My name is Sara Mudallal and I am a parkour athlete based in Los Angeles, California. Parkour is a big part of my life because I love to be creative and I love the endless possibilities of what the body can do!
In parkour, you are constantly creating new flows and movements that fit your style. The best way to explain it is that it feels like making a new batch of cookies from scratch that fit your taste.
My creative space is outdoors, so when COVID-19 officially shut down my city I had no choice but to adapt and think of ways to be creative and innovative indoors using what I had around me. It was time to step up my creativity to turn the limitations we all faced – such as to our freedom of movement – into my creative advantage.
Here are five tips I used to turn creative limitation into creative strength:
1. Work with what you have
When our city shut down in March, I had to find fun ways to jump around in my house (without bothering my family members of course). My room was my best option. One thing I like to do is daydream of how to execute my movements before I perform. So, I thought of the first flow of movements that could be fun, even in the limited space I had available.
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Took the long way to wash my hands haha @tempestfreerunning and @woodwardcamp are doing an indoor parkour challenge using these hashtags #quarantineparkourchallenge & #welivethis letâs see what you got! (Also I wanna thank my mom @ola_takriti being MVP for filming this ð)
2. Make your own motivation
One thing I always ask myself is “What can I do differently today that makes me a better person than yesterday?”
I love looking at my peers and seeing what they are doing. When I see them getting out there and working out and/or making fun creative content it can give me a slight push to start my day.
Another thing I do is set goals for myself and a deadline. My main goals and deadlines are making and editing a YouTube video once a week to stay consistent and working on a new move that I haven’t made time for before this pandemic.
I have noticed that because people have so much time now, they are doing things they haven’t had time to put on their agenda before.
Turn the creative limitations you are finding into opportunities to bring awareness to those points which have been lurking on your to-do list. You will find areas you neglected which help you to improve compared to yesterday’s version of yourself.
3. Don’t wait for an opportunity, make one
If you want your voice to be heard, reach out to people and tell them your story and passion. What makes YOU stand out from the crowd? An opportunity arose on social media where an agency was showcasing and reposting people’s skills. I have been dreaming of becoming part of this team since I discovered them, and the pandemic was a blessing in disguise. So I submitted this video:
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4. Use your entrepreneur mindset
Since the beginning of this pandemic, the social media industry has become the main source of entertainment for the world. This has demanded creative influencers to be even more entrepreneurial, including myself.
I earned my B.A. Marketing Degree from Cal State Fullerton, and I learned how to create plenty of mock businesses during that time. I am now in the process of establishing my brand and making a name for myself in the community.
I want to create a motivational platform for girls to gain confidence from, where they see a girl wearing a Hijab and practicing a sport that she loves without her caring about what others might think. And so, I made a YouTube channel, worked in the film industry and gained a lot of business knowledge while also working on expanding my dad’s business. I have even started streaming and playing video games during this pandemic to create an additional source of income.
5. Don’t give up
When I first started parkour I was told that this sport was for guys. As a kid, I would play basketball and I would always be the only girl playing so eventually I’d get booted out because only guys were on the court. This drove me crazy but it didn’t stop me. Had I listened and not tried out parkour, I don’t know where I would be, nor do I wanna know.
I have done projects with Red Bull, American Ninja Warrior, Fox 11 LA News, Right This Minute, music videos, and commercials all while pursuing this sport. I didn’t give up on doing the things that I love. I was told not to create a streaming setup, not to create my creative space, not to pursue my sport professionally, but I’ll always remind myself that if you have an idea, don’t let anyone stop you.
These five tips have helped me be creative and keep an open and healthy mindset during the pandemic, no matter the limitations I faced. Remember, everyone started on level one, but don’t forget to ask yourself what level you want to reach.