What is Parkour?

This post is pretty much just for me. I doubt anyone reading here would know the word parkour to be asking about it, but odds are if you work in an office, then someone has sent you a video of people doing crazy climbing and stunts. These are often labeled with something like free running, Russian climbing, urban climbing, freestyle walking, parkour or crazy indian monkey man . These amazing videos will feature things that nearly no one can do because the people in them are the best in the world.

All of these things are more or less the same. Parkour means climbing on buildings, over walls or past obstacles to train yourself to be better at it and get more fit. Ideally it’s something you train at so that you can be prepared to act in an emergency situation (fire, earthquake, being attacked/chased).

So why am I talking about this on a local community blog? Because it’s fun! I don’t train like I used to, and I want to get out more, but one of my concerns (though no excuse to lay around) is the response people will have to it. Training parkour sometimes looks like you’re breaking in to a building, and like with skating, many business owners are afraid people will get hurt and sue them. I’ve had pretty good reactions to my training, but I know some people that have been arrested for exercising this way. I understand the concerns though, and I think Cooper Young is a progressive enough place for people to appreciate this out-of-the-norm activity.

If you are interested in giving it a try, there are several websites that offer tips and advice like American Parkour. Don’t be intimidated by the level of activity you see in web videos either because those are usually world class athletes showcasing the best of their abilities. There are a couple of facebook groups for Memphis parkour, but they are definitely not that active. I still recommend nonetheless that you train with a partner even if you are both inexperienced because of the potential for accidents. Having someone around to help if things go wrong makes all the difference.

And last but not least, if you see me on top of a building or leaping over a wall, please don’t call the cops, or the psych ward.

Thanks for reading,
Jonathan McCarver


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  1. Are you sure we don’t need to call the psych ward, Jonathan? Great article!

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    • I told him we’d need to include a photo with this blog post, so his neighbors won’t call the cops on him. But I agree. Yes, this is a good post. Jonathan, will you please keep motivating us to get active?

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