Thursday, February 26, 2015

Parkour Classes 3, 4, and 5

I'm loving Parkour, so much fun but hard for me.  Physically demanding and many things outside my skill level and comfort zone which is all the more reason to continue to pursue it.

Class 3 was learning to do a handstand.  Supposedly we learned to do cartwheels too but the instructor never called them that.  We learned pirouettes as well which are a way to bail from a handstand.  I'm a long way from getting the handstand but it long been on my list of things I want to learn so I was excited that it was part of class.  I can sort of, kind of do a cartwheel in one direction but the other direction is kind of hilarious.  Nothing approaching a cartwheel.  I sort of remember this was the case when I was a kid as well.

Then we worked on some jumping skills, jumping onto things using a monkey plant, and jumping off of things.

This video shows a conditioning exercise but the first part of it, jumping up on the wall hands first then standing up, is the monkey plant part.

We had the substitute instructor again and I have more trouble understanding him than the regular teacher but I worked out that I just need to know which hand goes where, which foot goes where and if I asked him he gave me a good explanation.  I wasn't the only one confused on this front so it was good that I asked.

Class 4 focused on balance and jumping.  First we worked on balancing on rails on the ground and this is way more difficult than it sounds, much harder than a balance beam.

It took a while but I started to get the hang of it.  So much you can do on a bar on the ground, I ordered a shower grab bar from Amazon and I'm going to find some wood in the garage so I can practice at home.  If I can learn to walk on a smooth, slippy round narrow bar imagine how easy a stream crossing on a wet log will be when I'm trail running?  Plus it's so good to work on balance as you get older, such a bad thing to lose.  And I have ended up in the creek a couple of times so this skill will be invaluable to hiking as well as trail running.  Can't wait until my bar comes, should get here tomorrow and then the fun begins.

Then we worked on jumping.  High squat jumps seeing how high up we could get our knees.  Then broad jumps, seeing how far we could jump.  Then jumping up onto low vault boxes (maybe 1 1/2 feet high or a little higher?) and jumping from one box to the other.  That felt like a huge accomplishment, before this class I was struggling to do box jumps onto something just 6" high.  It's amazing what learning a little technique can do.  I was struggling with jumping from a higher box to a lower box that was a distance away.  Not sure why, totally a mental thing but the instructor encouraged me and moved the box a little closer so I was able to do it eventually.

Very fun class and for the first time I wasn't sore for 3 days afterwards.

Class 5 last night was vaults.  I almost didn't go because it was snowing and the roads weren't fabulous, big multi-car pile-ups on some of the highways, but I took some quiet roads to avoid rush hour traffic and drove like a granny and I was fine both ways.  The 12 minute trip there took about 16 minutes so no big deal.  SO glad I went, vaulting is very very fun.  I was skeptical at first, wasn't sure how much of the vaults I'd be able to do but the instructor broke it down into easy steps and I could do most of it.  By the end of class some vaults were easy but others I hadn't quite gotten the hang of yet.  Mostly I need to practice and convince myself that I have the leg strength to get over.

The Step Vault was the easiest for me and the one I can do the best.

Still working on the Kong Vault.  I'm still having to do a Monkey Plant, ie landing with my feet on top of the wall rather than jumping over without my feet touching.  Again, I need to get to a point where I feel like I have the strength to get over.

This video shows a Kong Vault and the progression to it.

Also not quite there with the Lazy Vault.  I think I got to the point where I had to put just one foot down rather than my butt but it's hard to remember.  We covered so much.

Then there was a vault similar to the Lazy Vault but with the opposite leg coming up first.  I think it was called a Flair Vault but I can't find any video so maybe I've got that wrong.  We didn't do too much with that so I didn't get very far.

Now I need to build a vault box so I can practice.  More Human Agility Equipment to build.  Who says it all needs to be for the dogs?

Only problem is all the snow.  So much snow.  Asstons of snow and more coming.  Maybe I can build a vault box out of snow.  Or maybe that would end badly.  In any case I'm so sore this morning, in addition to all the vaulting we did Tricep Push-Ups for part of our strength workout.  Because regular push-ups aren't hard enough.  Anyway, SO sore today, shoveling the snow off the driveway is going to be enough of a challenge.

Next week we work on Tics Tacs or bouncing off of walls.  Soon Strummer and I will have a lot in common.

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