The Skill Collector

They say it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a skill. There is something very noble and beneficial in that pursuit. Then there are the 10-mins every day to learn a new skill people. I call these the skill collectors. They typically do not ever master a skill but they can perform a variety of skills without much difficulty. The “Jack of all trades, Master of none”.

The existence of these two groups have become most evident as I journey deeper into the mysterious and wonderful world of stunts. Many performers break into the industry with a mastery of a certain discipline such as karate, kung fu, sword, motocross, horseback riding, gymnastics, you get the idea. Many others are more generalists who can perform at minimum, a basic level of falling, fighting, driving, acrobatics, etc. Almost all stunt performers are skill collectors who constantly pursue mastery. They’re a very inspirational bunch.

I am personally addicted to collecting skills. Not so much attaining the skills themselves, although they make incredible party tricks and icebreakers. I yearn more for that wave of euphoria you get when you nail that new trick for the first, third and tenth time. Especially after thinking, only weeks before, that there was no way you would ever be able to to learn it in the first place. That feeling over getting over the “can’t” and turning it into the “can too” is super powerful.

Have you ever had that moment? The one where you surprise yourself? Well I am not a master of many, if anything but I believe I come close with one skill. The cartwheel. It is my favourite skill in the whole wide world. I can do it fast, slow, over things, across things, with one arm, with no arms, I can even do them in circles until I fall over dizzy. It is the first skill that I want to share with everyone.

Here is the link to my first series of videos where I breakdown the cartwheel into super basics, provide progressions and then I will follow up with 2 workouts inspired by my favourite move that aims to strengthen the muscles required to perform a beautiful cartwheel.

Athlete Inspired – Cartwheel Tutorial

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As I try and teach the world the art of the cartwheel, I have chosen a new skill that I would like to add to my collection. Staff manipulation. Weaponry is a key part of any stunt performer’s arsenal. I have sought out the expertise of a mastery manipulator (her name is Michelle and she’s so frickin cool) and have been trying to practice the basics 10mins a day, most days of the week. I’ll track my progress and post something at the end of the month. I encourage you to brave that 12-megapixel lens of judgement and track your progress. I bet you’ll surprise yourself.

Athlete Inspired

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Michelle Smith is a badass staff manipulator. Check out her skills on YouTube.                  Learn from her at www.michellecsmith.com

 

 

An athlete truly inspired: a year in review and an exciting future

First stunt gag on Supernatural, doubling Emily Swallow (aka Amara)

Sitting in a coffee shop on my day off between filming and I can honestly say that I feel the pieces finally coming together. Between filming days. I giggle to myself every time I get to say that. As recently as I year ago, I was pining for the opportunity to be making my living as a stunt performer. Thanks to a brilliantly low Canadian dollar, thousands of hours of training, networking and manifesting my hopes and dreams IMDB has a page with my name on it!

The training, networking and hard work continues but, step-by-step I was able to go through the initial paces of getting paid for athletic, physical feats on film. I became a full ACTRA member, a member of StuntList (a vetted, online database for stunt performers), and now am able to make a living doing something I would happy pay to do. I am now liberated from working odd jobs, donating blood and organs for cash, couch surfing, eating out of restaurant dumpsters,etc (to my family reading this, please know it was never actually this bad. I still have all of my organs). A true testament to following your heart, taking calculated risks and being prepared for when the opportunity for success arises.

*Above photos from my experience with the Supernatural family in seasons 11 & 12

I continue to have a marvelous support network who help me live my dream. Even more who have helped me get to this point. Hopefully you know who you are because I’ve remembered to shower you with thanks, dramatic appreciation and a behind-the-scene glimpse of my set adventures.

The man in my life deserves a special shout out. He met me as I was starting this journey, fumbled with me through this maze of ups and downs, highs and lows, late nights, early mornings, rescheduled dates and rain-checked plans. I think we’ve had a blast these past couple of years and it’s about to get that much more adventurous. We will be embarking on a 4-month adventure based out of Calgary. Without hesitation he led the charge to pack up our old apartment, find accommodations in Calgary and will work out of Alberta while I try and rise to the challenge of my first lead stunt doubling job.

This leads me to the whole point of this post. To share my plan for 2017. My plan to give back and hopefully inspire others the way I have been inspired to pursue my passion for sport, performance and personal growth. I have a started a company and enlisted the help of my former boss, the woman who initially set me down this path, to help me inspire others to reach their goals, embrace their passions, and in the very least, learn the joys and benefits of training like a superhero.

I will continue to share my journey, discuss various topics that will hopefully get your minds and bodies in a frenzy and I will also be posting some videos on my YouTube channel to inspire you to test your limits and learn something new. So please like and share!

Stay tuned…

AthleteInspired