noun: parkour; noun: parcour; plural noun: parcours
the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.
early 21st century: French, alteration of parcours ‘route, course.’ (SOURCE: Google)
A practitioner of parkour is often called a traceur, with the feminine form being traceuse. They are nouns derived from the French verb tracer, which normally means “to trace”, as in “tracing a path”, in reference to drawing. (Source: Wikipedia.)
What It Is To Me:
Parkour is something I wanted to study to challenge myself physically. It has been improving my balance and core strength. It puts into practice the strength and agility that I have been improving with CrossFit for the last few years.
Parkour is difficult and it requires mental stillness and focus. While walking across a bar a few feet in the air, extraneous thoughts will only unbalance me and knock me off my perch, so I need to have a clear mind. It makes me rethink things I thought I could never do. Climb a wall, hang from a ledge, walk across a rail, cat leap to a wall – things are all things I’ve accomplished but never thought, even a few years ago, that I could.
Is it dangerous? Sure, if you do it the wrong way, without training or help or if you do things before you are ready. Standing in front of each obstacle, I know if I can or cannot surmount it. I like to think that if I cannot get the courage to do it, I’m not ready. Do I think I can’t get hurt? No! I think I can get hurt, but I can get hurt doing CrossFit, too, and I can get hurt running outside, but if I do what I’m comfortable with and use common sense, I can minimize my risk.
What Is Isn’t:
It’s not freerunning. It’s not flips and leaps and death-defying jumps from high places. It’s also not just for young teenage boys. It is not a competition.
Who’s It For:
Anyone. Parkour is for women, girls, boys, men, young, old, elderly, and me, a thirty-something musician who wants to be ready to take on the zombie apocalypse.