Julie has spent the last 6 years researching, filming and participating in parkour, culminating in a PhD thesis that is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the discipline. One for the Christmas list.
On Saturday 11th December, a small number of hardened athletes from Parkour Generations gathered at a gymnasium in south east London to find out if something was possible: one thousand muscle ups. Each.
Staying for only the first 8 hours and completing a mere 300 muscle ups, I can’t pretend that I had much more than a brief a taste of what the guys went through that day, but what I experienced certainly had a distinct and lasting flavour.
Blane talks of the dark places visited by those who took part. My recollection of the day is a little broken, and so are these words. If you take them and magnify them tenfold, it will perhaps give some indication of what happened.
In 2008, parkour and buildering photographer Andy 'Kiell' Day travelled with respected traceurs Blane and Thomas to Italy, in Thomas's 1976 Citroën 2CV. After much hard work he's finally published a coffee table book documenting the trip. The photographs are accompanied by 8,000 words detailing their exploits and discussing themes such as fear, appropriation of space and creating identity through personal challenge.
[Kiell already linked this in the "Tricks OK" thread, I just want to be sure people don't miss this.]
"Wait, is this the new Audi commercial? Hey, he dropped his chicken. She's kinda hot, in a British sorta way," are all thoughts running through my head while watching this latest offering from a couple dudes I met way back when Parkour was still in its "look I'm walking (but I still need to hold mommy's hand)" stage. It's no secret that I'm fucking old, which through inductive reasoning, would mean these guys are old too. I thought Parkour was for 13 year olds who weren't popular enough to make the basketball team?
But no. Here's a video of some old dudes doing Parkour, which is like watching Sean Connery do James Bond, i.e. exactly how it should be. They make everything look better. It's bigger, harder, more stylish, more stylish, more stylish. You might be 11 years old and have your black belt in Tae Kwon Do, but I can still kick your ass six ways to Sunday.
I like this video a lot. I don't know what the fuck I'm still doing here typing on this keyboard; all I want to do is go down to the gym and utterly destroy myself in order to have even the slightest chance of doing the type of shit these guys are doing. And that's exactly how a video is supposed to make you feel.