Taking Parkour To The Playground
I am a grown adult and I am not ashamed to declare that I like playgrounds. Playgrounds are great for parkour practice as they have plenty of obstacles and are especially forgiving when you land. We’ve recently been practicing low impact activities, including rolls. When practicing our rolls on grass we didn’t train them very often. The hard soil was a little tough and it didn’t always turn out well. Typically our practice would include a few rolls then our shoulders and hips would start to hurt. Now that we are practicing rolls regularly we discovered something we overlooked: pea gravel. The playground we use for parkour training has a base of pea gravel to protect those darling (clumsy) children and it works just as well for adults too!
Warning: pea gravel is good for landings but jumping from it isn’t easy. Also do a preliminary check for anything hiding in the gravel (ie animal poop).
As adults we can feel awkward playing in the playground. There’s no sign that says “children only”, but it’s obvious we’re a bit out of place. To be respectful we only practice parkour when there are no children present, or when they are playing on the other side of the park where their parents give us strange looks. It’s fun to use the playground again and brings back fond childhood memories, similar to practicing parkour!
As we progress our parkour rolls out of the playground and on to harder surfaces we will still use playgrounds for practice. They are full of obstacles to progress our freerunning and parkour skills. We’re looking forward to trying a playground that uses rubber chips as a base rather than gravel; it should be a sweet surface for parkour training.
I wonder what other places we’ll discover (or rediscover) as we continue practicing?