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Urban Movement Interview - Cathy Marais

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Cathy Marais
Coach, Urban Movement
A.D.A.P.T. (Parkour) Level 1

Q: How long have you been practicing Parkour / Art du Deplacement?
A: A little more than 2 years now.
Q: How did you get started?
A: I grew up close to Evry in France, so I had heard about parkour/art du deplacement since the beginning of its mediatization and I was very touched by it. But I only discovered the ADD Academy (Art du Deplacement Academy) when the core team organized a weekend event “The ADD Experience” opened to the public at large. It was my very first training and first introduction to the “ADD family”. Also, my sister Annty was training in London since a couple of years already. Visiting her back and forth in London, I got introduced to all her Parkour Generations team.
Q: Who are your influences?
A: In my approach to parkour/ADD, I am mainly influenced by the people I started to train with in France: Philippe Gaya, the ADD Academy team (Chau Belle, Williams Belle, Tony Thich, Ben Odoyer, Laurent Piemontesi, Yann Hnautra…), the “Never Give Up” family (Serika Kingmen, …) and my sister Annty. Of course, all the training partners that I have here and there, especially the ones I train with regularly, all bring me their energy, and constantly add more influences to my training. Since I moved to the US, the Urban Movement team (Texas) and the Renaissance Movement team (Utah) have greatly inspired me.
Q: How often do you train?
A: I train 6 or 7 days a week, because I really feel like it. This is what makes my day full and balanced. I try to keep, at least once a week, a harder conditioning training and a solo training.
Q: How do you deal with the fear experienced while training?
A: I usually train my mind first. I take time to refocus, to understand why I want to do it.
If possible, I consider a progression to gain confidence and then go for it. If not, I visualize me doing the move and I go for it if I feel ready.
Q: What do you do when you're not out training (or thinking about) parkour?
A: I have a lot of passions: hip-hop dance, percussions (music in general), hiking/camping, climbing, traveling adventures, nature immersion. As a day job, I am a physicist.
Q: What foods can you not live without?
A: I have no real habit, so if one of my favorite foods was to disappear, I would find another favorite food. Cool, I will still be alive!
Q: What kind of shoes do you train in?
A: I train with Kalenjis. I have to admit that I never tried any other pairs of shoes. But these are good for training and really cheap, so I never bothered trying something different.  
Q: How do you explain parkour to people who don't know much about it?
A: I hate this question because there is no easy answer. I usually speak too much and end up saying “you have to experience it yourself because it is the best way to understand what it is”.
Q: Parting words for the new practitioner?
A: Take your time, don’t be in a rush to improve, be happy with your own evolution which is the one that matters. Do a lot of repetitions of the basics movements because they are the keys to open up your skills. Train hard and smart, and enjoy it!


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