#104 – Three is a Magical Number.

 

David – Portrait.

 

It was a lovely Friday afternoon with the sun shining down and Myself, David and Flip decided we wanted go out training. I didn’t want to be out Saturday, doing the same  humdrum movements in the same old areas. It felt like our regular community weekend training sessions were stagnating somewhat. So our challenge for today was to find and do new movements which scared and pushed us, perhaps go to areas we don’t usually train at and look differently in the ones we do. I wanted to be accomplishing new movements, to feel I had got the most from the day and go home feeling destroyed. I have mentioned in the previous [1] blog entry about progression training sessions. While on our way to the Flats area we walked past a small wall which Phil pointed out to be a kong precision and asked if myself or David had tried it before? He said it was a bit pointless for him being easy and small, but if we wanted to try it we should. It was a strange diagonal kong precision, going from a small wall, over the pavement and to a raised curb leading to the front grassy area of the flats. Not overly a long distance, but enough awkwardness to put you off committing to it fully. I really didn’t like the run up, for starters you were lower than the pavement, being on the road. Then you had to take off between the bollards or to the side of them which was also very off putting. David gave it multiple goes, always  landing short, or on his tiptoes as he always did with kong precisions. His legs dragging behind him in the air, rather than sticking them out towards the landing he was aiming for. I gave it a few goes, landing closer each time, getting frustrated when I only needed a few more inches to land it. I kept doing the kong like a cross vault as well as some times pushing too much off the wall, flailing in the air, but I did finally land it in the end thankfully.

The next area we ventured over to was Bilbie Walk, seen in the below hotspot image. From first glance there doesn’t seem to be much there, just a singular wall to scale by doing a running pop vault. Maybe a small catleap from a railing to the wall, though if you look carefully and expand the mind there are many other movements which can be done too. It’s fast becoming one of my favourite places to train at of late. It’s a secluded cut through, so you don’t get bothered by security or people (bar the random people who walk through the area on their way to places from time to time) this only usually happens on the weekdays and during university times and at the weekend. It’s also nice for photography too as you will see when scrolling through the images below. We could pop vault the main wall quite easily, so to increase the difficulty we decided to do the same movement around the side of the wall, which was slightly higher and had a couple of steps to avoid during the pop vault. It was much harder than we first thought, reaching up and getting close to the top of the wall, even having our fingertips grasp the ledge before loosing our grip. My hands were shredded by this wall, as were David’s due to the sharpness of the edge. On a few occasions when I did finally get it, I had to push off the wall with one hand during the run, while reaching up with the other to grab the top which pulled my side in the process. There were a few bails to be had too with David slipping down the wall, slamming straight into the wall as his trainers slipped. Myself having cut hands, tripping up the steps due to forgetting they were there or just falling short of grabbing the wall most times.

 

Parkour Hotspot – Bilbie Walk.

 

Battered and bruised I was already feeling tired from all the wall run attempts, it seems whenever you are trying new movements it always saps the energy out of you the most. I guess that is down to all the extra energy you are using and many attempts at the movement you are trying, than things which are easy for you to do and knowing much energy to exert, which is usually very little in comparison. A random trail biker came bombing down the steps (good job no one was walking through or they would have been taken out in the process) and he was doing some jumps down the steps static and the same up them and down from the walls. You will see the same guy in the background of one of the portrait photos of myself, there are also many random portraits, general experimental shots too, thanks to Flip… I must admit I love doing the standing catleap from the railing at Bilbie Walk, it wasn’t that big a distance but for many with it being a slight drop and off a rail, it spooked them. It felt the perfect distance for beginners to build up to and claim it as their first ‘proper’ catleap. The cat followed with a climb up afterwards felt amazingly fast transition wise and very good practise! We practised many of them, along with some shimmying along in a catleap position to see how far along the wall we could go before falling off. Our next location would be across the road at the church, a small detour before moving to other areas. I was having technical difficulties with my camera, which had decided to once again not focus for whatever reasons. I was starting to think the sensor inside was broken as it wouldn’t focus on anything at all and there was a very tiny black speck inside the lense then it seemed to try and focus on instead, not to mention it had started to steam up inside too. It took me many attempts of turning it off and on again, trying to focus on any object before it seemed to miraculous work again.

