I planned for a shower and plenty extra time to check on stuff I may have missed in the morning but instead I barely make my Flight to Ohio. Thats what good thing I packed the day before. After a small layover in Chicago I arrive at Joseph Torchia’s, from Parkour Horizons, house around 2pm.
Other than me there is one other out-of-towner there, Ann, met her briefly for the NYC Generations event and it was good to see a familiar face and be able to match a name to it. I took a much needed shower since there wasn’t much going on at the moment, just Horizons trying to get some things done with Ann finishing up on some dishes. I was extremely restless thanks to a combination of no training for the past two days, sitting down all morning, and being in a new area with tons of unknown training opportunities. Basically after a good bit of dive rolls through their outer glass door (there was a hole in it), a couple vaults and a side summi or two they could tell I was really itching to get some training done. So Chris and Brad of Horizons took Ann and I around to some of the local spots nearby Joseph’s house.
First spot was a nice multi walled and stair laden area and a small traverse wall nearby. After some small talk and a bit of warming up with some wall scales and just general feeling out of the area on my part, Chris, Brad and I work on this Arm jump from the bottom stair while Ann is off warming up with some quadrupedal on a nearby wall. After a bit of that we move on to the traverse, which while not that hard or long, I still fall off at the end, which gets me 10 push ups. I mess around a bit with balance stuff then spot a nice tac precision to some stairs in a nearby alleyway. After multiple attempts of varying success on that I spot a fun vault to precision, work that a couple times, slowly decreasing run room. Before we leave I spot a standing arm jump where your hands are just pushing the sides of the wall, was a bit difficult but a ton of fun nonetheless. We move on, traveling through this small alleyway to the next area and on the way Brad has the luck, or lack thereof to find some shoddy brick work and breaks part of a wall, luckily not injuring anyone in the process. After the initial panic and cleaning attempt we find our next spot, two long rails in the alleyway, after a couple standing vault to arm jump attempts, I try a lap of balance on the railing, only getting about two thirds the way before falling into a cat hang. We move on to a couple drop precisions and hop ups on this wall before moving on to a couple lacher’s and me sucking at muscle ups. Its been about 3 hours since we went out and are almost on our way out, but Chris shows me a wall scale he’d been looking at for a while and we attempt it a lot of times, me not getting it mostly because of how shoddy the wall looked, but after some diligence and random antics I got it right before we went to head out, probably around near my max as well which was good to do. The training then was a great precursor to what was about to come, it was refreshing, helped clear my mind and readied my body for the rest of the week.
We get back to the house and shortly after Tyson arrives and we start arranging bedding and all that good stuff, there are a couple more people there that have made the trek now, don’t remember completely who now but shortly after we all head to greet the Generations guys. We arrive and get to meet all of them, I caught up with Dan, Stephane and Julie a bit. Also got to meet Johann, Forrest, and Kazuma which I was definitely looking forward to. After that short meet and greet its back to the house we go, which has gotten pretty full up with some guys from Michigan, Brazil, Arizona, and Indiana. After a bit of settling in and messing about in the basement with the vault boxes Tyson, Levi, myself and some others head behind the house to train on some lovely black railing littered with glass everywhere! Lots of underbar, creativity, swing, and fluidity work ensued, some really fun challenges with pillars, as well as the sharing of ideas and little used techniques. After a while everyone started leaving it was just Tyson, a couple others and I in this roofed area with concrete bike racks and some stairs. We worked A LOT of precision, bound Precision stuff, working on getting the most power and momentum carried over. Also did some more interesting tac work and a harder little cat challenge. We ended the night with that, my quad feeling pretty tight for some reason and my body definitely ready for some sleep. Tyson, Ann, Tanya, Chris from michigan and I ended up occupying one room, which will in the coming days will be known as the “Naked Lotion Room” for various reasons, haha.
Thursday, May 22nd
I wake up around 9:30 Quad still tight and feeling a little tired still. After a bunch of mucking about and fraternizing, heading out to get breakfast, which for me almost made me vomit thanks to some uber greasy food my body can’t handle that early, and some snacks for Hocking Hills, the natural training area we are hitting up today. After a long and arduous 2 hour drive to hocking hills, I get out feeling worse than when I woke up this morning but the fresh air soon refreshes me and I get back to feeling relatively normal. We met a good amount of people there, Mark showed up for example, and after an informal stretch out we trek down to our first little training area.
