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Messages - Alex

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Virginia / Re: Anyone know a good place to train at in Woodbridge?
« on: March 16, 2012, 06:20:20 PM »
I WOULD use DC but I'm not good enough yet not to mess something up...

Virginia / Re: Anyone know a good place to train at in Woodbridge?
« on: March 15, 2012, 05:00:29 PM »
That's... what... three hours away? What about where you are? Are there any good places by you?

Virginia / Re: Anyone know a good place to train at in Woodbridge?
« on: March 15, 2012, 10:48:49 AM »
Woodbridge, VA. It's a... town? An hour away from D.C.

Virginia / Anyone know a good place to train at in Woodbridge?
« on: March 14, 2012, 07:26:11 PM »
I've gotten myself jumpstarted into parkour again and I feel like I need a different type of area for the movements I'm trying to do. (Cat to cat, tic-tac, kong vault, dash vault, etc.) I've been using the area around Tacketts Mill for a while now. Does anyone know any good areas where I could train?

Virginia / Re: Anyone want to train in Apollo Gymnastics(Northern VA)?
« on: March 14, 2012, 12:02:34 PM »
Does Apollo do open gym man? That's awsome! I went to that gymnastics world a while ago(I think that's what it was called) But they closed open gym there.

Virginia / Re: Its Freakin Beautiful Outside! Wanna Train?
« on: March 14, 2012, 12:01:17 PM »
Yo John! Haven't talked to you in a while man, where have you been? Send me a message sometime!

@Todd: Hey man, sounds like an awsome idea, I haven't logged on APK in a while but I'd love to help. Do you have any additional information on the park?

Virginia / Re: Its Freakin Beautiful Outside! Wanna Train?
« on: September 15, 2011, 09:07:41 AM »
stoked... so stoked

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Movement trouble, not as flowy as I'd like
« on: September 15, 2011, 09:04:00 AM »
+1. I lol'd.

But on a serious note, it could just be a psychological thing. I find that i "feel" more flowy when im wearing larger sweatpants, for example. Just imagine yourself as loose and adaptive, and who knows, it might come. Like i said, just could be psychological.

probobly is.... im definately not relaxed... i keep thinking about how good i should be... i even know how it SHOULD feel when i do a movement, maybe i should just think i can do the movement with flow. thanks alot :D

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Movement trouble, not as flowy as I'd like
« on: August 27, 2011, 10:21:51 PM »
erm... well... for instance, if you know how people almost float when they land or crane, thats what im talking about, ive got the base stuff down, but the gentle landing and jumping i cant understand. i just dont know which muscles to use.

Parkour And Freerunning / Movement trouble, not as flowy as I'd like
« on: August 27, 2011, 09:54:58 PM »
hey all, I've now been doing parkour for around two years, and, while still being unable to do all the vaults, have finally gotten over my fear of heights and falls. But something keeps nagging me, and it worries me greatly. I'm a lanky, wirery, semi muscular fellow, and when I move, im never graceful like alot of other traceurs are. I get the job done, but I just can't seem to relax. What's wrong with me? does anyone else have this problem?

Virginia / Re: PKVA members and non-members, please read.
« on: July 05, 2011, 07:35:03 AM »
NAME: Alex Johnson
PHONE NUMBER(ask me if you want to train)
LOCATION: Woodbridge, VA
SPECIAL MOVE: uh... Either catching myself or never giving up.

Oh dang, sorry bro, I haven't logged on in a while sorry :(

Movement / Re: I'm having problems with monkey vaulting...
« on: June 14, 2011, 11:25:18 AM »
I finally did a kong! After the first one everything fell into place and I could get around with very little effort!

DAY 1: 5/16/11
25 crunches
30 Pushups (20 regular, five diamond, five spread)
2 minute sprint
1 hang climb set (getting up the stairs... from the side... with only my hands)

Goals by the end of the month:

