Saturday, 26 December 2009

MovNat/Parkour : Training in Sydney; Week's breakdown



The Sydney Seasonal Sessions kicked off this week, and after a hard weekend containing such incredible feats such as all-nighter-yoga, it was time to dig deep into the reserves of energy for some good old training.

Monday
Circular Quay with Sick Rick
A dope session on the white rails of doom.
Techniques consisted of LOTS of precision jumps, from walls to rails, rails to rails, floors to walls and floors to rails. Good for the mental I tell you.
2 milfs approached Hazardous Davis, asking the common question 'What are you training for?' with a swift and smart-arse response of 'LIFE.'

Tried a new warm-up taking moves from John Sifferman's video ..worked quite nicely.
Worked on some more Cat-to-precision landings, balancing on rails and all things mental.
Thanks Sick Rick for a rad session!

Tuesday


Hazardous Davis had just an hour's session accompanied by the beast that is Bod, and in that short space of time, Hazardous Davis' precisions had increased by a foot and a half. Not bad.
A sketchy wharf jump went down, so thanks to Bod for helping to push me past my comfort zone. Much appreciated!







Wednesday

At last, a session with the Sydney Parkour Lads who aren't in the beginner crew! Was really up for this session and it went well. I managed three hours which was good for it, then after that, muscular stamina just started to give out.
The session consisted of another quirky warm up, and technique wise;-
Precision Jumps




Cat Vaults
Cat - to - precision landings




Camera self-timer Climb Ups





Wall Runs
Various Vaults
Backflips

The boys were smashing some SICK maneuvers, and we're talking at the peak end of Australia's talent level here. These guys have collectively at least 6+ years of Parkour training between them, so needless to say it was an honour to train with them and learn bits from their arsenal of technical knowledge.
It was a really rad day, and I think that went for everyone.
Training tailed off for me by going to 'Eating World' (Asian Food Court)and demolishing a massive whole fish, which was steamed with Chilli sauce.
Good form followed by food coma.
But thanks to everyone who came along that day, was RAD!





Thursday
My excuse for no training was due to having chest x-rays. I'll leave the explanation blank here, and play my suspense card...

Friday
Christmas day - No training today, but check the separate post for what went down.

Saturday
Boxing Day destruction.
Definitely the best session we've had yet.
We pushed ourselves more than we ever have in a session, and it's sessions like these that you can place against all your previous training and start to see improvement. Or as Antek would put it, it was a 'Big's day'.

Had a good warm up which was abruptly interrupted by the Darling Harbour Lone Ranger. Swiftly moved on, broke a sweat and it was time for training.
The session had all sorts, most noticably -
Backflips and attempting Cheat Gainers, along with Wall Flips



Cat vaults







Wall Runs and Climb Ups






Roll Technique and Application
Handstand Techniques
Lazy vault drop offs
Precision Jumps over water









Tree Missions, sorry, TREE MISSIONS!


A can of beer each and a hench plate of Japo-Korean food. And when I mean hench, I mean this hench -







Thanks to everyone who trained with me this week, it was awesome!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Urban Survival; Homeless Run Update



Xmas is fast approaching, and so were the masses this Tuesday night down at the local free chomp hot-spot in central Sydney.
Yet again, we were there helping out with bits and pieces; the queues were super long once more and after a good couple of hours I think it was safe to say that all who attended were, well, stumped.
Oh, and we even got some cakes to stuff our merry little cheeks with too.
Cheers Exodus!


Monday, 21 December 2009

True Self-Expression; All Nighter-Yoga

'All Nighter-Yoga!?' I hear you ask.
Well, yes.
It really is that simple.
Party all night. Dance until your feet hurt. Then walk home. For 40 minutes. Chill, have some food and chong a wizard. Then get back on those aching cheeses and catch the train.



Push through the tiredness.



Squint at the light's arrival whilst giving the city your departure.




Grab a bus to the stop called 'I'm not sure where' and get off when it feels right.
Walk up some hills and down some more.
Come to a beach...




And scout, hard.



Find destination and smile some more.



Enjoy the moment. Smile, this time, inside and out.




