Winter Blues

Christmas is a fairly naff time of year for me for various reasons, some related to my mental health, so it’s a difficult time of year for training due to the general apathy that comes hand in hand with anxiety.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve still been going to the Gymnastics session I do and I’ve done a bit of climbing and actually managed a bit of Parkour training. We found a simple, nifty little spot not far from our flat that’s lovely for training plyos and precise precision jumps.

Despite my lack of strict Parkour training I haven’t noticed any backwards progression in my tech, which is nice, but I think my fitness is starting to suffer. I probably need to just start running again as that’s a form of training I can fit more easily between day to day activities.

I am struggling with apathy at the moment. Hopefully once the New Year gets into gear and I’ve found a job that doesn’t cause me to have panic attacks and dread leaving the house then things will improve. For the moment though, my training schedule is intermittent and inconsistent. I’m not sleeping fantastically either although I’ve been putting a bit more effort into ensuring we’re having balanced meals in our flat, which should start to help improve my mood a bit as I’d started to not eat properly.

The next 3-4 months will mostly consist of me getting back on track and figuring out the best way to tackle life the universe and everything, so training will probably keep changing until I’ve settled into a new job etc.

Generally my aim is to not take things to seriously and just have fun with my movement. Do things because I want to do them and not because I feel like I have to do them in order to progress.

Train safe,

Jess

 

 

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Mind over Matter

I went quiet again. I was trying to get into a regular training schedule but due to various reasons the old Anxiety has decided to rear it’s head again. I’ve recognised the problem now so I can address it but along with the anxiety depression was starting to creep in and both of these demons are usually accompanied by apathy.

It’s a problem I’ve had before but obviously training and doing exercise raises your endorphin levels and if you stop training then you end up in a vicious cycle of not training because you’re not motivated and becoming more apathetic because you’re not training.

I’m going to stick to the plan I had before. Short, intense training sessions. I need to make sure I keep mixing up my movement as well to keep my mind active and thinking about the next thing. Starting gymnastics has helped with this but I think I definitely need to run once a week and also try and fit a climbing session in as well. Swimming would also be beneficial but I need to sort out my time management a bit more before I try and fit much else in.

I can’t let the anxiety get the better of me and hinder my training. For the moment, I won’t worry too much about progressing and just focus on having fun with my movement, but I think a diverse training program will actually help my progression anyway. I’ll learn to love moving again. I was starting to fall into the trap of thinking about training too seriously and for someone like me thinking like that isn’t necessarily beneficial. I seem to progress more when I leave a movement for a while and come back to it later. If I think about things too much they just don’t happen.

So, with my Parkour training I will go to a spot, find maybe two or three things I think I can do some short intense sets of and work on those for that session. I will try and make sessions no longer than an hour to prevent myself from over thinking a movement and inadvertently driving it out of my head. I do need to put more focus on my general fitness as well, which is where the running will come in.

Having these repeated set backs is frustrating but I have to keep reminding myself I am always moving forward. I did a short Parkour session on Monday in which I surprised myself by executing a physically taxing route with a lot more finesse than I would have managed three weeks ago. I need to be happy in myself and stop comparing my progress to others. I am still guilty of doing that but I am competing against myself, no one else.

Train safe,

Jess

Juggling My Schedule

I currently work in a shop and my shifts seem to change on a weekly basis at the moment, so trying to implement a regular training schedule has been tricky.

I have decided that the way forward is definitely to do small training sessions most days. I do Gymnastics every Tuesday evening so that’s the regular thing in the weekly calendar, other stuff will just have to be slotted into the mornings before my shifts or on my days off.

Things I will be doing regularly to help maintain my general movement capabilities will include:

  • Handstand training
  • Gymnastic rings
  • Balance and basic flow
  • Climb ups
  • Running jumps

I will focus on these things because they either need work or will assist in making sure I stay mobile and in touch with other movement techniques.

With regards to gymnastics, backflips are coming along nicely so I will mostly focus on those and keep sideflips and front flips ticking over until I have backlflips on flat ground and can move to training them outside.

Train safe,

Jess

The Training Update

More progress has been occurring. On Sunday I met up with some of the Exeter practitioners and put in 3 hours training despite feeling quite drained. The drained feeling was mostly from working the previous 3 days and not getting as much sleep as I would normally due to it being Halloween night on Saturday (I took part in a late night cards against Humanity Game with some friends, I’m not one for going out or drinking).

Despite feeling drained, I did get a few decent lumps of training done. Got some nice balance stuff done while waiting for people to show up and then later made some cat leap progress. Inbetween I was just doing small sets of movements with a lot of rest in between so I didn’t wear myself out too much.

This morning I headed over to the Skate park to drill a couple of running jumps. I’m definitely making progress with them, which is nice after struggling with them for so long. I still need to dial back the power on these two particular jumps because I’m not quite sticking them, but with a bit more practice and a bit more confidence building I think I’ll start to see a lot more progress with running jumps.

Tomorrow morning I think I’ll head to a spot close to me to do a couple of short sets on a running cat leap that I want to get, then in the evening I have gym.

Train safe,

Jess

Recent Training and Plans for the Weekend

On Tuesday I met up with a couple of guys at about 9:30 in the morning and we spent the next 4 hours checking out a couple of the lesser used spots in Exeter and getting some nice bits and pieces of productive training in.

