We’re social animals whose instincts value immensely social recognition. Being rejected from your nomadic hunter-gatherer group in the past essentially meant death, so evolution selected us to value social conformity.
Unfortunately, conformity in our modern western societies also means poor general health and poor physical and mental capabilities. So we have to become comfortable with being a bit outside of the norms, at least movement-wise.
Strategy 1: education
Yes, boring old education. It won’t do miracles but it will help tremendously. Ignorance is bliss, and once you’ve understood the urgency to get more physically active, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.
So education is key. You can start by reading some articles from our Fundamentals category as well as the recommended books in the Fundamentals category. In particular, Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman is both entertaining, accessible and eye-opening (as are all of her numerous books!).
It’s much easier to pay the cost of being socially awkward when the cost of social conformity is now much clearer.
Strategy 2: peer support
It’s not by chance that most Parkour practitioners do it in groups. Finding a support group, whose norms you can adopt and be comfortable with, is key.
It doesn’t have to be local to you. Technology has made it possible to get this human and social support globally. That’s one of the key benefits of social media.
Look at the Movement Inspiration page for a ton of examples of people moving outside or at home, in sometimes surprising ways. You can filter by ability level, age, situation, etc.
It’s a great way to get that social validation that we might not get to experience in everyday life!