Author Topic: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you  (Read 6918 times)

Offline Zachary Cohn

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The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« on: September 09, 2011, 11:19:40 AM »
Hey everyone,
Traceurs "train to be ready for any situation," but so often we limit that to "any situation as long as it involves movement and we have no major disabilities." So a few years ago, I started experimenting with different ways of inconveniencing myself while training (can't use left arm, have to carry a baby-sized object, etc). My favorite experiment came about when I started wondering what it would be like if you had to function in an emergency situation, but there was no food available for a while.

So I decided to do a 72 hour fast (nothing but water), while continuing my daily activities. I still went to class, I ran a few training sessions, and jammed a bit. If I was invited to something and I normally would have said "yes," I said "yes."

A martial artist friend of mine and I have decided to make this into a bigger project that we're calling www.TheNeverendingFast.com. We're encouraging other people to engage in these 72 hour fasts consecutively, so over the course of a year the group has maintained a single, unbroken fast.

We launched on September 1st, and we've already had a good group of people sign up. I figured that since Parkour really inspired this whole project, some of you might be interested in taking part. To sign up, just go to http://theneverendingfast.com/join and fill in the form. Check out the calendar (http://theneverendingfast.com/calendar) to see when other people have signed up. Overlapping dates is okay - and actually encouraged!

Our next gap is tomorrow, so if you want to sign up and start right away... do it!

Offline hardcoretraceur

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 11:37:01 AM »
I like this +1
keep it free and true

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Offline Micah.

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 03:27:07 PM »
f#ck that, I like food.

Offline DevintheNinja

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2011, 05:38:26 AM »
I had to do this leading up to my black belt test in korea. You dont realize the temptation until something is taken away. This is a good idea zach!!
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 10:22:28 AM »
Devin - You should do it again then! :)

Micah: Parkour is about doing things that are hard, putting yourself in strange situations and adapting to them. Everyone always says that there's this "philosophy" behind parkour and there's this big mental side... but no one ever thinks about what that actually means. No one actually "trains" that side. No one ever goes out to a training session after 60 hours without eating to see what they're capable of then.

This is a way to help expand your training.

Offline Jordan Strybos

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 10:29:44 AM »
This is very similar to the types of challenges that the Yamak would put themselves through in their childhood. I like.

Offline Joe Brock

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 11:40:11 AM »
I love the idea.  I did a similar practice (4 day fasts) during martial arts training.  It isn't just the discomfort, but there is something very mental that takes place.  You actually do seem to be more aware after the first couple of days.  It's like having your senses sharpened.
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Offline Macgyver 0.

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2011, 07:13:49 PM »
I'm interested, Though I don't quite understand the purpose. Perhaps it could be a fundraiser of sorts, like the money we don't spend on food that week could be donated (like the mormons do). But I will try this sometime!

edit: could this be dangerous? I have no known food/health conditions but still.....
edit2: just joined! starting this friday.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 07:18:32 PM by Macgyver 0. »

if we want a point in our lives we have to make it, if we want happiness then we have to do our best to get happy. you can be a mindless drone, or you can go out and do something great. -Texas Steve-/b]
working on Dive kong

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2011, 10:13:52 AM »
MacGuyver - I'm going to do another pass over the copy later today. I have a bunch of feedback I need to implement to make it a bit cleaner, clearer, and crisper (the three C's!).

Jordan - Interesting. I really think this kind of experimentation and training is in the true spirit of parkour. I wish more people would stop talking about how "philosophical" parkour is and actually do something about it. :p

Offline Jordan Strybos

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2011, 11:12:34 AM »
Jordan - Interesting. I really think this kind of experimentation and training is in the true spirit of parkour. I wish more people would stop talking about how "philosophical" parkour is and actually do something about it. :p

Agreed. In a presentation about the history of parkour  (most of which will be written out and detailed even more in her doctoral coming out soon), Julie Angel talked about how the Yamak used to push they're bodies to the limits, and then see exactly what they were capable of. For example, a few of the founders (I believe Laurent Piemontesi was behind this one) ran from Lisses to Paris (a distance of almost 25 miles) and then promptly turned around and ran back. Once they got back with jelly legs, they started drilling precisions just to see what they could do on the brink of physical exhaustion. I think you're spot on in thinking what you do, Zac.

(This whole story about the founders is paraphrased from a presentation by Julie Angel, and I may not be completely correct, I'm just going off of what I remember her talking about.)

By the way, I'll be doing my own fast this weekend; we'll see how far I make it ;)

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2011, 01:35:14 PM »
By the way, I'll be doing my own fast this weekend; we'll see how far I make it ;)

Did you sign up? :)

Offline Ryan Nicolai

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2011, 01:42:29 PM »
Last October I went without food for 100 hours, while continuing to live normally. It really opened my eyes to a lot of different things. Kudos on putting this together and I'll definitely be signing up.