This is one of the reasons some of the shots below are a tad blurry, as I didn’t realise until later on in the day while checking through my shots on the camera that they were blurred and were not focusing as normal. Though I have tried to correct and sharpen the images post production in Photoshop, so they shouldn’t look too bad. We never spend enough time practising Parkour rolls, whether it be from static or after a movement when they are meant to be easier to do, due to the momentum. So we decided we would kong over the railing of the church between the shrubbery and over the small wall below and land on the pavement in front with a roll. We had very little to no run up for the kong and so you had to really pull through with the arms, the photos looked nice, though rolling on concrete was painful and you felt it after a few goes. Another thing that I noticed after my rolling is that I was getting up facing back where I had taken off. It was strange to do a roll and land in a 180 stance, much to the amusement of Flip and David. My shoulder and hip were red and bruising already and I didn’t want to do too many more takes for photos and end up bruised and sore for weeks, like in the old days of training when we used to practice them all of the time, until we could move no more. I think for today and the time being, rolling on concrete would be a pass for me, even in multiple layers it still hurt, so being in thinner bottoms and just a t-shirt today made things worse than ever.

 

Zade (Me) – Pop Wall Climb.

 

Holding a handstand on an object then doing a kong out of it is another one of those movements I shall never grasp both mentally and physically. David and Flip had really nice ones, and on occasions in gymnastics [2] will would practise them off the vault horse object into the foam pit. I’ve given them a go in the past, but can never get the hang of them and hate how they feel, always scared of clipping my feet or face planting once pushing off with my arms. Phil said David should give A handstand kong a go off the top of the phone box as it would be great as a photo! So up he got, it was scary due to the height and he didn’t think he could do one, that and his balance was terrible with handstands. I got a good photos even if he did come out of the movement sideways, he did a few more attempts, to see which ones came out better. I would never dare do a handstand up there, I can let alone hold one without moving, never mind on a small surface area! For another shot we wanted David to do a back tuck off the railing, now I must tell you that David’s balance is just as terrible on rails, more so than his handstands. I mean he can hardly get to standing upright on a railing, never mind holding his balance for long enough to do a somersault… It was funny to watch him struggle each time he tried to stand up on the rail, falling off, wobbling all over the place, desperately trying to resist falling off, legs and arms flailing all over the place. Needless to say we waited, and waited and waited some more while in hysterics as David got more and more frustrated until finally he had a revelation and found his balance and was ready. A group of college or university students were walking down the road too, the time was now or never!

They pointed and stared at David as they made their way down the road, while David wobbled, uneasy on the thin railing, with his arms pointed in the air out in front of him. The students looking confused at what it was he was doing, or even pointing too in the sky, before he jumped and rotated in the air, no doubt impressing them with his somersault… That was until he over rotated his landing, coming down onto his heels and slipping backwards, flat onto his ass and then sliding in multiple roly polys down the hill behind him, making the feat all the less impressive and acquiring grass burns in the process. For me it was very impressive that he had done one, I can’t back tuck unassisted any more since bumping my head way back in 2005 [3] after first learning them very sketchily, since then I’ve had a fear of them. Spotted I can do them outside and in the gym on occasions, I can do them on my own into foam pits or off raised objects onto a mat but it takes me ages to get the courage to even do that… But outside is a big no no and the fact that David can do something I can’t makes me all the more envious of him and the movement itself! My fear and form of doing them is so sloppy that I had decided that I will no longer do them and focus on other tricks and then one day I may revisit them later down the line when I am not so fearful of them and then finally get them outside one again, well that is my own personal promise to myself. I just hope I am able to do that, until then I might try and learn something completely different, which many don’t do. Much like I did with aerials in the beginning, they are still a strange trick but one most don’t practice due to the flexibility and difficulty.

 

David – Handstand.

 

Orange walls was the next location we decided to train at, I was busy practising a diagonal kong precision on the small walls and feeling quite pleased with myself, even if the distance was very small, but it was still a k2p nevertheless. Flip was busting a bigger same level kong precision at the other side of the area, I really wished I could do that one too, but I couldn’t get the distance nor the height for it, no matter how much myself or David tired. It was one of those movements I had decided I wouldn’t get, until my kong precisions were, much, much better than they currently are. There wasn’t much else for us to do in this area and so it was only a brief training stop, and we went exploring around the back of the area to see what new things we could find. There was two small railings close together leading down to the car park and I thought it would be cool to try a kong precision if any of us could, not that it was possible currently. Railings are so scary for kong precisions, even the smallest of ones and I have no idea how people have the balls to do them. The bailing possibilities on a rail are horrible and endless to think of, never mind experiencing them first hand. So instead, we decided to try a kong over the first rail to underbar on the second one, it felt quite strange but at the same time cool for a little side movement. A bit further up in the area there was a few steps and a wall to kong over, to a possible cat. It was really close and horrible to try and stick, on the few attempts we did try and hold the catleap our hands would slip off the smooth, slightly slanted wall. Falling backwards onto the stairs, nearly hitting our skulls on the wall behind us.

