Guest introduction

Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Elet: And I’m Elet Hall.

Craig: Elet Hall has been described as intense or driven and at one time had a Tinder profile that said simply, “Do you think you can keep up?” In reality, he’s a free spirited, outdoor loving thinker. Who Sevinch candidly described as surprising loving and smarter than most people are aware. Welcome Elet.

Elet: Thanks Craig.

Guest introduction

Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Andrew: And I’m Andrew Foster.

Craig:…and this is Parkour, They Said.

Andrew Foster is from Akron, Ohio. His childhood was steeped in classical music and philosophy, although he rebelled a little by dragging his mattress to the basement to learn flips when his parents weren’t home. He studied international studies with a focus on the Middle East, which took him and his wife to Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco before coming full circle back to Akron. He’s recently opened a Parkour gym in a local community called Akron Movement Family. [00:00:30] Along the way, he taught competitive gymnastics, failed badly at competitive soccer, and realized people and movement are his passions. Welcome, Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you.

Guest Introduction

Craig: Finn Berggren lives and breathes Gerlev, which might be meaningless if I don’t pause my introduction and attempt to explain Gerlev. Bear with me, I’m going to attempt three sketches.

One: Gerlev is a school but that word falls far short. Gerlev has been described as a sport’s academy, which also misses the mark. It’s even been called a Folk High School, which yet again misses the mark because we English speakers are unsure what to make of the adjective [00:00:30] “folk”. There is, of course, a Danish word for what Gerlev is…

Finn: Gerlev Idrætshøjskole.

Craig: Two, can you imagine a place where students meet many different types of sports and movement in an environment that cultivates exploration, inclusivity and personal responsibility. A place where the aim is to present the students with the formative aspects of sports while building an understanding of life that extends beyond a sport’s framework? This place you’re imagining was originally [00:01:00] a uniquely Danish idea, which has since spread well beyond Denmark.

Three, in Gerlev’s own words:

We believe that sports contain a lot of exciting and developmental qualities. When it all comes together, it contains the fight, the play, the dance and the contemplation, as does life and that is why we at Gerlev use sports as a fantastic formative subject, which allows the possibility of development, maturation, challenges, adventures and experiences.

[00:01:30] Playing is important as the basis of experiences with the creative parts of life. Fighting contains the option of experiencing through resistance, how your physical and mental abilities can be put to the test. Dancing is, on one hand, the dream of unhindered movement, the flawless timing and getting lost in the rhythms. On the other hand, it is the creation of the aesthetic expression that allows interpretation of meaning and intention. Contemplation means tranquility, concentration and [00:02:00] willingness, all of which are required to gain insight into existence.

Which brings me back to…

Hello, I’m Craig Constantine and this is-

Finn: Finn Berggren.

Craig: This recording is Parkour, They Said.

Finn Berggren lives and breathes Gerlev. He has been a student and a teacher and now he is the principal of the Academy. He is here, there and everywhere. He is a pioneer and the primary spokesperson of Gerlev and the wonderful possibilities within the world of sport, not [00:02:30] only in Denmark but well beyond her borders. Welcome Finn.

Finn: Thank you very much.

Guest Introduction

Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Paul: I’m Paul Graves.

Craig: And this is parkour they said. Paul Graves is difficult to pin down. I had trouble trying to figure out how to introduce them, but that’s not what I mean. I mean he is literally difficult to pin down. He’s frenetic, and yet laser focused. His playing of the full body motion arcade game, Speed of Light, has been described as terrifying. He works for, oh wait that’s redacted. Okay, well let’s say he’s a project manager for software development teams. [00:00:30] He’s also a tree climbing, in-line skating, dancing, singing, Capoeiraista, mover, who also seems to enjoy cooking and writing. Welcome Paul!

Paul: Thank you. I don’t think I’m that laser focused. That’s the only-

Craig: No, I’m sticking with laser focused.

Guest Introduction

Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Max: Hi, I’m Max Henry.

Craig: …and this is Parkour, They Said. Max Henry is a native New Yorker. Recently, he’s been traveling across America by road, writing his book, “The Parkour Roadmap,” and pausing to explore and pick some amazing banjo. Now that his book is done, he’s agreed to sit still for just a few minutes.

Max has always been fascinated by movement. He started with baseball, turned left into gymnastics, and continued [00:00:30] on to three years of state and regional competitions. In 2007, five years after moving on from gymnastics, Max discovered Parkour. Initially impressed as much by the philosophy behind the movements, as the movements themselves, by the time he saw his first rail precision, he was hooked. In 2010, Max was invited to join a group of World Free Running and Parkour Federation athletes on a road trip around the wild, wild west, kick-starting his personal progression as a practitioner.

Since 2011, he’s been [00:01:00] working as a professional Parkour athlete with a who’s-who list of companies including Assex, American Eagle, Hulu, the NBA, Nerf, Red Bull, Smart Car, and he doubled for Jax in the movie Tracers. He’s had the opportunity to coach internationally with the WFPF, American Parkour, The Movement Creative, and Parkour Generations Americas. Outside of Parkour, Max majored in mathematics — which might explain how he sticks all those rail precisions — and minored in music at Hofstra University. If you ever manage to catch him resting, [00:01:30] he’ll likely be singing, playing an instrument, or tucked away somewhere cozy reading epic fantasy, 20th century American poetry, or books about mountains.

Welcome, Max!

Max: Thank you. That was an excellent, excellent job. Very good.

Guest Introduction

Craig: Hello. I’m Craig Constantine.

Caitlin: I’m Caitlin Pontrella.

Craig: This is Parkour, They Said.

Caitlin Pontrella is an architectural designer and illustrator based in New York City. She is co-founder of The Movement Creative, a social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of others through movement education and design. Caitlin directs The Art of Retreat, an annual education and leadership conference for Parkour, and the North American Women’s Parkour Gathering, an annual gathering [00:00:30] for women practitioners. Welcome, Caitlin.

Caitlin: Hi Craig.

Guest Introduction

Craig: Hello. I’m Craig Constantine.

Thomas: And I’m Thomas Droge.

Craig: And this is Parkour, They Said. Thomas has been practicing Tai Chi and Qigong and many other consciousness awakening practices for the past 30 years. He’s been a healer, an acupuncturist, a bodyworker, a herbalist, a truth teller, and spirit whisperer for the past 20 years. He’s taught Chinese medicine, Qigong, and meditation classes across the country and has attended numerous trainings in Daoism, Chinese medicine, meditation, and healing, and [00:00:30] of course he practices Parkour. Welcome Thomas.

Thomas: Hey, what’s happening?

Craig: We’re doing a podcast recording.