30 jul. 2017

Plan the Work

For those who knew me in 2011, you may remember how busy and serious I was with my training. 6 days a week, several hours per day, planned, programmed training. Ultimate fitness was my motivation, mobility, power, strength... all in search to improve my Parkour skills. I could easily jump a 10ft gap, climb a 12ft wall, and vault almost any obstacle across. I had a purpose in my training, and in my training I had a crew, a family.

When I moved to the USA in late 2011 to study a masters, I never thought I was going to lose all of that but I did. Lost the several hours a day to train, and with that I lost the many days a week, the crew, the family, and the motivation.

14 nov. 2013

A better you

Today I was talking with a friend who asked me if I could teach her Parkour. It's been a while since I taught anybody any Parkour so I didn't know if I wanted to. Nevertheless, I've had the opportunity to train by myself and then be a student in a couple of classes, so I've kept my eyes and ears open and I realized I really wanted to know why she wanted to learn Parkour and maybe share with her a little bit of my experience. You know, just to give her a heads up.

When I asked her why she wanted to learn Parkour, the answer was more elaborated than I was expecting, as if she had been thinking about this for a while. "Well because it's cool and I really like how I feel free and powerful when I'm running and it just feels like something I want to do because it would make me feel so much more capable. It looks fun and like a lot of work and I want something to work towards".

I loved the fact that she can see herself feeling free by learning Parkour and that she also sees Parkour practitioners as powerful people, so I wanted to know more about what was on her mind. I wanted to know what she might have been expecting from this discipline. "And what would you like to work towards?" I asked. "Generally?" she replied, "Being strong and jump and climb and run through the city and forest. I don't have anything specific, I just want somewhere to start with it. I want it to be my new hobby".

As I've mentioned in an older post, people approach Parkour for so many different reasons, maybe as many reasons as there are practitioners. But lately I've been seeing more and more kids starting their practice without the tiniest clue about what this really is about. I'm not talking about any FR vs PK bullshit. I'm talking about the essence, about that philosophy that is getting diluted and lost faster than ever, as Blane mentioned some years ago. I thought I should give it a shot and share with her my own idea of what Parkour is for me, what it means for me and how I developed myself as a Traceur. I wasn't intending to force her to believe in anything, I just thought "hell, if I'm going to be teaching her, she better know what she will be getting into. She's free to go with anyone else if she doesn't like my vision". I forgot I've been known for being a somewhat passionate man. And so, the rambling began.

"The cool thing about Parkour", I said, "is that it is way more than jumping around; way more than learning cool ways to move your body and way more than learning how to play with whatever obstacles you have around. Parkour is about finding your physical, mental and spiritual limits, and breaking them. Every time you train, every session, every day". She remained silent so I kept going.

"Parkour is becoming a better, stronger, more agile, more focused and humble human being. Better than what you were last year, better than yesterday, better than the last jump, better than the last push up". I started breathing a little bit harder. "Parkour is the art of self improvement by learning how to deal with obstacles". She opened her eyes widely. "When you start training, and if you commit to it, you become stronger... Way stronger! Not only in your arms and legs, but stronger in your mind, in your spirit. I mean, if I can negotiate, surpass and play with any physical obstacle I find around me, what prevents me of being able to negotiate with my boss, passing my exams or being a better son, uncle and brother?".

"You start training and after a while you then realize that you're not only stronger than your old self. You are starting to be stronger, more agile, quicker of mind and more stable than the people around you. You then realize you can actually support those people. You realize that your strength becomes useful for your community. You become strong to be useful". I paused for a second, "that's our motto. And the only way to achieve it is by training. Training wisely".

"Wisely?" she asked. "Yeah," I answered "because if you are reckless or careless and you injure yourself, if you break, then there's no more stronger you. There is no more strength to share. You are not useful to your people anymore. You have to be, and you have to last. Be strong, last strong. For your own sake and for those around you. That is Parkour".

Boy I was excited, so I continued "It becomes way more than a just a hobby. It becomes a way of life. You become a Traceur, you trace your own path, you decides your own life. You smile more and you train harder. Fear becomes your friend. Pain becomes your lover. There is no lotion that can make your hands soft again because they are hard. They are strong. As hard and strong as your whole self is.

"Even if you are not jumping every day, if you keep yourself strong for you and for the people around you, if you are humble and try your hardest to be better than what you were before, then you are still training, you are still improving. You live Parkour every day".

"How about the excitement and the adrenaline? How about how cool it looks?" she asked.

