From scaling walls to jumping from rooftop to rooftop, the action movie junkie in us has always admired the stunts performed by the spies/secret agents. But as someone who feels a sense of achievement from just walking on the balancing beam at the fitness corner downstairs without falling, we sort of put our dreams of joining the spy-hood behind. That was until we were given the chance to attend a Parkour class.
A French invented sport that focuses on overcoming obstacles in urban environments through running, jumping or climbing, Parkour is definitely not for the non-nimble. It’s sort of like a mandatory sport for spies in training.
As we stood in the company of Tan Chi Ying, one of the pioneers of Singapore Parkour scene and founder of A2 Movements, our nerves began to set in.
The Free Runner Lodge, an indoor Parkour facility, resembles a playground without stairs (who needs them when you can swing/climb/flip your way around, right?). Established in 2010, A2 Movements is Singapore’s first Parkour academy.
After a couple of stretches, we stood face-to-face with a wooden block that was half our height.
Our mission was to place both our hands on the block’s surface before swinging our legs over and bringing our whole body over the obstacle. Sounds pretty doable, right? Wrong.
After multiple bruises the size of eggs on our legs, we’ve got to say, it definitely is not as easy as action movie stars make it out to be. It’s been a long introduction, so here are five reasons why Parkour will keep us coming back for more (bruises).
1. It’s A Great Workout
Never, ever underestimate the power of Parkour to work your muscles.
After an embarrassing half hour trying Parkour and using muscles we didn’t know existed, we were exhausted.
So if you’re starved for time or are just looking to try a new workout, try Parkour.
2. It Pushes You Out Of Your Comfort Zone
As the Parkour session progressed, we found ourselves pushing our boundaries and achieving something we never thought was possible.
Most of us are right-handers, and we’re never good at using the left hand for anything. After some practice (and persuasion), not only did we manage to use our left hands to support our body weight, we were surprisingly comfortable with it.
3. It’s Really, Really Fun
It’s one thing to watch your favorite actors (or stuntmen) perform the stunts, and another to actually sort of perform them. Not only is it enjoyable, but the sense of achievement upon completion is also really high. Imagine doing this:
Of course, tons of practice is needed, but how fun did that look? Super.
4. It’s a Solo Sport
Much like hitting the gym, Parkour focuses on you and you only. When we first stepped into class, we were surrounded by existing students who were too busy practicing their mid-air flips to notice our building nervousness. Die, sure kenna judge.
But as the session progressed, it hit us that firstly, everyone is here to learn. Secondly, everyone else is too busy perfecting their own moves to bother about you.
5. It Keeps One Unbelievably Young
Despite Chi Ying’s jaw-dropping consecutive midair somersaults, what really made our jaws drop was his age.
When asked for his secret to looking almost ten years younger than his actual age, Parkour was the answer. For those who are wondering, Chi Ying is 30 years old.
It may require a lot of practice, but Parkour has got to be one of the most satisfying sports around.
For those who are interested, the good news is that A2 Movements holds classes every day of the week and has various time slots for you to choose from! If you’re undecided about a long-time commitment ($200 for unlimited sessions a month), fear not – A2 Movements offers a one off-session ($25). As for the ladies, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a time slot reserved just for you.
Personal trainings aside, A2 Movements also conducts workshops and events, so if you’re looking for a unique corporate bonding experience, free to check A2 Movements.
Now, here’s your chance to win a Parkour session for two!
Head on down to our Facebook page for the details. This giveaway ends on 28 December, and the lucky winner will be notified through Facebook.
All images are provided by A2 Movements.