I started parkour in 2007 in Toronto, Canada. I practiced with our little community while surfing forums like pkto.ca (R.I.P.), parkour.net and watching the odd video from Europe here and there. The thought of meeting these people would remain a fantasy had I not heard about my friend’s adventures early on of meeting people like David Belle and Thomas.
My desire to travel Europe stayed with me. It was an inkling that grew stronger with the years. I took every step necessary to guarantee that I would do it. I saved money, I had no big attachments to keep me in Canada and yet, I still wouldn’t commit… until another safety mechanism I had put in place sprung into action. I received a cheque in the mail for thousands of dollars in January 2017 from the Ontario Arts Council (I wrote a residency grant proposal for self exploration and returning to the source of the practice). Can you guess how I reacted?
Admittedly, my post concussive symptoms* were present but what weighed heaviest was the thought that I wasn’t “good enough” to do parkour in Europe (Philipp Holzmüller talks more about this topic here). This mentality has likely held me back in more ways than I care to imagine. Good enough for what, compared to whom… the rabbit hole goes deep. I was lost in these thoughts. Much of my energy was drained to fit an order I perceived. Perhaps that’s why I so badly wanted to travel, to open my eyes to what made me fall in love with parkour in the first place.
We are drawn to what our future self wants us to become. It’s deep, it’s innate and we ignore it at our peril.
A few years ago while working on a grant proposal, I talked with poet Ian Burgham who said this about parkour:
“For poets, topics choose them, they find themselves up against obstacles….The exit you find is the route that meets your eyes, a hidden route uncovered as you move, only when you finish you see. “
Location📍: Vienna, Austria
*I made a series of videos, documenting a part of my recovery. This one was posted exactly a year ago… what a difference.
Featured Image by: Michel Girard @ Gorges de l’Ardèche