Human-Hero In Training

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Whatever words I can conjure up are going to fall short in describing how much I love you. You gave me life. You kept me safe. You watched me grow. You filled me with strength and let me go, into the world. . . I take with me a sensitivity that cleans my spirit. Empathy that has the power to lift others. A creativity that guides my life and gives me purpose. The will to never give up no matter how much it hurts. And the reminder that love is like the flowers, water it and it will grow. . . What I take with me, comes from you. So much of me, is you. I will be many things in this lifetime, I am most proud to be your son. Thank you momma I love you #mothersday #everydayismothersday #thanksmom
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Representing Brooklyn and channeling my inner cowboy (I’ve been playing a lot of the new Red Dead Revolver)! ️ It’s been heavy here on Instagram #humanheroes. We are sharing our stories as authentically as we dare. We are collectively bringing awareness to mental health and mental illness as a unified truth of what it means to be human. This is good. This is progress. This is movement. ️ I’m no stranger to posting a lot of personal stuff on here. I’m a story teller. The challenge is deciding what is too much. What is ‘too personal.? Will my words or stories negatively impact someone else’s day, or life? Authenticity shows up through everything we do. ️ Let’s lighten it up #humanheroes! I wanna know what video games you guys are playing! What’s your favorite? What was the last video game you played? Got any suggestions? Let’s move and play in the other end of the spectrum where it’s sunny and bright and life is good. It’s gotta be hard sometimes, to remind us, to appreciate life when its fucking great. ️ #movementformental #keepmoving #getoutside #movebecauseyoucan
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“The evening bell, solemn and bronze in the grandfather temple down the hill. Sounds dimly here. Slow beat of the mountains heart, perhaps, or determined pulse of pine tree(gift of birds) Growing out of a crotch of a slippery monkey tree. All one, perhaps— bell, mountain, tree and steady cicada vibratto and little white dog And quiet artist-priest, carver of Noh masks, Fashioning a bamboo crutch for the ancient peach tree— symbol of strength, symbol of concern. All cool under nodding crowns of the vertical forest. All seeking in this place, all finding in this place— hidden yet open to all— the spirit in the cedars heart. “ ‘Summer’ Sai sho-in Nanjenzi Temple - Kyoto Happy Earth Day #humanheroes. What are you doing to be of service to the great Green Kingdom? #natureisqueen #natureisking
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🖤️🧡 (I hoped there was a ninja emoji ) @teamlab.planets #liveincolor #ninja #yogi #yogisofinstagram
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Exploring Itsukushima aka Miyajima was one of the many highlights of my trip. Sooo many highlights. I took a ferry from Miyamaguchi towards the famous orange tori gate that seemingly floats on the water. . There were so many people that I opted to visit some local temples first and then hike up Mount Misen which had an incredible view of Hiroshima Bay. The whole island is home to hundreds, maybe thousands, of deer (shika) much like Nara. . 🦌 After the hike I was still overflowing with #goodvibes so I decided to get a flow in before running down the other side of the mountain. I didn’t notice how close I was to the edge until after filming. Sorry Mom. I love you. . I’m actually back home in New York with HeroFlow back on tomorrow. (Link in bio). The trip is going to continue through the content I’ve yet to share and I’m writing up a long blog post also about the entire trip. Thank you #humanheroes for joining me on the journey and I’m soooo excited to share more and more with you. This trip changed everything. #gratitude #japantrip #mountmisen #yogaflow #hiroshima #thehumanexperience #theobrama
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Self-care feel challenging for anyone else out there? While on this trip I’ve been staying in two different kinds of spots: super cheap capsule hotels/hostels and expensive traditional Japanese style hotels called ryokans. Traveling solo gives me the freedom to move around the country in this way and it’s worked out so well. I can hike my face off one day and relax in a bathtub that evening. Clothing is not allowed, at all, which helps remove this stigma surrounding being naked around other people. Plus! most ryokans include breakfast and dinner which have all been incredible especially after a long day of travel. They pace everything out perfectly so you leave the table feeling just right. ️ Self-care can be hard for a lot of us because we might feel selfish or undeserving. How we treat ourselves is a reflection of how we treat others. And! The way we treat ourselves is the ‘manual’ others will use when deciding how to treat us. Set good examples for how you want to be treated by caring for yourself holistically. Find that #herofuel that recharges you (like taking a bath) and steer clear of that which depletes you. Sounds simple but it can take time to determine those opposite ends of the spectrum. The more respect you give to your body, mind, and spirit the more others will as well. Tag a friend who could benefit from a little more #selfcare #japanese #ryokan #onsen #recharge #selfcaresunday #humanheroes
