March 19, 2009


Twisted my ankle last night at OGC - I pulled off a monkey vault over one of their balance beams, only to have my right foot make a supremely graceful landing in the weak spot between two mats. Oops. Of course, one might contend that this sort of thing is bound to happen when you leap, vault, and climb over everything in sight for fun. I don't disagree - minor scrapes, bruises, and sprains are relatively commonplace in parkour. Major injuries, however, are not; these usually result from trying to show off or exceeding one's limits.

Parkour is NOT a rooftop sport. I repeat: it's NOT a rooftop sport.

Unfortunately, the more spectacular manoeuvres garner the most press, with the inevitable result that teenagers court serious injury and death jumping roof gaps because they think it's parkour. It's not. Every single experienced traceur that I've spoken with says the same thing. It reminds me of the rules from our CTF games on the University of Waterloo campus:

"Don't cheat! If you get hurt, you're cheating. If you're cheating, you're likely to get hurt."

So - don't cheat on your training! The people you see leaping between buildings - and making it, every time - have the confidence, power, and consistency that come from years of diligent practice.

(As an aside: I see that there is a good level for demand for starting an informal CTF league in Waterloo. I'm game - if nobody creates this group before I get back to campus, I'll do it myself. In the meantime, there's always Manhunt.)

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