I am an adrenaline junkie. I love skydiving, freediving, motocross. I want to learn to kite surf. But I can’t, I’m broke. Hell, I can’t even afford to hook up my tv so I can watch extreme sports! So, I started searching online for something exciting to do that is cheap, and google suggested freerunning or Parkour. I had never heard either term, but when I clicked on a youtube link I recognized it right away. If you own a pair of running shoes you can start immediately!
Watching the videos on youtube can be intimidating. These guys are strong, fearless and almost Cirque du Soleil agile. You don’t have to get up on any rooftops to learn the sport though. In fact, they suggest you start with basic running and jumping easy obstacles. Playgrounds are a good place to practice, especially the ones with the squishy surface, just not when it’s packed with kids!
You need to be in shape so another form of training is recommended. Some websites even have very specific calisthenics that you should be able to do. A friend of mine used to teach boot camp in a playground, and I imagine that could go hand in hand with freerunning. I wonder if my friends and I were already doing this as kids when we ran through the park, joyfully hitting all the workout stations with our own interpretations of the exercises, never slowing down to read the instructions. I always loved the series of leapfrog stumps, at least I think that’s what they were for!
Talented freerunners make it look effortless, but all great athletes do. Nobody shoots video of beginners looking like bambi on the ice, and it’s hard to admit we look that ridiculous when we start out. I hate being new at something and feeling insecure about my abilities. I know I’m good at certain things and I love to show off, so it kills me when there is a long learning curve on a new sport. That’s what’s so great about this one. Until you look like you are actually doing it, you can pretend to be doing something else. “No I’m not freerunning, I’m just out for a jog and that picnic table got in my way”. Makes perfect sense to me.
What appeals to me most about this sport, aside from it being free, is the simple joy it provides in just running and jumping. These days most of my running involves chasing a toddler, and I jump and lunge whenever I think she is about to fall on a stick and put her eye out. Yes, I’m sure that happens! Watching my baby run, that crazy, wobbly, arms up run, tickles my heart and makes me want to do the same thing when nobody is looking. I wish I was talented enough to turn handsprings and backflips and maybe I do have it in me to learn, but for now, it’s enough to run on the sand, turn a somersault on the grass, twirl until I’m dizzy and leapfrog over the little rocking horse at the park.
Sabrina Smith is an adrenaline junkie and avid sports fan who works as a soccer coach in the Nashville area. He is also an avid writer and often encourages his friends and associates to utilize grammar checkers to ensure quality, mistake-free writing. His life is made much easier by his trusty Nissan.