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Messages - Alphfie

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Tennessee / Martin, Union City, or even Dyersberg
« on: August 27, 2008, 02:37:16 PM »
I know this is a long shot, but are there any freerunners in the Martin/Union City area? I'll even take you Dyersberg rascals! ;)

Women / Re: Parkour Playlist
« on: August 26, 2008, 11:58:44 AM »
Any music makes me happy, but these are my "get-going" songs:

1) Black and White Town - The Doves
2) Zebra - John Butler Trio
3) Go Ahead - Alicia Keys
4) Howard's Tale - Sick Puppies
5) King Without A Crown - Matisyahu
6) Enth E Nd - Linkin Park ft. Kutmasta Kurt & Motion Man
7) Smiley Faces - Gnarls Barkley
8) Heroes - Shinedown
9) All Around Me - Flyleaf (my theme song! ;D)

Women / College Woes!
« on: August 26, 2008, 11:52:15 AM »
So here's the deal (and also the reason I've gone so long without posting anything) ...

I just started college, which don't get me wrong is awesome. Other than the fact that most people here are anti-social, it's a fun experience and I'm starting to enjoy myself. But here's the problem! - freerunning.

If you've ever been delayed from you passions, you know how I feel about now. Stiffled, frustrated, and out of shape are a few words I'd use to describe for the few of you who don't. Between classes and horrible cafeteria food, there's not too much time to focus on freerunning. And besides that, the campus is so crowded, I couldn't actually freerun if I wanted to. The sensible thing for me to do would be go somewhere else where there was less people, but there's a problem with that too - the university is in the middle of nowhere and the only worth structures I could use are the ones flooded with people at all hours of the day.

Of course, there are fewer people wandering around at night, but the campus police are really strict about a lot of things. I wouldn't put it past them to think up some excuse as to why I shouldn't be jumping from wall to wall and send me packing back to my apartment. Besides, night time is sleep time (or party time, depends  ;D).

Tuesdays and Thursdays I do have a good bit of time off during the day, and so hitting up the gym is easy. But that would only help me stay in shape. I wouldn't actually be able to do any form of freerunning, and I'm sure the gym administration would not appreciate me doing flips off the pull-down machine. :'(

And the last issue - cafeteria food. Now, I have befriended one of the chefs that work in the campus cafeteria, but that doesn't mean anything health-wise. It just means I'll get more food if I want it. If you have been to college, you know how much the food sucks and how little you could do about it. I could set up a rally or petition vying for healthier food if I had the time and patience to, but I don't and I'm really not interested in causing a huge campus drama anyway. And before you suggest eating at the salad bar everyday, just know that my campus cafeteria manages to screw up even salad. I ate an entire bowl and my tummy was still unsatisfied. >:( Another suggestion would be for me to buy my own food, but again - campus is in the middle of nowhere. The only restaraunts that surround it are fast food and a chinese buffet. Fat and grease basically. There is a Wal-mart down the road, which does serve fresh produce, but I only have so much money and I'm certainly not financially gifted enough to be feeding myself every night. Besides, the college meal plan is already paid for, and the last thing I want to do is waste money.

Bad food, limited resources, and anal cops. Please, somebody anything will help!

Women / Kswiss Kirov Roadtest Results
« on: June 03, 2008, 01:30:40 PM »
I know many of you are probably expecting a bad review of the women's Kirov. In fact, I was expecting a bad review of the women's Kirov. However, I will admit that I was pleasantly suprised from the very first moment I put them on. Here are a few pros about the women's Kswiss Kirov:

Fit: One of the main things that turned a lot of women off about the Kirov was the apparent fit of the shoe. It appears to be an exact replica of the men's...and it is. However, before you turn away, the men's Kirov was not made to fit a man's foot either. If anything, the Kirov reminds me of a skate shoe. Granted, they are not thick and padded like a skate shoe, but the fit itself is generic. The shoe was not made to mold to your foot. It was made to be comfortable.

Stability: Just looking at the Kirov, one could consider them plain old tennies with pretty colors and thick soles. But inside that thick sole is actually an intricate and effective support system. This was one of the things that blew me away about the Kirov: the foot support is exquisite. And the shoe feels almost spring-loaded. It may just be my imagination, but since I've been wearing the Kirovs, I jump higher, run faster, and certainly don't have to worry about bone-jarring landings.

