Doing More Than You’ve Done

Of course that’s not possible, but feeling like you’ve done more than you have is.

Shoes tell a lot about a person. I always say that you never have to step in anyone’s shoes to know what their life is like, you’ve just got to look at the bottom of them.

Tried and true… until recently.

I’m wearing my second pair of Steve Madden shoes and I feel bad. I feel like I’ve done more than I actually have. You look at the bottom of my shoes and all traction is worn flat. Oh, and the soles are cracked, creating a hole for my heel to nearly touch the pavement with each step. (They actually did with my last pair!)

Alas, I’ve done very little of anything exciting while wearing these shoes. A few dress-up events here, a few nice dinners there and that’s it. No parkour, no carnivals, or community interactive events. In other words, I’ve done little while wearing these shoes. They seem to reflect the opposite.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe most people will only think the shoe is poorly made, and it is, but one thing is guaranteed: everything you use makes you feel something.

People love products that make them feel good, make them feel motivated, better-than-average, and like they accomplished something. Whether you think about how you feel when you use something or not, if you’re creating something for someone else to use, you don’t have a choice but to consider it.

 

Stay Positive & How Does That Make You Feel?

Garth E. Beyer

Catch Yourself

When you fall, fall hard. Learn from it and get back up.

But before you fall, try to catch yourself.

Too many artists get the two confused and try to catch themselves falling or rely on some other safety net to prevent getting hurt, to prevent failure. Don’t.

safety-net

What you want to do is to catch yourself losing track of your goals, or your motivation, or swaying into oncoming traffic. To do so, you have to develop three elements to your psyche.

1. Cautiousness

2. Observation

3. Mental Risk Taking

If you’ve read any of my content before, you’re likely wondering why I am advising cautiousness. I am all for a gamble, but you need to know the consequences going into it. To be cautious is to acknowledge the potential negative consequences.

To understand a decision, you have to observe everything about it. Have other people made a similar decision? What factors may affect your choice later that are not now? What are all the pieces that need to be in place before a decision can be made effectively? Essentially, what’s changing, in constant motion and how does it affect you?

Mental risk taking means to think through the unthinkable, the impossible, to explore every avenue available. Have you ever heard someone say there are only X number of ways to do something? The obstacle of mental risk taking is to think of one more way then what has already been thought of. Better yet, think of Parkour. Ask a regular pedestrian what is the fastest route to get from A to B and they will give you directions. Ask a tracuer and they will tell you to jump over this fence, run through that lot, leap over this creek and race across the rusted bridge. Something a layperson wouldn’t.

 

Stay Positive & Try Not To Fall, But When You Do, Fall Hard

Garth E. Beyer

Parkour: Mental Training

95% of a physical challenge is a mental battle.

The 95%

Tonight’s Parkour class focused on stride, momentum and all aspects of the legs. This means that we had to analyze the distance of our steps, strategize the power behind our strides and operate both sides of our brain as we were challenged last minute to step on a target with a certain foot.

  • You can run a Parkour track in record time, but not before you think every moment of it through.
  • You can jump from one roof to another, but not until you mentally evaluate the distance.
  • You can do a back flip off a 2 story building, but only if you win the battle in your mind telling you not to do it.

“A large part of an athlete’s performance is the mental state” Dr. John F. Murray, a widely known sports psychologist said, “the mind is a huge component of performance and outcome; a lot of people seem to be ignoring that.” This is a challenge to you for the next time you are lifting weights or training for Parkour – confront your mentality before performing a movement. Create an exercise program that is 95% targeted at your mind. Try curls on one leg, practice landing on a specific foot on a set of targets, test the distance of your strides and jumps – really stimulate and challenge yourself mentally.

 

Stay Positive and Balanced, For That Is 100% Mentality

Garth E. Beyer

High Existence: A Look At Exercise and Public Speaking

When you become fit, you become fit for public speaking. Due to the plethora of information regarding healthy lifestyles and their correlation with public speaking, along with my personal experience in Parkour and public speaking, I think its due time to make a post about it.

