Author Topic: Life Line Essay  (Read 11211 times)

Offline AN D

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Life Line Essay
« on: January 28, 2008, 07:13:24 PM »
Hey guys, I had to write an essay for my A.P. English class about some one who gave me a "life line" in life (that being something that changed my life for the better). Naturally, I chose Paul (Leon) and discussed the impact that parkour has made in my life.    **Note to Paul if he is reading this. There were requirements to use a lot of detail in describing the person who gave the lifeline: Hope I didnt come off as some creep  :-Sarcasm
Anyway I would love for you all to check it out and give me some feedback. Thanks!
Your fellow Traceur,
Andy




Hi, my name is Andy Hickman. I have zero coordination what so ever, barely any knowledge about anything that has to do with fitness, little confidence in sports, not a lot of strength, and no concept of discipline.
   Pardon me, I meant to say had.
   You see my life took quite a turn for the better when I was waiting for a ride after school one day. As I, a confused and nervous freshmen, was trying my best to look nonchalant while sitting on the steps outside my school. I looked to my right and saw something that would change my life forever: a guy jumping over a tiny little rail. Yes, that is right, some "dude" jumping over a rail completely altered my way of thinking, breathing, and living. He showed me something that would transform my mentality on life; that would teach me discipline and strengthen me both physically and mentally. He tossed me my life line.
   His name was Paul Mederos. Standing at around 5'10 or 5'11 he was (and still is today) very fit and in great shape. He moved with an amazing amount of grace, control, and speed, vaulting over a rail so effortlessly that it seemed that he was born to move that way. He transitioned from move to move so smoothly that each strand of his thin brown hair flowed exactly the same way that his body did, like it was in tune with his body like any other arm or limb. As he grasped each rail, his forearms would swell up with veins that seemed like they were about to pop. His movements made me dumbfounded, frozen in a state of awe.
   He was teaching some other guy how to vault over a rail, and I could not help but be impressed with his humbleness and patience. He was not there to show off and look cool, he was there to help.
   He must have heard my jaw hit the floor because all of a sudden he turned around and, with a friendly smile on his face, asked, "Hey man, you want to come join us?" I was over there before he finished his sentence. Unfortunately, the rail seemed much higher than it did 20ft away. I was nervous and scared. The rail was up past my belly button. I kept thinking to myself, "How the hell am I supposed to get over this thing?" Paul could sense I was nervous so he offered to help: "Here, it's like this, just place your hands here and, o wait are you left handed or right handed? Left? Wait but you do sports with your right? Ok, then push off, get your hips up and…" He described every little detail with extreme patience. Once he finished going over everything, it was all up to me. I got a running start, took a few steps, grabbed the rail, and vaulted right over it. From that point on, my life has never been the same.
   So probably most of you guys are asking why was this guy even jumping off the rail in the first place and how could you doing the same thing change your life at all? Well let me introduce you to what exactly my life line is: Parkour. The name Parkour is derived from the French word parcours which means something along the lines of "obstacle course".  It is a discipline in which you train and condition yourself to be able to pass over obstacles in the most efficient, safe, and quickest way possible. It was originally used by the French army as a means of training themselves to be more agile and quick in the battlefield whether its purpose is to save a wounded soldier or to sneak up on the enemy. Some people take it as a martial art, a discipline, or a form of self expression. I personally like to think of it as the art of discipline itself. You see, in order to progress in parkour, one must train each day. Whether this means waking up early to get your exercise in for the day or fitting it in some other time, it takes a huge amount of dedication, effort, and time. It is not easy and sometimes not fun, but parkour teaches you to get over the fact that it is not easy and keep pushing forward.
   Now why is it the art of discipline? Once you begin to move with this new found strength, you feel liberated. You explode with creativity and speed. By developing discipline and taking parkour seriously, you begin to blossom; ever day you set the bar higher for yourself and expand the potential of what your body is capable of. It is very hard to explain this "art" that is created once the body begins to move, but it is very clear if you watch any professional traceur (one who does parkour). The sight of these guys jumping and vaulting over obstacles in their way with such grace and balance is just so beautiful and inspiring. It opens your mind to the true capabilities of the human body.
   Personally, this emphasis on discipline has helped me grow tremendously. Because of forcing myself to train regularly, I have begun to transfer that new found discipline in to other aspects of life. For example I am in boy scouts and I am trying to reach the rank of Eagle. To do this, I have to earn a great number of merit badges and plan a big service project. I used to keep putting the requirements aside because it was a lot of work. This has changed. Recently, I have really begun to crack down on finishing up the last few merit badges I need and am getting closer and closer the getting Eagle. 
   Now Parkour is not just all about running around and being crazy. It is rooted in a set of deep philosophies. First of all, Parkour is all about self improvement: making your body and mind stronger than they were the day before. The purpose of making yourself stronger is not to look cool to others or boost your ego. The purpose of improving yourself is to help others. A good slogan that traceurs like to go by is "be strong to be useful".
   Parkour has done exactly this for me: it has made me stronger both physically and mentally. Yes, I have gained a little muscle here and there and have become quicker and can jump farther, but just as importantly if not more, I have gained much more confidence in life. Because of this, I am more of a help to others whether it be in helping move furniture or sticking up for the kid that is being picked on. Parkour is about always striving to be a better person.   
   Another point of Parkour is to have a better mentality in life. Society today tells us to be lazy, fat, and weak. The best example of this is in the architecture in major cities. Everywhere you look, there are walls, rails, and fences telling you where to go, how to get there, and giving you the most "convenient" path towards your destination. Instead of letting these obstacles minimize our freedom and tell us how to live, we use these obstacles, meant to minimize our bodies' potential, to train ourselves and break down the "barriers" of the human body. We grow from the obstacles thrown at us. We gain strength by climbing and vaulting and we gain confidence by overcoming our fears. One traceur once said, "I overcome these obstacles here and I shall overcome them in life." This is a really great way of explaining it. It really is true too. Ever since parkour, I have become less stressed about everyday things like homework and big papers. Instead of freaking out and getting all worked up, I step back, take a look at what I have to do and say, "Ok, yeah I can do that." This confidence flows into things like sports too. Before, I had very little confidence when playing sports. For example, I played basketball freshmen year and I just sucked. I would be so nervous about every move I made and whenever I messed up, I would get all embarrassed and upset instead of brushing it off and focusing on the game. I am 100% positive that if I picked up basketball again, after not playing it for almost two years, I would be better. This is simply because Parkour has given me much more confidence in everything I do.
   Furthermore, Parkour emphasizes safety and taking good care of your self. Contrary to what you might think, parkour has made me extremely aware of my body's condition and obsessive about safety. I am always trying to take better care of my body now whether by eating right, doing ankle strengthening exercises, or simply just trying to have better body posture. 
   Lastly, but definitely not least important is the stressing of being humble. A true traceur does not try to bring attention to himself, he simply practices parkour to strengthen himself. As your progress, you are not supposed to put yourself on some throne to show you are better than others. You should be open to any advice given to you and give any advice you can to those in need. All of this takes a lot of maturity and builds character.
   My life line was given to me by Paul. Through his friendliness and will to help others, he introduced me into an art that has made me strive to be a better person. I have become much more coordinated ever since starting parkour. I have become much more comfortable doing all sorts of movements and I have gained a lot of body control. Also, I now know how to take better care of my body and many good ways to stay fit. Besides the physical benefits of parkour, I have become more confident and a much greater sense of discipline. Over all, Parkour has helped me live a much more wholesome and smart life. It is my passion and I will practice it all my life.

