Welcome to Rising Traceuse A global resource for parkour athletes
Welcome to Rising Traceuse A global resource for parkour athletes

Parkour: Staying Sane When You Can't Train

Despite all the pain, sweat and frustration that inevitably comes with a tough parkour training session, there is something addicting about it that makes us return again and again... and again. We are traceuses and traceurs because we stick with it, and we truly love training parkour from the depths of our souls. That's why we tend to go crazy when we can't train.

Now wait a minute. You might be thinking, "But Brooke, you can always train parkour, no matter where you are or what your conditions are. Don't give people the wrong idea!"

Ok, that is true to an extent. It is possible to train when the only obstacle you have within 30 miles of your dwelling is a picnic table. It is possible to train when the thermometer reads -30 F. It is even possible to train if you have a broken leg. When you love parkour, you can train anytime and anywhere except for a few rare exceptions. That being said, there are instances when you can't train at the level or frequency you desire. Although that may suck, there is always something you can do about it.

Check out these profiles, and see if one of them matches your situation.

The Injured Parkour Athlete

Injuries are unforgiving. If you hurt yourself to the point that you must pause your training, you know the frustration of being cooped up inside when you would rather be perfecting that cat leap. If you have a short-term injury, give yourself a break from parkour training while doing home workouts to keep up your shape. If you have a permanent injury, you will likely need to modify your training. Remember that parkour is more about fortifying your body and mind than about performing any one movement.

I have never injured myself during parkour training (aside from a few bumps and bruises), and I don't plan to. If you are the kind of person who thinks that a parkour injury is some kind of "right of passage" or proof that you are training hard, think again. All it proves is that you messed up and must now spend time away from the thing you love.

The Lives-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Parkour Athlete

People in this category envy those city-dwelling traceuses and traceurs with a passion. Hay bales and park benches can never replace the walls and stone structures you find in cities. When you live in the middle of nowhere, developing your parkour training technique is difficult.

This has been my situation for the past few months living in rural Minnesota. To solve this problem, my husband and I built a few obstacles in the backyard so we could do some technical training. On alternating days, we spent the morning doing home workouts like strength training or cardio training. If you are not willing to move to (or regularly visit) a decent-sized town or city, the best thing you can do is to train whatever you can twice as hard.

The Arctic Circle Parkour Athlete

Winter training is hardcore, and it arguably makes summer training easier because you are used to training with 10 layers of clothing. However, large amounts of snow and ice can make regular movements dangerous, and things get really difficult when the temperature dips below 0 degrees F and reaches well into the negatives.

If you have an indoor gym near you, use it. If not, spend those frozen days doing body-weight home workouts and cardio training. If you're into flips, have a blast utilizing nature's own seasonal crash mat.

Do What You Can, and Give It Your Best!

Whatever your circumstances, there is always something you can do. Find out what that is, and train hard. In truth, there are very few circumstances that can totally prevent you from practicing parkour. The only person who can keep you from training is you.

If there are no obstacles near you, build them!
If your arm is injured, train with your legs!
If it's -20 degrees with a wind chill and snowing, train indoors!

Do whatever you can, and put your heart into it. If you make that your personal philosophy, nothing can keep you from living out your passion.

Have an experience, tip or thought to share? Leave it in the comments below!