Episode, Priorities – with Trevor de Groot
Hello, I’m Craig Constantine. Today I’m talking with Trevor DeGroote. Trevor, welcome. Hello. Nice to have you today. Ahead of you, you and I have gone back and forth a bunch of times. And I was completely confused about where you were on the planet. I mean, I know that you’re from the Toronto area, but my brain had you pegged as being in South America. So your doppelganger is having a great time in South America sorry. But thanks for making space to talk to me. Um, I ask people often before we start recording, I often ask people the same question, I’m not going to say it on air because it’s like a little bit of a secret. It’s not that big of a deal. And you mentioned options when I started talking about movement and just kind of get a feel for what’s going on in Trevor’s head this morning. And I’m wondering, when you, when you have the opportunity to be in a new space or someplace that you’ve never been before, which we all find is pretty rare these days, right? But when you get a chance to be in a new space, and you’re thinking options, and you say options to me is that options to teach is that options for you to discover is an options to create, like, when one goes into an environment, you know, we know that we’re creating like a visual spectacle. What do you mean? Like, what are the options that come to mind?
I think you actually like listed a bunch of them, to be honest, like,
Cool, thanks. See you later. Bye.
Dandy deal. So no, basically, like when I go into a new space, and the word movement might pop into my brain, I tend to just think of all the different options of types of movements that I could do. But also in that, like, Hey, this is a great new opportunity for me to learn a new concept that I might not have known before. I think Parkour is very unique in that there’s not many other sports that force you to necessarily see the world differently. And so like, I think that’s one of the the biggest, like benefits that I see to our sport. And especially like, I didn’t mention this to you yet. But like, with my training and such like not to say that I don’t train Parkour anymore. I do like to train Parkour, but like, my focus is less heavily on Parkour. I’m interested in rock climbing, I’m interested in training for stunts, I’m interested in martial arts stuff. So So when when the word movement comes to my head, I think of all these different options of different types of movements as well, you know, but like, those sports don’t have that, that visual impact on the world that Parkour does. And like, I will never see the world, the same way that I saw it before. I before I was introduced to Parkour, you know, I’ll never see the world the same way again, just because of the fact that I know I can do all these things in this environment that I’m walking through. And so to go back to your question of when I walked through a new space, like, I think it’s it’s really about, like that experience that you share with other people that are in the community that that makes Parkour unique. And Parkour is, is just that a sport as well. So like, I don’t want to say that it’s unique from any other sport, and it’s special in some way or anything like that, because it is just a sport as well. But I think that is one of the the main differences between other sports is that like, I guess rock climbing has it to an extent like you can the way you read the problems, it comes along the same way. But a lot of times, that doesn’t happen when you’re just walking about your day to day life, you know, so it’s really fresh.
Yeah, if you get in a building, then rock climbing turns, like looking Can I climb on this building? Should I are the police gonna react to that? Yeah, I think you make some good points about, I’m going to put words in your mouth and say, perspective shifts about. If you get too mentally boxed in to thinking I do Parkour, or Freerunning or Art, du Déplacement, whatever want to call your movement, I do this kind of thing, then you can kind of become a little inbred, but you can kind of get stuck on certain kinds of ideas. And I think you make a good point about when you say options, you’re thinking about entirely different kinds of movement, which most people wouldn’t classify as Parkour. And so I’m trying to, like, well, we could go down a rabbit hole on climbing, what’s your passion? You know, passion does your thing that you’re really, really getting energy from these days.
Honestly, I think it’s bouldering. I like bouldering quite a bit. And just like, at least for us, like in Canada, like a lot of gyms have been closed for a long, long time here and just like other places in the world, for sure, but basically, our last lockdown ended in February.
I was wondering, I thought I just saw some Facebook posts about what’s the name of the gym?
Um, oh my gym. Yeah, gym, my gym. called Play project. I own play project. It’s been around since 2015. We we’ve had our own space since like, end of 2018. Beginning 2019. But yeah, like that’s rough.
I’m glad to hear that you I don’t want to say survived the pandemic because that makes it sound like you know, the pandemic, like the gym got sick but no hope ever knows. I mean, I’m glad to see that you were able to weather the obvious necessary difficulties. But anyway, I wanted to make sure like, what’s the domain name for play project?
