Patience in parkour

It is widely accepted that it takes 10 000 hours of “deliberate practice” to become world class in any field.

To give a real world example it takes a student on average 5-7 years to completes most types of Ph.D.’s and 8,2 years for a M.D.-Ph.D.. This includes studying an average of 40 hours a week for 40 weeks a year accumulating to 1600 h. a year and 13 120 h. in 8,2 years. (10 000 hours in 6,25 years) That is patience.

I started practicing parkour at age 15 (I’m 22 now) in the spring of 2010. Since then I have spent on average between 15 to 20 hours a week either practicing, consuming or researching parkour and its movement. In the 360 weeks since then i have by now “studied” parkour for approximately 6500 hours.

I never had the intention of becoming world class within parkour and frankly having that type of mindset is probably the most contradictory you can be when practicing parkour. However, if I wanted to reach a certain goal, or just continue to improve I realized very early on that it takes a bunch of time, hard work and a lot of patience.

Patience and knowing how to apply it in different situations is one of the most important traits that one can have. It’s right up there with self awareness and adaptation. This applies on my day to day practice, when I work on my long term goals and everything in between. To apply patience is to understand that I don’t need to rush the jump. It is realizing that maybe I can’t do the big and fun movements today but then still training the smaller, more boring things. Being patient is to not give up when things get tough.

It really isn’t the most exciting concept, I know, but applying patience to your training and in your life early on and practicing your patience as often as possible is important. This is because you will be needing it one day. Whether because of injury or frustration, or whether it will be in 2 days or in 2 years, things will at some point get difficult and at that point patience might be the only thing available for you to fall back on to get you out of that rough place.

To be patience is above all, easily summed up in one word, to be sustainable. It will take time in order to reach the 10 000 hour mark, years in fact. To keep doing what you love for years on end you must (at least eventually) apply rational thinking to you training process, understand how you develop and where your limits are. Excitement and adrenaline is fun, sure, but the long term game is unbeatable and patience is key. I’m excited to eventually reach 10 000 hours and then to keep going, pushing myself further past my limits, but in my own pace.

/Brandon Lee James Sandén


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