The night started like any other parkour training night. We ran, climbed steps and practiced techniques. Tonight we focused on vaults and tic tac. It was hot tonight and I was sweating from the exertion. My sore toe / ball of my foot is still giving me trouble but I’m not letting it stop me because I’m enjoying my training particularly parkour.
Then, when we were about 90 minutes into our 2 hour class one of our classmates fell and broke his arm. We weren’t doing anything particularly dangerous, just vaulting over a rail – something that many people do in their daily life. But, unfortunately, our classmate slipped and fell with a loud thud. I only heard the accident from where I was, vaulting over a different rail.
When the incident happened our instructors did everything right. They cleared the area around the injured person, leaving only his friend and a first-aid trained classmate with him (and an instructor of course). The rest of us were directed to take our bags and move to a safe location out on the main road (we were in a small alley) where we were to do some strength exercises while we kept lookout for the ambulance with our other instructor. The strength exercises were safe activities such as plank, push ups and squats. The two instructors stayed in phone and visual contact until the situation stabilised. Their ability to both maintain control and prevent hysteria or panic was admirable, particularly given their youth.
After the ambulance arrived those of us not directly involved in helping our injured classmate returned to base. Our instructor made sure everyone was okay with what had occurred but also kept us busy rather than allowing us to speculate about what had happened or focus on it. We quadripedalled hundreds of metres to give our strength to the classmates and instructor who couldn’t continue our training – it seemed like a good way to ‘help’ them at a time when the rest of us felt helpless wanting to do something to help our classmate.
While it is never good to see someone injured, it’s comforting to know that our instructors knew exactly what to do to keep both the injured person and the rest of the group safe. We debriefed afterwards and I know it won’t scare me away. Freak accidents can happen anywhere and anytime. I could fall of my pushbike or motorbike anytime, or could just slip on a wet floor. The accident wasn’t ’caused by’ parkour but was an everyday slip that could have happened jumping a fence in normal daily life.
Our class is becoming quite close and supportive of each other and together we pushed ourselves to work hard on our strength for the last half hour of the class – pushing out for our team mate. I’ll be back next week to continue my Tough Mudder training and to become strong to be useful.