I’m Free…..Free Running

photo courtesy of American Parkour

photo courtesy of American Parkour

Has anyone done Parkour or Free Running? If you have not heard of these sports (?) activities (?) disciplines (?), the goal is simple – get from Point A to Point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. Achieving that goal is a little more complex and requires planning, strategy and a nimble body. With Parkour, you take a plain old run and amp it up in an urban setting by rolling, climbing, jumping, soaring, over, off of, through and around obstacles, basically treating a given urban area as a huge obstacle course. An edgy urban twist on finding your way through the forest, if you will.

Free Running tends to add the extra flash of “freestyling” to Parkour obstacle running with gymastic-style jumps, twists, tricking and other flashy moves. (Apparently Parkour purists are not fans of the freerunning flash – too inefficient, given the main goal of getting from A to B as quickly as possible.)

My boys (11, 7) have asked if Parkour & Free Running can be their next activity. A Parkour & Free Running gym opened near us last year, and I had heard of it before now, but not really paid any attention to it. Then my older son came home asking if he could start classes there. Answer: No. He’s still finishing up a big heal from breaking his radius and ulna at skateboarding camp in August, so we’re not going to let him loose navigating through an urban jungle (even a simulated one) just yet. He’s planning to start once he gets his arm brace off, though, probably in February.

My 7-year old, A, is planning to try a class on Tuesday, and is really excited.  I’m actually thrilled that he is interested, because if nothing else, it seems like pretty good exercise.  A’s not currently playing any sports right now, and winter doldrums have definitely set in. This set-up looks energizing and entertaining – a perfect antidote to winter boredom. Skateboard ramps, HUGE trampolines, rope ladders, mats, graffiti-ed walls to bounce off of.  Plus, cool instructors.  He loved it. What 7 year old boy wouldn’t want to try it? I’m just pushing to the back of my head that nagging thought that he will use this training (that I will pay for) to evade the cops someday.

I think the thing I liked best about the place, though, is that they offer adult classes ;-).  Colby, once you get past Big Sur, we have to find a time to check it out together! Consider it training for Warrior Dash 2013…


13 thoughts on “I’m Free…..Free Running

    • I hadn’t heard of it before the local gym opened. I would put it in the “alternative music” category of sport activities. I love it when my kids get an opportunity to enjoy a sport that is NOT competitive, though, and the opportunities can be few and far between. I’m glad it showed up on our radar.

  1. We tried parkour out at a CityChase event, and tried an intro class at our local parkour gym. We’re hooked! Despite that fact that we are by *far* the oldest people in every class, we love going. It’s a workout, it’s a challenge, and it is fun fun fun! I highly recommend trying an adult class.

  2. I CAN’T BELIEVE THERE’S A PARKOUR GYM IN YOYR NECK OF THE WOODS! I HAVE heard of it! It looks amazing. And we are so there T!! Post-Big Sur for sure!!!!! I am PSYCHED. I also love that A is going. That kid is gonna love it. 🙂

      • It is right in Fairfield. There is a huge sports complex right off of 95(http://sportsplexatfairfield.com/) with a gymnastics & cheerleading center, a general fieldhouse, an ice academy, a martial arts academy, a hot yoga center, a rock climbing gym and now a Parkour/Free Running course. I think the complex may even have other sports that I’m forgetting, It’s great.

      • I assumed that the misspelling meant that you were getting your drink on during the red carpet coverage. I’m kind of disappointed that it was just due to mere excitement.

    • Can’t wait to try it with you. I hope the obstacles will distract A from the fact that he is running (NOT a passion). M cannot wait to get the go-ahead either. Looks fun, fun, fun.

    • 1. I am crazy, though wanting to try Parkour is not even the most compelling evidence of my craziness.
      2. Maybe you would enjoy getting out of bed more if you could soar out of it, bounce a flip off of the wall, and toss out a few freestyle tricks on your way to brush your teeth….just a thought. 😉

  3. my 17 yr old and his friends are avid parkour-ists (doers? gym-goers?) I love the independence and enthusiasm that goes along with it. But i close my eyes whenever they show me their videos. Best memory yet: taking them to Central Park for a day of parkour and just basking in the excitement and reliving of the day on the train ride home.

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