Craig: What are you working on now? Let’s begin at the largest scale, the global scale, the Parkour Generations Americas scale, and we’ll work our way inward from there. So, can you give me a glimpse into some big-scale things you’re currently passionate about?
Adam: Yeah, absolutely. Right now, something we’re focusing on from the Parkour Generations Americas perspective is creating new partnerships [00:01:00] that create new senses of value with the people we’re working with. So we’re in contact with large fitness corporations and trying to create connections with governmental organizations, whether that be military, whether that be school-based, whether that be Parks and Recreation, but we’d like to create those connections and start taking the value that parkour has to offer and using that to increase the value that they can put into the work that they do as well.
Craig: Okay, so do you see the role of Parkour Generations [00:01:30] as a one-by-one, where you’re approaching individual school districts? You named a bunch of different types of organizations. Or do you see that the role would be to develop some sort of national standard, something that the school board hiring a PE instructor would look for the check mark for “This person can teach parkour”?
Adam: I think the answer is both. I think first, you need to make those connections and you have to build trust, and you have to gain a reputation. You start by doing small events or small partnerships or providing them assistance for free just helping out, being a friend. [00:02:00] Then from there, you gain that reputation that gives you the accreditation and authority to say “These are the decisions I think you should make.” All the way to the point of eventually creating real systems that people follow.
That’s how Parkour Generations made its way through the generations, if you will, is that they started off doing things right, earned respect, and now organizations such as the American Council of Exercise, the ACE as we call them, use the standard of ADAPT as a way to regulate whether or not a coach [00:02:30] is in fact qualified. We’ll walk our way through that process and go from small to big.
Craig: Terrific. All right, and from a more community-sized scale … I know there’s a big community in Boston and the community here in Lehigh Valley. What do you see those communities doing in the last year that’s been different from previously?
Adam: I think the big change that’s happening across America, not just in the community such as Boston like just here in Lehigh Valley, but all over the US is that we’re starting to realize that a rising tide lifts all boats. Through events like Art [00:03:00] of Retreat, which is a gathering of all the coaches and community leaders of the US, through events like that we’re coming together and realizing that we can all benefit by working together. While competition is natural and in some ways healthy, our focus is collaboration and helping one another first. That allows us to compete in healthier, happier ways where we can involve more people into the process of learning parkour.
That hasn’t always been the case. America has for a long time been divided, and there’s been lots [00:03:30] of political and cultural differences.
Craig: Right, it’s our strength and our weakness at the same time.
Craig: We’re really great at going off and doing our own thing, but then we don’t come back at the end of the day.
Adam: Yes. Not only I think you’re exactly right Craig, but I think we are starting to come back, and that’s something that doesn’t happen a lot. It’s something that I think is so powerful about the parkour community, especially now, is that you can go to someone who does exactly what you do, and you can appreciate what they do. You can go to their event, you can give them a handshake and a hug, and go “Wow, you did a really nice job,” and you can mean it. Versus in corporate America, if you meet [00:04:00] someone that does what you do and they do it really well, you probably don’t like them for it.
So that’s a powerful thing, and it’s starting to move across the American culture. That is very special to me.
Craig: Okay, and back down all the way to the personal scale. What are you working on now, maybe in terms of training or even in terms of learning, languages, martial arts? We can go further afield if you like.
Adam: Yeah, I think for me, it’s about explaining the community. That’s where I get my highest level of return on investment. Community is always [00:04:30] what it’s been about for me. I like training. Training is a passion of mine, but I like helping others to train even more, which is, as you said, a strength and a weakness within itself. What motivates me, what engages my passion, is creating an environment where the community is that much stronger and that much closer and tighter and more beneficial to the larger community around them.
To be more specific, the current focus is seeing if there is a way to indeed open up our own facility, our own gym, and what’s involved in that, not so that we can [00:05:00] only train indoors, and not so that we can run tons and tons of classes. That isn’t the goal. The goal is “Can we have a hub?”, a place where people can meet, and when you got to park your car somewhere, you can put it there. When you want to just be with your friends and get away from the rest of the world, that’s the place to go.
That’s the kind of place I want to create. It’s a community center for the parkour community and anybody who could even be associated with it or wants to join it or learn more about it. So, I would really like to create that space, metaphorically and [00:05:30] physically, and that’s a goal of mine in 2017.
Craig: Okay. Maybe on an even more personal scale, what are you up to these days? Are you working on kong-pre’s, or are you running, or are you completely swamped by the work-a-day job combined with the running the parkour community?
Adam: Yes, yes, and yes. I’m very passionate about all my professional pursuits, even the ones that aren’t necessarily related to parkour, and I enjoy those. Those are going very well. I work in the childcare industry in addition to doing [00:06:00] parkour-type stuff, and that’s rewarding. A thousand children walk in and out of our many doors all across Lehigh Valley every day, and knowing that you’re making a difference there is powerful. I enjoy my day job, so to speak. However, making a difference in the parkour community is really where my heart lies.
Over the course of many years of training, you have your ups and your downs in a lot of different ways. You might really be focusing on jumps, and you get good at jumps. Then you might really decide to focus on flips, and you’re good at flips, but now your jumps aren’t as good. It’s [00:06:30] a very difficult juggle. You can’t be perfect at everything. I think having focused on community development and international and national involvement, some of my personal training is harder to keep up. Trying new ways to train in the winter, I’m swimming, I’m going to the gym and trying some different weight training methods that I’ve never tried before, I’m trying some training at home, just the smaller personal stuff. I’ve spent so much time [00:07:00] training with other people that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be within yourself and do some of your own training.
So that’s been happening for me in the past few months. I think if I can focus on that through the winter and continue to develop my own sense of training within me, then by the time it’s the spring and the summer when everybody comes out of the woodwork, I’ll be back to where I want to be in terms of my own physical training and able to share it in the full way. So that’s what I’m thinking right now.
Craig: Well, that’s an interesting idea of cycles. A lot of people come to that idea after they’ve gone [00:07:30] through a couple of years of training in parkour. They realize that they need to do different things at different times of the year. We’re in the northern hemisphere here. It’s gray and winter outside, so we’re all looking for ways to do heavier lifting and keep motivated.