I’m currently all hopped up on parkour. I spent last Saturday literally bouncing off the walls at Revolution Parkour in Beaverton, OR. Well… running, and jumping, and scaling, and rebounding, and generally having a grand ol’ time in an indoor adventure park for the extremely agile – or, agile-in-training as the case may be.
According to our good friend Wikipedia, parkour “is a physical discipline and non-competitive activity which focuses on efficient movement around obstacles. Developed in France by David Belle, the main purpose of the discipline is to teach participants how to move through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing, and leaping.
After a pretty assiduous warmup, our instructor Brandon walked us through our first task, which was fairly simple in nature. Run, launch off a 2 foot tall box, land on top of the big cushy pad, then climb up that wall. Right away I knew this was going to be great challenge and superb exercise. Something worthy of this blogger’s ambitious workout criteria.
I knew it wasn’t going to happen for me on the first try. I’m a little on the short side, and lack “pulling muscles”, but I’m determined, and have a bit of a small-dog complex sometimes. Especially when I’m one of two small girls surrounded by tall strong boys. So, after watching everyone in the class successfully maneuver the course I step up to the starting point. With a determined look on my face, I start forward, sprinting as if I’m going for a triple olley something-er-other gymnastic vault. Planting my right foot on the block and launching myself toward said big cushy pad, I attempt to assume “flight position”. I think I got there. Maybe not. I might have looked a bit like one of those gangly monkeys at the zoo that like to bully the other monkeys… um anyway… I fell about hips width from actually landing on it, but popped right up to tackle the wall with as much umph as I could muster. I jumped, grabbed the top of the wall, threw an elbow on top and immediately realized I need to do to more pull ups! I eventually scrambled to the top. Now, hopping down progressively lower roof lines, I follow some balance beams around a corner, bank off a wall to mount the top of a 4 foot wall, to cross a slightly intimidating (for a short person) gap to a slightly taller platform. And then jump down onto a pad. Now, start over. Whew!
We ran that course a few times, took a short welcomed break then added more technical obstacles to the course. Now, we start by jumping in any preferred manner through, or over, or under some scaffolding, launch over a couple of short walls, then complete the original challenge. Towards the end a different, shorter course was arranged which I was more successfully able to complete. Now, the biggest challenge is how to get down a 7 foot flat wall.
Mission complete! I survived my first parkour class.
Parkour is an incredibly dynamic workout. You’ll get cardio from running and sprinting and constant movement. While gaining strength in your arms, legs, and core. You pretty much work everything in the process of propelling your body from one point to another in the most efficient way possible. And, it’s super crazy fun.
About Revolution Parkour
Revolution Parkour was founded by originally self-taught Adam Dunlap. He started the school after requests to teach friends’ kids. It was the first school on the West Coast. After returning from France to train with the founder of parkour, David Belle, Dunlap sold the studio to it’s current owner Matt Antis. RVPK focuses on “learning confidence, focus and discipline while developing a strong mind and body, which is essential to the art.”
See below for class times and contact for Revolution Parkour.
Parkour is a super dynamic discipline that will challenge you physically and mentally. While challenging, it’s also incredibly fun and empowering.
• Upper Body
• Leg strength
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls…
Parkour is appropriate for everyone. RVPK divides it’s classes into two age groups. Check schedule for details.
There are inherent dangers to this type of activity. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure. I recommend that you be relatively healthy to attempt an activity of this nature. You will be jumping off of high things, running, leaping, climbing, etc.
Pretty much any type of athletic apparel is appropriate. You can workout in bare feet, but you’re brave if you do. (Goodbye skin) Some people were wearing five finger shoes and other various athletic shoes. Flatter soles are more effective at getting a grip on flat walls. (Think racing tires)
Get into it:
Beaverton Revolution Parkour
5651 Southwest Arctic Drive
Beaverton, OR 97005
NEW SECOND LOCATION! Opens July 1, 2014
Click HERE for presale pricing information
Gresham Revolution Parkour
1618 NE 8th St
Gresham, OR 97030
Keep an eye out on Groupon and other group discount sites. They run deals from time to time. Though their drop-in rate is very reasonable if you just want to check it out.
You can find Adam Dunlap’s original line of parkour clothing, Take Flight Apparel here.
Other Parkour resources (from RVPK website)