The Analogy You Expected

The way we exercise our bodies is the same for public speaking. In order to have a fit body, we continuously hit the gym, hit the floor, hit the mat, and hit the weights. We all know that we can’t just workout once or twice a week and expect to see positive results. In order to exceed average public speaking skills, we have to give multiple speeches each week, we have to practice our tone, volume, and linguistics. For both, the list of practice methods are endless. The same goes for the results; with consistent training you become a key-note speaker or a certified ass-kicking machine. Just as well, the tips for staying motivated and consistent work for both. Here are the two simplified versions.

  • Position, Plan, Execute - Evaluating yourself and where you stand on the line of success now, is how you can tell if you have made improvement later.Figuring out your position allows you to choose the techniques for the next step, planning. You have to plan out where you want to go, to get there. You cant expect to walk around aimlessly and find the “X” marks the spot treasure chest. By knowing where you are, you figure out where you want to be. In planning how to get there, you will get there, but you need to execute your plan. You have to follow the steps you set for yourself. You do so by following the next tip.
  • Dangling Carrots and Maximizing Achievement - Regardless of your end goal, you wont get there unless you break it down into dozens of small goals with small rewards. For example, if my goal was to cook a meal for the top 10 richest people on the planet and “I” had to make it without the help of anyone else (yes the world can be cruel at times, better to expect hardship and be grateful for any help than to expect help and face the hardship of it not being there), I would make one dish at a time. I know that trying to make everything at once would end up a disaster, so I would break it up into small goals, small meals. In doing so, I am maximizing my achievement by putting 100% of my effort into the one dish instead of 10% of my effort into each dish. The real catch to accomplishing small goals, is the reward. I know the visual is typically a person that wants to lose weight and they are running on a treadmill with a donut hanging in front of them, but I am a health nut so I dangle carrots. Positive rewards to go after. As a result of finishing each dish, I will indulge myself by being the first one to enjoy its delishes-ness. After the first dish, I am ready for the next!

 The Real Connection

Why is it that people fear public speaking more than physical pain?

It does not really matter, but if that is the case, I challenge you to experience positive physical pain: Workout. I guarantee that if you begin to exercise regularly, that your fear of public speaking will dissipate with each physical mark of progression you make. Not only that, but all your public speaking attributes will improve drastically. It is easier to understand the process by examining the connected benefits between working out and public speaking.

  • Exercise releases endorphins which make you happy “the good feel hormones”
  • Increases blood flow getting oxygen to your body, making you less fatigued and providing more mental and physical energy
  • By working out you become more energetic and alert of your surroundings which results in the ability to make audience connections and impromptu comments
  • “Whenever I am running, I am always thinking of things. When you’re running, the oxygen is like the ignition switch to great ideas” – Certified Personal Trainer

What The Sweat And Physical Exertion Boils Down To: A Stunned Audience

“Audiences like speakers who reflect good health and physical vitality. Research has shown that an audi­ence associates a speaker’s well-being with the soundness of his or her verbal messages. So watch your diet and exercise regularly.” – Toastmasters manual on Gestures.

Do you recall learning that your appearance both creates and leaves the biggest impact on your audience. Speakers forget that their first impression is not the first sentence out of their mouths, it is their appearance and the way they walk up to give their speech. Having a fit lifestyle will promote a confident entrance to public speaking. Apart from the words you share, you will enjoy sharing your image, you will enjoy sharing your hard work (exercise) and the results – “Dayumm you look good. A person looking as good as you must have something important to share.”

Fact: The same part of the brain that keeps people from losing weight also keeps people from great wealth! – The Millionaire Mind

“Studies have shown that a mere 7% of the messages that we communicate to others are transmitted by the words we use verbally. Instead, 55% of communication is based on physiology: the way a person stands, whether or not he smiles, degree of eye contact and so forth. The remaining 38% of communication is in tone of voice. What is said must be consistent with how it is said […] By subconsciously mirroring the physiology of others, a sensory message is sent to the brain, creating a similar emotional state. Therefore, health and fitness professionals who love their work, company, and clients and exhibit the body language that corresponds with these emotions positively affect the people around them. Because all sales decisions are ultimately made on emotion, having this effect on people can open the door to initiating the relationships that a successful career is built on.” – NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training

I would be doing this post an undeserving torture if I stopped here.

