How I was raised

All those long years ago when I first saw the Yamakasi on Ripley's Believe it or Not I was much younger than I am today, it played it's part as a piece of the person I am today. I made parkour a part of my life that day, in the local park not a mile from my house, or at least a misguided attempt at it. The same continued when I slowly brought my friends into it, revamped by the new Presto ads showing us more, giving us something to work off of. But there was nothing else...

...all we could find was a forum almost entirely comprised of French speaking Traceurs who offered little guidance to some fifteen year old Americans who couldn't speak a word. So we worked it out on our own, naming the moves we'd seen kicking off walls in "Jackie Chan's" or grabbing a wall in a "Squeak" just forming our own ideas about what we should be doing. Even as we accumulated more and more videos it was hard to find what exactly the point was other than to run and not let anything in your way. Over the next few years English speaking groups began to form, even some flicker of a spark appeared in the US eventually introducing me to Moksha Matt and Ando. My excitement peaked as our little group was added to Urban Freeflow's Global Team page, we were beginning to see a community, something we could be a part of, somewhere we could learn and grow.

My whole life I've been a part of something, either a student in martial arts or school, a member of a team, or a leader of a group. But throughout all of it a very simple set of ideals was put into my mind at all times: Do your best, work as hard as you can, never quit. To me doing less than my best meant not doing it at all, not working as hard as i could meant cheating, and quitting was always harder than finishing. These rules have gotten to where I am in my life and I am happy with that place. I am happy with the place that the parkour community has grown up with me, I can now look around we and see websites in numerous languages helping newcomers, i can go to jams and training sessions and see people I’ve never seen before there for their first time, i can have people know what it is I’m doing without even telling them the word parkour. To me this means that it has grown, there is that community that I wanted to be a part of so badly all those years ago. And i think with some honesty I can say I have helped that become a reality. Now i know that my presence online hasn't always been so prominent, but I’ve always been there, trying to help when I could, offering what knowledge I, offering what unique knowledge I had. But most of all my part has been a more personal one, I live by those three rules. I've done my best, by working as hard as I could in my own training to get to where I am today, and it's not for any money because as a relatively broke art student I have none, but so that when I go to Jams in Michigan, Hawaii, Washington DC, New York, Toronto, or here in Chicago and there’s someone with a question I can answer it, when there's someone looking for an example I can do it, when there's somebody who doesn't want to go to a jam because they don't feel ready I can go out with them and help them on their own. I'm not trying to be someone's role model or hero, I just want everyone to be able to enjoy the feeling that I get when I run, it's why I'm in the gym almost everyday, why I'm climbing buildings between classes, why I eat healthy, why I watch every video that comes out, why I read every "What Is Parkour?" thread, why I stay after training sessions to just to do a couple more runs, why I have running mixes on my iPod, because I want to be the best I can so I can do something with this thing I love. But I know I am only helping individuals right now, each person I show how to do a turn vault to or give them the old "A to B" speech is just one part of the ever growing community for Parkour. Recently I was given a chance to join a group, a group that would stand forth on a nationwide level in front of the US community and try to do something with this fledgling scene. There would be work they told me, there would be people who hated me they told me, there would be a whole new level of expectations to live up to they said. But there would also be results, there would be people who listened to me, there would be a whole new level of opportunities. This team was an opportunity to push myself harder, to show what I was capable of whether I was aware of it myself or not, one more round to show how far I could go before I couldn't go any farther, this would be my chance to do more than just help one person at a time, to just speak to one set of ears, this would be a way where this community that I had grown up with could become not just what I had dedicated my life to, but actually become my life.

One main this has kept through and remained true from my early days of parkour, a piece of the definition that no one can deny, if I am a Traceur I will not let anything in my way. I have met people I never would have thought I would meet, gone places I never thought I would go, slept on people's couches listening to voice over dubs of crazy French films, I have done things I never thought I would be capable of, but most of all I've seen this community grow to a level I hadn't even dreamed of so many years ago, and I will not see it break, I will not see it held back, put down, or given up on, because I won't ever give up on it, even if I have to go to each and every person and see them individually this community will never die, we are Traceurs and we will not let anything in the way of our journey. You can laugh, you can deny what I say, you can say what you will and I'll listen to you, but the one thing you can't do is stop is me doing the best I can, working as hard as I can, and never quitting, because that's how I was raised.

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Written by Frosti   
Thursday, 26 January 2006 04:17
Last Updated on Monday, 13 December 2010 21:41