Do you know what parkour is? It’s basically the art of most efficient human locomotion. So if there’s something in your way when you’re parkouring, be it a wall or a bench, you don’t go around it; you climb over that bitch and keep running.
Does that sound extreme to you? Well, it kind of is. So if you’re interested in picking up the sport/hobby, here’s some tips to get you started.
- Talk to professionals first or get some intro lessons down in a safe, monitored gym centre. There’s nothing worse than going out in the real world and faceplanting into solid concrete and breaking your arm in 5 places.
- Wear whatever’s most comfortable and least restricting, not fashionable. Trust me, you’re probably going to be moving in ranges of motion that you didn’t think were possible for a human body. If you’re a girl, invest in a good sports bra. Your boobs will appreciate how it keeps them in place and takes away some boob sweat!
- Sneakers. Don’t argue with a good pair of sneakers, even if they look stupid. Just don’t.
- Sip, don’t gulp your water. You’ll feel and move a lot better if you don’t have a lot of liquid in your stomach. Blegh.
- Be patient, work hard and keep moving. I picked up parkouring because I needed to get my ass back out there and be active. Sure, I saw some great YouTube videos, played Assassin’s Creed and thought that parkouring’s awesome, but I know that those parkour artists in those videos have been doing it for YEARS, not months or weeks. Like any performance-based sport, it takes a LOT of practice to even start moving fluidly at an older age, let alone flip around in free-running.
- Your upper body will be screaming at you the next day. Even if you do regular push-ups and chin-ups, you’re going to be doing some things that you’d normally never be doing. Be prepared for a lot of sore muscles.
- Accept the fact that you’re going to get hurt. This is mostly for everyone who wants to get out there and climb around stuff, but get scared that you’re going to break your arm or get paralyzed when trying out a new move. Yes, you’re going to get hurt, but they’re mostly going to be bruises, scrapes and aching muscles. Those will go away in a couple of weeks, so suck them up. I’m not going to deny that some people suffer serious injuries from bad judgement calls in this sport, but you’ll be fine if you work in a safe environment first.
Trust me, I have a collection of bruises on my knees and shins after every class. I’m getting less and less, but you’re probably still going to get them.
- And finally, that leads to the most important tip I can think of: Abandon all fear.
You’re going to get hurt, you’re going to be aching like hell the next day and you’re going to look stupid and clumsy for a while. But I promise you that if you resist that fear of pain, you’ll find yourself flying over vaults and conquering that wall you could barely face.