Wednesday, November 07, 2007


So....did anyone actually see my segment on Costa Rica on CW NOW? Otherwise, check out the online version. And let me know what you think.

Ok so my next little adventure involves this crazy new fitness craze (as we're calling it) Parkour. Now many of you may know what it is, and many of you may not. Parkour is the sibling to Free Running, which is to move as smoothly and fluidly as possible past all obstacles...Parkour is a little different. It deals more with moving as quickly and efficiently as possible from point A to B. That means instead of creating a beatuiful seamless fluid movement, Parkour makes you jump, vault, run and leap over obstacles so you can catch that bus!

It started in Europe and now is making a huge splash especially among the females in the emerald city, Seattle. So I went up to Seattle to kick some Parkour ass. And let me tell you, as much as I practiced rolling, landing, vaulting, etc., all those things made me incredibly sore and tired. And as simple as each activity looks on TV, it ain't folks. And did I mention how i love that in most of the world, people call this Parkour, my friends and I in Los Angeles just call it running from the cops. Too true a look into my personal life? Hmmmm...

I love the girl I met...she is spearheading the Parkour movement in Seattle, Janine Cundy. She's young, hip, and makes huge blueberry pancake breakfasts for up to 50 girls who go and train on the weekends. She took me out to the odd yet gorgeous Gas Works Park in Seattle to show me the ropes. I, a journalist of questionable ground, think to myself, huh 'show me the ropes' means she'll perform some of the movements and I will take it in, like a reporter. Well no, I'm not getting off that easy. Being a scaredy-cat daredevil aka. totally chicken shit adventurer, I decide I really want to try parkour. She starts me off with landings. Sure. totally rock that. Then rolls. Ok, how? Just roll onto your neck, throw your body over as you reach for the sun. Wha????? You want me to roll and break my neck while I reach for the sky and say hello to the sun? why do I always have to make the first move with the sun? why can't he step up and be a man? GAWD, the single life is so hard.

Anyhow, after finally rolling on my neck and realizing I am not made of glass, I start rolling like a crazy woman all over the grass, unaware that the patch of greenery we chose is also the choice green for geese to come and excrete all that delicious fecal matter. Woot. Parkour is already starting to be great!

Then we get to vaulting. And I swear to god, I vaulted over a cement divider that is about 10 inches wide and hip high about 89 times - and only caught air once. The vault plan? Well, as Janine so kindly explains, just jump up and take your legs over your body. To give you more momentum to get your body weight over the divider, 'aim your face for the ground'. Oh, is that all it is? Aim my face at the ground? easy breezy. My response? 'you want me to aim my money-maker at the what?!'. Janine found this entertaining. She also asked me to join her as she jumped over a second story stairwell and slid down a 10 foot wall. She demos and says, 'now you go.' Huh. What did I say? 'I'm totally good. You slide, I'll just use the stairs. That works. Parkour for Chi-Lan!

All in all, Parkour is a huge mind-game as well as physical play, IMHO. You have to remember how you used to play as a kid, remember what it felt like to try things because you are invincible, and realize that your body can do things that it hasn't done if you try. And as sore as I ended up being the next day, there are many a rail that I pass daily thinking 'Man, I can totally just jump over that.' I have to admit, I am hooked. And I will continue to aim my face at the floor. One question - why can't parkour involve aiming your ass at the floor instead? doesn't that seem more reasonable? Go ahead - discuss.

watch the segment on CW NOW Sunday at 7 on the CW.