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“It doesn’t come easy, that clear line of distinction. You have to suffer to find it because how else would you know the difference? How could something feel so good without bitter afterthoughts when it fades. ️ I promise, in time, it will come. The veil will be lifted. All the thrown stones will bounce off like pebbles. You will forgive what was unforgivable. Any attacks will prove futile because there will be no ammunition provided. ️ You will have stopped confusing pain for love because you will have known both. Now that you’ve known both, you will fear neither. And when you fear neither, you are unstoppable.” #keepmoving #nofear #trusttheprocess #humanheroes #gratefulforitall
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Keepin’ it classy on the road. #mycalvins #calvinklein #humpdayhumor #selfie
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Travel is like living a whole life, condensed, into a short amount of time. A few days, a week, maybe a month. The stories and situations I thought I had all figured out have become exposed throughout this incredible journey I am currently on. I see and feel things that I couldn’t see or feel before. I process them. I release them. I feel at ease and I move forward. ️ And I’ve been moving a lot... so far I’ve been through 10 cities in 10 days. Whoa. Wow. Really? Yeah, that’s accurate. I’ll start my day in one city, travel to another, and then finish in the third. I want to see, taste, touch, smell, hear, feel as much of this land as I can, and I’m grateful for every moment... including this quick flow I got in with my new @rhone shorts before Kojima-San told me it was time to check out. My feet hit the ceiling in my handstand.🤣#tallpeopleproblems #im oteventhatttall #lifeisthejourney #ryokan #fuzukumiro #hakone #nippon
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The Japanese point to their heart, or put their hand over their heart, when they refer to the mind. There is no reference to the head at all. When I first got here, I fought that idea. It didn’t make sense to me, that the mind could reside in the heart. ️ I realized all the good decisions I’ve made, all the good things Ive done or accomplished, have come from my heart. I use my head to put the pieces together - to form the sentences, measure out the lines, do the math and get from here to there - but the words I choose and the marks that move along the cream colored paper, they come from the heart. I came here to reach new levels of control over my mind. What I’m getting is a fuller, wiser, kinder heart. ️The shapes and symbols I see here have been showing up since childhood whether by coincidence of my own design. Spirals, circles, lions and dragons- these talismans are part of the Japanese culture and extend their power throughout the country. ️I’m not even half way through my journey here and I’m already feeling more connected to this place than anywhere else. Why would one not pray to the sun (taiyo), and water(mizu), earth (chikyu), fire (hi), and air (kaze)? I had my own ideas of what Buddhism was about and how to practice. ️My friend Kinya Sakamoto put it as simply as anyone could ever understand - Buddhism is about helping people. Eveything comes from something and all the beliefs I have, all the imagery and inspiration that originates in my heart, I find it everywhere I look, I feel it eveywhere I go. ️What that means for the future? I’m still figuring that part out. For now, I’ll continue to be a sponge experiencing everything I can, for as long as I can. #shingon #buddhism #japan #exploretocreate #humanheroes
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“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” R.W.E . . Familiar flavors. New memories. And a whale shark spotting! life is good #thankyou
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I have sooo much to share.... Beach. Diving. Whale shark! 🦈 Tokyo! Hokusai. Omikase! Nikko. Temples. Nature. Speaking with trees and spirits. But now, I’ve gotta get to bed. Tomorrow I visit the Ghibli Museum. Let’s just say I’m in my element. Sooo much good is coming from this journey #humanheroes. I’m looking forward to sharing more and more with you all!