It’s play http://project.ca
Check it out. But I interrupted you, you were talking about bouldering and gyms are starting to open up now since the last lockdown has ended.
Yeah, so like, for me, I was able to like because in the gym, I was able to keep my like Parkour training up during the lockdowns and such. And I was training stunts as well throughout that time. Because during the lockdown, like the film industry hadn’t closed. So there’s training like fight choreography, training falls, all that kind of stuff. And so for me, like the thing that was missing during the lockdown, and during a lot of these closings was the fact that like, I couldn’t climb. And so when the gyms opened up, it’s just like, oh, I can do that. Again. It’s really just something that I was missing. And it feels nice to not I don’t want to say feel completed and be all like deep and stuff. But it’s just you can tell that there was something that was missing there that like when I got back from the climbing gym, I was just like, oh, that’s fine. So yeah, it’s good.
I’m curious your thoughts on the differences between I always say I fancy myself a climber, there are some really nice bouldering problems on the hill, like a half hour walk up, you know, through the park by me. But um, I’m like, you know, v zero, baby, I fall off V0… baby stuff. But I and I’m with you, like there’s an aspect to activities that you do together, even if it’s not like you’re competing, like it’s a tennis match, but just working the same problem when people are, you know, have people are resting while somebody is trying to. And I’m wondering what your thoughts are about the I think there’s a different energy level to I’m going to say like jamming in a Parkour space, versus they’ll call it jamming. But you know, work in a bouldering problem with a group. And I’m just wondering if you’ve ever thought about the difference in the energy level, and maybe how one level versus the other is more conducive to, like the group bonding or the group energy exchange? Yeah, it’s on that.
For sure. I do feel like there’s definitely a difference in energy. I also feel like it’s context specific. So like, if you’re at a Parkour gym, and there’s someone there that’s just doing like, stuff that’s not even close to the stuff you can be like, well, then if you’re climbing and there’s someone that can just go and crimp this, like be six or seven or something like this, and like, you’re just like, there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to hit that today, at least, you know, then it’s hard for you to have that like that group amalgamation with them. And that group like problem solving, and whereas I feel like Parkour, like I’ve had, like a lot of good experiences in the Parkour community, where it’s like, Hey, I’m training with people that are all roughly the same level, and we’re all stumped on this one challenge that we really want to get, you know. And so for me, it’s just very much like that collaborative like element to both Parkour and climbing that I really enjoy. And I think it’s fun. And then the other element is like, when, like, the, the teaching aspect of it, I like as well, and the learning aspect of it, like so like, I do feel like there’s different vibes. And what I mean by the teaching aspect, and the learning aspect is if I’m training with someone that is like V six, V seven, or whatever it may be, like, I’m probably gonna try the problem that there because I’m very big proponent of like, try everything you know, and see if you can get it. But like, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to flash it, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to even even send it, you know, but at least from them, I can, it’s a learning opportunity for me, and I can get like nuggets from them and try and like grow and develop myself. Or if I’m training with people that maybe it’s their first time climbing or whatever, I’ll ask them, hey, like, Do you need any help with that, or whatever it may be like, and if they don’t, then that’s totally fine, you know, but it’s cool to see like how people approach it for the first time as well. And like I learned from that, too, so So for me, it’s about the learning process. And you have the same thing with Parkour as well, from that side of it. Like, I’ve been doing Parkour for 13 years now, since 2000, end of 2008. And so like, over the course of that training time, like I’ve seen all types of people, I’ve seen all types of experienced levels and trained with all of them. And there’s something to be like taken away from every single one, which is great. Whether you realize it in the moment or not, even if it’s a bad experience, like you can still take something away from it, which I really kind of have learned to appreciate over the years, whereas I think at first, I was very grumpy a lot of times and there’s ego involved when I was training with someone that was better than me because I was just like, like, I don’t
want you’re demotivating me right? Knock it off. Yeah. Yeah. So whereas
now I think it’s just about perspective, everything in life is and if you can you take a fresh perspective that like, is beneficial to your overall long term growth. And that’s perfect, you know. So
what do you think about? We were talking a little bit earlier, possibly before we started recording, we were talking a little bit about media in Parkour context. And I’m just thinking, I don’t, I have like, My hobbies are, like, bulkhead divided in my brain. So I don’t do anything on the internet related to bouldering. Or rock climbing, like, I mean, like, I know where Mountain project is, like, if I’m going somewhere, like, where are the routes? But I don’t hang out, like in the subreddit for bouldering. I don’t even know if there is one, there’s got to be one. I don’t hang out. I don’t follow people on Instagram, who I know are climbers like it’s just, I’m not in that world at all. And I’m wondering if you in terms of bouldering, because it seems like a maybe not quite a passion. But this seems like a passion for you? Do you have that sequestered? Like, yeah, I know what happens to the sport of Parkour to my personal experience of Parkour, when the social media inundation takes over, there’s just too much I can’t and we also have to, like, put our hands up to push it away. Have you begun to engage with social media for bouldering? And climbing? Or are you keeping it at arm’s length? And if you’re keeping it an arm’s length, because that’s the face you’re making? Did you do that on purpose, or you’re just now realizing that?
