Creativity is Parkour @Jem_Bauer

By Jem Bauer

Marc recently used the analogy of tennis to describe creativity. The best players find the edge. The ball is only just in. Nobody is 100% sure and even the player is uncertain. The competition is convinced it’s out so only makes a half-arsed attempt to defend. Everyone watches the action replay holding their breath while they see the ball only just scuff the white paint of the line as the crowd erupts in an elated roar. To everyone else it was a close call, maybe even saved by luck.

But the gut knew it would make it. And that’s why the player went full blown Serena Williams on that serve and gave it everything. It was daring, it was powerful and it was accurate.

When Marc was talking about this analogy, all I could think of was Parkour. I have a friend called Rich who’s really involved in what he calls “roof culture”. He describes it as “an expression of what can be achieved when you know your own capabilities with forensic precision.” Wow… I think that needs to be read twice and thought about for a while.

Now watch this video that he was involved in making:


An expression of what can be achieved when you know your own capabilities with forensic precision.

I just can’t get over that line (maybe this guy should be a copywriter.) What do you think you could achieve if you knew your capabilities with forensic precision?

Seriously, if you haven’t already… watch the video…

They jump from one building to another and sometimes land on a ledge or a railing only a couple of inches thick. Not too far, not too close, they land exactly where they were aiming. Kind of like tennis. As young creatives who truly want to change the game, I think we should aim for roof culture. It’s a bit more multi-dimensional and the consequences of misjudgment are a little more extreme. We sell or we die.

Here are just a few lessons that I think we should learn from it:

  • –  Parkour is the ultimate rule-breaking sport. I’m not even sure if it’s legally classified as a sport because it’s so illegal. But in order to succeed they need to know all of the rules inside out. Building structure, cameras, security, weather etc. If people who jump off roofs do their research then we need to as well. We can’t skip that part because we’re “unconventional”. We need to explore everything that’s expected of us before we can get away with doing anything unexpected.
  • –  They do something that they call “expecteeding” which means to walk into a situation with so much confidence that nobody notices them, or if they do they assume they’re supposed to be there. Sometimes they even wear high vis vests while they make their way to the top of a building in order to (ironically) look invisible. It’s all about having absolute confidence. Especially when pitching.
  • –  I asked Rich what he liked about it, if it was the adrenaline… he laughed. Adrenaline kicks in with fear. Fear comes from uncertainty. If you’re uncertain about your landing or your jump then you’re probably not going to make it. It may look crazy but they execute their maneuvers with absolute calm. Fear has no place here. Being afraid in parkour is like being afraid rather than playful when trying to come up with a big idea. It’ll make you freeze up and hesitate right when you should be jumping.
  • –  No matter how much research they’ve done, not everything goes their way and often they need to adapt. In fact, most of the time they’re having to make millisecond decisions which could be

life or death. So we need to be versatile. And when we are forced to adapt fast we need to trust

our instincts.

  • –  They don’t let a challenge get the better of them. Most of the time they’re doing things thatnobody has ever done before. The more impossible it looks the more they want to do it. Weshould have the same attitude to our work.
  • –  And finally…. Love what you do, have a good time and celebrate when boring people kick up afuss.

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