How Long is a piece of String?

This morning I was out walking my dog, Piper- she's very cute. I live on a pretty busy street, especially the morning rush to NYC. So we sprint down to the end of my driveway, stop a few times to sniff out the chipmunks (me, not Piper) and then wait for traffic.

When there's a break in the traffic, we head across for the sidewalk. It's a 40MPH zone, so figure most people are doing about 50! On the other side, there's a white line, 3 more feet of pavement, a curb, 3 feet of grass (dirt really), then a sidewalk. The dog's favorite yard is just across the street, so as soon as we start to cross she's off like a shot. For someone with 6" legs she runs like the wind. We get almost across the street, and I decide to make a long diagonal jump for the sidewalk, "to reach" ": nothing new, I do this every day.

Today however, I stopped in mid air.

I looked at the Dog. I looked at the traffic both ways. I felt my legs tucked up under me. I looked at the grass past the sidewalk, I looked at the curb I was going over. I saw the texture of the dirt before the sidewalk. I saw the different colors of leaves on the grass. I felt the tendons in my right leg as I extended my foot, aligned to the sidewalk. I thought about motion, about how my dog wasn't thinking about anything, about how great exercising makes me feel.

Suddenly, all was normal, dog running in an arc around my right, cars rushing behind me, absorbing the impact with my right leg and pushing powerfully off with a redirection of momentum down the sidewalk. Even the dog was in tune, she ran right past her favorite yard, as fast as I've seen her go.

People often overuse the term "flow" which was coined, long before Parkour became popular, to describe a state that an athlete achieves in the middle of intense performance. To me, Parkour is a state of mind, and finding that state of "flow" is a part of what makes "Parkour". So I ask you, "How long is Parkour?" This morning, I did Parkour for about .3 of a second, and it was great.

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Written by Mark Toorock   
Friday, 02 December 2005 06:50
Last Updated on Sunday, 24 March 2013 07:34