Keep Moving: In Exercise, at Work, and in Life
Post written by: Remi Ong
An aching lower back.
If you have a full-time corporate job, you’d be familiar with the overwhelming lethargy that comes from sitting at your desk every day. It can be a struggle to find the energy to hit the gym or run a few blocks around your estate — even though you know you should.
He worked 20 hours a day when he first came to Singapore in 1991 and, for the next seven years, simply could not muster the motivation to move his body after work.
Fearing for his health, Frederic started experimenting with different ways to keep fit alongside career switches. Then, when his friend sought volunteers to create a Parkour/Art du Déplacement (ADD) group in 2011, something in him clicked.
Rediscovering movement from childhood
Frederic explains, “Back in France, as a child, my friends and I would scale walls, dash across bridges, and climb over many barriers to find the fastest route from our houses to the nearby soccer field.”
Without realising it at the time, he was already practising one of the underlying principles of Parkour/ADD: moving from Point A to Point B in the most efficient way possible. Joining this volunteer group was thus a delightful return to Frederic’s childhood days.
A growing interest in the discipline prompted Frederic to take up classes at MOVE Academy and broaden his repertoire of movements. He became increasingly convinced that Parkour/ADD was much more than just exercise.
From solo training to community training
Although Parkour/ADD is largely a solo endeavour, Frederic shares that training with people from all walks of life at MOVE Academy has enriched his experience.
“I’ve seen us evolve from not knowing how to climb a wall or jump over a bar to doing it smoothly without any fear,” Frederic elaborates. “There’s team spirit as we all want to go beyond ourselves and help each other to do so.”
“It’s actually very powerful because it pushes me to do more and to give as much as I receive.”
Applying Parkour/ADD in life
Frederic applies this idea of challenging himself to do better even in other realms of his life. The 53-year-old is now a full-time marketing consultant, runs two microbusinesses, and has been successfully practising Parkour/ADD at least four hours a week for the last nine years.
This lifestyle is every bit as intense as it sounds. The trick, Frederic says, is to figure out how you can challenge yourself to do just a little bit more each time.
“In Parkour/ADD, you do your movements ten times, and then you do one more, and one more after that. That makes a huge difference.”
“You see how you can push your fear and tiredness away, and you discover that you can do a lot more than what you thought was possible.”
Indeed, for someone who has incorporated the physical aspects and the deeper principles of Parkour/ADD into his daily routine, movement is life.
So the next time you find yourself resisting exercise after a long day’s work, why not try finding small ways to keep moving throughout your day?
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