That’s how I would describe last weekend. You know how you can get a runner’s high? I think I had a parkour high!
Last Saturday morning, early, early early in the morning, to the point where I beat the sun up and out the door (which almost never happens), I drove up to Princeton University for the National Endurance Sports Summit. I attended on behalf of the RunGo App, as a RunGo Ambassador. I learned so many things, and met so many interesting people at NESS 2015. I can’t wait to share a more detailed write up about it!
I learned a ton about nutrition, motivation, and what it takes to be an endurance athlete. One of the coolest things I took away from the experience was learning about parkour, and actually taking a lesson in parkour out in the lawn in front of the Frist Campus Center. I’d never actually had in-person exposure to parkour. The limited exposure I had was a ridiculous scene in The Office, and seeing videos of crazy guys jumping and flipping over all kinds of stuff, teetering on the edge of injury.
After watching the video below during a fascinating discussion with Chris McDougall, I became inspired, and totally pumped for the parkour session. Chris told us all about natural movement, and how we can use basic human movement to improve our running and general fitness.
What really touched me was the declaration that women can be just as great as men at parkour. I mean, obviously I know that women rock at pretty much everything, but it was great to hear a fellow athlete admit it. One thing that was noted, however, is how reluctant women often are when it comes to giving parkour a try. I’m not going to lie: I was extremely apprehensive about trying parkour before watching that video. All of the videos I’d seen made it seem like it was just for reckless dudes, and I don’t consider myself a reckless person! Fortunately, Dr. Julie Angel got me (and several others) to let go of that reluctance and give it a whack.
|Dr. Julie Angel is in the foreground, and that’s me on the far left, feeling like a G.|
The group started by learning some basic parkour motions, such as jumping and landing. We then took it to this short wall, where we learned the basics of jumping up on walls, focusing on a silent landing, as well as getting comfortable with the concept. We then partnered up and focused on mirroring each other’s movements. Finally, we split up into two groups, where we got to test out our new skills on a series of walls and stairs, just in the very same area.
|Our playground for the afternoon, just in front of the Frist Campus Center. Notice the benches and walls!|
It was really tough, but so much fun! I felt like a warrior! I learned how to climb up taller walls, how to jump down off of a wall, and how to be creative with how I get up and down. What was crazy was that I didn’t notice any of the obstacles prior to our workout, but I started noticing so many things during and afterwards, just as Dr. Angel had told us we would!
When I got to work on Monday morning, I was super sore (DOMS is a mofo), but I also caught myself looking at the area outside of the parking garage, imagining how I could jump, climb, and spin over the various obstacles. I also got a chance to brag to my brothers and sisters in the hopes of earning some cool points. We all made the same joke about “hardcore parkour” from The Office, since it was one of the more ridiculous scenes in a show we used to watch together.
All in all, I was super excited about learning parkour. It was a great workout, and I learned a lot about how to control my body better. I cannot wait to give it a try somewhere in the D.C. area. Dr. Angel told me about this place called Primal Fitness, and mentioned that there may be an all-women’s parkour group that meets on a monthly basis. In the meantime, I can always take it to one of my local parks to hone my new skill. The possibilities are endless!
As I’ve said about a bazillion times, I’m so proud of myself for even trying parkour. It can be intimidating, but you will feel so amazing once you get moving!
Have you ever seen anyone do parkour? Would you ever give it a try? Have you ever talked yourself into trying something that may have scared you at first? What was the result?