they have to make a phrase which explains what would have to happen before that would be possible. So I can’t do a climb up I would need to be a lot stronger to do that climb up and then okay, well now I know what the None step would be so even that kind of reforming formulating problems.

08:20.40
James
Um, and.

08:32.54
Craig
To me that’s tool building and and systems building and I see so much of that in the movement spaces in park our spaces and it’s one of the through lines that I see whatever you want to call it freeruning artoplasma it’s a through line of people like I’m a human and I can figure out how to http://dot.dot um so i.

08:49.74
James
Um, and.

08:52.48
Craig
I think I see a lot of people I’ve talked to I certainly talk to a lot of people who are basically nerds. But then realize they also wanted to go outside. What was that transition that transition like for you.

08:56.61
James
Yeah, yeah, there’s definitely a big like nerd quota within Parkour. Um, it kind of happened in my teens because I I was overweight as a teenager and. Um, when I kind of lost the way I went through a bit of an unhealthy stage of of losing it and as I was starting to come through that. So okay, well I can’t um, just not eat anymore which is essentially what I was doing so but I also don’t want to go back to where I was so I guess I’ll go into exercise. Um. And I you know went to the gym and stuff and that was all fine for a few years but it it was getting kind of boring. Um, so I started looking for something to do and Parkour tickles that part of my brain that then reconnected with perhaps my my previous disposition as we talked about.

09:52.72
Craig
Was there a social aspect to it because I’m just wondering like for me the I don’t want to say being a nerd was lonely because it wasn’t I had friends but it wasn’t done in groups. It’d be like you’d go do the thing and then there’d be opportunities to collaborate and compare. But.

09:53.86
James
Um, so it was It was really a lucky thing to find Oh yeah, yeah.

10:10.19
Craig
My experience of Parkour and movement has always been much more I’m going to say social in the sense of like yeah, there’s several of us here hanging out. Um, do you think that’s also what drew you to it. The social aspects.

10:17.65
James
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, it’s funny to look back. I was a very different person at that time and a lot of the changes that have happened to me have happened as a direct result of doing park. All Um. Just being much more socially confident and having that kind of icebreaker of we’re doing the same activity was a really big part of that but then alongside it you know, building confidence in all the ways that regular exercise and Parkour specific stuff. Um like facing. Risk and challenge and all those things that I’m sure everyone listening has heard a None people talk about um it you know it it did make me a lot more confident in general and then particularly getting into coaching as well public speaking and all that thing all that kind of stuff. It’s kind of amazing to look back and see.

10:56.48
Craig
Much.

11:13.46
James
Think about how I was as a teenager. Um and the the transition that it it brought out of me.

11:20.20
Craig
So many things of anything else jump out of you that you want to pull on at the moment instead of me driving all the time.

11:23.12
James
Um, ah.

11:29.29
James
Um, I mean I don’t know I don’t I think that’s a fairly common journey for people to go through with park or certainly as a coach I saw quite a lot of that. Um, and it’s. I don’t think it’s necessarily unique to parkcor. You know I think any um social activity is good for people any activity involving exercise is good for people putting those 2 things together is going to be great. Um I think it’s just the case of Parkour really hitting that spot with me. Because it also combined with um well for None thing being not competitive which I wasn’t particularly interested in and also yeah that that um, problem solving aspect of putting bits together and looking at an environment and going. Well how do I get from here to there or some of my favorite training sessions ever were like. On the most ridiculous tiny curbs and jumping to a drain pipe around a corner but it’s like how can we do it? Um, yeah, so it was ah quite an experience. Sorry I really tried off there I lost my thought entirely. But.

12:27.57
Craig
That meant.

12:38.30
Craig
No, it’s all right? Um I often say to people usually not on mic. But I often say to people when’s the last time you had a great conversation with your best friend then there’s like a little moment where they remember that’s everybody out there. When’s the last time you had a great conversation with your best friend. And I guarantee that you didn’t show up and say okay, we’re going to record it for 20 minutes ready go like so the the fact that people occasionally get distracted. That’s what normally happens that’s called normal people. Um the thought that I had was related to programming. Um I like. To describe or or to say ah an important feature of a good programmer is that being endlessly frustrated does not dissuade you from continuing to do the thing you have to just go like hmm that’s frustrating I guess I will maybe go read a man page or a manual page or maybe I will go.

13:16.20
James
Um, Susan.

13:24.86
James
Yeah.

13:27.32
Craig
Somebody else like you have to just be like frustration is like the obstacle. That’s the path and I thought of that because that’s a very common thing That’s said in par Horse circles and and you know whatever name I Always I always have an issue with proper nouns for the thing that we do because I’m well aware of all of the stuff that’s out there and I think people see.

13:40.50
James
Um, h.

13:46.75
Craig
In their movement practice. They may not realize how special it is and you were just describing a really frustrating situation to be like this is frustrating and that’s why we’re doing it and I think that’s a really important thing people to realize about their own movement practice.

14:01.15
James
Yeah, and and I think it can translate to a lot of positive things in other aspects of life without necessarily being conscious of it. The the interesting thing I found in recent years um and I wrote a blog post about this not too long ago is.