That didn’t stop us practising it though, and Flip saying we might as well just try it as a kong precision as it might be less dangerous. Today I decided to get a few shots with my camera in the photo, hoping for it to add a more professional feel to the image. There were many portraits from the day and some random shots, one of which I really liked of myself tying my shoelaces. We spent a lot of time in this area training and filming, strange with there being very little to do on the walls. Apart from the kong to cat, the other way was a diving kong over the first wall to the further wall with a drop, not that any of us did that. Later on we looked at a tic tac cat off two walls in the corner of the area which looked impossibru. It was quite a distance, the wall was also very slippery, not to mention the wall we had to land on was diagonal. On the many, many attempts we all had at trying to do this tic tac cat, only Flip managed to nail it. Myself and David tried endless times, never getting enough distance, slipping on take off, or slamming into the wall. The diagonal force coming down to the landing wall was atrocious, I managed to pull my groin and hamstring from trying it so much, and my hip really hurt too from being so out stretched on all the tic tac take offs. David had given up due to not being able to get enough distance to keep his feet on the wall. The photos of this movement came out really nice though as you can see by one of the images below of Flip.

 

Flip – Tic Tac Cat.

 

I really enjoy training with David and Flip as a trio, we work really well together. Managing to mix training hard with lots of laughs and banter too, it’s a nice compromise from being super serious about training. We also push each other movement wise and are all of similar levels of skill to encourage each other to carry on and progress further. I quite enjoyed wearing my red bottoms today, they go really nicely with my black t-shirt and in the images make me stand out amongst the dull and dark colours in some of the areas like Bilbie walk. These summer training days are all what it’s about though, I look forward to some more intense training in our trio and seeing how else we progress in coming months. I know we were speaking about going on another trip to Leicester as it’s been a while and it would be cool to train there again while the weather is good. Will have to see how that pans out though in a few weeks and who else we would want to come with us.

Progression currently feels steady and after a day like today, it makes me want to train even more, each and everyday. New movements always give you the Parkour hight, wanting to keep improving, feeling that same elation day after day. Though training for so long tires you out and so a day or two off afterwards isn’t always a bad thing, even if you want to be out each day consistently. To rest and recover then come back stronger for the next training session. Another idea I had is to do a trio video from us three and I think that could be a very cool concept when I have some time to film such a thing. It could work really well, if done correctly. But again I’ll have to see if it formulates in the future… There are plenty of photos for you to view below, it’s been one of those days, shooting lots of images and more so when we have new movements to document.

 

Parkour Hotspot – Bilbie Walk.

 

Flip – Portrait.

 

David – Pop Wall Climb.

 

David – Pop Wall Climb.

 

David’s Graze.

 

David – Kong Cat.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong Cat.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong Cat.

 

David – Kong Cat.

 

David – Kong Precision.

 

David – Kong Precision.

 

David – Portrait.

 

Zade (Me) – Portrait.

 

David – Pop Wall Climb.

 

David – Pop Wall Climb.

 

David – Pop Wall Climb.

 

Dat Ass!

 

David – Portrait.

 

Zade (Me) – Portrait.

 

Zade (Me) – Pop Wall Climb.

 

David – Portrait.

 

Zade (Me) – Catleap.

 

Zade (Me) – Catleap.

 

Zade (Me) – Catleap.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong.

 

Zade (Me) – Parkour Roll.

 

David – Kong.

 

David – Kong.

 

David – Kong.

 

David – Parkour Roll.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong.

 

David – Kong.

 

David – Kong.

 

David – Handstand Kong.

 

David – Handstand Kong.

 

David – Back Tuck.

 

Flip – Kong Precision.

 

Flip – Kong Precision.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong Precision.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong Precision.

 

David – Kong.

 

David – Kong Underbar.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong.

 

Zade (Me) – Kong.

 

Flip – Kong Cat.

 

Zade (Me) – Portrait.

 

Flip – Portrait.

 

David – Tic Tac Cat.

 

Flip – Tic Tac Cat.

 

Flip – Tic Tac Cat.

 

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