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Topics - Rickety

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Parkour And Freerunning / NEPK on NPR
« on: November 17, 2006, 10:52:44 AM »
I just heard a short radio piece on the NPR show "Here & Now", with NEPK folks Chris & Eric (I think). It was a good piece. Maybe radio is the best medium for introducing parkour, since without images, flips just aren't as impressive.

There's stuff at:

I can't play Real Audio, but that claims to be the radio segment. Hilariously, the picture they chose for the page IS a flip!

Socialize / Competition anecdotes from camp
« on: November 14, 2006, 11:39:43 AM »
So much discussion about competition and whether it's appropriate to parkour brought to mind two things which happened at a camp where I was a counselor.

First, there was a summer of "Waterfront Points". The waterfront was, obviously, the place where all the swimming / canoeing / whatever happened. One summer the counselors started awarding kids with Waterfront Points for doing good things like helping to clean up and the like--generally things the kids should have been doing anyway. Anyway, many kids strived for Waterfront Points, talked with each other about who had more, etc. The counselors on the other hand, didn't keep track at all. There was no record, no prizes, how many points were "awarded" was totally whim--point at a kid and say, "Good job! 3 Waterfront Points for you!"

Then there was a game which was played usually once per session. I wish I could remember the name. It was an implementation of a game from an old Mad magazine, so the rules were completely preposterous. There were three teams and it was vaguely soccer-like. The referees kept the rules in flux, and the game *always* ended in a tie. It was great fun. I still can't decide whether you'd consider it a "competitive" game or not.

Movement / climb-up minus muscle-up
« on: November 09, 2006, 09:08:34 AM »
OK, at some point I'll be able to muscle-up and get on top of a wall smoothly. In the meantime, I'm wondering how to get from a cat-grab onto the wall.

Sometimes I can get one forearm/elbow onto the wall and work from there, but even that is often too much for me.

I'd love suggestions for what to do while I condition up to better techniques. Should I keep at the elbow technique? Is there something better?

Pics & Vids / Ick
« on: November 06, 2006, 08:22:39 PM »
I started trying to make a video of my rolling to ask for advice, but it went wrong. Third roll in I realized I smelled bad.

O well, I'll try again soon. I figured I'd post this anyway, since it was my first attempt at videoing parkour training, or editing any kind of video.

O yeah, link:

Injuries - Discussion / numbness in finger
« on: November 02, 2006, 04:13:04 PM »
Drat, more worries.

Yesterday mid-workout I noticed a little numbness in my right hand, particularly the pinky. It wasn't much so I ignored it for a little bit. When it didn't fade in a couple minutes, I cut out most of the arm parts of the workout. The numbness went away, not sure when, maybe ~15 minutes , maybe ~30, after I was all done with workout.

I just started a workout today, including leg-lifts, squat leaps, and dive-bomber pushups, and pretty quickly noticed the numbness hard returned. It's not disabling, not complete numbess, but still worrying.

Anybody have a wild guess about this? My fear is that something in my right shoulder (which has been bothering me on and off since I started training) is getting pinched.

APK Academy Workout of the Day / 3 rounds 21-15-9 for time
« on: October 31, 2006, 08:59:03 PM »
I may be missing the explanation of this, or it might be taken as so obvious it needs no explanation.

Today's WOD:
3 rounds 21-15-9 for time:

Handstand Push-Ups

Ring Dips (sub bar-dips 2/1 or bench dips 3/1)


I would guess that means
- do 21 HSPU, 21 Ring Dips, 21 Pushups
- do 15 HSPU, 15 Ring Dips, 15 Pushups
- do 9 HSPU, 9 Ring Dips, 9 Pushups

Ignoring the immediate fact that that's completely impossible to me, once I figure out appropriate substitutions, is that the general idea?


Parkour And Freerunning / Low-key PK?
« on: October 16, 2006, 08:05:10 PM »
This is going to be somewhat presumptuous (because I'm a total novice) and rambling (because I'm still trying to form my own thoughts) but here goes...

