In the many years I've been involved in Parkour Philippines, I've heard all kinds of concerns and questions from both practitioners and interested participants. One worry that almost always comes out is when people remain hesitant to train in Parkour because they do not have a group to train with. There is a hesitation to be exposed out there all on your own, by yourself, in not so private places. In these public places where public eyes can see you make or break a jump, fly or fail a flow, catch or fall off a ledge, some would rather avoid the situation altogether and thus not even attempt to try out something for the sake of practicing Parkour. The reality, and perhaps, rooted from experience also, is that training alone is part and parcel of this discipline. Rather, there is a lot to learn from taking the "Solo Flight."
There is danger in training alone. There is no safety net of fellow traceurs to catch your mistakes. Either you make the jump, or you don't. It is in this reality where one learns to face one's fears. It is during these moments that you further train the mental aspect of Parkour. By knowing your fears, you learn to respect your limitations. And that's when you break them, eventually.
Some people confuse doing Parkour in public, regardless of the situation or people around you, as Solo Flights. If you really are training alone, you do not need an active audience to cheer you on, or even care if they criticize you. Take note, do not confuse showmanship as independent training. There are no cameras, no distractions. You only focus on your movement.
It is only when you spend a reasonable time alone training (or conditioning) when you find yourself asking the question. Against public eyes, amidst rough weather, above and below rugged conditions and unpolished surfaces, you eventually identify your inner motivations. Is this a mere past-time or exercise? Or is this something more for you?
Lastly, as with any artist, creativity requires solitude. Yes, you can have role models in movement. But the only true way to find your own style is to keep experimenting and practicing, finding out the quirks and qualities of your individual movement without judgement, criticism, influence of others around you. Of course, training with others will further refine your movement, but do not make the mistake of being limited by it. Yes, you can still listen for feedback and input, and it is actually recommended. Just don't forget that this is Parkour; We are to make our own way, our own flow, given our individual limitations, capabilities, and bodies.
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