I would like to state that the action of a post on a website being my direct communication with the community is awkward and informal, however, that is as formal as Texas Parkour has ever been. These last two responses to the community have been liberating for me, and hopefully transparent, and a great bit of information for you. People in this community have been more than kind, and I love you all. I will try to get back to all of your responses as quickly as I can.
Before I make my announcement that I wrote about a week ago, I would like to start with what I as an individual feels is the biggest issue that Texas Parkour has been encountering: expectations. Texas Parkour is FREE. It essentially lives in our hearts and pours out over all the people in Texas. No matter where you live in Texas, if you do Parkour, you have probably heard of Texas Parkour. Many of the expectations of Texas Parkour are put on the members and the “more than members” through initiatives and projects, though Texas Parkour is controlled and has a place outside of “just what the loudest people say.” These “loud people” have been putting expectations on Texas Parkour. To name a few of said expectations:
-Texas Parkour owes its members free training/workshops.
-The Non-Profit should be transparent.
-Texas Parkour must provide a message board and posts must remain on the board.
-Strong suggestion that Texas Parkour share profits with members.
None of these are requirements of Texas Parkour by law. Texas Parkour is made of a body of people. Those people and much of myself have sacrificed and gone through great lengths to give you what Texas Parkour has provided for the community. Texas Parkour is not a government; it is not here to only provide free training or training that costs at any point, though providing free training has always been and will always be a goal of Texas Parkour. I think there are some members that are beginning to expect too much of this organization. Posting derogatory messages or misinformation only hurts and hinders the organization. I hope many of you know that we have volunteers working for this organization that care. They don’t just train with you; they teach you and think outside of your training for ways to make a community better. Please remember, these positions are held by volunteers, including myself, and are not required to give a community anything. A demand on them not only hurts the organization but the people who volunteer as well. My resignation has a lot to do with what leaders/members were NOT doing for their community, and I understand that it’s a problem. I understand that in terms of a group/organization/business what has happened with our leaders’ participation should not have happened, and I will take the blame.
That being said, here is some transparency of the organization of Texas Parkour: Texas Parkour was a COMMUNITY WEBSITE conceptualized by Matthew Lee Willis. Many others that had been regularly attending jams and events slowly became helpers. Matthew Lee Willis has been assisted by truly great people such as Jereme Sanders, Desmund Mitchel, Nicholas Nash and many, many others. ‘Texas Parkour’ has always been Matthew Lee Willis’ dream, inspiration and goal. He continued to answer phone calls, answer emails, and plan jams for the community, even when people would just come and go. For 3 ½ years, Matthew Lee Willis fought for Texas Parkour to be true, honest, aligned with what you would call good Christian morals in teaching and business, and advocating the original intent of Parkour. Texas Parkour’s website has always been owned by Matthew Lee Willis, and still is. He tries hard to create a democracy with TXPK leaders, but not all of what has been posted on Texas Parkour has always been agreed upon by the community. When little to no collaboration or effort was presented Matthew has stepped in many times and made decisions for the community, to help the community, understanding that he “is” Texas Parkour, and always has been, but “loud people” always remained. Once Texas Parkour became a nonprofit, all decisions were made with the backing of a 2/3rd vote by the board of Texas Parkour Inc.
I became the Executive Director of Parkour and not the president because I wanted to make money. That is a fact. I quit my job and made a job posting on TXPK for people to help and submitted ‘Texas Parkour, Inc.’ to the Secretary of State. I created ‘Texas Parkour Inc.’ because I wanted it for the community. I thought the community was ready for the organization, but I was proven wrong. I made $0 from being Texas Parkour’s Executive Director. The jobs had some promise of money, but little productivity made those jobs obsolete.
About our members of the organization under the nonprofit: Members of Texas Parkour are not more or less than anything they were before we became a nonprofit. In other words, there is no official proof of membership for Texas Parkour Inc. Members have no right “legally” to vote on anything. There are no share holders within Texas Parkour. Members were, however, always encouraged to come to meetings and discussions. Does that change anything from what Texas Parkour was before we became a nonprofit? No – the idea still remained, “If you believe you are a member, you are a member.” We were still run by volunteers and we still listened to the community, though the voice was very quiet. Do you, as a member, have a duty, an obligation now, to speak more for Texas Parkour? Do you want Texas Parkour to become more then a website? The community has always been yours. Matthew Lee Willis might have made decisions on behalf of Texas Parkour for the 3 ½ years before he resigned, but you as a community had the right to follow or not follow those decisions outlined by him. If you do not agree, you are not obligated to remain a member of Texas Parkour. If you are a member, you are, however, obligated to abide by the decisions of Texas Parkour, giving constructive criticism if you do not agree but would like to remain a part of the community.
Some of Matthew Lee Willis’ decisions include the Current Goals for Texas Parkour-
• Teach 6 free workshops a year
• Offer one free training class in each community a week
• Educate emergency services
• Create HUB Communities for practitioners to operate from
• Become strong with organization and communication
• Create educational information
• Create programs (camps, workshops, events)
I am done taking action for Texas Parkour. I want the community to start taking action. I always have wanted that, but it hasn’t happened. I want to give this back to the community as I had stated my resignation. I am done putting forth information such as goals that are not to be met by single people alone. This is a reason why I came to the conclusion to not lead Texas Parkour as I once did, and resigned. The community is capable of so many great things. We have several communities now springing up out of DFW because they didn’t have a lot of people to lead them. I say Ho-ra to those individuals brave enough to try and organize. After all, when Texas Parkour was formed I had been training for 6 months. I wanted other people to know what it felt like to train with other people. We were pushing each other, finding the same crazy people that did stupid things that would later be passed on to others as wisdom and not just scars. This community has grown so much since its inception, but by-golly we could grow so much more if the right people just stepped up and spent time on the organization. Everything is bigger in Texas – our egos, cat passes and HEARTS. Texas Parkour has always been known for the greatest, friendliest people, and I feel a little responsible for trying to instill that into every member here in the community. In the post online, “picking up the pieces,” even though very few of you answered the call, there was an agreement that the community should continue to exist. I hope this community finds its strength and rises to what Texas Parkour should and will be.
All of this is why I have made the decision to take on the Presidency of Texas Parkour. The votes are in from the board and now we just need to make it official on paper. Yes, I am doing this to give my vote in decision-making for Texas Parkour. Yes, I am doing this to make Texas Parkour more Legit. No, I did not take the Presidency to start making my own agendas for Texas Parkour or to instate new events and programs on behalf of others, I fought that battle already. That is up you, now, the community. I wasted much of my time as Executive Director actively trying to get the community involved and now it’s your turn! I will help represent the board and let the community have its voice and make its initiatives. You have the right as a member of the community to come to the board and present anything before us. Be ambitious and make your community grow. Texas Parkour will help give/get you the resources to get your projects done for the community. This is my role now, and I hope to help each and every one of you.
Mission Statement: Through maintaining discipline and good moral character, Texas Parkour is dedicated to providing a unique level of fitness. It is our goal to maintain this through having a strong presence in Texas communities.
Vision Statement: Texas Parkour helps educate youth/adults about the amount of time and effort needed to properly train the Parkour discipline. Jumping off buildings, roofs or bridges is not encouraged by TXPK and will not teach you how to efficiently move your body. We concentrate deeply on conditioning and repetition of movement within our training. Texas Parkour is a nonprofit organization helping put out the most important and relevant information possible about Parkour. Our goals include educating all ages on the true philosophies and techniques behind Parkour. Our emphasis has always been on safety and community.