Jumping on Entrepreneurship

Parkour, Startups, and Travel


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Texas National Jam Write up

Texas Parkour held their National Jam in San Antonio this year, Friday July 25th through Sunday the 27th. Over 75 people showed up throughout the weekend, coming in from all over Texas and the rest of the country. San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas all had a strong presence, and traceurs flew or drove in from Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Maryland and Michigan.

People started arriving Friday morning, and kept streaming in throughout the day. Jereme Sander's house was used as a staging ground for everyone, who stayed entertained while waiting for people with Jereme's trampoline and Zachary Cohn's slackline (although most of the adventure was in putting up the slackline. Knots are a very important thing to remember how to tie!). By 7pm, everyone had shown up (save KC Parsons, from Michigan, who earned the nickname “Chicago” after everyone kept thinking he was from Chicago), and we left for University of Texas: San Antonio campus for some night conditioning.

The focus here was not so much Parkour, but showing everyone how hard you could, and should, train. A lot of people who train Parkour either don't condition, or don't really know how. This is unfortunate, because conditioning your body for Parkour is so important – how we consider ourselves athletes but do nothing except for skillwork. Football, soccer, and lacrosse players all do non-skill conditioning work... what makes Traceurs any different? This “conditioning” night session was intended to teach people about conditioning and show them how they can be creative with their environment and still train hard.

We started off with a warmup, which transitioned into a workout. There was running (forwards, backwards, sideways), Quadrupedal movement (forwards, backwards, sideways), “PK Gen Style” push-ups (see: Philly Jam video for examples), hopping, and jumping. We moved onto balancing on some rails, both bipedally (standing and in a duck-walk position), quadrupedally, keeping track of your falls. For each time you fell, at the end you did 10 pushups or squats. Traversal practice was next, from a cat hang position people would shimmy across a wall, which would angle downwards (or upwards depending which side you were on), at about a 45 degree angle.

Eventually, we traveled to a large set of stairs, broken into two 14 step sections divided by a landing. Jereme showed everyone a workout he borrowed from Forrest of Parkour Generations. Everyone starts at the bottom of the steps in a squat position, and then using only your feet and hands (so you remain in a squat position in the air), jump up a step when the leader calls out “Up one!” If the leader calls out “Up two!” then go up two steps. However, sometimes you'll hear “Down one!” or “Down two!” and you have to jump backwards some steps. After this, more stair work. Hopping up all the stairs, one step at a time, with one foot, and then doing pushup hops down (hands on the top step, do a pushup, and when you are exploding up, your entire body hops forward a bit and your hands land on the next step down). Hop up the steps again with your other leg, and then QM down. Instead of resting while everyone else finished, once you completed everything you would just run up and down the steps, with more and more people joining as they completed the stair workout. This was wrapping up the night, and everyone circled up for a group cool down stretch. After about 30 minutes of stretching, people hung around for a bit, jammed, had fun, and then we headed back to Jereme's house around midnight for sleep.

The Most Minimalist Shoes in Existence

On Tynan

I had a bit of a love affair with the Vibram Five Fingers. Todd got a pair right before we headed to Tokyo on Life Nomadic 2008, and I was jealous the whole time. Near the end of the trip Vibram graciously sent me a pair (intentionally delayed until after the running of the bulls, because they didn't want to be associated with that), and I wore them as my only shoes for a couple years afterwards.

I love how the Five Fingers feel, I love how they look, and I love supporting such an innovative company, BUT.... they smell terrible.

If you wear them as your primary shoes, you have to wash them every five to seven days or they smell really bad. When you live in an RV, this is difficult to do well, and when they're your only set of footwear, it's annoying to wait for them to dry. So I began searching for a replacement.

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