Much like great architecture, awe inspiring paintings, or even harmonious melodies, Parkour's form follows its function.
Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, introduced me to a man wholly dedicated to perfection and utility. Whether you agree with her ideology or not, much can be absorbed from her novel, especially when it comes to a self fulfilling lifestyle, much like the one we (traceurs) lead.
Some backround for those of you who do not know of the novel;
Howard Roark gets kicked out of the top architecture school the day of his graduation, under pressure from the faculty because he refuses to create buildings that mimic renaissance or any other style. His "best friend" however graduates and gets an internships with the top firm in New York. Roark follows his own path, creating buildings for himself, and as he puts it, If clients want to pay for my buildings thats great, but I will not be building for my clients, I'll be building for myself (paraphrased of course). There many more themes and issues in the book but I'd like to touch upon the pursuit of perfection and this unyielding passion for an art.
Much like Roark, many of us continue to perfect our technique, we try to make it our own. Once something has been done, once a spot has been hit, it's no longer a "virgin" we want to pop all the urban cherry's we can. (yes I just made that comparison). However, the main goal of this perfection is not a work onto others, or rather, a display of skill. We do what we do so that we know we can do it.
Some good quotes I grabbed might help illustrate the mindset better:
This one I feel pertains to our freedom and open mindset:
Why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world--to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.
This one...well it fits, I don't know why but it clicks,
Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.
and finally, nothing to do with philosophy, but I think this fits the whole urban atmosphere
I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body
some food for thought.