Introduce yourself to others on the same path.



Enjoy fellowship and nourish thyself.






Mission home, on a full stomach.
Complete mission with a bifta, in the garden, and smile harder than ever, because you did it.

You achieved an adventure.



Thank you Maroubra beach Yoga and to Sooz, who took the free Yoga Summer Solstice Class and gave us a fantastic breakfast!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Anarcho-Spirituality; Crimethinc; Death


Taken from 'Days of War, Nights of Love' by the genius Crimethinc lot over the pond. You can read the book online here
This article in particular always kicks me up the arse.

Warning; it might change your life.

Here's an exercise to try at home. You will need a working stopwatch, or another timepiece that measures seconds. Before you begin, seat yourself in a comfortable chair and loosen your clothing.

Watch the second hand as it passes around the face of the clock. Picture the moment of your death, perhaps many decades in the future, or perhaps only a few years or months (who can know?). Wait for the second hand to reach the starting point at the top of the clockface, and then watch as it records the passing of one minute of your life. Now imagine the clock counting down the minutes of your life to the moment of your death. Try this exercise picturing this moment a few decades in the future, then repeat it picturing the moment next year. Repeat it picturing the moment of your death next month. Next week. Tonight. After all, you never know.

Now observe the minute and hour hands on the clock. What were you doing at this time twenty four hours ago? Forty eight hours ago? One month ago? What will you be doing at this time in a week?

Imagine that the moment of your death is one month away. Consider--if you knew that this was true, what would you be doing right now? What would you be doing at this time tomorrow? Repeat this step, imagining your death to be one year away. Does this make very much difference in your thoughts about what you would do today and tomorrow if you knew the date of your death?

Compare your activities over the last twenty four hours to the activities you would have chosen if you had known that you would leave this world in one month or one year. Compare your activities over the last month, the last year, the last decade to those you would have chosen if you had known that on this day you would have only thirty days or twelve months left to live. How different would your life have been if you had known the date of your approaching death? Would you be ready to die in a month or a year, having lived the life that you have?

Chances are, at least as far as we all know, that most of the people who read this text and participate in this exercise will live for many more years or even decades afterwards. But still, look at the second hand of the stopwatch, and follow it as it records the passing minutes, counting down the minutes of your life that remain to you as they slip away. Are you living the life that you want to live? Are you living a life that, at any given moment, you could look back upon with satisfaction if you suddenly realized that it was about to end? Are you living the sort of life that you would wish upon a human being, a life that is exciting and full, a life that is well spent, every minute of it? If the answer is no, what can you do in the time that still remains to you--however long or short that may be--to make your life more like the life you would like to live? For we all do have only a limited amount of time granted to us in this world--and so we should use it with this in mind.

MovNat/Parkour : Training in Sydney Update


This week has seen a good few days worth of training Parkour and Gymnastics.
Here's a little summary of how it went down;

Monday

1.5 km warm-up run
Stretch
Warm up;
Monkey warm up with Quadruped and rolls
Small Precisions
Techniques;
Sloped wall runs, Normal wall runs
Rolls, Jumping into rolls,
Muscle-ups on tree branches (hard when they're not straight!)
Conditioning;
Push-up tower on park bench
Sit ups
One leg (raised)lunges
Warm down; Stretch
Meditation

About 2 hours total.


Tuesday

Thought I would be clever and not carry any water a) because it was more practical when springing around, and b) I'm sure I would find a water fountain whilst I was out.
Didn't happen. In fact, dehydration kicked in to the point that I was seeing flashes of black dots appear in unison with my heart beat. Whoops.

3+ km run into city centre. (warm up apparently, I was half dead)
Stretch
Techniques;
Flow-work - finding a line and trying to nail it. First attempt - slit my finger open. Good one.
Climb-ups - On a roll here, as I smashed the scab off of my left wrist. The result - horrorcore movie effects.
Wall runs - attempted a wall 13 bricks above my highest reach, probably around 12 foot. Was getting one hand on the top, but due to weak grip, I didn't nail it. Wasn't happy.
Warm down and stretch
Meditation


About two hours total.

