Story and description of Parkour and Freerunning.
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Free running and Parkour are considered to be sports by some but in fact some people view them as a way of life. One who practices Parkour is known as a Traceur and one who practices free running is referred to as a free runner. Parkour is normally given the dictionary definition to get over an obstacle as quickly as possible however to a free runner such as myself Parkour means getting over all obstacles by over coming your fears whether those obstacles be physical or mental. Free running evolved from Parkour so to someone who is not familiar with them they can appear to be the same thing. Free running is given the definition to turn your environment into a playground but to a practitioner it means having fun and expressing yourself through movement. There are a few differences between Parkour and Free running but the most obvious one is the use of tricks in Parkour your main objective is to get from point a to point b as quickly as you can so the use of tricks will for the most part slow you down in Free running its the opposite because you are not trying to get somewhere instead your expressing your emotions and thoughts through movement. I you were to see someone practicing Parkour or Free running for the first time you would think that your looking at someone practicing some gymnastic tricks outside the gym and although many practitioners do train in gyms what they do outside is much more different then what they do in a gym mainly because of the fear. The fear one feels when practicing outside is almost unexplainable because there are so many other emotions mixed in with that fear like excitement and accomplishment and all these different feelings just seem to all come together.
Free Running has no doubt changed my life a few years ago i was on a completely different track then the one im on now and im not the only person to be affected in this way. Daniel Ilabaca one of my all time favorite Free Runners is an amazing story of how these things could change your life when Daniel was young he fell to drugs and even ended up living on the street for a while. When he was at his lowest point he stumbled across some Free Runners practicing on the street and he was so amazed by what he saw that he decided then and there that that was what he wanted to do. Since then Daniel has become one of the worlds leading Parkour and Free Running icons. Daniel’s story was the one that i could connect with the most because its similar to mines. At the beginning of this essay I stated that some people myself included view Parkour and Free Running as a way of life rather then just sports. My reason for believing this is because they are not like soccer or basketball that you practice after school or play for on a team they are something that can be used throughout they day in ones daily life and the thing is you don’t need any equipment or special location to practice them all you need is you and if you have friends to practice with it makes it that much more fun.
The reason some people view these as sports is because either they consider them to be a rip off of gymnastics or because they saw it on TV. Parkour and Free Running although similar to gymnastics are still very different things Parkour in some places of the world mainly France is use to train there soldiers for combat. Free Running is something that you see everyday and you’ve done before with out realizing it when you see a child playing on a playground thats all you see is that playground however that child see’s it as an adventure he is imagining himself on a different world with different people and different landscapes much as you use to when you were a child and imagined your world. That mentality that way of thinking is what all Free Runners have that ability to view the world in a different way in different shades and all these different angles that can transform something normal and dull into the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen. Most people have lost this ability and creativity that they ones had when they were young but Free Runners we seem to retain this ability and use it everyday. Although Free Running is great for having fun it isn’t as practical and useful as Parkour because Parkour is used for many things an example would be your late lets say for school like I am sometimes you can use Parkour to get to school by finding shortcuts and getting over obstacles that normally you would have to go around. Another example is if you have a job like a police officer and have to chase someone your not going to go street by street instead your going to get over anything in your way that is Parkour. Something that many people don’t know is that Parkour and Free Running can actually lead you to a career for example a job as a stunt man or working in any type of film such as movies or commercials if you have a background as a Free Runner or Traceur your chances for landing one of these jobs greatly increases.
Obviously if you have a job as a stunt man and your a Free Runner or a Traceur then they are much more then just sports because they really are a part of your life. Some people actually have built careers completely on Free Running for example David Belle and Sebastian Foucan these two have completely changed Parkour and Free Running because they were the first to put them on the big screen if you saw the movies Quantum of Solace or District 13 then you saw the first movies to show Parkour and Free Running. There has been some use of Parkour and Free Running in other movies mainly martial arts movies because they are a form of martial arts in fact thats why some people practice them for the health benefit. Finally if you try these things you will see why practitioners don’t consider them as sports but more like parts of there everyday life I wish I could explain these things more but It’s hard to put something thats done through movement into words.