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The Once and Future Way to Run

The Once and Future Way to Run

This is a fascinating article on barefoot running, written by Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run. Click the link above to see all 5 pages.

One of the things that strikes me most is this:

Back in the ’60s, Americans “ran way more and way faster in the thinnest little shoes, and we never got hurt,” Amby Burfoot, a longtime Runner’s World editor and former Boston Marathon champion, said during a talk before the Lehigh Valley Half-Marathon I attended last year. “I never even remember talking about injuries back then,” Burfoot said. “So you’ve got to wonder what’s changed.”

Bob Anderson knows at least one thing changed, because he watched it happen. As a high-school senior in 1966, he started Distance Running News, a twice-yearly magazine whose growth was so great that Anderson dropped out of college four years later to publish it full time as Runner’s World. Around then, another fledgling operation called Blue Ribbon Sports was pioneering cushioned running shoes; it became Nike. Together, the magazine and its biggest advertiser rode the running boom — until Anderson decided to see whether the shoes really worked.

“Some consumer advocate needed to test this stuff,” Anderson told me. He hired Peter Cavanagh, of the Penn State University biomechanics lab, to stress-test new products mechanically. “We tore the shoes apart,” Anderson says. He then graded shoes on a scale from zero to five stars and listed them from worst to first.

When a few of Nike’s shoes didn’t fare so well in the 1981 reviews, the company pulled its $1 million advertising contract with Runner’s World. Nike already had started its own magazine, Running, which would publish shoe reviews and commission star writers like Ken Kesey and Hunter S. Thompson.

“Nike would never advertise with me again,” Anderson says. “That hurt us bad.” In 1985, Anderson sold Runner’s World to Rodale, which, he says, promptly abolished his grading system. Today, every shoe in Runner’s World is effectively “recommended” for one kind of runner or another. David Willey, the magazine’s current editor, says that it only tests shoes that “are worth our while.” After Nike closed its magazine, it took its advertising back to Runner’s World. (Megan Saalfeld, a Nike spokeswoman, says she was unable to find someone to comment about this episode.)

“It’s a grading system where you can only get an A,” says Anderson, who went on to become the founder and chief executive of Ujena Swimwear.

Just as the shoe reviews were changing, so were the shoes: fear, the greatest of marketing tools, entered the game. Instead of being sold as performance accessories, running shoes were rebranded as safety items, like bike helmets and smoke alarms. Consumers were told they’d get hurt, perhaps for life, if they didn’t buy the “right” shoes. It was an audacious move that flew in the face of several biological truths: humans had thrived as running animals for two million years without corrective shoes, and asphalt was no harder than the traditional hunting terrains of the African savanna.

In 1985, Benno Nigg, founder and currently co-director of the University of Calgary’s Human Performance Lab, floated the notion that impact and rear-foot motion (called pronation) were dangerous. His work helped spur an arms race of experimental technology to counter those risks with plush heels and wedged shoes. Running magazines spread the new gospel. To this day, Runner’s World tells beginners that their first workout should be opening their wallets: “Go to a specialty running store . . . you’ll leave with a comfortable pair of shoes that will have you running pain- and injury-free.”

[emphasis mine]

Wow, the issue of heel-strike running makes so much more sense now. Why else would people start wearing expensive padded shoes, unless there was some societal pressure for it? I also find it somewhat ironic that people used to wear thin, cheap shoes for running, then they transferred to thick, expensive ones, now we’re going to thin, expensive ones. Amusing.

The 100-Up method sounds like it would absolutely work for barefoot running practice.

The only way to halt the running-injury epidemic, it seems, is to find a simple, foolproof method to relearn what the Tarahumara [a Mexican tribe that does 100-mile races into their geriatric years] never forgot. A one best way to the one best way.

