I found a parkour gym in Calgary last summer and have gone mostly once a week since then, as long as my work schedule allowed for it. The first class was interesting. We started with a warmup by running around the gym a few times, then went into stretching. Breathe has an 8 level system and, surprise surprise, I started with the level 1-3 class and got a nice white wristband to go with it. After stretching, we started with a level 1 skill and slowly progressed to level 3.
I don’t remember exactly which skills I learned that class, but one was a vault over probably a five foot box. I remember this because my legs were so sore and stiff the next day but I still had to work. That was a fun time I tell you. I moved pretty slow over the next couple days until things loosened up again, but after shocking my legs with repeated height drops, I think they have strengthened a bit. I still get sore now and then but nothing like that first time. The good thing is the skills are on a rotational basis, so it’ll take a few weeks before the same skill set comes back around. This helps to give certain muscles a break if they need it, and keeps the classes interesting.
I’ve met some pretty cool people at the gym and the class sizes vary from week to week, also depending on what day I go, but it has been an awesome experience so far. I have a little bit of equipment at home which I want to use for calisthenics (body-weight) training which will help with parkour as well, but it’s to the gym I go to do the proper movements and training. Before and after class there are usually people hanging out and it’s not hard to find someone to help out if I have a question about a specific movement. The community is very welcoming and friends come easily.
The only issue I have found is space. There are lots of birthday parties happening for younger kids or sometimes it’s just busy and as such, space can get limited fairly quickly. However a new gym just opened up in South Calgary and I went to my first class there last night. It was pretty quiet when I walked in, probably because people don’t know it’s open yet, and there was only me and one other girl in the class, but Brodie, the instructor, started us off with some simple movements. The class was more an introduction to the gym and we moved around most of the space to get a feel for it.
I have to say, this gym is huge! It will be much easier to visualize and carry out a line without having too much worry of running into someone. There are numerous levels of height differences to either climb up or drop off, a nice open bar section with some others scattered around, a giant curved runup wall, and no foam pit here but a brand new air bag to jump into. You can either jump from level height at the side, or climb up and jump from six feet above, which gives a nice rush of air and adrenaline before you hit the bag. Also there are different sections of flooring, some harder than others. I did a couple front rolls on the nice padded area and the less giving “grassy” section. Both felt good but the harder the surface, the more you will notice if you roll wrong so having the option is a bonus.
I’m looking forward to training at this new space. I don’t do the whole New Years resolution thing to get into better shape, this is more just a continuation of my training. The fact that the gym opened in January just gives a good start to the year with a new place to go and explore, even if it is further away.
So I invite you, come check out a Breathe Parkour gym and take a class or four. I’ve only been going for six months and it’s already been life changing. Hope to see you there!