Following on from part 1 of our first ever feature athlete, Georgia Munroe! If you missed the first part you can check it out by clicking here: #1: Georgia Munroe (Part 1/2)
Georgia Munroe is a 20-year-old, London based athlete who is part of the Team Esprit Concrete. She has coached and trained both in the UK and around Europe.
In this article we will be covering the following topics:
- How the community has supported her in parkour: Community Love
- Mental Challenges within parkour
- Physical Challenges within parkour
- Dealing with her injury: The wake-up call
- Places to go
- Next Goals
- Advice for people starting out.
In terms of support that Georgia has felt within the community, she said, “I’ve never felt it was just me alone moving” and she described it as being “part of a family, even when I’ve gone to different countries and different events or generally just going to train.”
Some things she mentioned that make the parkour community somewhat special are:
- Being invited into other parkour practitioners homes and giving her a place to stay (When in other countries)
- Being shown around
- People wanting to get to know her
- Also, they would look after and take care of her
- Parkour friends has always been behind her (Had her back when she needed them)
These things have meant she has never felt homeless and that she feels that always has a place to go where she will not get taken advantage of.
Another way in which the community has supported her is in her career, so she began her career in Parkour Generations, where she learnt what parkour was all about, learning how classes worked, how the community worked and she made many friends there. In addition to this, she met and was hand-picked by her mentor Yao, who largely influenced her movement. After a few years, she joined Esprit Concrete the team she is now in, which is run by her mentor and Esprit concrete founders Gogoly Yao and Kasturi Torchia.
With Esprit Concrete she has felt that they have always been supportive of her and through them, she been able to travel a lot, go to different events, and meet more people who come to the classes she teaches and who come to teach.
Her last words on this topic were: “It’s made up my life, I’ve always felt there was some place or someone to speak to or someone who could help me through any process I had or anything I was going through. The community has always provided that for me.”
When talking about mental challenges, Georgia said she had a mixture of mental challenges these included:
- Fear of failure/ fear of succession:
“I was scared to push myself because I was scared to disappoint myself in that sense of if I don’t get it, what then? Does that mean I can’t do it? Or if I succeed what next, am I’m going to keep going through that process, it was a big fear of failing to succession that made me feel really scared to push myself, especially through breaking things.”
“When you first begin, everything is very new to you so stumbling over and all that sort of stuff is just part of the process but then when you start honing your skills and start getting to know yourself more, and becoming more confident with how to move specifically and technically. You start to then put unnecessary expectations on yourself. For me, if I didn’t get it right the first time, already I put those feelings of, ‘Wow I can’t do it then, it’s going to be hard, I’m not going to be able to do it because I didn’t do it the first time’ and automatically I’d put myself down. This use to lead to a lot of frustration, a lot of anger, bringing in a lot of negativity and bringing myself down because I couldn’t do one thing or I didn’t get it done in the time I wanted to or the way I wanted it to happen.”
- Trusting in others:
“ I found it hard to trust people I hadn’t gotten to know and I would feel very defensive if they tried to teachme something new and I had not got the chance to know them. Obviously, you still need to know people and know that you can trust them but I took it to another level where as soon as someone tried to tell me something that I didn’t really believe myself or didn’t interact. My first thing was to be defensive rather than listen to them and ask questions. I would be like mmm… I don’t know you, so I’m not going to take it.”
- How to overcome this (Trust in others):
Just ask questions.
‘Cause sometimes the first thing you want to do is put up the defensive.
“Don’t tell me what to do,” or just give them an answer back that obviously battles their point of view.
But I think the biggest thing that helped me was to actually think first, hear what they’re saying and as soon as I heard points of concern to actually ask them why or how or something like that. To ask questions.
Especially, when it came to moving with them and stuff like that. See how they approach that and question what it is, or why they’re telling you that thing first rather than just going it’s wrong cause they may be teaching you something new that works even better for you than the last thing you learn. So not be gullible to what people say and take everything in and try because someone has said it, but to be open to what they have to say because they might teach you something about yourself that you don’t know yet.”
FINDING BALANCE IN TRAINING
‘The biggest physical challenge for me is finding a balance in my training. By this, I mean balancing out what I am learning or what I am progressing in, especially as an athlete. I want to be well-rounded and comfortable in all areas.
