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Kit FitzSimons here.
When I’m not in the office, busy being the Digital Content Manager for Chapelboro.com, I try to keep myself occupied. I’m a regular motion-capture actor for Epic Games in Cary, I’m taking parkour classes from Fifth Ape in the Forest Theater, and I perform and coach improv comedy at the DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro.
Sometimes, people ask me, “Kit, why don’t you take a little time for yourself?”
And I reply, “I thought that’s what I was doing.”
See, I once heard this term bandied about: ‘Experience Junkies:’ people who will try literally anything once. The seven tenets of the official Experience Junkie (full text here) boil down to this:
1) Try something new.
2) Challenge yourself.
3) Be unique…
4) …or find a unique way to do something common.
5) Get involved and/or learn something.
6) Share the experience with others.
7) Get excited.
I like that. A lot. And I try my best to find ways to apply those tenets to my life.
I’m learning how to run up walls and lift logs as big as I am from Colin Pistell, a guy who lives within jogging distance of UNC campus.
Someone once saw me in an improv show and told me I have the kind of “bendy alien face” he was looking for — and now I’m on IMDB.
And I may not have time to fly to Pamplona to run with/from the bulls, but I know there’s a Zombie Mud Run 5K coming up this fall in Raleigh, and zombies are much more speed-inspiring than bulls. (Bull-bites won’t turn you into cattle.)
So, this column. I’m going to try something new every week. I’m not going to finish that sentence with ‘so you won’t have to’ because I totally think you should join in…
Take Saturday, for instance. It was 105 degrees outside. It was also the Fifth Ape Field Day: free workshop, no experience required… just three hours of rail vaults, pistol squats, muscle-ups, cat passes, and other exercises that sound like products you buy from SkyMall.
Now I know what you’re going to say, and I have a response:
Seriously, we stayed in the shade. It was, at most, 101.
I’ve been taking parkour classes with Fifth Ape for a year now. It’s the kind of thing people say they’d never even consider trying because you’d have to be crazy to want to do something like that.
I’ve actually exercised more, eaten better, felt happier and more energetic in the past year than I have since my 4th grade gym teacher promised us an ice cream party if we all passed the Presidential Fitness Challenge (then took pity on me and counted that last pull-up).
Plus, temperature aside, the Forest Theater beats the gym any day. It feels about 6 billion times better to be pushing myself to get better, stronger, and faster while surrounded by green, the only walls around: the ones we’re jumping over.
Also, random trivia: You know who else has taken a Fifth Ape class?
Yes, Jan Bolick, author of Chapelboro’s Good Business column.
She gets it. And if Good Business and Alien Bendy Face can do it, you certainly can too.
Also, we walked to Coldstone for ice cream afterwards. It was fourth grade all over again.
I, Kit FitzSimons, am an aspiring Experience Junkie; I’ll try anything once. Every week, something new. If you have suggestions for me, stories of your own, or want to join me on an adventure, let me know at email@example.com.