Hello, it’s a pleasure to have you here. I am Mandy Lam and as the domain suggests, I live in Canada, in the city of Toronto. My drive to live takes on many forms but fundamentally comes from the process of discovery. In recent times, it manifests in my chosen craft of human movement.
Two years into architecture school, I discovered my love for projects. However my ability to draw and imagine in a sketchbook was evidently lacking as it composed almost exclusively of words. In my transition from architecture school, I leaned into my love of movement, heavily influenced by my practice in Parkour/art du deplacement (ADD). I was also teaching at the Monkey Vault Movement Training Facility at that time.
I completed a Bachelors in Kinesiology and Health Studies at York University and proceeded to work in a clinical setting as a Registered Kinesiologist. During this time, I was writing and receiving government grants to pursue different projects for community development, an example being Parkour Camp.
Since 2007, I have been practicing Parkour/ADD. My deep involvement with this art and community led me down different paths including climbing, martial arts, freediving, weightlifting, break dance and a desire to explore the world.
In September 2015, I moved to Montréal to pursue Parkour more intensely and attempt to learn French. My new life in that fabulous city was going extremely well.
I was riding my bike one evening to the Parkour facility, when I was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion (you can read more about this adventure in that link). I woke up in a hospital gown. After being told I had been conscious and unaware of who my boyfriend was at the time, my first thought was to check my spine’s ability to move. Spine ok, arms and legs, ok too. My very next task was to send a video message, in my hospital gown to a teacher at the Movement Camp, an event I had recently registered for, taking place in Thailand. I had a deep desire to express to her my excitement for the event and slight anxiousness to know if I would be healed in time to attend. Priorities, I know.
In July 2017, I left Canada to travel Europe, without a destination or knowing anyone personally there. “Let’s see how long I want to go for”, was my time frame. It turned into a year and four months and 16 countries and a podcast. I traveled where my curiosity told me to go. My intention was to return a different person, train a lot, learn to speak French and develop lasting friendships. I met my Italian family and frequently flew to meet with them. My friendship with Marcello, developed into a distant learning mentorship.
One project I set out to research was on fear, how to manage it and its necessity. Another project manifested as a consequence of the parkour communities that had taken me in with open arms and the inside knowledge I gathered on what makes these urban tribes grow strong or fall apart.
At the individual level, my approach to movement is based on an evidence-based practice as it is the most conducive path to a robust and long-term practice that will grow with us.
I desire to surround myself with individuals who are in this game for the long run.
Will you join me?