Earlier this year, I may have found it. I was leafing through the back of an out-of-print book, a collection of runners’ biographies called “The Five Kings of Distance,” when I came across a three-page essay from 1908 titled “W. G. George’s Own Account From the 100-Up Exercise.” According to legend, this single drill turned a 16-year-old with almost no running experience into the foremost racer of his day.

I read George’s words: “By its constant practice and regular use alone, I have myself established many records on the running path and won more amateur track-championships than any other individual.” And it was safe, George said: the 100-Up is “incapable of harm when practiced discreetly.”


I snapped a twig and dropped the halves on the ground about eight inches apart to form targets for my landings. The 100-Up consists of two parts. For the “Minor,” you stand with both feet on the targets and your arms cocked in running position. “Now raise one knee to the height of the hip,” George writes, “bring the foot back and down again to its original position, touching the line lightly with the ball of the foot, and repeat with the other leg.”

That’s all there is to it. But it’s not so easy to hit your marks 100 times in a row while maintaining balance and proper knee height. Once you can, it’s on to the Major: “The body must be balanced on the ball of the foot, the heels being clear of the ground and the head and body being tilted very slightly forward. . . . Now, spring from the toe, bringing the knee to the level of the hip. . . . Repeat with the other leg and continue raising and lowering the legs alternately. This action is exactly that of running.”

Repetition, progression, speed, silence — sounds like it fits right in with parkour.

Article and image credit go to the New York Times

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Go Vote for a Pittsburgh Parkour Park

Parkour Park

Team Sanjuu and the Pittsburgh Parkour Association’s submission to Pepsi’s Refresh Project, a parkour park, has been accepted. It’s now up for voting, so take a few seconds to help them get funding to build what looks like an awesome place for training.

Build a Parkour Park in Pittsburgh

Parkour Park

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Oleg Vorslav’s Profile on WFPF.com

This is Oleg Vorslav’s hilarious profile on WFPF.com. Don’t read it in a public place if you can help it. It’s that good.


Oleg VorslavHello everyone, I’m Oleg Vorslav, but you can just call me “O”. That’s what my really good American friend Victor calls me. Actually, he’s the only one who calls me that, but I like it…it’s short, and I like the shape, a circle like infinity, cause in your life you’re always running in circles before you get where you want to go. Forget this straight line A to B stuff. You always keep moving in a big O with everyone who exists, living, breathing, moving, loving, watching FAMILY GUY. Anyway, about me…I’m simple Russian climber from the biggest (not really) country in Europe, Latvia, a Russian guy with Latvian nationality trying to live in America. My childhood? Okay, when I was a little Russian climber I was a really wild kid who never cared about the outside world, for me it was always enough just to be in same place everyday, doing the same thing I did yesterday. To other people I seemed like a strange, boring, ugly kid with long hair, like Tarzan. School time was the most of boring thing of all. My mom was a teacher in same school, so I had to go all the time, but in my last year of lower school, my mom found another job, and it was good for me, less school more freedom on the streets. Nearby my boring school, there was a playground with bars, and half of the day me and my friends would spend our time there playing tag, or just moving without any reason, and from that moment, it became the place I’ve been most attached to all these years and still I love it…all the people, little kids, fast and furious guys, like a movie, and beautiful girls curious about the boys–this one I love more that all the rest! I have a cousin who’s like a brother to me, and we would spend all our time together doing this monkey movement. My mom gave me the chance to choose the independent way, so in 8th grade, I dropped out of school completely. I spent a lot of time on the streets with my friends and we did a lot of stupid things, like one time I threw a rock and hit a kid in the head. He turned out to be okay and I was a lucky little Russian Climber that I didn’t go to prison for it, and I decided to drop all this stupid crap I was doing and started to spend all my time practicing on the bars and less time with my friends, spending nearly all my time alone, so I could stay calm and safe and happy, and I started to learn all kinds of new stuff. My mom’s ne job was working at the video store, so I got to watch all kinds of movies for free, usually three a night. I start wondering what it would be like to make a movie, so my next mission was a find a camera to film all my monkey movement. I was lucky again…turned out my cousin had camera, so I asked my poor friend Puma to help me shoot my first video, and I loved it. By the next year, 2005 I met a crazy guy, Dj Fixsator from my neighborhood. He had a computer and he told me that he thought that what I was doing was called Parkour. He showed me some parkour videos on the net told me about the Yamakasi and David Belle.

