Tag: conditioning

The importance of rest.

by on Oct.29, 2009, under Fitness

Parkour is all about conditioning the body and the mind to be as fit as possible so we are able to overcome the obstacles that we encounter in our daily lives. These obstacles will always be there as long as we are human. Especially the mental obstacles. It is important to rest both the mind and the body.

The body.

Traceurs and Traceuses can become easily excited and overcome by their passion for the art of movement. There is nothing wrong with this, as a matter of fact, it is quite a healthy obsession. Although we do have to remember that we only have one body in this lifetime so we have to treat it with respect and love, otherwise it will go to waste on us and we will be old grumpy men and women when we have debilitating arthritis and poor joints. This is why resting your body is extremely important.

Also know to listen to your body when it is saying… “Hey… That is quite uncomfortable”. or “That hurts really bad”.  The reason your body is telling you this is because something is wrong with it! Don’t be sad if you can’t train for a period of time. You can always work out the areas of your body that aren’t injured. This way you remain productive and still have strength after your break. Another way to look at it is a way of reflecting on all that you have accomplished and what you want to accomplish next. It is a way of taking a step back and viewing yourself as an artist of parkour.

The Mind

Life can be difficult on many levels. Whether it be work, school, relationships, or just a rumination you can’t seem to shake. As we closely examine all of these problems that we face, we start to make certain realizations. For instance, a person who is more optimistic is going to see more opportunity and joy in their lives, while a person who carries a pessimistic outlook will have feelings of hopelessness and sadness. I’m not saying that both mindsets don’t feel the opposite at any point, but the correlation between pessimism and pain and optimism and happiness is much more prevalent.

This brings me back to my original point. Our thoughts control our moods and our emotions. In parkour training, you may have a very high wall climb in front of you. You may become frustrated and sad that you can’t make that wall climb the first few times you tried. Here is where the spiral starts… “I’m not good enough”.  Your thoughts will interject. “I’ll never make it”. These are natural thoughts that you will go through, but instead of looking at it as a failure you can look at it as something to accomplish. So you start practicing your squats and work on your technique and come back a month later. 

Parkour is all about progression after all right? So the resting of the  mind can tend to be a bit trickier than resting the body. The reason being is that your mind is always on. You can’t turn it off as if it were a light switch and you can’t stop it from going through its natural process of thoughts. SO, how do we rest our minds? Meditation…

Meditate by focusing on your thoughts and seeing them as your minds natural function. Almost one hundred percent of the time our mind musters up this half conjured, medial idea of what our part in reality is.

(For instance- your thoughts are telling you that you are having the worst hair day ever but when you go ask somebody how your hair looks they tell you its fine. These minute insecurities we have as humans amount to nothing at all).

This is why resting the mind is important. To see things as they truly are. To gain a higher perspective and heightened sense of clarity and reason, all you have to do is sit up straight in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing (breath normally). Be cognizant of your thoughts, but only as an observer. By doing this, you will realize none of them are concrete, and you can rest your mind while keeping your body active. Lucidity my friends. Its a beautiful thing.

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