50 Crunches
60 Pushups
4 minute sprint
2 climb sets

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: How has Parkour changed you?
« on: May 07, 2011, 08:06:49 AM »
When I first started Parkour I saw it as something cool that would take me at least fifteen years to become adequate at. I trained with an unofficial group for a while, but that soon degraded due to the fact it was full of high school students who had unneccessary drama (boyfriend/girlfriend problems). I began training on my own about half a year into my life as a traceur, and discovered, even when I failed it was okay, because I could laugh at myself and not care that it hurt, just get back up and keep trying. This was a big change for me because, when I was a kid, I used to never take risks, never push the limits, conform to everyone elses standards and expectations, and would never EVER do something because I felt like doing it, because it felt good, regardless of how good at it I was. I had exceptionally low self-confidence and always wanted to be able to do something physical (as in a sport, physically challenging, etc.) to boost confidence in me. So, my freshman year in highschool, I began to swim competitively, continuing throughout my sophomore and junior years going to regionals twice and lettering for three years straight. But even then, something was missing. One day, I was looking out for a new game to play (being a major introvert and geek) and picked up Mirrors Edge. I played the entire game through and laughed when I finished it because... Hell, noone could really move like that... right? I looked up Mirrors Edge on the internet and discovered it was linked to a discipline called "Parkour" that was, literally the freedom of movement, and art of efficency. I decided I wanted to do this, to become like these urban athletes, be able to move fluidly, and go where I wanted to go, without having to stop. I think I was also feeling a bit rebellious at the time, because my parents were exceptionally strict with me, and didnt want me doing anything risky, or dangerous. So, in secret, I would say I was going out for a walk, and train myself, without really know what I was doing, (until I found the unofficial team stated earlier) working myself to do rolls and land properly as well as speed(thief) vaults, since I wasn't confident enough yet to do any other kinds of vaults. Anyway, moving on to a point closer to the present, I began to enjoy myself, building confidence slowly, and maturing as I learned more tecniques and better form. I had always been socially awkward, but when I realized that most of the jocks, and preps, and people I had always thought were better than I was, couldn't see the world as I did, or move as quickly through an area as I could, were really just normal human beings. They were only better in my mind because I MADE them better, not because they actually had anything different from me. So I learned a lot about myself and grew as time passed, stronger, faster, more my own person, more in control, until one day, I had to use Parkour in a real life situation. I was asleep in my room when my mom began screaming at me from the ground floor of our house (we have a three level house, my room seperated from the main level by three staircases) that there was an emergency, and that I should come quick. (Background information: I'm the only person I know of that knows First Aid in any way in my neighborhood, but I could be wrong, all I know is that, since I am ALSO a lifeguard, I had to react fast) I slid out of bed in half a second and vaulted down all three flights of stairs more fluidly than I had ever moved before in my life. My pulse was pounding, my adrenaline rushing, I sprinted outside and ran to the man on the ground a few feet away from our house. He had fallen down the steps and smacked his back into the middle stair, and was unable to move with out feeling immense pain. I stabilized him, etc. and soon he was shipped to the hospital. The injury he had sustained may not have been life threatening, but I'm thankful I had parkour to help me when I needed it. Later on, my mom told me I had taken exactly three seconds to get down the stairs, which usually take me at least ten to get down. I hadn't has any hesitation, or any fear of hurting myself, in that moment, I had felt what I had been trying to feel my entire life. I had felt peace, and a sense of rightness, of smooth, clean, purity.

I started as a nervous, self concious, unconfident nerd.
I've grown into a calm, self aware, confident nerd.

This may not seem like much, but I truely believe, all my maturity has come from training, and learning through parkour, the flow, not only when I move, but also in my life.

Hopefully this isn't too much writing, and I apologize if it is.

:) all done!

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Dealing with Frustration
« on: May 07, 2011, 07:36:24 AM »
Allow me to quote Juji, "Corks working today? NO!  Flips?  Yes!!!  DO FLIPS."

Sometimes simply moving will help you to get over the walls that impede progressive training.

so just let my body do what feels natural... or stop thinking about things for a while and give myself a chance to rest. right?

The road to success is paved with failure. Quote I read somewhere. But its true. The advice here is great. Sometimes just have to step back. Not just with Parkour but all aspects of life.

very true, I love the way people help out so willingly, it makes me feel good about Parkour as a general community.
Also... don't be so hard on yourself.  This too shall pass.  Take a rest week and come back to it, like Micah suggested.  When you re-approach things with a fresh mind and body, things will be different.

Additionally, while it's tempting to compare oneself to others, it only leads to what you're experiencing: frustration.

We all start with different life experience, and different natural abilities, so we all progress at different rates.  So that 10 year old kid you're watching online might be a competitive gymnast with freakish genetics, or a circus performer.  Not the best way to mark your progress.  IMO, the best thing to do is be objective (take measurements) and honest with yourself and measure your progress against yourself.  If you aren't getting the results you want, change something.  Get educated, seek qualified instructors that motivate you, and be patient with your own progress.

Jerry Rice was being interviewed when he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame and he said he didn't enjoy his playing career because he was constantly trying to perform at the highest levels.  Don't be so driven to succeed next tomorrow that you can't enjoy today's success...
so by qualified instructors you might mean the Primal Fitness courses in Washington D.C? I feel like this is a especially good thing for me because, though it may seem like I'm all heart, I think about parkour pretty much 24/7. I WANT to get better, and feel better because of it. I shouldn't base my achievements and failures on anyone else, and be honest with myself when I KNOW something is wrong with a movement to try again and find the wrong portion of it. right? Thanks so much for all the advice! :)

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Dealing with Frustration
« on: May 05, 2011, 06:42:08 PM »
It's not weird at all! There are tons of moves that I know how to do (mostly in freerunning) that I can visualize perfectly in my mind but when it comes time to doing the moves my body just doesn't want to do it. Do you train alone? I find it best to train with friends if I cant do a move because they can evaluate how well my technique is.

