On what’s been lost in the current parkour media

Steve: So, what I would say to that is there has been a sort of counter culture to the hyper-polished runs and only movements that you find perfect with the rise of the dailies like Jamey Davidson when he started those 365 challenge or even just a month-long challenge where he was just his movements. I think originally, the idea behind it was good because it just shows a day in the life of a traceur. It shows not the banger challenges, not the crazy challenges that you put in a compilation video or submit to whatever casting agency to show that you can do these crazy things.

Steve: It shows today I worked on rail flow. Today I did one side flip. Today, I did a handstand. Today, I did conditioning, and I think that stuff’s super cool. To your point, though, I think that what’s happened is people got used to the idea of seeing parkour content every day. What I see from some of my peers, to some of my friends that are high-level athletes is they’ll have one good training session and they’ll film 10 different challenges that are all crazy. Then, they’ll say, “We’ll have content for the next two weeks,” because I have one post every five days or a post every day for five days for two weeks. I don’t know if that’s really what the idea behind that challenge was and I think it’s kind of distorted the way that people consume parkour content. They’re used to seeing more and more content every day. Now, they only want to see the biggest and baddest and best tricks every day.

Craig: Yeah. It doesn’t just change the way they consume parkour content. It may actually change the way they consume parkour because the parkour is this amorphous thing that I can’t actually find it. It’s just, it’s the thing that I create through my actions so changing what I am expecting to see also changes what I am expecting to move, what I am expecting to encounter.

Steve: Yeah. It’s tricky because I started parkour when I was 18, so I mean, young but I wasn’t a kid. There are kids now that start when they’re six or five or four even. I don’t know what that experience is like because when I was a kid, I’m sure I got frustrated. I mean, I know I got frustrated at school and when I couldn’t do something. As a young adult, it’s easier to quell those emotions and to be a little bit more patient but what I see by and large in a lot of, especially in gym culture or summer camps or after schools is there’s kind of a … They don’t really let kids lean into that frustration.

Steve: When I first started parkour, I was … I’m not really technically first generation because I had some instruction from the Michigan parkour crew but there was a period of time when I was three months in and I went back to my home town and no one did parkour back then because it was 2008 and no one even knew what that was. So, I tried to make a club in my home town and there was no one interested.

Steve: So, I was just training by myself for three months in the summer between years in college. So, I had a lot of self-directed where I was watching videos of people doing parkour and being like, “Well, how do they do this? How do I dash vault? How do I figure this out? How do I an underbar? What’s the technique? Let me watch a bunch of videos of people just moving and I’ll see if I can figure it out. Let me see if I can find a rail first of all in my home town that even works for an underbar.”

Craig: Right. Right. I love that lower rail but it’s in the way, right?

Steve: Yeah. And the second of all, can I figure it out just based on seeing somebody else move? No one’s going to tell me how to do it. I just have to watch somebody do it and I failed so many times but I kind of feel like, and this might be a bit of a hot take, but I kind of feel that that kind of resilience is going to get lost because is we are instilling in a lot of kids and I can’t speak for some of the gym programs like Origins or Apex but I can speak from my own experience dealing with some programs and seeing how some school programs and after schools are structured is that a lot of them lean towards kind of frustration-free experience.

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