Wednesday

Supposedly rest day. Then a mate hits me up and tells me he's training. No rest for the wicked, so off I went.

1.2 km warm up run
Stretch
Techniques;
Precision Jump work - working on keeping back straight, as my lower back has taken a caining over the past two weeks.
Then had to battle with the residents of the housing estate, who didn't like us exercising near them. Despite me mentioning that it could be worse; I could be selling smack to teens. But apparently exercise was socially offensive enough.
Moved on.
Cat Vault to Precision landing, Precision jump - first time I learnt that. Good shit.
Muscle-ups
Tree Climbing
Warm down; Stretching

About 3 hours total.

Thursday
The highlight of the week! Gym time!

Warm up; Stretching and rolling around
Techniques;
Backflip work - working on the subtle (really subtle) movement of the hips and 'opening' the shoulders. Started with a spot, then progressed to doing it solo.





Muscle-ups - can manage one rep on a bar. Tried them on rings - dear god, I almost split in half.
Handstands - learnt how to hold them both facing towards and away from the wall, and then freestanding. Concentrating on shoulder extension and ab-tucking, as well as balancing on the pads of the palms.
GAINER TIME! My favourite part - springing like a loon on the trampoline with gainers.
Wall-flips - right at the end of the lesson, managed to get a couple of wall flips, one was clean. Nothing like a bit of time pressure to get you to go balls out!
Warm-down; Stretch on journey home.
ICE CREAM! An important post-training nourishment exercise - Belgian Chocolate and White Chocolate (with hazelnut and coffee.)Yes sir.


That was my last gym class that I will be able to attend in Sydney. Three weeks and I have learnt a lot. Great coaching and great vibes there. Everyone was willing to help us out with any problems or questions we had. Tunes were pumping, atmosphere was vibing, testosterone was thriving but not over the top, and even a couple of cute chicks graced us with their presence. 'A good rig', you might say.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Urban Survival; Homeless Run Update


Tuesday saw another evening of dishing out some grub to the homeless guys, and, well, the not so homeless.
I had just been training before our duties were called (not recommended as I was knackered!) and due to my exhaustion, let alone dehydration (don't be clever and not drink water just because it's more convenient) my ego decided to rear it's ugly head.

The result? A conscious effort to try and hold my tongue when someone came along to get their food, that clearly wasn't homeless. However, I just told myself it wasn't my business, that I have a task to complete and maybe, if there's any left, I'll get a vanilla cup-cake too. Oh hypocrisy.

The night went well though. A massive queue for the yellow wagon, much larger than Friday's. But not as much bread this time.

One part of the night I do remember clearly is being taken by surprise at the sheer amount of characters you meet whilst doing these runs. I can't even begin to tell you the diversity of (what you might call) nutjobs that crop up when there's free grub on the table, homeless or not!
This isn't a slagging at them, quite the opposite in fact, as they all combined to somehow lift my mood and make my evening.

We had one guy chatting to Sunda-Thunda for a good 5 mins + without a pause, about mobile phone models, his current dilemma whether or not he should move to touch screen technology and then plans for his xmas; another guy wearing a poncho over his head and sunglasses (at night I might add) talking incoherently about his terminator movie theory (seemed like that's how he viewed life); a regular, who on Friday really, really, wanted his granary bread but this time was mesmerized by the cupcake and grape division and forgot all about his bread, and another regular who kept trying to put his bags in the van (bless him) saying that 'everyone else lets me' even after asking and being refused by, well, everyone.

A melting pot you might say. To the point where I actually began tripping out wondering if I was the one going nuts!
Still, frustration and hunger turned to smiles and laughter by the end of it, and all went according to plan. Back there on Friday,

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Anarcho-Spirituality; Psychonautics; 'Implications of LSD and Experimental Mysticsm'

The following is a research paper from 1966 that I came across in Robert Ornstein's 'The Psychology of Consciousness'.

I found it in its entirety here, and I thoroughly recommend reading it all the way through, especially if Psychonautics is something that interests you.

If you've taken LSD, then it's just worth reading anyhow, as it's so interesting looking at the Western take on something so esoteric.

