Monday, June 30, 2008

Behind the Jump

Not many know of the lonliness of the long distance runner. Few have experienced the sensation of training alone. Having only your thoughts and a camera with you for training companions as you constantly and consistantly put yourself in harm's way as train and be ready for the unexpected. The untrained eye rarely sees the moments behind the jump. The hours of conditioning and repetitions involved with each movement. I've learned that the observers aren't going to be there with you on early morning runs, or hot afternoon sessions- but they will stand at the finish line to see that brief moment of glory as your chest breaks past that ribbon making all that training worth while.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CrossFit Central's First Parkour/Free Running Video

After the last UTB on a Saturday morning I decided to take my camera with me as I did some parkour/free running training at UT campus. I made this video out of it which shows some of the movements and techniques I was focusing on that day. I have been a practitioner of parkour for a little over three years and I still find new ways to interact with my enviroment and to challenge myself as I attempt to navigate various terrains in a swift and fluid manner. Here's the result of that day's effort...

Parkour is Here!

Parkour is a relatively new activity that everyone's been talking about and eager to try- but what is it?
Parkour is an activity with the aim of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the abilities of the human body. It is meant to help one overcome obstacles, which can be anything in the surrounding environment—from branches and rocks to rails and concrete walls—and can be practiced in both rural and urban areas. Parkour practitioners are referred to as traceurs (male) or traceuses (female).
Founded by David Belle in France, parkour focuses on practicing efficient movements to develop one's body and mind to be able to overcome obstacles in an emergency.
Parkour is a physical activity that is difficult to categorize. Often miscategorized as a sport or an extreme sport, parkour has no set of rules, team work, formal hierarchy, or competitiveness. On the contrary it is more like an art or discipline that resembles self-defense in the ancient martial arts. According to David Belle, "the physical aspect of parkour is getting over all the obstacles in your path as you would in an emergency. You want to move in such a way, with any movement, as to help you gain the most ground on someone or something, whether escaping from it or chasing toward it." Thus, when faced with a hostile confrontation with a person, one will be able to speak, fight, or flee. As martial arts are a form of training for the fight, parkour is a form of training for the flight. Because of its unique nature, it is often said that parkour is in its own category: "parkour is parkour."

An important characteristic of parkour is efficiency. Practitioners move not only as fast as they can, but also in the most direct and efficient way possible, this characteristic distinguishes it from the similar practice of free running, which places more emphasis on freedom of movements, such as acrobatics. Efficiency also involves avoiding injuries, short and long-term, part of why parkour's unofficial motto is ĂȘtre et durer (to be and to last).
Those who are skilled at this activity normally have an extremely keen spatial awareness.
Traceurs claim that parkour also influences one's thought process by enhancing self-confidence and critical-thinking skills that allow one to overcome everyday physical and mental obstacles.

David Belle stated to the BBC news that "Our aim is to take our art to the world and make people understand what it is to move."