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I appreciate my parkour people so much.

By Lima

I appreciate my parkour people so much.

The branches of a large tree, on a sunny day. There are three people climbing the tree, at various heights.

They help de-program the bits of my brain that automatically tell me I'm too small, too weak, unfit and inflexible.

It's a slow process un-learning forty years of bodily shame. Forty years of being told (and subsequently believing) that the meat-on-bones you inhabit is always, constantly and permanently... Below Average.

As an only child, I was wrapped in cotton wool. I never went camping or climbed trees. No riding bicycles past the letterbox. No playing at the park. My folks were terrified of anything bad happening to me.

I was a very shy kid.

So I was bred as a bookworm, and deemed physically useless for sports and fitness.

I built so many walls around this to avoid thinking about my perceived deficiencies. Nurtured talents in other areas that made me Smart instead of Strong, or Fit.

It's been a good process this past nine months learning more about myself through doing things that I think I can't do.

I hope I am not annoying my parkour training-mates when I retreat into those places of uncertainty in my head. I always find a way out of them though. I know it is always worth the effort.

I feel so lucky to be around people who generously gift their emotional labour, week in week out, to build physical spaces where folks like me can Fail Safely.

This is how shy kids start to come out of their shell.

Now, every week, I try to do new things, whether it's training on my own or with other humans. I don't train obsessively every day but I can't imagine my life without this creativity in movement anymore.

I appreciate my parkour people so much.


A large wooden structure in a public park. A woman has jumped off, and is in mid-flight.

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