I have edited the research paper to leave you with a couple of points from the first section,

Enjoy!

The first section of this article attempts to define and illustrate a specific form of psychedelic experience that is frequently reported when relatively high dosage is administered to normal subjects or selected mental patients in supportive settings. For want of a better term, we have called this form of experience mystical consciousness.

A second section then briefly surveys other forms of altered consciousness associated with the ingestion of these drugs, illustrating how they differ from mystical consciousness.

A third section presents and discusses the research findings that have suggested the similarity, if not the identity, between the psychedelic experience of mystical consciousness and spontaneously occurring experiences recorded in the literature of mysticism A final section considers some of the theological, psychiatric, and societal implications arising out of such research, stressing promise for the future as well as the very definite hazards of irresponsible experimentation.


The form of psychedelic experience here called mystical consciousness can best be described as a dimension of experience that, when expressed on paper by an experimental subject and subsequently content-analyzed, corresponds to nine interrelated categories, each of which is described below.

As Stace has emphasized, such categories attempt to describe the core of a universal psychological experience, free from culturally determined philosophical or theological interpretations. Some of the categories described below are illustrated by excerpts from phenomenological descriptions of psychedelic experiences.

1. UNITY

Experience of an undifferentiated unity, we suggest, is the hallmark of mystical consciousness. Such unity may be either internal or external, depending upon whether the subject-object dichotomy transcended is between the usual self and an inner world" within the experiencer, or whether it is between the usual self and the external world of sense impressions outside the experiencer. Both forms of unity are known to occur within the same person, even in the same psychedelic session.

Internal unity reportedly occurs in the following manner: Awareness of all normal sense impressions (visual, auditory, cutaneous, olfactory, gustatory, and kinesthetic) cases, and the empirical ego (i.e., the usual sense of individuality) seems to die or face away while pure consciousness of what is being experienced paradoxically remains and seems to expand as a vast inner world is encountered. A sense of movement is experienced within this inner world through numerous so-called "dimensions of being" towards a goal that is felt to have the status of ultimate reality.
Although awareness of one's empirical ego has ceased, one does not become unconscious.

I found myself grunting in agreement or mumbling, "Of course it has always been this way" over and over again as the panorama of my life seemed to be swept up by this unifying and eternal principle... I seemed to relinquish my life in "layers:" the more I let go, the greater sense of oneness I received. As I approached what I firmly believed to be the point of death, I experienced an ever greater sense of an eternal dimension to life.


In contrast, external unity generally seems to occur as follows: Awareness of one or more particular sense impressions grows in intensity until suddenly the object of perception and the empirical ego simultaneously seem to cease to exist as separate entities, while consciousness seems to transcend subject and object and become impregnated by a profound sense of unity, accompanied by the insight that ultimately "all is One." The subject-object dichotomy transcended may be between the empirical ego and (1) an animate visual object such as another person or a rose, (2) an inanimate visual object such as the leg of a table (Huxley, 1963) or even a grain of sand; or (3) an auditory object such as the music of a symphony.

When looking at the rose as an object, it seemed to "come alive" before my eyes. Its petals seemed to "breathe" as, slowly and gracefully, then unfolded, seeming to express the ultimate in beauty. Fascinated, I watched these movements of "cosmic gentleness" until, suddenly, I knew the rose; that is to say, transcending the dichotomy of subject and object, I somehow became One with the rose, no longer existing as an ego passively viewing an object in its environment. Although in the objectivity of my critical mind, I knew there were no physical changes in the flower, subjectively I seemed to see it in a totally new perspective, a perspective which elicited tears and deep feelings of reverence.... Supporting the ancient monistic school of thought, I expressed the philosophical insight that, 'We are all the same thing."... Another time I commented that, "There is more to beauty than we know."

Read the rest of this beast of a paper, here.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Urban Survival; The Man in the Van explodes; in the Media.




The Spartan Student has hit the media big time - a few days ago I posted the article about how he lives in a van whilst studying at Grad School over in the use.

Well, this is the follow up to the article - a good read.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Urban and Wild Survival; Modern Men are wimps



Taken from here.