Oleg Vorslav

So we got a group together, Joy, Puma, DjFixator, and Nicolay and we filmed half the summer and made our first video, which Daugavpils). My friends were all into this Parkour stuff, but right about that time, I started learning break dancing. It showed me another way of life, dancing life. Then in January 2006, I got a phone call from my friend Joy, “Hey Oleg,” he said, “some Russians from St. Petersburg contacted me. They’re looking for us. They need some crazy monkey boys like us for commercial. We need to go to Russia after tomorrow!” and I’m like “okay.” It was really freezing, shooting inside this old huge billding without any windows, but still I enjoyed it—the whole process—filming, the people, the free food (haha!). When I got home, I took the money I made and bought my Mom and new door—a good one—for our flat. So, with my first job, I was able to help my family. It was amazing! I love this door.


Meanwhile, my friend Joy told me how some people have been putting our videos up on the internet. I didn’t even really know what that meant. But that summer I get a call from some guy who says, “Hey, you that guy Oleg? Some Madonna people are lookin for you.” I thought he meant some people from the town of Madonna, in Latvia, and I told him “I don’t wanna go and work in Madonna. I wanna enjoy the summer here,” and he said, “Okay, but that’s pretty dumb, you can make some money and travel all over the world!” And then I got it…Madonna is not a town in Latvia. It’s that woman who sings on TV. But how did they find ME, I wondered, a hairy wild monkey boy from latvia, who never cuts his hair, always wears dirty clothes, and never talks to anybody? Somehow our Dvinsk Clan video, which was now known as “The Russian Climber” got on some website somewhere and Madonna saw it. She wanted Parkour guys for her new show, the World Confessions Tour, and she was like, “find this Russian Climber guy!”. That’s when I met other Parkour friends, like Sebastien Fuocan who was the funniest guy from the tour. We went to London, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Moscow, Osaka, Tokyo,..and finally home! I saw and felt so many new things on that trip, and still feel thankful to everyone on that tour. They were the second group of people who showed me life in a different way and each person put something in my soul something from themselves. What I can say? I love them all.

I spent the next couple years between Daugavpils and traveling around the world for work. , ,I’ve try learn more about break dance and hip hop,and I’ve learn something but still I was like a crazy Russian climber horse on the dance floor ,but anyway dance was my passion,even if I looking s..t when I dancing ,inside I feeling sooooo goooood,.Month by month some people who I know, get to know about me something,where I’ve been,what I did,,and they start to ask me about all this stuff,but I’ve try to convince them,this all lie and bull s..t,but they like ” commoooooon Oleg dont be shy ,you the best Russian climber in the World,show me back flip”,,,so my answers always been negative,I’ve refute all,cause I’ve don’t wonna some attention from other people,I’ve get used to be alone,but everyday life try to tell me” let some people in,”and I always keeping fight with this voice in my head,I’m like” hey Voice, not yet, I wonna be wild crazy human few years more ,and after I’ll invite all this curios crazy people with this annoying questions and tell em truth”but voice never believe me ,he keep saying the same thing everyday ,”Let people in, Let people in”… And we appreciate it,we thankful,and blessfull for all.