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There is something about traveling that allows you to see and accept things as they are not as we think they should be. The clouds of modern life tend to spread us further apart instead of connect us. All the experiences you’ve been through have brought you to where you are and there is no better place for you. Don Miguel Ruiz calls it the mitote, or the fog that blocks us from seeing ourselves as we really are - beings of light that are connected to all and exclude none. ️ This trip is bringing all of this to the forefront of my awareness. Everything that at the time felt confusing and painful was a gift so I may better remove the walls that separate me from you. So I may better understand how my words and actions effect those around me while at the same time understand that not everyone is going to get me, like me, or understand what #humanhero is about. The space between the words, the journey between. I think that’s what life is really about, removing the layers of separation. ️ Please, do what you need to do on your devices and then put it away. Put down your phone for a day, a week, maybe even a month and explore. Go somewhere you’ve never been, somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. There is so much to be found in silence and new experience. The massive moments of growth we experience as human beings don’t come from school, articles, degrees, or even books. They happen with our heads up and our hearts open. ️ A friend recently posted something that unfortunately felt very true. “Remember when we used to say “BRB” all the time when we were online? We don’t say it anymore. We no longer leave. We live here now.” What is it that you’ve been putting off by burying yourself in your phone? What books have you been dying to read? Where have you always wanted to go? Who do you think about often and wonder how they are doing? Take risks! Be bold! Forgive often. Love the process. Keep moving! @bababeachclub
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I’m in a fancy, gold, honeycomb patterned private van driving me from my incredible stay at the @bababeachclub. I just finished meditating from a comfy cushioned seat. The sweet smell of Thailand filled the space around me. I thought to myself “I’m so lucky to be able to do this.” To travel. To dive. To go to Japan for a month. I’m so fucking lucky. ️ I was overwhelmed with gratitude but it wasn’t a happy feeling. I wasn’t smiling. Tears weren’t welling up in my eyes as they tend to do when I’m washed with blessings. ️ I felt undeserving. I felt like a fraud. I felt like I was being irresponsible for being here. Then I felt a strong sense of obligation to the people that I love and that love and support me. Family, friends, and all the human beings that have been part of my journey so far. The underserving feeling started to fade away and the gratitude took over again, gratitude for it all. ️ For the Bluetooth earphones in my ear holes. For the green kingdom and the red/brown earth that frames my vision. For this happy man driving me to my next destination. For everything that came before, and everything that comes next. ️ When you have faith, it’s much easier to move forward. For even the moments of doubt will one day become the missing pieces you were looking for. We are only here for so long and there is so much to see and experience. To feel undeserving of all the good in your life pulls you out of that good. Give yourself a few minutes of silence. A few minutes of just Being and the smile will follow. It always does. ️#gratitude #yoga #keepmoving #humanheroes #movementformentalhealth
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The journey to Japan has begun! I left New York around 6pm on Sunday and landed in Tokyo at 10pm the following day, Monday. From there, I hopped on another flight at midnight that put me in Bangkok around 7am on the 5th, followed by one more flight to Phuket. ️ As soon as I stepped off the plane in Bangkok I was hit by that hot, humid, sweet smell that is native to Thailand. This place is very special to me and full of memories. Its my third time being here, my second time on my own. That familiar scent hugged me like an old friend almost saying welcome back, where have you been? That welcome continued when I arrived at the @bababeachclub , this amazing resort I’ll be staying at for the next few days. ️ A lot of you have been asking me what it’s like to travel on my own. Sometimes, its amazing! Sometimes, like when I first arrived here, it was hard. The last time I was in Phuket, I was with a partner so a lot of memories were stirred up as I looked out over the sea. The last time I was here we dove and afterwards I stayed to film and train Muay Thai. I realize now how lucky I was to have a partner that enjoyed travel as much as I do and trusted me enough to stay here and film. After a few years, I’m finally getting a trailer together with the help of #humanhero @pmarra. I’m excited to share it with you #humanheroes soon! ️ This resort is definitely made for couples ...but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by a solo traveler. I think this can apply to anywhere. I made a last minute to decision to bring my spirit animal cards with me for some added insight and on the flight over I pulled the dragon card. The represents courageous, visionary, awakened energy. “It’s almost as if we are traveling with a great friend inside of ourselves. Transformation is being breathed into every cell of your body.” (Continued....)
