Half Charged.

Ben – Precision.


Today was a rainy day, and like most sodden days it meant that very few were going out to train in it. I really didn’t see the point in being out today, everywhere was so wet and there was no way it would dry out by the time the training session started. I was still feeling the effects from the Mansfield jam earlier in the week [1] and so it’s not like I would get much done with tight and sore muscles. I saw that James was still going to be out and he said I might as well come along too, as it could still be good jam and weather wise later. I declined, I didn’t see how it could be and had already in my own mind decided to stay home. Only to then be taunted later by James sending me photo showing that David had turned up to the session! Stating Phil was out and lots of others too, even despite the weather. I didn’t plan to be out, but after seeing that David was out and others had made the effort not to mention town was drying, I got ready to head on out. I arrived at around two o’clock to find everyone over at the Atrium area, though I was still a bit annoyed that there wasn’t ‘loads’ of people out training as I first thought and was claimed, a few at best. I was surprised to see John was out this weekend too, I hadn’t seen him in ages! Due to this fact it led to numerous discussions and debates about superhero TV shows we both watched, trying not to spoil them for James who was nearby listening at times at the conversations.

Today we even had a rare sighting of Vince, unintentional I’m sure. He was walking down the street past the group who had spotted him in his own world and had reluctantly been pounced on and pulled into the community, quizzed and asked what he is up to now days and why he wasn’t training any more and if he would again, if ever! When asked he said he might come back out later today with us, but he would need to have a shower and grab some food first… Likely story, anything to enable him to escape the clutches of the group. He was more impressed with the fact that people were still training and had continued too, long after he had gave up. He still had his nicotine addiction and even though he said he had wanted to start training again, I doubted we would be seeing him later today or any time in the near future. He had a good run, making some gains, acquaintances and acquiring some injuries [2] along the way. He would leave us, no doubt to disappearing once again into a thick smog cloud, and game binging during his university term time. Phil was filming Jack doing a small run and I captured a few photos of Jack doing a running precision to a slanted railing. A movement which wasn’t just awkward due to that fact, but you also had to jump over a railing first to get to the second.


Jack – Running Precision.


We moved over the road to the area outside the IBM car park which had a giant industrial blue skip, drilling the more awkward ‘smoothments’ as Phil called them. There was an upward precision from a yellow railing to the very mossy looking skip. You could also do it in reverse back down to the railing, that was scary as hell to me and yet it didn’t phase David, at all. Since when did he become such a beast with rail precisions?! It was great to be out training with him again as well as Phil being out at the same time too, it gave that old school 2006 feel to the session. Phil was doing the skip precision up and then sliding down the other side of the skip afterwards, being creative with how he moved. He was also doing a 180 cat to cat from the skip to the yellow railing, which was very low and butt hurting if you did it wrong. We had a few conversations of times gone by, some of the great similar jams we had in our early days of training. In some ways we were the few pioneers of the Nottingham Parkour scene, mad to think just how long we have trained for now! The scene is ever changing, as are the movements and the way people see and train each passing year. It seemed that everyone else had moved on or were planning on moving bar us, choosing to stay in the same area. The plan was to move over to Audo, not the ideal place I wanted to visit as the weekend circuit always seems to consist of Plaza / IBM /Audo, each and every week…

In some ways it enrages me, and makes me wonder why I even bother to come out due to training the same areas all the time! We met the rest of the guys outside the Tesco express where it seemed there was some crazy comic con event going on at the hotel beside it, as there were various people dressed up as their favourite characters from comics in the street. So many people dressed in full costumes, it was quite the sight to see Continue reading ‘Half Charged.’

The Mansfield Adventure.


Group Photo.


Today was to be a training session of epic proportions… To rewind a bit, people had spoke about training Mansfield, without anything really materializing from the slight echoes. Adam and Steve talked about it again on Saturday evening. The plan was to go some time in the week, seeing as it was the Easter holidays. Steve suggested a Thursday would be good for him and Adam was game for then too. Even though I wasn’t feeling travelling to other places (cities) and didn’t want to commit to the training session. I did make a very quick event about it and thought it might fall through anyway, then I wouldn’t need to worry. It’s not that I don’t like travelling, I’m just lazy when it comes to that sort of thing, the organisation, time it takes to travel and so forth. I wasn’t sure if there would be much interest with it being quite short notice, or if it would even happen in respects to the weather. We had limited (first come, first serve) seats in Adam and Steve’s cars for the journey over and with that, the requests came thick and fast for reserving a place. Even though the cars were near full, other people were still interested about coming to the session, some were going via train, bus or hitching a lift and connecting with us once in Mansfield.

It was looking quite a promising training session, the hype was getting more intense as the days went on. Even though it was on a weekday, which wasn’t (usually) good for everyone, soon didn’t matter and people made time for it. What had started off as a hand full of us going, had soon escalated to a twenty plus person jam with more people still wanting to attend too. Whether all the people turned up, including the locals from Mansfield was another matter though. It reminded me of the Beaster Jam [1] we had last year in Leicester, as a community trip going else where to train. I can’t remember the last time I had travelled to Mansfield, I know back in 2006 I used to be back and forth there with Phil, Jak and Sark. What surprised me even more was that James was up for coming along now too, so that was another car full of people if needed. I was finally feeling excited about the training session, I needed to make sure I got an early night so I would wake up on time and feel fresh for the day of training ahead. Needless to say, I doubt I would get that as excitement always kept me awake, the photo opportunities, possible movements to practise and how the day might turn out.




