If you’ve seen parkour on television or social media, you may think its just an activity for high-level athletes to run and jump on and off of stuff. And if you think you’re too old or too young to take on the crazy sport, a place in Bend that bills itself as Central Oregon’s only parkour gym may have you thinking again
You see, parkour can have practical applications for anyone’s life.
For those not initiated, what is parkour?
“Think of what Tarzan does,” Abstract in Motion gym owner Eric Corrales said. “Being a monkey in the urban environment.”
Essentially, crafting a unique, challenging way to get from Point A to Point B.
“Instead of seeing the world as linear, we see it as freeform,” Eric said.
It’s a discipline leaping over the limits of traditional sports. So who does it?
“I’ve been doing this for about I guess, seven years now,” parkour athlete Steve Crozier said. He’s 62.
“I just felt like this was like my thing,” said athlete Liam. He’s 11. His mom signed him up two years ago.
“She didn’t really know it was going to be like this crazy,” he said, admitting he saves the crazy stuff for when mom’s not watching.
Parkour teaches you how to fall
The athletes here see each other for their effort, not their age. Parkour is practical, teaching basic body mechanics like balance.
“You might slip on ice and be like. ‘Oh. I got to catch myself really fast,” Eric said. “So how do I do that?”
Practical applications, like how to fall safely.
“One of the main things we teach is how to drop to your shoulder or dissipate weight so that you don’t further injure yourself,” Eric said.
This training is helping Steve stay active as an athlete.
“When you’re running on trail, sometimes you’ll clip a rock or some weeds beside the trail or something, and fall. But you learn how to fall,” he said.
It’s the challenge and the fun that keeps him coming twice a week.
“I want to keep moving as long as I can, and I think this is a great way to do it,” Steve said.
A commitment to stimulate both your body and imagination.
“George Shaw said you don’t stop playing because you grow up, you grow up because you stop playing, and it’s one of my favorite quotes,” Eric said.
Abstract in Motion is located at 63830 Clausen Rd Suite 102, on the north end of Bend. You can find more information on its website.