Flying Solo

Flying Solo
A good friend and incidentally a very skilled traceur said something to me the other day that made me chuckle. It also made me think…..

“It’s easy to not go training because someone else is resting”

Funny, and if most of us are honest with ourselves, very true. As with all the funniest things, it’s humorous because we have all done it.

It got me to thinking about training alone. What do we get out of training alone that we don’t get in groups? How many of us actually do it?

I moved to a new community in a new place miles away from all my training spots and buddies about 6 months ago. The guys that I train with here mostly work on different schedules from me, so I had the choice of training alone, or not training. Once I got over that initial hump of getting myself up and out every day, I really started discovering a lot of things about myself, and my training.

Here’s a couple things I’ve learned:

Social Acceptance: I have no doubt that I get more stares and suspicious looks when I am standing on a high wall on my own. There’s something about that image that seems to fill the public with apprehension, frustration or maybe just fun curiosity. It’s very liberating to feel completely on your own not caring about the opinions of the people around you who aren’t sure what you are doing. It takes a bit of practice to really get there – try it.

Fear: Things are definitely scarier training alone. I know that in my own training I like bouncing off other people, it can be a good way to push my level, and sometimes the people you train with know your capabilities better than you do. When training solo, you really need to get to know your limits and truly learn to overcome your fear. There is no-one to push you, no reason to do the jump other than to do it.

Honesty: When I train alone I have no-one to give me a pat on the back, no-one to share my achievements, no-one to suffer beside me during some monstrous conditioning. We have all been in that place where you only finish something difficult because you have someone to push you, or because you feel the need to ‘keep up’ with your peers. Can you explore this and take yourself to the same level on your own? Do you need to tweet about it during training or do it because you need to tell your peers afterwards?

I watched a great TED lecture recently about how people that share/talk about their goals are less likely to actually reach them. It’s something to do with the satisfaction and feeling that comes with sharing your goals being a similar feeling to actually reaching them – I think to truly leave this behind it’s good to go out and train on your own, with your own goals, and only YOU to answer to. Again, it takes a bit of work and discipline to really do it but we can all get there.

Since I’ve really started solo training I feel like I’ve progressed a massive amount in terms of my willingness to push myself physically and to be able to stay calm and focused when faced with a scary technique. Parkour gives you the opportunity to truly know yourself, and I guess you can’t get a clear picture of that until it is just you.

So stick on your trainers, get out training on your own and reach your goals. Oh and don’t tell anyone.