Weight: They're not the lightest shoes in the world, but I wouldn't call them heavy either. In fact, for having such thick soles, I'd actually consider them to be a lighter shoe. It's weight is certainly not going to distract you while freerunning. Most of the shoe is made of lightweight materials (i.e. mesh and soft leather).

Flexibility: The shoe is very flexible. I hardly had to break mine in.

Design (with the exception of colors): This is just a little something I found interesting about the design of the shoe The weird looking design on the side is acutally Kswiss's symbol for freerunning: the overlapping of the different colored bands represents the "Over-Under-and-Through" philosophy of freerunning. Also, the design on the sole is very urban, representing the colonization of the sport in modern times.

Breatheability: I'm sure you've all heard about how breatheable the shoe is. As mentioned before, the shoe is made of lightweight materials, particularly mesh, which should make your feet nice and stink free. ;D

And a couple cons about the Kirov...

Durability: I am a little worried about how durable the Kirovs are. Because the shoe is made of such lightweight materials, they don't feel as though they could last years and years. If anything, the soft leather toe looks liable to tear if exposed to the right conditions. And scuffing seems inevitable. It could be very difficult to keep these sneaks looking good, and every freerunning knows that last thing you need to be worrying about in the middle of a wall-up is whether or not your shoes will survive.

Colors: As most of you already know, the colors suck. If it's not decked out in shiny silver, it's pink. I think that's what agitated most women about the Kirov. The color selection that is available now would probably be less frustrating if the women's Kirov came in the same colors as the men's, with pink as additional colors. But of course, that would have been far too difficult. ::)

Thanks again and good luck finding a shoe that's right for you. I hope this helps in your decision making some!


Women / Re: Having trouble with vaults...
« on: May 27, 2008, 05:42:18 AM »
Make sure you're not making your arms do all the work. In my case, vaults and climbs became much easier the stronger my quads were. If you have a good jump, it's easier to get your body in a higher position over a wall. And when it comes to pulling yourself up over a wall, making sure you're using your feet to push yourself up as well as using your arms to pull yourself up. If you're trying to support your entire body with just your arms and you don't have a lot of arm strength, you probably won't find much success with vaults or climbs.

Women / Re: Overcoming Mental Blocks
« on: May 21, 2008, 03:45:49 PM »
I always find it funny how inanimate objects can be so intimidating ???. You probably just need a good boost of encouragement--or confidence for that matter. You may be unable to tackle the obstacle because, subconsiously, you're not as confident in your physical abilities as you could be. Work some more vaulting over smaller obstacles until you think your ready to take on the rail. And when you are ready to take on the rail and you mess up the first time, try again. Repetition is key when it comes to nailing tricks. Moral support could help as well. Get a few of your friends to come along with you and cheer you on. And if you fall, guess what? They'll be there to pick you up and cheer you on some more.

And if all else fails, just do it! You can't know the taste of success until you first to the taste of failure.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Women / A Satisfying Women's Shoe Alternative
« on: May 21, 2008, 08:45:44 AM »
Trust me, I know how hard it is to find parkour shoes made specifically for women. That's why I've been researching some alternatives. Lately, I've been roadtesting a couple shoes and comparing them. Over the next couple weeks, I'll have some info posted on the Kswiss Kirov and an alternative I've found rather satisfying: the Nike Air Max 90 Trainer I (II for the more recent model).

Something I would like to state at the very beginning, this shoe is NOT made specifically for parkour. It is a crosstraining shoe designed for women. But before you turn away, know that the roadtest weilded some suprising results. Here are a few reasons why the Air Max 90s have proven worthy.

1) They are designed specifically for women's feet.
Unlike the Kirov's, the women's Air Max 90 is designed to fit a woman's foot. This means excellent arch-support and a glove fit. As most of you already imagined, the women's Kirov is exactly the same as the men's, except it comes in pink ::). You may be pleased to hear that Nike actually did research on women's exercising needs and met them with this shoe. Also, they don't come in hideous colors. Mine are all black.

2) They provide excellent arch-support and a snug fit.
As mentioned before, because these shoes are made for women, they fit beautifully. That means no having to worry about your feet sliding back and forth in the shoes, and strong arch-support ultimately means relief on your feet. However, as these shoes are not designed specifically for parkour, they do lack a certain amount of "give," which can cause potential heel problems. This can be remedied, however, with the proper heel, toe, or sole inserts.

