Craig: Everybody talks about, I want more people to come out and train Parkour with me. I want more adults. I want more kids. I want more girls to show up– all these things. I think the gateway to that is by encouraging and inviting more people to simply play.
Craig: There are a couple of examples of that. That you can make up scavenger hunts and get people to try and do that. There’s a really good one, I think it’s from …
Caitlin: Greenville, [00:19:00] South Carolina. Yeah. There is this project called Mice on Main. I believe it was a high school student came up with this idea cast a bunch of mice that are like maybe a foot big.
Craig: The size of softball. Right?
Caitlin: Yeah. Not very big at all. He put them all up and down the main street of the town. One was up high on a light fixture, and one was down low. They’re all over. Right? People go to this town now and they walk around, and they go hunting for these mice because they know they’re there. All the shops [00:19:30] tell people, “Did you find the mice on main?” What you see is people walking around laughing, in these fits of joyous surprise. You know when someone has found one. I heard about this from an author named Peter Kageyama. He writes this book called Love Where You Live. It’s a really great book about activating your community through play. You have people squatting down, getting on their toes, taking pictures. This [00:20:00] is a really small way that people are starting to use their bodies even. Think about how you can take that idea and use that in your town. What are the cute little, cool features that make your town uniquely yours? How can you create a project that marks them out and has people hunting around for them?
Craig: Right. Literally invites them to interact with it, interact with their world.
Caitlin: That’s like going back to the idea of how people sometimes see walking as work. How can you re-associate movement with positive feelings? For a lot of [00:20:30] people they don’t have positive feelings towards movement. If I walk around a city and I’m laughing, and I’m having fun, I’m probably for one of the rare times associating movement with this walking with joy and laughter and play. Kind of makes me want to do it more. That was a very tiny project, low budget, and it has a huge impact. I think there’s lots of little things like that through art, through music, even through signage.
There is another project. That [00:21:00] a student put up a bunch of signs telling people how … Like, it’s seven minutes to walk here, and 10 minutes to walk there.
Craig: Right. Five blocks to this.
Caitlin: Exactly. More people started walking.
Craig: Just stuck them. No permission. Then, people started following the signs, and eventually somebody said, “Why are these signs here? Let’s take them down.” Then, there was social outcry, because, “No, we like our signs!”
Caitlin: Yes, exactly. I think that’s turned into project called Walk Your City, if you’re interested. Really small things can get people just moving in a way that will have them happy and moving. If you get people happy and moving, they will look for more opportunities to be happy and moving, [00:21:30] which will bring them to you.
Craig: Right. To your Parkour class.
Caitlin: Hopefully, or to other things.
Craig: To take the class that you created for over-40s, or they play handball or …
Caitlin: Honestly, it doesn’t have to come to you, because at the end of the day, what we all want is to see more of us moving and using our bodies and sharing in this universal language. Right? Even if it ends up just encouraging more people to move, you’re accomplishing the greater goal ultimately. Right? Why else do you want people at Parkour? It’s to have them celebrate being human through movement.