Episode, Play – with Kel Glaister.
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 on earth they do it. My guest today is Kel glaister. Welcome Kel how are you? This left? Oops, this morning. Wait, you’re in tomorrow? I love the internet. You’re in tomorrow. How is it over there in tomorrow?
It’s pretty early. Thanks for having me. But yeah, I thought where we get next first word, and the second word is pretty frothy early over here.
And you’re in Melbourne, right? Melbourne. Yep. Yeah. How do you say Melbourne? Melbourne, I’m not even gonna.
Americans do trip up on the on the name of our city. But yeah, it’s Melbourne,
almost got shot when I was in Scotland. I can’t even pronounce those things that just please don’t hurt me. So we were as I do with everybody on all the shows we do we talk a little bit beforehand to try and figure out like, what’s on top of mind for the two of us and top of mind for you is coffee. And I tell people in advance my goal is to try and get you to, you know, shoot the coffee through your nose. And I think I’m curious about this is gonna sound out of left field, but how has your dogs how has Duffy’s movement affected how your because you haven’t had Duffy as long as you’ve been doing Parkour? And I’m wondering, how did your movement change if at all, after you got your dog?
You know, I’ve I’ve never thought of that. I think when she was a puppy, she was much more energetic. So I would take a training a bit more. And there’s something about doing a run or doing it series of volts or whatever. And then, and it takes you X amount of time and then your dog just goes through. That certainly makes you feel like we’re not at the top of the evolutionary tree. But yeah, I she has slowed down a bit. She’s, she’s more of a couch potato these days, she’s, she’s got a few sprints in her, and then she sleeps for the rest of the day. So I don’t take her out as much as I should. But it definitely nonhuman animals definitely should contribute to your own humility, in my opinion. So that’s great, that’s a great influence to have.
I’ve seen other videos everywhere, right? I’ve seen videos of, of people swinging with monkeys, like in a pavilion type structure, you know, and it’s like, you know, hey, look at the thing. And then the monkeys, like, you suck at this, you know, it’s like, almost as if that’s what they do. And it is really just neat to see people, you know, I’ve seen really good athletes do like low gate alligator crawls, and it looks really great. And then you see, like, you know, like a gecko or something do and you’re just like, yeah, we’re not that good. I mean, we really are humans really do seem to be off. It’s kind of say like, you know, jack of all trades. But there are lots of things wrong, but you’re just in the movement, let’s just stick the movement in the movement space. It is always interesting to, to wonder for me to wonder how different levels of athletes so like, it’s really easy for me to find people who are introverts of movement who are very inspiring, just, you know, like three swipes on Instagram, or two seconds, give the Parkour place and like, Okay, that’s a really cool movement. And then there’s classics. And I’m wondering, as a Parkour coach, who’s who’s, like traveled, like, you’ve seen different continents you’re in, and not everybody, a lot of people in Parkour spaces travel. But not everybody gets to, I’m wondering if you notice maybe different tendencies in different cultures or different areas, or, or maybe urban versus suburban, I’m just kind of curious, like, possibly an opportunity here to like, look at some perspective on how people move in different places.
Yeah, that’s a really good question. And I think that it’s difficult to answer because obviously, you get so what’s the word familiar with people’s individual movement? And I don’t know that I’ve ever sort of thought about styles of places before. I mean, I know that I spent a lot of time in Scotland, Scotland is my spiritual home still, I think as and you have visited as well. There is something about what climate does and because it’s so damn wet all the time in Scotland, there’s, there’s a lot of
times it’s dry happens.