I'm being reminded again and again, such as in threads on "Training vs. Conditioning", that PK is pretty hard-core stuff. The prevailing attitude on these forums is that one should be in extremely good shape to be practicing PK. The notion is that PK may not be an "extreme sport", but that's because it's not a sport, it *is* extreme.

And this fits with much of the background rationale for practical PK--that it's training for the rare, unusual instance of needing to run for your life, or for someone else's life. Like most martial arts, it's training for something which most of will experience very, very rarely.

My attraction to PK was based on another idea, which I now discover might be a misunderstanding. The attraction for me was the ability for *most* people to improve the way they *regularly* move around their environments.

The "most people" idea means that I would hope there's things to be learned from PK which don't require the commitment to fitness which is seen among the community here. The norm for fitness could certainly stand to be improved, this isn't an argument for accepting the status quo of sloth. But I've seen a video of Demon doing a 13-foot wallrun, and I honestly don't think that in a future of greater fitness, even half of healthy 19-year-old men would be able to do that. So, I was thinking that PK would have more about attitude and technique, and a somewhat improved level of fitness without requiring extreme fitness.

The "regularly" idea is that I would hope there's a good amount of PK which can be applied every day in the way people move around, when nobody's life is at risk--for the fun of movement, efficiency, etc. Moving freely with your body instead of in a narrowly confined way which makes a car seem like a more attractive option.

I'm not sure where I'm going, just mulling. This isn't meant to be any kind of argument. For myself, I think I'll be trying to pay close attention to what can be done daily versus on special occasions--hopefully the things which can be done daily will expand as I get more fit.

Arizona / Phoenix get-together Sun. Oct. 15?
« on: October 11, 2006, 08:07:19 AM »
It looks like there's a good handful of us in the Phoenix area. I don't know if any of you have met, but I know I haven't met any of you. I wouldn't claim the title "traceur" for myself yet, but I'm still hopeful, and I'd love to see face-to-face and chat with whoever.

I'm in North Phoenix, near I-17 & 101, but I can go anywhere, particularly if there's a good place to play. I'm also new to the area, so can't make any good suggestions. For my training, I'd been doing to Deer Valley Park, which has lots of grass, playground equipment, picnic tables, and traditional par-course stations. It's something, but probably not as much fun as a more "natural" environment (whether urban or wild).

I figure setting the date for Sunday will give us a little more time to coordinate. I don't want to post my phone #, but if you're interested, I can PM it to you.

I hope to meet some of you!

Age 30+ / balanced caution
« on: September 21, 2006, 04:46:10 PM »
So, I'm out of shape and trying to get into parkour. And I've suffered a number of minor injuries already, before I can even do a decent vault. As is pointed out elsewhere, avoiding injuries now will not only make me happier in the short-term, but keep me functional in the long-term.

I'm trying to figure out how to balance training for parkour with staying uninjured. I'm learning about my capabilities (they're even less than I had thought right now), and trying to expand those capabilities. But, for instance, I seem to have done a number on my back--could be stress as well as parkour practice. This makes it completely impractical to train techniques or practice runs, and is limiting even my general fitness exercises.

But I don't want to just give it up. And I don't want to spend lots of time with sports medicine doctors.


So, I'm trying to figure out the happy medium in all this. I'm willing to suffer some pain, and based on what I've seen/read of the community, some injuries come with the territory. I can deal with that risk. But I don't want to hobble when I'm 50 because I'm active now. (As additional demotivation, my father, who has been happily sedentary his entire adult life, still pretty much looks at 60 like he did at 30, which is admittedly slow, but still...)

Injuries - Discussion / hip / lower back
« on: September 18, 2006, 08:19:17 AM »
I don't think it's too bad yet, but my right lower back/hip has been achy for nearly a week. It feels quite different than other recurring back pain I've had in the past. It seems to be very clearly muscle, though I have no idea if it's from landing too hard while practicing rolls, straining it in some way, or a combination.

So that brings up the annoying recurring question--what should I do while it hurts? Should I exercise as normally as I can so long as the pain stays small? Rest lots? (Unfortunately, the back is involved with just about everything...)