The book, Manthropology: The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male, by Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister, describes many examples of the inadequacy of the modern male, calling them as a class, "the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet."

Given spiked running shoes, Indigenous Australians of 20,000 years ago could have beaten today's world record for running 100 and 200 meters. As recently as last century, some Tutsi males in Rwanda could have easily beaten the current high jump world record, and bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger would have been no match in an arm wrestle with a Neanderthal woman.

Twenty thousand years ago six male Australian Aborigines chasing prey left footprints in a muddy lake shore that became fossilized. Analysis of the footprints shows one of them was running at 37 kph (23 mph), only 5 kph slower than Usain Bolt was traveling at when he ran the 100 meters in world record time of 9.69 seconds in Beijing last year. But Bolt had been the recipient of modern training, and had the benefits of spiked running shoes and a rubberized track, whereas the Aboriginal man was running barefoot in soft mud. Given the modern conditions, the man, dubbed T8, could have reached speeds of 45 kph, according to McAllister.

McAllister also presents as evidence of his thesis photographs taken by a German anthropologist early in the twentieth century. The photographs showed Tutsi initiation ceremonies in which young men had to jump their own height in order to be accepted as men. Some of them jumped as high as 2.52 meters, which is higher than the current world record of 2.45 meters.

McAllister, interviewed in his temporary residence in Cambridge, UK, also said women of the extinct hominids such as the Neanderthals carried around 10 percent more muscle than modern European men, and with training could have reached 90 percent of the bulk of Arnold Schwarzenegger at his physical prime. Her shorter lower arm would have given her a great advantage in an arm wrestle, and she could easily have slammed his arm to the table.


Other examples in the book are rowers of the massive trireme warships in ancient Athens who far exceeded the capabilities of modern rowers, Roman soldiers who completed the equivalent of one and a half marathons a day, carrying equipment weighing half their body weight, and Australian Aborigines who could throw a spear over 10 meters further than the current javelin world record.

McAllister attributes the decline to the more sedentary lifestyle humans have lived since the industrial revolution, which has made modern people less robust than before since machines do so much of the work. The fact that we are constantly improving and breaking athletic records is because they are only in comparison to the performances in recent decades. If you compare today's athleticism with that of humans much further back we see a real decline.

According to McAllister humans have lost 40 percent of the shafts of the long bones because they are no longer subjected to the kind of muscular loads that were normal before the industrial revolution. Even our elite athletes are not exposed to anywhere near the challenges and loads that were part of everyday life for pre-industrial people.

The Cro-Magnons, the first anatomically modern Europeans, living around 30-40,000 years ago, were impressively tall (many over 6 feet 6 inches), strong, fit, and with larger brains than humans of today. They had an active lifestyle and an abundant and balanced diet of meats and vegetables.

The advent of agriculture (described by anthropologist Jared Diamond as the worst mistake in history) meant a steady supply of food, but it also meant our diet became lower in quality, less varied and contained fewer nutrients. The result was that we became smaller and weaker, only regaining size and strength in the last century or so after improvements in sanitation and the development of medicines such as antibiotics.

The good news from the findings described in the book is that the human body is plastic, and can change over generations. Each individual body can also change over much shorter periods of time. With a good balanced and varied diet and with plenty of exercise, there is plenty of scope for improvement in almost all of us.

Urban Survival; Unschooling and Unworking


UNSCHOOLING & UNWORKING: Confessions of a stay-at-home family (Part 2), by Myra Eddy

Found at Ran Prieur's site;

The most important aspect of schooling is control. Without permission, you may not stand, speak, urinate, quench your thirst. You may not disagree, and a lot of times, you may not ask questions. As Grace Llewellyn writes,

“School controls the way you spend your time (what is life made of if not time?), how you behave, what you read, and to a large extent what you think.… There are lots of good reasons to quit school, but to my idealistic American mind, the pursuit of freedom encompasses most of them and outshines the others. If you look at the history of ‘freedom,’ you notice that the most frightening thing about people who are not free is that they learn to take their bondage for granted, and to believe that this bondage is ‘normal’ and natural. They may not like it, but few question it or imagine anything different.”

