I got to thinking about how I have been warmed, “be careful, to not hurt yourself.” The “arms/hands/neck are fragile” I have bee told. I realized these words of caution have caused me to move through life with a “Fragile” badge on, leading me to cautiously approach lots of things, from riding a roller coaster to flying on the trapeze, to doing Parkour and playing the flute. This mindset has added a layer of hesitation onto life because I “might injure myself if I do x, y or z” Believe it or not, the fragile badge might be the reason I would get injured. Being hesitant simply inhibits integrated movement, causing one to move a part rather than the whole.
This fall, my newest movement adventure is Parkour. After attending an outdoor class in Houston, I was hooked. Lucky for me there is a fantastic Parkour group in Somerville, MA. What I love about Parkour is the very clear teaching method behind all of the cool stunts, it is far from haphazard, I am not jumping off 10-foot walls (yet!). Parkour takes into account the body’s mechanics in movement as it relates to gravity which is a powerful movement layer to add onto Body Mapping and Contoured Weight Shifting.
Parkour stunts are super cool, many I never imagined myself doing, although I would secretly love to. With the help of other Parkour movers and the great instructors, I am learning to vault, balance, jump with precision and scale a wall. Every time I walk away from a class, the connection between every part of my body is loud and clear (sometimes sore), but most of the time strong because I am learning to use my WHOLE body, I am challenging coordination, and I am fine-tuning movement skills.
with a whole an integrated body is powerful!
I now realize that I am not fragile, as I have been told. I am strong and have coordination inside that I never imagined. If I am vaulting, I am not just using my hands, my hands are connected through the arms into the torso and to the powerful core. Moving as an integrated whole, informs my flute playing, allowing me to be grounded and move with the precision and ease that creates sound and expression.
The “fragile” badge could have deterred me from trying Parkour back in August. I am glad I didn’t listen to it. While I now acknowledge that I am far from fragile. I am, however, very careful to listen to my body as I partake in any movement practice. I think a lot about how a movement will take place at the level of the skeleton (thank you Body Mapping!), being sure that I utilize quality movement whole-body movement and regressing any movement to the basics for the learning process.
Movement experiences enable one to define themselves from the inside, which is undeniable in the park or onstage. No more, “Musician = Fragile,” instead “Musician = Move Well!”
This video from the office is what Parkour is NOT! Great for a laugh though…