(Part 56 of 72 in series, My Journey)
Hello there! Welcome!
This post is where I’ve dumped a bunch of things intended to convince YOU that you really can do Parkour.
Why do I think you can do Parkour? Because, basically, everything the general public has heard about Parkour is wrong. You could totally do Parkour because…
I’m too old, over-weight, out of shape…
I did it, so can you.
I simply mean that when I started, I was very over-weight (BMI well over 30, definitely “obese”), very out of shape, and I was just over 40 years old. That combination is probably “worse off” than most people who end up reading this.
However, if you are older, in worse shape, or fatter than that, I do still think you can do it . . .
Do you think you can improve yourself?
Parkour is about improving yourself through challenge. So whatever is challenging for you, that’s going to be your practice. Maybe for you, it’s a warmup and then start working on some shoulder strength, but you spend a majority of the time watching class so you’re not over-exherting yourself. Maybe it’s a long talk about nutrition and diet (generally what you eat, not a specific diet fad) combined with your initial Parkour efforts.
What about that crazy stuff on TouYube?
It is NOT about big jumps! Why does everyone see the EXTREME movements, and then assume ALL Parkour has to be like that?
You can drive a car without getting into auto racing. You can do a cart wheel without being an Olympic gymnast. You can go for a jog without running a marathon. You can practice Parkour without jumping between roof-tops across an alley!
There’s nothing wrong with the extremes (in the “ultimate level of performance” sense) in any of those activities, but those extremes are NOT representative of the average activity of “driving”, “cart wheeling”, “running” or “Parkour”.
And anyway, here’s a link to my all-time favorite video of some Parkour. I think it’s spectacular, but not in the “huge jumps”, “extreme movement” sense: Julie Angel’s, Movement of Three (2’33”) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alxyVjbqQks
But I’m a woman…
The answer is still: Yes. Yes you can.
I do understand that there are issues (not just in Parkour) that only women face. But those issues are either societal norms, or other bullshit caused by men. That has nothing to do with Parkour per se. (It’s about men. Actually it’s about boys. Real men don’t pull misogynistic crap.)
HOWEVER, do not take my word about anything regarding the woman’s point of view. Instead, go read this:
And the question almost no one asks…
How do I figure out where and with whom to train?
This is ACTUALLY the hard part. It’s always the same: finding the right coach is mission critical. And you have to perfom this most-important step BEFORE you know much about the thing you want to learn.
So here’s how you do it: You find the nearest place/people/group that purports to teach the thing. You go there. You put your “vibe radar” on and you don’t go back if anything weirds you out. If anything is high pressure (“Jump this! NOW!”, “Sign up for a year! NOW!”) then you back away slowly, and never return. They should be welcoming, intelligent and you should feel supported by most (if not literally) everyone in the class.