In summer 2007 I’ve film new video clip on a playground,and I’ve called “Quest of Movement”the camera guy was my really good friend Tula or 2la,we’ve filming that stuff one month,it was hard cause it always warm hot whether out side,and bars or pipes always get really warm,we tried film each move from different angle,but your skin on your hands after 30 min of filming,was painfully destroy,and I was sad cause we filmed just two moves,sometimes I’ve tried use bandage,and wind round my hands,it works for while but with pain,sometimes it really big slime bloody mix with strange smell holes on your palms,it’s painful take shower or squeeze your hands when you waking up in morning,bbbbbbbrrrr,hated so much,but palms is not only thing what I’ve destroyed,I’ve destroy my Russian balls,one of combination what I did ,we film so many times,it was like 170 times,cause I was slowly or Tula can’t film that shot like we need ,anyway somewhere in a middle of that 170 times, I ve smack my beautiful monkey balls,and I was off for 20 min,laying on a sands with broken heart and listening how Tula laughing on me,it was bad time for Russian climber,.after when we finish with my part of Quest of Movement,I’ve start filming Tula part,basically he always playing basketball on a background of playground where I jumping like a monkey,that’s why I’ve used that for video.When we’ve been done,I bought my first computer and made quest of movement,.. Year 2008 march,I’ve got some job from Sebastien foucan,Comercial and Performances for Mercedes-Benz,I came to Cologne-Germany ,and there I’ve met third groupe of people who fill my empty wild place inside me,they put it there all joy,fun,happiness and love,it was such a saturated journey,,Luke Markey -funny face England Boy,Daniel ilabaca long hair Liverpool monkey boy his like “hey Oleg I’m a prince of Persia ,you wonna be like me”,,,Andreas Kalteis -GQ boy,try to be good looking for every girl around,and Jin spiritual calm guy,,so,we had rehearsal in cologne,after we had a filming in Barcelona-Spain,and in April 2008 we did the Mercedes show in Benjing-china,by the way-it was my worst flight ever,I’m ate some chinese food on a plane and it make me sick for all day,I’m puke before landing ,guy next to me was surprise and said something on chinese,after I’ve ran really fast to toilet in airport but I’ve was late and puke on a mirrors, on a floor everywhere,after -trash guy came and shout something on Chinese,he’s like a “”"hey Russian climber why you puke in my country go away”"”"”"even when I came in hotel I felt more sick that before,so if somebody asking me about china,I’ve just telling them,they have a really good toilets,also there ive met Dane Grant who help us to be on this job,,after that job when came in back from china ,I’ve had a connecting flight,I’ve stop in amsterdam for two hours,and by a lucky chance I’m not only guy who stop there,I’ve seen Andy Kalteis,we like “”"hey no way JQ look and Russian ugly look together again”"”and we talk about life,also he offer me some chance to work in Antalya-Turkey, work shop for students,and i accept that offer. Before Turkey job I did some monkey performances in Paris-France,(2008 may)for hongerien people,it was theatre show,really strange show,most of people who came doesn’t like it,they like “”" give me my money back you douchebags”"”"”.it was fun.

