Ten Jallenges.



It was meant to be a day of much sun, cold with a wind but sunny nevertheless. That is what the weather forecast had predicted, though like each weekend it is the complete opposite! I woke up early and got ready, I couldn’t wait to be out this weekend for some reason. The last time I was out had left a bitter taste in my mouth [1] but for today I had my passion back for movement. Well, that was until some unexplained, unwanted explosive diarrhoea had come on and left me glued to the fecal splattered toilet seat. Just what I needed before going out… James was feeling a bit injured but was still going to head out. Even though I was running late, had emptied my bowels, I still had stomach ache and wondered if to risk it. I started to feel a bit better and then got a lift to town, which shaved off time waiting for public transport. Everyone was still at Plaza warming up, but it was cold, much colder than I expected it to be.

Micheal was out again this weekend, the same fro-friendly chap that had come along to the blue themed [2] training. I had assumed that he was from Derby, seeing as he used to be out at the same time they were. Yet, he wasn’t from there at all and instead from Burton Upon Trent. He was wearing some Feiyue shoes [3] too. What a brave, brave guy for wearing those while out training. Even though, I went through a phase of liking them for training myself, many years ago and they always seemed to pull the sole of my feet. This led to us talking about shoes and what people prefer to wear while out training. I tried to get warm by moving around and doing some skipping. Phil arrived, he seemed to be in a rather jolly mood for training today, it reminded me of the times gone by when we would always be training together. Minus the silliness and banter, as I’d like to think we have somewhat matured these days.


© James Allen Visuals.

Zade – Portrait.


James arrived, as did others, slowly but surely. I didn’t mind being at Plaza today (I know right?) for once and I was okay with this. Practising kong precisions with Phil, James and the others. Trying to sort out my own technique with them, as they were currently not feeling as good as they should. James was getting them, but he wanted to have them consistently each weekend as well as going through the various ways people did them. I think we confused him a bit when Phil would do them one way, then the rest of us had different ways to generate power and how we did them as a whole. You had two parts to do them on the medium sized wall, each between the shrubs. The left side you had to run along uneven ground, while the right side was close to the diagonal wall overhead. Which you didn’t hit your head on, but it put most off doing it there due to thinking that, that would happen. It was interesting to do on them both sides, trying to get more comfortable with the movement again.

We ended up moving over to IBM. The slabs were still dotted around the area from a previous RAW video (seen below). We used the existing ones for a small run, with everyone giving it a go. Then we created variations to it, like Phil doing a tic tac off the wall and people skipping slabs and spinning while sitting on the wall were all creativity of the run. There were so many possibilities, most found it hard to turn quickly on one slab due to the sharp direction change. It was something which pulled the ol’ legs and groin. It was funnier as the more we tried to be precise, the worse we became. Oh and Pete couldn’t stride them, what the hell? James was busy doing standing cats to the wall, where he has previously done it as a running precision. Perhaps he was preparing for the Audo same level catleap? He was making the distance further each time, getting Pete and myself to have a look too. We both didn’t like it as a cat, much to James surprise.



It started to hail and snow, how very odd and it came down so quickly and stopped as quick as it arrived. We made our way over to Auditorium, while many stopped off at the shops first, including James, the fat buggers. After much hesitance, it was time for James to play the Zade Challenges. I basically wanted to set him a set amount of movements to try and achieve for the day, there were ten in total. All of them were at different levels of commitment, but all well within his range and capabilities with a little push. They were to help him progress beyond his normal routine and comfort zone, but if he didn’t achieve any of them… Then I said he must just do Parkour as a hobby and for the fun, being happy at the same level, forever within his comfort zone. Rather than being hungry and wanting to progress further, pushing for new movements each week(s) which scare him and out him out of the comfort zone. Even reassess his overall training plan.

I know to many, that may seem harsh, but he has the ability to go further with his training, as previous sessions have showed [4] [5] so the commitment it is there. It’s just getting past that stage and forever pushing for it. Like so many when training, there comes a time when you want to progress or forever remain at the same level and accept this fact. Something just clicks, and you go further or for many that is a time when they feel depressed about their own training and/or plateau too. I went through the tick list of movements. James didn’t overly like many of them, I knew he wouldn’t. Some were trickier than others and bigger, but some were easily within reach, even if at first they seemed impossible. The goal was to achieve at least one of them and at best a few if not all of them. Focusing on one movement at a time to break. Leading to others being broken and then that pattern would help with the progression. So was today going to be the day of breaking barriers?!


James - Box Jump Challenge.

James – Box Jump Challenge.


James wasn’t sure what to do, as many of the moves seemed difficult and it was looking like he wasn’t going to try any of them or felt it was unfair of what had been set. I assured him they were all well within his grasp, anything worth getting will take a bit of effort and will feel amazing afterwards. James looked at a box jumping movement (seen above) from a step across to another wall before jumping on the floor in front and then up to another small wall. On the first few attempts he felt it was too far and slightly out of his reach. Others like myself and Phil, knew otherwise and this was the commitment part of what is Parkour. We coaxed and reassured him to keep trying and not to give up, as he might be surprised once he gets the feeling for it. Getting closer each jump, feeling like it was more possible. He had the distanced but it was hanging in the air for that fraction of a second longer that he struggled with. While he was trying others had joined in trying the challenge too as morel support and it had now became a group activity.

