Written by Stephen Carr
Published on Tuesday, 03 August 2010
One thing I really like about parkour is the training. I like waking up every morning thinking of some challenge or technique I can train. “Can I land that precision 25 times in a row?” “I am going to do 40 muscle-ups today.” “My arms are tired, I think I will just work on some jumps and maybe some flips.” It is a lot of work, but trainingis fun and rewarding–at least it is after the fact. When you do accomplish that goal or challenge it feels great. It not only works your body, but also your mind. It helps to cultivate stamina, steadfastness, patience, and overall better technique and skill.
As part of my training I like to set challenges for myself everyday. This doesn’t mean I try crazy stunts or incredible difficulties.It means that I know my limits and I want to push them, or that I desire to perfect basic movements.Setting challenges requires all of us to know and understand our own bodies to begin with. It is necessary that we work the basics over and over again to know our own level of parkour skills. It is important to condition, do a lot of pull-ups, push-ups, and squats, in order to know your strength level. I can’t set a goal in push-ups if I don’t know how many I can do. Only after we obtain this knowledge about ourselves can we start setting challenges, so that we can see improvement.
The challenges do not have to be extravagant, but they do have to be, well, challenging. One great challenge I like to do is a nice simple precision jump twenty-five times in a row. If I mess up, I start all over again at one. The jump isn’t too easy, but it isn’t the hardest either, more like something in between. It is more of a challenge of technique than of exertion. I am honing that precision jump with this challenge. I take my time as well. You don’t have to be a machine and do it non-stop until you are finished. I like to take breaks and prepare–especially when I get close to my goal. It is horrible when you are on the 25th jump and you mess up because you didn’t concentrate enough and then you end up having to do it all over again. So, it is necessary to be patient and concentrate.
Other challenges can be focused around conditioning. The other day I challenged myself to do 50 climb-ups. It took a long time, but I did it. Even if it takes you all day, the focus is to push through the aching muscles and do it. You have to push yourself in order to get better. If you don’t then you just remain stagnant. It’s a simple concept. But I like to remember to be patient and concentrate.
If I don’t finish my challenge for the day, then I don’t worry. I don’t feel as if I gave up. If I tried my hardest and didn’t finish the challenge then I don’t fret. I know I worked hard and the fruits of my labor will come. And besides I didn’t give up. I will try the challenge again in like a week or so. The challenge may feel different the second time around. I just remember to be patient and concentrate. The hard work pays off in the end.
Parkour training is strenuous, but it is rewarding when I see improvement in myself and in my friends. I also like training like this because then my progress is obvious and tangible. There is numerical value on my improvement. I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes after a challenge. It also gives more structure to my training which greatly helps me out to not get carried away. Anyway, I enjoy training in this manner, and it is obvious that most of you train the same way. I just wanted to share my experiences and excitement. Train Hard!