Richard Branson is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom and 254th richest person in the world, according to the Forbes 2011 list of billionaires, so his words cannot be taken lightly. Especially when he was asked what the quickest way to success was… He answered with one word “Workout”.     Here are some other quotes by Richard Branson

“There’s an old saying: Look the part, and you’ll get the part. Well, more and more research is showing that people who are leaner and fitter are viewed as being more competent and successful than those who are overweight. And when people view you as competent, they are more likely to pay you what you deserve. Don’t believe me? Consider this: A New York University study found that people packing an extra 40 pounds make 20 percent less than their slimmer colleagues” – Eat This Not That, David Zinczenko

To end this post, I have to add another passion of mine that hopefully you have read my other posts on: Parkour

Ah, Sweet Ol’ Parkour

One of the greatest Parkour founders,Châu Belle, explains it is a “type of freedom” or “kind of expression”; that Parkour is “only a state of mind” rather than a set of actions, and that it is about overcoming and adapting to mental and emotional obstacles as well as physical barriers

You have to master your mind to master Parkour. And what do you need to master in order to master public speaking? That’s correct, your mind.

I would like to add that you not only have to master your mind, but your body – your movements. Just like public speaking, Parkour requires precise movements of the body in succession to mental stimulants. Can you see the correlation with gestures? It is as simple as that.

Just one more reason to try Parkour.

Stay Positive and High In Existence

Garth E. Beyer

Traceurs Are Not The Only Ones To Acquire Calluses

Callus: An especially toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction or pressure,

While there is only one definition of Calluses, there are multiple forms of Calluses and of all the forms, they can be  summarized into two categories: The Good and The Bad.

The Bad

When things do not go the way we want, we often consider it a failure. With repetition, this will cause friction and eventually we will quit expecting great things for ourselves and no longer take any risks. We build a resistant callus of comfort toward the world. In addition to these mental calluses, we often form emotional calluses. We become tougher on others, sometimes so much that it produces more of a negative outcome than a positive one. Even in relationships, we may form calluses that prevent us from getting close to others again. In summary, when bad experiences begin to add up, the calluses formed in our minds and hearts become thickened. The real question to ask is are we really protecting ourselves from more bad than we would expose ourselves to greatness by becoming vulnerable?

The Good

“What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”, “Failures are stepping stones to success”, “Being strong does not mean avoiding the truth. It means accepting it, learning about it, and dealing with it head on.” I could spend days listing all the famous quotes and sayings about strength. What it breaks down to is the strongest of individuals build calluses around their failures and their weakest points. Whenever they are exposed to one of their faults, they allow a callus to grow in its place. Instead of growing calluses that prevent us from failure, it’s a positive behavior to grow calluses where their was a failure.

With enough failures, there will be no limitations.

On a handout titled “What To expect At A Wisconsin Parkour Class” the following was written..

“There is a saying in Parkour, that ‘Our fitness is our armor.’ This is the rationale behind our safe, incremental progressions, and also behind why we don’t wear gloves for training. We climb and crawl on concrete, railings, cement, gravel, and other urban and natural surfaces. As such, your hands will likely experience small cuts/scrapes, blistering, and some discomfort during class. Over time these will toughen up and will provide ‘natural gloves’ to protect your hands while doing Parkour. Many new students are surprised to truly feel concrete on their hands the first few times they train, and are also surprised at how quickly the discomfort goes away with regular practice.”

The Great

Isn’t the last line the absolute greatest? “and are also surprised at how quickly the discomfort goes away with regular practice“. Parkour remains a constant reminder to me that in order for me to grow where I am weak, to repair where I have faltered, I must continuously practice my behaviors in order to strengthen them – to acquire positive calluses. I look at it as this, whatever hell you come out of, whatever scrapes and scars you leave with – you will always become twice as strong. So who’s up for round 2?

