It’s a hot and humid night in Brisbane’s CBD. We meet at Jacob’s Ladder at 6pm for the Parkour Basics class. We start with a warm up of light stretches and quadrapedal walking around the base of Jacob’s Ladder. I find quadrapedal walking is a really good full body workout – something that will come in handy for the Tough Mudder event in Sydney later in the year.
After our warm up we hit the streets for a long run. We run a few kilometres along the city’s streets and I admire the beautiful mix of heritage and modern buildings as we run. We are running quickly but still manage to find just enough breath to have a laugh as we go.
About half-way through our run we stop to do some finger strength work on the side of a building. I stand on the narrow ledge at the bottom of a pillar and use finger crimping to hold myself in place. It’s been about half a decade since I last did any finger crimping (that was back in my rock climbing days) and it’s going to take a little while to get my finger strength back. I manage to stay on the pillar for ages.
We continue our run until we are in a big square with lots of obstacles in it. There are stairs, benches, planter boxes, rails and walls. We start by practicing backwards jumps down a small flight of steps. It sounds simply but is actually good balance practice. We move on to jumping backwards down the steps and then turning to run forwards again.
We then move on to practicing forward and backward rolls. I wasn’t terribly good at forward rolls last time I practiced but this time I manage quite fine. I still can’t walk straight into the roll but at least I can consistently drop into one from standing and then roll backwards. We move up to a low section of wall where we hang by our arms, drop to our feet and roll backwards. I bump my head a few times on the hard tiled floor before giving in on rolling for the night.
I play a little bit walking on some rails. It’s fun to practice this newfound skill. The rail is wobbly in one spot but that’s where I get a photo taken.
We move onto flow practice next. This is moving through a space flowing over and around obstacles. It’s heaps of fun. The instructors make rules to limit the space we are allowed to use, forcing us to negotiate obstacles rather than taking the easy way out. I have a blast, finding myself becoming more confident with vaults, walls and ducking under rails as the practice goes on.
We finish with some strength and conditioning before we run back to Jacob’s Ladder, stopping on the way to do plank while we wait for traffic lights. For strength and conditioning we do calf raises with a partner standing on our shoulders (balanced against a wall), push ups across two bars and then reverse rows on the bars.
It was a tough and enjoyable two hour session.