14:06.45
Craig
Um.

14:20.38
James
Sometimes the right thing to do is to walk away from the problem though or to recognize um that it’s not the right time or it’s not the right? Ah, you’re not, You’re not in the right place for it or any number of things or even just that you know it ultimately doesn’t really matter if it’s a particularly.

14:21.44
Craig
Um.

14:36.12
Craig
Um, right, It’s just a jump right.

14:38.90
James
Banal issue or any number of things like um I see a lot of a very like almost outcome focused outcome obsessed attitude can kind of come out from that and ah, almost a position of like constant overcoming constant selfimprovement. And um, sometimes the right thing is to just go L Well and no you know and it it can lead to a build of buildup of pressure I think is the main point I’m getting at um which is definitely something I’ve seen and a few other people and myself. It’s just constant treadmill of.

15:02.76
Craig
None yeah.

15:17.50
James
Overcoming problems and I think sometimes the right thing to do is actually just go I’ll take a break or any number of other solutions. Um.

15:19.68
Craig
Um.

15:25.90
Craig
Um, you mentioned you have a blog by the way I was like well I love I’m a huge fan of the public open internet which is not social platforms. Um, where’s your blog. Terrific.

15:33.84
James
Oh yes, JMA blog dot com. Yeah.

15:41.91
Craig
And we have to mention I’ve mentioned the Parkour clinic a couple times. Um, give me the elevator pitch for Parkour clinic and the Url.

15:48.96
James
So the url is great. It’s http://parkour.clinic which I very smug about being able to nab. Um, it’s.

15:58.41
Craig
Ah I’m thinking a fight club. How’s that working out for you like sorry yeah yeah.

16:04.57
James
I was great sitting there scrolling through all the domain names being like what’s the cheapest one I can find all clinics that’s ah um, yeah, it’s It’s ah, a project I started between the end of my undergraduate degree and the start of a master’s degree I was doing um and it was also a bit of a lockdown project during.

16:20.86
Craig
None.

16:23.42
James
Pandemic um, where I was looking for ways to kind of use the sports therapy skills so sports therapy just for context is physiotherapy essentially but with us focus on sport and athletes. Um. And I was looking. That’s what I’d done as my undergraduate degree and I was looking to put that to use in some way but being in lockdown and knowing I was going to a masters degree I was like I can’t quite get a job with it yet or any number of things so I thought well I’ll put it online and I’ll just do it as a little side project from the moment. Um, and it’s it’s a ah place where people can book None to None sessions with me. Um, availability’s not huge because it’s just in my free time but completely free and if you need some sports therapy advice or guidance I’ll try and give it to you? um. It’s a really interesting experience doing sports therapy over um like remote video conferencing stuff because you can’t do a lot of the hands on testing that a lot of people associate with these things or like things like massage and stretching and stuff.

17:25.36
Craig
6 and.

17:33.47
James
But it’s always slightly surprising how much you can get out of just a conversation about your injury and I think it’s something that can be really valuable for people who are just looking for reassurance or a bit of a guide post particularly I think in the park or community people are pretty self-motivated.

17:49.69
Craig
Right.

17:52.44
James
So you know I’ve definitely had people show up to talk to me who know way more about their injuries than I ever will because they research it and they they they have that self motivatation. Um, but they just need someone on the outside to look at the problem and go well.

17:57.25
Craig
M.

18:05.17
Craig
Does this make sense when I say right.

18:10.58
James
Yeah, and and even things like well yeah, you know, not just have you done this stretch and have you done this exercise but um, are you stressed you know how how do you feel about your injury is it getting you down things like that that people don’t associate with treating an injury necessarily but just think it’s purely mechanical. Let me find the None weird trick that will solve it for me and it’s not It’s not that simple I find.

18:39.43
Craig
Terrific I’m glad we got to that. There’s 43 other things that we should get to but I’m watching our time. Go ahead. No that was great that was great. that was great

18:43.15
James
I I just realized as well that you said give me the elevator pitch and then I talked for like 10 minutes but this is also why I don’t really do elevator pitches.

18:55.32
Craig
Um, because I thought it was a reallyat project and I clicked this fast as I could through everything I was like oh many bookmarks much more to read cool. Well as much as I hate to watch our time slip away I think I will just say James and of course the final question 3 words to describe your practice.

19:12.90
James
So I spent much time on http://thesaurus.com this morning looking at this. Ah so first one None one I’m going to say right now. Sporadic um.

19:16.99
Craig
Ah I’m sorry.

19:27.69
Craig
That’s honest.

19:31.10
James
And I don’t know if this is allowed but these are kind of 2 words that go together. Ah deliberately casual I was proud of myself for that one.

19:32.51
Craig
Um, hyphens are free who I like that I’m scribbling fast. That’s great, cool. All right James um. I think that was a wonderful none bite-size conversation to make another fight club reference and I hope we get a chance to talk again. This doesn’t have to be our only conversation. So. Thank you so much for taking the time.

19:55.89
James
Um.

20:01.52
James
Um, no problem. Thank you for having me.


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