I originally wrote this article to be published 3 years ago and never got around to it so I updated it. I’m now 30 years old and I injured my knee because over the years sitting, not Parkour has severely affected my posterior chain and the tendons around my knees. The pandemic didn’t help either. I’m currently resting my knee for a week so start physical therapy and get back to training.

My journey into parkour is similar to that of many “old-timers.” Although I’m only 30 I’ve been a part of the parkour community for many years. It began one day when my dad called me into the living room to “see what these guys on TV are doing.” It was the now mostly forgotten Ripley’s Believe It Or Not video on the Yamakasi.

After the segment was over I was hooked. I didn’t know what to look for online so I just went outside and started climbing trees and hopping benches. The closest I figured I would get to that would be an obstacle course. My constant refrain I can do that! I didn’t start parkour until Urban Ninja, the first youtube video I remember watching, went viral. I researched for hours and the constant feedback I gave myself and heard online was I can do that!

When I started I was an obese high school sophomore who, despite my weight, was fairly agile, had excellent balance, and was unreasonably sure of my potential despite the fact that I hated the way I looked. Now I’ve been doing parkour in some form for over 10 years. It’s helped me lose weight, look, and move better! I constantly surprise people with my paltry skill set.  I’m still not very good but I’m getting better and I’m better after each training session. I’ve always had the same mentality from all those years before. I can do that!

I know I’m getting older. I know that I’m currently injured. I know I have a long way to go. I also know I’m going to see things I can’t do. Yet!

That is, until recently. I started watching parkour videos again for inspiration and ended up watching a bunch of GUP videos. about halfway through “By Now” I caught myself saying “I couldn’t do that.” It was a gut punch.

I know there are plenty of things I can’t do. I’ve said “I can’t do that” a lot. Always present tense! And there are things I doubt I will ever be able to do. I am not a full-time athlete so the big stuff isn’t something I work towards.

This was different. This was the first time I’ve seen something and taken it out of the realm of possibility. It wasn’t huge or overly technical it just popped into my head that I couldn’t do it, it’s been stuck there gnawing at me since. Then I made a decision. This was just another mental obstacle I have to overcome. Even if I never hit that line from the GUP video. I need to be ok with that but never stop myself from trying.

Overcome Doubts: 4 Steps

Here are some steps I’m taking to overcome doubts about my parkour training in the future. Maybe they’ll be helpful to you.

Change Your Training

When you come to something you can’t do you have two options. Quit or work hard till you can do it. It is important to know your limits but important to push through them. If you haven’t already, set SMART goals and then make a plan. Since you’ve hit a wall, change up the way you train to get a fresh perspective. Complacency and boredom are your enemies.

If you train by yourself, find some local traceurs. If you have a large group do some solo training. Train indoors, go outside. Just do something to rekindle that original passion.

Over the next few months, I plan on taking my training up a notch. I’ve set a few goals and have identified a few movements I want to have down by the end of the year.

For me, this is going to, again, have to start with physical therapy for my knee. I had an appointment with my doctor and he assured me my knee is fine. There are no tears or tendon problems it just needs some attention. I’ll be going back to some PT I’ve done in the past, a specific knee regimen, and I’ll be using my APK Precision sticks for some isolation exercises, stretches, and breaking up the sitting I do all day.

Remember Why You Train

Not being able to do something and admitting it to yourself isn’t the end of the world. We all train for different reasons and most of them don’t involve being on the podium at NAPC. Many train to lose weight or because it’s fun. Others train to be ready for an emergency. Remember, you train for yourself, and not being able to do something another traceur can do is okay! Don’t let it affect you.

That’s why I wrote this article. To remind me of the can-do attitude I had when I started and the whole reason I kept going every time things got hard. My father died of a heart attack when I was pretty young. I don’t want to do that to my family. So I train and work hard.

Take some time to go back and remember why you started parkour. Write it down. If you feel like sharing send it our way! We love to read why people started training.

Find People That Inspire You

Remember those inspiring videos with those super smooth traceurs all started somewhere. Everyone started on this journey as a beginner and that if they can do it so can you. Even though it’s what got me thinking about this it’s important to find people to look up to in the community.

That’s where you and APK come in! I’m super proud of the work I get to do with APK! It’s filled with some of the most inspiring people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. People like Timothy Allen, Seth Ruji, Eric Wolff, and Celine Wykowski

You should start by following the newest APK ambassadors and athletes on Instagram and the APK Facebook, Share some of your favorite videos on our Facebook page!

Looking to the Future

As I start my latest physical therapy cycle I can’t help but feel like I’m starting over. Between the pandemic, my shoulder injury, stress from work, and now my continued office life knee problems I can’t help but question myself and my goals. Over the next few months, I plan on bringing as many people as I can on my journey with me. My physical therapy, my re-introduction of parkour to my training, attacking the weight I’ve put on.

I know I’m getting older. I know that I’m currently injured. I know I have a long way to go. I also know I’m going to see things I can’t do. Yet!