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I had this big realization yesterday on the subway about what ‘human-hero’ really means. It is not the words, or even the ideas, that hold the meaning so much as the ( - ) in the middle. The space between the language. The movement across this little line of time that we are all given. That connecting thread that unites both but touches neither is where we want to balance. ️ I’ve been sharing all these stories the last few weeks. I thought I’d be able to get through more of them but I stopped at my first trip to Thailand back in 2013. Since then, I’ve traveled to South East Asia two more times, along with Hawaii, Norway, Mexico, and all over the US. Prior to all of these trips, I had my first experience with another kind of journey - falling in and out of love. ️ I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be on one end of the spectrum or the other. I see now all of that was part of the in-between. This trip is very much about honoring the artist, mover, and man I want to be while also saying goodbye to a previous life that I’m as grateful for now as when this photo was taken. I’m ready to write new stories. So to end this chapter, the only words that really matter are Thank You #movementformentalhealth #keepmoving #humanheroes #lifeisthejourney
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“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Maya Angelou ️ I’ve been calling myself a writer a lot lately I think because I’m starting to believe it. The challenge of any writer is in the choosing of their words. I move my body to find clarity in my mind. I sit down to write. I close my eyes. I let my breath spark my intuition and seek balance between ‘not enough’ and ‘too much’ truth. It’s a fine line for any creative, and in today’s world, that’s all of us #humanheroes ️ I’ve been naive in believing that everyone out there wants the best for us. The truth is that some people want to hurt you. ️ Even with the best of intentions and words of kindness, sometimes, people simply can’t hear you. No matter what you say, how you say it, or most importantly why you say it - they don’t care. People you once knew, become strangers. And sometimes, those strangers become shadows and no amount of light can change that. ️ It’s hard not to take this personally. It’s hard not to want to fix things or ‘make it right.’ But you can’t because you’re speaking to shadow. This is not a reflection of who you are, or where you’re at along your journey. This is reflection of who they are and where they’re at. There can be a sense of responsibility to do what feels right, and sometimes what feels like the right thing to do, or even the kind thing to do, will be distorted and skewed. You have no control over that. What you do have control over is how you direct your energy. Shine your light elsewhere. #keepmoving #humanhero #movementformentalhealth #movementculture #quoteoftheday @dimaphotography
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must move . . be back tomorrow . . #movementformentalhealth #priorities #rituals #prayer #humanhero
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️Never forget where you come from. ️ Thats what this photo makes me think about - where I came from. Where I’ve been. All the cool a$$ sht I’ve done. This story time with you all has reminded me of that. I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for that. ️Japan is right around the corner and I’m not ready. Not yet. There are some last minutes things to do and today Mother Nature reminded me who’s boss. The windstorm last night brought a tree branch crashing down onto my car. No one was hurt and that’s really all the matters. ️Question for you #humanheroes. Ever have those crazy, unexplainable things happen right before a big trip, a new job, or any other life-changing moments that you’ve been prepping for your whole life? It feels like those gifts we all receive from the universe but in reverse. “How bad do you really want this? How much does it mean to you?” ️ If I’m going to challenge what it means to be a human being. If I’m going to challenge what being a hero means. Then its only fair that I’m challenged even further. Feeling the challenge #humanheroes, feeling it. So instead of continuing on with these words, I’m going to share this ️ Liono photo @byronlkeulemans shot in South Africa and then get my ass into a yoga class. So much to love you all. You help me #keepmoving. More challenges?? Bring em on!
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️The first two photos still make my heart swell. I was traveling through Cambodia with a travel buddy I’d met on the plane. Somehow, we became the ‘guests of honor’ at a wedding, including our tuk tuk driver. People were toasting me like crazy as I guzzled warm beer. I got buzzed preetttty quickly. There was dancing. There was singing. There was food. It was incredible but the most incredible thing was playing with these kids. ️The little guy in the blue shirt was chasing me around the entire wedding. We played an extended game of tag for hours. I remember tickling him, both of us kicking up clouds of dirt, while the people who I assume where his parents watched with a smile. When it was time to go, he chased our tuk tuk all the way down the dusty road waving and smiling. I think about this moment a lot and it always makes me cry. Like right now. ️I met the family in the next photo on the beach in Koh Tao, where I first learned to dive. They were Swedish I believe? I was mesmerized by their…. Love. The couple pushed their son back and forth on a giant swing while the sun set behind them and the tide receded. ️The group of kids in the next photo I met in Vietnam, outside of a small beach town called Mui Ne. One thing, of many, that I found interesting in Vietnam was that all the women and girls were covered. It was 90+ degrees some days but everyone was wearing hats, scarves, and gloves to protect themselves form the sun. Ironic that most white people, myself included, think tan skin is sexy. Here it was the opposite, their skin like porcelain. ️The hotel I stayed at in Hanoi was staffed by a lot of young people - some my age or younger. One night they invited me to join them for dinner in the lobby. The food was sooo fresh and I felt very blessed to be treated with such kindness in a country that America imposed its will upon in a lot of ways. Rarely, I experienced some resentment but it warmed away by the love in experienced with the rest of the Vietnam.
