(This question is part of the “Story Time!” project.)
Craig: Okay. And we’re kind of hinting at there’s a bunch of stories. So I’m going to do do this now. So, we like to ask everybody, is there any particular story you would like to share? So everybody has stories and there are millions of stories out there in the Parkour world, full of spectacular, literally spectacle things. But I’m interested in finding things that people are passionate about, because the people who don’t do Parkour [00:20:00] don’t understand even the mindset that we’re coming from. So if there’s a story that you would like to share, about Parkour, about hustling in Scotland or whatever, I would love to hear it.
Jonny: We could definitely talk about hustling in Scotland because those are some interesting stories too. But I feel like we’ve gotta talk about breaking jumps, since that’s kind of what led us here. And of course, the first one will always be the most memorable. [00:20:30] So, when you first start training, you think you’re breaking jumps, right? Because you’re a foot off the ground and you’re jumping four feet out, you know.
Craig: I’m scared, yeah. I’m scared. I’m doing it! Stop pushing me!
Jonny: You’re terrified! But it doesn’t compare to the first time you really break a jump. And what I mean is one where there is a degree of uncertainty and something could go terribly wrong. So I was at a birthday jam [00:21:00] for a friend of ours. We were all just kind of moving through the city here in New York, from spot to spot. Just one of those training sessions where you’re just looking for stuff along the way.
And three of us broke off to go use the bathroom in this one park. And that turned into a session, of course, you know, on the bathroom. And then we ended up up on the roof and there was a jump across essentially, like an entrance gate. And it had wrought iron …
Jonny: Yes. On either side. So you had to jump up [00:21:30] and over these kind of wrought-iron spikes and then clear them to get to the other side. And there was just like a stone pillar that was, I don’t know, two feet squared or something? It was a very small landing spot. And it was a good eight, maybe nine feet up in the air. And I had never done anything like that before, you know. I was still very, very new. But I was with a friend of mine who I trusted a lot. I trained with him a lot, and he’s not one of those macho dudes that wants to just push you to do bigger and better stuff, but he felt [00:22:00] like I could do it and he was like, “Hey man, do this jump with me.”
That’s all I need to hear. I’m like, “Oh, you’re gonna do this jump? All right, I can do this jump.”
Craig: It’ll make you feel good.
Jonny: So I’m standing there looking at it. He’s looking at it. He goes for it first. And then I’m standing up in the spot and I’m looking and I’m just immediately imagining all the things that could go wrong. And at this point, we had been training for so long in the park that there was all the parents and the kids and everybody had been watching us. So now I have a full, captive audience and they’re staring up [00:22:30] at me. And I’m like, “Well I can’t not do the jump now, right?”
Craig: Maybe if they moved closer they would be a crash mat if something went wrong.
Jonny: I was kind of thinking about that too, but in the worst case scenario, where I’m like, “Now imagine I miss the jump and I land on, like, a five year old kid. This is actually the worst day of my life. And I’ve got a hundred witnesses, on top of that.” It almost doesn’t get any worse, right? So I’m standing there looking at this jump and then all of a sudden these two gung-ho cops come peeling across [00:23:00] the lawn of the park in the car with the lights on and everything, as if I’m some kind of legitimate criminal. And they come to a skidding halt, errrrt. Right in front of me. They jump out. “Get down from there!” And I’m like, well there’s only one way down, I’ve got to make this jump right now.
Craig: …so dodging bullets!
Jonny: So I do the jump and I completely black out in the air. That’s the craziest part, was I don’t remember anything until the landing. I had this moment where I was just 100% autopilot. [00:23:30] I make the jump. I hit the other side. I take the drop, I’m like, “Let’s go!” The whole crowd is cheering for me, all the parents and the kids, everybody. “Yeah!” And I’m looking at the cops like, “You can’t seriously be mad about this, look at this. These people love me.”
And then they start trying to find out what I’m doing, why I was up there and everything. And I’m just grinning from ear to ear like a total maniac. I’m barely even paying attention and I’m like, “Wait, did you see what I just did? That’s what I was up there for. I [00:24:00] went up there to do that jump.” And they’re trying to figure out if I was trying to like break into the bathroom or, you know. I don’t know what they think I’m trying to do from the roof, right? With the door open.
Their questions made no sense to me and I must have looked like I was high on something, because I’m just, I’m in full ecstasy, you know? I’m so bummed I have to share this moment with these two cops right now rather than my buddies or the cheering crowd of parents who were absolutely in awe over what just happened. So, whatever, we talk to the cops, they realize that I’m just a totally [00:24:30] harmless weirdo.
Craig: Crazy individual.
Jonny: Yeah. They let me go. And that high lasted for two or three days. I came home, I couldn’t shut up about it. I’m talking to my girlfriend. I’m calling my mom. I’m telling anybody that doesn’t care. They’ve got to know. I’m posting on Facebook about it. It was, it was absurd. But I had never felt more alive in my life, and that’s really saying something. Because I was in a coma for a week, you want to talk about feeling like you’re alive, come out of a coma [00:25:00] you feel pretty alive. This dwarfed that. I felt… I was like, “This is the meaning of life right here, is to have these moments.”