Stay Positive and Acclimate To Your Strength

Garth E. Beyer

Parkour 1 Life 3: When You Succeed In Parkour, You Are 3 Lessons Closer To Succeeding In Life

A few weeks ago, as I was typing into Google “Parkour in Madison WI”, I had high hopes and was begging for their to be results. Real results, because I wanted (No, NEEDED) to join a Parkour group in Madison. Google once again provided what I had searched for and I arrived at this website: Wisconsin Parkour

After jumping through the links and getting information, I arrived at the conclusion that for the winter, I could join Gymfinity. They provided Parkour classes for an hour and a half each week twice a week. Could I have gotten any luckier? Of course.

That week I had to take a ride out  to Apple Wellness in Fitchburg to replenish our stock of recovery drink mix. The reason we drive 30+ minutes to get our recovery drinks there can be found in my post, An Apple A Day, Will Make Success Stay! The reason I state that, in addition to finding a place to practice Parkour, I was lucky enough to discover that the place I would be training is right down the street from Apple Wellness.

The day we took a trip to Fitchburg, we stopped at Gymfinity to get more information. The first bit of information was that the class was only being held once a week, not twice. But they still had the Parkour workshop every other Saturday. The second bit of information was that the first class was free. The third bit of information was that there are two trainers and only a few participants each week.

Vaulting to the present, it is three days after I participated in the first free session of Parkour training. I can’t say I am still sore from the workout, since I lifted weights today, but I sure remember how my entire body was sore the day after Parkour training. A bit of quick information so you can follow the rest of the post easier; Gymfinity is a large gymnasium typically for gymnastics. It has everything. I would be happy to list all it has, but I am not an expert gymnast and I have yet to learn the proper names of all the training equipment. I will definitely learn the right names of the equipment for next time. Now, I am going to run through the list of activities I participated in and summarize with a Life Training lesson. Afterall, the reason I write about Parkour is to tell everyone that it is much more than a physical sport, it’s a life sport.

7:30 – 7:40 Learned new stretching methods that the two trainers used with our warm-up.

7:40 – 8:00 Trained endurance with core workout moves. Ex: Everyone had to hold a plank while the first person in line would crab walk around the large square line that surrounded the area we occupied. When they reached the kiddy corner of the square, they would have to do a side plank and hold it while the next person in line transitioned from his plank to crab walking around the square. They would then have to do a side plank and hold it while the next person in line went. We did this three or four times with different exercises.

8:00 – 8:20 Practiced balance techniques by stepping and periodically jumping to small semi-spherical squishy balls and landing on the balls of our feet. We would have to jump to each one as quickly as possible without falling over or stepping on the floor. We did a few different unique activities with this and it seemed to really tune in foot-eye coordination and balance.

8:20 – 8:45 Exausted ourselves by vaulting continuously over and under polls in different methods. We also spent a short time leaping off a 5 foot box to bars, cat walking up and shimmying across. While I excelled in the vaulting since we got to do my favorite (Monkey Vault), I received some extra advice from one of the trainers with the cat walking. I was using my muscles instead of momentum to get up, exhausting myself even more.

8:45 – 9:00 Played on all the different gymnastic objects and set up obstacles for ourselves. Quite plainly, it was free time that we got to jump, vault, run, and Parkour however we wanted.

So far in this post I have used the plural, “we”. It’s time to fess up that I was the oldest of the group of four participants. The other three were 12 and 13 year olds. It was quite a shock at first and I did not think I would want to go back. I was hoping to find a place to Parkour that I could make friends, not get a babysitting job. In the end, I think I had higher energy and got more enjoyment out of the hour and a half because of the passion, freedom, and overall exuberance that was continuously radiating from the kids. So, what lessons other than Parkouring lessons did I learn?

