PARKOUR! (Or, How to Ninja-fy Your Life, Even If You’re Weak As Hell)
It’s that time of year again. The time when I find myself staring longingly at the steps outside City Hall and the railings in the park and wishing I could propel myself off and over them like Spiderman.
It’s American Ninja Warrior season, kids, and Cordelia is hankering to be a parkour badass.
Screw You, Grover Arms!
There is something about parkour that I find absolutely, beyond-words awesome. Maybe it’s the ability to seemingly defy the limits of the normal physical world (like gravity). Maybe it’s the superhero image of soaring over the bounds that mere humans have to respect and creating your own route howsoever you feel like creating it. Maybe it’s because I’m a klutz, and the fearlessness of participating in an activity where every single move has the potential to be deadly impresses the hell out of me.
Either way, watching American Ninja Warrior each year makes me long (long, long, long) to find a parkour class somewhere in the B’lo and give it my all. In spite of the fact that I have arms like this and in spite of the fact that I never once made it onto the rope in gym class. (That’s right—never made it onto the rope, let alone made it up the rope. I could never even get a starting grip. I am still mortified to this day.)
Chances are the most parkouring I will ever be able to accomplish is something more along these lines. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still be a ninja of another sort.
Living Your Life Like a Ninja
The term “ninja” (much like “epic” and “awesome”) has become rather overused in the motivational blogosphere. (This does not stop me from using all of these words on a regular basis. They are punchy words, and I like them.)
But there’s still something to be said for the ninja mentality. The all-in, do what needs to be done, human limits be damned way of approaching things.
You’d never see a ninja receiving a covert assignment and saying, “Yeah….You know, I’m kind of tired right now, and no one’s ever really done anything like this before. So maybe we should just put a pin in it?”
You’d never see a ninja approaching a gap between two rooftops as he chases the bad guy and saying, “Hmmm. If I don’t make this, I’m gonna look really stupid. Maybe it’s smarter if I just don’t try.”
Ninjas get shit done. And they usually make a few jaws drop by the way they do it.
So maybe I can’t vault over railings or run up a wall. But there are plenty of boundaries and barriers in my life that I can soar over and bounce off like a maniac pinball who lacks the fear of death or injury.
I’ve been stuck in my soul-sapping 9-5 for going on 11 years now, an actual third of my time spent on this planet.
I never did go to grad school to get that M.F.A. in Creative Writing.
But I’ve built this blog out of sheer recklessness, a handy removable verbal filter, and watching everything I can about how the big guys are doing it (then ignoring whatever bits didn’t jive with my gut feeling.) I gave it a shot. I wrote the way I wanted to, and I wrote it like people were already listening. And so far, it seems to be working. PARKOUR!
I’ve built a freelance business out of a “what the hell, let’s just leap” attitude and a heck of a lot of hustle. I had zero experience and no portfolio apart from this snarkfest of a blog. And it’s worked, by some grace of the universe. PARKOUR!
I refuse to be guided by The Way Things Are and instead am creating my life, the way I want it, and believing it will come to pass. PAR-mother-effing-KOUR, baby.
The thing is, when you open yourself up to the potential of your surroundings, you find yourself able to do all sorts of ridiculous tricks that look impossible to the people on the ground who are only paying attention to gravity.
Because most obstacles aren’t really barriers. They’re just an opportunity to spin off some awesome new stunts that no one’s ever seen before. You just need to approach them with the right mix of insane optimism and refusal to fear failure.
Don’t doubt. Don’t conform. Just do.
So. What are YOUR boundaries and barriers, and how can you parkour their asses?
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