Tell us a bit about your background!

I’m a new Gator alumna, working my dream job as a project manager for the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (GCRA)! I graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications in April. Prior to that, I served as a student ambassador for Google and worked on marketing for the UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator.

Drone Selfie

Drone selfie with Eli Meyer, Rangga Elfharandy, Nathalie McCrate, Anthony Lyons and Sami Kattan during filming!

How long have you been involved in the Parkour community?

A friend from Tae Kwon Do invited me to an Overflux jam way back in 2011—I’ve gone to random jams and training sessions ever since. I never advanced beyond noob status, but I was impressed by how welcoming the Florida Parkour community is. Everyone I met was patient and eager to teach others.

So I hear you’ve been able to take your experiences from being involved in Parkour to the workplace. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Yes! Parkour’s philosophy of overcoming obstacles both physically and mentally really stuck with me. The sport fundamentally changed how I viewed urban spaces… after roaming campus with a pack of traceurs, I couldn’t look at brick walls the same way again… Curbs were more than concrete blocks, rails were more than metal poles—they were springboards for this beautiful fluidity of movement. Urban environments had a new grace to them—and ledges weren’t quite so out of reach.

Helyx bridge handstand photo_raw

Ambrose Douglas does a handstand in front of the Helyx Bridge in Gainesville, FL. The bridge was used as a playground for traceurs and freerunners in a recent promo video by the City of Gainesville’s Community Redevelopment Agency.

Like parkour and freerunning, redevelopment is all about using urban spaces in creative ways. Our team at the GCRA pushes the limits on every single project we undertake—whether it’s converting a 1920s gas service station into a thriving café, or turning a grungy utility warehouse into a headquarters for a high tech robotics company, we shatter people’s perceptions of how spaces should be used every day. We recently had the option to show a video that illustrated our strategic mission in front of several hundred people at the Florida Redevelopment Association’s big annual conference in Miami. I saw a link between the philosophy behind l’art dudéplacement and the approach the GCRA takes to urban redevelopment… and #ReimaginePossible was born!

It was a really fun film to produce. The traceurs and freerunners from Florida Parkour/Gainesville Parkour were spectacular. My boss Anthony Lyons (the guy wearing the tie in the video) made for an awesome lead actor. My manager Sarah Vidal-Finn did a beautiful job with the voiceover. Our whole office got really into it… all the people running up the stairs at 1:04 are co-workers dressed up in costumes. The guy in the key drop scene (Darshan) is actually a random passerby we pulled off the street… we even used a drone to capture some aerial footage. And Eli Meyer Studio did a really excellent job putting the film together!

Eli Meyer filming

Suggested caption: Eli Meyer Studio taking some aerial footage at the #ReimaginePossible shoot.

What would you like to get accomplished as an urban redeveloper?
The bridge seen in the backdrop of the #ReimaginePossible video does a pretty good job of communicating what a successful urban redevelopment project looks like for us. It used to be an old railroad overpass, covered in razor wire and old chain link fencing. The area was poorly-lit and sketchy at night. In 2012, we revitalized the area, added better lighting and installed the current Helyx Bridge. Its twisted steel ties symbolize Gainesville’s history as a railroad town and its “DNA shape” hints at our future as a biotechnology hub, with UF Health hospitals right across the street. Now, students, cyclists and families feel safe crossing the bridge at night… and the Helyx is a gateway attraction for the whole city.

Our goal at the GCRA is to wake up sleepy or ignored urban areas and make them come alive. We tap into unrealized potential and build awesome things that matter.

What do you believe is currently wrong with urban developing and what direction do you hope it will one day head toward?

Some folks refer to urban redevelopment “mission impossible.” It’s challenging work. Projects include…

  • Depot Park: converting a 32-acre, contaminated brownfield site into a “Central Park” for Gainesville with nature trails, an outdoor music amphitheater, a children’s playground, restaurants and a signature creativity + invention museum (created by the family of the man who invented Gatorade).
  • GTEC campus: building a thriving commercial district, centered around the city’s oldest business incubator, in an underdeveloped part of town. Across the street, we successfully turned a roadside shack into one of the area’s first sit-down restaurants. Southern Charm Kitchen is now rumored to have the very best fried chicken in Gainesville.
  • Innovation Square roadways and park: creating a 40-acre research/commercial district connecting UF’s campus and Downtown. We built a signature boulevard for the community and installed hearty underground infrastructure to encourage faster building construction.

The shape of projects like Innovation Square roadways and park is designed to promote a more active lifestyle. Anthony gave an interesting interview to Fast Company magazine about the importance of creating “walkable blocks.” Check it out here!

Working as an urban redeveloper, if there was one thing you want to say to all Traceurs/Traceuses, what would it be?

Please keep reaching out to the greater community where you live/work/play, embrace the “leave no trace” initiative and help beautify your city by leaving your training ground better than you found it. Oh and never stop training. You never know when a monkey vault will come in handy.

Any last words?

Watch #ReimaginePossible and let us know what you think J A blooper reel is coming soon…!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmuKbTv4UEU

Contact Us

American Parkour
(844) 472-7568
219 M St NW
Washington, DC 20001

American Parkour Policies

Instagram
We're very excited to announce that we will be presenting at the Worlds of Work Expo where over 3,000 kids from 7 counties in Virginia will get to learn about career choices.

We'll help display careers related to:
Health and Wellness - Coaching, Physical Education, Sports Physiotherapy
Design and Manufacturing - CAD, CNC Work, Metal and Woodworking
Professional Athletes - @worldchasetag and Parkour

We'll have a fully interactive 20X20 Booth featuring our Middle School Parkour Kit, plus a Parkour Rig and other equipment on display in various stages of manufacture.