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️The summer of 2013 began with a trip that would change my life forever. I’d remember hearing incredible things about south east Asia from friends and co-workers. One of my favorite people and photographers Gabe shared his intinerary with me - waterfalls, temples, rolling mountains, street food, and some of the kindest people on the planet. Culture can’t exist without the people. New York is what it is because of the level of diversity that exists nowhere else. Living and working here, and even in LA, I had a very rigid view of what the rest of the world was like. Europe was different but only so much. The people above would teach me that happiness does not come from money, or material things - but from love, connection, and experience. This story is about them, in order of appearance. ️I found this first munchkin while hiking through Sapa Vietnam. There is another post I put up a few months ago describing the Hmong - a nomadic people that live throughout south East Asia and other parts of the world. I asked this little one’s mother if I could pick her up and carry hear around the small village. Once she was up there she didn’t want to come down. She also insisted on sticking her fingers in either my mouth or hers pretty much the entire time we were together. ️The Hmong woman in the second photo, and the two girls, hiked with us for hours. The woman is holding a little horse she made for me out of a fern. She folded this thing together in like 30 seconds. All the women and children that accompanied us were talented artists, often walking for hours, every day, to sell their wares. I signed up for a homestay - we would walk down through a beautiful valley of rice fields, cross a small river, and hike up the other side to stay with a family for the night. Somewhere along the journey I managed to rip a small hole in my dri-fit pants. When we stopped for lunch this woman kept asking me “give me your pants.” uh…. Excuse me? I thought I wasn’t hearing her correctly. “Give me your pants.” She kept repeating over and over, until she finally pointed at the hole and then mimed sewing them up. She sewed them up for me in 5 minutes…. I think I still have them.
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I lived in Koreatown but I really LIVED on the beach or in the sky - like a seagull. Movement has always been where I find peace. Eventually though you gotta supplement the physical practice with something that grounds you. I couldn’t fly all the time. But here, it was hard not to. LA was a playground for me. . Outwardly I was soaring - but internally I was seeking. I was moving constantly and my body was stronger than ever. I wanted to be those characters that inspired me as a kid - I wanted to look like them, move like them, pretend to be them without giving much thought to what it actually meant to be a hero. (Continued...) @wadleywadley
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In 2012, I bought a car, packed up the few material belongings I had, and drove cross country towards the ️ with friend Krystal. I’ve been chasing the ️ ever since (hence the squint). I lived between two separate households growing up, both parents moving often. Home always felt like transitory thing. Perhaps this is why its so hard for me to be in one place for too long, or to commit to a relationship or project. The in between - the moments in the middle of action and response - travel draws those moments out into an experience. Being in the car for long periods of time brings me peace. It literally is a moving meditation. . We started the trip in South Jersey and headed down to Nashville. (Hold on while I check a map) From there we made our way over and up into Arkansas where we stayed on a ranch of a client I had previously worked with. That night, as we were nearing the ranch, Kelly (the owner) mentioned if we hit the river we had gone too far and missed the turnoff. This was the first test Abilene ever got(my car got her name in Texas). Its was late and we were so eager to arrive that we zoomed down the rocky hill right into the water. Luckily my car managed to get us out and back up the hill. The next morning, a young couple that looked over ranch took us by horseback across the property - a valley that dipped down between two green mountains. What made this place so beautiful was its seclusion. There is soooo much space in the middle of the United States. From there, we began the long journey through Texas. Land……….. and road……. and land….. . The highlight was making it to White Sands New Mexico - these giant white dunes that transported you to the moon. We met a few guys and I pulled out my frisbee, along with my camera to grab a few shots of this amazing place. We continued on to Albuequre, which was full of character because of all the art. I bought a few things there, including the Blue Lady that we would serve as the ‘protector’ of my future home in LA. (Continued ️)
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There is no better place to live in the summer than New York. Frisbee in the park, riding around the city on my bike, drinking and eating outside with friends…. there really is no place like New York. It felt like an upgrade from Philly - more diversity, more opportunity, and more energy. I was thriving here even if I was running on autopilot. Basically my job was to stay in shape so every moment was an excuse to move. I had very little responsibility so I thought….. what’s next? . . Acting began to take a hold of me. It was my non-major in college alongside my printmaking degree. Writing these stories reminds me that I’ve always sought direction from others. I didn’t have an authority figure telling me what to do or which direction to head in life as a boy. Rewind back to the beginning of my modeling career which really began because people told me that I could, or should, not necessarily because I wanted to. I was drawn to the challenge of it. Could I transform the way I viewed myself inside, introverted, artistic, and out of shape, into this person that other people seemed to see - a model that would be paid to advertise their brand. I liked the challenge. The same applied to acting. I didn’t know it now, but the move to LA was right around the corner. . . One of my first major jobs was shooting a running campaign for @nike. During the shoot, I met one of my best friends @victorross2 . He was asleep in the RV when I got to set apparently from being up all night. Our job was to chase a makeshift rig shaw across the Brooklyn Bridge as the photographer snapped photos form the back of the speedy cart. Lots of sprinting. I remember the photographer saying “Ok, Victor let’s go!” He shot up from slumber, sprinted a few 100 meters at a time, and then went back to sleep like it was nothing. I was impressed and we became fast friends.... (continued in comments)
