Jumping on Entrepreneurship

Parkour, Startups, and Travel

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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.

Building 8 "The Room in the Basement"

On Wellington Street

While moving into my new house, I discovered a room hidden behind a wall in the basement. I went to the home on several occasions before deciding to buy it, but as I was moving the boxes containing my things from my car to the basement, I noticed a discoloration in one of the walls. After tapping the space with my finger, I discovered that it was not made of concrete, but plaster. It sounded hollow, so I grabbed a hammer and punched a hole, only to discover that there was a room behind the wall.

Ignoring the fact that I still had a good amount of stuff to bring in, I went to work breaking through the thin plaster, and after about a couple of minutes of work I manged to make a hole big enough hole to step through. I grabbed a flashlight and headed in, only to discover a pull cord leading to a light bulb. To my surprise, the light worked, and after my eyes adjusted to the new illumination, I was able to get a proper view of the room within. It looked very old, and is certainly older than the building it was built on. Whether or not this room was part of some other preexisting home, or whether it was some other building I have not been able to determine. Any records that contained such information were stored in the courthouse, and were destroyed during a flood a long time ago.

The first thing I noticed besides the age of the room was a medical bed set against the left wall. At first I figured it was just a standard one you would find in a hospital, or in a home of someone with difficulties of movement. However, it was the straps that gave it away. They were attached to the bed, with no apparent way to remove them. It was a bed from a sanitarium, used to secure more dangerous patients. Owning such a bed is highly questionable, and not something that one could come upon easily.

I was sure that although it had not seen much use recently, it had been used within the last year or so. There was relatively new linens placed on the front of the bed, and the pillow was manufactured by a modern company. Against the adjacent wall is a large bookcase, which contained a large variety of texts. Many of the titles were in languages I did not understand, but much of it had to do with the occult. There were also a large number of medical and surgical manuals and journals. On the ground is a large drain, with heavy stains settled along the edge.

In a corner of the room was a large trashcan, full of burnt refuse, mostly in the form of paper, though I was unable to make out anything from them, as they were too heavily damaged. There was also a long table set against the wall of the room, full of bottles, paper, and ink. There were stains in the wood, and in places there were what looked like burns.

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