3) They are extremely lightweight.
The Air Max 90s are the prime example of athletic prowess in a shoe. They feel virtually weightless on your feet, and in addition to the snug fit, you may as well be training barefoot.

4) Incredible grip--these shoes could grip ice! (exaggeration, obviously  :))
I've tested these shoes on multiple surface often encountered in parkour, specifically concrete (including brick, gravel, and cobblestone) and wood. The results were amazing. The Air Max 90 provided a sure-footed, no-slip-grip on all surfaces*, even the most smoothly sanded woods I could find. When it came to hauling myself over walls, the shoes provided definite stability the whole time. The shoes tend to grip concrete better than wood, but the "wood-test" revealed satisfying results as well.
*Note: all surface testing was done on dry surfaces.

However, there are some CONS about the Air Max 90

1) As stated before, the shoes have little to no "give" when it comes to landing, which can make the landings more intense and in extreme cases damaging. However, also stated before, this can be remedied with the proper inserts.

2) Breathability is poor. In fact, the shoe has virtually no breatheability whatsoever. So, if stinky feet really get to you that much, these shoes are not for you. :P

3) Flexibility is only decent. For being so incredibly lightweight, the Air Max 90s take a long time to break in. But the more you use them, the better they will feel!

I'm still roadtesting the Kswiss Kirov's. I will have the full review posted for them as soon as possible.


Women / Re: I'm getting boy shoulders!
« on: May 21, 2008, 07:48:39 AM »
I agree with Shichiro. From the sound of it, you have a good amount of upper-body weight by now. And considering most parkour is just lifting your bodyweight, you probably don't need much more weight-lifting. Now is probably a good time to revert to bodyweight exercises, such as pull-ups and push-ups. If you find those generic versions of the workouts too easy, you can add a twist to make it more difficult. Muscle-ups are a good workout, as are plyometric push-ups for a bit more of a challenge. You can find plenty of bodyweight workouts all over the internet that keep your muscles strong and your body lean.

Good luck.

Women / Re: Male-domination?
« on: May 20, 2008, 04:20:30 PM »
I've never really had a problem with guys, but then I grew up around them. Most traceurs have no problem when it comes to accepting me--in fact, many are excited about it. If that's not the case with you, then you're probably hanging around the wrong guys who don't understand the true meaning of parkour/free running. There's nothing that irks me more than a group of people who just take it for some silly stunt. So, if that's your case, then you probably need to find a group of guys who "get it" like you do.

Otherwise, I think you'll find most guys pretty accomodating.

Women / Re: Introductions
« on: May 20, 2008, 03:52:40 PM »
Yo, this is Summer a.k.a. Alphfie (dunno why, just a nickname that stuck ???). I've been into a lot of physical training pretty much my entire life, being all sporty and the good stuff, but I just kinda stumbled onto free running and I've quickly developed a passion for it. I'm from the Memphis area so if anyone would be interested hitting me up, we could train together. Also, I've yet to find a good gym around here, so any information would be greatly appreciated. Right now I'm trying to focus on helping pk/free running spread a little through the city, especially to the younger crowd and kids still in school. Anybody interested in helping would be welcome with open arms! Thanks!

Tennessee / Re: Introduce yourself
« on: May 20, 2008, 01:00:14 PM »
Yo, I'm Summer a.k.a. Alphfie (18) and am I like the only girl on here? Yeah well, I live about 45 minutes away from Memphis--you might find me hanging around the more rundown parts of the city while training because abandoned buildings are the bomb-dizzle when it comes to training around here. Not only that, but I still haven't found any good gyms to train in. But yeah, I'm just starting pk/freerunning so any tips would be appreciated or if anyone wants to meet up, that's cool too. Thanks!

Tennessee / Memphis Beginners
« on: May 20, 2008, 10:30:32 AM »
I just started parkour/freerunning, so I'm still in the training mode. Considering I still have about 2-3 months before I move to Dyersberg, I was wondering if there were any other beginners in the Memphis area that would be interested in training with me. I have pretty much nothing to do for the next few months, so I'm available at all hours of the day (except when I'm sleeping obviously). If anyone is interested, just contact me at my e-mail: I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks! ;D

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