We'll also have videos showing our Parkour in Schools Program, some of the Television shows we've made and Performances from Madonna to Mercedes Benz, World Chase Tag, and Parkour Gyms.

We're grateful to Jenna French, TMP of Shenandoah County for this opportunity!

Virginia Department of Education Virginia Economic Development Partnership

#health #education #work #school #wellness #parkour
We're very excited to announce that we will be presenting at the Worlds of Work Expo where over 3,000 kids from 7 counties in Virginia will get to learn about career choices. We'll help display careers related to: Health and Wellness - Coaching, Physical Education, Sports Physiotherapy Design and Manufacturing - CAD, CNC Work, Metal and Woodworking Professional Athletes - @worldchasetag and Parkour We'll have a fully interactive 20X20 Booth featuring our Middle School Parkour Kit, plus a Parkour Rig and other equipment on display in various stages of manufacture. We'll also have videos showing our Parkour in Schools Program, some of the Television shows we've made and Performances from Madonna to Mercedes Benz, World Chase Tag, and Parkour Gyms. We're grateful to Jenna French, TMP of Shenandoah County for this opportunity! Virginia Department of Education Virginia Economic Development Partnership #health #education #work #school #wellness #parkour
7 months ago
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1/6
Are you interested in playing Chase Tag Professionally? If so APK is hosting an online tryout for the 2022 @worldchasetag season! For More Details check out the LINK IN BIO! #dontgetcaught
In the meantime enjoy a great Chase with @ethantwistz hunting down @brother_pk
.
#apkblue #apkgrey #apkwct #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
Are you interested in playing Chase Tag Professionally? If so APK is hosting an online tryout for the 2022 @worldchasetag season! For More Details check out the LINK IN BIO! #dontgetcaught In the meantime enjoy a great Chase with @ethantwistz hunting down @brother_pk . #apkblue #apkgrey #apkwct #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
7 months ago
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2/6
Good luck to all of the athletes competing in the WFPF USA Parkour Cup this weekend!

American Parkour is going to equalize the prize money for men and women. 

APK will award the winner of both Speed and Freestyle Women's division $200 each. No strings attached.

#parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
#sportswomen #sports #sport #womeninsports #athletes #fitness  #sportlife #gym #motivation #makeitright #integrity #equity #sportsequity
Good luck to all of the athletes competing in the WFPF USA Parkour Cup this weekend!

American Parkour is going to equalize the prize money for men and women. 

APK will award the winner of both Speed and Freestyle Women's division $200 each. No strings attached.

#parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
#sportswomen #sports #sport #womeninsports #athletes #fitness  #sportlife #gym #motivation #makeitright #integrity #equity #sportsequity
Good luck to all of the athletes competing in the WFPF USA Parkour Cup this weekend! American Parkour is going to equalize the prize money for men and women. APK will award the winner of both Speed and Freestyle Women's division $200 each. No strings attached. #parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks #sportswomen #sports #sport #womeninsports #athletes #fitness #sportlife #gym #motivation #makeitright #integrity #equity #sportsequity
8 months ago
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3/6
At APK we strive to support all Athletes, and so in honor of National Women in Sports day we have our own @mel2toes working hard in the gym as always 💪
.
#parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
At APK we strive to support all Athletes, and so in honor of National Women in Sports day we have our own @mel2toes working hard in the gym as always 💪 . #parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
8 months ago
View on Instagram |
4/6
APK is holding tryouts for the 2022 WCT Season! If you're interested in trying out, you'll need to do the following.

Create a Tryout Video (Details for that are on our YouTube LINK IN BIO)

Upload that Video to Google Drive and Share that video/folder with apksubmission@gmail.com

The deadline for submissions is the Ides of March (if you don't know when that is, better find out)

QUICK CLARIFICATION FOR OUR APK FANS
This does NOT mean we are scrapping all our previous athletes, in fact you'll most likely see most of them again (because we have some BEASTS on our team) but we do want the best athletes for our teams (as the brothers say, they want to see the best people chase). So holding tryouts opens the doors for new athletes to enter the sport 

Now Good Luck! And remember, Don't Get Caught

#parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
@worldchasetag @wctfans
APK is holding tryouts for the 2022 WCT Season! If you're interested in trying out, you'll need to do the following. Create a Tryout Video (Details for that are on our YouTube LINK IN BIO) Upload that Video to Google Drive and Share that video/folder with apksubmission@gmail.com The deadline for submissions is the Ides of March (if you don't know when that is, better find out) QUICK CLARIFICATION FOR OUR APK FANS This does NOT mean we are scrapping all our previous athletes, in fact you'll most likely see most of them again (because we have some BEASTS on our team) but we do want the best athletes for our teams (as the brothers say, they want to see the best people chase). So holding tryouts opens the doors for new athletes to enter the sport Now Good Luck! And remember, Don't Get Caught #parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks @worldchasetag @wctfans
8 months ago
View on Instagram |
5/6
Check out American Parkour Founder Mark Toorock's talk "Individual Together: Building Parkour and Movement Communities" as part of the Embodied Movement Summit. Please use APK's affiliate link (LINK IN BIO) to get your free ticket to this incredible event with over 27 expert presentations including Sebastien Foucan and Kelly Starrett
.
#parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
Check out American Parkour Founder Mark Toorock's talk "Individual Together: Building Parkour and Movement Communities" as part of the Embodied Movement Summit. Please use APK's affiliate link (LINK IN BIO) to get your free ticket to this incredible event with over 27 expert presentations including Sebastien Foucan and Kelly Starrett . #parkour #freerunning #apklife #apkparkour #precisionsticks
8 months ago
View on Instagram |
6/6
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