Friday, April 18, 2014

P: Parkour

I've been patiently waiting this entire challenge to present to you the premise for my new novel. Parkour, the fastest growing extreme sport in the world, is a mix of urban gymnastics and free running. This French word, meaning course, route or journey, has its 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 Amazing Spider-Man movies perform pakour and is one of the reasons why I am a huge fan of the new movies. Brick Mansions, the movie staring the late Paul Walker also stars David Belle, one of the founding fathers of parkour. Stephen Amell from the hit series Arrow trained with Tempest Freerunning Academy. Chris O'Donnell of NCIS:LA has also trained with Tempest (see video below).

People ask me all the time if I am a free runner. No, I am just a plain old-fashioned runner. I've been running for almost two decades and I think my knees need to be replaced:) Let me introduce my oldest son, S. Austin Hawes, who was the inspiration behind my novel. One day the university baseball players were playing ball at the minor league stadium in town. My hubby is in charge of these games when he's in his off season of coaching. I watched in horror as my teenage ninja-son climbed the backside of the stadium, leaped in a single bound and jumped on top of the concession stand. After executing a flawless flip and regaining his position on solid ground, I asked him,
Climbing to the top of Devil's Lake WI with a broken arm.
"What on earth are you doing?"
"Parkour, Mom."
Duh, like I was supposed to know. He took out his iPhone and showed me the website for Tempest Freerunning Academy in L.A. I was hooked. That summer I witnessed my son performing flips, twists and turns and death-defying stunts. However, his parkour performing days came to an abrupt end. The first night of wrestling camp he broke his arm, badly. His extensive surgery left him fitted with enough metal to set off an airport security alarm--from our house. (Two metal plates and thirteen screws!) But with many prayers and much persistence, he returned to sports four months later to make it all the way to the Missouri State High School Wrestling tourney.


Driver's license!
Have you ever heard of parkour or free running? Have you ever tried performing parkour? (The vault is the easiest move to learn and I'm sure we've all done one before.) Do you have crazy kids that inspire your writing? I bet you can't guess what sport my hubby coaches?

(Photo credits: First one belongs to me and is copyrighted. The other two are not copyrighted and are found on my Instagram.)
#atozchallenge #amwriting #parkour #freerunning

Here is the synopsis for my novel, Free Runner:

Fourteen-year-old Cam White lives the perfect SoCal dream surrounded by endless surf and sunshine. He discovers Tempest Freerunning Academy in L.A. and trains with an elite group of free runners. When his father lands the photography dream job of a lifetime, Cam finds himself landlocked in the middle of England.
His dad dumps him on the doorstep of Oxford's Prestige Academy where he learns how to wear a tie and talk to a girl for the first time in his life. His disregard for the rules places him at the top of the headmaster's naughty list. But she's the least of his worries. A few weeks before opening night of his father's photography exhibit at the National Gallery, his dad disappears. Cam secures a small package in his West End apartment but is unaware the contents could kill him.
He and his new friends must decipher a set of clues as they race through the streets of London, dodging bullets and bad guys. Cam uncovers a web of deception and fears the package may cost him his life. The ultimate trap has been set in motion long before Cam's existence. Will he take the bait? The one person who can face the danger zone--and live to tell about it--is the Free Runner.


Chris O'Donnell NCIS:LA and Victor Lopez Tempest Freerunning
  






Another great video featuring
Jesse La Flair Tempest Freerunning Coach

23 comments:

  1. No, I've never heard of this type of sport. I looks terrifying, but would make a great topic for a novel. Wonderful idea. And I'm glad to hear your son has recovered from that broken arm.

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  2. That stuff has always looked so scary to me! I write girly fiction, so every young girl I'm ever around ends up being studied voraciously. We had my 14-year-old stepdaughter for a visit last weekend and I found myself asking her questions. Do people still do this? Do people say things this way? Etc...

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    1. I'm always studying my teen boys and their friends and always asking if something is "cool" or not! They let me know if something is lame;-)

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  3. I have heard of Parkour. I had thought of writing a feature for the newspaper on it. If I am not mistaken its an adventure sport, right?

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    1. I'm not sure if it's referred to as an "adventure" sport, It's usually labeled as an "extreme" sport:)

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  4. I totally admire your patience!!! And parkour is amazing - I'm psyched to see it featured in your book! My brother-in-law gas dabbled in it, and it's as breathtaking as it is terrifying. Your book sounds fantastic!

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  5. YES! My brothers were with this trend at its onset. It was awesome to watch them practice, and the crazy stunts... I worried too. I actually have written some parkore into the musical I penned out several years ago. If it ever gets produced, that scene will be epic.

    True Heroes from A to Z

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    1. It is hard to believe it started gaining a fan base in the 80's. A musical with parkour:)) sounds awesome!

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  6. I had never heard of the term, parkour, but I've seen it in action.

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  7. I'd never heard the term. Cool that your son can do it. Bummer he broke his arm so badly!

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  8. I'm reading a book series, where the protagonist is a free runner (mostly on top of buildings)-it's an urban fantasy series, and I thought this element was a really unique addition to the story line :) It's the InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire.

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  9. I've heard of free running and seen it on TV and vids. I like the blurb of your book. Sounds very suspenseful. Good luck!! :)

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  10. I've heard of parkour but not free running. The funny thing is, when I hear the word parkour now I think of this YouTube video called "Do you want to be my boyfriend?" a twist on "Do you wanna build a snowman?" There's one point where the girl sings that she knows parkour, and then tries to demonstrate but falls. I can't help laughing.

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  11. I would have been into this sort of thing big time when I was younger. Now I'll just appreciate the others who take on the challenge.

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  12. Parkour looks so interesting, even fun, but I wouldn't attempt it.

    Fascinating blurb.

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  13. I have heard of parkour. I'm not crazy enough to try it, though. I'd hurt myself. Badly.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

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  14. This is the type of thing I end up doing...in my dreams. It feels great there! But I would never be able to do it in real life, although it looks like it would be a whopping good time.

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  15. I'm always fascinated by videos of parkour, but I can't even do regular running, much less attempt free running. :-) But that's so cool that you were inspired to write a novel by your son.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
    Jocelyn

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