When in doubt, just shout “PARKOUR!”

Destination Deck is always a surprise.  You trust the little pin on the map, plan your route to get there, and you #JustShowUp hoping it will be amazing.  You hope it won’t be a Sebastian.  Or that it will be a Sebastian.  You plan on the hugs and at least a little fitness.  Every once in a while the scale tips toward totally weird, or really really fun, rather than the fitness side…but no matter what when you get to the Deck, you’re glad you were there.
Today, our good friend and loyal Tribe member Blake Evitt brought his crew from Parkour Generations Americas to lead us in an official Parkour workout. (Strangely, it was not like Capozzi tries to do every week when we plan workouts!)   It was dope.  It was hot.  It was unexpected.  And it pushed our boundaries of fitness, in the best possible way.
For today’s blog, we’re going to see how this morning’s Parkour workout can teach us a little something about life beyond the workout.  
The first station was on the Bars and it was all about Creativity and Flow.  Can you find a different way through the bars each time? Can you try going under, over, through–in pursuit of the optimal route that gets you through smoothly and quickly. How about life?  Ever try doing the same thing again and again, to no avail and feel like you’re going a little crazy?  Ever just avoid hard stuff because it looks a little tricky, precarious, or scary?  Yup, we all do.  So, as with the bars, when we try out different options and creatively find what works best for us, we can find some flow, smoothness, and ease, in all the things we struggle with.  When you feel those things, it’s usually how you know you’re on the right path.  Boom.
station 1
Station #2 was on the Wall.  The goal was to go up and over as quickly as possible. Bonus points for going from a dead hang against the wall (the pros call it a “cat hang”) up and over.  The pros also told us to let go of the thought that the wall is a right angle when running up it–instead, they said, “try to imagine you’re simply running up a steep slope.”  Ok you Parkouristas, running up steep slopes aren’t easy either…but what you’re saying is that our minds tell us that gravity keeps us down and since none of us are Spiderman, we shouldn’t be able to climb walls.  But if we change our mindset and see ourselves tackling something we have a chance of conquering and that our bodies seem to know how to do already, we begin to see the possibilities, rather than the obstacles.  Both on the Parkour wall and in life.  Boom.

cat hang

Station #3 had us vaulting over a couple of walls–practicing getting over them as quickly as possible and using body parts that help us move fast.  Hands and feet tend to work better for getting over walls FAST, rather than knees, elbows, shins, and bellies.  A technical move we learned was the basic “Step Vault,” which is placing one hand and the opposite foot on the top of the wall and then threading the other foot through the ensuing triangle and down to the ground.  Watch someone who’s done many of these step vaults and has vaulted over many-a-wall.  They seems to know how to fly through the air like they’re suspended by wires.  But walls, like obstacles in front of us in life, are often much bigger in our heads than they truly are.  Sure, we can get over them using all of our body parts or all of our resources available.  But sometimes, when we look at our resources, we see that certain ones are ideal for this wall/obstacle, and when we use those paired with a little bit of courage and belief that we’ll land on the other side–we can leap over with unexpected speed and simplicity.  Boom.
The fourth station was all about Jumps.  Well, jumping and maintaining control over how we jumped.  Our Parkourinis emphasized quiet and controlled landings that sound like a ninja (silent) and not like an elephant (apparently, not silent?!). We learned that we’re much quieter (and also more controlled) when we land on the balls of the feet and absorb the movement with our legs.  Hmmm…does this apply to life? Maybe that how we do things influences how they feel as we do them and impacts what happens next, as a result.  This is represented in our movement when we jump, but also in our tone, our language, our energy and our body language when we meet, greet, interact with, and engage with other human beings.  Do we influence others like ninjas or like elephants?  Ok, maybe that’s not quite the right question, because sometimes you need to be an elephant (I hear they’re mighty strong, have great memories, and are surprisingly good swimmers!), but if you know how to make yourself an elephant when you need to be, and a ninja when you need to be, then Parkour has served you well. Boom.
Our final Challenge of the morning was running a Parkourse (that’s a Parkour course)  (not really, I just made that word up) as an entire tribe.  Each time any of us circled by the tree, we added a pebble/piece of grass/debris to the pile, trying to add as many as possible by circling as many times as we could in the 5 min. challenge.  Because everything we do does, in fact, matter.  At the end, we don’t need to count because the number itself doesn’t matter, but our presence, our contribution, our effort, and our strength absolutely matter.  It’s great motivation to go faster and farther…which we try to do every day.
So did our Parkourasauraus workout teach us anything?  I think so.  But you make your own decision on that.  Bottom line is that the Parkour movement has some ideals that seem to align with NP’s culture.  They are:
-Be strong to be useful
-Start together finish together
-Leave no trace
Each of us have strengths of many kinds. The stronger we feel, the stronger we are, and the stronger we make the entire Tribe.  The tribe is strong.
We are a tribe.  We start, finish, bounce, hug, climb, run, and do it all together.  It’s the together thing that transformed NP from just a couple of college rowing has-beens working out, into the united movement it is now.
Oooh, that last one is tough.  Who are we kidding?  NP does not leave no trace.  We do a pretty good job cleaning up after ourselves at workouts, but we’ve been known to disturb a few sleepy heads and surprise some passers-by.  And if we’re being real, we gotta get better at not leaving our shirts and water bottles everywhere and taking really good care of the parks, playgrounds, deck locations, stadium and summit ave, where we hold workouts.  But in this effort toward #worldtakeover, we’re kinda trying to ruffle some feathers and open more eyes to the opportunity in this free fitness community.  Let’s leave a trace.  Let’s leave the kindest, most fun, positive and weird trace on the world possible.  Boom.
PARKOUR: Contact Blake Evitt or check out Parkour Generations Americas for classes, free events, and not-free events.  The event Blake mentioned this morning is the American Rendezvous 2016 on June 24th and NP tribe members can get 15% off your entry, using the promo code: FUCKYEAHPK.  I don’t know how many free spots he has for that, but holler at him if you’re interested!  Big thanks to Blake and the PKcrew this morning!
Wednesday 5:30am and 6:30am in Harvard stadium.  Every darn week.  Forever.
Friday 6:30 at the top of Summit Ave for #PRHills.  Show up to race, because that’s all we’re doing.  It’s Race Day, baby!
NPSummit4.0: You can still decide to go.  Check it out here!
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