#58 – Reflxction.

 

Matt, Flip & Zade – Handstands.

 

Today Flx was back out training, after being absent for a long time due to injury, university and lifestyle choices, though it was great to have him back out today as it felt like a old school jam. Who wouldn’t miss Flx’s friendly charm, wit and at times, sarcastic comments… We started the training session over at IBM rather than at gray walls which people were used to where the practice was of the various upwards, downwards and across precisions to the walls and plant pots. We had a flourish of new people out training today, it has become the norm for the past few weeks with friends of friends joining and people seeing us train and wanting to join too. It wasn’t too long before we had taken over the IBM area with the sea of people and it began to feel more cramped by the moment. Some people found it hard to do the precision jumps so were looking for alternative movements to practice like the same level diving kongs. Jak, being as small as he is was able to do diving kongs over the plant pots which made for a nice photo. There were many occasions of trolling, training and lots of social time, as you can see by one image of Jak who decided to photo bomb me when taking photos and I ended up getting an extreme facial of him instead.

I’m very much a point and click kind of photographer but over time, I feel I have got better at taking photography as a whole, though I still have much to learn in the ways of taking into consideration my subjects and surroundings so it compliments my overall shot. I also need to learn how to take good shots when the lighting isn’t the best as most of my photography comes out blurred from fast motion or dark in general. Jak’s friend Hodge was out, he was a friendly chirpy chappy who came out to train from time to time when he was over visiting Nottingham. He had a certain presence about him and the same humour as Jak so when they were together they were like a comedy double act. We had a pit stop at the gray walls, although the weather was a turning gloomier and looked like it would rain at any moment. We made our way down to Urine Nation the old school training spot which delighted Flx who wanted to see if he could still do the things he used to be able to and to reminisce about the old times of training there in the evenings.

While training at UN it was a pleasant surprise to see James and Kirsty pass through on their way for a bit of shopping within the city centre. They decided to stop by, say hello and stay for a bit of a chat before being on their way. It was great to speak to see James out and speak about gymnastics and how he should make more of an effort to train outside again but with our main Saturday community. Though due to other commitments he was unable to do weekends and so had come out in the evenings with me and Flx and he made sure to make a concious effort to attend gymnastics to make up the difference and get his weekly fill of freerunning exercise. Due to the mentioning of wrestling from James the session then turned into one about grappling, kicks, martial arts and tricking. Which also shortly afterwards followed up with who was able to do the splits (hence all the kicking, splitting photos taken). James did a few vaults but seemed to be more reluctant to do things in the outside environment and was self concious which also made him think the worst of what might happen with movements. I know just how that feels as will any practitioner who has just started training or came from a long break, everything feels alien, sharp and oh so hard, even the impacts hurt ten fold until the body adapts to it all again.

 

AJ arrived back to Nottingham and I knew it would never be the same again… Not only was he handsome… He moved with such grace and elegance – Flx

Flx – Portrait.

 

While still on the kicking topic Flip had came up with a new kind of side vault, which added a kick to the movement and made you come out of it like a reverse vault. It was a combination of a lazy vault and a kick, again shown in the photos below. This had us all trying this movement and thinking of other ones which could be possibly created like Buttson who would do a speed vault while holding his trainers while in the air. UN was an area which was getting increasingly boring to train at, there was only so much you could do and having trained here for more than a year it had become tedious. We could all do with finding or having new locations to train at with fresh challenges, although we always stuck to the places we knew and loved. I’m sure there are other areas out there waiting to be found and conquered but until we have a good explore we will never know. Flx was a thing of beauty in a non homo way, he was very photogenic and always took such good photos. So if in doubt I’d take some portrait photos of him to complete my day with some good shots, even if this did annoy him at times when I kept constantly following him around snapping away like he was some sort of Bollywood superstar.

Up to the church area and we had all reverted to doing handstands and tried doing competitions to see who could hold them the longest out of myself, Flip and Matt. This was very challenging to do and it was anyone’s game, the hardest part of it was trying to get a photo of the three of us all up in a handstand, what with non of us being able to hold one for more than a few seconds. Even when we would be able to hold one we would be walking all over the place out of balance or one of the other guys wouldn’t be able to hold one at the same time and it took dozen of attempts before we got an okay shot of them. My other problem was having Flx taking a photo somehow he was taking shots which were blurred, so all our time and efforts were for nothing. He said he hadn’t done anything to the camera settings and had taken photos just like I had requested, I have no idea why my camera would be out of focus it was as if it was broken and took ages before it was able to refocus on subjects. Either way Flx found it extremely funny with how stressed I got about not having the perfect image and the fact it took us dozens upon dozens of attempts for us all to hold a handstand at the same time.

Tired and having sore shoulders and back from all the handstands, we took a break from it and gave up in the end having only a few mediocre shots of us all holding one. Underbars and flow were the talk and practice of our evening with Flx speaking about Sebastian and the Yamakasi and how they moved so light and gracefully, with ease. We practised a short run which entailed running and taking off a small concrete circle where the tree was landing into a step forward then followed by an 360º underbar on the black rail to running off. It would have been awesome to having landed on the rail but it was so far from the take off it would have been impossible. Another thing we practised was rail balance which we could all do with learning, like the cat crawling and generally being able to move around while on a rail.

Flx was also practising upwards precision jumps to the rail and over it from static jumps with his explosive leg power. On one attempt he jumped from the concrete slab border of the grassy bit where they have a few tombstones and then jumped to the iron black rail. He did it with ease and then on one attempt he jumped but hesitated mid air, not fully committed to the jump and fell short. Bashing his shins into the rail and tried to soften the blow by grabbing the rail and then fell over it with the full force went through his left wrist. This was the extent to our evening followed by more socializing and talking of other Parkour greats before leaving for home for a well earned rest.

 

Banham – Same Level Kong.

 

Adam – Same Level Kong.

 

Jak – Diving Kong.

 

Zade (Me) – Kick.

 

Flip & Flx – Talking.

 

Mattski – Gate Vault.

 

Zade (Me) & Flip – Handstands.

 

Aaron – Precision.

 

Adam – Portrait.

 

Jak – Extreme Portrait.

 

Flip – Palmspin.

 

Jak – Jumping.

 

James – Portrait.

 

Flx – Portrait.

 

Flx & James

 

James – Kick.

 

Flip – Handstand.

 

Flx – Portrait.

 

Flip – Portrait.

 

Zade (Me) – High Kick.

 

Flip – Lazy Kick Vault.

 

Flip – Side Vault.

 

Buttson – Speed Vault.

 

Mattski – Reverse Vault.

 

Jak – Portrait.

 

Flx – Portrait.

 

Jak – Portrait.

 

Flx – Portrait.

 

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