What if you sped your climbing up to a flat out sprint, included parking garages among your climbing terrains, eliminated any ropes, and added a bunch of gymnastic moves like flips, somersaults, spins, and leaps?
Sound completely nuts?
Not at all. You’d simply be doing parkour, or free running, the latest craze out of France.
Imagine doing skateboard half pipe stunts without the skateboard and without the half pipe.
It’s part martial arts, part climbing, part gymnastics, with a hip hop urban sense of style.
Remember that feeling of unbounded joy and energy you had when you were a kid swinging around on the monkey bars? You’ve tapped into that that when climbing is going well.
The guys doing parkour have clearly found a way into the same zone.
The goal of parkour is to carve a fluid, fast, gymnastic line through space using fences, railings, retaining walls, and rooftops.
If you are a climber, you’ll recognize some of the moves like mantels, dynos, and smears.
But what’s really refreshing about parkour is how enthusiasts revel in fast physical movement —just running and jumping with endless variations. These guys look like adults, but have the sheer joy of a 10 year old bursting out of them.
Parkour practitioners worldwide take their inspiration from the sport’s founder, David Belle. Do a search on YouTube or Google video for “David Belle,” “parkour,” or “Sebastien Foucan.” (Foucan is the athlete who does the amazing parkour chase scene at the beginning of the recent James Bond movie Casino Royale).
At the very least you’ll be entertained. And you just might have to have a go at one of the beginner moves – or even start climbing a little differently.