“The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments." ~ Ronald Reagan

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2011, 02:42:46 PM »
Ryan- Cool. I like the 72 hours because it's too short to cause any actual medium/long term issues with most people, but it's long enough that you get the point. Did you notice a major difference between day 3 and 4?

And if you're going to sign up, there's a slot open tomorrow we need to fill.. :)

Offline Micah.

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 02:49:46 PM »
Micah: Parkour is about doing things that are hard, putting yourself in strange situations and adapting to them. Everyone always says that there's this "philosophy" behind parkour and there's this big mental side... but no one ever thinks about what that actually means. No one actually "trains" that side. No one ever goes out to a training session after 60 hours without eating to see what they're capable of then.

This is a way to help expand your training.
I see no real point of starving oneself for some "higher cause" because parkour is about overcoming obstacles. If you have the choice to eat, and not eat; it's not an obstacle, it's a choice.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 02:52:35 PM by Micah. »

Offline Jordan Strybos

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2011, 03:08:42 PM »
I see no real point of starving oneself for some "higher cause" because parkour is about overcoming obstacles. If you have the choice to eat, and not eat; it's not an obstacle, it's a choice.

But by choosing to not eat, you are creating a challenging obstacle for yourself that will be even harder to overcome (since you control its existence).

Offline Micah.

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2011, 03:28:13 PM »
But by choosing to not eat, you are creating a challenging obstacle for yourself that will be even harder to overcome (since you control its existence).
Again, you're choosing not to eat; choice.

If you want to overcome some obstacle, a real obstacle; not a choice-obstacle, then go be homeless for a few months. I see no sense in starving yourself for whatever amount of time; it proves nothing and does nothing. All I get from is that "I can out-starve myself than others/myself," I rather enjoy eating than taking away something I enjoy.

Masochist traits is what I'm getting from whomever does this (by choice, this does not include people who actually cannot eat or afford to eat properly).

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2011, 04:25:45 PM »
Again, you're choosing not to eat; choice.

If you want to overcome some obstacle, a real obstacle; not a choice-obstacle, then go be homeless for a few months. I see no sense in starving yourself for whatever amount of time; it proves nothing and does nothing. All I get from is that "I can out-starve myself than others/myself," I rather enjoy eating than taking away something I enjoy.

Masochist traits is what I'm getting from whomever does this (by choice, this does not include people who actually cannot eat or afford to eat properly).

You're completely missing the point of this exercise, and possibly parkour. :p

You're right, it is a choice. But so is drilling kongs one day instead of dashes. The point is that you go out and decide "I want to try X today" and then you go do it. You don't set your house on fire and then try to escape.

This has nothing to do with masochism, it has to do with putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation and learning from the experience. It's obviously not a 1:1 simulation, but it's a lot better than 0:1.

Offline Micah.

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2011, 04:30:46 PM »
You're completely missing the point of this exercise, and possibly parkour. :p

You're right, it is a choice. But so is drilling kongs one day instead of dashes. The point is that you go out and decide "I want to try X today" and then you go do it. You don't set your house on fire and then try to escape.

This has nothing to do with masochism, it has to do with putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation and learning from the experience. It's obviously not a 1:1 simulation, but it's a lot better than 0:1.
But when you choose to do X move instead of Y move; it's comfortable and that you enjoy.

Why choose to be in an uncomfortable position when you can continue doing something you're comfortable with and enjoy (before you apply this to doing news movies that are uncomfortable at first; but in-time become comfortable. Not eating does not become comfortable).

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2011, 05:05:06 PM »
Because doing hard things is the only way to improve? Stimulus/response. If you want to increase your leg strength, you have to do squats. You can do air squats all day long and see little gain, but load 250lbs on the bar and you'll see a change.

You choose to be in an uncomfortable position in a controlled environment, because then if you're in a similar uncomfortable situation in an uncontrolled environment, you have experience and you have an advantage.

 

Offline Micah.

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Re: The Neverending Fast - a new challenge for you
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2011, 05:07:50 PM »
Because doing hard things is the only way to improve? Stimulus/response. If you want to increase your leg strength, you have to do squats. You can do air squats all day long and see little gain, but load 250lbs on the bar and you'll see a change.

You choose to be in an uncomfortable position in a controlled environment, because then if you're in a similar uncomfortable situation in an uncontrolled environment, you have experience and you have an advantage.
You don't improve starving yourself, that's something you don't improve, and if you strive to do so; it's a waste of energy and time that could be used for something actually beneficial.