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I had another roommate while I was living in New York…. Ahji. Before there was YaYa, there was Leia. Before there was Leia, there was Ahji, a slippery jindo puppy that Yvonne adopted. We bonded quickly over a walk. Ahji was an anxious pup at first, he’d always be looking over his shoulder to see if you were still with him, or maybe spooked that he was being followed. One morning, one of our neighbors walked over to meet us at his gate. This was a big guy - sleeveless undershirt, hairy, greasy, and it was really hot outside.. He was making those dog/baby sounds that humans make and lurched forward to pet Ahji. Like an eel in a bucket, Ahji inverted to avoid his big ol fingers.#. . I politely kept my laughter inside but as we walked to away, I said to Ahji ‘I wouldn’t want to be grabbed by that guy either.’ YOU DON’T REACH OUT AND GRAB STRANGE DOGS PEOPLE. Especially when they are as badass as Jindos. We’d wrestle on the ground a lot. The more aggressive I got, the more aggressive. We would challenge each other and sometimes he’d gnaw a little too hard, or maybe I’d leg lock him a little too tight. I was able to calm him down. I’d reel him back in, away from his animal instincts, and sometimes he’d do the same for me . Dogs teach me lessons in kindness in ways human’s can not. They are there no matter what - they just want you to be around you, and love you, for you. They don’t hold grudges. There is no ego. They are masters of forgiveness (sometimes to a fault.) It’s pure energy. Every movement, each rise and fall of your voice, dogs see it and feel it. All of it. So be kind. Want to get a good grasp on someone’s level of kindness? Pay attention to how they engage with animals. And also, pay attention to how your dog welcomes new humans into your world. . An old story goes… A Korean cargo boat was at sea, transporting a rare Siberian tiger. The crew was getting desperate as they were running out of food for their precious cargo. They decided to throw in few members of their crew - three Jindo dogs. When the sailors returned later to check on the tiger, they found it dead, with the three Jindo’s sitting patiently by its side.
Паркер Хёпли в Instagram - фото
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Things were really starting to pick up in 2010. I was working with big companies like Dockers, Bonobos, Nike - I was traveling all over the country, shooting in places like Death Valley and amazing homes in LA and Malibu. I was getting ready to make my way to over to Paris and Milan to really earn my stripes as a male model. . . I was prepared for Paris since I’d been there before but Milan was a different story. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of male models all trying to book a show or simply be seen by these fashion designers. I remember at the Armani… compound(I don’t know what else to call it) they opened these massive gates and all the male models flooded in like cattle. We slowly snaked our way down into this dark basement that actually had a runway inside. It took about 2 hours to get in front of someone who would look you up and down for a total of 10, maybe 20 seconds and then send you on your way, giving you no clear idea as to whether or not they were interested. . . There was a lot of pressure and a lot of rejection. I remember waiting for hours to get in front of people who took one look at me and said: “you’re too big.” Can you imagine being in Italy, surrounded by some of the most delicious pizza and gelato in the world, and not eat any of it? My roommate Sam and I would occasionally treat ourselves but without a gym, I was limited in my options for training. The gym was like church - its where I worked through everything- physically, emotionally, spiritually(as much as I understood spirit at the time.) Without it, I was a bit lost.... (continued)
Паркер Хёпли в Instagram - фото
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When I was 15 years old, I was waking up in the morning with these insane migraines. I’d roll out of bed, start to make my way to the bathroom, and either black out, my vision collapsing in on itself, or I’d make it to the bathroom and throw up. I didn’t know what was going on. My mom, who’s a doctor, couldn’t figure it out so I ended up going to see a neurologist. They took a MRI of my brain and we learned I had Arnold Chiari Malformation - part of my brain tissue extended into my spinal canal creating pressure that would cause these issues. I had surgery a few months, where they drilled away a section of my skull to create room for my brain to rest. . All of my tattoos tell a story, and as I share these stories with you, I’m being reminded how much Japanese culture has influenced me as an artist. Towards the end of college, I decided to get my spine tattooed, beginning on my scar at the base of my skull and making its way down to my sacrum. I have always worked with circles - visually and also physically with my movement practice. . The first photo is from one of my first runway shows, right before I moved to New York. A photographer surprised me with her camera and asked me a few questions about the circles running down my back. I told her these two stories below… . One of my favorite teachers has us drawing circles on newsprint for days. We had to work with our whole arm, extending from the shoulder all the way onto the page. One day, I was so frustrated that I asked Professor Dupree, ‘mannn, are we ever going to move on.” He came over and asked to see my circle. It was aight. He pulled his pencil from behind his ear and BAM! He asked me to measure it with a protractor. It was nearly perfect. He was teaching me about discipline. . I came across the Ensō circle during my Arts and History of Japan class at UArts. The definition of Ensō is as unique as the artist that creates it. It symbolizes strength, grace, balance and acceptance of imperfection as perfect. A zen saying goes “Do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.” Aka do not mistake the teaching of enlightenment for enlightenment itself. (continued below..)
