I was contacted by Elle, a student at Kingsborough Community College, the other day to do a short interview through email and I thought I'd share the questions and my responses.
1) How did you get involved in parkour?
I got involved in parkour mainly out of boredom. I had seen parkour in the earlier past, but had never considered trying it. My life got to a point where I was just going to work at a retail store 5 or more days a week, taking home a paycheck, and not really getting anything more out of my life. I needed something new, something exciting, something to help keep me in shape, and something fun. When I came across parkour again on the internet in 2008 I thought "maybe I should give it a try". It took some time to actually commit to even trying it out and starting any kind of real training, but I stuck with it, found others to train with, and kept at it ever since!
2) Do you have any quotes or philosophy that help motivate you as you train?
This is a tougher question to answer, as there is a plethora of philosophy behind the training and so many quotes are floating around out there now. As far as while I'm training goes, I have somewhat of an innate desire to improve things and to become a better person (in all ways, not just parkour movements or physical qualities). So I don't often need much external motivation aside from what already comes from within. However, quotes like "be strong to be useful" and "we start together, we finish together" certainly give me an extra push and help to remind me that I'm not just doing this for myself and I'm not doing it alone.
3) What does parkour mean to you?
These questions get tougher and tougher! Parkour has become my whole life really. That may sound silly to some, especially those who have only seen what is on YouTube or in other media, but it has really grown to engulf my entire life. There is hardly a moment that passes where I'm not thinking about how something would affect my training, or how I can better a part of my training, or how I can teach a particular movement or concept better, and so on. If you were to take parkour out of my life, or at least what parkour is to me, you would be left with an empty shell. You'd have my personality still, feelings and such, but there wouldn't be any reason to my being. You would wonder what my purpose was (even moreso, if you wondered this already).
4) What is your biggest accomplishment as an athlete and an individual?
I would have to say my biggest accomplishment is getting through what I've been through to come out creating the life I have now. I know that will sound very vague or general, but I'm not sure how else to put it. I am proud of the life I've made, proud of the person I've turned out to be, proud of the things I've been through and the things I continue to endure day in and day out. I've struggled, in fact I am still struggling even now, but I still wake up the next day ready to push through it all again, stronger and more ready than I was the day before. Perhaps some days I am weaker or less ready, some days I do have failures and mistakes, but I take even these as accomplishments because I am still here.