1. Just because we can do something easily, does not mean we are doing it easily.

We often pride ourselves a bit too much with our strengths. For example, while performing the cat walk, I would muscle my way up as if I were doing a pull up. The correct way would be to kick your foot and propel yourself up and then bend forward so that you are only lifting the bottom half of your body over the edge instead of all of it. I suppose you can make this directly proportionate with the saying “Work smarter, not harder”. Though, even for those who tend to always work smarter, I find that they fail to use their intelligence in the ways they are already strongest.

2. Being young, you actually have the advantage.

In the workplace it is always suggested that because you may be young, that you are underqualified and can’t play with the “big boys”. However, you can see in my post that boss’s, worldwide, are making a huge mistake. Not only are they making a large mistake, but they are losing productivity, losing employees positive attitudes and self-assurance, losing the efficiency and quick-twitch mentalities in the workplace. How? Because they are avoiding the younger generation. I succeed so well in my office with the other older co-workers (I’m 19 and they are 40+) because I motivate them to stay on the level of work ethic that I perform at. I bring out the best in them, their younger versions of themselves. Call me naive, but I am not as down on the world as those who have lived on the planet 40+ years. (Actually, I’m not even as negative as most 19 year old’s). Surrounding yourself with whomever is “young” to you will always be beneficial, whether its in a gymnasium, at home, or in the workplace. No doubt, whatsoever.

3. Cushion, lots of cushion! Others, and maybe even you, will call what I am about to tell you, planning to fail. I however, believe it to be creating a safety net because I am going to make a risk. (A huge risk) During the last 15 minutes of Parkour training, we got to move the equipment around and I got to really test myself. With a running start, I jumped onto a 5 foot box to jump up to the 12 foot box and vault over it (only using my hands to touch the 12 foot box that had roughly a four foot width that I would have to vault across). I had a trainer hold the 12 foot box so that it would not tip over as I used my hands to vault over it. However, he held it in one direction but not another and it tipped over as I pushed off of it. The result: Instead of landing on my feet, I landed completely on my side. Luckily, I landed on the cushioned mat that was there for that exact reason. I was safe. Having that cushion there allowed me to take a bigger risk than I thought I could honestly accomplish successfully.* Now I have to ask you. Instead of avoiding the risks in life and in business, what are you doing to cushion your landing?

*On a side note, I would have made it, had the trainer held the 12 foot box from both angles.

Stay Positive and Just Because You Place A Cushion Before You Make A Risk, Does Not Mean You Will Need The Cushion

Garth E. Beyer

The Parkour Take On Life’s Mistakes

Since the cold has taken the offensive I have postponed  my outdoor Parkour training. Even though I train and lift weights in the comfort of my home (which ironically is as cold as the outside since I never have the heat on) and at the small recreational facility seven and a half minutes away from my home, I still manage to acquire injuries. Ah, injuries — the most valuable reminders we can be given.

When I first became a Traceur, the only injuries I got were a sprained something-or-other and some nasty scratches. Although, there was a time I almost lost my man-hood when jumping over a goal post in Frisbee Golf. I should have checked to see how stable the post was before I decided to jump over it.

Regardless, when you are performing such an intense sport, you are bound to get injured. It may be slight scratches, a large gash, a dislocated shoulder or concussion. Than again, they are the same risks I take when working out at the gym or at home, if not more risky because of the lack of space. I can pull a muscle from lifting too much weight, scratch myself when trying to use the machines, roll an ankle running on the treadmill, etc.

Do I let these annoyances stop me from doing what I love? Of course not… Last week I pulled a muscle in my arm after maxing out on 50 push ups. The next day you could have found me doing P90X in the apartment. –bad idea– Injuries need rest but you get the idea. I am motivated and working out and Parkour training is a necessity in my life.

It’s all the same in life isn’t it? We have passions, goals, tasks that we have to accomplish and we all risk getting injured in one way or another. Christopher Paolini puts it perfectly in his book Inheritance, “Its impossible to go through life unscathed. Nor should you want to. By the hurts we accumulate, we measure both our follies and our accomplishments”

Stay Positive and Proud Of Your Scars

Garth E. Beyer