We explore themes like independence, self-direction, and human excellence through podcasts, website content, and a community of like-minded people. In the podcast, Craig interviews movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. This podcast focuses on the journey of self-improvement and its underlying motivations, as well as movement’s fundamental place in society.
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Georgia Munroe explains her interest in music and how that relates to her parkour practice, as well as how she became interested in parkour. She discusses the challenges and goals she is working on, before sharing her experiences with motion capture and Ninja Warrior. Georgia unpacks her thoughts on coaching, her personal journey of improving as a coach, and how coaching has affected her own parkour practice.
Craig: And of course the final question, three words to describe your practice.
Andy: Seek the best. That’s my three words. And seek the best to me means don’t take people’s word for things. Just because somebody is your coach, just because somebody is telling you what to do because they’re better than you, don’t take that as Gospel. Just go and find out who is the best of the best of whatever it is that you’re trying to get. So if you’re trying to learn parkour, try and find out who are the best coaches in the world, in the world. It doesn’t matter in your area. You don’t have to actually go to that coach. But find out, how do they coach? Why do they coach? What makes them different between your coach and what they’re doing? Who is the best sports coaching or who is the best at training programming or getting stronger? Don’t limit yourself to just your little bubble. Think about in the world, who is the best? Seek the best.
Andy: That’s definitely the Mark Rippetoes and the strong fit guys. They’re the ones that I have found to be some of the best in the world. And so I’m trying to learn from them. But I would suggest anything you do in life, even if you don’t find them, at least that process is going to get you towards being better. So that’s my three words.
Craig: Andy, recently I’ve been on a kick to try and get people to give me more direct references or takeaway. I think too many people either read or hear or see information that inspires them to action. But then, if we don’t give them, go run this way, I think it sort of does a disservice that we’ve gotten all the trouble to bring all that material to them. So I’m wondering if there are particular books or particular people that you think would be good resources for somebody who’s just been sparked to go start with.
Andy: Yeah. Absolutely. These are obviously all non parkour people and they all are in different aspects of physical training. The main one that I absolutely love and I was put on to this group, actually it’s two people, by Shirley and Blane, they recommended me to go along to one of these courses and it’s strong fit. And this is run by a guy called Julian Pino, and he is very cerebral with his thinking in terms of training, and he has his whole system about talk and create intention correctly, and he has a lot of diagnostic tools in terms of where you are strong and where you are weak, which is amazing because it can then show you, okay, you can’t hinge properly, you can’t use your lats properly, or whatever it is.
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Craig: Andy, given your thorough grasp of failure then, let’s talk about how do you turn that into tools? Not just what have you done with it, and how do you see a way forward, but how do you look at that? And then what’s your thinking before and after? So at one point you’re uncertain what to do about it, which is very important because if you don’t know that you’re uncertain, then that’s the step you miss. So once you know you’re uncertain about it, what’s the actual next thing? What thought changed, and how are you moving forward to try and dig out of that or flip it over?
Andy: Yeah. So then, I believe the next step, and again, I’m completely unsure with this, but I’ll see how it goes. But now is the time where I think coaches have to look outside of parkour, strongman training, power lifting, Olympic lifting, even crossfit-
Andy: Now, ego aside, I’m not trying to be egotistical and this is sort of the whole mediocre coach, mediocre athlete part of it that I don’t think that I am a particularly good athlete at parkour. There are a lot of kids out there that are much, much better than I am, but I think I’m okay physically. But I was thinking about this metric of out of all of my students, can I actually think of anybody that has gone on and I’ve actually made them better than I am. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about my ability as a coach, and therefore am I failing? Am I failing because therefore there’s going to be this dilution. Because if they then go on to be coaches and they do the same thing to their students and so on and so forth, are we going to be gradually losing what it means, what parkour is about?
