Life is movement. And ADD (Art du Déplacement, the “Art of Movement”) is the purest school of movement that I know of.
This post is an expression of my thanks to ADD Singapore and all its coaches. But it is also about what ADD (also popularised as Parkour) has taught me about life.
Imagine a world where you could do everything you ever wanted without having to fear any consequences. I was having these daydreams, while I was training movement: The only law is gravity. I have infinite strength, perfect balance, infinite condition, coordination and technical skills. I’m invulnerable; I can’t get hurt no matter what I do.
No need for tedious conditioning, technical training or dealing with fear of getting hurt. Just flow, movement and fun. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
Let’s keep that idea in mind and move to something else for a moment.
I’m grateful to have met some extraordinarily friendly and competent people in ADD Singapore. This applies to both coaches and students alike. Let me confine myself to naming only the coaches here for their contribution to my skills has been the most valuable.
Fagan, the head teacher. A fantastic pedagogue. His classes were among the most organised and best structured I’ve ever encountered.
Edwin, the humorist. Very energetic and inspiring. A man with a warm heart who truly cares about his student’s progress and well-being.
Shie-Boon, the pusher. Pure muscle and power. He’s a great motivator who makes sure that everyone gets their money’s worth of warm-up and conditioning.
Khai, the technician. He knows how the human body works. Approach him if you want to bring your moves to perfection.
Thank you all!
Let’s come back to the idea at the beginning: Living in a world where movement knows no limitations and consequences. This is what I believe would happen:
After cheerfully moving around and about, I start to realise that this world is boring as hell. Without the need to train, having to condition myself, the constraint to start low and slow and savour each little bit of progress – there is no challenge and no reward.
By being immortal and invulnerable, there is nothing at stake. No risks and no dangers that keep me alert and require my full focus, awareness and attention.
This sweet dream of mine rapidly became a nightmare.
I’m going to push this philosophical insight one step further and apply it to life in general: It is the mere fact that we are mortal and vulnerable that gives purpose to our lives.
Let me finish this post using a quote from the highly recommendable Battlestar Galactica:
In our civil war, we’ve seen death. We’ve watched our people die. Gone forever. As terrible as it was beyond the reach of the Resurrection ships, something began to change. We could feel a sense of time, as if each moment held its own significance. We began to realise that for our existence to hold any value, it must end. To live meaningful lives, we must die and not return. The one human flaw that you spend your lifetimes distressing over… Mortality is the one thing… Well, it’s the one thing that makes you whole.