Yesterday we talked about finding your own way in movement while valuing and learning from specific movement communities and methods.
Today I wanted to talk about the value of training alone and training together. The complete mover should practice both.
When we move with others we add the social element of play, the joy of sharing and the power of cooperation, competition and emulation, to build our abilities. What is considered possible or even ordinary in the parkour community today has progressed incredibly fast since I started 9 years ago. Faster by far then any one athlete could have progressed practicing this on their own. Through the training together and sharing videos online our idea of what is possible has constantly shifted by seeing more and more people accomplish stuff that used to seem impossible. Solutions that any one individual comes up with can be adopted en mass as more and more people pick them up.
Training as part of tribe will progress you faster in many obvious elements of skill and power.
However there is danger in the tribe too, competition can foster an overdeveloped ego, cooperation and emulation can foster dependency and just as positive solutions and strategies move quickly through communities so can memes in movement that are not positive.The best movers in a community will always be mimicked and not everything they do will necessarily be to the benefit of those mimicking them. Some of the best movers I know eat lots of candy, train inconsistently, sleep poorly, drink loads or redbull, wear huge clunky shoes etc. These are not what help make them successful, they are able to buffer these things and still be really good because of other talents and habits.
When we always train with others we never fully get to listen to ourselves and confront our own demons head on. Training alone gives us a space and quietness to go deeper into our practice, to pay more attention and apply deeper mindfulness to our movementm, to learn to confront our fear purely with our own mind and will.
Find time for both in your training, seek out freinds, teachers and training partners but don’t be afraid to put in the lonely work, in fact cherish it for you will find a great deal of value in what comes from just you and your practice.
This old video from Teige Mathews Palmer to me speaks to the powerful focused mindset you can enjoy when training on your own.
and this video from naim speaks to me of the joy of community.
Your challenge today seek whatever has been missing training allot on your own call up a training partner and learn from community, training allot with others go to quiet place and explore what movement comes to you free from the influence of others.