This is Your Life and it’s Ending One Minute at a Time.

Written by Anthony Nguyen
Published on Sunday, 11 October 2009

For many of us, this article won’t discuss anything new, but I just felt the need to write it in light of recent discussions and utterings.

Something that is sure to make me angry is someone’s expression of boredom. Don’t ever be bored, and if you ever find yourself there, don’t let me hear about it. Boredom seems to be something that just plagues up the lives of children and some teenagers.

It’s the cry of those whose lives are just overflowing with time. If you have so much time, lend it to Olegg, despite being Out of Time, he seems to be accomplishing a lot. Boredom doesn’t seem to be a problem that traceurs have too often, but I’d like to point it out before it happens. Here are some things to consider before EVER declaring you are bored.

There are more books out there than any single person could EVER read. At least some of them are excellent.

As is the case with books, there is much more information than any person could ever grasp fully. Just about all information is able to be applied one way or another.

There are many talents and skills out there to be mastered. Learn them, master them, market them.

34% percent of Americans are obese, are you one of them? If not, that’s one step. Sedentary lifestyle has rendered the rest of us to be weaklings. Health standards are disgustingly low. Be strong and healthy.

Sometimes we need a little bit of time to ourselves. Some of us need more of this than others. Take this time to get some rest in, some self reflection, or simply thinking about some ideas.

Go outside. Invest yourself in enjoying some simple things whether it be enjoying nature or flying kites.

Bond with your relatives, you only get one of each.

If you are ever bored, chances are, you don’t have a job. Go get one, if something doesn’t allow you to, look for volunteer possibilities within your neighborhood.

Boredom is for the socially, ideologically, and physically dull. Those who have boredom are also lacking in ambition. Those who are bored with what is immediately around them also lack the ability to appreciate the intrinsic values of things and are unable to find joy without something external. Don’t do it.

The case with most of us however, seems to be a shortage of time.

There are several who claim that they just don’t have any time throughout their whole day to do anything, all week. Perhaps, but probably not. There are many examples of people who have several preoccupations in their lives but continue to keep up with their physical health. Duncan Germain is a full time teacher who still comes out to condition Fridays as well as pursuing a vast number of hobbies, on top of completing a number of projects. One of the Bartendaz is currently in school, while holding two jobs, and he’s likely one of the biggest ones.

It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s that you’re spending it all wrong. Set priorities; know what HAS to be done, and what you do because you want or things of similar nature. Put it on a list and recognize that you have to finish certain things.

It doesn’t take 4 hours to do homework if you do it right. The IB program is supposed to provide hours of homework but I never work more than 2-3 hours on average. How? Most of the time, I do half my homework at night, usually the ones due earlier during the day, and during the school day I’ll get the second half done. This way I can get more me time in the afternoon.

There’s A LOT of free time during school that most people don’t take advantage of. Lunch breaks are a lot longer than they need to be, teachers often go on tangents or give breaks from their lectures, if you don’t drive to school then to and from school gives you time to study, the minutes before each class starts adds up, before and after school any day that you stay after/come in early. Taking advantage of all this time adds up and gives you at the very least 20 extra minutes in the afternoon.

It only takes 30 MINUTES get a good workout in, if you are doing it right. 30 minutes is very little, but if done everyday, it adds up to a lot. Get off of that Youtube if you know you have an essay due, stop playing those dumb video games, most television shows are just a waste of time, sleep is for losers.

Try this out, have a pencil and paper throughout the whole day, and record the time frame you take to do each activity. It doesn’t have to be super specific, but specific enough to give you an idea of what tasks you spend time on throughout the day. After having done so, identify some areas that you could spend less time on or combine with other tasks.

Everyone is given the same amount of time. Geniuses and prodigies gained their fame working under the same time constraints and under the stress of similar burdens we hold today. Complaining about time or boredom is dumb, stop it.

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Are All Traceurs, Like, Communists or Something? lolololol

Written by Nick Faircloth
Published on Thursday, 01 October 2009

This is a topic I first started thinking about around the time Bao wrote his blog post entitled “Get Money, Get Paid.” That phrase struck me, as it seemed to me to contain everything that parkour is and should be- a wholly capitalist statement. Why, then, do the practitioners of the discipline seem to condone such an attitude of altruism in their social interactions, while promoting an opposite attitude of individualism in their personal endeavors? Does such a duality exist, or is it merely an illusion? This is my opinion on the matter after MUCH thought. Please note that this is basically my attempt to reconcile my two main philosophical beliefs, which before now had seemed to contradict each other: Capitalism and the parkour philosophy of “altruism,” which can essentially be boiled down to: “be strong to be useful.” If you’d like to point out flaws in my reasoning, please do. I have no doubt I’ve overlooked some things.

