The Parkour Walk
Be your unapologetically weird self. (Chris Sacca)
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“I go for a walk every single day. It’s not your typical walk. It’s a game.”
“What’s the game about?”
“It’s one of those endlessly evolving games.
Structurally, it’s a collection of rules and themes. The rules serve as creative limitations [<link; short read]; the themes serve as guidelines.
The game is modular. Adding and removing rules and themes is itself a part of the game.
The main theme of the game is Parkour.”
“So you’re training Parkour every day?”
“Yes. And I plan to never stop.
The game is a playful exploration of my neighborhood – or whatever location I’m in.
The main rule of the game is to always take a different route.
We have a tendency to take the same route and do the same things every time, to get stuck in habitual patterns. The rule ties in with one of the game’s themes, which is pattern-breaking – breaking out of familiar patterns.
In taking a different route I’m also scouting the neighborhood to discover potential training spots and challenges, and I’m creating a mental training map.
Another theme of the game is what I call creative training. Going beyond the obvious, and looking for creative training possibilities within the environment.
One aspect of it is an idea I adore, which I know from Max Henry [<link], one of my favorite Parkour practitioners and coaches. It’s called Something Out of Nothing. Looking at a seemingly uninteresting spot in the environment and coming up with creative ways of playing with it.
Another theme is Quantity. By that, I mean maximizing training density. Getting as much training done as possible within that time span. One aspect of it is maximizing the use of what I call transitional space – the space between training spots or rep(etition)s.”
“Can you give an example?”
“Let’s say I want to get from training spot A to training spot B. The space between the spots is a transitional space. I could walk the distance, or I could QM the distance – traverse it using Quadruperdal Movement, so on all fours. In the second case, I’m increasing training density, I get more training done.
Or let’s say I jump from point A to point B. This is one rep. I could choose to walk back to A and do another rep, or to jump back from B to A. In the second case, I’m increasing training density. In the same time span I’ve performed two reps instead of one.
Another theme is Quality. The how is as important as the what. This means striving to be as present as possible at all times, and only counting quality reps – or beautiful reps, as I like to call them.
Another theme is Variety. I aim to move in as many different ways as possible. In the same session I might jump on the markings of a parking lot, balance on a fence, vault over a garbage can, climb a tree, roll on a patch of grass, do a wall-run followed by a climb-up, etc.
I live on the 8th floor, so every session ends with a little strength & conditioning session up the stairs – I always take the stairs.
And yet another theme is a focus on the fundamentals of Parkour. I don’t train only the fundamentals, but there’s no session in which I don’t train some of them.”
“Don’t you mind looking weird to the people around you?”
“That’s an essential aspect of the practice.”