“…the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…”
-an excerpt from ‘Bear Meat’ by Primo Levi.
The sport of parkour has spent the last decade spreading like wildfire across the globe. We see it in television, movies, and video games. Training facilities are cropping up in nearly every major city and parkour’s top athletes and teams usually have tens of thousands (or up to millions) of followers and subscribers on social media.
Like anything else that experiences an explosive rise in popularity and public access, parkour has gone through some drastic changes since the days of it’s humble conception. While the physicality and technical skill of the athletes have been improving exponentially, many of the most beneficial and crucial components of parkour have been largely neglected.
Today we talk with Thomas Couetdic who began his parkour practice in the very early days alongside Stephane Vigroux and David Belle. Back then, the goal was total self cultivation, a dedicated pursuit of antifragility across all domains. Whether it was working on extreme endurance, cold tolerance, combative situations, or jumping from rooftop to rooftop, the chief aim was to become comfortable with facing the uncomfortable, and in doing so, create a deeper sense of self trust, meaning and purpose in their lives. This is the soul of parkour that is accessible to all people, you may never kong vault or hit a roof gap, but whether you’re a world class athlete or dealing with a lifelong disability, the process of facing adversity and transcending limitations can be owned and practiced at every level.
So enjoy the conversation and don’t forget to like, subscribe, share, and shoot us a comment down below.
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Thanks everyone and happy moving!
-The EMP Team