Recently, we spoke to Sam Parham who is a FreeRunning/Parkour Champion and World Record Holder. He took some time to talk to us about his journey and his confidence in pursuing his dream.
Sam Praham was born and raised in Oxford, England. As a child, he was constantly inspired by his favourite action heroes such as Jackie Chan. He only dreamt of being in the movies himself one day.
When Sam was 15 years old, he learnt of a French discipline called Parkour. From here on, he searched YouTube videos and online forums for people also interested in going outside, practicing climbing, vaulting and jumping. His next few years accelerated quickly, he was in one of the first pioneering teams to be doing Parkour, or as it's now known, FreeRunning. Sam and his team started to make videos and post them on the internet. As YouTube really started to take off, the teams videos began to be viewed my millions of people worldwide. Sam has since moved to Los Angeles, California where he has achieved his goal of working alongside Jackie Chan in his latest movie.
We asked Sam a few questions in regards to Confidence and what it means to him. I hope you all find some inspiration, because we sure did.
How do you build the confidence to run and jump?
Repetition is the key to building confidence. Even on the days where you feel like you aren't making progress, or the days you don't feel like training, those are the most important.
I would practice the distance of a jump on ground level 50 times before attempting it at height.
I'd get myself to be so sure that I could do it, that the only fear left in me, was completely unnecessary. And then I knew it was just about doing it. The question of 'could I', was no longer there.
What does confidence mean to you?
Confidence is about persistence. You don't have to be able to do everything right away. But with self belief and persistent effort, you soon find you are capable of so much more than you ever thought.
So many people lack confidence in this day and age, but I believe it is one of the most important qualities a person can have. Freerunning has developed my confidence in ways I could have never imagined before. I used to be incredibly shy, but through Freerunning, my confidence has developed both physically but also mentally in every area of my life.
What's the one thing that you'd give advice to others in regards to trying something new and getting out of your comfort zone?
The only real way to evolve and grow is to put yourself outside your comfort zone. If you keep doing what your doing, you'll keep getting what your getting.
Who is someone that has contributed to your confidence in pursuing free running?
I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by positive supportive people. That has always been a conscious effort of mine. To surround myself with like minded positive people that add value to my life, and I can in turn add value to theirs. My Team (@Team3RUN) and my family have supported me through everything.
Was there a moment where you thought of giving up? If so, what made you push forward?
There was never a point that I thought of giving up. I've always said "the day I stop having fun with it, I'll be done with it."
And that is actually a point that I think is so key in excelling at 'something'.
Find that 'something' you enjoy, that you have passion for. If you enjoy it at its core, you will always excel.
It is incredibly difficult to become great in something you have no passion for...
What has been the biggest struggle of your career so far? How did you move past that?
The biggest struggle of my career has probably been most recently where I have moved to LA. Out of my comfort zone, away from the support systems I had in place for work and personal life. Forced now to make new friends, new work contacts and prove myself in a new environment.
This is exactly the sort of thing that I believe is best for me to continue to grow. It would be so easy to go back to my UK home, back to my friends and the regular work contacts I have built there. But in my experience, the greatest rewards are in overcoming new challenges. It is there that you get to test what you are really made of. It is along that line, that you must continue to 'adapt and overcome'.
You can follow Sam on his socials and check out his videos on Youtube.
@thesampraham and @Team3run
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