But yeah, you can have a lot more strength and conditioning as something because that’s something you can do anywhere as part of part of a practice. And, you know, people in Glasgow on average are going to be much better at landing on a web by older people in Melbourne, I would put money on. So, I guess my answer is there must be but there’s so many variables to pass out. And another thing is that we know that all Parkour communities are quite small generally a very small subset of, of the city they’re in. So there’s there’s always a small mini culture that develops within them as well around around the leaders around what what that community values. So I guess my question is studying aided, we should get someone to do a little, a little, if you’re within this. Well,
yeah, I’ve often thought it would be interesting to try and sort of normalize like, Okay, three second video clips, send them in, and that would just force people to like, pick three seconds, just see what you get, like, Oh, everybody from this area of the world sent, you know, swings, and oh, there’s a whole bunch of this happening in this space and this happening on space. But your point about the what do they call that self selection bias? Or, you know, we’re like trying to look at research or I’m asking questions about aggregates, but the people who were generally doing the thing tend to be certain kinds of people and certain people were drawn to challenge are drawn to physicality. What is something that’s currently I’m going to say currently lighting you up or currently exciting you about it can either be like moving space or it can be outreach or development or you know, global Parkour type work I’m just curious like, you know, when you when you leap out of bed in the morning, okay, after you’ve had your coffee, what about the Parkour world is is exciting you
I’m excited and it maybe it’s a little late, I suppose to design this but but I am excited about I suppose, return to getting people back in to training, I suppose back into moving. And that just comes to mind because we have spent so long here especially in in lockdowns and whatnot, and that has affected people’s training people’s way. They move people’s physicality and routines. So yeah, absolutely. So, you know, a lot of what I want to do is think about how we can overcome anybody’s reticence or it feelings of intimidation, to get into training. Actually, I suppose that was a roundabout way to say it’s play. It’s all about play. And I think that making I love strengthening and I love building, you know, physical capacity. But in the end, that’s, that’s just a couple of stepping stones towards building people’s ability to play. So I got there in the end, I answered the question.
It’s not a quiz. I don’t score these things. What I what I do is I look at the download numbers, and then I secretly mail it. But no, I don’t actually do that. Kill your list. Nobody downloads. It, it’s great to hear. I always like to see how people think about the questions that I asked because I have no idea what I’m doing. I mean, I literally just asked the things that come to mind that I think are interesting. And yeah, there are techniques and stuff about how you do this. But it’s there’s, it’s like, oh, this is what I’m thinking, I wonder and I asked, and when you talk about play, I’m just like, that’s a very I think that’s a very enlightened thing to be thinking about. Like yeah, a string thinking wait a second, it’s actually all just play. That’s I think it’s very enlightened. And I’m wondering, do you recall when you realize that that play was the I was gonna say the umbrella over but it’s better Holly better to say the foundation beneath all those different things. So if you found yourself training hard, and then coaching and then training on your own, and then you know, new ways to train and then traveling a train, and then you realize at some point what this is all like play underneath here? Do you recall? Maybe the cow that didn’t think of it that way? Or do you remember it happening? They’re like, Wait,
um, I might take this a little bit off track, I think because I think I always have had some understanding of that otherwise, most of us wouldn’t have started Parkour. But I think the way that I’ve come to think of it in a more direct way lately is, I suppose the result of years of you know, my own struggles with depression and mental health has been part of my life for for a really long time. And I’m also recently diagnosed ADHD and I’ve had a lot of improvement in my mental health since, since that has happened. I’m getting back around to the question, but
being keep going.
But what what that what the that improvement in my self deception has made me realize was that a lot of my early training was, was motivated by a sort of self loathing, in some ways that it was it was motivated by a need, I feel that I need to do better, I feel that I’m feeling that I need to train harder, train train more. And if I do that, at some point, I’ll be good enough. And I think over the last couple of years, my motivation has shifted, and I’m hoping to shift it more towards a kind of self compassion. Where I can be motivated by what I’ve, what I feel, sort of internally motivated to do. And that’s play. And so that shift has been really important in my, in my life and how I’m viewing, play and training and what I feel is important. If that makes sense?
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I had like nine questions. First, I just kind of want to echo Yeah, I, I don’t want to say not because it’s not true, but I don’t want to, like make light of what you’re saying. Because it’s very important for people to hear that, you know, competent. People who move also have problems with depression or have ADHD. And I think, my opinion, like when I when I started 1112 years ago, maybe I didn’t like I was busy being the newbie, you know, like, I’m just, um, over your training. But like, somewhere in the middle, I started to realize, you know, this whole, the whole global space, all of its different names and everything. It’s very much a community of effort. It’s a culture of effort. And there really are not a lot of people standing around laughing at me, as I expected there to be people laughing at me. But that seems like that’s only part of the that’s one piece of the thing. It’s only one piece of the puzzle about Yeah, but if I’m still because I do this, too. I’m still thinking, Oh, my God, 12 years, and you still can’t do a convolved you know, like, like, yeah, that’s, that’s the thing. I’ve never once while I figure them out, and then I batch my shins, and then it’s back to you know, like, it doesn’t work. So I think most people are hesitant to see everybody are their own worst critic. So I think you’re you pointed a good thing about, like, being aware enough to see that that’s my problem isn’t actually doing the things it’s telling myself that I should I just do the things. Where were you when I started? I could have used that advice earlier on. But I think I think that’s something that I don’t want to say it doesn’t get talked about enough, but it doesn’t get talked about a lot people talking about their own, honestly, their struggles, but like their own personal journey, you know, we all everybody listening knows you like, you know, just just picture your Oh, my goodness, that’s an awesome mover. I’ve talked to a lot of those people, and they all tell the same similar story about Yeah, you know, but that’s the positive snapshot. That’s a good view as well.
