Why can’t I play?

Georgia:
This actually … Well, I can remember a bit more since I recently found one of my diaries in my drawer. So a lot of my stuff is in my mom’s house, and I was going through, and I found this little crumpled diary in the back of my drawer, so I started reading it. And actually, it was the points before and when I found parkour, when I started doing it. So I guess I can use some of that to help.

Georgia:
First, a little bit of history about my family. I grew up, I was a daddy’s girl. I grew up around two older brothers, and they were both quite high performers in the sense of they were quite smart, they were very good in sports, and things like this. So as the youngest, I wanted to aspire to be better than them, or as strong as them, or anything like this.

Craig:
Right, catch up and pass.

Georgia:
Yeah. I very much wanted to compete with them or be at the same level as them in something. So for me, I did a lot of different things, including music. Anything I saw, I was like, “Aw, I want to do that thing now. I want to do that thing now. I’m going to pick up this thing.” I ended up bouncing between so many things, and so many sports, and just anything I could get my hands on. I was very greedy as a kid, so I just wanted lots of different things. “Oh, there’s football going on, I’m going to do that, there’s rugby going on, I’m going to do this. There’s music, I’m going to do that. There’s performing, I’m going to do that.” And I just filled my time with lots of things, but I found it very hard to stick with something.

Georgia:
Football would be the longest. My dad has loved football all his life, so I grew up around that, and I wanted to do football. So I had been doing football since primary school, up to secondary school. Then I started doing rugby. And for me, I think what changed with football was when you go into secondary school, people start finding their social identities, and you start to have boundaries. When I was younger, I didn’t see myself, or at least in my eyes I wasn’t different to my brothers. I felt like just the younger sibling, and I need to work to be as strong as them. Then when I went into secondary school, girls started to follow social norms of what a girl is like, boys started to do that, and you started to have a lot of judgements on this.

Georgia:
So for me, I was like, “Why can’t I play football?” And because a lot of the boys were doing it, the girls weren’t doing it. So I started to feel a bit, almost in a weird no-man’s-land, in the sense that I didn’t feel accepted by these group of people, but at the same time, I had this pressure from these group of people being like, “Oh, no, come do what we’re doing.” So I found it quite confusing at the time, and I think I started to get quite angry because then I started to feel like I wasn’t allowed to, almost, do these things, or it wasn’t accepted to try and strive for this.

Craig:
Yeah, not that there was an actual prohibition against it, but it’s like why should there be back pressure.

Georgia:
Yeah, no one actually told me no, but the pressure alone, or the backlash, or the kind of chat around it, or even the jokes around it was just like, it made me very angry. And I wrote this a lot in my little diary. There was like one who page of ranting about, “Why do they get this and I can’t have this? I want to be like this.”

Craig:
And I got to ask, how old were you when you wrote that diary?

Georgia:
I think I was like 12, maybe 13.

Craig:
Okay, that’s pretty-

Georgia:
That’s pretty old. Yeah, it’s kind of old.

Craig:
Yeah, no, I was going to say that’s pretty … advanced is the wrong word. That’s pretty astute for a 12 year old to bother to write that down. Most 12 year olds would’ve just ranted at their mom or something.

Georgia:
That’s very-

Craig:
Pro tip, save that journal. You will want to read that when you’re 50.

Georgia:
It was definitely interesting to read. But yeah, I think I was very much this kind of person who wanted to be a hero or wanted to be the best of this. I was very, not driven in the sense of, “I’ll put in loads of hours and loads of work,” I just wanted a lot, and I wanted to be the best I could or the strongest I could, and I was very driven by that idea of finding greatness or finding strength in things.

Georgia:
So when I heard that, I was very angry because I was like, “No, I want to do this stuff, and I want to do that stuff, and I want to be accepted in this way.”

Georgia:
So for me, when I found parkour, and I remember the exact moment or the space that that was happening in, and that was when my brother was on the internet, he was looking at videos of stuff, and he told me to come over. He’s like, “Look at this, look at this.” Or at least I remember it this way. He said, “Look at this video.” And I think it was a compilation of like parkour guys doing stuff off the roof, and stuff like this, and for me, that was like a, “That’s what I want to do! That’s it!” Because I was a gamer as well at the time, so I liked to play lots of games. I loved that stuff.

Georgia:
Literally, I liked to pick up hobbies that my brothers did. They always played games, so I didn’t have a PlayStation, so when I finally got my, I finally begged for one and I got one one Christmas, I was playing it a lot. And two games in particular were Mirror’s Edge, and Assassin’s Creed. But at the time, it was still like, “Oh yeah, that’s just what they do. That’s really cool stuff, but it’s not real.”

Georgia:
So when I saw the video, I was like, “Oh, so it is, it is a thing.” I had never seen movement like that before. Everything was always either you’re in a field, you had certain limits, you had certain rules, you had to be this person only on your team, and all these kind of limits for me. Then I saw that, I was just like, “I want to do that.” I was just like, “Yeah, I want to do that.”