She Can Trace (Well, Kinda)

About 5 weeks ago, in what some may call a moment of temporary insanity, I signed up for the Women’s International Parkour Weekend (WIPW) that was being held in London. At this point I had absolutely no experience of parkour, except for little bits I had seen in YouTube videos, but it seemed like fun. The event was advertised as being suitable for all, including beginners, so I figured I might as well give it a go.

Almost as soon as I received the email confirming my place the reality of what I’d just done set in. Whilst not exactly sedentary I knew that I was nowhere near the level of fitness that I anticipated I would need. Thus, my trainers were brought back out from the back of the wardrobe and I started running three times a week to try boost my general fitness. I also did a quick google search and found a local parkour gym that ran an adults session , so I headed down there for a few sessions. After the first time I was hooked and the countdown to WIPW started in earnest.

The weeks passed quickly, train tickets and hostel rooms were booked, and travel routes were planned out. Almost before I knew it I was headed to London. Armed with a batch of freshly made brownies, a ridiculous amount of water, and my best friend’s number on speed dial in case I got hopelessly lost and confused (thanks so much for that man) I arrived at last.

My Saturday started bright and early at 6 am, and somehow, despite my incredibly poor sense of direction and complete confusion by the London Tube system, I managed to arrive at the meeting point. Saturday was a full day of outdoor training and by lunchtime I was ready for a nap. By the end of the day I was ready to collapse straight into bed, and bemoaning the lack of a bath at the hostel I was staying at. The day was exhausting, but it was also so incredibly amazing. I had an absolute blast, the coaches were wonderful, and I felt like I learnt loads of stuff. I also managed to gain rather a few impressive war wounds (honestly, do walls have to be so hard?).

Sunday was both easier and harder, my muscles were strongly protesting all that I was putting them through, but the coaches were expecting that and had made the day’s sessions slightly less physically demanding than the day before. I still learnt just as much as the day before, and by the end of the day I was both physically and mentally exhausted.

Despite the fact that by the end of the weekend every single one of my muscles were aching and I had more bruised skin than not, I loved every moment of the weekend. I had a truly amazing time, and met some brilliant people. I came away even more inspired to continue parkour than I already was and I’m already looking forward to doing it all again next year. In the mean time I’m gonna keep training, and keep trying to improve myself. I’d love to the thank Parkour Generations, the She Can Trace team, and all the fantastic coaches for such an incredible weekend. I’ve definitely caught the parkour bug, big time.

Sophie x


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