So honestly, even with Parkour, like, like, I know, you’ll, you’ll see this, even with my own Instagram, I don’t even go on my own Instagram anymore. I just like, I was like, Oh, alright. Forever, probably like, but basically, like, for me, I think it got to the point where, like, I almost had to reevaluate, like, why, why am I training and what am I training for? And like, what is the point basically, and it came down to him in my head, like the point not being to watch other people do Parkour, the it’s not about what been climbing. It’s about, like, the feeling that I get when I do that movement. And the feeling that I get, like, when I solve a new problem, or complete a new challenge, you know, and that’s very much like, I think is reflected in my social media. Like, I don’t even need to like, I feel I don’t feel the need to have to post if I get a new challenge. You know, I used to feel very pressured and the need to like, hey, I need to put a new post out, I need to do this. Or even other people, like there’s a as you’re mentioning oversaturation of Parkour media, and it’s like, I don’t care if someone’s double sided, like,
like, double sided precision, right? Double Sided IMAX, right. Like,
at some point, like, someone’s going to do everything in Parkour. And like, that’s great. And I, it’s cool that it’s pushing the sport, but like, how does that impact my personal training, and maybe that sounds a little bit selfish in terms of like, not me, not caring about, like, where the community’s at, you know,
but I think it sounds selfish, I think it sounds sane, fully defensive, defensive, in a good way. Like, one has to know one’s limits, I can’t consume all this stuff, if I did, it would just make me feel like I suck, because I should be on training.
So that’s a part of it. I think the other part of it is like, it’s not even like, cuz I used to compare myself a lot to like other people, and how they trained and things like that. And even now, like, that those comparisons still happen. But they’re more in a better way. Because I frame it differently. Like I mentioned about, like, if you’re training someone that’s better than you, that’s a learning opportunity, you know. And so I could be theoretically using social media to do that, to learn from other people commenting on their posts and asking them about, like, what they’re doing. But I the reason why I like to try and not try and I don’t actively try and avoid it, but like, it doesn’t interest me anymore, is because I feel like over the course of my duration of training, I’ve seen a lot like I’ve seen like, the first side pre I was there in Vancouver, and at the NAPC, where Nate Weston did his side flip pre to the bar to double flyaway off, you know, and you feel the energy in the room and like, the what you get out of social media does not Trump feeling it in real life. And so I’d rather be either working on my business, I’d rather be like training myself I’d rather be doing I’m interested in real estate. So in looking at that kind of stuff. It’s not really like it’s not really something that really like I guess, tickles my fancy. Or energizes you right? Yeah, exactly. It seems like it’s like holy crap. This is a lot. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I now feel obligated to watch because this guy’s my friend. Do I know this guy? You know what, a follow back. Yes.
