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.
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.
Craig: In today’s episode, Steve Zavitz shares his passion for parkour, photography, and film, from his transition to freelancing, his process, and what he likes to create. He discusses the changing style and culture around parkour videos, and the impact social media has had.
Craig: Steve reflects on the evolving culture, audience, and growth of parkour, and what that means for communities today.
Charlotte Miles shares her motivations for coaching, why it’s important to her, and how it fits into her life. She delves into more difficult topics; energy and emotional recovery, personal struggles, and her experiences with mortality and grief. Charlotte discusses how parkour affects her life, her definition of success, and finishes with real life superpowers and finding purpose.
Charlotte took the time to write an accompanying article, I Am NOT Afraid to Talk About Suicide, for her episode, where she shares more of her thoughts on suicide.
Shame is a powerful thing. It can turn the strongest of us to blubbering wrecks, it can freeze our bodies to the spot, cause us to retreat in on ourselves, to grow small and even act completely in opposition to our nature. Shame silences us. It convinces us that we’re alone and this alienation only drives us deeper into solitude.
Even after years of grappling with my ghosts, my shame still haunts me. It catches my words in my throat and renders me speechless. Why? Because like a bully that doesn’t want you to speak out against the tormentors, this emotion knows that words are the way out. Like a boa-constrictor, it coils its tail around our throats, choking our ability to share and therefore connect; because when we share an emotion we remove its power and make it more manageable to deal with, eventually relinquishing its hold on us. Talking about our feelings enables us to step out of isolation and realise that we’re not so different or alone after all.
My process towards connection continues here. I hope that by sharing the words in text that I couldn’t on the microphone, I’ll manage not only to lessen my own isolation, but perhaps to aid someone else out of theirs too.
Craig: Of course the final question, three words to describe your practice.
Sean: Play good forever.
Craig: Thanks very much, Sean. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.
Sean: I don’t encourage bad grammar, it just sounds better. Thank you, Craig.
Sean: Yeah, and so once we had our people, now I’m trying to figure out, “What am I going to make them do?” Because I had an idea of what people should do, and I’ve taught older Parkour classes, and in my training experience I’ve dealt with rehabilitation with people in their 60s coming off of surgeries, coming off of cancer, coming off of, you know all the vagaries of life, and trying to get back to it. I wasn’t shooting blind, but I wasn’t seeing them, so I had to be extremely detailed for the coaches about what exactly we’re going to do.
Sean: It was such a fun challenge because I’m thinking, “Okay, I’ve got scared 80 year olds on week one, and by week eight I’ve got to get them in a park doing obstacle courses.” How do you fill that gap, you know. I’ve done this for kids and teenagers, and young-ish adults mostly, what’s that gap look like for an 80 year old? I hadn’t dealt with the question in that kind of detail yet, and what that brought out, and what’s going to fuel the next phase of our curriculum in PK Move, is understanding that posture and balance just on one point, actually not locomotion.
Craig: We both just sat up straighter.
Sean: What’s fun about confronting the challenge and perception about why Parkour and grandma, how does that mix? So you can ask kind of a leading questions like, “You’re asking me that because you think Parkour is like people falling off the roof.”
Sean: My answer to that is, “Yes, Parkour is about people falling off the roof, and controlling their impact, and disbursing it correctly, and chaining that to a different type of locomotion with no fear, and no problems, and no long-lasting knee damage if you train for it correctly.” Is there anything useful about that for a population whose number one cause of death every year is falling down? Yes.