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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Frexcited About Parkour

Let’s get the bad news out of the way, shall we?

The Ugly
1. My inner eight-year old spent a good chunk of the morning with her arms folded across her chest, pouting, and whining, “I won’t do it! And you can’t make me!” This is a posture that will be recognized by both my family and Dave; I’d hoped not to introduce this charming young lady to our coach, the fabulous Mr. Randal Setzler.

The Bad
1. I’ve been trying to learn balance all the things I love to do… enjoying my immersion in all things CrossFit, while keeping music and reading and cooking in my life, too. This weekend, my balance was way out of whack. My desire to do a bunch of CrossFit-related activities (women’s workout, burpees, pullup workshop, parkour) AND music (Karoake Apocalypse show, keyboard practice) was overly-ambitious — and both of my favorite things suffered for it.

The 20-20 view: I should have (gracefully) bowed out of either the Karaoke Apocalypse show or parkour with Randal. I just really did not want to choose between the two because I was excited about both. Parkour with Randal? Irresistible.

2. Also, today when I had the opportunity to try a few new things — surrounded by supportive people ready to help me — I declined.

Not cool.

Bad Mel.

Man! Let me see if I can describe one of my least favorite feelings and do it justice…

It begins with a group of people I think are cool because they can do something I admire: music, sports, writing, you name it. And I’m fortunate enough to be with them. Sweet! But they’re all going about their business of being cool doing the thing… and before I can stop myself, I think, “I can’t.” At that precise second, all possibility of trying (and therefore, success) is gone.

Gone, daddy, gone.

My body tingles with the desire to try… to run toward the wall or swing on the branch or play the chord or open my mouth to say the thing that’s just on the tip of my tongue… but my inner eight-year-old/ego/fear/over-thinking stops me cold.

There was way too much of that today. Regret tastes like a dirty penny.

Daring and courage? Not quite as much as I’d hoped.

The Good
1. When my inner brat wasn’t in charge, I got to try some fun stuff — and I wasn’t too terrible when I stopped letting the inner eight-year-old run the show.

Randal is an excellent teacher, and he took us on a tour of his parkour greatest hits locations. It was like doing a movie tour at Universal studios only scarier and more fun. We practiced vaulting over railings, and doing cat leaps onto railings and a brick window sill (!). Randal and Dave helped me walk on a flat railing like a balance beam, and I even shimmied a few feet up a chimney-like space, like Spider-Man. We climbed on rocks, bear crawled up and down stairs, held onto ledges with our fingertips, scaled walls, and plotted a caper to steal the world’s largest diamond.

2. Like CrossFit, there are ways to scale all the movements, so even a scaredy-cat like me could play along, which was really pretty cool. And it was awesome to see Dave so willing to try everything that came along. It’s amazing to have been partners-in-crime for so long (17 years in January) and to still find magical things about him that I didn’t know.

3. During my post-parkour nap, I dreamt of myself vaulting gracefully over railings and benches. Thanks to Randal, I have a list of drills and moves to practice so I can keep working on my superhero (super villain?!) skills.

Maybe next time, my inner eight-year-old will remember how much fun we can have.

[Keen observers will note that the "good" list above is longer than the "bad" list -- and even adding up "bad" and "ugly" produces a tie with "good." Hmmm.]

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