Yeah, I mean, I think one thing to keep in mind is that that that kind of self critical, I call it self loathing sort of motivation. It does. It does work. It does. It does get people to progress quickly. But the problem is it doesn’t increase happiness and it can it can lead people to progress through you know, overtrained through injury and, and not treat their body well. So in terms of, I think of it under the under the umbrella of the longevity that we all strive for, to be into last should also be about sort of emotional well being. That’s how I’m thinking about it now. It wasn’t how I was thinking about it five years ago. But we learned the hard way.
Hopefully we learned I don’t know what I learned but yes, yeah. I’m watching the time fly by anything that has come up. That’s like drifting around in your mind now that you want to talk about and I want to just like hound you with questions the whole way through if something is like I want to talk about
No, I think we both miss the type that that finds something when someone else says it so you can you can still at
least touch on. Let’s make a canoe paddling joke. Tell me how you got into being an ambassador. for Parkour it’s not the logistics of how it works but like what made you what made you forget this step back when they asked for volunteers
that’s a very good question. You can’t you can’t say no sometimes now that the internet happens but I was I was asked to be an ambassador and sort of jumped at the chance I think it’s really important a that’s something like Parkour Earth has ambassadors from all over the earth that geographical representation and is really important part part of any you know claiming to be international body so that was one reason I wanted to make sure that there was there was someone down here and another reason is it’s well you know, my my thought on it is that decisions are made by people that show up basically that if we want Parkour Earth to become a truly representative body then we have to get involved part of me we have to be there and say this is what I want and being an ambassador for me it was part of being able to do that and hopefully to help bring in more people to annoy hidden Damien in various ways
when you see what I’m thinking I can I can imagine him and him and ambassadors role there’s actually there’s two things right like an ambassador can be said like Alright, here’s your mission you know ambassador for my country go over and like try and get this done. So that’s like an outward thing. But it feels to me like because I really don’t know much about this particular you know, Ambassador or concept within Parkour, I was gonna say PK Parkour is so your feeling is that and maybe this is obvious everybody else but your feeling is that the ambassadors are actually playing more of, of like a feelers on the ground, like gathering of information to take it back to Parkour Earth. Are you feeling like that was a chance that you were jumping out to be that not a voice for PK II, but more of a voice for the people who do this thing we all love that can speak back to Parkour of
yeah, that that was sort of a part of what I expected and it may be just that I, you know, misread the job description or something, but I’m running with
it. A lot of really big emails, and they write back and I delete it.
But yeah, I mean, also, I’m, I’m try my best to vandalize about Parkour Earth because I do want people to be engaged with it because it’s our best bet against some of the nastiest tradesmen Yeah. So yeah, if I if I’m doing it wrong, I’m sure I’ll get an email.
In our waning time— Random, fun question. I like if you could have a billboard anywhere in the world, what would it say?
So I get to choose where?
Oh, yeah, do you can answer that where you’re putting on it?
Okay, um, I mean, I, I’d love to have one in Antarctica that just said, Hello, penguins.
Your answer is to be the first person to face Antarctica with a giant. Wow. Yeah. Okay. I think that’s all right. I mean, I can imagine somebody like with a camera like, we find that what what’s this? That’s never got that’s yeah, that’s original.
I’ll put a movers mindset logo on it.
No, don’t do that. Because then they’ll be like, Oh, there’s the movers mindset project. No. All right. All right. We’re off in the weeds. Okay, so um, looks like we’re at 90 minutes already kill. I will just say and of course, the final question, three words to describe your practice.
This one I did circle a lot in my head, but I’m gonna go with, “keep it simple.”
I have heard a couple of answers that question and I am always amazed. People always have a different take. I think that’s a great little phrase. It’s also a great way to meta answer the question. So it was a pleasure. We had a little bit frank conversation. We’re like, Have we ever actually talked before and I don’t think we have ever so it was a chance, nice chance to get to meet you to talk to you and I hope you have a great day on mine ends shortly. But you know, tell me how Thursday works out.
Thanks. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it and see you next time.