Craig: Welcome to the Movers Mindset podcast where I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Today, Andy Pearson unpacks why he considers himself a failed coach and dives into what he believes his job is as a coach. He shares his insights on where to look for coaching and training inspiration outside of parkour before going through the litany of injuries he’s had and explaining how they have shaped his training. Andy discusses his current training and how he expects it to grow and evolve before wrapping up with his thoughts on FIG and the Olympics. Before we dive in, I ask that you press pause and take a quick listener survey. It’s one page, has only five questions and will take you all of 10 seconds to complete. If this project is worth 10 seconds of your time, go to moversmindset.com/survey
Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.
Andy: Hi, I’m Andy Pearson.
Craig: Andy Pearson is a failed coach, mediocre athlete, knows next to nothing about sports science and has more injuries than the black knight from Monte Python. He had the good fortune to gradually learn from his mistakes over the last 15 years like a goldfish and has unbelievably coached many people all around the world to not do what he did. So basically he’s making it up most of the time. Welcome Andy.
Andy: Hey, how are you doing?
Craig: I think the obvious place to start, Andy, would be to unpack failed coach, and let’s dive in there because I’m pretty sure most people would not label you as a failed coach, but I think that I understand why you’re thinking that that’s an appropriate moniker.
Andy: Okay. Sure thing. This kind of came about maybe a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking about what is to be a good coach, and how to measure that. So sort of what are the metrics essentially of a good coach? Is it the number of people you see? The number of students you have?
Naomi Honey shares her experiences learning the Brazilian dance of Forro, and how it relates to her other movement practices. She unpacks her work as a life coach; what that means, how it works, and why she loves it so much. Naomi wraps up by discussing her thoughts on her current interests, the idea of success, and self talk.
- Brazilian dance – Forro – close, intimate – movement vocabulary (started from parkour) – learned in Brazil – learning the ‘follow’ part, listening and responding with the body – dancing as a ‘party sport’ – parcon – mental health, human relationships around dance
- life/personal coaching – ‘going through the motions instead of living more fully’ – resetting balance – allwoing yourself to energize – honored to share authenticity, hear success – coaching designed to end
- Tools for people to use with themselves – meditation, WIPW session on self talk, saying these things out loud. Verbally practicing celebratory self talk, treat yourself like a child – acknowledge when you find something difficult, and celebrate TRYING it – giving yourself space to be bad at something –
- What does a life coach do? help people hit goals – framework, motivation, but also working through blocks/resistances/obstacles – moving through the block in life, not just one situation – Flytality blog, anonymous write up, connecting to others – coaching over the phone
- Successful – what is success? looking at one angle, not the big picture – successful is not a finish line – distance traveled, knowing the journey – everyone has amazing successes, that aren’t celebrated
- life coaching – integrating with parkour – facing fears – how to link them
- Storytime – Gerlev, learning Danish, self talk
- 3 words – playful, enthusiastic, curious
Craig: Welcome to the Movers Mindset podcast where I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. In this episode, Gogoly Yao explains his background and the journey that led him to where he is now. He discusses how he first encountered parkour and his work on Esprit Concrete with Kasturi Torchia. Yao shares his current challenges and what he is working on, and discusses his training with Esprit Concrete team member Georgia Munroe.
Craig: Hello. I’m Craig Constantine.
Gogoly: Hi, Craig.
Craig: Gogoly Yao is a longtime coach and athlete and the co-founder of Esprit Concrete. Originally from France, Yao trained Taekwondo for many years before moving to London where he began his l’art du deplacement training. Known for his infectious energy and love of community, Yao is an experienced coach and has run workshops, seminars, and camps both nationally and internationally.
Craig: [French 00:01:00]
Gogoly: [French 00:01:01], Craig. Thanks for having me.
Craig: [French 00:01:04]
Craig: Yao, as much as I would love to do this in French, my French is very, very, very bad. I’m sorry.
Gogoly: Yeah, don’t worry. I don’t want to speak in French either.
Steve: So, what I would say to that is there has been a sort of counter culture to the hyper-polished runs and only movements that you find perfect with the rise of the dailies like Jamey Davidson when he started those 365 challenge or even just a month-long challenge where he was just his movements. I think originally, the idea behind it was good because it just shows a day in the life of a traceur. It shows not the banger challenges, not the crazy challenges that you put in a compilation video or submit to whatever casting agency to show that you can do these crazy things.
