Author Topic: Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus  (Read 1993 times)

Offline Rafe

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Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus
« on: July 05, 2006, 02:39:56 PM »
The otherday I was went to do a run through whatcom falls park it was my intention to essentially the run in the video I put out recently without stopping(I failed miserably BTW) and I wanted to be able to do it without hesitating however the first obstacle included a drop were I couldn't see the landing. My cautious side won out and I checked the drop before I jumped even though I had done it dozens of times before. Well turns out someone had dropped a glass bottle right were I normally land. Its quite possible I could have split my feet and avoided the bottle but I might have landed on it and cut my self up bad or turned my ankle as well.

Some people have argued that in an emergency situation you will not have that choice to check the jump first and that you should train the capicity to react to unknown like the glass bottle. I think this is foolhardy. The injuries you will receive training like this will negate any extra benefit to your ability to react to unexpected stimuli. The fact is that your ability to react in such situation will not be specific trained skill but a combination of your proprioception, focus, muscular strength and power and your neuromuscular response time all of these can be trained very effectively in ways that are less dangerous wasy then hucking yourself of stuff and trying to react to what you find. I truly believe caution is one of your best long term training strategies.

In further lessons on paying attention to what your doing. Yesterday I was walking up a creek by the house I grew up in. A creek I have hiked probably a thousand times. Nobody had ever been injured hiking that creek untill a month or so ago when a freind of mines boyfreind, stepped on piece of shale that turned over on his ankle and completely severed his achilles tendon. Well as I was ambling around the creek I started thinking about this got distracted and slipped on a rock I landed on a fallen log with broken branch sticking out. It hit my in upper pectoral near the armpit. I was lucky, it did not pass through the subcutaneous fat layer into the muscle and no ligaments, muscle or blood vessel were damaged. I should be pretty much healed in a couple weeks.

However it seems to be yet another lesson on the theme of pay attention. Almost ever injury I have had as traceur can be traced to a lack of focus, being distracted in my thoughts or rushed by my emotions.

I often find that I will do something very difficult lose focus and trip over something small. I have seen many other traceurs do this as well.

For me anyways I find that mental chatter just pointless thoughts are the primary cause of my lack of focus. A freind once asked me if I was thinking or if I was letting my mind think me at the time I thought it was pointless question but now I understand it. Its part of what attracts me so much to parkour, martials arts and gymnastics the way the allow me to escape the mental chatter.

I don't know quite how to rap this up, the moral is obvious, be cautious smart and focused without overthinking quiet your mind so you can focus on your movement.

I think we all know we need to do this in parkour but I think what my little slip up demonstrates is the need to take his focus into all your life. To learn to allows be in controll of your thoughts to allways meditate your movements with true focus. That I think is were true grace and compatence in movement arise when it become a daily habit to focus on the way you move.
I shall not fear, fear is the mind killer the little death that precedes total obliteration

I will face my fear, I will let it pass over and through me and were it is gone, I will turn the inner eye and see its path, and only I will remain.

Offline Altimot

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Re: Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2006, 03:10:40 PM »
Quote
I often find that I will do something very difficult lose focus and trip over something small. I have seen many other traceurs do this as well.

that is how i always get hurt.

One time, me and the other springs guys were at a school and they had like these stairs going up to a door. well, the stairs leveled out at the top for like 15 feet and on the other side of the railing there was a bus. the top of the bus was like 4 feet down and like 8 or 9 feet accross from the railing. the drop if you were to miss was like 16 feet-ish onto concrete and a curb. So we jump on to the top of the bus and then jump back at a lower point. immediatley after getting back i am going down the stairs and jump down like 2 or 3 stairs and roll my ankle really bad. They werent even big stairs, just like a two foot drop and i wasnt focusing and i ended up with what looked like an extra golf ball onto my ankle. I couldnt walk or put any weight on it for a while. i was out for like a week about.

Another time i was going to just vault this like 2 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot wooden cube in my school's karate room and i wasnt focusing and i hit my knee in like the exact wrong place and it swelled up to like the size of two golf balls and i had to crawl to a bench until i could get help. i was out for like 2 months and now i have an extra knee. It like turned into this like disease thing or something and it is never going to go away. its like a big calcium build up or something, im not sure and the doctors arent sure either. It doesnt really bother me at all unless its cold outside so im not too worried about it but id still like to know.

...all because i wasnt focused and now i have an extra knee... at least it will remind me to remind me to always be focused.

Offline Eric Kropp

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Re: Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2006, 03:45:11 PM »
Yeah I wasn't being totally cautious, and hit my shin on a wooden platform.  I got this nasty dent, and I've had it since May.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 07:20:19 PM by ek2 »

Offline Nick

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Re: Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 07:11:22 PM »
yeah happy budda was filming me yesterday or the day before and even though I had perviously done 2 warm up runs and checked the landing several times, when we were actualy rolling tape I was so focused on not hesitating that I almost missed the ledge I was trying to land on (I steadied myself, but it reminded me that you need to stay aware all the time will doing parkour).
"We aren't here right now to live forever, we'll live forever tomorow

Offline Rafe

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Re: Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2006, 07:28:33 PM »
Yeah its good to remember that cameras can add pressure to when doing stuff for the camera allways remember to focus on the parkour and even if you have and not to try to push yourself to far just for the camera's sake.
I shall not fear, fear is the mind killer the little death that precedes total obliteration

I will face my fear, I will let it pass over and through me and were it is gone, I will turn the inner eye and see its path, and only I will remain.

Offline Quazar

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Re: Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2006, 11:57:59 PM »
Altimot's extra knee is a good conversation piece though

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Offline Asa Liebmann

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Re: Look before you leap: Thoughts on Caution and Focus
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2006, 01:11:28 PM »
Never. :-p