Yeah. So you’ve got a lot going on. Obviously, I don’t mean that in a bad way. But how, you know, entrepreneurship, running Jim, we all understand the personal drive to Yeah, I feel like I need to go move. Like I need to go out and do something. Passion like new passion projects, like if anybody’s in a boulder and you’re like you wind up with like, Oh, I gotta go, I gotta go work on that some more, Oh, I gotta go practice this skill, which will get me to that or whatever the pieces that’s kind of unlock it, you know all these things you’re juggling, and some time has to be allocated to sleep. So how do you? How do you prioritize your days? Do you do it in the morning to do it the night before? Do you do it off the cuff Lab of the seed your pants? How do you figure out what’s the first big rock to go in the jar, and then the smaller rocks that go around it, and then the sand on top.
So it’s interesting. So lately, I’ve been trying to reprioritize those things and like something that I didn’t realize until a while back maybe like, three months ago, four months ago is that like, I was not prioritizing things efficiently, or there wasn’t a process for that and, and place that was as effective as I wanted it to be. And so what I found was that, like, I was spending too much time working on my business, and less time for my own personal training. And for my own like developments and accomplishments that way. And part of this was like with the lock downs and stuff like that you’re always pivoting, you’re always trying to figure out what the next thing is that we need to do to like, get ready for a reopening or whatever it may be, you know, and like, because that territory is like a little bit unfamiliar ground. Like, at our gym, specifically, we have a full time staff team, there’s four of us. And between the four of us like I’m the owner, but I also deal with a lot of the higher level stuff. Whereas the others deal with like, whether it’s Jim buildup and construction, whether it’s like our programming quality and the lesson plans in that curriculum, and, or whether it’s the administrative stuff and the client relations, you know, so we all have our own like kind of things that we focus on. But I found that like, a lot of times it’s a full team effort with with the lockdown with treading on that untrodden ground again, it’s just like, we’re all kinda like helping each other and making things work to to make like to get the gym by basically, mind you, the government in Canada has been very helpful, like we’ve gotten a bunch of grants and funding from them and stuff like that. So like, we weren’t really ever in jeopardy of closing because of that, thankfully. But it’s just like, not as it bothers me when our business is not running as efficiently as it could be. And so when those moments kind of kick into place, like that really nags at me, and in my head, I’m just like, oh, I need to work on this, I need to work on this. And so that’s where my focus was going for a long while. And then when the lockdown ended, I realized, hey, I don’t I haven’t been prioritizing, you’re spending a lot of time for me. I’ve been some time, like I’ve been, I’ve been doing the sun training, which is great. But I also felt like that was a little bit for work. Just because when the gym was closed, I had more time to focus on that. And the film industry hadn’t closed. So I was trying to get days on set and things like that, right. But that felt like it was also working. I felt like there was not a an area of my life that I had to just play and to just like, develop and explore my training and my passions. And that that was three or four months ago when the lockdowns ended and climbing came into play. And I was just like, Oh, that’s really fun. So I’m gonna go do that, you know, one thing that I miss actually, that’s still not back is diving, like a lot of the like local pools and stuff of diving boards. And a lot of the diving boards and stuff are still not open, which is unfortunate, because like, we take like some of our staff group out and we just go diving stuff, and they’re fun flips and stuff into the pool and just a good time, right. But like, those kind of fun elements that we used to have pre COVID don’t seem to they seem to be fewer and further between and less I prioritize that. So basically, the way I shifted going back to your question, as I shifted, my focus was, hey, what are the minimum requirements that I need to do in terms of my obligations to the gym? Once those are hit, then after that, okay, let’s focus on what’s a little bit of time for me. And then anytime on top of that, I can focus on whether it’s real estate, outstanding gym stuff or stents or whatever it may be, you know, but as soon as I change that mindset, it just like it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders almost. And it just made life more fun. So yeah, I
think that’s a good. That’s a good mindset. Definitely. Something that’s worth thinking about. If that sounds people listening, if that’s news to you definitely go think about that. All right. Well, try some be mindful of our time together. I’m watching it slip away, as I often say. So I will just say and of course, the phone question three words to describe your practice.
So the first one is growth. The next one is exploration. And then the third one is movement diversity.
Terrific, as I often say, Trevor, thanks for coming. taking the time today. It’s been a pleasure. I’m glad we we haven’t seen each other in four or five years. So it’s great to get a chance to sit down and talk even as brief as it was. So thanks again.
No problem. Awesome.