A translucent window of photos and video clips could hardly prepare someone for the energy of being at Unparalleled Movement. The exterior; a simple, metal sided building. Another puzzle piece in a mass of industrial buildings and retail spaces, littered by the edge of the BNSF railway.
The walls brim with the sounds of individuals from all walks of life, all corners of the globe, working to perfect their craft. Exclamations of success meet grunts of determination. Different characters building each other up and pushing one another to try something new. Fools Jam 2016 was in motion.
“Fools Jam isn't just about the parkour, it’s about having an experience together”, said David Boden, an athlete from Denver Colorado.
As for myself, I'm not a parkour athlete. Toward the beginning of the event I felt rather out of place and awkward. But by the end of the weekend, I felt right at home and had made many new friends.
The first day upon arrival fit my expectations quite perfectly. I observed those who had come before me and was blown away by the pure talent and determination of those who were there.
The next day was a little more my speed. With the arrival of some friends and the prospect of a hike, it was easy to say it was, umm, “lit”. Athletes and adventurers alike left mid morning to adventure through Blodgett canyon. Returners and visitors alike couldn’t help but bask in the beauty of what they saw.
After returning to Unparalleled Movement, there was a little bit of time before the competition started. The competition was a friendly, more designed to help perfect techniques then to insight rivalry’s, but this did not mean that everyone didn't try their best. Every age and skill level put on an excellent showing. All performers and spectators seemed to feel the energy because the joy in the room was overwhelming.
The next day consisted of another adventure into the mountains. This time, the Mission Mountains. Bumping along in the back of Rex the Van deep into the woods is an experience one has to live in order to understand. But, the arrival was spectacular. The clear, cold water of the Mission reservoir, vividly framed by the mountain peaks behind it, was quite stunning. All who were there agreed it was better then anything that could be seen on the TV. Between walking around barefoot in mud to slipping on rocks at the base of a waterfall, it was the experience of a lifetime.
The weekend had a nice close with a fire and good conversation. Thoughts were shared, stories were told, smiles were on everyone’s faces and nothing more could be expected or wanted out of that weekend.