Even though I had gone to bed early, I had woke up at 2am, then again at 6am and found it hard to get a proper nights sleep for fear of not waking up, that and knowing I had to be up and ready for a set time. I hate that feeling, it’s not like I would overlaid with an alarm… I woke up at 9am, alarm blearing and felt completely shattered, it felt like it was going to be one of those days! I had various messages from people to double check if everything was still going ahead, the weather looked great too. Luke was already at the park an hour before the meet up time,nothing from Kezza when I messaged him though. Adam was running a tad late as he would be picking up Ben before going to the park. Kezza had only just got up after ten and said he wouldn’t be ready in time and is going to get there for 11am as that was the meeting time (it wasn’t) as the time clearly stated 10:30 and we would arrive in Mansfield for just after eleven. What a complete and utter n0b! I said he needs to hurry up or he will be left, and then he had a right strop about it… It’s not our fault he couldn’t get up in time and got confused about times. No one else seemed to have problems with it all.

I arrived at the park to find no sign of Aiden or Mat… I’m sure they were meant to be early from when I had spoke to them earlier, they had already left and should have beat me to the park! There was no sign of Kezza, we rang him numerous times and it seemed he was ignoring his phone and all of us, yet had commented on photos of us all waiting for him. Mat and Adien arrived and then we were waiting for Steve to arrive. We should have left Kezza behind, he knew the stated time we were leaving, it’s not our fault he can’t time keep. Even I had managed to get up, ready and over before midday! It seemed unfair on those who had made the effort to now be waiting for him due to being so lazy. Adam said we can’t do that and so we waited, waited and waited some more… He said he was ten minutes out, yet didn’t arrive until nearly half past eleven! Even the late Scotsman Steve had got here on time for once. Kezza had ruined the day and had the cheek to arrive with an attitude, saying we should have just left without him if we were that bothered… Continue reading ‘The Mansfield Adventure.’

Easter Emptiness.


Ben’s Trainers.


For the second week in a row I was out training with the Npk community at the weekend training session. The weather Friday night was terrible, cold and heavy rain with a strong wind too and I did wonder if that would transpire into Saturday. I was surprised to even be out though, after sleeping in Friday until half past two in the afternoon. The day before that I was up at seven in the morning and so my sleeping pattern is pretty messed up currently. I didn’t go to bed until two or three and was still laying awake well into the four and five o’clock hours. I guess being excited to train again had me too restless to sleep, the thought of new photo opportunities and a good training vibe didn’t help matters. I did wake up around ten, but then lolled around in bed until nearly twelve, making everything a rush. Adam was out this weekend and wanted everyone to train even if weather was bad, though it didn’t seem like many were going out now due to last nights weather putting them off, God dammit!

I was running late anyway and so was Kezza and a few others who said on the event not to move from Plaza until they got there. I didn’t expect many to be out, or the ones who did to be very few. I arrived at Plaza at around quarter to two, to find that no one was out?! All bar a mysterious guy lurking near one set of the walls, pacing back and forth checking his phone. Then there was Adam sat with Aiden on the other kong precision walls. I said to Adam that I instantly felt demotivated for training and might just go home as I hate┬ásparse turn outs… The lurker looked familiar, a possible practitioner? After a while the same vape monster came over to us and asked me if I remembered him… Holy shit! It was Rob, Mr Bozik! I hadn’t seen or trained with him since 2009 [1] back when he had come to Nottingham with his friend Michal and Pike. Rob really hadn’t changed that much, he said he was waiting for the SM guys to arrive, who should have already been here by now…


Kezza – Portrait.


Others started to arrive slowly but surely, Mat, Kezza, Ben, Luke, CJay and Holbrook and a good amount of the community started to form. Everyone was warming up, kong precisions, diving kongs, general flow and even flips. There was quite a diversity of movement skills between us all today. CJay was on top form with his own training and it didn’t seem like anything was too much hassle for him to do with his good jumping power. He was doing some crazy double kong, then was trying to double kong handspring out of the move… Holbrook was practising a small run involving the railings. While I was trying to get out of my unmotivated mood I was in. Some newer movements I hadn’t seen anyone do, was a diagonal kong precision from the small blue railing to a wall. It might be small, but very awkward and thought it would be a good movement for people to consider. Much like the running precision from the first wall, up and over to land on the same blue railing. Some terrible looking and feeling movements but the guys were getting them done. I took a few photos, but at the same time I wanted to move and train rather than be stuck behind the lense.

