Ryan Ford on Parkour, Injury Prevention, Entrepreneurship, & Being Prepared for Anything
Our guest this week is Ryan Ford, an internationally-recognized expert and coach in a lesser-known and fascinating sport called “parkour.” If you have never seen a video of Parkour (see below), it’s a sport where people in urban environments climb, jump, flip, twist, and generally maneuver through their environment like Batman or Spiderman. Besides performing world-wide for dozens of respected organizations and competitions, Ryan is also an accomplished entrepreneur, with a network of his own gyms and online businesses. His success – and superhuman feats – have lead to media attention from such media giants as the New Yorker, TIME, and ESPN.
Whether or not you have a burning desire to jump off of rooftops, this interview will offer you a lot of awesome takeaways, ranging from fitness advice, tips on how to avoid injuries, ideas on how to turn your passion into an entrepreneurial career, and a better understanding of how one should approach obstacles – both physical and mental. I know you’re going to enjoy it!
In this episode, we discuss:
- Ryan’s bio, what he’s done, and his journey towards becoming a professional Parkour specialist
- What is “Parkour,” where does it come from, and why should you care?
- What Parkour is about today, and why might someone practice it?
- Why Ryan believes that everybody has tries Parkour, and everyone should pick it back up again
- How to safely start experimenting with Parkour at home
- Where can you safely practice Parkour, and how does law enforcement feel about it?
- Is Parkour a standalone exercise regimen, or should it be paired with other forms of training?
- Practical tips anyone can use to avoid injuries
- What kind of mobility work does Ryan advocate?
- What is the single most important movement the human body should be able to do?
- Ryan’s journey from professional athlete to successful entrepreneur
- How Ryan built his businesses
- Why Ryan chose to finish his college degree despite his entrepreneurial success
- How many women are doing Parkour?
- Ryan’s views on CrossFit
- Two of Ryan’s favorite books, and why he loves them
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- The sport of Parkour (Wikipedia)
- Ryan’s network of Parkour gyms, Apex Movement
- ParkourEDU, Ryan’s online school for Parkour
- MovNat and our interview with Erwan Le Corre
- Raymond Belle, the founder of Parkour, and his son David Belle
- Our interview with Yuri Marmerstein
- Kelly Starrett and his book, Becoming a Supple Leopard (iBookstore)
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- Steve Blank, the Customer Development methodology, and his book on the subject
- Movement expert Ido Portal
- Carl Paoli
- Rock Climber Alex Honnold
- The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle (iBookstore)
- The Sports Gene by David Epstein (iBookstore)
- Find Ryan on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram
As promised, here is a great video featuring Ryan and some of his team members: