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The Tale of a Two-Year-Old Traceur (And What You Can Learn From Him)

I passed my two year anniversary of doing parkour a few weeks ago! Watch my celebration video, then read on for a look at how I got to where I am today.

Once upon a time, there was a short, bespectacled, teenage, MMORPG addicted, nerdy, skinny-flabby internet potato. One afternoon, while engaging in the fine art of stalking his Facebook friends, he came upon a status talking about a friend’s day of doing parkour. Curious, he looked up parkour and found Ryan Doyle, Daniel Ilabaca, and the 3Run crew. Flabbergasted and intrigued at these awe-inspiring movements, he began inquiring about how to get started doing parkour.

From that day on, Alan’s world changed. Continue Reading →

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“It Always Seems Impossible…”

It always seems impossible until it is done.

–Nelson Mandela

So true. When you start out doing parkour, even a simple kong vault seems terrifying and impossible to land. Fast forward a year of steady training and you can do kongs without a second thought, you don’t bat an eye at cat leaps, you’re starting to seriously think about flips…

Many top freerunners believe in this saying. Daniel Ilabaca invented the palm spin, kong gainer, and I think the forward roll to front flip. Ryan Doyle invented the wall gainer. Daniel Arroyo invented the cast bomb. Heck, every parkour/freerunning/tricking move had to be invented by somebody.

Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.

Marcus Aurelius

The first time I saw a kong gainer, my mind was blown. Actually, the first time I saw parkour (this video), my mind was blown. And yet here I am, doing many of the things I once thought impossible.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Tony Robbins:

What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.

It’s also a function of our training. Go train!

–Alan

Image via Etsy

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Fear is the Mind-Killer

Leto Atredies II faces a sandstorm.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.


Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


As mildly ridiculous as it sounds, repeating this helps when I’m faced with a big jump or a new flip. It’s a little too long to say the whole thing (more time = more built up fear), so I usually shorten it to:

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear, I will permit it to pass over and through me.
I must not fear.

 

Do you use any inspirational sayings to help yourself get over fear?

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Parkour Applied

The following is an article written by my good friend and fellow traceur, Mantis. He makes some very interesting points, so be sure to read the whole thing.

Parkour Applied: Overcoming Obstacles in Everyday Life

It’s probably a safe assumption that most of us who are regular practitioners of parkour and freerunning weren’t drawn to the discipline because of any profound philosophy; for most of us, it was the sight and realization of our incarnate daydreams of flying away from our problems, and the knowledge that such abilities were within our own grasp. Simple reasoning, but attractive nonetheless. Continue Reading →

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Fight or Flight Parkour Academy Opens This Saturday

This place looks pretty awesome. 5,000 square feet of open gym with walls, boxes and bars, a breakdancing room, classes in parkour, freerunning, karate, weaponry and other martial arts.

And it was all built by two guys with help from friends. Inspiring.

 

Source

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MINI and Red Bull Present Art of Motion: “Philosophy”

As I travel through the city, I’m not just looking at the shops or the people walking by. I’m looking at the architecture; the curves, the angles… the materials. And in my mind, I’m putting together how I can bounce off, and slide, and swing on all these different surfaces

We have this thing called “parkour vision.” We always see the different possible ways we can move over it… climb on it, move on it.

Parkour vision

So when we come to these abandoned buildings, we don’t just see something useless and forgotten. We see something full of potential. And a place to create something new.

[…]

We only have this one life to live. So what are we to do with that? Should we just allow fear to force us into these routines that we just repeat over and over every day? Or should we still try to expand out and explore the infinite realm of possibilities in life, and in movement?

Through the creative use of space, we’re not limited by our spaces. They’re our canvas, and our movements are like the paint. We live in a world of abstraction, we deal a lot with words and symbols, representations of things, images. But when you do freerunnning, it gets you back to direct contact with reality in the moment.

I find that when it comes time to make a big leap, the best thing is just ot quiet the mind, be fully in touch my senses. And when you’re there the fear just kind of disappears… and this moment is all that is real. The past is just a memory, the future is not here yet. Just this tiny sliver of time.

The only way to find out what you can do is to try it.

-Levi Meeuwenberg

Such an eloquent way to state the philosophy of a traceur.

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