#3 – The Zade & Chez Adventure.

 

I was browsing the forums on Urbanfreeflow (which no longer exist) to get in touch with people from Nottingham area. I messaged a few people, Chez was one of the people I added to MSN to see if he would accept the request. I didn’t hold much hope on the posts in the forum as they were posted a few months ago, people might have quit or didn’t check regularly to know of my replies. A few weeks passed and I finally got a reply back from Chez saying that he no longer practised Parkour. I felt rather disappointed with this, so I spoke with Chez via MSN. Asking why he had stopped training and tried to reunite his passion for training again through myself. He admitted that he had only stopped due to a friend he used to train with had stopped. He had always been interested in training but didn’t think anyone else would be into it and didn’t like the idea of training solo either. The other email and replies I had sent to people, had been with no avail… Well apart from one guy called Graz but he was from Mansfield and so didn’t train Nottingham at all.

Chez randomly sent me a message weeks later, informing me that he would be willing to start Parkour again if he had some people to train with regularly. I had already told him I know a couple of people and we could all train together if he wanted too. After more persuasion he agreed to come out and we arranged to meet the following Tuesday. I woke up excited about going out to do some training with a new person and insights, only to look out of my window and see it was throwing it down with heavy rain! I was annoyed, it was typical though, of all the times for it to rain it would have to rain today! I logged onto MSN to confirm with Chez that we were still on for today… We both agreed it would still be good to meet each other as well as see the hotspot location we had seen on Urbanfreeflow called urine nation (U.N.) which was located behind the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre and undercover, sheltered from the elements.

 

Zade (Me) - Lazy Vault.

Zade (Me) – Lazy Vault.

 

I made my way into town to meet Chez at the Concert Hall. I was already drenched from the heavy rain and I had only walked from my bus stop which was around the corner. I found Chez sat alone on a wall, sheltered from the rain in his waterproofs while no one else was to be seen walking the streets on this terrible day. It was again strange to meet another individual that was interested in Parkour, and even though we spoke regularly on MSN, it still felt awkward in person like it did with Mike. We had picked a right day for training though, never mind April showers this was a full blown monsoon season. We made our way down to Broadmarsh, with Chez leading the way, talking about how cool it would be to see Sticky (Johnny Budden) from UF down in that area training. Even just to meet him would be awesome, seeing as he had a sort of celebrity status to us both. We arrived at UN, walking down the steep, sodden steps, pooled with puddles leading into the area, holding onto the slippery green rail as we entered out new training spot for the day.

Once at the bottom of the steps we were instantly hit by the strong stench of urine. We then realised why it was called ‘Urine Nation’ due to the fact people used this place as a toilet… We put our bags next to the tall green rails and hung our waterproof coats over them to dry out a bit. There were various rails in this area, all higher than normal road barrier railings, which I could see being a problem for me as I could only side and Lazy vault currently. There was a small, but long low wall in the corner of the area, many stone pillars dotted around and another wall of head height with a railing behind it, with some lovely foul smelling defecation to boot. There were two tall walls of different heights near the pillars, open to the rain, wet through with the rain water leaking into the area. They had many different layers of paint on them though, which made it hard to get any grip on them, even in the rain so we could see what laid beyond them.

 

UN Entrance.

 

We couldn’t see much potential here at all, apart from vaulting the obvious high green rails and the walls, it was all rather disappointing. I had expected an area, with lots to do, not as bare as it seemed. We had both seen photos of various moves being done here by Sticky, all which proved impossible for us to do at our current level of skill. Perhaps we should start training for them? Everything looked bigger in real life then it did on photos! It already began to feel like it had been a waste of time coming out to this area, it’s not like we could even go to other places due to the wet weather either. Chez showed me that he could do a monkey vault over the railing, which amazed me as much as it did seeing Mike doing backflip. I couldn’t even do a monkey yet, never mind over something unnaturally high for me. Chez did it with such ease, grabbing the rail, tucking and going all the way through his arms without clipping his feet. I struggled to even tuck my legs to plant on top of an object never mind going all the way through! When I would try to go through my hands I would find one leg going to the side causing me to break out of the movement, letting go with one hand and then side vaulting over the object.

Another problem which would happen is I would get too scared when trying to tuck or my shins would touch the object and I would have to stop myself from trying and lower back down to the ground. It was so scary to go all the way through your hands with both your hands still attached to the rail, all I could envision is face planting over the rail. We stayed for a few hours in the area, vaulting the rails, did some precision jumps on the floor next to them and practised some pop vaults over the wall near in the corner of the area (seen in the below image) it was fun practising. We also walked along the top of the rails, which I found quite easy, more so the rails were wider than normal. Chez also got us both to do some cat balance along the rails too, it was extremely difficult to get your balance and as soon as I let go of one hand to grab ahead of me I would fall off the rail all together. Chez seemed to have them pretty well and could move forwards a few hand placements. He could also do the Parkour roll, another movement I couldn’t do and he helped me with learning one.

 

Zade (Me) - Pop Vault.

Zade (Me) – Pop Vault.

 

It was strange to try and roll over yourself, I would always crumple on my shoulder and flop over like a blooming flower, hipping my hip as I went. Chez said he could only roll because it was the sort of break falls he had learn in martial arts, so it felt pretty second nature for him to do. He mainly practised rolling and spent a fair bit of his time mastering the monkey vault too. He hasn’t ever been a fan of catleaps and so didn’t practise them, even when we did some on the small wall he didn’t like doing them. He did some tic tacs off the wall and then proposed what if we could grab the railing from a tic tac off one side to the other (seen in the below image) I couldn’t get anywhere near the distance but instead said how about we stand on the wall and then try and jump backwards so we 180 and land to the other railing and grab it.

We aimlessly jumped around, trying to do smaller movements and enjoyed being out, even if the area now seemed to be flooding with all the heavy rainfall. We spoke about Parkour and what we wanted to learn in the future before deciding to call it a day and leave for home. There really wasn’t much else we could do in this area and we couldn’t exactly go exploring with the day being so wet. After this session, UN was the main training spot for myself, Chez, Mike, Flip and David. We came to town to train here each and every Saturday or when we were free. In the future we would be joined by other practitioners that joined our little, ever growing community and this was the start of it slowly but surely forming into the community most of you know and love now.

 

Zade (Me) - 180 Jump.

Zade (Me) – 180 Jump.

 

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