Some thoughts on getting started

by Dyane.

Watching James Kingston’s documentary “Don’t Look Down” made me realise for the first time that parkour was in my blood. While everyone around me was gasping in horror at James climbing cranes, I was in awe and wanted to leave the house that second to go out and start my climbing adventure!

I’d class myself as unfit and when I started looking at women doing parkour I was feeling intimidated and started to realise that it might not be achievable for me. That was until I attended my first class with Glasgow Parkour Girls. The first evening I turned up full of enthusiasm and slightly terrified, but as soon as I met Kelley and Edith I knew I was going to have a great night. I struggled with some of the new things we were doing, like supporting my entire body weight with my arms (not going to happen for a while!). On the other hand, I found out that I had really good natural balance and I could land a jump. I went home black and blue but with the biggest smile on my face.

Since having my first class a month ago, the camaraderie and support given by everyone who attends has kept me motivated and still so excited to continue my parkour journey. I’d encourange anyone who is thinking they’d love to do parkour but is apprehensive to come to a class. You’ll be amazed at what you can do naturally, and how supportive everyone is to help you achieve the things you’ll need to learn.

I’m still very much a beginner but now the parkour part of my brain has been switched on every landscape is full of potential, and the world around me has become my playground.

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The Nature of Challenge – From Ania Grupka (via Access Parkour)

This blog post was originally published on Access Parkour’s blog – http://www.accessparkour.com/the-nature-of-challenge-ania-grupka/

Parkour challenges me in a way like nothing else does. What I like most about it is the empowerment, that feeling that I can do anything (think superhero ninjas! don’t believe this though, I am only a beginner traceur!).

Challenge is a concept that I have worked with in different ways in the past years and my thinking has evolved around the idea of failure a lot. To me, challenge is inherently associated with failure. This is not where it ends, only the beginning of a journey and how I deal with the idea of failure is the massively important thing. This is where motivation and persistence come in to play.

Admittedly, this is not what I always thought. In the past, I would give up on something without actually trying because I was too afraid of failing. Or I would try once, decide that it wasn’t for me and just give up. I couldn’t stand not being good enough and I didn’t take criticism well, so I preferred not to face it at all. This is what I now consider to be a “I do not actually want to do it at all” approach. It means that if we give up, the thing we were attempting was not that important to us in the first place. Ultimately, most of the things we do in life are our choice. We choose to do them because we want to do them. And so we come up with ways of getting ourselves where we want to be. Otherwise, we come up with excuses to not do them. So if something is important enough to me I will keep at it no matter what, and failure is just a step on the way. It happens, but I keep going and try again.

I have been discovering with parkour recently that I am often more capable than I thought I was. Quite often I will need a lot of encouragement and sometimes I might be the last person to believe that I actually can do something. A recent example would be a training session where I was doing relatively easy jumps just because I didn’t realise I could do bigger ones. The discovery that I can do more was pretty exhilarating. And it brings up a question of how often do we operate within our perceived limits only because we don’t realise we are capable of so much more.

So say we decide that we *do* want to do something and we stick at it. We keep failing repeatedly over time and we might start wondering why we actually want to do it. Betterment is one of the reasons for me. If I become a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, this is already great. Some days I don’t feel like I’m improving at all though. But on these days, I find that the best reason to do parkour is just the sheer pleasure of movement. The satisfaction I get from just being in my body and interacting with the environment around is a reason enough to go out and train.

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