Sunday, September 23, 2007

Zackie Chan, Bruce Leo, and Matt Damon walk into a bar

Parkour was good today. The group is quite impressive, really.

Today (9.22.07):
*Worked on wall passes. People are getting much better, but most people are still using their elbows.
*Introduced people to a wider variety of vaults. Taught people kongs and speed vaults, then demonstrated dashes, double kongs, dive kongs, among a few others. A surprising amount of people got the kong down today. And most of the people who didn't will have it next time, I'm sure.
*Did some simple precisions onto a rock, demonstrated how to properly come down on an obstacle, especially if it isn't nice and flat (like a rock.. isn't.)
*Moved onto the gates. I did a short demo of how techniques can be strung together. I was hoping to get a turn vault to underbar down, but it was too high for a decent turnvault. People drilled underbars, prepping them for later underbar practice.
*Precisions onto the stairs. 
*Practiced some aerials and one handed cartwheels. I ended up doing some sort of bastardized one handed front handspring roundoff.
*We lost a few people here, but then gained a few people. We headed down to the SLC and worked on some taller wall passes, and then it got interesting. Hit the jump, as they say, for more details.
*We drilled underbars next, hard. We went to the Bookstore, where they have a slanted double rail. I was working on increasing the height on my jump to underbar, and I discovered I need to work on my reverse underbar, because I can't figure out how to come out of it without a broken spine.
*We finished up with precisions and rolls at the Kodak quad. I didn't work on my max-distance precision, just a few shorter ones. I tried a running precision, but couldn't get the... precise.. part down. Kept overshooting.

Okay. Now for the story. So as we were training at the (second) wall pass spot, I had noticed a lot of security across the field. (They were setting up/getting ready for a concert tonight) As we began to walk away, I noticed a security guard on an intercept course. I led the group and we kept on walking, when he called out "Hey guys, can I talk with you for a sec." I looked over at him, and pleasantly as I could (while I was thinking "crap crap crap") said "Sure, no problem."

Basically, he gave the usual, albiet humourous, speech about if we start climbing, and then smash our face in and lose all our teeth, not ONLY will the girls not find 
us attractive anymore, but he'll have to call and explain what happened to our mothers. He then asked us what we were doing. I briefly explained parkour (kind of like obstacle coursing, except using just whatever is around. People walk up and see a wall that they have to go around, we see an obstacle to move over.), and said that while I totally understand your reluctance, we didn't just start with this. We started with much smaller walls, and we practiced safe ways to land and fall, and basically that training safely is paramount. After I reiterated this in several different ways, and pointed out that I was just teaching several people the proper way to land, he kind of nodded and I think he understood. He then said, "Alright well.. just be safe." and then I introduced myself, he introduced himself, and we parted on good terms.

I'm actually planning on emailing him and thanking him for his understanding, and then inviting him and a few other members of campus safety out to see what we do. I think this is the best course of action. I'm hoping it will show that we're safe and responsible enough to alert them to what is going on, and what we're doing, and perhaps even let them participate, if they want.

I think the funniest part of the whole thing was when he was semi-lecturing us, and he was telling us to "think outside the box" (i suppose in terms of safety/what other people are responsible for). I just giggled (silently, to myself) and thought about how we actually WERE thinking outside the box.

More details to come in the saga of Campus Safety and RIT Parkour.

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