what is parkour? The most efficient way to get from point A to point B
Leslie McDermid Talent North writer
sually with an interview, you sit down with someone to talk. With Zak Sivret, who works as a personal trainer at Full Tilt Fitness, teaches parkour and is often hanging around (literally). It’s not a common occurrence for him to sit still. If you are wondering what parkour is, I was wondering the same thing, so I ask Zak to give me the run-down. The main concept of parkour is to move as efficiently as possible from point A to point B. “Everyone has their own style, strengths and weaknesses, which makes everyone’s approach different and that’s what makes it so interesting,” says Zak. When Zak was younger, he took karate lessons and loved trying out new tricks and stunts that he would see in movies. As he got older and couldn’t always make it to his karate classes, he started to train on his own in his backyard. “The more I practised, the more I would start to experiment with this new type of movement (parkour) that was all over the Internet. [That eventually led to jumping off my roof — and falling — a lot,” Zak says. So why does Zak love doing parkour? “I love the freedom of it. Being able to
make up new movements or try new tricks is a challenge and feels rewarding. Not having any restrictions or rules, like most other sports, is what I love the most.” There aren’t any real physical requirements if you are interested in starting with parkour — anyone can try it. “At its core, it’s really all about personal growth,” says Zak. You can compete with other people, of any skill level, but you really only compete with yourself — to get better. You don’t need equipment for parkour; you just need yourself and whatever is around you, and a little creativity. A common misconception about parkour is that parkour and freerunning is the same thing. Although they are very similar and often intertwine, the goal of parkour is to move through obstacles as quickly and efficiently as possible. “Freerunning is more about flashy tricks and flips to impress your friends
— and scare your parents,” says Zak. When Zak isn’t doing crazy jumps and flips, he says he is usually trying to recover. His works as a personal trainer keeps him on his feet for most of the day. He does his strength and conditioning training between clients and that’s when he really kicks his own butt. You can usually catch him hanging off the chin-up bars in between training. To find out more about parkour, you can watch videos on YouTube, but if you want to actually try it, Zak recommends going to a gymnastics facility and try it out. “No matter where you start, the more you do it, the more you learn about how to become a better mover, and that’s what it’s all really about,” Zak says.