My Tricking and Parkour Journey

The best mistake I ever made

I failed in the beginning, but I got back up

The Beginning

While the Covid Pandemic impacted many people very differently, it had an overall positive effect on my life. With no more school, I was willing to do anything to pass the time.

After the impulsive descision to learn a parkour roll in late March for no reason at all, I was left with exhilaration and satisfaction.

My parkour journey didn't exactly begin because of this, but it was kind of like a pre-requiset that gave me the confidence to do what I did next.

Me jumping off of a truck on March 26th, 2020

One day, I was scrolling through TikTok, when I came across another one of those videos like "please subscribe to me so I can become famous." Except this video was different. This was a video of a guy who had actual talent. He was great at doing backflips and other parkour stunts.

What's interesting is, I never actually subscribed to him. I may have misclicked or done something by mistake, but the point is that I subscribed to him by accident.

From then on, all of his content kept showing up in my feed. Backflips, front flips, rolls, and other various tricks. As an 8th grader, I was very impressionable still. With all this content showing up, I couldn't help but feel an urge to learn a back flip on my own.

A few days later, I started doing backflips on my friends trampoline. I felt so much confidence, that I attempted it on the ground. I failed.

I hit the ground and got the wind knocked out of me. Even though that sounds discouraging, I went to bed that night dreaming of how I could be successful with it some day. I then had an even stronger urge to pursue and learn the backflip.

Along the way, I was learning new moves like kip ups and cartwheels. With all this practice came research. With research came exposure to certain websites. One website that kept showing up was the reddit Tricking community. Tricking is a loose, backyard type sport where you take a bunch of moves from martial arts, gymnastics, and breakdancing, and roll them all together. Then you make combos and cool strings of tricks, post it on social media, and call it a day.

My main sport is Tricking (because of it's inherently free nature) but I was also learning parkour, a very similar discipline, at this time.

One day, after much consideration and a whole summer's worth of practice, I decided to finally go for it. On August 11th, 2020, I landed my first backflip.

Back then, I used to under-tuck for some reason

The Middle

Tricking changed my life. I was much more mellow and down to earth. I was taking a new logical approach to everything. Life was good, so long as I kept doing scary, exhilarating things. As Fight Club best puts it-

"After a night in fight club, everything else in your life gets the volume turned down. You can deal with anything."

I was learning new tricks left and right. Front flip, webster, back hand spring, you name it. I never quite got the hang of a side flip, but I was still practicing it every opportunity I got. Tricking and parkour became my life, up until sophomore year.

'Fabry' is a 5 letter word that has costed me years of pain. It's a chronic lysosome storage disorder. You probably don't care to know what that means, so heres the summary: certain chemicals in my body aren't treated properly and get stored in toxic areas. In English, this means that I used to feel really fatigued all the time, and an acute burning in my limbs held me back.

I've always had this condition, but it only got bad enough to notice in sophomore year. Nowadays I'm at least treated for it, but back then, I had nothing.

Now, the title of this article isn't "My Tragic Backstory," so I won't bore you with all the details. But just know that throughout 2021 and 2022, my abilities started to decline.

As I began to practice Tricking less, I started to move more into Computer Science. I was just tinkering around with some video game code back then, but little did I know that it would turn into so much more :).

By the end of 2022, I pretty much stopped practicing Tricking, opting more to just go out and to a backflip every once in a while.

The End

While I may not Trick anymore, I still have all that experience inside of me. Every lesson I've learned and concept I've discovered, it's all still there, in my ever-expanding quest for knowledge.

I still see small fences and opt to do vaults over them. My favorite is the Kong vault. I still look at obstacles in life, and find the best way through or around them- literally and figuratively.

The question everybody still asks me is: "Can you still do a backflip?" and to answer that, yes, yes I can.

Senior year backflip off of our Camaro