2008 middle of June…Me,Andy Kalteis and funny long tall monkey guy Mathias Tagwerker with strange voice doing work shop in Antalya-turkey,hotel near by beach,from balcony opening the beautiful ocean view,palms, hills ,rocks,mountains and beautiful girls,trip on boat,jet ski,annoying people from production who speak german,(definitely we don’t like them,)crazy drunk students everywhere,party all night on a beach,sad securities guys,cause they can’t have a party with us,soo two weeks same thing everyday,and finally I m so happy comeback to my normal easy calm life,.after turkey I’ve been at home 6 days,and journey again with Danny ilabaca and Sebastien foucan,it was July,we came visit Rome-Italy,did some work shop,but I twist my ankle,good for me,I don’t like work shops,to many questions for which I don’t have a any answers ,but I’ve mat some Russian guy his name Rostislav,he offer be translator on a meeting what we had later,and I had a 5 min of my Russian wild crapy speech to all this people who attend That event,and my new Russian friend translated to them,cause he know Italian,but most of them don’t get it all what he tried to translate,so it’s mean they don’t have any idea what Russian guy talking about,so it was funny and awkward,,. After Rome I’ve been at home like a 3 weeks,spent all time on a playground,…New offer received on email,it’s sound like a “” hey Russian climber come to Copenhagen-Danmark,for new European Gathering 2008,”"”and i like a “”" ok Danmark boy I will”"”,.August,when I came I’ve met some monkey people from jamakasi ,but they was not young monkeys anymore,they was more like a grown massive big gorillas like Sebastien F.,more that all I like funny french jamakas gorilla Laurent Piemontesi,he always pretending be a Russian guy,he can just saying ,yes,no and hallo in Russian,but it always was enough to make me laugh like furious chicken horse,.after this job I’ve visit Danny’s(ilabaca)house,and met all his family,his mam so Kind,beautiful,gracious,ready to help everyone who need it and who not,his dad big funny strong,huge mustache man,really good person like me,his brothers all different,one small,one funny,one normal,but inside they all same I mean really good,but anyway Russian climber better,,the time what I spent in Liverpool we had a some performances for Fire Fighting Games,it was end of august,in that job I’ve met my monkey brothers,Ben Jenkins,we call em The young Gun,,,,,,Phill Doyle-smart beauty ugly British boy,,,,,Tim Shieff live wire -for girls he the furious sex Machine,,,,,,,Ryan Doyle -British Jackie Chan with Liverpool accent and different stylish blond hair cut,,,,,Jan Rufio Barcikowski -polish funny guy almost Latvian he kept some good personally porno on his phone,,,Pip Andersen-funny monkey joker,with Russian humor,and my girlfriend thinks he’s cute.,and some other england funny fallows did this F.F.games.we all staying at Danny’s house,and ate all food From ilabaca fridge,and I still feel guilty,cause I ve destroyed ilabacas kettle,it was early in a morning,I woke up,went to kitchen making some Earl grey tea,and accidentally put it plastic kettle on fire,I thought it metal one,after I start making some toasts with jam,and Jan came in,and he’s like “”"”hey oleg look back kettle on fire,”"”"and I’m like”"” ooooo s..t”"”after that Danny’s mam never let me making tea again,yes this Life, you know,.Also I’ve met my Italien American friend Victor Bevine,he’s like “”" hey O you wonna be part of WFPF,go to America and do some MTV show”"”I’m like”"”"ofcourse my American friend”"”"but my first visiting to America happened just two years later,after my conversation with victor,they work really hard to bring me over,Victor Bevine italien american and David Thompson French American ,two different good people who help me a lot,I appreciate it all.what I can say ,love them all.

2008 October,got some new job from Andy Kalteis,we going to Portugal-lisabon again,do some performance for Audi. I’ve met some funny people,Tunc Leech Uysaler-look like Borat and speak like him to,,,,,Sascha Cionn Hauser-he like to do matrix Neo poses,also he said when he wearing sun glasses he look like Neo,,,,Karsten Randall -funniest model guy from Germany ,who look like Lenny Kravitz So in 2008 I’ve met so many good and simple,difficult and strange people,Each person who showing up in my life,put it different influence on my inner world, someone left spiritual things(value) in my soul,someone left material things(value),all this things combine with my things(value),and wild Russian climber personality,keep change in inside and develop with new experience of life,.So, end of year 2008.December,relaxing and chilling at home,Heart full of love and happiness ,Mind full of thoughts and good memories,Body full of power and bunch a different Fast Food from all around the world(unfortunately but that’s true and I’m not regret,I like fast food),Soul and Spirit full of peace,calmness and harmony,., wild side of me still want to stay on that old playground,curious side of me continue that way into society world,..