And what does school prepare you for? Work!


To me, most work I’ve done has been incredibly boring at the least, and equally soul-sucking at times. I’ve been working half of my life, in various so-called skilled and unskilled jobs. I was employed full-time for many years, for no apparent reason that I can now discern. Although I was making what I considered to be a lot of money, I accumulated a lot of debt. I accumulated a lot of stuff. I spent all my time working and consuming. And all that time, I was trying to figure out what was missing from my life. It turns out my whole life was missing. I was stuck in this very rigid routine that was incredibly unsatisfying. A few random happenings, most importantly my daughter’s arrival, have led to what we have now: a stay-at-home family, a beautiful, rich life (just not rich in money).

A few months before I quit my job to be unemployed for two years and two months, I read a book by Michael Fogler called Unjobbing: The Adult Liberation Handbook. It’s a fairly straight-forward book, asking people to think about the sad fact that “in a large sense, life = job.” Although it seems like work-consume-die is our millennial mantra, he reminds us that for 99 percent of the time that humans have been on Earth, “people have lived communally, in tribes and villages. The kind of life we take for granted and is normal today—big cities where adults and children leave their single-family homesteads all day for work (or schooling) in large institutional settings—is only a very recent phenomenon. This has been the case for less than one percent of the time humans have inhabited Earth.”

Fogler asks people to do some figuring. Start with your take-home pay and divide it by the hours you work. Lower than you expected? Just wait! Now, figure out the time you actually spend for work. This may include your commute, time spent getting ready to go to work, your lunch hour (which isn’t really your own time), time needed for you to unwind from the job, and any other time, paid or unpaid, that is sucked up by your job. Then let’s think about expenses. Add up the money you spend for work. These expenses can include clothing and dry-cleaning, petroleum (if you wouldn’t have a car except for work, include your car payment & insurance in that cost), child-care, lunches out (and dinners out because you’re too tired to cook), medical care, etc. Deduct this amount of money from your net salary, and now figure out what you really make per hour of job time. Is it really worth it?


By Kid Khalia, age 6
Just to tell you my example, when I did this experiment, I was at my peak of earnings, almost $13 an hour. When I added up all the time I spent at my job and all the “real” money I was making, it brought my wage down to $5 an hour. Suddenly the cd I was buying for $15 was not worth three hours of my life. Suddenly many things were not worth my life to pay for. Suddenly my job and my jerk boss were not worth keeping if I was only making $5 an hour. Fogler writes about the growing trend of two wage-earners per family and states that “many of these couples are discovering that the spouse with the ‘second income’ is typically spending (for clothing, transportation, meals, childcare, timesavers, higher tax bracket, etc.) as much money—and sometimes more—because of the job than he or she is making from the job.” Shocking what we can learn if we really think about what we are doing.

Fogler writes that perhaps what is missing from our lives is community. “Actions which save money, improve one’s health, and help the environment quite often increase the amount of community in one’s life.… Community is an important ingredient that seems to be universally desired. It’s interesting that the lifestyle choices which are expensive and taxing on the environment have also resulted in a decrease in community among people. Our society has definitely suffered from this decrease in community.” What got us through 99 percent of humanity’s time living on earth has been community. The nuclear family and all its accessories are not an adequate substitute for sharing, with tribe and community.

Bringing up practical matters for people interested in unjobbing, Fogler asks people to think about the money they spend on specific items, such as: housing, food, car, newspaper and cable television, clothing, travel and entertainment. Fogler suggests, and I can attest that it helped me, that keeping track of every expense is a good idea. It can be shocking to realize where and how quickly the money goes. For example, we found that our mortgage payment was half the rent we paid at an apartment complex ($250 versus $525). We started buying unprocessed food—that is, we bought grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits, and cooked everything from scratch. We ate vegan for a while (not microwavegan) and had our food budget down to $80 a month. We found that we were spending about $4000 a year on our car, between car payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance. We realized that even if we bought three junkers a year for $1000 each, we would be saving money. We were fortunate enough to be given a car that needed some fixing up. We sold our new car for what we owed, and delighted in the world of no car payments and just liability insurance. And now, that clunker will be the last vehicle we ever own. I know that buying petroleum is not in line with my values and is not worth my life energy to purchase.

