Playing with the Elements

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize how the weather impacts your training. A recent rainfall demands precaution with jumping and landing. Two feet of snow obscures common obstacles. An ice storm might push your training to a covered area, someplace unglazed by frozen water.

As parkour athletes, we pursue our craft in the elements, rain or shine. Progress demands flexibility, perseverance, and a willingness to get a little wet, dirty, and cold.

Just as exposure to a wide variety of obstacles strengthens your movement repertoire, exposure to a wide variety of temperatures, and other environmental features hones you into a tougher athlete.

Fair weather practitioners miss out on the opportunity to harden themselves into better humans. Steel hardens steel. Avoiding exposure to what some might consider inclement weather betrays your efforts to build yourself into badass.

If you catch yourself wanting to skip a training session because the temperature is dropping or precipitation is expected, flip it around and consider it a chance to take things to the next level. Be smart about how you interact with the environment, but don’t shy away from challenge.

Aside from getting outdoors regardless of the weather, you should also explore training at different times of the day. Early morning sessions have a different feel than midday efforts. Late night soirees compound complexity with poor lighting and greater fatigue.

What other elements might you play with? What about changing up your wardrobe? What happens to your ability to move if you aren’t in sweatpants? What about when you are wearing less-than-ideal footwear? Can you still perform the basics without getting tripped up?

You’re not going to have your best performance when your routine is scrambled, but that’s the point. Training under duress forces improvisation, and ultimately makes you better.

It’s said that the best photographers can take amazing photographs with simple point and shoot cameras. Expensive gear and ideal conditions aren’t necessary. They make do, letting their skills speak for themselves.

Likewise, a pro athlete in a tuxedo and dress shoes could still wow you with power moves. The animal beneath the clothing doesn’t care about attire.

Bottom line, you’re missing out if you don’t embrace every opportunity to train. Injuries aside, don’t let elements beyond your control keep you from becoming a better athlete.

Weather, time of day, clothing—let nothing hold you back.

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