Obstacles vs Accessories

Obstacle or accessory?It is not what happens to you that matters but rather how you respond to what happens to you. I could easily get metaphorical about this with the many things that have happened to me (especially in the recent past) but I've got two very specific things to bring up regarding this concept.

Parkour, Freerunning and overcoming obstacles

Almost 4 years ago when I first found out about parkour, I was drawn to the concept of training to overcome obstacles physically and using this training to help you overcome all obstacles - mental and physical. Well this year, in my new home of San Jose, I've decided to train parkour at a facility called Guardian Art. At Guardian Art they don't relate the same way to obstacles. In fact, they don't relate to obstacles at all. Everything is an accessory.

When I look up the word accessory, this is what I get:

1. a subordinate or supplementary part, object, or the like, used mainly for convenience, attractiveness, safety, etc.
2. an article or set of articles of dress, as gloves, earrings, or a scarf, that adds completeness, convenience, attractiveness,etc., to one's basic outfit.

For the sake of movement, obstacles can be treated instead like accessories. You can choose to use it or not to help you move through space. Knowing how to use an accessory in your movements makes your arsenal of motion more complete, adds convenience for you in getting from place to place and with practice your movements may even be pretty.

Yes, and...

One other thing I've begun training recently is improvisational comedy. I started taking classes out at DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro, NC and am now training at ComedySportz San Jose. First off, I highly recommend everyone take an improv comedy class. There is something for everyone. Second, improv has given me practice in relating to whatever life throws at you as accessories.

When I'm on stage with my teammates doing improv, I have very little idea what is going to happen. However, we have been taught to take whatever each other does or says as a gift to help the scene move along. You'll often hear improvisers use the term "yes, and..." to describe what they do. This is because you always say yes to the reality someone is bringing into the mix and you add onto it. In other words, they bring something onto the stage and you use it as an accessory to help out the scene.

In conclusion

If you find yourself trying to overcome some sort of obstacle perhaps you could instead try to adjust your point of view. Can that obstacle be an accessory? Have you accepted the reality of your obstacle accessory yet? Can you add to that reality to create something even more amazing? I'd love to hear where these concepts have worked for you in some way. Please comment below to let me know how you can see this in your own life.

Sunday Funnies - Improv anybody?

Flash Friday - Version Control