Back when my husband had health insurance, we were appalled at how much we were spending on this “benefit.” We could never afford to go to the doctor because we couldn’t afford the deductible and co-payments. After keeping track of expenses, we realized we were spending thousands of dollars a year on insurance. We quickly canceled it and then were able to go to the doctor when we needed to see one. The weekly chai apiece became a $300 yearly investment that I was unwilling to make. We don’t ever buy newspapers, and we haven’t owned a television in this century. We seldom travel, just to see friends and family, and usually only spend money on the transportation to get there. I have found that I rarely succumb to impulse buying because I rarely go shopping anymore.

Ahh, the chains of the law have been broken, if they ever existed. If material possessions no longer possess you, making (more) money will no longer be a guiding force in your life. As Fogler writes, “The more you can lower your expenses, the more freedom you will have to be the person you truly want to be.” I’m sure not many of us are excited to be “a clerk”, or whatever your job title may be right now. It’s depressing to think that what our job title happens to be becomes what we are. I remember reading something a few years ago in which an African-American man states that upon meeting a white person, the first question he was usually asked was, “What do you do?” Why is it so important? Because full-time workers spend their lives pushing the levers of the Leviathan instead of living in their communities?

As the CrimethInc. (ex-)Workers’ Collective writes in their book Recipes for Disaster, “There are plenty of good reasons not to sell your labor on the market. Perhaps you don’t like what that labor is being used to do: transform forests into landfills, perpetuate meaningless busywork as a way of life, centralize wealth in the hands of a rapacious few. Perhaps you have a better idea of how that energy should be employed, and no corporation or organization is offering you a salary to do what you think needs doing. Perhaps you’re one of those dangerous hedonists who have somehow gotten it into their heads that life is supposed to be fun and exciting.”

Fun and exciting sounds a lot more interesting than getting up by an alarm clock to make sure I look like everyone else, dropping my kid off at daycare, and heading to work every damn day. Indeed, it is. Reclaiming my life, the life of my family, and in large part, our community, seems to be where it’s at for us.

____________________

Myra Eddy is a midwestern anarchist artist housewife with a passion for nourishing plants, people, and community; she is already living in the next paradigm and hopes to see you there.

_________________________

Word to mother,

Friday, 11 December 2009

MovNat/Parkour; Training Gymnastics with Sydney Parkour

This week saw the second session of gymnastics training with the Sydney Parkour lot, over at the Olympic Sports centre.
What could be better than springing around like a lunatic!

On the agenda was learning to backflip; which was successfully achieved (off of the floor with no spot), muscle-ups (successful, again, no spot) and gainers! Woohoo!




The facilities were amazing, so we made the most of it, despite the fact we were still brutally aching from Tuesday's Parkour session.
Music was pumping and the class was a good 30+ in numbers, so with the atmosphere in a 'Balls Out!' mood, it was time to get down and dirty.

Backflips - Started out with preparation jumps (jumping slightly forward with a thrusting of the hips motion) and then moved on to flips with a spot. After the comfort zone was reached with that, the spot was taken away with successful results!

Gainers - Started with a Balls Out! effort more than anything, then was soon refined with the help of one of the instructors present at the class. The secret was bringing the knees to the shoulders and not vice versa, along with the forward thrusting of the hips and flinging the arms behind the ears. Seriously addictive fun.

Muscle-ups - A gradual progression over about 2 months now. This success stemmed from trying and trying more than anything. The secret was technique more than strength levels. And the secret of the technique was really pulling down hard at the start of the motion, combined with a decent set-up short swing and pushing your chest over your palms enough so that the balance existed, ready for the final part of the muscle up.


Vids;

You're gonna have to tilt your head for this one -


Muscle-up -



After being thoroughly knackered from gainer-ing our nuts off, it was time for the post-workout therapy; yes, Ice Cream.





Belgian Chocolate - royally tantalising.

