Wet, Plaza Reunion.


Ben – Portrait.


For the past week I had made a concious decision that I would go out training at the weekend, that and a few others had suggested I should go along now my ankle was feeing better from the operation. I had been waiting ages for the weather to be kind, though my ankle felt like it would be able to withstand being in the hardness of town now, maybe I could even do a few jumps like I do at the park too? The forecast was set to be dry, I hoped that would remain the same in the coming days. There were set to be quite a few people out when I asked who was going, including the VTM guys too. There was no community event created like all those years ago, nothing mentioned on the Parkour Nottingham page. I knew James and Pete would be out and maybe Phil too who had been out the last few weeks in a row. I know from the photos that the sessions were smaller than years ago, that wouldn’t stop it from being a good day right? I got an early night for once in the aid of being able to wake up early and get ready for the session, though I was feeling restless and found it hard to get to sleep knowing I had to be up. In the middle of the night I woke up and heard the heavens had opened up and thought to myself that is just typical and it will no doubt carry on tomorrow.

I woke up, looked out the window to see it was raining, everywhere drenched which made me sad and not want to venture out to training at all. It seemed people were feeling much the same about the day too, concerned it would be a wasted journey. Kezza seemed to not be bothered about coming out, he didn’t even respond to the messages I sent, even though it said he had seen them. No doubt too busy bumming gaming, it seemed becoming a prestige on Advanced Warfare was far more important than training with friends and having a good day out… I slowly got ready with the hope it wouldn’t keep raining and sure enough it had started to brighten up, though I highly doubted it would dry up as it wasn’t a warm enough day to do that. I left my drenched like street and caught the bus to town, arriving to see masses of graduation students teeming the city centre with their black gowns. I thought that only happened during the summer months not December time?! I arrived at Plaza a little after twelve to find Matt, Aiden and a few other VTM people already there, Plaza was empty. I wanted to get there for 12pm to make the most of the day and daylight as when people meet at one I feel by the time you’ve waited for everyone to arrive it’s nearly two or later and then it’s dark at four and so seems a waste.


Ben – Portrait.


Plaza had changed since the last time I had visited, the flowerbeds now full of wood chippings, there was no plant life or thorn bushes in them and all the walls looked clean and fixed. The glass still littered the main pavement area, it felt great to be back in the city though, seeing the area, smelling the familiar smells and touching the cold, rough rails and walls. Everything movement wise to me looked impossible to do though, even a simplest lazy vault wasn’t as enticing as it once was and scared me. I was surprised not to see Ben or Adam here yet, as they had left early in the morning and said they would be in town before eleven, even before I arrived. They were running late and arrived a little after I thought of them – talk of the devil and he is sure to appear. James, Ben, Mat and Holbrook all arrived not long after and it seemed like the session was expanding. The session was much smaller than I had expected. I wanted a good old session where many people came out to train, the area flooded with people jumping around. We spent quite a bit of time at Plaza, I didn’t mind though it had been years since I had been here. I wanted to train but still had ankle fears, a few vaults here, and some jumps there to get my bearings. Finding out that it was much harder to jump these days, I felt so heavy and slow when I moved, my precision jump distance was halved too.

I could oddly enough still do diving kongs and didn’t have a fear of them on the smaller wall, but my kong precisions were terrible, even my technique. Struggling to tuck my legs, taking off for them felt such an odd thing to do too. I had the fear of clipping my feet once again, like in the beginning of training. My climb ups were sluggish and slow, it was all rather depressing. How and why was I so rubbish, I had felt like I was making decent progression at the park and yet here it hadn’t transitioned at all. I decided to get my camera out to take some shots rather than jump around getting more saddened. I took some photos of Ben doing a wallflip, it felt ages since I had taken some training photos and so I was feeling creative and fresh. The images of the wallflip came out brilliantly, better than I had thought. Continue reading ‘Wet, Plaza Reunion.’

Love Thou Park.

Since my last blog entry I’ve managed to visit the newly opened Parkour park in Loughborough, which had it’s grand opening on the 18th October at Southfields Park. The facility was developed, designed and delivered in partnership with Parkour UK, JUMP Parkour and installed by Natural Sports. You can get in touch with people about training there on their park page [1] and/or by contacting a local group called the Loughborough Flowflys [2] on their page who regularly train at the park too. It’s great to have another park not too far away from our own via car as an alternative park to visit for a change of scenery. It seems more and more parks are cropping up all over the UK of late. It will be great in the future if there are different parks within each city like the workout parks which have currently cropped up more and more. I should have taken more photos while at the park, but I was busy trying to train and keep warm and so I only have a couple of shots of single movements and non of the overall park. Though plenty can been seen within the park page [3] in the form of images and videos from other practitioners.

