Not Quite Parkour – Not Really Hardcore

Hello. My name is Melissa Joulwan. I’m a parkour stalker.

I can’t get enough of videos like this and this and this. I registered at the American Parkour web site. I posted a comment on Randal Setzler’s CrossFit Central parkour blog because I’m too intimidated to talk him in person at the UTB workouts. And while I eat lunch** in the 12th floor kitchen, I scan the streets around our office through the corner windows, thinking, “That wall would be great for vaulting… I wonder what people in that park would do if you walked down the stairs on your hands during lunch…”

I, of course, can’t do any of those things.


But I like to imagine what it would feel like to a) be strong enough and b) be confident enough in my strength to try.

Last Thursday, I made Dave vault over a railing near the hike & bike trail, just so I could watch and try to figure out how I might convince my synapses that I can do it, too.

On Saturday, on a bridge near Reverchon Park, I got a tiny taste of what it might be like to be a parkour daredevil.

First, Dave and I ran about 15 minutes down the Turtle Creek Trail and 15 minutes back. The “man,” a.k.a., the Parks Dept. had closed part of the trail because a railing was broken on a wooden trestle. Boo! Here’s a shot of part of the path:

On the way back to Reverchon Park, we found some good obstacles for faux parkour (Sissy-cour?!): a set of concrete stairs with benches on the landings, and a sidewalk bordered by a concrete wall with a built-in bench.

I sprinted up the stairs and did five bench jumps on each bench, then I ran around the corner and up the sidewalk to the diagonal bench, hopped up on top of the wall, and leapt (!) to the street on the other side. I did the whole thing about half a dozen times, then Dave videotaped me. Ha! I’m not sure how badass it looked, but it felt really great. Seems like a kickass way to get a workout without feeling like you’re “exercising.”

Almost hidden in the trees along the border of Reverchon Park is a stone staircase that climbs to… we didn’t know where. So we ran up to take a look.

I liked the climb so much, I did it twice!

A dude sitting on the bridge at the bottom asked Dave if he was having trouble catching me. “I always do,” he said.

There was a Flintstones’ living room at the top, and the dining room table was perfect for burpees!

We ran and played for about 45 minutes before we ran out of gas in the 95-degree temp and decided to call it a day.

Our workout clothes and sneakers have gone on many vacations with us, only to languish in the hotel room when we blew off our planned workouts to eat or shop or generally be lazy. But on this trip (and our 4th of July staycation and my birthday get-away), we did our runs AND had plenty of time for sightseeing, eating, and relaxing. Damn it! There’s a freakin’ life lesson in there.

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