Couldn't have asked for a better evening!

Cheers guys!

Urban Survival; Helping Sydney's Homeless



Friday night saw the Hazardous Pioneers lend a hand to the Exodus Foundation in Sydney's city centre, handing out food to the local homeless, less-well off and members of the general public for a good couple of hours.

We arrived outside St.Mary's (massive) cathedral on time, and already queues had formed (side note - St.Mary's cathedral, a house of the lord, contribute to carrying out the message of Jesus, by giving NOTHING, not one penny, towards the homelessness situation in Sydney. It's just convenient to meet in its vicinity, simply because it's such a landmark.)



Not quite sure what to make of the queues, we waited for a little bit and then sure enough, the Yellow Wagon arrived.
And from then on, it was straight in! Rubber gloves on and the food be a dishin'!

The Yellow Wagon had all its food ready to go, all prepared and pre-heated to nothing less than piping hotness and steadily, the masses showed their heads at the wagon's side.



Our job was to dish out bread and muffins. You could have called us the baker bros, as within seconds we were armed with knowledge about wholemeal and granary loafs, fig scones and pesto rolls, ciabatta sticks and poppy seed delights, fruit blocks and fresh herb tear-aparts.

To be quite honest, I had never seen so much bread. 15 bags in fact.



And bakery delights weren't all.
A massive box of salad dressed with ceasar sauce, dozens of apples, a crate of grapes, a box of cherries, a delivery cage's worth of various milk flavours and even fresh water accompanied our sector. Not to mention the Yellow Wagon's selection of roasted vegetables and meats.



And to be honest, I was humbled. Compared to the set up that I am used to back home, this was a million times better.



Every day, 'Baker's Delight' (a bakery chain store across Sydney) throws out their excess produce. Someone from the Exodus Foundation then drives around the city, collecting this surplus.
In an array of bin bags, the goods are delivered to rendez-vous by 8pm, where they meet a van containing fold-down tables and the necessary catering equipment to serve all the food up.

For about 2 hours, food is available to any one that needs it. And we probably only shifted about 2/5ths of the bread, if that.

In fact, there was so much, we even got fed(!);




The important thing to realise here is that this food comes from corporate donations; shops. People here in Sydney are wise enough to realise that not everyone benefits from living in a capitalist society, and so with their help, they can donate a little bit here and there to ensure that everyone can at least have a meal.
Generosity seems just that little bit more widespread over here. And it was that which humbled me so much.
If only the people back home could witness (and hopefully with this post, they can) how it was done over here.

In my opinion, I believe that the homeless in Sydney can be well fed, 7 days a week with this system. In other words, the Exodus Foundation has 'tapped it'. Food is accessible 3 times a day, 7 days a week, all for free and at a nutritional level.
It really is a fantastic thing to witness and just shows, that homelessness the world over could be 'nursed' effectively, if just a couple of food-companies donated their surplus food to the needy.

From volunteering with the guys from the Exodus Foundation I have now learnt how to 'nurse the wound' that is homelessness.
Back home, when doing the homeless runs, I would often question how valuable this process really was; going out week after week, giving out food and supplies to the needy, when it was the same faces I was seeing, week in, week out.
It wasn't getting the supplies and food out to them that was the issue, (even though getting enough to distribute back home sometimes proved to be an effort). The issue was getting them off the streets, which led me to want to go and speak to the councils and politicians to see what was being done about it.

But serving up over here has made me realise that sadly, within any Capitalist system, there will ALWAYS be homelessness. It is an intrinsic value to a system that thrives on inequality.
But that doesn't mean that everyone has to go hungry or live without sufficient supplies.
If a few of us co-operate, everyone can get by, and Sydney's set up is living proof of that.
Granted, it may not be glamorous or comfortable, but at least the less fortunate now have a meal in their stomachs and a blanket to sleep under, be it for one night or the rest of the year.
And for the time that we are stuck with this insult of a societal structure, the least we can do is make sure that our fellow brothers and sisters are fed and watered.

Thanks to everyone at the Exodus Foundation that let us help out, we will be donating more of our energy to help you out over the next month!