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Zenith Parkour Class - A Big Hit

On Sunday, October 5th, I ran a free "Parkour and Obstacle Coursing Workshop" at Zenith Gymnastics in Rochester, New York.

I've been working with Zenith Gymnastics through the RIT Gymnastics club since the end of last summer. I was calling all the local gyms I could find, trying to find somewhere that would give us access to their equipment and facilities and let us train there. After some negotiation, RIT Gymnastics started going there weekly, learning from Sasha and Maria Kourbatova - Russian olympic gold metalists and leaders in their fields. We learned a lot over the year, and we're looking forward to a very successful second year with them!

Amy, the owner of Zenith Gymnastics, has been trying to expand her boys program. My roommate, co-founder of Rochester Parkour, and President of the RIT Gymnastics Club Charles Moreland, offered his help and has begun to teach some of the Boy's Gymnastics classes at Zenith.

Back in August, I called Amy to confirm plans for Gymnastics this year. At the end of this call, I proposed to her the idea of starting a Parkour class. She was interested in the idea, and told me to develop a curriculum and some flyers. I came up with several different ways for the class to work, depending on some of Amy's goals, and we finally settled on a 4 week class aimed towards Zenith's primary demographic, 8-14 year olds.

Yesterday, I ran a free workshop at Zenith to generate some interest. Five kids arrived, and there were between eight and ten more on the list of people interested. Two brothers, around age 9, two fourteen year olds, and a seven year old.

Guest Post: Could you become the only or best in the world at something?


A very good guest post by Zac Cohn in response to this week's Get Some Victory newsletter. "Parkour," if you don't know the term, is similar to "free running" - it's very cool and check out a Youtube video if you've never seen it. Also, I got a chance to play the Chess variant with Zac he talks about - it's extremely fun. Here's a very good insight, grateful to Zac for sharing this:

A lot of people have self-inflected self-esteem issues. They don't think they're special, don't think they have a chance to succeed or break out of mediocrity and normalcy. They typically aren't very competitive by nature, but being around or hearing about people who are tends to reinforce their nature.

In my five years of experience with parkour, I've come to realize that I have done things that no other human being in history has done. There was a huge, magnificent tree in the city where I went to college, and there was a very difficult jump from one branch to another. I worked hard and built my skill up to the point where I made that jump, and then a few weeks later the tree was destroyed in a storm. I am the only person to have ever done that jump, and the only person who ever will.

Making that jump was exciting, but when I heard the tree was destroyed it was an earth shattering experience for me. I WAS THE ONLY PERSON TO DO THAT, I WILL ALWAYS BE THE ONLY PERSON TO HAVE DONE THAT.

After this experience, I've looked for other places to apply this idea. The idea that I am the only person to have ever done this. I am the best in the world at that. My friend recently developed a really fun chess variant we call Egyptian Laser Chess (no relation to the recent events in Egypt)- there have been maybe 20 games of it played (ever, by anyone), with maybe half a dozen people. Of those people, I've won a majority of the games - you can also see me as the highest ranked player of Egyptian Laser Chess on the planet.

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