Hawaii Parkour is an educational fitness organization, dedicated to sharing the healthy movement and risk-assement strategies that Parkour training can provide.
I’ve unpacked my bags but the memories and beautiful pictures I captured during my time in Vancouver remain bright and buzzing in my head and SD card. I’ll eventually get through posting all my photos and videos, but I hope to keep close to my heart the conversations and connections I made during the 2018 North American Womenʻs Parkour Movement Gathering, hosted by local Origins Parkour host, Alyssa Serpa, and WPKM founder Caitlin Pontrella. The gatherings have been going on for 8 years strong now, a weekend packed with inspiring women who move and teach and flow and spread joy and positivity – we grow confidently with each other by sharing our knowledge and exploring new environments and moving together.
Origins Parkour Gym is a top tier parkour space by my ranking, the staff being very friendly and, for those who opted to stay the weekend at the gym, very generous hosts. We started Friday night off with a takeover of the gym space, playing games and follow-the-leader challenges with groups of us tied together by a long rope.
Saturday morning had the groups split into movement workshops focusing on balance and strength building (with Andrea Ross), continuous flow and creative expression (with Xiaoyue “Sheep” Zhang), and a good-time shirt modification workshop encouraging personal flare and style (with Steph Calvert).
For the afternoon session, we gathered at the University of British Colombia for a fun warmup and game session lead by the forever fun and inspiring Brandee Laird of Seattle. For more photos of the session, check out: See And Do.
The smiles and laughter were nothing short of contagious during our rounds of Ninja Games, playing with partner focus, balance and quick reflexes (and trying not to panic when a finger-shaped shuriken was on-coming). The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the many unique and hidden spots within UBC campus.
Sunday was probably my favorite day. We headed to beautiful hiking destination Lynn Canyon, about half an hour out of the city. I was very humbled and super stoked to lead a warmup movement in nature session, having us shed our shoes and ground into the dirt and stone beneath us. Artist, Author, Movement Coach and Bright Spirit Julie Angel added to the experience by leading us in silent partner games, relying on eye contact and nonverbal communication to toss heavy stones between each other. The silence and our bare feet helped many of us to feel connected to something a little deeper that day, and getting to play and explore the canyon waterfall and trails afterwards was truly a highlight of my trip.
Sunday was also a co-ed day, open to male practitioners as well. Dani and Jeff from Arizona practice mindful, silent communication.
Creative play just takes a little bit of investigating in your local environment, and finding a friend whoʻs game.
Sunday afternoon was a hot one, as we headed back to Yaletown, an urban center along the harbor coast. Again we split into workshops including Animal Flow movement (with Tami Newman) and Falling is Fun! (with Brandee Laird)(of course.) Following the workshops, we had some closing remarks and gave some gigantic applause to the event organizers and local hosts.
Left-to-right: “Sheep” Zhang, Brandee Laird, Caitlin Pontrella, Alana Reis, Steph Calvert, Alyssa Serpa
A truly unforgettable weekend, the 2018 North American Womenʻs Parkour Movement Gathering stands as a testament to the power of community that parkour helps to inspire in us. The next Gathering is set to happen in Washington, D.C., and Seattle will host in 2020 for the eventʻs 10 year Anniversary. Weʻll be there – will you?
Hawaii Parkour on Facebook: Community Page ; Coach Page
Women’s Parkour Movement
#wpkm2018 #ParkourNAWG2018 #parkourwomen #womenofparkour
[picture credits: Alana Reis; Rachelle “Meatball” Booker]