Parkour is helping me run

I am a runner.

I don’t love running, but I don’t hate it, either, and it does many good things for my body and my mental health. I love how I feel after running and I hate how I feel if I go too many days without running.

I’m slow, and I don’t run long distances. I’ve done two half marathons, both years ago, and they were too long for my tastes. The trail I’ve recently been running a couple times per week is 2.25 miles.

Not even a 5k. Sufficient for summer running, for sure.

But it’s still hot here in Phoenix, and running has been unpleasant. I still do it (see: mental health)—I’d rather run outside in the hot than inside on a treadmill.

I’ve been slower than usual, and other factors have led the last week or two to be even more sluggish.

In short: running has been miserable.

At the beginning of the month, Rocket Kid started taking classes at a local parkour gym and Climbing Daddy and I decided to give it a whirl.

It’s a lot of fun, and we’re terrible at it.

“We’re terrible at it” has no negative emotion attached. Just a statement of fact.

Being terrible at parkour feels significantly better than being terrible at running right now. (That’s “terrible at running” relative to how I was running not that long ago—compared to self, not to others.)

It feels better because it’s new, because I have no ego wrapped up in my skill level there.

Of course we’re terrible at it—we just started! 

(You could argue that if I’m comparing only to self, I’m not terrible at it, and you might be correct. But it feels awkward and clunky. So when it feels smoother, even if it’s still not very good, I won’t feel terrible at it any more, if that makes sense?)

I’m finding that my overall mood is better with parkour, which also makes running less miserable.

I wouldn’t have thought to do this intentionally, but maybe if you’re in a rut with the usual thing (whether it’s exercise-related or not), try something new. Something you’ll be bad at. For the express purpose of doing something new and fun and have no pressure to be great.

(Are you able to do something and be bad at it and still have fun?) 

2 thoughts on “Parkour is helping me run”

  1. I was thinking about the same thing earlier this week and remembering a long time ago when I ran for awhile with the Hash House Harriers (fun with a group, try to chase down someone leaving clues, stop for beer breaks, keep running. It made running more fun. Similar to what mountain biking did for road biking.

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