Skip to main content

Parkour: Week 4, Day 3 - More Vaulting!

Okay seriously I am loving the vaulting. It's both challenging and incredibly fun at the same time, and it totally appeals to me. I'm going to be sad to leave it behind for Week 5...

Today was pretty nasty out, not sure exactly what the deal was. Temperature wasn't too high but it was just a horrible DC day, muggy, uncomfortable, hot. The kind of day where you sweat all nasty when you're out and never cool down... and I spent an hour after noon running around, jumping, and generally being active inside a big huge concrete oven. And enjoyed the hell out of it!

Warmup (x3):

1 lap (4 blocks)
10 pullups
10 pushups
10 jump ups per leg
30 second handstand

Here's what's kinda sad - I looked at that on the whiteboard and thought it looked incredibly easy (I was wrong). Chatting with some of the other guys before we started, we were talking about the addition of the handstand and how hard that was. Gotta admit I was way wrong here - last year I had been doing a lot of practice with handstands and would often do 60s holds, so I thought 30s would be easy. On the other hand, in the last 9 months I broke a toe, blew out a knee, hurt my wrist, got lazy while it all healed, then tore a quad. I do not have the same conditioning I had then, and it showed.

The warmup was HARD. Definitely the hardest part was holding those 30s handstands (yes we used a wall, though I tried hard to stay off it), the last 10s of which were a pure nightmare especially after doing 10 pullups and 10 pushups. The third lap also annoyed me, I really hate running.

Something knew started to bug me today (and yesterday to be honest) - I've had problems with my right elbow off and on for a long time, but since I started taking osteobiflex (thanks mom!) last year my joints have really generally felt a lot better. I ran out about a week and a half ago and haven't gotten around to replacing my bottle - and sure enough, my elbow is starting to really hurt again. Definitely heading to the store today to get more of that, it really hurt during the pushups especially.

Okay, warmup done, on to the class! Rob (who usually leads) wasn't here again, so it was just Travis. Granted I've only known these guys for four weeks, but Travis seems much more skilled (he's been at it for a few more years) and fluid, yet is very quiet and usually doesn't say much. Rob on the other hand makes it a point to talk and ask us about a lot of stuff, and is also much better at projecting his voice. Class with Travis is still awesome, but you feel more like you are reaching for information while with Rob it feels more like you are absorbing it. It's actually nice to have this variance.

We basically spent the first fifteen minutes running in a circle practicing our safety vaults from this week. I'm at the point now where I feel pretty confident with these and really enjoy them, though I prefer the speed vault and threw in some of them here and there. The muscle in my groin that I hurt on Tuesday seemed mostly okay, though I could tell it was tight - no pain though.

Next, we learned the lazy vault. Don't be confused by the name - it's called that because in the proper form you sorta look like you are sitting down in a recliner as you fly over your obstacle. The lazy vault is used to vault objects at an angle, rather than perpendicular or head on. For example, if you're running towards a fence at a 30 degree angle, you will lazy vault over that fence and keep running at a 30 degree angle away on the other side (still learning the terms, but I believe if you approach at an angle, vault the barrier, then exit perpendicular it's called a "thief vault").

There are two ways to do the vault, as Travis explained, and he was going to have us try out both. He said that ultimately it's a matter of choice how you do it. The first way we learned was the "easier" way, which was to approach. the target and jump with your *outside* leg, swinging your inside leg up and over in a vault. As you start to fly through the air with your legs extending over the target, your lead hand goes down to help balance, then as you completely clear your trailing hand also goes down to complete the twist and maintain direction.

We practiced this first by walking up and doing it, then slowly building up speed. It seemed clumsy at first but then started to make a lot of sense. One important piece was when the intermediate instructor was helping critique and did a quick demo at a higher speed than Travis had, and I notice that he was planting his outside leg slighly further away for the jump. With this, it clicked and started to flow very well. This was cool and made sense to me.

