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.

 

LP

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… I landed completely on my ass and you can bounce off it onto your feet pretty much, really absorbs everything and makes you sink in a bit when running along it too which took some getting used too. At times we didn’t really know what to practise or be able to keep up the momentum for constant runs. The platform section provided a shelter for when and if it rained which was a cool idea to have at a park for those light showers which only last a while, good for shelter but not for training. Though I could be thinking quite close minded with it, I’m not a fan of overhanging walls or platforms for training so would have preferred it to be a flat wall instead.

 

David – Precision.

 

As you can see in the first photo above, the run we practised was the one to the left, running and jumping off a stump which was out of screen to the first wall, striding across to the other wall before doing a catleap to the metal bar, dyno up then back down and 180 cat back down to the lower wall. We did some other singular precision movements on the rails  and stumps too and even met and spoke to a practitioner who I forgot the name of who had randomly come along training on his own. He was doing some nice bar work, swinging around them and linking movements. It’s amazing as you think you are decent with training, until you visit a new area and then you realise how adapted you have become to your own area and when faced with new obstacles you are of unsure what to do. The trip was short lived when an hour into the session it began to spot with rain and then got heavier and didn’t stop. We waited to see if it would, but it made the park dreadfully slippery and with that we had to call it a day and head back home. Some people were heading to our own park soon which the weather seemed to be fine that was until we arrived back into Nottingham which had very much the same weather as we had hoped we had left in Loughborough.

I’ve added some other photos from another training session we had at our own park where we met a guy called Jonathan who arrived at the park just as we were leaving one day. He had taken an around trip of Nottingham to try and locate the park, before finally arriving after many detours an waiting ages for Sunday buses. He was a very cool and down to earth guy and had some amazing strength too, doing handstands, muscle ups and lache cat / precisions with ease, even the bigger ones at the park. I was experimenting that day with some silhouette images of the park and people who were out. Jono and I spoke about the general Parkour scene, the London scene which he was from and how it never changes no matter how long you leave it for. How taking a break effects training, the old days of training when Parkour had first come over to the UK and how each community has their own set of skills and vibe ad where we thought training was going next and even in a few more years down the line.

 

David – Precision.

 

Zade (Me) – Catleap.

 

Nottingham Parkour Park.

 

Jonathan – Lache Cat.

 

David – Portrait.

 

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