Our First Spot is a Beautiful pond area with a nice waterfall with cliffs on all sides, after a little explanation as to the rough schedule for the day we are let loose on our way. Some things I focused on then was balance and precisions on the roots, one of my favorite things for some reason, also worked a nice cat to a tree that Tyson showed me. There weren’t too many crazy things done, except for all the gens doing a pretty massive and definitely intimidating running precision over the waterfall and a couple guys falling/jumping into the water. We move on after a bit, stopping a little along the way for some other things, a small but kinda intimidating cat over a little stream if you can even call it that, and Levi and I side Summi’d over the stream the opposite way as well. After a little bit of a walk we stop by the next area, which was pretty picturesque and amazing. Lots of Rock around with two nice sized rocks in this clearing where everyone got into a ton of fluidity stuff and anything else you could really think off, that lasted for awhile, I fell on a side summi, was quite funny and we had our first injury of the event. Chris from Michigan was to my understanding just doing a vault and landed wrong, bad luck and uneven ground seemed to be the culprit. The third area before lunch we headed too was another little pond thing with a nice tree, and before it a huge precision that dan attempted many many times, and a pretty technical vault to arm jump on this small tree that tyson and Travis got down pretty well after a while. There was a nice inclined cat balance that a bunch of the guys did on this fallen tree, which was nearby this vault to one foot that I’m kinda proud of. Was 5ish feet distance wise with a bit more than a foot above level of height difference in the landing. Got it down pat 3 tries and it just felt really good to look at something, know I could do it, and then do it shortly after.
The hike back to the cars was a little interesting, with Tyson and Forrest carrying Chris most of the way and a couple of us climbing up a a fallen tree that was about 30-ft high, really easy climb though, if you could get over the height. After getting to the cars we all broke for sandwiches, which were very hospitably offered by the Horizon’s guys. During this time Forrest showed me a nice group of quad stretches to help out the tightness and after the break we headed over to this huge cave in Hocking hills. It was an amazing site and a very beautiful place. I felt very at peace there and enjoyed my time a lot. We were already a good bit over schedule this time so we all rushed back to the vehicles and started driving towards our barbecue spot. There was so much food at this barbecue (Hot dogs, corn, brats, steak, veggies, fruit, smores, etc) and other than some insanely large hot dogs and the gens guys first smores it was just like any other group barbecue kind of thing. After being kicked out of the barbecue we all head back to our respective sleeping areas and get ready for the next days events.
Friday, May 23rd
This was probably my worst day, allergies had slowly been catching up with me and later on in the day I nearly had an asthma attack, not very good at all. Today was the girls jam so while the girls, stephanne, Julie and some of the Horizon’s guys got sent to some of the spots that I checked out on my first day the rest, excluding Forrest and Dan, who were attending the meeting they came here for initially, all went to this nice sized wooden playground. The warm up was really good but this is where it started, we did lots of laps around the park and after about the second one I could barely breath and ended up having to sit out. Was extremely disappointed in myself but didn’t really let it get to me, finished the rest of the warm up with the guys then we were let loose. Sam, Jesse, Brian, Haack, Rafe and Ryan showed up around then so it was a nice little surprise. Everyone worked a lot of different things, including some nice dive rolls that had to be very controlled, small precisions, reverse safety’s, some cat pass precisions and clear overs, double kongs and Kong to handstand were also on the agenda. After a while we moved to this bar where Kazuma was doing a pretty technical and impressive combination of movements. Here is were I worked on half turn pop ons as well as casts and kips extensively, too much as a matter of fact, since I started feeling my tendonitis again so I ended up taking a break after that. There was a lot of different things going on and eventually some pdq, slack-line, bit of acrobatics and tag broke out. I’m pretty sure everyone had a great time, I know I did even with all my allergy and asthma crap. We head back, have a great and fulfilling discussion about the current state of affairs for Parkour in America(with some not shabby little training with the Jesse, me and the auditorium) and even more people show up, Jesse takes the place of Chris in our room and we all stay up till like 2 am that night talking about whatever random things popped into our sleep deprived heads, me personally excited for the next days good training.
