Parkour Vision

Tyson:
Yeah. So, this is why we named the organization Parkour Visions because for me one of the most powerful things for getting into parkour was how it changed my view of the entire world. I could entertain myself by just walking around in the city and imagining all the different things that I could do in those areas, and that also led me to grabbing every railing that I saw to test how strong it was, and just running my hands over the texture of different things so that I could get a feel for, “Oh, this tends to be slippery when it’s dusty. This one seems to be a lot better,” and doing those sort of things every single day no matter when it was that I went. I definitely had those thoughts of, “Well, crap. They should’ve just done this and then this railing would’ve been way, way more strong and I would’ve been able to jump on it,” even if I was just jumping on it in my head and I didn’t have time to do then, it’s still disappointing me that they just didn’t do it that way. And so having those thoughts just constantly all the time I’m sure influenced the way that I would come to design and build obstacles.

Craig:
I’m thinking, or those thoughts are what caused you to… I’m guessing people who throw clay, they didn’t start out by saying, “I would like to make pots.” The started out by, “I am drawn to form shapes from amorphous blobs,” and painters start from the same vision. So, I’m starting to feel more like you’re and artist than a constructor of things. Your medium happens to be plywood lumber and screws. Maybe we should talk about the destruction of the said objects, I think that was a really cool way to present that material if we want to go there too. I do like to say things that the people who are listening have no clue what I’m talking about and then just like not come back to them like, “Bummer, you should’ve been there.” But if you want to talk about it, it might be fun to talk about, since I hinted at what’s your presented art of retreat, to talk about why you thought, I’m going to put words in your mouth, why you thought destroying objects, temporary, not destroying the physical building, but destroying purpose built parkour little mini example objects, why you thought that would be a great way to teach people?

Craig:
Because I think it’s pretty clear that you wouldn’t need to do that. You could just picture it and go, “That’s not going to work. There, that works in my head. Okay, build it.” You don’t need to destroy them anymore.

Tyson:
Yeah. There was kind of two things that I was trying to accomplish with the destructive experiment phase of that workshop. One of them is that I have advice that I give people that came from somewhere, maybe I made it up, maybe someone else told me that that’s how it should be done, like a headman towards when I first started on how to properly build these things, and I would pass on that advice and people would accept it like gospel. I would always be a little bit worried by that because it’s like, well, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’ve experimented, these seem to be pretty good ideas, but I don’t necessarily know that you should just take it as this is the one way that you should go. Maybe you should experiment with this more. So, that was a let’s test some of these things. So, we had half inch plywood versus three quarter inch plywood, which is one of the things like half inch plywood’s a lot cheaper and it seems like it might be strong enough.

Craig:
Yeah, but three quarter inch plywood is way stronger.

Tyson:
And that’s what we found is that, yeah, it’s really going to break much much easier in certain situations where we had a much harder time breaking the three quarter inch. But then we also found that different plywood’s break in different ways, which was interesting to be able to get a differentiation between that. We weren’t necessarily getting all the physics, like perfect experimental results out of it, but what I wanted to show people was how you get a general feel for these things. So, it’s like I make screw recommendation not necessarily because I know huge amounts about screws, I’m fairly interested by screws and I do know a fair amount, but-

Craig:
Maybe more than you want to admit, right?

Tyson:
For the analogy, I make a recommendation because I bought a bunch of them and I just broke them different ways to see what physical characteristics they had because I knew some of those would be more useful for others for the sort of obstacles that we were making.

Craig:
At the very beginning, I didn’t say it because it gets recorded later, but at the very beginning of the podcast episodes I say that I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. So, you want to guess what I’m going to ask you now? I know who you are, I know what you do, I want to know why do you build parkour obstacles?

Tyson:
When I first got into parkour, it intrigued me because it was much much more open and free than a lot of the sports that I had done. I had done many, many different sports. I’d stick around with them for like a year and then I would feel somewhat constricted by them or just that it wasn’t the right fit. I was really enthusiastic about parkour with the freedom that it allowed and the seemingly unlimited potential there was. Nobody knew what the max limits were for any of the movements. They were constantly being changed and broken and new and interesting ways of moving were being invented or discovered all the time. When it came to the point of building obstacles to support classes that we were running, I started to see the same pathway open up in terms of if I can put a slanted wall anywhere that I want within this space, all of a sudden I can do so many more movement types.

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