How did your training begin?

I knew nothing about Parkour when I started in the spring of 2012. I had met Adam McClellan during a martial arts demonstration and he talked me into coming out to play with the growing Lehigh Valley Parkour community.

I initially thought I could simply jump into training being my usual self. But two pushups into my first class, I was stripped of my delusions of grandeur. Two minutes in, and I figured out that I was an out-of-shape pile of bacon. After two hours of trying to do something — anything — and failing and sweating and flailing and sweating more… Well, I realized it was going to be grueling work. As it turns out, it’s also extremely rewarding work!

I’ve changed so much, it’s hard for me to summarize. I’ve made huge progress in losing weight, eating a better diet, sleeping, recovery work (rest, stretching, yoga), learning to run, and learning to train (that is to say, set goals and work towards them). Parkour is a huge piece of the foundation on which I have rebuilt myself.

Along the way I pushed my limits. First, I simply committed to regular weekly classes and spent each week trying to recover in time for the next class (40-year-old, neglected Achilles tendons require a bit of work). I pushed myself by going to events where I knew I’d be uncomfortable; uncomfortable with my age, with my body size, with my lack of ability. Early on, I went all the way to London, on a whim, to attend Winterval; I knew no one, nearly froze and it was awesome. I began going to events like American Rendezvous in Boston. I started traveling to visit groups of people to train with them and sponge off their knowledge.

…and that’s where I find myself today: On a great journey. I’ve taken a thousand steps, and am delighted to see countless steps beckoning me onward.