Year 2009 February ,Victor Bevine american italien friend got new job for me in Mexico-Mexico city,for advertisement (Sony Ericsson),.Long flight,Long drive,finally in office,strange short funny director with old school shoes,and big glasses,stuff what I did was simple,One wall flip few times,one min on a trampoline,and I’m done,easy job,good people,beautiful Mexico city,browny tan,best Tacos, thank you Vic for this job,that money what I’ve earn,really help me in 2009,cause after that I didn’t have any jobs till November,8 months spending at home,.Summer time 2009,me and my basketball friend Tula made in new video “Out of time”,I asking for help Dree(naked gun crew),and he did montage,cause he really good with that,in “out of time”we put some footage from 2008,I remember when we seating all night at Dree’s making out of time,and his mam always waking up really early,4 am and she ready to dance,she making breakfast for us and best fruit tea,best cook woman for Russian climber,.

November 2009,Had a phone call from Timmy Shiffy ,he’s like”"”hey crazy Spanish guy,you wonna work in London for premier Twilight 2″”"”he think I’m look like Spanish guy,,anyway I did this job,smack my face on stage in rehearsal day,show day ,rain ,slippery red carpet,did back handspring and slipped at the end,loser again,,,another day of twilight job was easier, we were just seating on a roof,did a vampire poses,and talk about English grammatical stuff with Phill Doyle,so much fun, you know. Year 2010,March,Airport,i waiting my flight to LA,and thinking about girl who’d i fell in love,one day before,strange feeling but i dont wonna go to america anymore,wishing stay with her at home,but my ambition play first,so finally I’m in America,Los Angeles,I’ve met David Thompson in airport,so much funny big French American guy with curly grey hair,who cook for all LA people,and for Russian climber to,first person in LA who’d I talk to about life,was good American conversation,and best water melon juice which I’ve tried first time in my life.Me and Ben Jenx ,we were stay at some hotel in santa monica,in reception when you check in ,you can get free warm chocolate cookies as much as you can hold in your hands,we held a lot,and ofcorse we ate it all,MTV did some filming with us for our profiles cause me and Ben didn’t have one,and ive met Francis Lyons-funny cynical prick,reAlly good man,third guy who help me come to america,,,lately we(me and Jenx) met some young girls in a hotel ,it was bad idea talk to them,we saw em from big distance ,and they saying hallo or something,we thought is might be beautiful grown womans,but when we were closer,me and Ben we look at each other and I bet we thinking about same thing at that moment,like a Ben thoughts”"”"”we should run Russian climber,”"”"my thoughts”"”"” we should run Young Gun(Ben Jenkins ). On the next few days we did some work shop in white lotus ,met some new funny people Travis Wong,Solomon Brende,this people have one best thing, what I like more that everything,it’s two little dogs Kicks fast like wind act like normal dog and Makai lazy dog act like p..sy guy,I love them both.also I’ve met King David he’s like “”"hey Russian climber you wonna move really smooth like me,”"”and I’m like “”"”sure its my dream”"”he’s like ok”"”" now you my friend”"”".After,we visit Victor house in New Yourk,really good house for parkour freerun monkey people,cause on a background he have big,huge tree for everyone,you climb any time,can you imagine ?

Ive met Michael Turner funny California boy from Santa Barbara,I like him to,he understand russian jokes,,two weeks later we came back to LA,and did some promo for MTV (ultimate parkour challenge ),after,we were coming home again for two weeks,I was more that glad,I was happy,cause all this time what I’ve spent in America,I thinking about this girl ,her name is Irishka,soo two weeks with Irishka and Russian climber was happy more that ever,yes that girl caught Russian Wildest monkey for long,maybe for all life. In 2010 I did a part of MTV show parkour ultimate challenge ,it was fun and music time for my life,I’ve borrow David guitar and start practicing play on it every day and night and everywhere,on a streets,roofs,trees,swimming pole,thanks David your guitar beast,I remember,when victor saw me somewhere with guitar,he’s like “”"hey O be careful this guitar is expansive 1000 $’”"”" ,I’m like”"”" ok”"”,,. one more best thing what I did it almost everyday -Serfing,,,Russian serfer,,,,just me,ocean,and sharks,.. Ok I wanna finish now,and in the end I just wanna say thank you to everyone who I’ve met,Russian wild monkey Oleg, love you all,.. Its Just LIFE.

