While it has improved noticeably even in the two years since I began training, there’s still a big lack of diversity in parkour, especially among coaches and other highly visible practitioners. As welcoming as everyone was when I started training, I couldn’t help noticing that when I looked around, I didn’t see anyone like me. It took me a long time to start feeling comfortable talking about myself, because there were no conversations happening, nothing to give me any indication of how people might react. The story I hear over and over again from people who fall outside the archetype of young, athletic and masculine, is “I loved it so much that I stayed, even though…” And every time, all I can think is, what about the people for whom that wasn’t enough, or the people who never tried in the first place because the images they’ve seen don’t include anyone like them?
The parkour community is amazingly accepting, and really does believe that there is room for anyone, but it’s not always very good at showing that when someone comes to train for the first time, feeling overwhelmed and out of place among a lot of people who don’t look like them. I’m working towards coaching myself, and in doing so I want to talk more openly about my own differences, to provide what bit of visibility I can. I also want to start conversations, with coaches, community leaders, and the community at large, about what we can do better to support people from underrepresented groups. Parkour has changed my life, largely in ways directly related to how I deviate from the popular image of a parkour practitioner, and I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have that experience.
I want to make parkour a professional possibility for my immediate community. I want to build a sustainable infrastructure that will stand the test of time, continuing the training methods that have defined parkour since the beginning. I want to known by my actions.
The saddest thing anyone has ever told me was after I asked them how they were doing: “Same shit, different day.” I hope to live a life with minimal routine (at least where it counts). Financial stability is nice too, though.
I also want to go to grad school for visual anthropology, so that I can become a professional people watcher and make movies about them.
To create and maintain a space that can sustain myself and others however we see fit – physically, financially, emotionally.
Voglio migliorare me stesso, sia sotto l’aspetto fisico che quello mentale, esplorando e scoprendo cosa veramente posso fare, e dare una mano a chiunque voglia intraprendere lo stesso percorso.
I want to improve myself, both physically and mentally, exploring and discovering what I really can do, and helping anyone who wants to take the same route.
I just want to be confortable with my body. Just be able to do things I see. And inspire others to have a different vision of their capabilities
“Être Fort Pour Être Utile” and “Être et Durer” (Be strong to be useful – To be and to last)
My goals are to reduce the restrictions of my body (because our body will always have a limit and it cannot be removed, it can only be improved), to be able to move for a long time, to be stronger, and to be free (mind, body, and soul).
My goals are numerous and many are for the long term. I’ll only list a few to spare you from boredom.
First and foremost my goal is to graduate college. Education is something that is immensely important to me and I tend to soak up knowledge like a sponge. It’s still going to be at least three years before I meet my goal, but I can see a clear destination and I know exactly how to get there.
My next goal is something that’s a little more short term: Train. Train. Train. Since I have finished with college until August that leaves me a little more free time to train, something that I tend to neglect when I’m waist deep in papers and final exams. I want to get a more regular training schedule and stick to it, which will hopefully help me progress at a more consistent rate.
My final goal is to one day spread parkour and it’s message. Specifically by getting more females involved. For some girls it can be scary going to a testosterone filled class for her first time and see all these buff athletic guys jump crazy distances or run up walls. (Sorry guys, but it’s true). I’ve already attempted to begin to achieve this goal by starting the LVPK Women’s Group. (LVPK stands for Lehigh Valley Parkour if you didn’t know) We meet once a month to train and hangout. We want to create a supportive environment where women can come and try parkour for the first time and they don’t have to feel intimidated and get turned away.
There are many more goals than these, but for now these three are the ones that are the most important to me.