Did this ever happen to you?
While casually lifting your bum over a handrail on the sidewalk, unconsciously whispering  ‘Parkour!‘ in your mind because it’s so deeply ingrained in your being, you pause for a meaningful moment thinking to yourself: “What magical chain of coincidences must’ve lead up to this moment? I wonder how I got here…”

If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. If you do though, I’m giving you a mental high-five for allowing that inner child of yours some space.

Parkour Pop Culture

For those who have their hearts and minds entangled with ‘the art of movement’, freerunning, parkour or what you want to call it, we have reached golden times in the media age.

Parkour videos of POV-climbs, roof gaps and double-flips reach viral view-counts almost daily on Facebook pages like People Are Awesome’.
Freerunning gyms are being set up everywhere in the world and offer safe environments, community and structured trainings.

And feature length, parkour action-documentaries (I secretly call them ‘actionmentaries’, but there may be a reason why I kept it secret) are becoming actual viable income streams. Who would’ve thought of that? The Teaser Trailer for Roof Culture Asia, Storror’s latest project, currently counts nearly 170.000 views on Youtube. And I can’t wait to to see the full 90-minute actionmentary once it’s out. Roof Culture Asia Storror

Parkour today is at a point in history where its branches have spread to countless areas.
Visible in Hollywood movies, video games or sneaker commercials, parkour has undoubtedly made it into the veins of pop culture. So why care what was in the past? Everything seems to be working out just fine.

To put it in the words of someone who has spend a decent amount of time finding a 185-pages-long answer:

“Parkour – real parkour – can’t be taught…it can only be discovered.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in nine years of training, it’s that parkour is a personal journey. This is as true today as it was twenty years ago, when the founders of the discipline split to pursue their own training under the names parkour, freerunning, and l’art du déplacement.”

Max Henry continues saying: “To practice parkour, you sacrifice time, sweat, and blood. It takes effort and a heavy dose of willpower. Parkour training is an investment in yourself, and you are rewarded with new levels of self-confidence and self-knowledge. This type of training requires the student or practitioner to explore themselves, and can be guided but never taught.” [For the full text visit Max’ Patreon page]

“Without a bit of wandering, without having to search and roam for information, parkour loses some of its luster…it loses that vital sense of personal investment.”

Why That Vital Sense of Personal Investment Matters

To sum up Max’ point: the things that come dearest to us are usually the ones which we have fought for the hardest. Who couldn’t remember the day of receiving a graduation certificate, getting an internship after writing dozens of applications or breaking that one jump which took years in preparation?

These more meaningful life achievements have one thing in common, it took a real personal investment in form of time to accomplish them.

According to a study by the UCLA, people who value time over money are generally happier. This may not come as a surprise, but clarifying what this means for your own activities is just as important.

Spending your valued time on a project that is dear to you is likely to be more rewarding than buying better gear and expensive instruction manuals that get you to the end of your mission faster.

So if you want to increase your feeling of joy and happiness that derives from parkour, you might want to find out how you can invest time usefully in alternative ways.

If you’re experiencing a low in your movement journey, finding out more about the origins of the discipline that grew dear to you may help you regain a sense of purpose and connection.
Reading the “Parkour Road Map” by Max Henry is one possible path to take:

“I have done my best to create a guide that introduces you to the world of parkour without removing your ability to explore. The concepts in this book are outlined clearly, but filling them in is up to you!”

The Parkour Road Map – Roots of Parkour

We’re in no way affiliated with Max, but as supporters of his Patreon campaign we received a PDF copy of the book. We simply want to support and share what we think is good and helpful in the development of our sports / practice / art and community.

With the Parkour Road Map, Max created a comprehensive guideline, pointing to thousands of hours of content, ranging from origin stories and where to find the very first Danny Ilabaca videos, to barefoot training and programming for the advanced practitioner.

The book is available at a range of prices, allowing anyone who is sincere and wants to find out more, to venture on with a near-to-complete map to the parkour-kingdoms.

Prices range from $5 for a PDF version of the Parkour Road Map to $199 for a bigger package including a physical copy of the book, an online coaching session with Max, acknowledgement credits in future versions of the book and more.

With one exception: if you click on parkourroadmap.com/donate and scroll to the bottom of the page, you can get a copy of the PDF version for free given you take your time and fill out a six-question-form, which seems more than fair. (Max might update these terms or possibly neglect incomplete forms. Though this is just an uneducated guess of ours.)

If you want to know more about the book read Paul’s review from “On The Move.Blogspot” where Paul shares his point of view on Max’s book.
In case you want to know more about the brains behind the map, check out this interview with Max that our friends from MüvMag released earlier in 2016, or follow Max on his own blog where he regularly releases insightful, humorous and community relevant content.

Bottom Line

  • Parkour media hype is real, but it’s only a fragment of the journey
  • Personal investments don’t only consist of money
  • Investing time is making a deliberate choice to give meaning to the practice at hand
  • Connecting to the roots of your endeavors is an insightful alternative to consuming ‘how-to’ media ;)

May the force be with you.