-=Article Written by Janine Cundy =-
The Best. What is that? What does that mean? Does “the best” mean your own personal best, or does it stand for something better than someone else? Often, in sporting arenas , competitions arise to place one athlete over another. Does this kind of thing help one competitor be truly better than another? Or just petty?
In parkour, I feel that competition against others is not only a waste of time and talent, but it degrades the spirit of the traceur. Wherever I travel to train, be it New York or Texas, there is a feeling of brotherhood that extends to anyone with a passion for movement. All for one, and one for all. Training with someone and wanting to “beat” them at parkour, or be better in some way only takes away from what you can learn from them. And you can learn something from everyone, even the newest beginner, if you approach them with an open mind. Thinking this way eliminates the petty jealousy and idolatry that had started to seep into some communities. Delight in others’ successes, even if they are “above” your own.
If you do approach the sport with an attitude of “beating” the competition, and you manage to do so.. then what? Where do you go from there? If you train only to better yourself, you’ll never run out of motivation or “fuel” to improve on. This is the way we should be training, and the only way to achieve things that have never been done before.
A friend of mine described parkour as a sort of prayer, and for many of us, the practice runs deep enough to border on religion. How can someone pray better than another person? Who’s to say that something so internal is grade-able like that? If we subscribe to the philosophy of parkour, being strong to be useful, the idea of being the best has no place in our minds. If you run to save a child from the second story of a building, would your mind be on how much faster you are than the guy next to you? Or would your focus be on the child? I know that I would want my focus to be on the reason I’m doing parkour, the reason for the run. The child. Why do you do parkour?