As mentioned in the 'About Us' section of this website, Contendunt was originally conceptualised back in 2019 as a parkour brand that would have its place amongst the other big hitters within the industry.
Back then, I was 20 years old and I thought starting my own clothing business within parkour was a brilliant idea. I still think it is a brilliant idea.
In the last three years, a lot has changed. I have grown and changed as a person, and I would like to think that has helped the business grow into what it is today.
So, What's Up?
Earlier this year, I decided to shift Contendunt from a streetwear brand within parkour (A bad one at that) and change directions slightly. Now, Contendunt is a lifestyle parkour brand campaigning to raise awareness of mental health issues within lifestyle sports.
I sound like a broken record when I say this, but my mental health has always been fucking whack. The start of this year was the toughest of my life. I had the latest of what had been a numerous amount of mental breakdowns, only this time, it was far more severe than any had been before it.
I was in the worst place I have ever been in mentally, and I found finding help, opening up, talking to people, and suppressing these emotions to be not only immensely difficult, but also an extremely large vice that had a grip on my state of mind, only making things worse.
It was during this time that I took a bit of an audit of myself. I was 23 years old, in a job I absolutely hated, desperately clinging onto a dream of somehow making parkour 'a thing' for me.
I made a video back in June, that kind of explained my views on my current situation in parkour.
In this video, I explain how much creating parkour content again on YouTube helped me gain part of myself back. The video also explains how I always wanted to monetise my hobbies and interests, and how my goal, when I was younger, was to always be a professional athlete within the sport and to make money from doing that.
This video highlighted one key point for me. I couldn't attach myself to just one thing. And this is not just something I see about myself, but I see a lot of within the parkour community.
The problem when you attach your identity to what you do, is when you don't, you're not.
I can't help but notice that there seems to be a lot of a similar thought patterns within the sport. There is almost this unwritten mantra of 'live by parkour, die by parkour' - and not only is this far too intense, but it is also, very restrictive.
Don't get me wrong, three years ago, I was that guy who followed that mantra. I love this sport, and I love this community. I attended the Storror 'Big Wall Open' event over the weekend and I fucking loved every second of it. But when there is so much bigger, important shit going on, to think of parkour in any kind of important light, on its own as a primary focus, to me, just feels incredibly obnoxious.
From anything from the lower end of the spectrum (The controversies surrounding paid film releases), all the way to the more intense shit there is so much more important shit going on than just parkour.
Parkour is brilliant, and it's fucking sick, but at the same time, people are starving, people are dying. Trans athletes are being stopped from competing. Businesses are stopping athletes voicing their opinion to get them to compete. Our generation is the most depressed generation, we're more connected virtually than ever before, yet there's still feelings of isolation, loneliness, self-isolation. These issues are present within parkour, but are massive issues outside of the sport too. Parkour is fun, but if I was to focus on just parkour, it just doesn't feel like I would be providing anything of real value.
I just want to share something of value that can help other people.
That's why I have taken this step to trying to campaign and progress mental health discussion, not just in our sport, but in other lifestyle sports as well.
We all have mental health, and a lot of people have become victims to the internal struggles that they are struggling with.
This brand, Contendunt, for me, now far steps out of the realms of just being a parkour clothing brand. I just want to make something that uplifts other people. I want to support what other people are doing, because there's a lot of cool shit going on.
I know these problems seem very specific to me, and what other people who's jobs are working for themselves, creating content and running brands do, but I'm not just going to sit here, bury my head in the sand, when I can think of a new direction to go that would be a benefit to other people, whilst at the same time still being able to pay my rent and put food on the table.
When shit doesn't work, you have to change it up.
Reality isn't picturesque or palette-able all the time. But we want to think it is in order to make ourselves feel better.
So it's time to change it.