How I First Heard About Parkour

This sounds weird even as I say it in my head and type it out.

The first time I heard about parkour was during a Cineplex pre-show for the movie John Wick, Chapter 2 way back in 2016.

The second time I heard about parkour was during a trip to Montréal when someone told me that my now-boyfriend practiced parkour and thus could easily scale a giant statue to kiss its cheek so we could win a city scavenger hunt (we came in second by the way, but I think I won first place when it comes to boyfriends).

Needless to say, I am the farthest thing from an expert when it comes to parkour. But after meeting my boyfriend and hearing about his passion for it, I wanted to learn more.

So I started learning the only way I know how: reading. I began with Breaking the Jump by Julie Angel that chronicles the history of parkour from Parisian ghettoes to its rise as a global evolution of movement, complete with anecdotes about training with some of the greats like Forrest (François Mahop).

I then dove into Max Henry’s The Parkour Roadmap to get a handle on basic parkour terminology and practice techniques. However, I began reading this while my boyfriend and I were driving up to Banff so the entire car ride was spent by him explaining different movement sequences to me while I tried to act them out sitting and seat-belted in the passenger seat. Free entertainment for whoever was driving past us that day.

Most recently, I was immersed in parkour culture at the North American Parkour Championships (NAPC6) in Vancouver in August, where dozens of talented athletes from all over the world came together to compete in skill, speed, and style. I learned so much in that one weekend, and gained a much greater appreciation for parkour as a discipline and a sport and a passion of so many people.

All that being said, I still feel relatively clueless in the sea of parkour, and I figured if I am then so, too, are probably many of the girlfriends of people who practice parkour. However, I do acknowledge that there are some totally rad women out there who do parkour and I’m sure their partners could also benefit from this blog. Thus, while this blog is written from my experience and my point of view, I want it to be as accessible as possible to anyone whose significant other or friend or family member does parkour or is interested in parkour, and they want to be supportive, but have no real idea what it is.

Until next time, remember, “parkour–real parkour–can’t be taught . . . it can only be discovered” (Max Henry, 2017).

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