“I looked to people who were doing it their own way, following their own sense of self which I now understand is no easy task even when it feels right.” The Founders of weMove Magazine, James and Chris discuss queer representation in sport and the responsibilities of corporate brands, what it means to be a creative athlete, sport in fashion and who would win in a parkour race.
Three magazines or books that we could find on your bookshelf?
We have included 3 from each of us!
Zen Mind Beginners Mind – Shunryu Suzuki
Let My People Go Surfing – Yvon Chouinard
A Separate Reality – Carlos Casteneda
100% Health – Patrick Halford
Wabi Inspirations – Axel Vervoordt
The Silk Roads – Peter Frankopan
In your youth, someone who inspired change and has influenced the trajectory of your careers?
James: I looked to people who were doing it their own way, following their own sense of self which I now understand is no easy task even when it feels right. In climbing that was Jerry Moffatt, Ben Moon, Jonny Dawes and Ron Kauk, in design it was Charles & Ray Eames, in film it was Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee. None of whom for the person because I didn’t know any of them, but how they approached their calling.
Chris: There are two inspirations. Firstly, music. It made me want to get out of the small town I lived in and explore. It made me realise how big the world was and how much more there was to life. It also inspired my career because the first part of working for me was a 10 year career running a record label. Secondly, my father. He had a rough childhood and joined the army at 15, a career he did for 40 years. Throughout that career he used every spare minute to either be running and racing or learning new subjects; Photography, Reflexology, Massage, Chiropody and later in life mountain leading, climbing etc etc. He says to me, ‘I don’t want to waste a minute’. I have a constant desire to learn, dive deep and explore because that’s the example that was given to me.
Can you walk us through your morning routine?
J: 6am Astanga practice followed by a ‘hapey’ meditation and journalling. A bowl of steamed broccoli and a cup of matcha with coconut and MCT oil.
C: Ideally, wake up at 6, meditate, pray, sage smudging, mobility routine, yoga or training, green smoothie. If it has to change because of the day ahead that’s cool, it generally means I shorten everything down in time.
Ahead of the US Open, tennis player, James Blake reached out to the sporting community to be more inclusive of LGBTQ athletes. As straight men in the cross section of the fitness and media industries, what has been your experience with queer representation and what do you think needs to change to make this landscape more inclusive?
We should be celebrating differences, people and what it means to be human. Brands are the guardians of many things now and they have the ability to raise awareness and consciousness more than they think.
“Be curious and open minded about life.”
weMove Magazine, Health and Fitness
Throughout the development of weMove Magazine, how has your relationship and approach to health and fitness evolved?
Much more peaceful and complete. Before there was a desire to win and beat others, now it is about being in a constant state of motion, accepting the discomfort and enjoying the progression. Also seeing how connected practices are; for example how a yoga practice like astanga can be taken into Olympic lifting and how Olympic lifting can be taken into climbing and running.
What does it mean to be a creative athlete?
To us it means using what is necessary, discarding anything that is not and then adding our own take and experience to develop our own personal style. And in this viewpoint we are constantly creating new ways to move and live.
A message you hope people take away from weMove Magazine?
Be curious and open minded about life.
As entrepreneurial nomads – creating the magazine on the road with no limitations or restrictions. What advice would you have for someone who wants to create their own work / life model outside the conventional model?
Well we are still working it out and it is not straightforward or easy. It is easy to walk through the door of the permanent hustle and maybe that is not so much an English way of being. The piece of advice I have always taken was to work out what you are really good at, each one of us has an innate skill and that will be the ticket to things working if we stay true to that skill and who we are.
How important do you see the role of adventure and movement in being able to realise the best adaption of oneself?
Life is movement and we are living in a constant state of adaptation. Adventure is the part that adds the colour to our lives, it might not be the adventure we are sold by brands (sleeping on mountains etc). I have just become a dad and that feels like the biggest adventure I can go on and made me realise that now is the time to put into action all the training I have done from what I have read to how I have moved.
“Climbing is grounded in tradition which people like, whilst offering challenge and progression to those who have moved in different ways.”
What do you think inspired the shift in popularity in utilitarian and outdoor brands such as Patagonia?
The first sports / fashion culture was the late 90’s when Patagonia (Patagucci) was worn as streetwear and Prada Sport came on to the scene. We are now 20 years on and it takes about that amount of time for things to return. Patagonia in particular has been built on trust, purpose and ethics and right now that is very important for us as consumers in a world where we want things to last and be able to go the distance. Other outdoor / utility brands have this as there is a requirement for longevity more so than fashion brands. Design becomes functional, pared down combined with fabrics and materials which have a story.
Out of James and Chris, who would win in a parkour race?
I’d like to think we would finish together!
Calisthenics and Indoor rock-climbing are two forms of movement that have created a “CrossFitesque” culture and following. Is there a new wave of movements that you guys have on your radar?
The future is togetherness and these two practices are exactly that, they challenge the individual and at the same time create a community that wants each other to grow and develop. That was the connection of CrossFit, which seemed to take an alternative route with the boom of the competitive element of it. The climbing boom is only just beginning and with it being in the 2020 Olympics it will only continue to grow. Climbing is grounded in tradition which people like, whilst offering challenge and progression to those who have moved in different ways.
What would you graffiti on the back of a toilet door?
J: You’ve got this.