Freedom can be given, but is most often earned and requires work. Work for your goals, work for yourself, work for your loved ones, for this planet, our environments - work for a better you, a better life, and a better world!

You want freedom? EARN IT!


Find, Be, Run.

There is one aspect of parkour I have grown to love; one that I believe has eluded many practitioners. I'm talking about self-discovery. Parkour isn't just a physical activity (if you think it is I will soon correct you). It's about building the body AND the mind, simultaneously finding one's spirit; one's essence, the force that drives you in life!

This is something that should not go overlooked in our training. True, there are those that adopt parkour solely for the fitness and health benefits, for showmanship, for fun, or to add it to a repertoire of items on a résumé. These persons are not truly training parkour; they are merely grazing the surface - taking only the movements and missing the concept. They are missing out on an amazing opportunity to discover something new about themselves, a chance to discover their limits and simultaneously strive and succeed to surpass them, to discover what is really important to them in life!

Personally, parkour helped me realize that I was not living the life that I really wanted. It has helped me to make many “big”, important decisions lately. The biggest of those decisions? I quit college and not one, but TWO jobs this year. I was on a predefined track that all too many are following these days: a college education complete with a large debt, an unwanted job working for a company that didn’t care about me, and a greed for more money and “better” things. I hadn’t even realized how caught in this I was! I was following what the media and society say we should do with our lives. Finish 12 years of school, head to college and work a part-time job (or a few), finish college, look for a job with a reputable, stable company (which it seems these days will likely not even be in your field of study), and so on and so forth. Sure, this track is right for some people – but my point is that parkour helped me recognize that it wasn’t for me!

With all of that said, I leave you with this thought to consider the next time you go out and train:

Find yourself. Be that person. Run with it.


Be Better.

This should be a pretty short post, but it's something that has come to mean a lot to me in the past week probably so. I was out training with John Conway in Hammond, Indiana, pretty late in the night. We were warming up. I had just finished getting my joints mobilized, and began to run next. My only goal at that moment was to get my heart rate up and, if possible, get my hands warmer through the warm blood flow the running would create. That run started just like any other. I'm not much of a runner... I was huffing and puffing after the first lap (1/4 mile). Unimpressed with myself, I continued and threw in some variations that pkgen event-goers would find familiar.

Before I knew it, I had done 4 laps... about 1 mile. Now I know this doesn't impress anyone, but I'm not out to impress. It's been years since I ran a full mile non-stop. The last time I attempted it, I didn't have it in me and had to give up around lap 3. This was before I started parkour. With the confidence and persistence I've gained from my training, I kept pushing. I did 4 more laps without stopping. When I was done, my breathing was normal and my legs felt great! I had raised the bar for myself; I felt real accomplishment.
There was one thing I kept repeating to myself in my head during that run: "There's only one way to get better. BE better."


Safety & Liability

One of the biggest concerns in parkour is safety. It is the concern of beginners, of parents, adults, the authorities, owners of the properties on which we train, and yes, even myself as an instructor. “Liability” is a word often heard by practitioners. When we are asked to leave a particular training spot, it is most often because of this menacing word. You might say to yourself; “what’s all the fuss about? I wouldn’t sue anyone if I got injured training on someone’s property – it was my choice to jump/run/climb/etc.” True as that may be, property owners still need to protect themselves from the possibility of those few practitioners (or parents of!) that would sue.

In my opinion, it’s a pretty small percentile. I have never had anyone say that they would sue if they got hurt during their training. But I am also aware that that does not mean that nobody will. Parkour has some real dangers, hence our large emphasis on safety, progression, and conditioning. You may think that these property owners need not be concerned, but there are people out there looking to make a buck off of things like this. Next time you’re training at a location and you’re asked to leave for reasons of liability, please be respectful and responsible. Don’t argue against whoever is asking you to leave. Attempt to explain to them what you are doing (not by showing, they’ve undoubtedly already saw what you were doing and don’t want to see it being done again right now!) and you may even be able to negotiate a meeting with someone in charge to talk about the issue. I haven’t come across many property owners that are willing to discuss permissions and waivers, but again that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist!

We need to keep parkour in a positive light through our communities and the media if we wish to continue to train at our most beloved environments. The last thing we want to see is “no parkour” added to those signs about skateboarding and rollerblading! Stay safe!