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what does "mental parkour" mean?

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Here's an explanation behind the acrylic "street art-esque" wood panel painting. Caution: vulnerable content up ahead... (or in this case, below...)

To simplify:

I describe dealing with my anxiety as "mental parkour". The painting is a depiction of "a playing field", made up of different platforms. I personify my anxiety as the 'traceur', where its jumping through the obstacles. The black and white "splatter" is what I identify as anxiety flying through the platforms. The pink is "my spirit" watching while simultaneously trying to tackle the obstacle course. Basically, my anxious thoughts are in control of my mind, like someone who practices parkour.

Parkour is a form of exercise that is supposed to be mind stimulating and freeing. The action is about strategically and artfully jumping through obstacles while being an adversary to risk. So how am I describing such positive movement and connecting it to an intense (kind of negative) emotion? Well, parkour is a scary and pretty risky sport. But in this case, my anxiety always blocks me from doing things because I intensely start to overthink things. Even the little things. I worry that things are risky, scary, or someone will judge me, or I judge myself (it's actually more complex than this).

I'm learning how to stop watching the "traceur" and walk away. My main goal is to eventually become the "traceur" and feel more in control of my thoughts. If that makes sense. I feel more in my element when I do things that I find are mind stimulating (like art, playing games, exercise, etc). Once, I feel calmer, I force myself to do the "thing" my mind is trying to stop me from doing.

It's funny that this piece is called "mental parkour", as I actually repainted the wood panel over at least 3 times (on the left, is a shot before I painted over & scraped it off). Even though this piece is small, it's become one of my favorites as I connect to it the most.

When I finally figured out which colorway worked for me, the rest came naturally. Also, fun fact: the colors were kind of inspired by the game Splatoon 2 on the switch. I got one recently, and I'm addicted to this game. It's so fun. Also, Also - not an ad. Unfortunately.

Materials used for this piece:

1. Montana Gold spray cans

3. Regular acrylic paint

Let me know what you think about this piece and your thoughts behind it down in the comments. I'd love to add to this conversation.

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