I've taken to training alone because if I mess up its my own damn fault and noone elses... I keep thinking its the shoes I have, because they're entirely slick and have no grip at all, but then the wallrun I have been doing was jumping at the wall then kicking up it, not very efficent at all, and not at all pretty, so I KNOW it wasnt the right thing to do...
Wow, you sound so much like me! When I was learning monkey vaults, my greatest enemy was the park bench. It was waist height, and konging it shouldn't have been a problem for me at all. I had kong vaulted a low wall and a rail already. I really can't put my finger on why I couldn't do the park bench, but I think two problems were: 1) I subconsciously remembered that it was the same park bench I had tried to kong back when I couldn't actually kong, and 2) I couldn't help but tell myself, "Okay, kong the bench. Kong the bench. Come on, this shouldn't be hard for you. Just do it!" This had a weird reverse-psychology effect that blocked me from success. Meanwhile, each failure made me more angry at myself, and you can't really do anything well in that kind of mindset, because you're automatically assuming you'll fail.

I learned that the best way for me to get over mental blocks like that is to achieve my first success. After that first one, all my mental blocks go away, and I can continue practicing the way I should be. Don't know if this will help you or not....Just keep working at it, be careful not to fall too hard, and if you focus, eventually you should be able to get that first success.

My specific suggestion would be to use the same technique for wall runs that you've already been successful with. In parkour, sometimes your way is the best way, especially if it's the way that came most naturally to you. Once you get really good at it, then (if your own way hasn't proved successful enough) you can try modifying the technique. At that point you'll have a really good feel for the wall run (including how to bail), and, as long as you're still DOING a wall run, different techniques for it should feel quite similar. (Thus making it easier to switch than it may be for you now.)

P.S.  Here's an example for you...recently I met someone new who was interested in learning a little parkour from me. The very first day, without any advice from me, he was already fairly comfortable with doing his own kind of vault. I can't really describe it, but he could do two in a row, with a fairly nice flow. His vault isn't the most efficient thing in the world, but right now it's what he's most comfortable with, and if he continues it, at least for a while, he'll gain the confidence he needs to learn more efficient techniques.

by the way, I STILL can't Kong at all... I can monkey vault... sporadically, but recently i guess my self-esteem has just been low. ... Most of all... I just want to be able to progress as most people apparently do... I've been parkouring for a year now... and I still seem to be at the amateur traceur level... it kills me... to see some freaking ten year old kid do stuff on the net that has taken me three months to learn, do it in their first two months of parkour practice...

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Dealing with Frustration
« on: May 05, 2011, 05:11:57 PM »
i dont know if this is weird but,  when im in school i can visualize the movements just fine, its just... my body doesnt listen to me and doesnt do what I tell it to do... because I had been doing it wrong before, I can't do it right now.. its really bad....

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Dealing with Frustration
« on: May 05, 2011, 05:02:30 PM »
You sound sort of like me. With many things that require practice and focus (such as instrumental music and parkour), I find that I often improve a particular area fairly rapidly, and then as soon as I acknowledge this, I sort of say to myself, "Wow--look at what I'm doing!" And before I know it, I'm overanalyzing the skills I've learned, and I seem to actually become worse. I felt this most acutely back when I was still learning rolls. I figured out nearly a pain-free roll on a thinly-carpeted concrete floor--and then the next day, trying consciously (too consciously) to duplicated my success, I ended up repeatedly slamming my shoulder into the floor. I ended up with a weird pain that didn't go away for a while...

But enough of that. I wonder: are you trying wall runs (and other techniques) on the same exact obstacles you've been practicing on all along? If so, try changing your environment. Using a wall instead of a rail for a while is what helped the kong vault really "click" for me. I would also second what's already been said: take a break from practicing problem techniques if you seem unable to get them right any longer. It's almost certainly something psychological going on. Continuing to try them right now can only grind disappointment into you; wait a while, then come back to it, and maybe you'll instinctively do what you had been doing when you were doing stuff right.

this actually will help me :o but, I used to do the wallrun wrong by kicking up it, and a friend of mine showed me this ultra easy/smooth way of just stepping up it. I've been trying to copy him by using my leg like a pole and letting my forward movement "carry" me up the wall, and I did it once, then the next day couldnt do it the same way... its been a week of me trying and failing... and I'm really disappointed... but I'll go somewhere else and train other things instead so maybe I can do well later on. Thanks for the advice!

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