We moved up to the now lesser trained area of Houses, the buildings are always open at the weekend now and so that means there are constantly cars parked in the way of where we train. Instead the guys trained near the kong precision and foliage part of the area, Kezza drilled the kong precision while Rob ran behind filming him. I quite enjoyed the shots I got of him doing the k2p. Once the cars had moved, even though it was wet and slippery due to the rain we practised a few tic tac cats. I trolled Kezza who wasn’t sure he could even do the tic tac cat now, I walked over to the wall slowly, saying I would do it no problem and then pushed off the wall and did it with no real speed or run up. He didn’t expect me to do that and was laughing, slightly amazed I had. I then did the 180 cat from hanging onto the wall with my finger tips, which was another old school movement which many still can’t do today. Each time people try, they expect some magical deeper groove in the wall which makes it easier to hang on, or some sort of trickery. It’s all to do with finger strength and forearm strength though, nothing more, nothing less.


Kezza – Running Precision.


CJay and Ben were looking at an ugly running downwards precision, it was diagonal and over the foliage. It was plain terrible, but it looked fantastic as a photo and so I set up my camera up while the guys kept preparing for the jump. You had to run blind and could only guess where the wall was, seeing the landing once you were in the air, no wonder it took them ages before they nailed it. I captured CJay and kezza doing the jump, but then it seemed like our time was up as a security guard had come around to move us on. He was friendly enough, asking what we were doing and watched us do a few movements before leaving us. Continue reading ‘Easter Emptiness.’

The Three Hour Commitment.


Zade (Me) - Muscle Up.

Zade (Me) – Muscle Up.


With some unpredicted rainy weather, it seemed that many were not venturing out today. I don’t blame them either, I’m exactly the same when I wake up and see a sodden, rainy concrete jungle with more dark clouds on the horizon. It may have been only ten o’clock but the weather was terrible, wet through and still pouring down with rain that instantly dampened my mood for training. I logged in online to see what others were going to do, in regards to the weather and to no surprise, it seemed no one was going out… Fair play to the ones who did (do) still go out on the rainy conditions, even if it is just to be a Plaza session. I once would have done the exact same thing, with the thrill of training rain or shine but as the years have passed that passion has since faded along with the hunger and drive. I prefer to be at the safe sanctum of home, in the dry and await a warmer, more predictable day. Where a more favourable outcome of warm sun rays and dryness would unveil to me when I pull back the curtains of my man cave. Phil wasn’t out today due to him tweaking his ankle earlier in the week and wanted to rest up. Of course that had a sort of domino effect, along with the weather of other people making plans to not be out either.

Pete wasn’t out either and with so many not wanting to train the elements, even James decided not to go out, as reluctant as he was of not getting out for his weekly mobility for the elderly. It was strange to see a session at the weekend to be such a washout. As time went by it began to get warmer and slowly that tempestuous, bright sun revealed itself, enticing those who had not already been out time training to perhaps now make there way into town… Even I thought, I’ll go out for a few hours! Even though I was late, very late. I left at half past two to hopefully get to town for three. I rang Mat to find out where people were at, he said they were at Orange walls. I made my way there to find a few of them (Mat, Adam, Alex and Jack) sat around not really doing much and was informed the rest of the people out were still over at Plaza. It was then a U-turn to make our way over to Plaza to find that James had come out after all. Femi was out, along with Ant too. Much to my surprise even the foreign rapscallion Denis was there, if in jeans. He had said he would be out when I asked before I was leaving myself, but I didn’t believe him, not until I saw him in person with my own two eyes.


James & Adam – Portrait.


My upper back was pulled, how I have no idea. I felt it go while carrying my bag on my way to Orange Walls, since then it hurt and felt tight. What a great start to the day, it’s the worse possible pain if it pulls severely and one that last for weeks and I have to ride it out until it passes, trying not to aggravate it through workouts. Now it was drying, the next area to venture to was High Pavement, unlike most times we visited the area and people would stand around and want to move on due to hating the area. Something remarkable happened, today people actually enjoyed it! They were jumping around and finding things to do. The focus for me today was the main catleap, which looked insanely far now. Maybe my weak legs couldn’t handle it jumping wise, maybe I’m just not back to the same stage I used to be or it was just THAT far?! Either way, it was depressing to no longer see what to me, used to feel like a small and easy jump to do. The humidity was starting to rise, layers came off as it felt more like spring was finally here. I suggested a striding move to one of the walls then vault over a wall onto the pebbles, but it was too hard to even try for me at least. While Femi and Denis nailed it after giving it a few attempts. Denis even did a few flips, though he had said he wasn’t out to train…

Always the one to be tempted by things. James was working on running precisions I joined him and so did Ant. Well, that was until Ant was quick to point out that it looked like the wall we were landing on was moving and unstable. Only when he did it himself, did it rock and then we decided against jumping to it any more for fear of making it topple over. Ant was amazed that he used to do the main catleap, much like myself as now he said its seems mental. That and it’s hard to know how far he could jump these days and is one of the reasons he wasn’t sure if to do it, even if he wanted too. I kept looking at it, it didn’t feel possible but I wanted to do it again, to prove to myself I could. Why is the outdoor world so scary?! Perhaps I would twinge my ankle, maybe wouldn’t make the distance, so many things went rushing through my head. Continue reading ‘The Three Hour Commitment.’

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