Parkour: Now and Then


I first saw Parkour through a video being passed around on the Internet. The video featured a couple of guys doing wicked acrobatic moves. They would climb up the walls of buildings, do flips off almost anything, vault over railings, and jump from extremely high ledges and land in a forward roll like it was nothing. Oh and they did all this whilst continually running.

Le Parkour – Dvinsk Clan

I saw that video in 2006. The couple of guys? A group of traceurs from Latvia who call themselves the Dvinsk Clan.

Parkour, also known as the l’art du déplacement, or in English, the art of movement, is a discipline that focuses on “moving from one point to another as smoothly, efficiently and quickly as possible using the abilities of the human body.”

Practitioners of Parkour (sometimes called PK) call themselves traceurs if male or traceuses if female.

The discipline also has a philosophical element to it which teachers and practitioners of the discipline will often say when asked about PK: Any obstacle, physical or mental, can be transcended.

The goal of being able to move from one point to another as smoothly and efficiently as possible creates a challenge for the practitioner. These goals create challenges that create the opportunity for traceurs to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills to reach their goals.

To reach their goal, a traceur may have to learn to overcome a fear, or think different about an object they want to overcome, or even change their training.

It is this energy that is encouraged to be used in all aspects of the traceurs life. (This thought reminds me of what the point of mindfulness meditation is, FYI.)

PK started in the mid 80s in France and has experienced steady growth since then. One of the unique things about PK is that it has never had an official school to teach it. Most practitioners learned the discipline through video clips and groups found on the Internet. Currently in America, 40, 000 people are estimated to be practicing Parkour. And there are now classes dedicated to teaching Parkour to anyone.

In America, APK is the definitive source for learning PK. The site has tips, tutorials, groups for connecting, and whatever else you could need to inspire you, if you choose to practice PK. [link to APK site]

This video from ESPN (please ignore the reporter talking, she is teh lame!) chronicles the adventure of one PK practitioner who also happens to be a member of APK’s professional PK Team, The Tribe. [link]

Maybe you don’t need that gym membership after all.

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Are You Serial? Lollipop-Pies!? WANT!


Every so often, an idea comes along and I’m like “That’s so freaking smart! How did I NOT think about this?” That’s how I felt when I saw a post about Lollipop-Pies a.k.a tiny pies for your mouth on the website Luxirare. [link]

Luxi Rare, writes an overview about making Lollipop-Pies saying that the reason Lollipop-Pies exist is because sometimes Luxi wants “a couple of bites” and wants “to be done with it.”

“I want to eat pie, but I don’t want a whole slice…. I want little pies, yes, with more pie crust than filling. 50 calories or less, no guilt. Eating pie slices makes me feel fat.”

….

Through links and comments in the original post, you too can learn how to make your own Lollipop-Pies.

Making pie filling. FROM SCRATCH.

Filling the pie.

Laying the stick.

Finished product. Nom. Nom. Nom. Nom.

You can read the entire post here. And here’s a link to a store selling lollipop sticks. There’s no reason for you not to get started.

Dancing Fat Chicks and Frank Chu


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Snapshot of me

Frank Chu is a strange guy and I don’t mean strange in a bad way.  I mean he is one of the many characters that creates the tapestry that makes the Bay Area what it is.

There are rumors of Chu taking his family hostage and having a standoff with police before assuming the character in glasses and with sign we now know him as.

And the guy showed up at an underground party I was hooping at — imagine that.

…   …   …   …   …

It was another Saturday afternoon that promised another Saturday night party full of friends. And that premise created another internal back-and-forth between leave the hoop or take the hoop to the party.

I had decided not take the hoop; since at this point in my hoop life, it feels like any time I take a hoop with me I have expectations projected onto me from the crowd. Plus there are the expectations I would be projecting on myself as a “hooper.” Better off to leave the hoop and the anxious mental back-and-forth that comes with it at home.

The Universe however, (or perhaps I was looking for an excuse) had different plans.

In a conversation with a friend about Röyksopp, I mentioned that one of my favorite songs to hoop to is by them. It’s called “Sparks,” its a beautiful dreamy downtempo song with a singer that makes me think of music from the 1920s.

This prompted my friend, The Captn’, who also was DJ’ing at the party to add this song to his DJ set list. And he told me to bring my hoop down. I could’ve not have, but a friend genuinely offered me a place in his set and it was awesome. I wouldn’t/couldn’t say no to that.

And so it began, “What do I wear?” “Oh my god, I haven’t hooped in a month!” “Shit my ass looks super fat.” “This outfit doesn’t support my tits, but it’s so cute” “Faux fur boot covers?”

With all that figured out and a fully charged hoop, I was on my way to the party.

It was a beautiful set-up, the party was pretty. There was an upstage area where dancers dressed in burlesque outfits were shakin’ it to the first DJ. I checked out more of the place and found friends around every corner.

After the ritual meet and greet, I went off to a corner to hoop and warm-up: out of the crowdview in the back of the venue space. I garnered some “oohs and aahs” while I was at it. When I finished, I saw that the dancers from the upstage were gone. “Ooh an opportunity,” my brain said. I eventually found the promoter of the party, pictured here with Frank Chu, and asked if I could hoop up there. She said, “Yes.”

Up to stage I go, navigating a narrow curvy staircase with my hoop in my hand. And then when I get up there, there is a dancer up there. Well I would hate to ask them to move and I just got up there so it would be lame to just go back down. I start dancing.

aaa

“Sparks” by Röyksopp. Slightly different then album version

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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I’m shaking my arse, in my black faux fur boot covers, and black nightie. All my friends on the floor cheered! When I finish dancing, (I want to conserve energy for hooping ) I get so many positive comments from friends and strangers about what I just did.

“I didn’t know you could do that.”

“Eds your my hero”

The same story was repeated, “When I first looked up there, there was only this skinny chick, barely dancing. And then I look up there and see you up there shakin’ your ass, blowing that chick away.” What fantastic feedback. Mind you, I wasn’t dancing to show anyone off. I just like dancing in the spotlight.

After a bit of a wait, the stage has cleared and I am back up there, this time to hoop. It’s crazy. I haven’t even began to hoop yet and the crowd is a hootin n’ hollerin.  I dance with the hoop, do some isolations — the LED lights aren’t even on, and I get more love. Then I turn on the hoop’s lights and begin performing. I feel a wave of  dance induced spiritual energy coming at me. I always feel it when there is a great DJ, an awesome party atmosphere, and a crowd that’s into what you’re doing.

I’m dancing, I’m posing, I’m watching for the space limitations I got. I’m channeling my inner Gwen Stefani from her No Doubt days (Don’t Speak style). I’m showing my “girl balls.” It’s wicked fun. I give until I can. I’m absorbing the energy of the crowd and the music from a fantastic set by Bam of Evil Breaks.

I finally stop and turn off my hoop. I get such a cheer from the crowd that I must pay them some respect. They were awesome; I was Awesome (with a capital “A”); Bam was awesome, party was awesome. I bow-in to the crowd and leave the stage; Time to do some soft hooping to “Sparks” in the second room.

aaa

–xoxo q.c.

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Hey. You want to hear the first DJ set? CLICK HERE