(Part 12 of 27 in Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)
“What would the greatest version of myself do?”
I can think of no better personal compass than that simple question. I whole-heartedly agree with its sentiment; that exploring your own concept of “greatness” is the single most important thing you can do. Each of us will come to a different answer; potentially very different answers. But, the act of honestly exploring your own conceptions, and the act of self reflection, are what will move you in a positive direction.
I had already begun embracing this idea of seeking the greatest version of myself. As part of that effort, I took up a personal Oath which clearly reflects the idea.
What is Parkour?
Thibault’s section 4 is about seeking personal greatness and striving to constantly improve. That’s clearly a “big picture” goal involving one’s entire self. But we can also use this idea of “closing the gap” to investigate our every-day description of what Parkour is.
When asked, many people say that Parkour is about “efficiency”. They say that Parkour is about “moving efficiently” or “getting from A to B efficiently.” (“Quickly” is also used.) Alternatively, there are many people who dislike the “efficiency” description. Some prefer “personal expression through movement”, “pushing the boundaries of human movement”, or even simply “freedom”. There are many alternatives to the “efficiency” description, but it is undoubtedly one of the most dominant descriptions.
Where did I stand before reading this section?
If you practice Parkour, you will be asked (and often!), “What is Parkour?” I realized I would do well to have a one-sentence answer to that question. I’ve found that people are pleasantly surprised when I have a clear, one-sentence answer. Almost everyone asks further questions and a conversation about Parkour grows naturally from there.
My one-sentence answer is: Parkour is using challenges to improve oneself.
When I read Thibault’s section 4, it struck me that Parkour is exactly about “getting from point A to point B as efficiently and quickly as possible.”
Point “A” is here; the me of today.
Point “B” is there; the me of tomorrow.