I grew up in a martial arts family. My parents met at a demonstration my father was doing in a small town in Northern Michigan. I was raised on a mat in a dojo. Discipline and dedication were a part of my daily routine. It was one of my instructors that I first told me about parkour. Several of the founders of the sport had practiced Aikido, the martial art as my family, and when he told me to check out the re-run of Ripley’s Believe it or Not (this was in the pre-YouTube days) I was immediately hooked. There was the sense of discipline that I had grown familiar to but also an inherent freedom, a drive for creativity and self-expression that I had longed for in my early days of martial arts training. That was over 15 years ago. Since then my movement has changed, as has my mindset and philosophy. The one thing that hasn’t left is the freedom I feel when I see something in front of me and my mind begins to run wild. A million possibilities, endless combinations, the obstacle transforms into an opportunity to create and explore. Even without actually doing anything just knowing what I could do gives me a sense of satisfaction.

Parkour is a young sport, still growing and evolving every day, but it has a connection to something very old, primal even. It strikes something deep inside you, as a practitioner or observer you can feel it.  More than the adrenaline when you’re in the air, more than the excitement of a breaking a new challenge, there is a realisation of your own potential, an acknowledgement of your own natural power. Now I search for that in all aspects of my life because once you know it’s there you can’t stop seeing it.