By Ellie Dubois
It’s now two weekends since the Clamjamfrie took place in Glasgow and I just wanted to write about it here, firstly because it was a brilliant event and secondly because it’s important that both the personal achievements of those taking part and the overall achievement of pulling off an event on this scale be remembered and celebrated. So to celebrate, here are a few of my favourite memories of the Clamjamfrie:
1) The beginning. Standing in the rain in the Glasgow at Clydeside surrounded by 40 other women warming up at the start of the Clamjamfrie. I have never seen that many women training together in Scotland before, and what was even more brilliant was that I knew maybe about five of them. There was so many new faces: some people that had travelled across Europe to be here, some from other Scottish communities and (for me most excitingly) women from Glasgow, who had never done parkour before but they were out there in rain giving it a try for the first time. I think that it would be fair and honest to say that it has been hard in the past to get women involved in Parkour in Glasgow. They often say that they are interested and would love to give it a try, but that they are scared or don’t think that they are strong enough or they don’t have the time,. So getting all these new and unfamiliar faces together for the first time is a massive achievement.
2) The Coaches A massive thank you needs to go to all the coaches. It was great to have so many different coaches with a massive amount of expertise to share with the participants. They bought new thoughts and ideas about how to train, new exercises and games to play, and new eyes to Glasgow’s walls and rails to see new jumps and challenges that we hadn’t spotted in the past.
3) Watching everyone push it seriously hard at the end of day one, despite being exhausted. It might be a bit of a parkour cliché but at the end of a hard and challenging day everyone worked super-hard in the conditioning. I don’t think that I will ever stop finding this impressive.
4) Teaching people something different. I was lucky enough to teach a bit of aerial stuff on day two. Everyone I taught was massively enthusiastic, despite their sore hands. Some people achieved their first first rope climbs or meathooks, and that was seriously impressive. But there were also great teachers doing contemporary dance, handstands, barefoot running and strongwoman. And from all these things you can take what is useful and leave the rest, and maybe find that some of the rest is useful at some point in the future.
5) The seemingly endless supply of protein bars. YUM!
6) The girl, whose name I can’t remember, who left halfway through day two, because she had to go and rescue a seal. I know that that seems a little weird but I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t an elaborate excuse to get out of conditioning and that it was actually part of her job. She told me that she was very sad that she had to go because she had had an amazing morning and had done lots of things that she never had thought she would be able to do. And that’s wicked, because that is ultimately what these events are about; to get people involved and to help them to prove to themselves that they are more capable than they ever thought they were.
7) The lovely Kel and Fiona. And thank you most of all to Kel and Fiona for organizing this event. It was a massive event not just for women’s parkour but also something that the rest of the parkour community in Scotland should be supporting and celebrating. I am certain that it will only make our community stronger for the future. Happiness.