Steve: It shows today I worked on rail flow. Today I did one side flip. Today, I did a handstand. Today, I did conditioning, and I think that stuff’s super cool. To your point, though, I think that what’s happened is people got used to the idea of seeing parkour content every day. What I see from some of my peers, to some of my friends that are high-level athletes is they’ll have one good training session and they’ll film 10 different challenges that are all crazy. Then, they’ll say, “We’ll have content for the next two weeks,” because I have one post every five days or a post every day for five days for two weeks. I don’t know if that’s really what the idea behind that challenge was and I think it’s kind of distorted the way that people consume parkour content. They’re used to seeing more and more content every day. Now, they only want to see the biggest and baddest and best tricks every day.
Steve: It’s like, “Oh, good joke, Steve. That’s funny.” But usually, when I’m at a shoot and I’m trying to convince someone to do something that I think is in their level. It’s like, “Oh, well, I could do this.” And then like, “Oh, well, what about this?” Like, “Well, I think it would look better if you did it this way, because for the photo, your hips are going to be this way and your face is going to be towards the camera or the light is coming this way so I want you to face this direction.”
Steve: So, that’s kind of where it comes in for me, at least, but generally yeah. I’m not really sure if anything that I’ve done is really photo worthy most of the time. And I think that kind of loops back into one of the reasons why I delve deeper into parkour photography in the first place is because I wanted to find a way to contribute to the community and feel like I was a part of this larger group without being a high-level athlete.
Craig: Right. Steve, we’ve talked about the process of creating and we’ve talked a little bit about editing but now, I’m wondering, do you think about the photography, the video part of it when you’re moving so are those two different people. Is there the Steve the mover who goes out or do you find that mid-movement, even though you’re not being photographed, you’re thinking, “How would this frame up,” or, “This is a nice day to be shooting this.” Or, do those two minutes just stay separate or, if they’re entangled, what pieces call to you?
Steve: Well, I think I’m always thinking about composition and a specific quality of light when I’m outside and when I’m looking at things. I was mentioning to you earlier that when I’m looking at photos on the wall or advertisements, I’m thinking about how do they get this shot. When it comes to my movement, first of all, I hate being photographed. I hate being filmed. I’m getting better at it because I’m filming myself, but I think that’s a pretty common narrative with people that are behind the camera for a lot of the time. They don’t like being in front of it.
Craig: And of course, the final question, three words to describe your practice.
Steve: I thought about this before, because I was listening to your podcast and-
Craig: It’s become a thing.
Steve: … I was like, “What am I going to say for this?” Going around our entire conversation, especially around the culture of struggle and effort, I think what I would say for my three words is embrace the suck. Not in like a dirty way, in like a just lean into being bad at something because you’re not going to be good at everything you try the first time. I certainly wasn’t for parkour or for photos or video or anything. It took a lot of time for me to get good. I think you just need to embrace that and enjoy it. I mean, it’s going to be frustrating. It’s going to be terrible. You’re going to hate doing parkour. You’re going to hate other athletes. You’re going to hate the obstacles. You’re going to blame other people and other things and it’s slippery or I’m tired or I’m sore. But you should really just embrace it because it’s part of the process. I think part of the reason why I love parkour so much is because I have sweat and blood and tears to prove that it’s been an 11-year-long journey of me just struggling my way through this and being happy with some movements and being unhappy with others.
Steve: But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have some of the best friends of my life through this movement. I’ve seen things and traveled places I never would have gone had I not been connected to these amazing individuals and amazing athletes. I think just really … You can’t skip that part of the process. There’s no shortcuts, really. You have to embrace it and you have to work through it. Eventually, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel where you’re going to be satisfied with your movement but there’s still going to be days, even the best of athletes at the top level are going to have off days where they feel terrible but the beauty of parkour is just figuring out the process to get through that and find a way to be happy with your movement.
Craig: Thank you very much, Steve. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.