"Adrenaline?" I said. "Sure, theres a lot of it! But that's just the cherry on top of a huge icecream of happiness and well being. Looks cool? Hell yeah! Feels even better. But you don't really care anymore about what people say or think about the way you move and live your life. Because you're not a stunt, you're not a clown, you're not there to entertain. You are there to train. You are there to become a better you". I paused.

Then she smiled and looked me in the eye. "When do we start?" She asked.

4 ene. 2012


You're enjoying your holidays out of town, staying in this cool apartment in Philadelphia with your girlfriend and you want to work out. You are not close to CMU nor Skibo and you can't access UPenn gyms because they're closed and well, because you're from CMU.

The day after Xmas you wake up tired as shit and feeling dizzy, you get up from bed just to run to the bathroom and spend there the whole day. Was it Christmas dinner or the chinese food from the day before? It doesn't matter, 'cuz whatever it was it's all out of your body, or at least it should after so much puking.

4 days later you are smiling when you're finally able to get out of your bed and do your first morning run of the season. After a couple of minutes running to a random direction you find an awesome scaffolding structure just near some small walls, so you can start doing all those conditioning exercises that you love, but when you go to the crew's google doc to log your happy workout you feel lame and you wish you had access to an erg.

Then, the day after your right lower back starts aching as if you had been stabbed or as if someone had used you as the tractor tire with one of the sledgehammers, so you think you could use some rest, even though you have been resting the whole week.

You do some yoga following Lee's printouts and the pain is eased, but after waking up the next day the pain has now spread to your whole lower back, and you can hear the printouts laughing at you. Now you start hating Swinslow.

So, another day of just sitting, stretching, massaging and yoga-ing. You also do some static abs because you read somewhere in the printouts that lower back pain can be because weak abs, it kind of work, but you still hate the process of standing up.

Two days later you're almost going back to sunny Pittsburgh, so you think "fuck it" and you go out for a walk and some fun with the scaffoldings so your name wouldn't be the lamest on the google doc, but it's 16° outside, so you can stay outside just for so much until your hands are frozen from the scaffolding so you go back with your tail between your legs. You realize you'll be able to work out the way you like only when you go back to CMU and the warmth of Skibo next week, so you just give up on trying. Breakfast time.

You go back to the cool apartment building and remember that sometime in the past your girlfriend told you about the pool on the roof and you've never been there, so you think it's a good idea going up to know the place. You go out of the lift and see a mini pool full with elder folks having some fun in the sun, so you turn yourself back to the lift but just before going in it you look left and you find yourself with an awesome gym fully equipped and with an erg looking at the best view of the city you've found so far. It's old, the display doesn't work and the chain is sloppy, but hey, it's an erg and the sit still rolls, so you sit, do a couple of strokes and feel how your lower back says "thank you" with a tear in its eye. The guy in the treadmill turns his head as he had never heard that swooshing sound before, you know you're in the right place.


Why didn't I think about the pool before? Classic.

Time to start logging in some miles.

25 ago. 2011

Lo auténtico

¿Qué significa "ser auténtico"?

En los años que llevo de entrenar he visto cientos, si no es que miles ya, videos de Parkour. Unos buenos, unos malos, en algunos encuentro inspiración, en algunos otros desesperación, pero en todos ellos encuentras elementos que te permite clasificarlos: ya sea si son documentales o no, la forma de editar, la música, los movimientos, el estilo, si traen historia o no, si traen mensaje o si son inspiradores.

9 may. 2011

El origen

Hace rato Karana Rontu me leyó un fragmento de un libro escrito por un gringo que describe el DF y sus anexas, en donde en uno de los capítulos habla de los Bboys y en específico de uno de sus crews.

En el libro, el gringo platica con el “lider” de ese crew y el vato le describe en pocas palabras lo que es el breakdance durante una competencia y en la que le va explicando todos los movimientos que ven. De ahí el vato se va a contarle cómo muchos Bboys se enfocan sólo en los powermoves porque, como son acrobacias, son muy llamativos. Luego también le comenta cómo muchos son más Bboys de nombre que realmente de corazón, y luego se sigue hablando de otras cosas como el flow, la constancia, el compromiso al entrenamiento, etc.

6 may. 2011


Hoy me topé con el buen hbc31 (a.k.a. el Beto) y me comentó de un posible proyecto para construir una instalación para entrenar Parkour en el IPN Azcapotzalco, el espacio es reducido, hay que jugar con las estructuras y árboles presentes, tiene que estar diseñado para que los demás no-traceurs también lo puedan usar (a.k.a. los mamers), y lo más complicado: sólo con el material que el IPN tiene disponible.

