Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

First day of training = Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow ...Ow

Everything hurt when I tried to get out of bed this morning. My back, shoulders, arms, thighs and calves. It was 6:30 in the morning, and my alarm kept saying "Wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up" in it's monotone g#. I thought I heard it raining, but that was just our old ass heater in the living room. Its like a fireplace, but easier to light. That was the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning. That, and the realization that if it wasn't yet raining, it would be soon, and I have always loved being out in the rain in the morning, when the light is already it's morning-silver color, in addition to the iron clouds and the calming electric feeling to the air, though we sadly never have lightning storms out here.

Yesterday was my first day training for parkour. It was many levels of wet and pouring. In my most vivid memory of the day, I am standing on the top of the back-rest of a dark green, shiny and wet bench. I am standing up strait, water pouring down on my and everywhere, most notably my face. I'm looking through this curtain of water at at little towel placed on the chain-link fence, about a meter or two away on the x axis, and a bit further up than I was tall though I don't remember how much. I was staring at that towel. Finally I jumped, grabbing the towel, my feet bouncing against the fence and I dropped safely down. I knew I could do it, the whole time. I got up onto that bench maybe ten times, psyching my self out though I knew I could do it. It looked easy. Maybe I'd even done something like it before.

I must have trained hard, or else I wouldn't be feeling it today, but it wasn't as intense as it had been for me on the wrestling team. I used to break down and cry, silently, while trying to do the 25th push up for the 8th time. I think part of it was the criticism of the guys on the team, and part of it was that since it was a team, they viewed my weakness as their problem. They wouldn't let me stop wresting or whatever and get water unless we were all having a water break. It was kind of awful that way. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, and it was wonderful for all I became because of it. I love to wrestle still, and I miss being on a team. My point was that training for parkour was signifigantly more relaxed. If I wanted to stop, I just stopped, maybe stood there a minute, and then decided I didn't have anything better to do than keep trying. If I wanted water, I got it, and no one yelled at me, and I didn't have to do laps. This is basically the only serious physical excersize I've had (Other than dancing and riding my bike) that didn't involve some one pushing me more than I wanted to be pushed.

It felt as if I wasn't working that hard, even. I didn't start breathing hard or anything, like with running or maybe biking up a hill, so I was surprised when I still hurt today. But upon thinking about it, we did a lot of jumping, and trying to hoist ourselves up walls, and jumping while holding on to this railing, trying to make it so our bodies are perpendicular to ... the normal.... parellell to the earths surface. I'm sure that works a helluva lot of muscles.

I also really liked all the people I met. I had some really interesting conversations. So not only am I getting good exercise, and learning something awesome, I am getting intelectual stimulation, which is something I miss, as I am not in school right now. I mean, I didn't get much in highschool either. But, there is just a wealth of quite interesting and intelligent people doing parkour here. I'm really happy about that.

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Comment by Philosofist on December 27, 2008 at 8:06am
Alright first thing is first, excellent post, the emphasis on highlighting yourself within the team is not often brought up. Although in parkour we still have a community, the foundation doesn not lie there, but in the individial tracuers and tracuesses, which makes the integrity of this discipline much different from basketball, football, wrestling, etc. And second, devote 30-60 minutes of good stretching after long training, it will significantly reduce soreness if not rid you of it. Great to see such good insight on parkour. ^^
Comment by Bio on December 16, 2008 at 9:33pm
Parkour: It hurts so good.

Good meeting you too Mackenzie. If any of us calls you a communist, I promise that we mean it in the nicest possible way.
Comment by Pyromatic on December 16, 2008 at 5:39pm
I remember the first day after I trained. My entire body hurt and I could barely make it out of bed. good times.
Comment by orem on December 16, 2008 at 3:12pm
Almost everyone's sore for a week after their first day (that is, if it was a good first day ;), think of it as a right of passage. You'll begin to recover faster and faster and find out you can push yourself even further than you ever thought you'd be able to. Pk's a pretty awesome full body workout, even your finger and toe muscles count. Good luck with your training and I hope to train with you soon!
Comment by hillexallen on December 16, 2008 at 9:33am
You know you were working hard if you're sore in the morning! Very good!
Comment by Si Clare on December 16, 2008 at 8:59am
lord, girl - here i thought it was just me! it's tuesday now and i still can't go down stairs properly. i feel like a wuss, but i'm still glowing inside from the joy of playing and learning as we did. it's totally worth all the pain; my only regret about my slow recovery is that i haven't been able to practice what we learned! yesterday i practiced jumping... but only up and down off of curbs. *laugh* (laughing hurts too - thanks, core muscles!)

i agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote about meeting neat people; and i'm so pleased that you were one of the ones i met. love you! heal swiftly and i'll see you soon!
Comment by SafeNSure on December 16, 2008 at 8:16am
...thanks Mackenzie.

The oldest among us (excuse me? In terms of seniority! Lol...) know all that already; they have been there... done that; they remember doing what you you did, and thinking the way you thought...
Hell! Sometimes I still think like that, and do things -a tight little harder- that brings me back to be an absolute beginner again...

But, as Louis Armstrong goes, that "Ol' Feelin'..." sometimes fades away.
Instead, thanks to your post Mackenzie, I discovered "that old feeling is still in my heart"...
=)

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