Parkour did a weird thing where it just seamlessly assimilated into my everyday life, and it ended up feeling like I had always been doing it. I guess it did replace skateboarding and rock climbing, but most of the changes that came from parkour were pretty subtle. However, there are two things it changed.
Since for a long time I was the only one in my high school/college peer group who practiced parkour, it always fell on me to mentor new people who wanted to try. I ended up taking a heavy leadership role as a result.
The second is coaching parkour is the reason why I live in New York right now.
As of August 2016, I am 23.
The saddest thing anyone has ever told me was after I asked them how they were doing: “Same shit, different day.” I hope to live a life with minimal routine (at least where it counts). Financial stability is nice too, though.
I also want to go to grad school for visual anthropology, so that I can become a professional people watcher and make movies about them.
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A friend in my freshman year of high school kept nagging me to check out this thing that was like ‘skateboarding without the board’. I was a skater at the time, and he thought it would be a good fit for me because of that and since I was already visiting the school roof for funsies.
He finally gets me to watch Oleg Vorslav’s “Russian Climbing” video, but I wasn’t convinced until they dragged me out to the outdoor seating to try some straddle vaults on a stone bench. As reluctant as I was to even consider I’d like anything better than skateboarding, it felt awesome to try and move past something with purpose.
At the time, my dad would pick me up from school and take me to his workplace for a couple hours before going home, so I started looking up different parkour techniques on the old Urban Freeflow website and practice them out back on lunch tables.
Eventually I met up with the local community based around the University of Georgia, and through them I learned more about how to train. Until that point, I’d basically just been practicing vaults every day. They were just then going through shin splint issues, so they were very big on teaching me about conditioning, good technique, and listening to my body. This was back around 2008/2009.