Every time I tell someone that I’ve started practicing parkour, they look at me like I have a live chicken dangling from my nostril. As it turns out, a lot of people already have preconceived notions about what a student of parkour is:
A young, slim, athletic boy.
This is not true.
In my experience thus far, I’ve encountered plenty of women in my classes. I’ve even had the pleasure of taking all girls classes (of which I’m a big fan.) So, why do people think girls don’t do parkour? For many of the same reasons people think girls can’t or shouldn’t do other things. Here are some of the questions I’m frequently asked, followed by my answers:
“Aren’t you afraid of getting hurt?”
Yes, I am. That’s why I use common sense, caution, and don’t do anything I really don’t think I can do. If I think long and hard enough before an obstacle, I’ll know deep down if I’m able to do it. If I think I absolutely can’t, I won’t.
“Are you strong enough to do that?”
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I find movements that give me trouble and I work on them to become stronger. That’s how strength is gained – you work for it. But you won’t know you need it until you figure out where to use it.
“Girls have no upper body strength.”
Lies. I know plenty of women from my CrossFit classes that can do multiple chest-to-bar pullups without a problem. Get on the floor and start doing push ups, on your knees to start, and work your way up from there. Get out your resistance bands and do some pullups. If you want it and you keep at it, the strength will come.
“Isn’t parkour for guys?”
Yes, of course. It’s also for women, kids, teens, and seniors. Parkour teaches us skills we can use in every day life. This includes balance, how to fall and roll without injury, and how to escape from danger if we need to. Even if you don’t decide to go bananas with your training and learn how to dive roll from 10 feet up, you’ll still gain a lot of daily benefits from practicing parkour.
“Do you do flips?”
Of course not. I’m a beginner. And even if I wasn’t, I might never do flips. Flips aren’t even really part of parkour, they’re more a part of free-running. Also, see question number 1.
“That seems too intense.”
That’s not actually a question, just an indicator to me that you’re likely lazy and are afraid to fail. Get off your butt and work for what you want.
So, how do you become a badass parkour chick who will fare better in the zombie apocalypse than non-parkour chicks?
- Don’t compete. Move at your own pace. Start slowly and do only what you’re comfortable doing.
- Work on your upper body strength. Start challenging some guys to arm wrestling matches. Do your push ups and pull ups.
- Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. In fact, parkour away from them as fast as possible.