Initially, I had seen the prototypical videos of kids jumping off of buildings and doing crazy awesome flips and was always too scared to try them myself. I believe one day I actually ran outside at 2:00 AM after watching hours of videos of wall flips and had located the closest tree at full speed, ran up a step or two, and proceeded to fall directly onto my shoulder blades—pinecones, sticks, rocks, and all.
After a few more similar events in my teenage life, I had found a group (Lehigh Valley Parkour) taught by Adam McClellan, Andy Keller, and a few others. Soon after two or three courses, I had realized that all of the videos that I used to think were so awesome were a bit misleading. I had learned much less about doing awesome flips and more about self-discipline, perseverance, and overcoming physical and mental fear. I think at that point my training really “began.”
Moreso now than when I was actively training, a few of the ethos of parkour have really shaped my life. Specifically, the ideas of “leaving a place better than how you left it” and “saying I can’t really just mean it’s not a priority for me right now” have really become the go-to sayings in my life. Those two sayings alone have driven me to pursue higher education, do awesome projects in the tech world, and all-around be a better person.
Years later, those two sayings have stuck for me.
Also, I think that the overall openness and friendliness of the parkour community is still something that I seek out in whatever kind of job or organization I am working in.
At the time of writing this, 24.
This is the signature ending question for the podcast. There is an article describing the question’s origin (and Episode 55). Each guest’s answer is available as an image tagged Guests’ three words and the section of each episode’s transcript is tagged Three words to describe your practice.
Fun, Challenging, Free