As someone who has not only obsessed over locomotion their entire life but is constantly chasing the unattainable goal of movement mastery — filming a video to showcase imperfect attempts at movement was a challenge.
I’ve never had a hard time displaying “imperfect” attempts while candidly captured but, the thought of filming a video that would essentially be raw attempts at something improvised was a difficult task for me at that moment. Ever since a severe injury occurred a few years back, I have noticed myself being far more self-conscious about how I feel when I move. Sometimes that feeling is related to appearance, and sometimes to mechanics. It mostly doesn’t translate to video, and I’m surprised by my locomotive quality. When it does, however, this negative mindset is reinforced almost instantaneously.
The goal was to have a fast-paced improv session, so I tried to stick to movements that wouldn’t leave me exhausted during 30 minutes of constant moving. After starting the camera, I began running at the spot with enough time to react but not long enough to plan. But as I began moving, I knew what I wanted from the space — shapes.
I wouldn’t necessarily focus on fast, fluid connections as much as I would allow for shapes that my body craved at the moment. However, I began noticing how tired I felt almost immediately from a long week of work and a lack of moving. I felt slouchy and weak throughout particular ranges of otherwise simple movement patterns. It was a 180-degree shift from the typical postural control and power for which I typically strive. But the momentary negatives didn’t stop me from exploring this uncomfortable state.
There were a handful of attempts of new movement ideas tossed in the mix — odd macaco variations from and into the wall, movement reversal, and a variety of vaults and rolls from a planted positions on the wall. While those didn’t make the final video, I am excited to continue exploring the potential of those ideas.
Ultimately, this training session broke the mold for me. It wasn’t because I was trying new ideas or afraid of sharing them, but because they weren’t visually perfect. It was challenging as I’m in the process of redeveloping myself post-injury. I think that I’ve reached a critical stage where I feel those emotional states affect my practice so immensely, and I want to be considerate to them.
Today, much of our community uses social media to present their best, so this was refreshing for me — difficult, but refreshing. I think I’ll try sharing these kinds of attempts more often, as I believe the process is just as valuable as where it leads us.
Story by Andrew Obenreder