Training Loughborough was but a fleeting thought, I know a few had already been training there on the grand opening  when it was unveiled and masses swarmed the park and since that day Adam has wanted to go back again. The regular park group were up for going there and so we decided to go as a spur of the moment training session the next day in which Adam would drive myself, David, Kezza and Denis to the park for a day of training and Steve drive a few people over there too. I arrived at our Parkour park Monday at eleven and found David already there waiting, no Kezza in sight though, no doubt still asleep or wasn’t bothered about being out… Adam was running late and I text Denis while we waited to see if he was close by. It wasn’t until Adam arrived that I phoned Denis to see where he was, he informed us he had missed his bus, or was confused about which one to get, ended up in china, fought a bear and had finally transported to another dimension and so he decided to go back home as there was no chance he would have been on time for the lift. A total bottler, if he had known we were all running late too he might have still made it, no matter how late he was and we could have waited, douche. Kezza wasn’t answering his phone and Steve couldn’t make it and so it looked to be only the three of us were going to Loughborough.



Loughborough Park.


The weather which was meant to be sunny had turned out to be a dull, rainy looking day though that might change once in Loughborough. We drove there, not getting stuck in much traffic at all, listen to music and the funniest part was when we were driving through Loughborough, slowing down and Adam’s car exhaust was making a loud noise that some elderly woman held her ears because of how loud it was. We arrived at the park in a rather ghetto feeling area, smashed glass on the floor and the walls had graffiti already on them of giant dicks non the less. There were dodgy characters wandering around the area, even a homeless guy in a pitched up in a tent right next to the park, who at one stage was taking a piss on his own tent, with not a care in the world who could see his schlong. It felt quite uneasy being there, let alone not having our possessions within eye range at all times. There were some other strange characters loitering the area, passing too and from the park in a tweaking behaviour. The Loughborough park was very strange set up wise, there wasn’t much to do linking moves wise for us, at least from what we could initially see. The bars felt really high up and far apart from each other than we were used too at the Nottingham park. The rails were also much thinner, which made gripping them easier for doing muscle ups and general workout movements. The platform section is a bit of a strange one too, I wasn’t a fan of it and thought it kinda messes up the possibilities, but I guess it’s good to be different, quite the novelty.

It seemed quite advanced overall for movements, which is challenging and gives you many things to work towards in the future. I guess I’m biased but I do prefer the Nottingham one compared to the Loughborough park, though over time if I spent training it as much as our own I’m sure I’d grow to love it just as much. I love for the simple fact Loughborough has a metal bar attached to one of the walls, as well as other small ledges sticking out for catleaps. I so wished our own park had such things on it too, as well as a few extra stumps to open up more possibilities. Speaking of which I don’t like the Loughborough park stumps though, they felt very hard when you run and jump off them, there is no give or absorption in them during take off or landings. The floor is amazing though! It’s so soft, like a giant sponge and I thought the Nottingham one was soft, but man… Continue reading ‘Love Thou Park.’

Red, White & Blue.


Zade (Me) – Muscle Up.


No, not the red white and blue of the British flag, there is no patriotism in this blog entry. Just the colours of choice which each of us were wearing for the day of training. I don’t know why, but we all have our own colour of choice while out training. Go, go, Power Rangers! I am very fond of blue, but just as much as I am fond of it, I then went through phases of wearing burgundy, green and purple. It didn’t stop there, hell I’ve been through all the possibilities of a colour wheel. It’s difficult to pick a favourite. I do try and mix and match each time I go out to keep things different for photos. For this particular day my colour of choice was red, seeing as I had become really fond of my red vest and it matching with my burgundy t-shirt. David is always in his bright blue t-shirt, while Kezza liked to be in white like a giant human condom of a man.

I was in a photographing mood and wanted to try and capture more workout based images today. Something which may prove difficult to show without it being video based. The park was dead with it being a weekday and it felt awesome to have an empty park with no one in the background or way of shots. It would seem they would all come out fantastically and perfect. I had so many ideas for workout shots, but whether they translate is another matter. I’ve always felt workout images look too staged and tricks people into believing they are doing the exercises, where as in videos you see the proof. David had smooth double armed muscle ups now and has been finding them easier than the past, where he would pull up to his chest then swing back and forth from that position until he could pull over the bar. He enjoyed the fact that he could do multiple reps of them too, feeling strong as he didn’t think he could do more than one rep at  time.


