BY: ROSS GREENBERG
Ever since I can remember, I have always thought of parkour as an insanely cool, but extremely difficult style of movement. I’d see it in movies or tv shows and think how cool it would be to be able to jump, flip and leap like that!
After taking my first parkour class at Brooklyn Zoo in Williamsburg, I learned first-hand how challenging and precise it really is, Brooklyn Zoo is an amazing 10,000 square foot facility spread over two floors and is basically one massive playground!. They offer classes in aerial silks, breakdancing, tumbling, parkour and many more styles of dance, stretching, work outs and physical feats. Classes range from $20-$40, with most being available for $20 as long as you register ahead of time online. They also offer an unlimited 30 day pass for $150.
Last week, I took the Adult Parkour class with Jeremy (AKA Spyder) who I am not convinced isn’t actually Spiderman. Jeremy has been training in parkour for 13 years and has been teaching it for 6! He’s a pro.
My class was small, consisting of two guys who had done a class or two before and two total beginners (me included). We started off by stretching out on the floor, which definitely warmed us up and got us ready for the next hour. We started right in with learning how to precision jump – referred to in parkour lingo as “pres.” We leapt from a standing position onto a line on the floor to practice and get our bodies used to the feeling of the jump. Then we took it to the skies.
We leapt from platform to platform, walked across thin rails (doing our best to stay balanced) and scaled walls. Spyder was there every step of the way offering tips, tricks and showing off his moves so we knew what we were supposed to look like! We learned how to jump, leap, slide down and throw ourselves at every wall, platform, metal bar and surface in that gym! And most importantly, how to land on our feet in one piece! After working up quite a sweat, we finished the class in a way you could only do on a massive jungle gym – we played a game of parkour tag!
After class ended, I got to bounce and flip on a massive trampoline in the open gym and was in awe of all that was going on around me. As I scanned the room I saw a trio of breakdancers practicing a routine, three girls in an aerial silk class, a group of very fit guys flipping quite impressively on the floor while another group worked on their trampoline tricks. It was an amazing sight to see such talent and creativity in one room! My body ached, I was dripping sweat and my left knee was bruised from when I slightly misjudged the distance from one wall to another, but I left Brooklyn Zoo feeling like I not only got a great workout, but that I was one step closer to realizing my dream of becoming the superhero I always knew I was!
We were guests of Brooklyn Zoo, but the opinions our our own.