The following is taken from some of the members-only content available in the Movers Mindset Forum site.
I was introduced to parkour in the Fall of 2014 when a friend was attempting to give me break dance lessons. I wanted to learn how to break dance as a way to connect with inner city kids and also as part of a feature movie project I was producing. My friend and I got a little side tracked from basic break dancing and he started teaching me a little parkour at the gym (which was an extremely padded and soft gymnastics gym). Since I have no rhythmic feel and was making painfully slow progress in dancing, I decided I enjoyed the parkour aspects of our “lessons” way more and might should focus on that and leave dancing behind. I also saw parkour as a unique element that could replace the dance story line of my movie project and increase the market value of the finished product.
If I was going to produce and act in a movie with parkour, I figured I should explore this world before production started (which was set for Summer 2015). I began frequently making the 2 hour trip from my small East Texas area into Dallas for classes at a real parkour gym (Fugitive Fitness). The coaches at Fugitive Fitness welcomed me with open arms and launched me on an exciting adventure! My eyes were opened as I saw people in real life doing things I had watched on YouTube and I continued to get excited about so many elements of parkour. The movie’s filming got pushed back to Summer 2016 and I took advantage of the extra time to learn and explore parkour in order to influence the script and acting portrayals to be authentic to what parkour really is. Somehow, I thought after a year of exploring and training in this area I would be all set to film an authentic parkour movie ;P . (Now I keep realizing how in depth and broad the scope of parkour and its lifestyle is, so no more ambitions to quickly learn all about it!).
In April of 2015, a child in East Texas expressed interested in parkour classes. Realizing I didn’t know much at all of what I was doing with parkour, but not wanting to tell the child no, I decided I should attend a coaching class. With limited knowledge about parkour certification programs, I searched online and explored websites. All of which I struggled to no end to find any available local classes. Apparently most of the parkour certification programs were having website issues (or I was using the websites wrong ;P ). I found broken calendars and classes offered in the UK (I didn’t realize there was a separate sight for PKGAmericas). I messaged the info help account from Parkour Generations and finally got connected to a people in America who were very helpful! A few weeks later I attended ADAPT Level 1 in Tulsa lead by Andy Keller, Andy Pearson, and Adam McClellan. I was excited to see how deep and influential into other parts of life parkour could reach besides just physical fitness. I also really appreciated the passion for the discipline the coaches exhibited. I was encouraged to keep exploring parkour and working on adjusting the script of the movie. Realizing I still had no idea what I was doing with parkour and that I had no idea what I should research about it, I embarked on a crazy adventure of quickly completing my Level 1 required coaching hours and attending ADAPT Level 2 several weeks later in Kutztown. During the Level 2 course, I learned a lot about the mindset of parkour and many different elements. I was introduced to elements of training such as breaking jumps and extremely long endurance activities. At one particular moment, after being told we would QM way more than I ever had attempted, I was about to raise my hand and tell Andy Pearson, “I don’t do stuff like that”. But he beat me to it and told us if it seems difficult, it’s supposed to be. He left no room for excuses :). After this intense research trip, I returned to Texas to continue training and working on the movie.
In the Fall of 2015, due to several set backs in the movie production process, I realized it would be best to stop rushing the project and take time for more development and research and rewriting. But I got hooked in the process. I am excited to learn about the discipline of parkour so I can soon take what I learn to inner city kids. Also, in a few years when the time is right, I look forward to completing the movie which started my journey:)!
Practice to me means pushing my limits and growing in strength and technique. I want to eventually use parkour in rough inner city areas; however, first, I must learn as much as possible and be able to execute moves with skill in order to keep the attention and respect of the youth. When I train, I am preparing for something more then just my enjoyment of an activity. I am developing skills to help me reach into lives of youth who are hurting and longing to find something clean, safe, and fun to express themselves with and find community in. Practice is also about having fun and enjoying the exploration of what my body is capable of!
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Kilgore, Texas (pop 15,000) will always be home – well really 10 miles out of town in the country with our dog, cats, horses, garden, and trees. I might wander around for a while in the upcoming years, but there’s something special about being a Texan (no offense to those not blessed to be born in the greatest country – sorry, I meant state).