Check out the latest video from the team at Apex Movement in Colorado:
Pretty spectacular, right? I especially want my female students to take note of how incredibly awesome Erica Madrid is.
Watching people of this caliber doing their thing is a treat. This video is meant to entertain - the moves are flashy, the editing is slick, the music is high-energy. Hopefully, it also inspires - I for one am blown away by what these guys have achieved. They motivate me to continue my own development.
But there's a darker side to that - one I'm all too familiar with: watching a video like this can be intimidating, especially for beginners. Everything they do seems so far beyond the realm of what's possible for you that you actually LOSE motivation... "Oh, that's parkour?? There's no way I'll ever be able to do that... guess I better give up on ever learning it." This is something that's in the front of my mind as I've had similar conversations with people a couple times in the past two weeks.
Nobody expects you to go out and be this good today. Or tomorrow. Or ever.** There is no "minimum skill requirement" to be a member of the parkour community or to call yourself a traceur.
**You should, however, embrace the fact that if you worked hard enough you could be this good. You have the potential. (Cue motivational Rocky music...)
Your relationship with parkour/movement/fitness is your relationship and nobody else's. Your goals are your goals and your accomplishments are no less valid than anything you see in a youtube video. You have to approach your training and development on your own terms. The Apex coaches in this video do this professionally. They've built their lives around Parkour. If you've built your life around other things - career, family, friends, etc. you are no less of a person... or a traceur. Take pride in your accomplishments - I guarentee that the average person thinks your "boring" 6 ft. wall pass is f#@king magic.
We tend to be our own worst critics and I am no exception. I started my Parkour journey in order to train my weaknesses. I was a grappler and I enjoyed having as much of my body as possible connected to the ground. I was strong and fairly athletic, but balance, agility and heights were not my thing. I am also what some would call "risk-averse" - I drive slowly, look both ways at least 4 times before crossing the street, and generally play it safe. Every single aspect of Parkour training was (and still is) a struggle. I was also relatively old when I started training and I haven't gotten any younger. To this day, I feel like everything takes me twice as long to learn. I feel old and slow. I feel like I have two left feet.
Nevertheless, I've gotten better and I've loved every second of it. I'm happy with my current level, but not satisfied enough to stop progressing. I've broken enough jumps I once deemed impossible to have confidence in my ability to improve.
But here's the most important thing: Before I started my Parkour journey, I never would have had the guts to start my own business. I never would have met all the incredible people I've now met and worked with. That's my real progress. Even if I never do a gainer gap jump from one roof the the next (nuts, btw) I'll still have that.
People always ask me how long it will take them to "get good." The answer is your whole life. Parkour is a journey, not an endpoint. It's a tough walk, to be sure, but if it was easy, would it be worth doing? Remember that all journeys begin with a single step and all proceed one step at a time. Enjoy it.