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Everything You Do Is Practice, Until It Isn’t

This is an excellent article from Lifehacker on practice/training.



If you ask anyone with any level of success to share their secret (and they’re convinced they have one), they’ll tell you what they did in the broadest of terms as if it could apply to anyone. In reality it doesn’t come down to what you do, necessarily, but to your attitude about your actions. The one common thread in every success story is perseverance, and that it was achieved by seeing every attempt as a step forward—as practice.


“Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as Practice makes perfect.”

~ Periander

Everything you do is practice until it isn’t. If you look at each action any other way, you’re not only setting unreasonable expectations of yourself but you’re assuming you can predict an unpredictable outcome. Believing that a single project will equal success is too speculative. When a hit song tops the charts, a book becomes a best-seller, and new web app grows to unimaginable heights of popularity, it’s easy to see that occurrence in an instant and ignore everything that preceded it. Everything is practice up until that moment the goal has been reached—the moment something works—and you can give your work another name.

“Success comes through rapidly fixing our mistakes rather than getting things right the first time.”

Tim Harford, author of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

When potty-training a child, there is a lot of practice involved. Listening to your body and going to the bathroom at the right time is a fairly simple thing once you’ve gotten the hang of it, but like anything new it takes practice. Whether you’re the trainer or the trainee, patience and practice are vital. We become so accustomed to the world by the time we’re grown, however, that we can manage to forget that even something familiar can take time and effort to do well. Sometimes you have to let the goal sit far off in the future and just do what you want to do for the sake of learning. Failure is okay, and even good under the right circumstances, but if your goal is to try and become better the outcome becomes irrelevant. There’s always something to learn from an experiment.

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” ~ Yogi Berra

Where success comes from isn’t something anyone can tell you because nobody’s method takes who you are and what matters to you into account. What you can do is endlessly experiment, and a day should come when practice turns into expertise.

Photo by Vlue (Shutterstock)

via Lifehacker

I remember reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and being pretty surprised at its message. The basic premise is that to be very successful at something, you need a lot of practice. 10,000 hours. Sounds like a lot, but the examples he gives are pretty convincing — Bill Gates, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Beatles.

More relevant to our discipline, the traceurs widely regarded as the most capable are those with the most experience and training. David Belle himself started his parkour journey when he was 15, though he had always been extremely active as a child. Chase Armitage started at 15. Michael Wilson started at 11. Sébastien Foucan started at 12. Jason Paul started at 15. Tim Shieff’s been breakdancing since he was 14. Ryan Doyle started when he was 15. Oleg Vorslav started at 13. Michael Turner has been training since he was 15. Ben Jenkin started when he was 13. Need I go on?

Now that all of them are 20+, they’ve got the 10,000 hours of training under their belt. Result? Mastery of their discipline.

All of this should be pretty obvious by theory, but it’s worth the time to take a look at the hard proof.


You need to train more. Maybe you weren’t able to start as early as anyone mentioned above; well, then you have to work harder to get in more hours of training.

So go do ten push-ups. Now.

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Push-Up Variations

Push-ups are great upper-body conditioning. They’re great conditioning for muscle-ups, climb-ups and handstands. They do tend to get boring after a while, so check out these variations.



Ignore the OMGGGG-ness of the description. These are good practice for double/diving kongs; just make sure you’re warmed up and your wrists and shoulders are ready to take the strain. Oh, and don’t lock your elbows, or you may be in for a broken arm or two.

Want more pain? Got you covered.

35 Different Ways to do Push-ups.

An Enduring Measure of Fitness: The Simple Push-Up

How To Do a Proper Push-up

One Arm Push-up Tutorial

Handstand Push-up Tutorial

Push-up variations by Wikipedia

Have fun. You will be sore tomorrow.

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