Immersing myself in this discipline has transformed my life completely. For one thing, I was something of a party animal before I had the sense of purpose that parkour provides. I was very unhealthy; I drank excessively, smoked and did harmful drugs, all of which have been left behind now. Parkour has also shifted the way I approach difficult things in my life. Rather than wilting in the face of challenge, as I had done previously, I now sprint toward it with a big smile and wide eyes.
“We can never walk together and you’re not jumping, skiping or floating geeeze!!”, is the cry of many of my friends who don’t practice Parkour.
Parkour has affected my life in numerous ways. It has broadened my imagination and my perspective on this world. Its made me a healthier person and a more rounded human. It’s allowed me to travel to new places. It’s allowed me to meet really great people. Its given me a family and it seems like whenever you go to different jams or events, its like you’re meeting new cousins haha. Most importantly however, its given me an oppertunity to reach out and to help others be better and live better lives.
– Lost weight
– Gained muscle
– Gained confidence
– Improved coaching ability
– Improved mental fortitude
– Improved mind-body coordination
– Improved balance
– Improved discipline
Since I began practicing parkour, my confidence, especially in social situations, has increased dramatically. The communities with which I have trained have been completely supportive, and I have developed invaluable friendships. In general, I have become a much more social, happy, and well-adjusted person.
I have also started to see the world differently since I began practicing parkour. Wherever I go I’ll see training spots and opportunities. It’s a much more fun way to see things.
To know how my practice affected my life, I need to tell you first how my life was before I started doing parkour.
As a kid, I was active and liked to run and be all around the place. In my teenage years, I like to play computer games. I like it so much that it is all I do. I play until 4 a.m. during summer vacations and I wake up around 4 p.m. everyday. I was like that for 3-4 years. I was a skinny, weak kid who played video games all throughout the day.
Now, I am a lot stronger physically and mentally than before. I have a lean body. Parkour made me see a path that I should follow whereas before, I did not care much about the future. I stopped playing video games and made me realized that “the time spent on playing video games would be a complete waste because you will not gain anything from it besides entertainment. If you spend the time instead on physical activities such as parkour, your body will be stronger and you will carry that improvement in other things and in the future.” My interests were widened. My mind became open to other things. I have met many friends through parkour.
Training Parkour has absolutely changed my life. Originally, when I first entered college in Cleveland, Ohio, I didn’t do anything related to fitness or exercise, and figured I would spend my life as an engineer at a desk or work bench and not much else. However, I ended up dropping out of that university and moved to Boston instead, changing my focus of study to Biochemistry. I had already picked up running and was slowly grabbing hold of the idea that movement and the human body might be something that really clicked for me. I kept running exclusively for a while, but I had aspirations to do more. After seeing Kacy Catanzaro compete on American Ninja Warrior, I realized that I didn’t need to be some huge dude to give it a shot, and so I set my sights on competing on American Ninja Warrior (spoiler: I haven’t competed, but I’d like to try out next year for fun). As a result, I picked up some gymnastics, some rock climbing, and, of course, Parkour. And that’s when everything really clicked. Seeing everyone move in such creative ways, seeing the unity of the Parkour Spirit and reimagining the world around me as more like a playground and less like a prison, the world really opened up to me. After starting to train Parkour, I knew that moving and helping others move was something I had a genuine passion for that I had never bothered to take seriously. As a result, I still kept my major, but I’m applying to schools to study Physical Therapy, and it’s because of Parkour, and I’m really excited about it.
There are so many ways parkour and training it has affected my life, both inwardly and outwardly. I feel it has really helped to change my mindset on myself; my strengths and weaknesses, goals and abilities. It has made me a stronger person both mentally and physically. Training parkour is much bigger than just training; it applies to everything you do in life, growing, setting goals, and bettering yourself.
On an outward level, through training parkour I have had the opportunity to travel, and continue to train, learn new things and meet new people.
I have met some of the best and most inspiring people that I know, who have become a part of my journey.