LIVING THE LIFE
When you consider the adventures and exploits of the STORROR team, you’d be forgiven for thinking an abundance of funds must be the key to their action packed lifestyle. But the truth is, for much of the time they’ve been doing what they do, they’ve had to rely on alternative forms of abundance.
Sure, these days, the guys often take long-haul flights and can book accommodation for their travels. But in earlier years they were limited to exploring the UK, while scraping together sufficient funds for the occasional budget flight to Europe. Along the way, they’ve spent numerous nights sleeping on people’s floors and outside, on the ground and on rooftops. And they’ve been the grateful recipients of incredible hospitality from the international parkour community. For more on the early years, watch How we got one million subscribers.
The STORROR guys have proved it is possible to make a living as professional parkour athletes, but they’ve also proved you don’t need much money to start living the life. Appreciating and focusing on other forms of abundance can help you do that too.
"Wealth is the ability to fully experience life."
~ Henry David Thoreau
We live in an interconnected world. In basic terms, the more people you know the more abundant your connections are. Parkour, and the internet, gives you access to a worldwide network of like-minded and supportive fellow traceurs. It only takes a few random acts of kindness per individual in this network before it adds up to a huge web of positive experiences for all.
This doesn’t only mean people letting you sleep on their floor when you travel, although that, of course, does happen a lot! It’s also putting the effort in to arrange an event that facilitates connection for others - 4TLOM is a great example. It’s building friendships and having shared experiences that are the very fabric of a human lifetime. One of the things STORROR values tremendously is their depth of friendship and connection with each other, forged by the experiences they’ve shared.
Imagination is a form of abundance too, giving you the ability to be creative and to conceive of various possibilities. Imagination is a huge aspect of STORROR’s abundance - it birthed projects like Roof Culture Asia and Supertramps Thailand, and sustains their lifestyle in so many ways.
And parkour is wonderful for training imagination itself. Sometimes you need to think outside the box to overcome a challenge or difficulty. Doing this on a regular basis means you’re exercising imagination in the same way you would a muscle. Keeping this ‘muscle’ of imagination strong makes you more resourceful.
Luck has been the seasoning of many a STORROR adventure, and it plays a huge role in living an abundant life. And it’s not fully out of your control, odd as that may sound!
Being open to possibilities and the idea of amazing things happening by chance is half the battle. It’s this openness that allows you to recognise when chance alignments occur and to capitalise on them.
The other half is just being out there enough, as if it’s a game of numbers. Going out training exposes you to a ton of experiences, people, and happenings. The more of these you encounter, the higher chance you have of experiencing synchronicity.
Or even something seemingly miraculous - like the time in New York, when the guys were trying to get onto the roof of a building near Times Square. As they were about to give up, they just so happened to stumble upon a key-card for the lift lying on the floor!
Time is a slippery concept, and certainly not guaranteed in life. Nevertheless, for the most part, we can expect a reasonable chunk of it to experience the things we want to.
For many of us in the freerunning world, time is one of the most valuable forms of abundance we have. Most are fairly young and still young enough that we don't have any big commitments yet, like a mortgage and children to provide for. Time is so much more valuable than money. Just imagine, how much would a dying billionaire be willing to pay for another healthy day on the earth?
STORROR has certainly leveraged their abundance of time. It took them more than nine years to get to where they are today. Nine years comprising thousands of hours of training, travelling, coming up with ideas and plans, filming, editing, all multiplied by seven team members. Just think what you could achieve with your abundance of time!
"Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we've got 24 hours each."
~ Christopher Rice
Possibly the most important thing to have in abundance is good health. Without that, other forms of abundance are much less powerful. Luckily for us, parkour is a perfect way to build fitness and strength, and enhance our physical and mental health. Don’t you feel just great after a day spent training?
Of course, as in any sport, traceurs are dealing with injury sometimes. However, while giving your body time to heal, you can still get out in the sun, meet up with others and build on your network of connections.
Being mindful of your diet is also a huge factor in abundant health. While there can be few of us who haven’t subsisted on chips, cookies, and other junk when travelling around, getting a daily dose of quality protein is essential. I’m pretty sure no STORROR filming day has ever started without a hearty breakfast - I once saw Callum devour a six-egg omelette, during the filming for RCA!
If you’re paying close attention to the many ways abundance manifests in your life, you’ll notice that various expressions of it are often combinations of several forms. They tend to reinforce each other too, multiplying the benefits – that’s synergy!
For instance, when travelling, finding a cosy spot on a roof to sleep in order to save on accommodation costs is an expression of both your abundance of imagination (having the idea in the first place), and your health (your ability to climb up there). Then in the morning, the view reveals to you a great spot for the next day of training, one you wouldn’t have been aware of if you hadn’t climbed up there to sleep - abundance of luck in action. That’s actually a real-life example from my own experience!
Anyone who didn’t know better would think you’d have to be wealthy to have the kind of lifestyle and adventures parkour unlocks. It really is an amazing sport. Between its culture and strong sense of community, and what it teaches you physically and mentally, parkour enables you to capitalise on alternative forms of abundance, empowering you to live a rich life without having access to loads of money.
At the end of the day, it’s about making the most of what you have got. It costs nothing to train in the urban and natural environment around you. You don’t need any special clothing or equipment, other than perhaps a good pair of training shoes. And to document your progress and adventures on social media, you don’t need to buy fancy cameras – you might not have a smartphone, but maybe a mate does!
So get out there, find others who share your passion for parkour, make connections, film your training sessions, teach yourself to edit, create a YouTube channel. Go for it – start living the life and see where it takes you!
"Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
GUEST AUTHOR: Richard Ferreday
Richard is a long-time close friend of STORROR, and fellow parkour practitioner, based in south-east England. In 2016 he accompanied the team on their trip to film the feature-length epic, Roof Culture Asia. No stranger himself to overcoming challenges and travelling on a tight budget, in 2014 Richard cycled solo across the USA, from Los Angeles to Miami, dodging thunder storms and sleeping under road bridges. instagram.com/rfextra