After awhile, we moved on to the "harder" way, which Travis said he preferred and felt like he could carry a little more momentum with but again emphasized it was up to us. In this method, it was similar to the other except we would swing the outside leg up and over while jumping off the *inside* leg, again flying through the air, touching the target with our hands for guidance and balance, then land on the other side and off we go.

First, I really want to spin doing this. lol. This is the way I learned to vault things way back in gymnastics in middle school - using the momentum of the outside leg as a lever to throw your body up and over the target. There's so much momentum doing this though that to contain it you have to spin over the target - fun, showy, cool. Not a lazy vault though.

After the first couple attempts I mentioned this to Travis and he kinda laughed and gave me a funny look, then said I should try leaning back into the vault more and it should prevent that. Perfect, and exactly true - this is why coaching is so cool for something like this. It might have taken me ages to figure that out on my own.

So I proceeded to do a bunch of these lazy vaults, jumping off the inside leg, carefully throwing the outside leg over and leaning way back to fly through the air and barely touch the object with my hands for balance. I was having a lot of fun and really increasing my speed at this and decided to start seeing how efficient I could get - while most of the rest of the class were throwing themselves a foot or more up over the boxes, I decided to maximize efficiency by barely skimming them.

This worked great for a number of vaults until I got too "efficient" and seriously tagged the big bone on the inside of my left ankle on the corner of the box going over. Ow. Big spike of pain, then fine. Looking at it now, it's one of those injuries that will either go away in a day or I will wake up tomorrow and have a huge swollen bruised knot on my ankle. I sincerely hope the former.

So, in recap - vaulting is awesome. The lazy vault is fun. I need to find some places around here to practice, but either way, it's just so fun it doesn't seem like work. This week as a whole was a "fun" week, exactly the type of stuff I signed up to do and it was totally awesome.

Next week I think might be a bit more of a "work" week if we focus a lot of cat climbs and jumps like Rob indicated earlier. Oof.

Two more weeks of basic boot camp left...


Popular posts from this blog

Days 94-98: The Struggle for Beauty

In which Pete nearly loses Red and gives up once again, before crossing an ice field to spend the night with the Bolivian army at Laguna Colorada and returning to Uyuni for supplies.

Jury Duty: Not Like TV (or: Longest Post EVER)

Prepare yourself for by far the longest blog post ever – if you’re at all curious about real life jury duty or enjoy all those cop & lawyer shows then give it a go - this recount of the trial and details given for evidence will blow your mind, make you think twice about the effectiveness of our police officers and the impartiality of our juries… Shortly before leaving on my trip in January, I was summoned for DC Grand Jury Duty .  I was able to have it rescheduled to begin on June 7 and made it back to the US only a few days before it was due to start.  After thinking about it I really felt that I would not be comfortable spending 27 days of 8:30AM to 5PM in an “office” for $30 a day, especially with the changes to the economy going on right now – I’d rather enjoy that time. Upon arriving at the courtroom for Grand Jury Duty, I quickly noted that there were over 40 people in the room, considerably more than the number required for the Grand Jury.  Once we were checked in, the c

Goodbye, India

I felt it fitting to arrive at IGI in Delhi in the familiar comfort of an auto-rickshaw as I prepare to leave India behind me.  I am ready to leave – in fact, I feel somewhat as if I overstayed myself here, even with two days in Delhi doing nearly nothing. I have mixed feelings about India.  The dust, dirt, and heat of the dry season do not bother me (aside from my allergies).  The frequent squalor, open sewers, trash strewn streets, and clear signs of overpopulation and overcrowding do not phase me at all – if anything, they remind me of my youth in the Philippines and bring a certain nostalgia.  I love the food and breads, and while I’m not a fan of the excess of deep fried street food, it’s enjoyable in moderation.  The fact that I’ve had only one small piece of chicken and no other meat for nearly a month bothers me not at all, since the alternatives are quite a pleasure (mmm, paneer!). In fact, aside from a few things, I have quite enjoyed India.  The people who are clearly i