Diet / Jerky
« on: September 18, 2006, 08:15:31 AM »
As one of the easy, lazy ways (although kinda pricey) to up my protein consumption, I've started eating a lot of jerky. I'm curious what diet-aware people think about this. It's clearly too salty, and I'm trying to cut back on salt in other areas (getting low-salt or no-salt nuts, particularly). Otherwise, the only obvious drawbacks to me are the price and it gets stuck in my teeth, so I need to be extra attentive to flossing.

Arizona / Thanks to Team MoZ!
« on: September 17, 2006, 12:18:38 AM »
Big thanks to Team MoZ and associates for making the trek to Tucson Saturday for jamming. I tried some things I might not otherwise have tried, got some good pointers, and picked up a couple interesting new (minor) injuries.

I had fun. Good to meet everyone.

Socialize / Dang, QM kicks CV
« on: September 07, 2006, 03:36:20 PM »
I did a workout in the park today, and decided to give quadrapedal movement a real try, just on the ground. I was expecting the awkwardness, but MAN, I wasn't expecting how winded I got. That's an exciting new workout, I'm looking forward to doing more.

Parkour And Freerunning / glasses?
« on: August 15, 2006, 08:44:40 PM »

There must be some others here who wear glasses. I'm not so blind that I can't do a lot without my glasses, but if it's possible I'll always choose seeing better over seeing worse. What's your luck been practicing with glasses? Do you use special gear? Go without? Contacts? Lasik?

Arizona / Moving to Phoenix
« on: August 01, 2006, 10:02:12 AM »

I'm in Tucson now, moving to Phoenix in a few weeks. I'd love to meet folks. For a while, I won't be able to keep up with you (take a look at  my training journal if you want to see how pitiful I am). But hopefully I can learn something from you, and gradually catch up.

Training Journals / Rickety's journal
« on: July 31, 2006, 03:49:39 PM »
For lack of a better spot, I'll introduce myself here as well as start my log. I read about parkour in a movie review for District B13, searched for it online, and was immediately smitten. I gave it a couple days to stew before deciding that it was something I wanted to do rather than just something to enjoy others doing. I started messing around...

...and while I had some fun, I quickly bumped into a disadvantage of being an out-of-shape 36 year old in an activity practiced mostly by fitness freaks around age 20. So, now I've got shin splints and I gather that means no running or jumping for a couple weeks at least. I'm laid up really before I've started.

Any advice on dealing with shin splints would be appreciated. Meanwhile I've purchased some extremely squishy shoes (Absorb), and put even squishier insoles (PolySorb) in them, in the hopes of saving my shins / ankles / knees / back. (They feel bizarre to me, since I feel that less is more as far as shoes go, and so the most shoe I've worn in 20 years have been Chuck Taylors.)

I spent a little while with a friend who's experienced in teaching various exercises (yoga, pilates, some other stuff), and studying to be a personal trainer. She did a sort of evaluation, so now I have a feeling for what I short work on. As of now:
* Balance: Good
* Upper body: OK (This was based on pushups. Pullups are still hell for me.)
* Abs: OK--mixed bag, depending on which abs we're talking about
* Legs(thighs): not good--I've had a lot of strength there before from biking, so I'm sure I can get that back.
* Flexibility: I'm rigid like an old man.

So, stretching's certainly a primary goal. And I guess for the next few weeks I'll need to find some other workout than running or jumping, and see how my shin splints get. Working on the abs which are weak (upper and oblique)

Any suggestions on what I can practice? I think rolls are probably safe.

So, current status:
- I'm in terrible shape
- I can't run or jump for a while.

My current stretching routine, twice a day:
-4 minutes of forward bends (sitting)
-3 minutes of split (standing)
-1 minute of "cobra" pose
-2 minutes of achilles stretch per leg

I've thrown some ab stuff in there as well, and my achilles stretches and splits give me some leg workout.

Not much of a regimen is it? Alright, this is all new to me. While I've been athletic before, I've never had "trained" as such, I just swam or biked a lot and so got in shape. This is much more a whole-body thing, and (for me at leat) will be much more about technique. And I'm much more likely to hurt myself. So I'll figure this out as I go.

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