Parkour

I don’t remember what got me thinking about parkour this evening, but there it is. I haven’t ever seen anyone doing it in real life, but I’ve enjoyed videos. Parkour is a whole collection of ways of going from here to there without special equipment. You might run up walls or use bars and trees to change your direction or make amazing leaps over stuff. You move, using your own body weight and whatever is around you. It’s the epitome of flexible, adaptable, ready to meet things head on, prepared, skilled, capable, energetic, free.

I used to have flying dreams. I’d climb a low fence and launch from there. I could sometimes just hover, cross-legged, and languidly “swim” here and there in the air. Or sometimes I could soar, more like a bird or a fast and powerful fish, but without flapping. There were always obstacles — particularly electric wires. Sometimes it took great effort to get where I was trying to go. But I loved those dreams — I miss them.

I took modern dance all through college — that might be the closest approximation. With sufficient strength and skill, leaps can be akin to short flights. Dance is whole body expression — about as integrated as a self can get by will alone. I’ve done music and art all my life, which are also fantastic forms of expression and paths of integration, but dance took it the farthest.

Now I do yoga once a week, and there are aspects of yoga, particularly with the approach our instructor uses, that capture some of those elements of integrated whole-person expression. Pilates comes close sometimes, too, and so do some of the other exercise classes I’ve taken. Yoga’s the only one that fits my schedule and budget right now, though.

I still do music and art, but not as much as I would like.

And when I have to get from here to there on foot, most of the time I walk. Sometimes — sometimes, especially when Amy’s with me — I might run, skip, or even twirl.

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