David – Plyometric Press-up.


The weather looked dull and like it might rain at any time but it was still nice and warm. I drilled some kong precisions which felt easier now I hadn’t got the fear of my ankle snapping when landing on the stump. My own muscle ups felt good as did my grip strength and pull ups too. I didn’t have to rush to do repetitions and could do a certain amount of reps and then hang and rest before doing more, rather than go all out before having to drop off the bar. I’m so glad I have muscle ups again, after it taking me months and months to get them back again! I captured some close shots of myself and David doing Muscle Ups, which I felt came out really nice. As did the few kong precision images I took too. The problem with capturing exercising is trying to capture all of the motion, if you crop it people will say it’s faked or staged, yet if you take it full too far away, you can’t get close enough to the action.

I had some really interesting shots when shooting Kezza holding a handstand and donkey kicking out of it so he landed on the exact same spot where his hands were. The images made it look as if he was doing a diving kong in some of the shots. I really liked the way those images have came out, and need to take more such images of them too! Continue reading ‘Red, White & Blue.’

A Few Kongs, Cats & Laches.


David – Lache Cat


I try to go out at least once a week anywhere from Tuesday through to Thursday for a few hours of conditioning with David and anyone else who wants to join in on my  fitness routine madness. Today was to be a regular training session though, with the meet time set at half two. The people out were to be myself, David, Kezza, his sister Lisa, Ben and Adam. Yaz had even expressed having one last session before he left. I arrived to see a Reece was already at the park training, doing some lache gainers. I was feeling good, wanting to train and capture some photos too, I warmed up and waited for the others to get there. Ben arrived via bike but was off again to pop to Tesco’s for a drink. While he was gone another guy was riding his bike past the park and even watched what Reece was doing for a bit before riding off again. I didn’t realise that was Harry until later on when he called Ben and then came back to the park. It was good to have Lisa out with Kezza today too, after he had been telling her to come out to train or workout as it’s really good workout and not to be afraid of what others can or can’t do or worry about people watching what it is she is doing.

Lisa was training to be in the army and so was doing lots of bodyweight exercises and joining in with our circuits. Though she was still very self concious about people watching her or the fact that she might fail if she tried certain exercises. Even though it was Harry’s first Parkour session, he was dominating everything he tried. Beginners luck perhaps, or just a naturally gifted Geordie able to adapt to Parkour? He had done trampolining in the past and was into his cycling too, he was nailing the precision jumps, even the further ones beginners don’t dare attempt. He had done a lache cat on his first attempt, what an absolute beast! At one stage he was trying 180 laches and even 360 ones too, what was this guy on?! Harry was the closest out of us all for the latter! He took a few tumbles in the process of trying movement, taken like a trooper. He kept flopping the twisting laches and hit the floor hard, though he bounced back like it had never happened. He was a sound guy and came out with some great banter, him and Ben filmed some short clips of his achievements too for a possible video.


Kezza & Lisa.


Some of the best images from the day have to be of Kezza helping Lisa on the resistant bands, while she was doing some pull ups and being pushed so she could do  muscle ups too. I quite like how the sibling feel came out with those shots. Surprisingly Lisa was just as close with locking her arm over the bar on her own without the assistance too. She needed that slight push for her to be able to keep the arm locked and get the other above. There were some nasty challenges going down like a swinging ninety degree lache to catleap. Which David was so close to landing, always having his feet slide to the floor. No doubt he will get it soon, while practising by himself at the park daily as he seems to get everything else that way. I hadn’t seen that move done at the park before, and this led to other swinging catleap possibilities and likewise crazy movement. I captured some kong to cat images to try and get some actual photos of myself for a change, the movement jarred my ankle but it felt okay from the impact. It was strange to see my movements on camera again, I still felt quite blocky with jumps but the Parkour face was still there during my movements.

It’s strange to think we are STILL finding new movements to practise, even after all these years the park have been around. David had master the Falling Leaf / Russian Butterfly move and taking photos of it looked so weird, unsure what it was he was doing unless you knew. I really like the images though, being as different as they are. You have to sit on a wall or railing then let your body fall backwards… A motion which is always scary to do, the same can be said for skin the cat movement in the beginning too. With a wall you are able to hold it with your hands as you fall backwards and then once your forearms and back rests on it you flip over. Continue reading ‘A Few Kongs, Cats & Laches.’

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