UR­BAN JUN­GLE GYM

Push past your com­fort zone with a park­our work­out fea­tur­ing wall climbs and kong vaults

Midtown Post - - Contents -

Monika Sch­narre falls head over heels for park­our work­out

Park­our was in­vented by the French, and its lit­eral mean­ing is “the path” or “the way through.”

The foun­da­tion of this work­out is the act of mov­ing from point A to point B us­ing the ob­sta­cles in your path.

Sounds like fun, right? I learned a ba­sic reper­toire of moves de­vel­oped over the years, like the “tic-tac,” the “kong vault” and the “gap jump.”

Th­ese are the moves that make park­our rec­og­niz­able to most peo­ple who see it, even if they don’t know what it’s called.

The stu­dio I vis­ited is the Monkey Vault. It’s a large space filled with a va­ri­ety of ob­sta­cles to jump over, through or climb up.

It is the go-to place for stunt peo­ple and ac­tors work­ing on films in the city who need to train for their big ac­tion se­quences.

My in­struc­tor and the owner of Monkey Vault, Dan Iaboni, looked at me like I was some kind of space alien when I said I had no idea what park­our was, but I’ve never re­ally been that cool, so it didn’t bother me.

The work­out was chal­leng­ing in very dif­fer­ent ways. It wasn’t a car­dio work­out or weight train­ing or any­thing like that.

It was more of an agility test. If you want to feel like a su­per­hero, here’s your chance!

Af­ter some light stretch­ing and run­ning, we’re off! I’m ready to climb make-be­lieve build­ings and hurl my­self through pre­tend win­dows.

I felt clumsy at first, but that’s noth­ing new to me. The ba­sic rou­tine con­sists of some warm-ups, learn­ing the new skills, then putting those skills into prac­tise on ob­sta­cle cour­ses, fol­lowed by a cool-down pe­riod.

Af­ter a class, peo­ple usu­ally hang out and work on their newly learned skills as well as the pre­vi­ous week’s chal­lenges.

The men­tal as­pect was prob­a­bly the most chal­leng­ing. Find­ing the con­fi­dence when you’re run­ning up to a wall and jump­ing through a win­dow was the hard­est part for me.

I was cer­tain that I would land splat on my face, but some­how I made it!

This was the most ter­ri­fy­ing and, at the same time, ex­hil­a­rat­ing part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Com­plet­ing a chal­lenge — when you didn’t think it was pos­si­ble — was thrilling.

It was a fun re­prieve from the daily gym rou­tine. You leave with­out feel­ing like you’ve ex­er­cised, but don’t let that fool you — you’ll get home to find that your gym cloth­ing did in fact get a work­out.

My shoul­ders and up­per arms felt it the most the fol­low­ing day. It must have been that two-storey Spi­der-Woman climb!

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