Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Parkour posers

These Cambridge youngsters on YouTube have managed to get themselves noticed in the CEN under the headline Rooftop jumpers risk death. Sometimes known as Free Running, Parkour is the mixture of sport and ballet that treats urban landscapes as an extraordinary playground or assault course.

What's so fascinating about it is the way it turns the drab and everyday into something magical. Where we usually see concrete blocks, and knackered metal railings they say "The city is made for parkour." How fantastic.

That genuine optimism and exhilaration that comes out of the least likely places is, of course, a bit dangerous, but in the risk lies life. Parkour declaims "This is our city, our walls, our run down car parks and underpasses - if we want to own them, and I mean really own them - then we will." None of the moralising, safety first, legitimate, safety first guardians of society can do anything to stop it.

Free running is a testament to the human spirit which will not be dimmed no matter how mundane its surroundings. Watching this video makes me want to go jump over things but then my doctor advises against it.

9 comments:

Peter Cranie said...

I'd recommend "walkour" for people our age Jim. It involves placing things through letterboxes and moving fast if confronted by a dog, but other than that is much less taxing.

Jim Jay said...

"our age"!!!! Neither of us is drawing a pension yet Peter - maybe after your wedding you'll be ready for the pipe and slippers but I'll have you know this video had me leaping all over the living room - parkour stylee - until that is my flat mate begged me to stop.

I don't know if he was more concerned for the fixtures and fittings or for my heart but he did look quite worried.

stroppybird said...

Now Jim, have a nice cup of cocoa, pop on some slippers and play somne facebook scrabble. Much more suitable for a man your age :-)

On a serious note. Much of the criticism of young people , hoodies etc, is that they sit in front of PCs all day playing virtual games. They don't exercise and spend their time hanging on street corners drinking.

These kids seem to be quite fit and are at least doors. They are actually doing some form of exercise. Doubt they could afford an expensive gym membership.

stroppybird said...

Meant to say out doors.

Jim Jay said...

Ah, this reminds me - when I was looking into this I noticed from the young people's youtube pages that they were clearly very into video games - it seems you can be into both heroics on screen AND in real life.

stroppybird said...

Any footage of this :

"I'll have you know this video had me leaping all over the living room - parkour stylee - until that is my flat mate begged me to stop."

Jim Jay said...

Footage... damn... should have thought if this at the time.

I would repeat it but after an evening of profiteroles and battlestar gallatica i'm not sure i'm at my athletic peak, so to speak.

stroppybird said...

Varied diet you have Jim, no edam today :-)

Neorelix said...

Hey - thanks for stopping by. I had seen this video - I think it's fantastic. One of the main London groups offered to put on a display for the book launch - using St John's as their canvas - I thought the college might have a problem with that sadly...