Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome to the World of Parkour

http://www.jenniferlhawes.com
Welcome to parkour, the fastest growing extreme sport in the world. The history of the founding of parkour involves several different individuals. Frenchman David Belle's name pops up the most when researching this fascinating mix of urban gymnastics and free running. The word pakour comes from the French word parcours, meaning course or route and has roots in French military combat training. Free running is similar to parkour, but the traceur or tracer (pronounced "tray-sir") runs while performing these stunts. The tracer is the term given to those practicing these moves, and I've gathered it is of the utmost importance to pronounce tracer correctly. 

I've been asked the question, "Are you a free runner?" No, but running has been my passion, my sanity and part of my life longer than I care to admit. I'm not an expert on the subject of parkour or free running, but some basic core elements consist of running, vaulting (with at least fifteen variations), jumping, and rolling. My oldest son introduced me to this addictive sport a year and a half ago. I watched him execute parkour moves, leaping from tall buildings with a single bound, and wondered if he morphed into a superhero.

The first stop in Free Runner is Los Angeles, home to Tempest Freerunning Academy. I prefer to ground my fictional characters in real places. My son directed my attention to Tempest's website where I was drawn to their unique symbol, mega indoor trampolines and ninja-warrior obstacle course. Jesse La Flair's (Tempest coach and professional free runner) video Unfound has had a profound effect on my ability to conceptualize my novel. This visual masterpiece and stunning performance makes free running look like art in motion.

In case you were wondering, parkour movements stretch across the globe. Apex Movement Parkour & Freerunning is "America's largest educational organization for parkour." They have four locations in Colorado and one in California. "Parkour Generation is the authentic, original parkour collective." This worldwide movement has been around for the past decade. Both Apex and PK Gen strive to educate and certify coaches to teach this unique sport to parkour enthusiasts.

In my debut novel, advanced parkour training enables a fourteen-year-old to live beyond the normal scope of the average human being. Free running defines my main character's existence. I hope you enjoy this gravity-defying journey that embraces survival and the art of displacement. The teen novel Free Runner is coming soon!

I've posted a video and several links in case you would like more information on the world of free running and parkour.

Tempest Freerunning Academy Video
Apex Movement
Parkour Generations
Tempest Freerunning Academy


#amwriting #debut #novel #freerunning #pakour #MondayBlogs

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