Saturday May 24th
It’s the First day of the seminar and there was a huge turn out of what I hear to be 150. The warm up was pretty awesome, with some crazy isometric shoulder exercises, nice pushup variations (diving monkey, praying monkey, high low plyo push ups, etc) and probably some other stuff I forgot. After the warm up we are split up into groups based on experience, the group I’m with being led by Kazuma. Kazuma worked us mostly on technique, including pop ons, lots of balance and precision work, some nice short routes and eventually a huge brainstorming of techniques at this one tree. It was an amazing experience and during it I really felt I came into my own, all I felt and saw was my obstacle and my goal, I wasn’t worrying about petty fears(except for one precision to this rail) and was able to just trust my body and move unfettered to my fears. It really opened my eyes to what I could do with my body when I just trusted it and definitely showed me a glimpse of what I hope is more progression similar to this.
After a break for lunch and some other things we get back and start our training again where I believe was 5 different stations focused on different things, and led by one of the gens. One for Fluidity with Dan leading us through different vault combinations, another with Forrest working Balance with a 20 min session completely on a rail with a great deal of new exercises for me to add to my routine. The Next Station was with Kazuma, where we worked explosivity and not hesitating before vaults. Stephanne led a station with a bunch of different techniques I’d not used before but were extremely useful and fun, things like side pull pop ons, nice grape vine precision things, and a couple others. Johann led the most challenging station, working on mental blocks and pushing past them, we were all tasked with finding something difficult and overcoming it, I did a couple things I was afraid of but did not succeed in my goal :/
After a great first day for the seminar and a really nice cool down it was time to head back to the houses to get dressed for Julie’s presentation. Her presentation included a great talk of her inspiration and style, some of her videos on the big screen and another Q&A with the Generations guys. Her introduction and talk of herself was probably the best part about this as it felt to me that she was really kind of opening herself up and speaking truthfully about her craft.
A bunch of randomness ensued with some people going for food, training, or some combination thereof. Tyson, Rafe, Jesse and I had a nice little session where the girls jam took place, worked a good bit of a fluidity challenges and was great fun, till my tendonitis started acting up again. We ended that Jesse and I briefly touched on the Black rails behind Joseph’s house and after we rested for the next day.
Sunday May 25th
This day had a significantly smaller number than yesterday but was still just as productive, we warmed up with a great deal of quadrupedal variations, where when going for a drink I almost fell into the river (wasn’t feeling to hot in the morning, kind of dizzy and sick but it passed as I warmed up) and broke up into groups for “lactic acid” training. I was in the Group with forrest, who led us through a multitude of lower body exercises, hops up stairs with one leg, sprints, jogging, one leg hops, Isometric Squat hops, and a couple other things I can’t remember. My calfs started locking up a couple times between this time but other than that the workout was great and I enjoyed it a lot, its easier to push somehow when Forrest’s Distinctive, booming voice rings out, it makes you really want to try. After that and a short lunch break Dan led us all on a huge line with a lot of decently high impact movements, some I opted out of just because I knew my body wasn’t in the best of states today, but I still pushed myself as far as I could and definitely enjoyed myself. We ended with a nice relaxed warm down, and we started to bid everyone farewell as it was the last day of the event, lots of pictures were taken, many farewells had and I am glad to have been part of it.
That night was a lot more quiet than the prior due to the lack of…everyone basically but it was enjoyable to bond with and say goodbye to my friends from “the naked lotion” room.
I left early Monday morning back to home.
This event was truly one of the greatest moments in my parkour training and life. I feel truly blessed to have shared it with as many people as I did and am glad to have met so many that love Parkour. I’m particularly thankful of the Texas Parkour guys for making me proud, Horizon’s for doing a wonderful job, Generations for being amazing basically, Jesse for training hard while he was there, posing some great questions and bringing a great aura with him, and Ann for showing dedication, drive, and an energy beyond her experience. It was truly great getting to know you all better or meeting you and I look forward to many more trainings together!
I probably forgot a ton of things so forgive me this is what stands out at this moment.
Best of luck, Keep training!