I wanna be rye bread!

Haven't given a proper update for a while now, especially concerning training and just what is cracking in general, and I feel now is an ok time to just write what is going on at the moment.

Well with regards to parkour, its all going well and I am keeping things ticking over as the weeks go on. When I first got out to China, I had lost strength from about 1.5 months without a structured routine due to a whole bunch of things going on, all of them good and worthwhile for sure. So, I had about another 2 weeks till i started training again in China, and the regression felt quite obvious to me so I have had to work back up to the standard that I was feeling back home, and now really feel like I am getting back on things.

Chinese is taking up a fair old chunk of the day with about 6 hrs being spent studying, as well as working at a kindergarten twice a week and volunteering at a home on mondays, so I have managed to get in a good set up where I have 2.5 hrs every week day of training, as well as free movement on the weekends. So the current schedule is every weekday 1 hour of drills, 1 hr of strength training, and about 20-30 mins of stretching. I do pulling movements twice a week, pushing once a week, and rotate every week so it becomes 2 days of pushing, and 1 day pulling. Also leg strength on tuesday and thursday, with deadlifts and weighted squats having been intergrated into the legs session, with drills working the legs a lot as well.
The drills usually consist of drilling touch and precisions, for example, today I did 75 drops, 75 height jumps, 50 precisions (alternating left/right/both legs), 50 arm jumps (with climbups obviously), then an hour split into dips training and one arm pushup training. I am just following a structured routine in this way to make gains with the strength goals that I currently have, and also to keep progressing with the fundamentals through drills such as touch, balance, combinations, single movement repetitions.....etc. But I am certainly training at a satisfactory standard again, making sure that I am working hard each evening, making the most of the time I allocate. I am blessed with really nice training areas around my campus as well, and the exercise parks are great places to train strength.

Also got a fair bit of interest from Chinese students here since a few people approach me every time i train (so i have found a few quieter spots). I have only done one conditioning session with a bunch of them so far, and it had to be knocked down quite a few notches from the nights we were doing in Sheffield (really miss those). But I really feel there is a fair bit of potential for parkour here, I just need to organise and set aside time to train and teach people as well as try and set up a little infrastructure to help it grow. Planning on chipping up to Beijing in January to see the heart of the Chinese parkour scene and a friend from a couple of years back, so that should be interesting.

In a couple of weeks I am also doing the Shanghai half Marathon as a build up to the ever impending marathon des sable's. With this in mind I plan to do a few runs out of the city for a couple/few days at a time sleeping wherever and with everything on my back, a bible, and God for company. Its fairly daunting since the Chinese countryside is really not the most cheerful I have been in after the cycle trip, so it should be a good challenge mentally as much as anything else.

I really feel as well that I have a much better balance to my life with regards to the ratio of training to other things. During my first year at uni I was pretty much using the majority of my spare time to train, or thinking about training, with a lot of time sacrificed to this end. Now I realise that training is certainly not the be all of things and that it is unhealthy (for me) to be so obsessed by it, BUT, it is still a huge part of my life and helps me live better in so many ways. It is really important to me and I feel it is a vital part for everyone's life, that movement can enhance a person's quality of life so much that i feel everyone can benefit from it, but should not be ruled by it. I feel that parkour and training is part of the whole, rather than the actual whole.
I also used to get fairly stressed when thinking of where I should be, and also used to compare myself to people too much, which made me beat myself up a bit when I thought I was not at the standard where I was. My mind and goals would often flit when I saw where certain people were, thinking "ah i need to get back on learning more acro", or "damn get back on the movement/conditioning more!". Being out in China and being really the only person who trains parkour that I know of, I am more focused on myself and find myself enjoying the process for what it is. This is another important thing I have learnt a few months ago, to really take pleasure in the means, the process of training and to to not get caught up in the goals or ends, but rather keep ticking over and taking enjoyment in the training and letting the goals take care of themselves, which they will if the training is sound. So I have definately learnt to just take more enjoyment in the training itself and to be happy in the grind, the familiar strained and sweat-soaked focus that accompanies a hard going session where you truly grow in mental and physical ability.

I feel like a really focused, tight and uncompromising session of training is similar to eating really heavy, wholesome, thick, stone-ground bread, as opposed to the light, refined, fluffy, processed white bread of a half-hearted, confused, undirected session.
I am trying to apply this kind of mindset to everything that I do, with my Chinese, God, people......trying to do the best I can in each area of my life, applying myself to the things I choose to do, to try and be wholesome, nutritious Rye bread! (This is going to read very strangely to me later I reckon...). I am lacking in so many of these areas and have a lot of work to put in, but its a whole life process, and ultimately its up to God to decide where I go, but I want to go wherever that may be. I feel like my priorities in life can be simplified to three things:


I am thankful to God that I do not care to much for other things like money or material things, and that I have been shown that the best things in life are what is right in front of our eyes.
Ultimately God is the only thing that I need and am learning to cling to, there is literally nothing better or more important in the world than that.
I am also appreciating just how lame I am in all areas of life and how much I have to learn, and how much of a complete noob I am in everything! So many shortcomings that I have and still so much to learn, but ultimately everything that I do is so temporal in this life and has so little meaning attached to it. I just feel like a child in the world and the more I grow up the more I see how little I have achieved, and how little I can do by myself. I used to think that I wasn't doing to badly, but although I know I am on the path, I now see that I have so many areas to change and grow in, mainly as a person. I say all of this with no sadness at all though, but feel like I am starting to see more and more how much I really on God and how much about me I feel is wrong or lacking. I just love knowing that I have SO much to learn, to be humbled by, and that there will never be a point where I have 'arrived' in this life. It feels good to know this because I have to trust God with it all and can know that he has my back and just go for it, like a kid trying over and over while failing and getting picked up, but being a kid, not getting to caught up in the failures and trusting his dad.

Anyway, properly rambled there but my fingers just kept typing so there you go!

If anyone wants to chat about anything then hit me up on my email, would love to hear from people about....anything!

Peace, and hope life and training is fruitful for everyone.