Паркер Хёпли в Instagram - фото
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2009 into 2010, I was commuting from Philadelphia to New York almost every day. I would wake up around 5am, get a workout in, and then hop on the MegaBus from one city to the other. Often time was so tight that I would change from my gym gear into proper ‘model wear’ for castings in a Starbucks bathroom. I’d usually head into my agency to get my castings for the day and then run all over the city meeting clients, sometimes doing test shoots with photographers. Sometimes I would crash on couches or floors because I had early castings the following day. . . And then this happened ^^^ and the grind got a little easier. Tony Duran requested to shoot me very early in my career, something I’m still very grateful for. All of the above, the traveling, long days, sometimes not getting enough food or even denying myself food to fulfill the requirements of the industry - all of that was work. Work that I did for about a year and a half before making any money, grinding. All of that was tough but shooting with Tony nearly made me say ‘fuck it all.’ . . Remember in the Dark Knight, when Harvey Dent says “ The night is always darkest just before the dawn?” Yeah, that’s how this felt. Tony was shooting people like Brad Pitt so I was already intimidated. I flew out there to test with him and be part of a photo-shoot to promote these insanely expensive watches, shooting with seasoned models that made me look like a chump. . . I’m a very sensitive guy and he could give a shit. He was doing me a favor, he didn’t need me there. I was so frustrated, I remember calling my mom earlier in the day saying I wanted to come home. (Momma’s boy). After him laying into me all day, around midnight he asked me ‘do you even want to do this?’ I was tired, and angry, and didn’t have anything left to say. . . He asked me ‘what do you think is sexy about you?’ I honestly drew a blank. I had transformed my body, but after the challenges of the day, in my mind, I was still the chub chub ‘fat friend’ back in south Jersey. He asked me again. ‘What do you think is sexy about you?” Again, I said I didn’t know. This time he yelled.... (continued in comments)
Паркер Хёпли в Instagram - фото
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This is the story about how I made my way into the modeling industry, and eventually moved to New York: . One night at the bar, a man approached me and asked my name. Nothing out of the ordinary there. He kept coming back though to ask me more questions. “How tall are you?” “What is your waist size?” “Do you know your inseam?” I was getting annoyed but answered anyway. What did I have to lose? I’m also really awful with sarcasm, he could have just been joking. I didn’t know and I was too busy to care. . At the end of the night, he approached me again and handed me his card. He informed that he was drunk, and probably wouldn’t remember any of this tomorrow, so I needed to email him and remind him where we met. I thanked him and we closed down for the night. . He turned out to be the men’s director for one of the biggest modeling agencies in New York. I didn’t know this at the time, and I was still in school. I thanked him and said that I’d like to continue to focus on my art but I appreciated his interest. . Fast forward to 6 months later, post Eurotrip, laying on the couch with my girlfriend at the time. We were watching one of those who wants to be a supermodel, or America’s next top model. I can’t remember which. I recognized one of the judges - it was the same man that had given me his card almost half a year ago at Pure. . Seeing this guy on television partnered with my new found courage from traveling, gave me the confidence to give modeling a shot. I took a few digitals and sent them out, along with an email that I copy and pasted from agency to agency. An agent at @red_models responded almost immediately and asked me to come to New York the following day. I got along with everyone at the agency and felt a kindred spirit in the owner, a big hearted man that always made time for the models. I was signed that day and began testing with photographers around the city. . These photos some of my first with @jeremykoststudio that had been lost in the ether so I apologize for the quality. Jeremey knew I was a fan of superheroes so he brought along an inflatable Hulk for me to use as a prop. (Props FTW when you have no idea WTF you’re doing.)
