I have been training parkour consistently for 7 years. Not even my injuries have ever really stopped me. When my knees ache, I take a few months and work on my climbing. When the tendons of my fingers flair up, I may take a month to work on rolls. The practice is ever evolving. However, even with that approach to training my movement peaked in early 2016.
At the time I was managing a parkour gym in Columbus, Ohio. I was in that gym between 20 and 30 hours a week for about 2 years. Everyday I would work on my movement sometimes for up to 4 hours. I have since stepped away from that approach. I still train at that gym from time to time, and I still train outside a lot as well. However, the consistency and dedication that I had then has waned. It's not through lack of interest or passion. I am now working and attending school full time again. Even though I still work as a parkour trainer, the same time commitment is not there for my own training. In the past few weeks I have been trying to re-establish the level of training I was at 18 months ago, and I can say with confidence that parkour is not like riding a bike.
To maintain a high level in this sport we must continuously push the limits of what is possible. To step back from that leading edge for even a moment will cause us to wane in our abilities. Parkour is often said to be a struggle to be the best possible version of ourselves. Without a continual struggle we can still be strong and capable, however something is lost. For me the first thing was climb-ups. A movement that had take me 4 years to learn was lost in just a few months of atrophy. With a few weeks of consistency, I have gotten them back and feel a tease of what I am capable of.
One of the other things that you often hear about parkour is that there are no tricks, just hard work. The only way for me to regain that ground that I have lost is through habit, through daily practice, and through working with others who see movement differently than I do and can show me their way.
I am not writing this to be depressing, In fact just the opposite. Being comfortable is what got me where I am now. Saying to myself "I am good enough" or "I have made it" is a death wish upon growth. When you have gotten there, there is no where else to go, but that is not what has happened to me. I have plenty of things to learn and do.
I turned 29 the other day, which to some may seem young and to others may seem old. To me the question of whether I am young or old is irrelevant. The real question is what else I get to do in life. If I start thinking that I have explored all there is to see, then yes that is old, but if I keep my wonder and excitement alive, then life will blossom in front of me.
To be comfortable in life is to be in a state of decline. When we struggle, get told "no," loose money on investments, or break a jump, we may not always get "better." We may have less after those experiences, less power, less freedom or less shiny skin, but we do know where our limits currently lay. We gain some idea of what we need to do to push past those limits. In my book those are gains. No matter how long your winter has been, or how much dust has collected on the proverbial bike seat. It's never too late to get it out of the garage and ride. You will crash, scrape your knee, and you will get up and keep riding.