I have a lot of thoughts on parkour. Here's a few...
Most of us have been busy with exams at this time of the year.
Wanganui is a beautiful town to be in at this time of the year – a great place to clear my head from all the studying and replace it with all the blooming flowers up and down Victoria Ave. I had some time to kill by myself last weekend while I was in the city, before helping my girlfriend move her fitness studio to a new location (it specialises in holistic fitness if you want to check it out - https://www.facebook.com/Star.HF.Studio
). So I changed into my usual gear – well used shoes from too much running, and baggy trackpants that are a few sizes too large just because that's how we roll – and headed to the conveniently located Majestic Square. As I put my stuff down and warmed up, I noticed a young kid, maybe 10, at the top of the square vaulting over a rail. I started a conversation with him, and it turned into that amazing moment when I'm in a foreign city and unexpectedly run into someone also doing parkour. Even with our odd age differences, we were soon training together.
He asked me if I'd met Wilf. I had. Wilf is one of the 'founders' of the Wanganui parkour scene. Even though he hasn't lived there for a few years, it's amazing to hear him talked about as if he were a legend. This isn't the first time I've heard guys in Wanganui talk about Wilf as if he were a mystical figure of their scene. He's now up in Auckland starting up a fitness business (it's at if you want to follow what they do https://www.facebook.com/KoriMovement
). This creation of legends that parkour inspires is fascinating. It's the creation of role models. It's something that is associated with sport. All sports have their role models. And in an activity like parkour that appeals to youth especially, role models are especially important. That's not to say that parkour is not open for everyone – of course it is. It has no barrier of age or discrimination to its practice. But the 'street' nature of its training seems to appeal to youth especially. With Physical Graffiti, part of what we hope to do is provide an avenue for some of the strong guys in the scene at the moment to sustain their training and develop it further, and thus become, or continue to be, role models for the new and/or younger people getting into the discipline. Parkour doesn't have this upper level of support to sustain it's experienced practitioners at the moment in New Zealand, like it is starting to have overseas – so many athletes are forced to give up their practice because they can't balance it with other areas of their lives. It would be a dream come true to use Physical Graffiti to aid in developing this upper level of practice within New Zealand for parkour and freerunning.
I'm studying for my exam on tomorrow. So tomorrow, after my exam, I'm going to direct some energy into this PledgeMe project. Kick it into action further. Get some more happening on it. I'm excited.