After training on Tuesday at Fight or Flight Academy, I decided to splurge a little and purchased a pair of their fancy sweatpants. The pants that I've been wearing during class were catching on my feet and generally better suited for Krav Maga. Apparently training in sweatpants that could double as oversized clown pants is a good thing in the parkour community because they are HUGE! They recommended I go with the 3XL. I have to say, they're quite comfortable. I want to wear them all the time. Something possessed me to add a bit of personal flair to these sweatpants so I got to work designing my own pair of wings to embroider onto the legs, a la the Greek god Hermes. The sketching process was fun and reminded me of Graphic Design at MCAD. Drawing multiple options, choosing the best concept to move forward with and refining it in Illustrator. Embroidery is a bit of a new hobby for me and I've only done patterns that someone else created. This felt pretty cool doing something that was completely custom. Because I'm a nice person, I've included the design as a PDF here in case anyone wants to use it. The wings measure 8" when printed on legal size paper. Have fun and if you decide to use it, send me a photo of the finished product! :)
Anyway, the project came together very quickly and I was excited to wear them for the weight training class I took this evening. I know it's silly to fancify your workout gear but hey, whatever it takes to motivate me to go to the gym. I don't mind being silly once in a while.
While I was working on the embroidery, I started thinking of them as my training wings. They're kind of a mental burst of energy to help me through the difficult phase of trying something new. Parkour has felt exceptionally difficult for me because in high school, I developed Patellofemoral pain syndrome when I played basketball. I ignored a lot of physical therapy recommendations because I lacked the discipline to follow them and didn't feel like they were worth my time. I wanted instant gratification and wasn't willing to put the time in. Silly me.
Since then, I've become very good at telling myself I can't do various things because "I have bad knees". The first time I tried parkour, vaults, jumps and any kind of knee bending actions seemed impossible. I told Chad and Mitch "I have bad knees, I can't do it." and they told me to try it anyway. As I tried some moves, I actually surprised myself with what I was able to do. Sure, I failed at most of the movements, but that's reasonable when starting something new. I'm realizing that most of my issues have been mental blocks, working through those is the next challenge.
During parkour training days, if I can't do something, I just need to modify it so that I can. On non-parkour days, I'm focusing on strengthening my legs and doing myofascial release exercises with a foam roller. Tonight I started taking a weight training class to help speed up the process of being physically capable of key moves like jumps, kong vaults and pulling myself up walls. I think it's a little funny how I couldn't motivate myself to care about my knees before, but now that I have found parkour, I'm excited to test my limits and push past them.
I want to wrap this post up with a video I found tonight while browsing Reddit. This video really gets to the heart of why I think parkour is amazing. Enjoy!