Our goal: To provide the Pittsburgh community with a dedicated parkour and fitness park. A place where ANY active member of our community, who is interested in movement or general fitness, can get out, come together, learn, play, excercise and better themselves.
Parkour is a large growing activity in the city of Pittsburgh and has has been since 2003. With over 300+ known practitioners in the area, it's to home to one of the world's largest professional parkour groups, Team Sanjuu, the cities local community organization and parkour hub, Pittsburgh Parkour Association, as well as two large university groups at Pitt and CMU, Panther Parkour and Tartan Parkour.
General fitness is also a large part of parkour and with as many active people as we have here in Pittsburgh, what better way to bring them together than a community facility that is free and a more safe environment for it to happen in!
To understand why this a good thing for our city, you first have to try to understand parkour. Parkour is a discipline and method of training to learn how to overcome obstacles in life. Parkour is about facing difficult situations and adapting to overcome them. It's about re-learning what we have lost; efficient, functional movement. Parkour, like math, is a problem solving tool but instead of calculations using numbers, you take what you learn on a physical level and apply those same concepts to things in everyday life; school, relationships, work, etc. At it's most fundamental level, beyond all the philosophy, is play, something everyone younger or older should have in their lives.
Parkour is not an extreme sport or reckless jumping and climbing. It's very meditative and in the moment, we aren't adrenaline junkies for the most part or in the same sense. "To be and to last." We train hard, yet safely, so that we can do what we're doing for the rest of our lives. "Be strong to be useful." We train in such a way that we can be useful in our own lives as well as in the lives of others. We do not vandalize or destroy property. "Leave no trace." Most of us take initiative to clean around the parks, buildings and areas we train. We respect our environment and like to leave these places better than when we found them.
To understand parkour a little better, watch these videos:
Project Pilgrimage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MrZvljAZ-c
The Monkey's Back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4mZf80fOhQ
move.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP-lVKZsq-s (Pittsburgh)
Parkour provides so many benefits for those involved. Parkour involves challenging such as wide variety of your physical capabilities that it forms a much more complete exercise for the body than almost any other activity. Parkour offers an excellent physical workout but it also provides a positive, supportive, multi‐generational, creative and non‐competitive community. Alongside this is the training to develop ones ability to overcome obstacles. Parkour is a way of gaining the mental tools, the determination, confidence, bravery and energy to persevere with physical challenges and trains you how to approach each new challenge in a way that will give you the best chance of overcoming it. Learning to pass each new challenging obstacle helps you learn that you can overcome all obstacles in life. It is an excellent way of discovering yourself and what you want out of life. By pushing yourself mentally and physically, you begin to understand what you are capable of..
Parkour fosters friendship and community. The parkour community is unlike any other I have ever seen. It's welcoming, non-discriminating and is essentially like a worldwide family. I've trained around the world and have been welcomed into the homes of so many fellow practitioners, given a place to stay and guided through their city even if we did not share a common language. Parkour goes beyond language, as for us, movement is a language in itself.
To understand this, here's a few more videos showing you my adventures, friends and the community:
Where My Fortune Lies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAfoURE7IEs (myself)
Community In Madrid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHXpJhEij4c
Storror Summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL4ROoe5rV0
Community Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Fxc5ibC1s
Anyone can train parkour:
Women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5CklECYSOU&feature=plcp, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzOXd-_VRE8,
Kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwXmgKCmpMM, http://youtu.be/MI_-mT_UVMI, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1qk1oGw9Kg
This is kind of what we are looking to do here:
Jyväskylä Parkour Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcP6SB8QKu4
Parkour in Denmark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew8leQTkYSg
Manchester Parkour Park: http://youtu.be/u3Uq23hWIwc
Meadowbrook Parkour Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL29bYLHciE
MY STORY AND WHY I WANT PITTSBURGH TO HAVE A PARKOUR PARK:
Parkour has changed my life and I've made it my mission in life to use it to help others, especially our struggling youth, because I was once in their shoes too. I grew feeling like the middle man in a family that was crumbling apart. My parents divorced when I was young and I had to witness it and the situations that led up to it. From there, I went into a downward spiral, becoming depressed, associating myself with the wrong crowd, always getting in trouble and turned to alcohol and drugs for comfort at a young age to numb myself from reality. I was 13 when I saw what I came to learn was parkour on an episode of Ripley's Believe it Or Not, featuring a group called the Yamakasi. Being 13, I thought it would be cool to run around climbing and jumping off of things but didn't know that it would be the thing to "set me straight" so to say. It was around the same time that a met a man named Paradise Gray, who acted as my mentor and kind of a father figure to me. He saw the potential parkour had to offer me and told me that the things I was doing were not worth it, to focus my time on my new found love and share it with others. By 16, with the help of parkour and my family and friends, I was able to break away from my former negative self. Parkour gave me that outlet to focus my time and energy into and that passion and drive to not fail at something I loved. It helped me change my perspective on the situations I was facing and saw new ways to get around them. I devoted my life to helping as many as I could not go through what I had to go through. I started working as a youth counselor at the church I had met Paradise, teaching kids parkour and keeping them off the streets. This soon grew from the Verona Presbyterian after school program to places all over the city, then the nation and now the world.
Pittsburgh needs this park, not only so people like myself can further our own training, but so I have a place to continue helping those in need. Maybe those who are struggling in school or having problems at home, even those involved in gangs or drug abuse will come here. Not to cause trouble, but to do something productive. I've been there, I got away and I've helped others get away from that place as well and will continue to until the day I no longer can. This park will be another means of helping others, no matter who they are.
WHY THIS PETITION:
We want to show the city of Pittsburgh that this is something that people are very interested in and would benefit the community greatly.
WHAT WE'RE ASKING FROM THE CITY:
Really we're simply looking for a location large enough to build a park to fit the growing needs of the parkour and fitness community here in Pittsburgh.
Also, besides location, monetary support would be a plus, if it's available, but not at all something we are asking and possibly being directed to the right people to help with some of the finalized designs and manual production aspects.
WHY THE PARK? WHAT COULD WE USE IT FOR?
A place to hold regular training sessions classes, workshops and other instruction; a great place for those wishing to learn to come before moving on to the wonderful training locations the city has to offer, an increible place for people to do general and more creative workouts outside of parkour (especially for those who DO NOT have money for gym access), something else that would attract people to the city of Pittsburgh, a positive environment where the youth can stay out of trouble doing something productive and so much more.
HOW WOULD WE DO IT:
There is a large parkour community as well as people from all over the nation who are ready and willing to help make this park possible, not only through donations but through their time in the planning process, the cleaning process (if applicable to location) production and building of the park itself. I have a series of fundraisers planned to help raise money for the park as well.
PLEASE, help us make this park a reality.
Thanks and much love,