Having just finished my first YA novel, I’m chomping at the bit, ready to roll. I know I have to wait on God’s timing, but I have to admit I’m a little bit antsy. I have a hard time being still. (Yes, I can see a God message in this.) But what do you do when you’ve spent a year living with these characters, taking them everywhere you go and going to many of the places they visit in their own adventures? I’m lonely. I’m ready to go on another adventure.
As I was doing preparation work for my novel, I found a great book by Sebastien Foucan, titled Free Running: The Urban Landscape Is Your Playground. The main character in my book is a free runner, or more accurately, a traceur, which, technically is not the same as free running but is close. Mr. Foucan taught me a great deal about TJ’s life and his attitude toward life. I also learned serendipitiously a great deal about the Christian life–although this book by no means deals with Christianity or any other religion. It is a book about parkour, the art of moving through one’s environment as smoothly as possibily and overcoming whatever obstacles show up in one’s path–physical or mental.
I recommend this book if you’re needing encouragement even if parkour and free running are not for you. Here are a few tips that have inspired me.
1. Don’t compete. Do what we’re supposed to do without comparing ourselves to others.
2. Possession is illusion. The writer points out nothing on this planet is permanent. He says “don’t attach your happiness and success to a specific person or place.” We have to continue on when these are gone. Wow. Christians, did you hear that? God is the true source of our joy–nothing else.
3. Be a participant, not a spectator.
4. Enjoy the journey.
5. There are risks everywhere.
TJ’s obsession with parkour has influenced my entire family. My younger son wants to do back flips off walls and to jump over everything. My older son says he would like to be a traceur. My husband recorded the MTV Ultimate Parkour. And what about me? I wanted to keep up with TJ, so I decided to try my own version of free running. I made it around the block and to the mailbox. Okay, maybe I’m not there yet, but I’m pushing toward a postitive attitude toward every mental obstacle I encounter. That counts for something, right?
“Être fort pour être utile.” That’s the traceur’s motto. You’ve got to be strong to be useful, especially to others.
Be strong everybody! ~ Ephesians 6:10