Offline Ryan Kirk

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 07:20:35 PM »
That is a well-written essay sir.  I'll admit that I've never (yet) had the opportunity to personally meet Leonn, but I've always respected his contributions to the forums and the spirit and attitude he brings to discussions.  I'm glad to get a little bit more perspective, and hear people describing so well what parkour means to them.  Keep it up.

oh, and +1.  Definitely

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult."
--E. B. White--

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 07:23:29 PM »
At first glance it is nicely written. If you like, I can go over it with my "teacher eyes" sometime when I'm not coming off of a 14-hour teaching day. :P

However I just wanted to point out that this caught my attention:


...I could not help but be impressed with his humbleness and patience. He was not there to show off and look cool, he was there to help.
   

This is pretty much exactly my first impression of Leonn as well. I think "humble" and "patient" are the two most common words one could use to describe him.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Paul Leon Mederos

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 08:27:56 PM »
geez Andy, I'm so embarrassed. Like blushing and all  :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[

Very nice written essay, it's gonna get an A. Thanks for the compliments and thank YOU for accepting the invitation to come and train. Remember Neo, I can only show you the door, you have to walk through it /endCornyJoke.  ;D
KEEP UP THE SPIRIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VIVA LA REVOLACION!
When we move, we move as one.

Act; for the universe will never forget your movement, nor will it ever forgive your stillness.

Offline dinomite

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2008, 06:23:38 AM »
Well written.

Instead of writing, "Standing at around 5'10 or 5'11 he was (and still is today) very fit and in great shape." in the second paragraph, choose one of those heights; you already have the word "around" which lends sufficient vagueness to the description.
-Drew
Foster City, CA

Offline Matt Hudson

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008, 02:59:47 PM »
Wow, I really enjoyed this.. it came off to me as a motivation paper as well.
+1 for sure man..

Offline Laurie Jennifer

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 07:08:48 PM »
i absolutely loved this paper. very inspiring for sure.  however, i'm not sure how you teacher will take to you saying that you "sucked."  since this is a formal paper, you may want to try to find a more... erm... tactful way to put that.  that's the only suggestion that jumped out at me.  otherwise, well done! i thoroughly enjoyed this paper.
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Offline AN D

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 08:16:51 PM »
Thanks for all the advice/criticism/compliments  ;D

I really appreciate you guys taking the time to read it and give your opinion.

I def. agree with you all in all your grammatic corrections. Unfortunately, I already turned the paper in but it means a alot!
next time I wont procrastinate so much hahah (thats wat i ALLLLLLLWAYS say  ::))



Leon +  :-[ = success  :)

Offline Ando

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 08:58:49 PM »
great essay, leons skills and attitude are an inspiration to many including me

Quote
He transitioned from move to move so smoothly that each strand of his thin brown hair flowed exactly the same way that his body did

like sassoon..

Offline AN D

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 08:15:15 PM »
WOOT! I got an A and he said it was one of the best essay I've ever written for him 
yaaaaaaaaaay ;D

Offline Matt Hudson

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Re: Life Line Essay
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 08:01:35 AM »
WOOT! I got an A and he said it was one of the best essay I've ever written for him 
yaaaaaaaaaay ;D

Sweet! good job man... you deserved it!