It was frustrating and we wanted him to get it, before he gave up. It felt like Castle College with the only difference he was going for this move while in the air, but then backing out at the very last moment. A few more tries and he craned and bounced it and then, all of a sudden James had landed it, easily too I might add. It was great to see and the elation of having broke the movement. The more he did it the better it became and the easier it looked! The first movement off the tick list, he could rest assured that he wasn’t practising Parkour for the fun of it, he did want to progress and get better. Now to get another one of these challenges done and dusted. My hands were freezing and the next movement he looked at was a diagonal kong precision. He wanted me to show him, but when I refused due to being afraid and having not done it in a long time. James was quick to state, if one of the ‘pro’s’ can’t do it, who has practised for years. What chance do I have of getting it?!


Pete – Stride.


A fair point indeed, Zain looked at it as did Phil and David too. We all felt the same about it as we eyed it up, but non of us doing it. I decided to go for it, as I was over thinking, I didn’t like it, forcing it nevertheless. Flailing in the air, doing it very sketchily and almost sideways. Then Phil did it easily and then it was David, Zain and James turn to get this down, or least build up to it. David getting it after some attempts and then Zain too in the end. This movement wasn’t one that felt achievable for James who’s legs were feeling the brunt of the earlier jumping. So I suggested moving on to another stride based challenge, after the previous success with the box jumps. It was similar, starting from a step (seen above) striding twice before landing as a precision on the step in front. Again, it was just out of his comfort zone but with help and everyone else trying it too, it just may help him break the movement.

We were all in a line, queuing to take turns. It was to be the second off the list for James to achieve. It took a while, but soon enough he got it, and it was now absolute leg death for him. so much jumping and the strides didn’t half make you feel the groin and hip flexors. So far it was becoming a great day of success for James and I bet it had to feel good to progress with not just one movement but two so far. I took some interesting airborne photos of the guys while they were doing the striding. Pete (above) looking like Super Mario, fist in the air like he was hitting a block. I then took various shots of Tom doing side flips off the walls. So many shots, I was experimenting with angles, even if many look similar. James was done for now, all the lower body death had him in bits. So I wasn’t sure what else he could attempt, the pop round vault movement was one to try, getting close, but not quite getting the pull through.


Tom – Sideflip.


The session was dying down now, people as warm as we had felt with the challenges were now cooling down and feeling the cold. James took a few photos in the area, but the ones released were those that were portraits later on while we were at the castle [5] area, beside the muscle up tree. Some were practising the precision jump between the plant pot and I had a look at it too. Why does the jump always look so far? Frankie could stand it easily and others were close. I wanted to nail the jump, but my legs were so tired now. I manage to force the jump, feeling like I was only just getting it, by sticking my legs out in front and landing quite crouched. It was odd, it felt like I wasn’t even using my arms to help glide over, doing it all purely from a full squat, no wonder it felt so horrible. I could feel my back slightly and no doubt if I pushed many more it would twinge. We ended up moving to the Nottingham Castle next…

Heading over to the muscle up tree, but not before people were looking at the various bench to rail precision and back to the bench. It was getting dark, we all had tired legs and yet we were still doing leg based movements. Seriously? Why torture ourselves!? I couldn’t see the jump to the railing, yet others were doing it fine, both running and standing. I don’t know if it was due to tiredness or it getting dark, I just couldn’t judge it any more. James contemplated the jump running and standing, wanting to do it. Zain was just as amazed and unable to see it standing and yet was fine with running it from the biggest distances, not that he stuck it mind you. Slowly we ended up at the Muscle Up tree and did a few together. Some left for home and others were ready to call it a day now. While James took some great portraits, what with the lights in the area add a spotlight effect to all the shots.


Long Exposure.


We spent much of the time ringing Frankie’s bike bell, much to his annoyance. Di-ding, di-ding! Then there was the nipple twisting and other oddities that went off such as Tom feeling Jonathan’s face [6] in a sensual manner. I’m pretty sure he picked his nose while rubbing his face, much to his enjoyment. I’m not too sure what Jon thought to it though I’m glad James was filming to capture such a moment in time. Yet, so much footage which will never see the light of day sadly. Maybe one day though, we might get a shock and some content will be created and uploaded, there is always hope… Tom slipping on the grass while doing a sideflip and then just laid there motionless on the floor for a time was another randomness. While many called it a day the remainder of us ended up  at Castle College.

Not much else was done, except cooling down and chatting rather than training. I know Ben had plenty of energy as he always did, but for the rest of us it was time to cool down and leave. While we were there a guy ventured into each of the generator doors, fixing something and that is the first time I had ever seen anyone go into them, let alone on a Saturday when places are usually closed. Just as we were leaving James and myself ended up shooting some long exposure photos. A part of photography I very rarely, if ever, do myself but have always appreciated the results of when people do long exposure. I quite liked how mine came out and then we spent ages setting up the cameras and doing the exposures. Some with Zain in shot and some without and then a few closer to the roadside before we left for home and called it a day.


Tom – Sideflip.


Tom – Sideflip.


Tom – Sideflip.


Long Exposure.


Frankie – Portrait.


Pete – Stride.


Tom – Stride.


Tom – Portrait.


Tom – Sideflip.


Tom – Sideflip.


Tom – Sideflip.


Long Exposure.


Long Exposure.



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