Паркер Хёпли в Instagram - фото
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By the time I came out of UArts in 2008, I had a degree under my belt, making bank bartending 3-4 nights a week, training clients at the gym, sharing my knowledge and new found love for strength training with the same friends I met at the bars, and I was creating like a madman. The nights I wasn’t bartending, I would work out of my studio apartment, sewing together stuffed monsters. My sleep schedule was so sporadic that I’d often stay up all night, faux fur, plastic eyeballs, and hot glue…. everywhere. Like a muppet horror movie. . . My previous junior and senior theses were three dimensional and interactive. First I made a giant pile of leaf pillows - I drew a bunch of leaves I found in Rittenhouse Park, printed them on fabric, and then sewed them together. I tossed them all in a pile in Hamilton Hall and encouraged people to JUMP in them. My next installation I bought a toy box, painted it and then filled it with random animals that I’d always wanted to see in an animal cracker box - something different from the norm, like baboons, hummingbirds, sharks, and porcupines. Then I drew this giant toddler on the wall, bending down to dig into the box, knocking over a giant glass of milk in the process. (Don’t cry over spilt milk). . . I was dating an amazing girl and decided it was time to take a trip - a big trip. The money I’d saved up got us two plane tickets, two train tickets, and took us all over Europe. London - Paris - Nice - Madrid - Barcelona - Rome - Sorrento - Croatia - Berlin - Munich - Switzerland - Brussels - Amersterdam. We explored the catacombs in Paris, visited Park Guell in Barcelona, did mushrooms in Amersterdam, and swam up and down the coast of Croatia. We visited platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame, had sex as quietly as we could in hostel showers, and I also had my first beer.(Yup, that is accurate, I wasn’t drinking at this point.) This trip opened me to the transformative power of travel - especially backpacking, moving from place to place, on a budget. (Continued in comments) @taghinaderzad #travelbug #hostellife #europe #eurotrip #backpacking #travelgram
Паркер Хёпли в Instagram - фото
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I had just started my fitness journey when I moved to Philadelphia for college. I was starting to see results from my training - physically and mentally. Movement, along with art, was quickly becoming a healthy outlet for me to work through trauma from my childhood. I use to self-harm a lot. Lifting heavy weights gave me the same relief minus the scars, plus a strong body. . . Art schools don’t typically have gyms or sports teams much to my dismay. I joined 12th street, the unofficial gym of UArts. It was full of super fit, super friendly, men. My school was located right next to the ‘gayborhood’- a collection of bars, clubs, and restaurants that proudly flew their rainbow flags and welcomed everybody. . . I think because of being raised pretty much exclusively by my mother I was open to all people. She was always an advocate for ‘do what makes you happy.’ I made friends quickly, including one of my best friends, @kevin.kreider. He was my first trainer. I told him I wanted to look like Ryan Reynolds in Blade Trinity (forget about Deadpool, y’all remember how ripped he was in that movie?!) Within a few months, my body had transformed. . . I eventually began working at the gym as a receptionist. A handful of members encouraged me to get a job at one of the bars in the neighborhood, enticing me with promises of ‘lots of money.’ I applied to Pure nightclub (@voyeurphilly) and got a job as a barback. I loved it - everything about it. I met people from all over the world, worked with amazing human beings, and basically got paid to work out, carrying boxes of alcohol and beer all night. . . At the end of a very long night, one of my dear friends and legendary bartender, Ricky Mac, asked me ‘Why don’t you ever work with your shirt off?” I asked him what incentive do I have to work with my shirt off (I got tipped out from the bartenders). “I’ll give you 40 bucks to finish cleaning with your shirt off.” (Continued below) #fitnessjourney #fitnessmotivation #fitnesslifestyle #movementformentalhealth
Паркер Хёпли в Instagram - фото
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This may be my first ’photoshoot’...ever. I was 19, maybe 20, studying printmaking at University of the Arts. I was interning with an artist named Alex DaCorte at the time, spending hours punching out holes from colored paper to be used later for murals. Somehow, he convinced me to throw on colored American Apparel briefs (remember those?) and do a photoshoot. I was nervous so props were helpful, especially this magical globe that would spark in me an insatiable wanderlust. . . Travel has always been one of my greatest teachers - exploring new lands, experiencing other cultures, getting lost in a world that is unfamiliar, is when I feel the most alive. When I’m completely immersed in a place I know very little about is when I’m at my best, because I have to be. It requires a heightened level of responsibility and presence that I often slip away from here amongst the comforts of modern life. . . . I’m prepping for what feels like the most important trip of my life - Japan. The beginning of March, I’m heading to the Land of the Rising Sun to immerse myself in a culture that has influenced me as an artist and a mover in so many aways. The Japanese artist Kitushika Hokusai is why I became a printmaker, and his work inspired one of my first tattoos. I actually start to shake as I’ve been researching this trip - I’m excited. . . . In preparation for my departure, I’m going to take you #humanheroes on a journey from this captured moment all the way up until I leave on the 3rd of March - covering all the places I’ve been blessed to explore/live. I’ve got so much content that I’ve never shared, along with so many stories, which is why I created an Instagram in the first place. So check back tomorrow for the next destination, and in the meantime tag someone who could use a vacation. #exploremore #exploretocreate #wanderlust #keepmoving #movementformentalhealth