It is quite common for us as practitioners of parkour, I think, having broken a new jump or mastered a new movement or overcome a new challenge in training, to then look back and remark: well, that was easy. And it is good, in a sense, to be buoyed by such achievements and successes in our training.
However, there is a you before the jump and there is a you after the jump. And they are very different; though the jump itself remains unchanged.
You, before the jump, were perhaps nervous; were perhaps afraid; were perhaps not ready, not warmed-up, not in a good frame of mind. You perhaps lacked confidence for any one of a thousand reasons. You perhaps were carrying a slight injury, were recovering from a cold or didn’t have your favourite shoes with you. Perhaps you just didn’t feel like jumping today.
The jump looked long, looked hard, required power, required you to shake it off, to wake up, to summon your energy, to focus, to step up. It required you to be present. It took some time.
And then you did it. Relief. Success. Repeat. Confidence. Arrogance? And now it looks easy, and you wonder what took you so long, why all the fuss, why make it so hard? This is you, after the jump. But the jump has not changed. The distance, the takeoff, the landing, the height, the surfaces: the same.
Until a jump is done, it is not easy.
Until you have done it, you have not done it.
Until you have done it, you should not speak of it as easy, simple, nothing.
Until it is done, it remains a challenge: and challenges should be respected, both before and after they are overcome.
My point is this: Everything that made the jump difficult before you conquered it was part of the jump. Even the baggage you brought to it, your physical state, your mental state. For you, all that was contained in the jump. There are no easy jumps. So respect each one, each movement, each challenge –even those you are sure are well within your level of ability. Those are the ones that are most likely to catch you out and bring you crashing down to earth in your over-confidence.
My advice is this: Don’t talk about what you can do until you have done it. Humility. Once you have completed the jump, do not dismiss it as easy. The action itself may have been, but the jump wasn’t. And if you say you can do a jump, be prepared to be called on that, that instant.
Even better, call yourself on it.
Thanks Dan, this is an interesting perspective. I like the idea of staying humble through respecting the jump/challenge. Sometimes I do like to mutter under my breath that it is ‘nothing’ however, just to set my brow a little harder and find my confidence. Almost as if the jump/challenge is a wild animal that I know for certain I can tame. Maybe that animal is simply myself, on the other hand haha.