Altruism (from Latin: alter: the other) is the deliberate pursuit of the interests or welfare of others or the public interest.” – Wikipedia

The same article on altruism also had this to say: “altruism refers to behaviour by an individual that increases the fitness of another individual while decreasing the fitness of the actor.” In other words, doing something for another at one’s own expense. The concept of “altruism” is ostensibly advocated by many of the practitioners of the discipline of parkour, and is reflected in such activities as the Leave No Trace Initiative, community teaching events, and most recently, the One Giant Leap global climate change jam. These are certainly admirable pursuits, yet it may be disagreeable to some to give up their time for nothing in return. Why should I waste my time cleaning up at NCSU when I don’t even go to school there? Why should I bother asking the owner of a property for permission to train there, when I can do it without permission? Why should I show respect to a police officer, even when he is kicking me off the property I didn’t ask permission to train at? Why should I display respect, candor, courage, and all those other character traits Duncan immortalized in different forms of QM? The answer is this: you do receive something in return. As a traceur, you are a representative of the discipline to the public. What you are, is parkour. If you are respectful, courteous and willing to do things for the community, then you will win credibility for the discipline as a whole in the eyes of the public. Whereas, if you are disrespectful, careless in your training (prone to injury) and belligerent when dealing with authority, then soon the entire discipline will be viewed that way. We will not be allowed to train where we want, if at all, because of a few individuals who wanted the short-term benefits of practicing parkour without the long-term investment that comes with the title of traceur.

So, is what we are doing for the community truly altruism? I think it is not. We are (or will eventually be) getting the all-important benefit of public awareness and respect. This is a slow gain, and requires much effort. It is a difficult process, since in our society negative occurrences often receive more publicity than positive ones. One death will receive more press than the millions of hours of practice collectively put in by traceurs worldwide, even though it is the carelessness of dying while training which contradicts the philosophy of parkour. It is the disrespectful practitioner who will be remembered, although it is his attitude which runs contrary to the attitude of the discipline and the intentions of the founders. For this reason, the battle for our “place in the sun,” as it were, will be a long and hard one. But it will be worth it, and we will get our returns in the form of freedom to be able to openly practice our discipline. For that reason, what we are doing cannot be called altruism. It is a wholly capitalist system, and I am fine with that.

Capitalism is doing work and receiving 100% of the benefit (as an individual or as a group with common interests, for example, the parkour community). This is the ideal.

Altruism is doing the same work and receiving no benefit. This is pointless, and condones making no effort because you receive the same reward either way. My question is this: How can a discipline in which you are clearly responsible for your own growth (get money, get paid), be said to condone altruism? Is it possible that there is a contradiction in the philosophy of conditioning and training the body for parkour (work=gain), and in the actual application of the discipline (work=waste)? I think not. Such a thing must surely be the result of a gross oversight on the part of the practitioner, rather than the philosophy of the discipline as a whole.

Let me phrase this a different way: If we knew as a community that acceptance was impossible, that we would never be able to train as we wished, no matter what positive things we did, if we could be certain of this, would we bother? After all, that would be true altruism. I wouldn’t lift a finger. Why waste my time and receive no benefit for it? It simply doesn’t make sense.

I wrote this to clarify what altruism really is, since I have noticed the word being thrown around a lot lately. In my opinion, parkour does not condone altruism. It condones helping others for a reward. That reward can come in many forms- experience, satisfaction at saving the life of another (how cool would that be?), public recognition of the legitimacy of the discipline- yet the same underlying concept is there: action begets reaction. This is more than a physical law, to me it is a moral precept. However, the reward cannot be something which has no value or meaning to the practice of parkour. As Duncan and Herbertiste have pointed out in their treatise on the negative effects of competition, money, fame, recognition, trophies, medals, glory or any other abstract measure of popularity used only to feed the ego are not proper rewards. Parkour has no ego, and that is why capitalism works for the system. True capitalism, like parkour, consists only of hard work and gain. Traceurs are like businesses: A good traceur has invested a lot of time and work for every small gain, and one who takes shortcuts or does not function at his full potential is sure to fall behind. A traceur who performs tasks for others without asking himself “why?” and without learning from each new experience of helping others has not done a useful thing- he is doing the task because he has been told to, and not because he has learned from or thought about the teachings of our practice. The only thing that promotes is the helplessness of the individual he was drawn to assist in the first place.

One last point: I consider capitalism in the marketplace to be competition in the same sense that an individual’s progress in parkour is a competition: an internal one. It is true that many businesses undertake certain strategies to undermine others (wal-mart for instance), yet in my opinion the best businesses are those that do well by maintaining excellence internally, without bothering about what other businesses are doing. Modern-day business practices have given capitalism somewhat of a bad name, but in essence there are few people who can be said to wholly endorse the ideals of capitalism as a belief system.