The most significant piece of progress I made was a running jump I tried at the Skate park. The running jump itself wasn’t that big but I did it straight off without hesitating. I have never been able to do that before so I was immeasurably happy about that experience. My confidence has been increasing but it’s good to see it reflecting significantly in my training.

At the Skatepark we also look at some general precision jumps, played around on the slidey slopes and practiced dropping into rolls from a height. After exploring the park a bit we went on a hunt for a little park a bit out of the main section of the city. We found it and spent some time playing with lache movements before heading back to Exeters main spot to meet up with some other guys. I didn’t stick around too much longer after that because I felt pretty drained and had gym later in the evening. I did work on a new vault and started making progress on running rail precision training, which I haven’t done a great deal of in my training life yet.

Gym wasn’t particularly productive. I was a bit too tired and not really in the right frame of mind so I basically just drilled backflips and sideflips into the foam pit until my technique dissipated. I have established that I need to transfer backflips to the sprung floor with a spotter if I want to make more progress.

It sounds like people will be out training on Sunday, although I’ll probably train most of the day anyway even if people aren’t out. I want to explore a spot that will offer up lots of running pre and stride training as well as some nice awkward precision jumps.

Need to work out a better way of fitting strength training in. Most of my work shifts happen around lunchtime and go into early afternoon so it’s an odd time of day to work around. I will probably start doing small sets of exercises in the mornings and then fit in a session on the gymnastics rings one afternoon a week or something.

That’s all for the minute. Next update will probably be on Monday or Tuesday.

Train safe,

Jess

Been A While (Again)

I am now settled into a new city, have a job, have some voluntary work, have a better idea of my weekly schedule. I am working about 16 hours a week and I voluntarily wrote for an online magazine now but in between those things and training I will be finding time to try and post up on here once a week. I have been training and I am currently in the process of diversifying and stepping up my training.

I’ve gradually been meeting more and more of the Pakour community in this area and they seem like a great bunch. There’s a nice range of different styles in the people here, which is unusual in the sense that generally people who train in the same city develop similar styles to each other with just a few individual differences. Here most people seem to see obstacles and movements from different viewpoints and it’s really nice.

I’m starting to work on the more gymnastic side of Parkour/Freerunning. There’s a Gymnastics club near our flat that runs freestyle gymnastics classes which are taught by members of the community. On that side of things I can now do unassisted backflips into a foam pit and I started using the foam pit to work on side flips. I think I should be able to transfer both onto the sprung floor in the next couple of weeks and hopefully I will be able to comfortably do them outside by Christmas. I will be doing a bit of work on front flips as well although they’re not so much of a priority for me at the moment.

Once I have backflips down I’ll start the progressions towards gainers and roundoff backflips. I still have a bit of work to do on Aerials and I’m at a stage where I can start practising B-twists although again, they’re not at the top of the list.

My parkour training is progressing nicely. Climb ups are so much easier now and my technique is considerably cleaner and faster. General confidence is steadily increasing and I’m more and more able to do jumps or moves for the first time without standing and staring at it for an hour. With the straight parkour I’m definitely at a point where most of my skills require refinement and improvement. New skills that I haven’t tried are popping up far less often than they used to.

The plan is to do a gymnastics session once a week and go to the open session once a month, train straight parkour Tuesdays and Sundays, Climbing Thursdays and then fit in short sessions for outdoor tricking and gymnastics rings in amongst the other hours of the week.

This blog will track my progress, the progress of those I train with regularly, any trips I go on and my thoughts and possible advice on training and fitness. I’m back.

Train safe,

Jess

Been a While

I’ve been terrible at updating this blog. Life has been fairly haphazard and busy so there’s not been much training going on. Life will continue to be haphazard for a while but I shall endeavour to do some training in between the general uncertainty and confusion about my future.

I am currently living back in the family home while awaiting news on where my boyfriends PhD is going to be located. Once I know that I will know where i’ll be living for the next three years at least and can then think about adult things like getting a flat and a job. During that time I am here, in rural Lincolnshire, where training locations are sparse and usually involve a bike ride of at least a couple of miles.

There is a decent training area about 2 miles away but it’s a busy working environment in the week so I only ever go there at weekends incase people stare at me or get angry. I am planning on having a session there tomorrow. It’s mostly rails, which I like, but there’s at least one running jump/large precision jump I can look at and some bits of derelict wall hiding off in the trees.

I have dabbled in tricking over the last couple of years and have continually hit confidence walls with it but I’ve had a bit more of a think about how to approach it and if I take it super, super slowly, I think I can make some progress. My main issue is movements that require me to have my back parallel to the ground. I need to work on slowly building up my ability to do those movements. I will do this by slowly building up to being able to do a Raiz, starting by just swishing my legs round while still mostly vertical and gradually putting more power in and adding to my technique. I’m going to spend time drilling the tornado kick as well, which I can mostly do, and then work on a 540 kick and a parafuso from there.

Recently I went to Denmark to visit family and while in Copenhagen had the opportunity to re-awaken my sleepy muscles on some of the wonderful parkour parks dotted about the city. I shall probably put a link to the video I stuck together in a different blog post at some point.

Train safe,

Jess