25 abr. 2011

Mi “Momento”

Hoy tuve un buen momento de reflexión, y no fue agradable.

Hice un recuento de los daños y me dí cuenta que llevo un buen rato de no entrenar, al menos no "como se debe” en el sentido de salir a intentar cosas nuevas, salir y empujar algún límite o simplemente jugar un rato con los obstáculos.

Un par de lesiones y mucho cansancio acumulado me han dejado fuera de circulación los últimos dos meses. No he dejado de estar activo, pero no he entrenado, no a mí mismo.

22 feb. 2011

A darle

El sábado me reclamaron que casi no escribo por aquí, y pensándolo bien, la verdad es que si no escribo es por culpa del tuiter y del facebook. El Noir tiene razón, esas cosas son del diablo ;)

Mi cerebro no funciona bien si me siento por horas a pensar algo en qué escribir, sino que las ideas vienen de forma efímera y fugaz, y cuando tengo algo en mente o lo escribo rápido en algún lugar, o se va. No sé si eso es bueno o malo, pero definitivamente me ha sido más fácil tuitear rápido alguna idea que anotarla en la libreta y después sentarme a dedicarle tiempo a desarrollarla.

Sin embargo, el reclamo fue honesto y me puso a pensar varias cosas:

  • La primera es que es verdad, casi no escribo, al menos no como antes.
  • Segundo, de mis últimos posts, casi todos han sido quejas o reclamos al aire por las cosas que he estado observando en la comunidad de Parkour y que no me laten nada, pero no está cool quejarme tanto cuando hay tantas cosas con las que podría hacer algo al respecto en lugar de sólo enojarme.
  • Luego, estos últimos meses he estado desarrollando y encontrando tanto formas de entrenar como resultados y un entendimiento de mi cuerpo, del movimiento y de la filosofía que en verdad quiero compartir con todos ustedes.
  • Finalmente, creo que hay mucho tanto en mí, en mi grupo, en mis amigos y en la comunidad con la que estoy en contacto que vale la pena plasmar en este espacio.
Así que, mi querido y estimado Mono Mayor, déjese de quejar que ya me voy a poner a escribir! hahaha

Just for starters... A dónde van a ir a entrenar este fin?

Edit: Lo siento, me seguiré quejando... así soy yo hahahaha

30 ene. 2011


Hace rato leí un tuit del buen Speedy referente a los novatos que me hizo recordar aquellos buenos días en los que apenas empezaba mis días como traceur.

De repente me dieron ganas de volver a aquellos días en los que sacar un monkey (gato) era la mayor hazaña de toda la semana, o lograr llegar una precisión de 7 pasos merecía un buen grito de alegría. Esos días en los que subir una plancha en pared dolía por días y raspaba panza y codos. Esos días de infinito descubrimiento y voraz entrenamiento.

7 dic. 2010

Ponte a entrenar!

Alguna vez has oído la frase de: “la sotana no hace al monje”? Bueno, pues aquí te dejo otra: “Los tenis no hacen al traceur”.

Cuántas veces he oido coros de: “ohh, ha de ser por sus zapatos!” cuando alguien se avienta un buen desplace o una precisión bien sabrosa… Sé que un buen de banda lo dice de broma, yo también lo hago, pero hay gente que insiste tanto en ello que lo que me ponen a pensar es más bien si de alguna forma se menosprecian a sí mismos pensando que ellos nunca serán capaces de tener aquella habilidad o nivel físico o técnico que observan en alguien más.

Luego de ahí uno puede entender el por qué se puede ver tanta gente usando todo lo que pueda ser referido a un traceur, pero nunca se les ve entrenando…

Ni los zapatos, ni los pants, ni las chamarras, mochilas ni muñequeras de moda pueden mejorar tu técnica o tu habilidad, tal vez mejoren tu aceptación dentro de algún grupo, pero fuera de eso lo único que puede hacer que mejores y que llegues hasta ese límite que ves tan lejos, es dejar de alabar y ponerte a entrenar.

Todos aquellos que admiras por lo buenos que puedan ser, tienen ese nivel o habilidad por las ganas, constancia y dedicación que le ponen a su entrenamiento, y eso cualquiera lo puede lograr.

Si no tienes el progreso que te gustaría tener, cuestiona tu forma de entrenar, no cuestiones qué ropa usan los demás. Dedícale más energía y constancia a tu entrenamiento y explora nuevos spots, entrena con otra gente y sobretodo, entrena para ti.

Disfruta el vuelo.