I couldn’t be more delighted! We have the incredible Michael Garvey in the house! Although,I’m feeling the irony as I sit with foot elevated, nursing the torn arch muscle I received while jogging back from the pool with my daughter. Jogging. Not leaping, not dancing. Jogging. Somehow we collided and the result wasn’t pretty.
I can’t help but think Michael would not have had the same result. Collision or not this incredibly fit and flexible spider man more then likely would have landed upright. This is not to say his passion is without risk. As a Parkour practitioner Michael tiptoes on the edge of trust and safety everyday. Today we are invited to join him, enjoy!
At that moment, fear has such a firm grasp on your throat making it hard to swallow. You can feel your heart hammering on your chest. Your knees are shaking sending tremors through your body as you rub your hands together in a prayer like position hoping for nerves to calm. You experience the fatigue the tension has on your body. Then, just as you are ready, it hits you. The invisible force of doubt collides with you like a freight train. You’ve reached that oh shit moment, as you are about to go to the nebulous destination by taking the inner leap of faith to that very thin line – trust.
It is a universal moment experienced by all at some point. The moment of complete utter commitment to – love, a business adventure, releasing your authenticity, making a physical ginormous jump, whatever. It is the next fear provoking, adrenalin rushing, heart pounding inner movement with the decision to act, in which you realize that is needed
Parkour is a “means of reclaiming what it means to be a human being. It teaches us to move using the natural methods that we should have learned from infancy. It teaches us to touch the world and interact with it.” – Andy Tran
What is Parkour?
Many practitioners believe we have lost the ability to move our bodies the way they are designed to move. Parkour can be described as manipulating your body through the environment as quickly and efficiently as possible using vaulting, rolling, climbing and jumping. Sometimes it is called Freerunning which includes tricking and therefore more creativity. This can impact speed and efficiency though. For those who are passionate about it, Parkour has become a way life. I have my own personalized way of defining Parkour that has grown from reading and my own experience of it. Parkour is a creative way to use public space, or a constructed environment, as you challenge your mind and body for the purpose of fun, fitness and inner growth. Transferring the skills and principles required to do Parkour into your day-to-day life is the distinguishing quality of the serious practitioner. This artful movement continues to evolve.
Nothing teaches you more about that moment of trust like Parkour. The Traceur, Traceuse in some circles for women, are practitioners of Parkour. For me, it is a body art in the form of movement that redefines the use of the environment. Not to mention each practitioner of the art I’ve met is grinning from ear-to-ear, totally in the now and has intense focus on their creation. Whether it is leaping a gap, crawling up a wall, dangling over the edge of something, vaulting over anything, or moving with absolute flow over everything in front you, the artist constantly embraces trust.
People do not expect to see individuals doing these spectacular feats of movement out on their daily earth walk. At 52, I was so self-conscious, of not only younger people watching me, but my peer group. I was totally vulnerable in front of others and most importantly, myself. Each time I practiced, I had all the physiological signs of stress and fear. I was consumed with doubt. I mean how often do you see someone that age walking down a railing, leaping off into a roll on the grass or cement, and quadruped the dirt spaces between plants and flowers in a garden, then vault over a picnic table, and disappear over the boulders. At the height of my vulnerability a quote by Bob Basso I discovered years ago flowed through me, “if your not having fun, you’re not doing it right.” Was I totally vulnerable in front of myself and others? Absolutely. Was I full of uncertainty? Absolutely. Was I fearing judgment from others and judging myself? Absolutely. Did I have total belief in myself that what I was doing was what I needed to do, or right? Not at first. As I reflected on the principles of this life altering way of being, this new lifestyle, and viewed it through the lens of a predominate theme through my life, it became clear. All successful things I’ve experienced in life have been “fun.”
Was I having fun? Absolutely. Once fun came into focus as a driving valued force in my life, and I gave myself to it, I opened to the most exquisite experience in choosing this lifestyle and the ultimate reward of giving into trust – it is what I believe to be the true experience of freedom.
Michael, a former baker, moved from Calgary to the West Kootenays of BritishColumbia and lives just outside the Village of Nakusp. He is a Youth Alcohol & DrugCounselor for Freedom Quest Regional Youth Services, Fitness Instructor for Discipline Fitness, a Life Coach and owner of Naked Bear Bed & Breakfast. Check out his B&B at www.nakedbearbandb.ca While working with youth he was introduced to Parkour, which has become a passion for him. This father and grandpa is an ambassador for fun, fitness and inner growth.