In terms of movement and so on people usually like to say balance is one section, you’ve got fear-breaking (so breaking jumps). You have vaults and swinging, so I want to be able to be comfortable; pushing myself in all areas but, also having that skill set in those areas. And from that just kind of figure out in each session when I go out training:
- Am I training something because I like it?
- Or do I need to learn it?
I think a lot of the time it is easy to slip into just training things you like. Then when you are suddenly met with the thing you haven’t trained or really considered, it can cause a really big shock to your system. Because you haven’t trained it and you haven’t gotten use to or comfortable in that area and it would then also put you down then because you feel you are unable to move like this.’
‘I would say as well in terms of conditioning, I’m very heavy bottom-wise. I like to jump, that’s my favourite thing to do and I am very strong in my legs. But I started off only being strong in my legs. My upper body was meh (Shakes head). So it took me a long time to find that balance physically to strengthen my upper body, strengthening areas that I don’t usually use for when I need to use them.’
-THE WAKE-UP CALL-
‘One of the biggest wakeup calls for me to try and find a balance in my training and learn in other sections was when I injured myself earlier on this year.
I was going for a kong-pre and I clipped my knee, it obviously ripped it down to the skin and I could
n’t train for a month because the injury was really deep and I had to have stitches. So I couldn’t move my joint until the stitches
healed and that’s when I realized all I’ve done up to this point has always been training my legs and my upper body I haven’t really cared about because I could always jump and I could always just do power moves. But now I couldn’t so what could I do?
In that period I started learning handstands actually. That’s when I was like lets actually learn how to handstand, and that really helped as well because not only did it teach me new discipline, a new chain for my body, it also strengthened it and now I have a new chain that I can use and it has helped me in other fields.
It kept me strong and it kept me strong as a whole because it used my whole body so still meant I got the conditioning I needed and I also learnt a new way of controlling my body or working myself.
Then after that, I tried to actually start to push myself, and being like I don’t usually train this thing, let’s actually learn this until it becomes comfortable. So I started working on things like flow more and flips’ more as well.’
-PLACES TO GO-
Two of the place Georgia would love to head to are:
- America: For moving, spots and gyms
“Because of how big it is. It has I don’t how many gyms, how many different communities and how many different spots. I think if I wanted to make a nice trip somewhere to get as much learning as I could get done, I would go there for the movement.”
- France: For community and education for what I do.
“In terms of the community though I would go to France because I would like to actually spend more time with Yamakasi, and actually learn more about the essence of Art du deplacement and educate myself.”
Georgia’s next goals:
- Using the new processes she learnt with her team, and in general from everything she’s done, from her experiences and taking that on to when she has to next break a move or learn something. To be able to be like, this process helped me; I’m going to do this.
- Speed up that kind of process as well (At the moment the process for breaking jumps-Making this quicker).
- To be confident within herself: knowing what is needed in the moment, how she needs to do it, in order to achieve that challenge or get through breaking that jump.
- Career-wise: Travel. To go to more places and meet more communities.
Georgia: “Go to as many places as I can, meet as many people as I can and learn as many things as I can.”
-ADVICE FOR PEOPLE STARTING OUT-
“If you’ve just started out in parkour, in movement, I’d say the biggest thing is to just enjoy. Especially if you come from a dance background or a gymnastics background, you’d then also already have that feeling of expectation and such because of course, it’s performing.
It’s things like that so don’t take that in, still keep the experiences you have but, do your best to not put that on your experiences of parkour and just treat it as you are a baby.
Just enjoy the processes, enjoy when you’re stumbling around, enjoy that you can’t get something but whatever you do try to really take away the process rather than just what you’ve done or what you haven’t done in the day; because as soon as you start only seeing the end goal, that’s when you start beating yourself up and this will become worse and worse the more you train and it has caused many people to quit. Because they don’t see the progress as fast or they don’t see themselves getting the goal. So they quit and a lot of the time they really neglect all that they’ve gone through and all that other people have helped them through.
Really, really meet as many people as you can, learn from others, share with others. Even your fears, share with others because they could help you and just yeah really enjoy the experience. ”
“Have fun, push yourself but really be open to everything around you and take in the experience. ”
If you would like to find out more about Georgia and check out her stuff then click the links below:
Interviewee: Georgia Munroe
Interviewer: Elizabeth Hopkins
©World of Parkour 2018